Experts say fuel additives may not be needed unless problems arise with vehicle

They're products that claim to clean your fuel injector lines, promising optimum performance for vehicles. But are they worth it?
October 2, 2013 8:25:58 PM PDT
They're the products that claim to clean your fuel injector lines, promising optimum performance for your vehicle. But do you really need them?

Susie Pummill's Prius barely uses gas. So gasoline additives are out of the question, but she did use them on older rides.

"You have to try to keep them going. And you do have to put additives probably," Pummill said.

Her verdict on the products?

"I think it's sort of a hype. I don't think it really does a lot," she said.

Some automotive experts agree.

"If your car's running fine, you don't need it," said Mike Poutous with Poutous Automotive.

Poutous says purchasing these products means you're just pouring extra money into your tank and really paying double for the same product.

"Most gasolines, better grades of gasoline have them in there -- Chevron, Exxon, Shell. They all have an additive in there that cleans injectors," Poutous said.

Establishment like Chevron use a product called Techron. It's a fuel system cleaner added to their fuel. So when you fill up at the pump, you're getting the additive as well.

But not all gas stations are the same.

"If you buy your gas discounted like at a grocery store, or some supermarket, then you probably don't have those additives in there. There's a reason it's 15 or 20 cents a gallon cheaper," Poutous said.

Poutous tells us the only time your vehicle may have a need for these cleaners is when a probelm arises.

"The shape of the spray is not correct, and it won't burn correctly. And so it will feel like a bad spark plug, or bad plug wire, but it's actually the injector not giving it enough fuel to ignite," Poutous said.

Poutous tells us if your fuel injector becomes clogged, most likely your check engine light will come on notifying you there's a problem, and at that point you'll have to flush the fuel system. But most of the time you just have to replace the injector.

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