Fuel Injector Cleaner...don't screw up like i did...
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  1. #1
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    Fuel Injector Cleaner...don't screw up like i did...

    Looks like another moron-moment for me...

    My friend with a TDi has been telling me for a long time that using alcohol-based injector cleaners are bad for his cars injectors and can eat away at them...

    being the "genius" that i am, i thought that only meant diesel cars, since so much of his stuff is different from our cars...

    with an almost empty tank of gas, i head up to R&S strauss and pick up a bottle of any old injector cleaner...throw it in the tank and fill up on 93-octane...

    an hour after i did this, i start my car and now it sounds like a Mack-Truck diesel...its SOOOO loud and feels like the engine may be knocking because the car shakes alot more...

    my friend said "I told you to check the label!!"...apparently all the injectors are the same since its a VW....his are bigger i believe, but made of the same material...

    so don't be like me and think that any old fuel injector cleaner will work...make sure that it is NOT ALCOHOL-BASED!!!

    i'll try and post an audio-clip if i remember...

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  3. #2
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    Sorry to hear the news...what was the brand you used? I threw in a bottle of Synpower Fuel System Cleaner couple of weeks ago...no problems, but to be honest, I never read the ingredients label.

  4. #3
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    I have used STP and Techron with no ill effects. Did not read the ingredients either. :oops:

  5. #4
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    Will it eventually burn out of the system or will this cause damage? I can't imagine that it would do anything, but cause an annoying sound. Thanks for the heads up. :-)

  6. #5
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    I can't believe one can of cleaner would actually ruin your injectors. Before I ship mine to you, are you SURE that's what you need? I'd like to keep this topic bumped for a few days and see if anyone chimes in with an alternate diagnosis/solution.

  7. #6
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    First of all the injectors in a TDI are COMPLETELY different than a 1.8T. And the reason you can't use alcohol based additives in a diesel is because it can damage the injection pump.

    I don't know anything about alcohol and gasoline injectors.

  8. #7
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    You can get the VW/Audi cleaner from some shops and probably the dealer. There is a local shop to me $3.20/bottle. Use it once a month to keep the car happy. Of course I just started using it in the Passat and the Audi.

  9. #8
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    wow i didn't know my car was so sensitive!!! thanks for the heads up.

  10. #9
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    that sounds really weird and dont see how one can of that stuff can do that. i use all types of injector cleaner never had a problem i just read the label just to make shure its ok to use on o2 sensored cars >>

  11. #10
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    That's pretty strange. I know using cheap fuel all the time is bad for your car and probably using cheap cleaner is bad but I didn't think it would have an instantaneous affect. Cheap fuels use more alcohol to get the octane ratings up, this tends to dry out all the rubber in your fuel system. It can cause some serious issues.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRD99
    ...alcohol ... tends to dry out all the rubber in your fuel system. It can cause some serious issues.
    So maybe the rubber o-rings were marginal, and the alchohol-based stuff didn't get mixed thoroughly, so it was concentrated at the bottom of the tank, and it caused the o-rings to go critical???

    Maybe all you need is new injector o-rings? If they're are bad, then you should be able to affect significant changes in the way your engine runs by wiggling, pushing-on, pulling-on, etc. the fuel rail.

  13. #12
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    I put 12oz of GUNK FI/Carb Cleaner in a full tank on my car a few weeks ago. Now, I am on my fouth tank of gas without any problems whatsoever.

    I don't think alcohol will do that kind of damage to your injector. Do you have a bad fuel filter that you didn't know about??

  14. #13
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    WOOOOOAAAA.
    I dont think the alcohol will cause this problem, probably another component of that injector cleaning solution.
    Gasolines contain two substances to give them the octane; alcohol and organic solvents.

  15. #14
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    Umm isn't ethanol alcohol? I believe so, so if gasoline con have up to 10% ethanol, then this doesn't make much sense to me.

  16. #15
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    I've used a variety of injector cleaners and never had this problem. Is it possible you got some bad gas? I'd run through the tank and if it happens on the next tank too, we can start diagnosing.

    It could be that particular brand of cleaner, but it seems unlikely.

    Keep us updated. Personally, I've never heard of injectors going bad on these cars, but I'm sure its possible.

    -Ian

  17. #16
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    i just use techron

  18. #17
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    i've been through 3 tanks of gas since this has happened and its still LOUD....
    maybe its just a timing problem, but i dont see how that could all happen after i put in the fluid...i dont think the gas is the problem, i go to that station all the time and only get Mobil/Exxon 93-octane... :???:

    i figured i could just fix this problem on my own, but it looks like i'll have to take it to the stealership...i really hope this isn't gonna empty my pockets

  19. #18
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    BG44K best stuff out there. Had an Emission Workshop CEL....multi lean condition. Ran a can of BG44K drove 20 miles and the light went off. Didn't even have to reset anything.

  20. #19
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    All fuel treatment/cleaners have alcohol in them. The alcohol bonds to any water that is in the gas tank and allows it to be burned. How many miles is on the car and when was the last time the fuel filter was changed? I change mine every 25k-30k.

  21. #20
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    I use STP every 20k and my car is doing just fine.

  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1ReclusiveOrc
    All fuel treatment/cleaners have alcohol in them. The alcohol bonds to any water that is in the gas tank and allows it to be burned. How many miles is on the car and when was the last time the fuel filter was changed? I change mine every 25k-30k.
    i bought it with 45K and now its at 70K...i haven't changed the filter...i'll do that next week and see what happens...

  23. #22
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    I'm not so sure of the alcohol claim. A lot of pump fuel has up to 10% methanol in it - that's the simplest alcohol around!

  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty
    Quote Originally Posted by CRD99
    ...alcohol ... tends to dry out all the rubber in your fuel system. It can cause some serious issues.
    So maybe the rubber o-rings were marginal, and the alchohol-based stuff didn't get mixed thoroughly, so it was concentrated at the bottom of the tank, and it caused the o-rings to go critical???

    Maybe all you need is new injector o-rings? If they're are bad, then you should be able to affect significant changes in the way your engine runs by wiggling, pushing-on, pulling-on, etc. the fuel rail.
    That would just make the injectors leak onto the fuel rail and it wouldnt disrupt performance to that extent.

    Vag-com your car and see what it says :wink:

  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac_productions
    Quote Originally Posted by 1ReclusiveOrc
    All fuel treatment/cleaners have alcohol in them. The alcohol bonds to any water that is in the gas tank and allows it to be burned. How many miles is on the car and when was the last time the fuel filter was changed? I change mine every 25k-30k.
    i bought it with 45K and now its at 70K...i haven't changed the filter...i'll do that next week and see what happens...
    did you change your timing belt? maybe the tensioner went and skipped a tooth? :???:

  26. #25
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    This sounds like another problem for sure; just so happened to coincide with your use of a FI cleaner. Read the codes, think back a while ago.. anything else that might have cuased this.

    I know with a skipped tooth on the timing belt, the dealer said my car was running insanely bad (when I got my turbo replaced, they must have knocked it out of time and on the starting it up said it was horrendous).

  27. #26
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    Bump. What's going on with your car? Any fresh clues? Anything posted above help?

  28. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty
    Bump. What's going on with your car? Any fresh clues? Anything posted above help?
    every bit of info & input helps...Thanks Guys

    i havent vag-ed the car and won't be able to until i get back from florida next monday...i looked at the injectors and it looks like i may be losing some fuel somehwere, so it could be the o-rings....i'll change those and I'm going to change the fuel filter to see if that helps also...

    the timing belt is the most expensive issue i can think of...hopefully its not that, but i know i'm going to have to change that anyway...

    btw...Stock mode sucks

  29. #28
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    I have never had any problems with FI Cleaner :roll:. I use STP complete fuel system cleaner every 5k miles with my oil changes. Every couple months I will put in a can of STP injector cleaner (The 3 dollar stuff). Somehow I think that you would have a lot more issues with your car than some odd noises if your timing belt had broken... .

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