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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Personally, I think they're all a waste of money, but that's just me.

So, who out there uses fuel additives (STP, Slick 50, etc.), and what do you use? Any noticable gains?

Reason I ask -- Sunday I swapped out my brother's brakes for him in his GMC Sierra 1500 pickup (great carpenter, but cannot figure out how to drive a nail with a torque wrench...), and proceeds to dump <brand name additive to remain unnammed for now> into his tank.

So....

Yesterday I get a call from him all in a panic: His son drove his truck to work complaining of lack of power, smoking exhaust, "smelling bad" and that "his truck sucks" according to the son.

We figure it's the fuel filter. So I drop everything I'm doing (really don't have time for this) and load up some tools, pick my brother up, a fuel filter and change it in the parking lot of the local grocery store.

Sheesh. It's just two 16mm nuts, and two 13mm nuts holding the filter to the rail. You'd think he could do this, but nope. I do. Wife is pissed, I'm pissed, but have a smile on my face. "Sure, bro, happy to help..."

Anyhoo. Probably totally coincidental, but is it really? He had been using one brand -- "brand x" -- of addititve for years, so he tells me, but then switches up to "brand y". I just am wondering if it loosened up some scale and grit in the lines to choke the filter, killing the engine.

Truck runs fine now with the new filter.

Thoughts?
 

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x2 on the Chevron Techron. It was recommended to me by a mechanic friend of mine who's opinion I greatly trust. He says he's seen the inside of motors that run it and it's amazing how clean they are. He runs it in his collection of VWs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, guys. I admit I have heard good things about Techron. Bro used Slick 50 Sunday.... :rolleyes:
 

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I used to use Techron in my old 87' 9000 every so often - it cleaned it up and ran nice after the initial treatment. I've recently used a LUCAS fuel system cleaner as well - can't say how well or if it did anything (but it was free). I see no reason not to use SOME of the good products every so often - but not on a regular basis. Use as directed....
 

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BG 44k seemed to work quite well for me. First full tank after using I was on pace to set a personal record for most miles on a tank of mixed driving... then the clutch bearing disintegrated. Will report back after repair. ;)
 

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One of my friends is a mechanic. One day he had a Saturn come in that was misfiring pretty badly. After spending around 4hrs on it he had replaced a coil pack and all 4 spark plugs, along with a bunch of diagnosis with his O-scope.

When the problem was still there he finally decided to check the TSBs (not sure why he didn't do this sooner). As he was skimming the lengthy list of TSBs he came across one that mentioned a noise that you could here out of the tail pipe that indicated the exhaust valve was being hung up on the valve guide.

The solution? Saturn says to run a one bottle of Saturn Fuel injector cleaner through the fuel system and then put the car under load in 5th gear.

My friend proceeded to use the injector cleaner machine (it actually runs the car on injector cleaner for a good 20 minutes), then he dumped in fuel system cleaner in the tank and took it for a drive.

The result? He took the car for a drive up some pretty good hills and as he kept driving the misfires became less and less. After about 5 miles, he reset the misfire count on his scan tool and drove the 5 miles back to the shop. The scan tool did not register any misfires on the 5 mile trip back. (this was up some serious hills too)

He was completely baffled by all of this and definitely didn't think it was going to work.

Conclusion.
A Good quality fuel additive has its time and place.

I wouldn't say you need to run it all the time but maybe twice a year or something.
 

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The only additive that I can remember using in any of my cars was Marvel Mystery Oil. I added a bit at every fillup in my 285+k mile '85 RX-7 GSL-SE.... But the rotary is a different beast. I've not ever used anything in the 'normal' cars.
 

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I ran STP Complete fuel system cleaner in both my first c900T and my 9k Aero and it cleared up so many issues those cars had. I gained all of my boost back in my 9k Aero after running it, and my 900T improved drastically.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The culprit was Slick 50, or at least that's the theory. Brother's been using STP for years no issues. One use of Slick 50 and suddenly the truck ran like crap. I changed out the fuel filter, and it's all good again.
 

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The culprit was Slick 50, or at least that's the theory. Brother's been using STP for years no issues. One use of Slick 50 and suddenly the truck ran like crap. I changed out the fuel filter, and it's all good again.
I think moderation is key here.

Back in my diesel days, I'd talk to folks who were making the gradual switch to biodiesel. One of the worst things you can do to a diesel car is put a full tank of bio in the first time you use that stuff. It just scrubs the engine clean of all the gunk in it and clogs up the works. They recommend a 25-50-75-100 percent step-up to using it.

Could that be the culprit in your case? Maybe. Dunno.
 

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First and foremost, Tally, you're a good brother!

Although I can appreciate your frustration, the Slick50 could actually have done a good job loosening up some gunk that lodged in the fuel filter...which is what the filter's for afterall. Of course, it would have been nice if your sibling had a bit more "shadetree" in his DNA.

Mark me down as a Techron fan, especially since Chevron and Texaco pulled gasoline sales out of my local area. A bottle every oil change or so (6,000 miles) seems about right for both of my cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I think moderation is key here.

Back in my diesel days, I'd talk to folks who were making the gradual switch to biodiesel. One of the worst things you can do to a diesel car is put a full tank of bio in the first time you use that stuff. It just scrubs the engine clean of all the gunk in it and clogs up the works. They recommend a 25-50-75-100 percent step-up to using it.

Could that be the culprit in your case? Maybe. Dunno.
Yeah, I was kinda thinking along those same lines.

First and foremost, Tally, you're a good brother!

Although I can appreciate your frustration, the Slick50 could actually have done a good job loosening up some gunk that lodged in the fuel filter...which is what the filter's for afterall. Of course, it would have been nice if your sibling had a bit more "shadetree" in his DNA.

Mark me down as a Techron fan, especially since Chevron and Texaco pulled gasoline sales out of my local area. A bottle every oil change or so (6,000 miles) seems about right for both of my cars.
Thanks, Tom. I can't not help family. Especially with all the work he does for me -- the shed build this past spring, deck, french doors to the deck, etc. I guess it's just that he's SO averse to just giving a wrench a try. Ah, well, he's up and running again. All good.
 
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