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Are additives good for my engine?

26 Oct 16
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Is it advisable to add oil and gasoline additives to my car engine? – Jim R.

With a multitude of products available, deciphering what is right for your car can be a mystery. Despite advertising claims, the majority of pour-in fuel products will yield improvements that are difficult to detect. I am regularly given products by salespeople to test in my own vehicles. I’m still waiting for the one that makes me pay serious attention.

However, battling carbon buildup on intake valves, notably on gasoline direct-injection engines, is an area that requires attention – with excessive buildup leading to misfires, engine malfunction trouble codes and drivability issues. Do-it-yourself combustion-chamber cleaning products may effect a minor change, but your best chance to make a significant impact is with a professionally performed combustion chamber cleaning.

With professional services, there are multiple choices. Anywhere from the $89 spray/drip-quick service to the multihour procedure, where special equipment is used to insert cleaning products directly into the fuel system before the fuel injectors. The latter will net the best results, but the cost increases significantly.

Oil additives offer similar confusion. I find the only products worth consideration are the oil-flush products used prior to an oil change. They are not a fix-it-in-a-can solution and should be used sparingly.

Lou Trottier is owner-operator of in Mississauga. Have a question about maintenance and repair? E-mail, placing “Lou’s Garage” in the subject area.


Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

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