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Rambo

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I'm not a car guy but I know some of you are, so I figured I'd poll for questions.

What are your thoughts on fuel system cleaners? No real consensus on the web. Some seem to think they're a good preventative for all cars, some think they're only good for older cars, some think they're worthless.

If you're in the pro camp, any particular brand recommendations?
 

Leitmotif

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Sea Foam is really good, also the one by Royal Purple. The rest are worthless IMO. It goes without saying that good oil also does make the difference. I used to put Royal Purple/AMSOIL on my Acura TSX. Could go 8K miles easily and the oil would still be looking good. A good oil filter also does wonder and I think K&N makes the best.
 

Rambo

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Sea Foam is really good, also the one by Royal Purple. The rest are worthless IMO. It goes without saying that good oil also does make the difference. I used to put Royal Purple/AMSOIL on my Acura TSX. Could go 8K miles easily and the oil would still be looking good. A good oil filter also does wonder and I think K&N makes the best.
I ended up buying the one from Royal Purple since it was the only good one I could find locally. Amazon buyers also seem to like this one:


I was almost 2,000 miles over due for an oil change so I'm sure it could use some cleaning.
 

Leitmotif

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I ended up buying the one from Royal Purple since it was the only good one I could find locally. Amazon buyers also seem to like this one:


I was almost 2,000 miles over due for an oil change so I'm sure it could use some cleaning.
What car do you have?
 

Rambo

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You should be okay then. Royal Purple/Sea Foam. Interesting that you were able to find Royal Purple easier than Sea Foam. I buy all of that stuff online, lot easier to find.
they might have had sea foam but i didn't look for it. it was either the royal purple or the shit from amazon.
 

Scherensammler

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What actually helps to keep your engine/ injection system clean is good fuel.
The higher the octane count, the cleaner the fuel has to be, so less "dirt" (waste from the oil refining process in it).
If you drive your car a lot it's worth buying better fuel. You get better mileage, so the price for fuel stays the same, but your engine stays cleaner.
I used to put slightly cheaper fuel (still with 98 octane) in my old Audi 100 C3 5 cylinder car and it neither started straight away or ran smoothly. I thought it was just the age of the car (built in 1986).
When I filled up with Shell/ Aral/ Jet/ BP fuel it was a game changer. Instant start up and much better throttle response/ mileage. So in the end much more cost effective.
 

doghouse

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What actually helps to keep your engine/ injection system clean is good fuel.
The higher the octane count, the cleaner the fuel has to be, so less "dirt" (waste from the oil refining process in it).
If you drive your car a lot it's worth buying better fuel. You get better mileage, so the price for fuel stays the same, but your engine stays cleaner.
I used to put slightly cheaper fuel (still with 98 octane) in my old Audi 100 C3 5 cylinder car and it neither started straight away or ran smoothly. I thought it was just the age of the car (built in 1986).
When I filled up with Shell/ Aral/ Jet/ BP fuel it was a game changer. Instant start up and much better throttle response/ mileage. So in the end much more cost effective.
Why would he run high octane in a 2015 Camry?

Fuel system cleaners are generally a waste. Definitely a waste on a 2015.
 

Scherensammler

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Why would he run high octane in a 2015 Camry?
FTFY!

Seriously: for the reasons I stated above. And yes, fuel system cleaners are a waste of money, since there's nothing in them that's not already in good fuel. They made sense for carburettors, but not for modern fuel injections.
I did use an additive to clean my engines oil system, because the car was kept in a garage for years and hadn't been moved.
After that I replaced the old with good synthetic oil and didn't have problems.
 

doghouse

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FTFY!

Seriously: for the reasons I stated above. And yes, fuel system cleaners are a waste of money, since there's nothing in them that's not already in good fuel. They made sense for carburettors, but not for modern fuel injections.
I did use an additive to clean my engines oil system, because the car was kept in a garage for years and hadn't been moved.
After that I replaced the old with good synthetic oil and didn't have problems.
But what you wrote is nonsensical for his car. Octane is a function of molecular structure consistency, not quality. It's necessary in higher compression engines to prevent predetonation. There is literally no reason to run high octane in a car designed for low octane.

Now there are higher and lower quality fuels across all the ranges, and using quality is always best
 

Leitmotif

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Actually some cars are designed to run on different octanes. My tsx when I had it would react vert different to low octane and high octane. In the city for the most part i would put high octane since the car would suffer more, in the highway then cheapest.
 

Arnathor

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I've used a lucas oil fuel system cleaner recently and have found my car to be running a bit quieter and starting up faster.

This is anecdotal, but I'm going to continue adding it to my car every 3rd fill up.
 

doghouse

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Actually some cars are designed to run on different octanes.
Which is what I just said.

A Camry is optimized for regular 87 octane. Going higher is pointless. My X5 however is designed for premium, it has knock sensors to adjust timing for running regular, but gives up a lot of economy. This is irrelevant for Rambo Rambo though.
 

Scherensammler

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I think the lowest octane I remember is 92 (normal) and then 95 (Super).
Then they introduced 98 octane fuel as a replacement for the leaded super.
With the introduction of E10 the normal fuel became extinct.
Using 102 octane fuel doesn't make sense. Especially price wise. I know the fuel prices are much lower in the US, but here in Europe the fuel stations/ companies charge a whooping premium for that type of fuel.
It might make sense for owners of supercars to use that fuel, but for normal cars the EU 95 octane is sufficient.

US 87 octane fuel (AON) is comparable to our "Normal" 92 ROZ.
The capacity of a car to run on that kind of fuel was a big selling point, as that fuel was several Deutschpfennig or later Euro-cents cheaper.
US premium is like our E10 Super, though I would have thought that all BMW petrol engines run on higher octanes, at least here in Europe. But I guess the differences are marginal and depend on the quality of the fuel (impurities).
In my area here in Scotland I don't need high octane fuel. Neither the roads nor the speed regulations allow high speeds.
What I do need here are good tyres and brakes.
 

doghouse

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In my area here in Scotland I don't need high octane fuel. Neither the roads nor the speed regulations allow high speeds.
What I do need here are good tyres and brakes.
That's basically everywhere for people with sense. My step dad is restoring his '67 Corvette, and was talking about camming the engine and stuff, and I was like hell with the motor put some goddamn brakes on the bitch. It's already a rocket as is but good luck stopping.
 

Leitmotif

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doghouse doghouse my Spic brain had a bean fart. What I was trying to say was that some cars are designed to run differently depending on the octane gas that is being used. It wont be as fast/mpg wont be as good if you use the cheap gass.
 

Scherensammler

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That's basically everywhere for people with sense. My step dad is restoring his '67 Corvette, and was talking about camming the engine and stuff, and I was like hell with the motor put some goddamn brakes on the bitch. It's already a rocket as is but good luck stopping.
You get a lot of young folks who put looks (and/ or sound) before safety.
I don't see the point in pimping your car visually (wheels, spoilers, lower suspension, exhaust), perhaps even increasing the BHP and then have the cheapest flat bed tyres and brake discs and pads on it available. Even worse, cheap summer tyres all year round, because "it hardly ever snows here"!
But those are small, 90 to 120 bhp front wheel drive hatchbacks, not 300+ bhp rear wheel drive V8's.
 

doghouse

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doghouse doghouse my Spic brain had a bean fart. What I was trying to say was that some cars are designed to run differently depending on the octane gas that is being used. It wont be as fast/mpg wont be as good if you use the cheap gass.
No, I knew what you meant, which I why I mentioned my car can run on all grades. But in a Camry, it wouldn't matter. It's optimized for low test as is.
 

Rambo

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What are your thoughts on prescribed timelines for balancing and alignment? The manual says the tires have to be balanced every 5,000 miles and aligned every 15,000.
 

Leitmotif

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Depends completely on your car, i do mines every 2500 miles, but thats because how my car sits on the tires and the only way to avoid eating them the wrong way.
 

doghouse

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We do it when new tires go on, that's it.

As far as alignment, unless you hit something or have to get ball joints done then shouldn't be necessary.
 

Rambo

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We do it when new tires go on, that's it.
how often do you change tires? I thought, at the bare minimum, you were supposed to get rotated and balanced once a year.

Depends completely on your car, i do mines every 2500 miles, but thats because how my car sits on the tires and the only way to avoid eating them the wrong way.
you balance every 2500 miles?
 

Thruth

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We do it when new tires go on, that's it.

As far as alignment, unless you hit something or have to get ball joints done then shouldn't be necessary.
^ what he said. Look for irregular wear patterns that indicates you have a problem
 

Leitmotif

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how often do you change tires? I thought, at the bare minimum, you were supposed to get rotated and balanced once a year.


you balance every 2500 miles?
I rotate every 2500, balance every 7500. Allign once a year.
 

Leitmotif

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I'm interested more in preventative maintenance. Do this every so and so miles and you'll avoid issues.
Meh, nothing really you can do. Just oil changes, flush fluids when its time for it, transmission oil, and thats about it. Everythijg else is like a suspense movie. I remember driving my acura once when i went to made a left turn the car locked and i had to stop. The rack and pinions interior somehow ruptured and i lost all the oil. It took the power steering motor too with it.1500 to fix it.
 

Thruth

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I'm interested more in preventative maintenance. Do this every so and so miles and you'll avoid issues.
207,000 miles on the Tundra. Only balancing is with new tires. Alignment only if it is crawling sideways. It has never crawled sideways.

Rotate your tires as you wish as per your owners manual. My tire guys never say "and come back to have them balances every...."

It's only if you have a fucked up ride like Leitmotif Leitmotif has where the tires get eaten up because of the suspension geometry.
 

prince nez

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But what you wrote is nonsensical for his car. Octane is a function of molecular structure consistency, not quality. It's necessary in higher compression engines to prevent predetonation. There is literally no reason to run high octane in a car designed for low octane.

Now there are higher and lower quality fuels across all the ranges, and using quality is always best
My old Cit has 7.5:1 compression. Actually runs better on the low octane stuff. Some dudes even run them on cooking oil...

As for tyre rotations and wheel alignments, they import 4 (yes, 4) Model X Michelins into the country every year. It's the only tyre that fits the 400mm metric rims. Finally, go to a regular tyre place with hexagonal centre-locking single wheel nuts and they usually think I am also a wheel nut and ask me to move my spaceship off their premesis before their haircuts explode.
 

doghouse

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how often do you change tires? I thought, at the bare minimum, you were supposed to get rotated and balanced once a year.
I have a huge range of vehicles on the road, but I would say generally 35-40k. The front tires on my BMW get maybe 25k because they are so soft and the car weighs so much. And I drive it like an Indy car.

A lot of these recommendations are just to keep people aware of the maintenance and make sure someone doesn't let it go then wreck and sue. We maintain a fleet of vehicles so it's like an assembly line, but the average car owner isn't thinking about his tire wear all that often. If they say just do it every year then everyone is covered.

You only get so many miles out of front tires, doesn't matter if you rotate once or 50 times. Usually we rotate them once or twice, once the front starts looking slim.

If there is any balance issue, you will feel the vibration in the steering wheel. Just check to make sure the balance weights are still on and there isn't any mud or gunk stuck to the rim to throw it out of balance, it doesn't take much.

Fun tip: If the vibration occurs below 50mph it's probably the front wheels, above its probably the back.
 
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I've heard that premium fuels had more detergent in them, not that unneeded octane is desirable. I always thought tire rotation was a waste. BMW used to advise against it, as the tires would wear in and then rotation would mean they were riding on edge till scrubbed in again.
 

doghouse

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I've heard that premium fuels had more detergent in them, not that unneeded octane is desirable. I always thought tire rotation was a waste. BMW used to advise against it, as the tires would wear in and then rotation would mean they were riding on edge till scrubbed in again.
You can get high detergent fuel in all grades, that is a fuel quality issue. Higher end brands will be cleaner.

Rotating tires definitely isn't a waste, you front tires wear about 70% faster than the rear, so you can extend the life quite a bit by switching. Side to side rotating is pretty irrelevant though. With BMW, a lot of their vehicles have different size front and rear, so you can't rotate.
 

Leitmotif

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You can get high detergent fuel in all grades, that is a fuel quality issue. Higher end brands will be cleaner.

Rotating tires definitely isn't a waste, you front tires wear about 70% faster than the rear, so you can extend the life quite a bit by switching. Side to side rotating is pretty irrelevant though. With BMW, a lot of their vehicles have different size front and rear, so you can't rotate.
You cant rotate but you can switch from left to right and right to left. Take the tire off the rim and pt it on the other one since more than likely they are gonna be unidirectional.
 
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How much does fuel band really matter? I'd always heard that the only bonus of name brand fuel was consistency. Joe's buys gas left over from major suppliers. He doesn't have his own refinery. It's the same fuel as some other pricier place. But it could be from Mobil one week, Shell the next etc.
Seeing how tire shops always toss the new tires on the rear to maximize understeer, why not just run the fronts till they are at the wear bars, then replace?
Is it really bad to park with the steering near full lock?
 

Rambo

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What's the consensus on replacing factory tires. Here in FL, tired tend to wear pretty flat. The flat tire is probably fucked, so I'm looking at 2 tires. Anyone think it would be prudent to just replace all 4 at once?
 

Thruth

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What's the consensus on replacing factory tires. Here in FL, tired tend to wear pretty flat. The flat tire is probably fucked, so I'm looking at 2 tires. Anyone think it would be prudent to just replace all 4 at once?
Get new rubber all around
 

Rambo

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