So yesterday I said Phoenix was having some major surgery, replacing the fuel injector in cylinder #4. I got a call this morning and they reported that the tech was then getting a misfire code in cylinder #2. Turns out that injector is also clogged and needs to be replaced. As a preventative step, they are recommending replacing all four and are doing a complete deep cleaning of the engine.
This is on a car with only 50K miles, by the way. Of the five vehicles I have owned, I have never once had to replace a fuel injector. Nor have I ever had to have a total carbon clean out.
The reason? All of this could have been prevented simply by using fuel that meets Top Tier Detergent Gasoline standards. When the EPA set their minimum treatment rate back in the 1990s, auto makers realized it wasn’t enough, and especially since that caused a lot of fuel companies to lower their treatment concentration. When things like the above happened, that’s when several auto manufacturers (of which VW was one) came together and devised the Top Tier standard.
I personally run exclusively Chevron or Texaco in my vehicles, as I have always gotten the best mileage out of them (note that Chevron bought Texaco some time ago and it’s now the same fuel). The Techron additive just seems to have a little extra magic in my experience, but not all engines are the same obviously. Nonetheless, the website linked above provides a list of Top Tier licensed brands.
Anyway, this is a prime example of why if you want something done wrong, let the government get involved. The Top Tier standard is an independent standard developed by the automotive industry for fuel companies to voluntarily participate in. As we become a more informed consumer base, for a fuel company to stay afloat they’ll have to go there. Just goes to show that true free market capitalism does work. This, my friends, is why I am a die-hard Libertarian.
Anyway, be informed. Pay the extra few cents per gallon and save yourself a lot of headache, heartache, and expensive repairs later.