Fuel system cleaning for old SUV $269!!

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student5
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Fuel system cleaning for old SUV $269!!

Post by student5 »

Hi everyone,

I have an old 2003 Lexus LX 470, in at the Lexus dealer for a 180k service. He is recommending a $269 fuel system cleaning to clear out combustion debris and improve mpg. It's basically a caustic acid that they put in with by-products coming out of the exhaust. This sounds fishy, but I wanted to ask the experts here if they had an opinion. Thanks.
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Toons
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Re: Fuel system cleaning for old SUV $269!!

Post by Toons »

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Kenkat
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Re: Fuel system cleaning for old SUV $269!!

Post by Kenkat »

Is it running poorly? If no, leave it alone. If yes, I’d try a $5 bottle of Chevron Techron Fuel System Cleaner first.
J295
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Re: Fuel system cleaning for old SUV $269!!

Post by J295 »

I like to go to the Lexus Forum for questions like this .... pretty knowledgeable crew there and you can post your question under the sub group for your vehicle and generation (model years).

May be a great idea to have done or a poor one ... I have no idea..... I do know the dealership service is expensive ..... I have them do my oil changes and only certain work I won't do or won't have done elsewhere ... I do know some forum members at the Lexus site refer to them as stealerships rather than dealerships .....

I'm curious now ... PM me please when you get this answered and decide what to do

(FYI, we have 2016 GX 460 with 65k miles ... runs like a top and we love it).
strafe
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Re: Fuel system cleaning for old SUV $269!!

Post by strafe »

Something’s getting cleaned out. Hint: it’s not the fuel system...

You’ll find no mention of snake oil fuel system or intake treatments in the official maintenance schedule in your owners manual.
Housedoc
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Re: Fuel system cleaning for old SUV $269!!

Post by Housedoc »

Pick up 2 cans of Seafoam treatment available at Walmart or auto parts store. Dump both cans into a full tank of gas. Drive on highway as much as you can till 1/8 tank of fuel left. Do this every oil change.
This stuff works wonders. Also great for lawn mowers. 1 oz per gallon of gas.
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Fuel system cleaning for old SUV $269!!

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Are your fuel lines clogged? You can do a test of the entire fuel system. Get on the highway. Floor it. Keep it there. Does the vehicle accelerate or does it bog and set a check engine light? If it just goes, the system is fine. If it bogs, you most likely have a clogged fuel filter, which no system snake oil is going to help. I don't know about yours, but these days, most filters are in the tank. Access is often under the rear seat through a panel and maybe a 45 minute job for a do it yourselfer.

When you see your dealer's service manager, ask him if Lexus recommends this service. If he lies and says yes, ask him to show you documentation from Lexus that puts this into the maintenance schedule anywhere.

Or just the short answer.....they're screwing you. I would find a new mechanic and tell the general manager at this dealer that this is the reason why.
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CedarWaxWing
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Re: Fuel system cleaning for old SUV $269!!

Post by CedarWaxWing »

I went through this issue on my other older car (Toyota Rav 4 was the one I think) .

The shop recommended a fuel system "flush"... and the car was working fine.
They justified it my "we recommend that to everyone after xxx miles".

I scoured the net for evidence that doing this makes sense... and could not find any evidence person with any significant professional background on the topic that it was a smart or useful thing to do.

I looked into the manufacture's recommendations... they make no such recommendations. ( I also called them.)

I looked into the dealers.... They make such recommendations, but no one could tell me why... except "all the dealers recommend it"... and not one dealer could give me any solid evidence or a source that they have any functional reason for that recommendation. I pressed them pretty hard to give me that... and they were extremely careful to not make any claims of fact that it was known to be necessary or useful, or even financially smart.

I looked into the Society of Automotive Engineers site... and tried to find any reason and this recommendation should be followed.... and found no reason to think that any automotive engineers think is makes sense.

I finally talked to my friend Tony, an ex mechanic who later went to become a mechanical factory engineer... and he laughed at the idea of doing that ...said no would he do that unless there is a diagnosable fuel system problem that would require that to be done. He noted that there are plenty of detergents in high quality gas and they work well. Don't fix something that isn't broken.

Conclusion: High quality gas has detergents in it that are designed to keep the injectors and fuel system clean, and the recommendation to do a fuel system flush, or cleaning, etc.... is a BS recommendation if the car is functioning well. Any claims to mess with that are nothing but a high profit scam recommendation. There is no real evidence that doing so will improve your mpg, and no reason to think you will benefit from following that recommendation.



BTW... service personnel at a dealer... should not be viewed as knowledgeable professionals any more than an Edward Jones rep should be viewed as a financial expert or a fiduciary. Knowing something about cars is a great survival skill... or an least having a few friends who do. (I drove 100-300 cars for about 25 years, and did all the maintenance on my own cars all that time, including rebuilding engines, etc. I am glad I no longer have to do that... but it sure has helped in evaluating the "advice" by mechanics).



Good luck.
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student5
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Re: Fuel system cleaning for old SUV $269!!

Post by student5 »

You all are the bee's knees (i.e. excellent)! No problem with acceleration, will try the Chevron Techron concentrate at 1.86% of the Lexus dealer's fuel system cleanout price. Thanks.
Bajadoc
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Re: Fuel system cleaning for old SUV $269!!

Post by Bajadoc »

They are padding the service ticket. There is no such thing as combustion debris removal to improve MPG. Decline the service and find an honest independent shop to keep that old Lexis going a few more years. Only fix specific clearly defined problems that are necessary for proper function and safety. Automotive machinery is not a mystery to a competent auto mechanic. He or she should be able to explain needed maintenance and repairs to the car owner, allowing the owner to make well informed decisions. The automotive world is worse than AUM financial advisors. Mucho cuidado.
lazydavid
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Re: Fuel system cleaning for old SUV $269!!

Post by lazydavid »

Bajadoc wrote: Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:01 pm They are padding the service ticket. There is no such thing as combustion debris removal to improve MPG.
Well there is, but not on this engine and the fix doesn't come out of a bottle. Direct Injected engines (which this Toyota V8 is not) tend to build up carbon deposits, which have to be removed by media blasting with something like walnut shells. This typically requires removing the intake manifold, and in some cases the head.

But I agree 100% with everything else you said.
RudyS
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Re: Fuel system cleaning for old SUV $269!!

Post by RudyS »

Kenkat wrote: Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:00 pm Is it running poorly? If no, leave it alone. If yes, I’d try a $5 bottle of Chevron Techron Fuel System Cleaner first.
In days gone by, I used Gumout for my carburetor. But yes, if there is indeed a problem like rough running, try a "can" first.
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OAG
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Re: Fuel system cleaning for old SUV $269!!

Post by OAG »

Get the engine hot. On a highway put it in 2nd gear and red-line the tack a few times.

Some Dealer's just try to insult people's wallets.
OAG=Old Army Guy. Retired CW4 USA (US Army) in 1979 21 years of service @ 38.
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OAG
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Re: Fuel system cleaning for old SUV $269!!

Post by OAG »

Get the engine hot. On a highway put it in 2nd gear and red-line the tack a few times.

Some Dealer's just try to insult people's wallets.
OAG=Old Army Guy. Retired CW4 USA (US Army) in 1979 21 years of service @ 38.
researcher
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Re: Fuel system cleaning for old SUV $269!!

Post by researcher »

student5 wrote: Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:54 pm I have an old 2003 Lexus LX 470, in at the Lexus dealer for a 180k service.
The more important question is...

Why are you taking a 15 year old vehicle, with 180K miles, to a dealership for service?????
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elcadarj
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Re: Fuel system cleaning for old SUV $269!!

Post by elcadarj »

Carbon can build up in an engine especially if your driving qualifies as severe according to your owner's manual; however, this build will exhibit symptoms like reduced gas mileage, rough idling, hesitation, pinging. And the fix is not $269 at the dealership but $5 at the WalMart. If you don't have these symptoms, you're fuel system is fine, probably because you buy name brand or Top Tier gas (https://www.consumerreports.org/car-mai ... tra-price/) which contain detergents. Happy Motoring!

Here's a link to a listing of Top Tier brands: https://toptiergas.com/licensed-brands/
CedarWaxWing
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Re: Fuel system cleaning for old SUV $269!!

Post by CedarWaxWing »

Bajadoc wrote: Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:01 pm They are padding the service ticket. There is no such thing as combustion debris removal to improve MPG. Decline the service and find an honest independent shop to keep that old Lexis going a few more years. Only fix specific clearly defined problems that are necessary for proper function and safety. Automotive machinery is not a mystery to a competent auto mechanic. He or she should be able to explain needed maintenance and repairs to the car owner, allowing the owner to make well informed decisions. The automotive world is worse than AUM financial advisors. Mucho cuidado.
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TheOscarGuy
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Re: Fuel system cleaning for old SUV $269!!

Post by TheOscarGuy »

student5 wrote: Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:54 pm Hi everyone,

I have an old 2003 Lexus LX 470, in at the Lexus dealer for a 180k service. He is recommending a $269 fuel system cleaning to clear out combustion debris and improve mpg. It's basically a caustic acid that they put in with by-products coming out of the exhaust. This sounds fishy, but I wanted to ask the experts here if they had an opinion. Thanks.
I personally have not been recommended the service, however I have never had a car I kept till 180K :happy
Given that its dealership I would get a second opinion. I would also search vehicle specific forums, which has more knowledgeable folks for that particular brand of automobile.
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