View Full Version : Injector cleaner update

30th July 2012, 10:42 PM
Well, things are quiet on this forum so I thought I'd talk about injector cleaner, how to make it at home and results.
Blending can have gumming/carbonizing effects on engines as many can testify, so a periodic cleanout can help.
I've been using homebrew cleaner for a while now and haven't had any mishaps however I've gone off using methanol as an additive because I think it's too agressive on rubber parts.
75percent white spirits, 15percent toluene, 10percent xylene
Something like this for ratio but I don't think the exact ratio is critically important. Using what I have works fine for me.
I'd bought these in 20L cubie from chemical supply shop after being horrified at the absorbitant prices of Ripco store bought items.
I'd studied MSDS sheets for a variety of injector cleaners and that's how I settled on these, after looking at availability.

My prefered method is to disconnect feed and return lines to/from IP and run hosing to a 4Litre container with a pre-filtered diesel/ cleaner mix.
If possible I let the mixture sit in the IP to allow soaking. A fairly wishy washy looking brew seems to work best, though I normally weaken and tip in
a small amount of normal oil as extra lube. Kinda like a 2 stroke mix in a way.

I have added the cleaner with the fuel. A clean as you drive approach, but I don't think it works as well as the prefered method.

Anyway that's what I do and I'm not saying anyone should copy. Do at your risk, I'm only saying what's been working for me.

Post back with what you use...

31st July 2012, 09:47 AM
Hi tbird,
Interesting info on your home brewed injector cleaner.
On my old Navara I used ATF in the fuel. I think I may have first picked up on the suggestion from Alga some years back.

I've been running an 06 Musso Sports on blends now for 50000km but have only been using a proprietary injector cleaner (read..not brave enough to experiment on new car). I caught up with Otherside on a North island visit about four years ago and was so impressed with his Sports that I bought one back here in OZ. I have been thinking about starting to use ATF again.

I did start to look into the MSD sheets for injector cleaners some time back but have forgotten what I found. Would you mind letting the members know what the main ingredients of cleaners are from your research and also does ATF share any of these?

31st July 2012, 09:49 AM
Now I havent used it, but I was under the impression that ATF was a great fuel system cleaner / injector cleaner. I think from memory you are supposed to use the mineral based oil rather than synthetic though?

One of the blokes here, cant remember who it was, maybe JohnnoJack, reckoned that they would let the car idle on a neat amount of it by doing as you suggest and disconnect the fuel lines and run it from a small container.

Apparently its the bee's knee's....

31st July 2012, 01:34 PM
Why not run a couple of tanks of BIO. While I am a bit bias'd I've noticed that my ML now isn't smoking nearly as much as it was when I purchaed it.
It was like it had dirty injectors even on Diesel.

now after a number of tanks of Bio , no smoke.


31st July 2012, 02:18 PM
The ATF was a remedy that a lot of old school folks used to advocate. Most mixed it in with the diesel if I recall correctly.
As a flush, I'd be inclined to cut it with whitespirit to the point of it being thin.
I had tried straight ATF as fuel before. It ended up carbonizing the injectors. In my van it needs blending (or perhaps heating?).

Here's asummary of info I'd found some years ago:

MSDS data:

Techron Concentrate
Distillates, hydrotreated light < 50 &#37;weight Aka: Paint thinner(oil based)
Stoddard solvent < 35 %weight Aka: dry clean solvent, white solvent
Solvent naphtha, light aromatic 5 - 10 %weight : zippo lighter fluid
Benzene, 1,2,4-trimethyl- 95-63-6 1 - 5 %weight : powerful toxic solvent
Xylene , powerful solvent

Techron is naptha and 3 kinds of benenze.

Chemical Percent
Trade secret or proprietary formula < 1 ( secret #1)
Petroleum distillate(s) (unspecified) 40-70 ( most likely paint thinner)
Detergent/Inhibitor mixture 1-10 ( secret #2 )
Isopropanol 30-50 (rubbing alcohol, GAS DRYER "CH3CHOHCH3")


Seafoam ingredients:
1 PALE OIL 4229 40-60% = A base or process oil refined until its color = yellow.
2 NAPHTHA 20 25-35% solvent powerful , common in all good injector cleaners. Zippo juice !
3 IPA 125 10-20% = Isopropyl Alcohol (rubbing alcohol), Useless in gas , cuz it already has tons.


"GM TEC" ingredients:

2-BUTOXYETHANOL, a paint and ink solvent , used even in Clorox cleaner 409
Naptha, , raises octane rating of gas, , simular to Zippo ligher fluid. Coleman camp fuel.
4-METHYL-2-PENTANOL, (aka:Methyl isobutyl carbinol) used as a lacquer paint tinner
9-OCTADECENDIC ACID.(aka:Oleic acid, found in Olive oil) ( this acid is interesting)

BG-44k: ( madly popular but little different than old Chevron Techron)

Light Aromatic Solvent Naphtha , ( Zippo lighter fluid)

1, 2, 4-Trimethylbenzene , commonly found in up to 7% by volume already in Gasoline.

Xylene ,(1,2-dimethylbenzene & 1,3-dimethylbenzene & 1,4-dimethylbenzene), xylol , powerful solvent

Cumene ,(isopropylbenzene, ) powerful solvent,raises octane of gasoline.

2-Propanone 30-60 % aka: Acetone
Ethylbenzene >10 % a powerful solvent
Hydrotreated Heavy Paraffinic Distillate 1-10 % weak solvent
Methanol 1-4% , solvent.
Propane 10-30% , gas
Toluene 15-45% ,powerful solvent
Xylene (mixed isomers) 5-20%
Red Line SI-1
1-5% Alkenylamine - (a detergent ,even used sometimes,in baby shampoo)
1-10% Isoctanol - ( C8H18O , aka, 2-ethylhexan-1-ol, or Octyl alcohol)
1-10% 1,2,4 Trimethylbenzene , (C9H12 )
5-20% Aliphactic Napthta , zippo lighter fluid. , aka: white gas, low octane)

Valvoline Complete Fuel System Cleaner
52 - 62% Kersosene
28-38% Light hydrotreated petroleum distillate
6-16% Stoddard Solvent ( stoddard is the name of the man who invented dry cleaning)

1st August 2012, 07:49 PM
Thanks for the specs tbird,
There is certainly a lot more variety in the ingredients thatn I expected.

9th August 2012, 09:40 AM
The injector formula sounds good, as for ATF, it has worked well in the past, but now feel it none is made the same way I was years ago. Those racing diesel engine have switched from aft to 2 stroke oils and so slowly chaing to 2 strok insterad of the modern ATF. A friend used the ATF method not long ago, thought they would be smart and really clean the system, so put 4lt of ATF into their fuel tank. Got a phone call for help and when we pulled out an injector, it was clogged, the ATF had sat in the injectors and rotary pump over a number of very cold nights. Cost a bit to get them both overhauled. His problem was he doesn't use Veggie, just dino so never thought what wouild happen if the ATF wasn't flushed out before shutting down.

9th August 2012, 05:49 PM
Hi Alga,
i hope things arent too chilly willy down in the Apple Ilse at the moment.
So you are now using two stroke oil instead of the newer synthetic ATF? What ration are you using?

9th August 2012, 09:34 PM
looked into this as well and found it hard to source naptha as this was the main ingredient of the good ones I remember the smell of the stuff from when i worked at santos, then one day got a drum from my local fuel supplier to use as a storage drum, it was marked standard petrol and when i whiffed it i new instantly as naptha upon inquiry he said it was the same thing nowadays as light naptha? there are different fractions of naptha but all would work well when mixes with what tbird states above. My recipe is naptha toluene acetone 2 stroke oil. dont use so much now though bio does well.

9th August 2012, 09:55 PM
Bunnings have Naptha in the paint department.
$12 for a litre Bottle.
It's marked as " Shellite" but it's 100% Naptha.

Almost every engine cleaning agent be it for oil or fuel uses Naptha as the main ingrident. You usually end up paying about $100/L for it when you buy it as an additive in the little bottles.

I throw in half a litre to a tank now and then.

9th August 2012, 11:23 PM
Naphtha normally refers to a number of flammable liquid mixtures of hydrocarbons. It is a broad term covering among the lightest and most volatile fractions of the liquid hydrocarbons in petroleum. Naphtha is a colourless to reddish-brown volatile aromatic liquid, very similar to gasoline.

Shellite also known as white gas (US), white spirit (outside the UK), coleman fuel, stoddard solvent or mineral spirits are some of the names naptha can go by.
Some specs give naptha a boiling point of up to 200c. I believe a higher boiling point spec would be preferable for diesel additive.

I thought I'd mention this because about 2years ago I bought white spirit for about $85+gst for 20Litres from a chemical/solvent marketing company. Toluene, Xylene and Acetone were about the same price. I'm due to restock on the white spirit and acetone so I plan to call into the company next time I'm in the area.
A good saving if you're a regular user. Hope this helps.

10th August 2012, 10:07 AM
Hi Alga,
i hope things arent too chilly willy down in the Apple Ilse at the moment.
So you are now using two stroke oil instead of the newer synthetic ATF? What ration are you using?

50-1 in the main tank every 2nd or 3rd fill and put 2 lt through every 5000klms. Bought 200 lt for a good price early this year, so have a good suppy for chainsaws, outboards and engines. Always buy my oils in 200lt lots, saves at least a 3rd of the cost. Talked about using 2 stroke with the diesel pump specialist in Hobart, he is doing up our 2h pump and said it was a good idea to keep your injectoors and pump clean, as well as lubrication. He isn't aware we use veggie and said the pump was really clean but had some worn out parts, which he put down to my using 2 stroke in it. if I had told him the engine runs on VO, bet the answers would have been quite different as I know his opinion of VO andf BD, from some one who told him they use it and he went off at all the things which go wrong. Our pump he's working on has done over 560000klms and more than 300000 on VO, good laugh though.

10th August 2012, 04:08 PM
What is the thinking on the use of two stroke oil in the mixes?

10th August 2012, 07:43 PM
do you still use mineral ATF as a flush at each service? I do and notice a difference in performance for the first couple of hundred Kms but then slowly goes back to how the performance was before the flush.
I use 100% bio.
Would bio clogg/reduce efficency of the injectors?


12th August 2012, 08:59 AM
Thanks I see my last post answered.

12th August 2012, 07:57 PM
Lozzer there is a huge thread on a 4wd site about the benefits of 2 cycle oil and thousands of people use it without any negative side effects, especially when using injector type cleaners in diesels as they are primarily aggressive solvents which almost completely destroy lubricity.
Also remember to use 2 stroke oil designed for water cooled engines ( outboard motor ) as air cooled is designed for different combustion temps and dynamics and may not give the benefits sought ( superior lubricity ) good luck andy

13th August 2012, 09:25 AM
Many thanks Andy,
Will chase it up now.

13th August 2012, 10:15 AM
Geez thanks Andy for putting me onto the hours of reading available on the topic:)
Just been through about two hundred posts.
Consensus seems to be that engines run quieter and sometimes smoother but havent come across much saying that injectors are kept cleaner.
Do you think the 2 stoke offers anything more than running straight SVO would offer in regard to these areas?

13th August 2012, 09:27 PM
Lozzer I think the benefit of the 2 stoke oil is when you make your own injector cleaner, or are running dino diesel, veg oil and bio have excellent lubricity to start with but veg oil as you know needs to be combusted at high temps, the reason i only run it in summer on highway trips, & i think most veggies are prone to carbon/ coke issues more so than bio blokes.If your running good veg oil or bio this would not need any extra lubrication, and 2 stroke oil ain't cheap I am not fully confident with the blending of veg oil with petroleum products something i will need to learn more about. you been doing this a long time so you are more conversant with it than i am. kind regards andy