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Old 06-16-2011, 04:58 PM   #1
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Transmission fluid to clean fuel injectors

I don't know if this was ever mentioned before and it applies to gasoline engines only. My son is a lieutenant on a large Wisconsin Sheriff's Department. He said that every six months 3/4 cup of transmission fluid is added to a full tank of gas to keep the fuel injectors clean. This has been done for many many years and seems to work. I asked about diesel engines, but they don't use any so he doesn't know about those. He did caution that it cannot be synthetic fluid according to the mechanics. Any one else heard of this? Happy Trails, Joe
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Old 06-16-2011, 05:37 PM   #2
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This is a really bad idea. Tranny fluid is designed by lubrication engineers to to resist shear as generated in a torque converter and to help clutches in automatic trannies stay engaged. As such, they include friction modifiers and other products to help with this. Neither is designed to be burned. Who knows what they do when buned in a cylinder not to mention it violates CARB and CAFE mandates. There are others who use Marvel Mystery oil in their fuel and clame that it helps with upper end lubication.There is no evidence at all that it does anything other then turn to smoke when burned in fuel. I think this was perpetrated by fleet managers who operated large fleets of cars and trucks and was looking for a way to dispose of used motor and tranny fluids without having to pay for its disposal. Oh and friction modifyrs in tranny fluid are designed to add friction to the oil to keep cluteches engaged and resist heat degridation. You really want that in your cylider?
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Old 06-16-2011, 05:52 PM   #3
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Never heard of the trans fluid injector cleaner thing. But I agree with Paul, marvel mystery oil is not needed in todays engines. My Dad swore by MMO, but nowadays engines are built to be run without additional top cylinder lubricant. A transmission is more likely to fail long before the rings and valve guides wear out inside a modern engine.
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Old 06-16-2011, 05:56 PM   #4
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I haven't tried it in my car yet, but I wondered what other mechanics thought about it. He said they have been doing this for years. He usually puts 200,000 on his private car and said that if it is running rough he uses this trick and the engine smooths out before the tank is empty and stays that way for months. He has 14 years on the department. Just wondered what others thought. By the way what is done in regular auto repair shops when they clean the fuel injectors? Like the fast lube outfits, etc?

Happy Trails, Joe
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:47 PM   #5
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Well, most quickie places put in a can of Techron into the tank. Still others use Seafoam, etc. When I worked in Volvo facility ( a long time ago) we would take the injectors out of the car and run an injector solvent through the injector on a bench with a machine. If that didn't clear the injector we replaced them at 135$ a pop for the injector and R+R and that was 1972 when labor in the SF bay area was 65$ an hour. Now, its 145-165$ an hour.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:50 PM   #6
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Well, most quickie places put in a can of Techron into the tank. Its about the only solvent I'll use as a quickie fix. Still others use Seafoam, Gunk injector cleaner, etc what ever is cheap and charge you 75$. When I worked in Volvo facility ( a long time ago) we would take the injectors out of the car and run an injector solvent through the injector on a bench with a machine that opened the injector electrically and then pumped the solvent pressure up to 220 bar. If that didn't clear the injector, we replaced them at 135$ a pop for the injector and R+R and that was 1972 when labor in the SF bay area was 65$ an hour. Now, its 145-165$ an hour.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:03 PM   #7
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When I worked for Honda we sold a product called CCC (combustion chamber cleaner)
It hooked up directly to the fuel rail and ran the engine/injectors on 100% solvent. Fixed every injector problem we ever saw. This was later banned by OSHA for health code violations.
I would think adding trans fluid to the fuel may help clean the injectors but the byproduct of higher tail pipe emissions and possible damage to the catalyst system would be a concern.
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Old 06-19-2011, 07:04 AM   #8
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i would think that with all the gas we buy today having at least 10% alcohol the injectors would stay clean anyway.
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:13 PM   #9
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The best thing to do is not add anything to the fuel tank other than fuel injector cleaner specificed to be added to the tank. With todays modern engines any thing oil base will cause problems. But there is no majic machanic in a can at Walmart. Chevron Techron is a very good over the counter product, but use as directed more ain't always better.
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:57 PM   #10
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6 oz. of transmission fluid in say 16 gallons is 6 oz. in 2048 oz. or 1 part in about 342.33 (0.293%). I doubt if it will hardly be noticed as for lubrication properties. My 2 cycle lawn equipment uses something like 1 part in 32. Transmission fluid does not have any cleaning properties and different shear properties than engine oil.

The refiners add detergent agent to the fuel to take care of the fuel injectors.

So the short of it is...if it makes you feel good, do it. But over time, there could possibly be chemicals in the transmission oil that could effect your catalytic converter.

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Old 06-19-2011, 08:57 PM   #11
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Additives to a gas tank are so diluted that any benefit is lost by shear volume. A typical 30 gallon pick up truck gasoline tank converted to ounces is 3840. A bottle of Techron is 12 ounces if I recall. 3840 divided by 12 is 320 ounces of gasoline serviced by one ounce of solvent - .003125%. Makes it kinda useless IMHO

ATF in gas - and 3/4's cup (6 oz) - every 6 months - my calculator wont figure that many places to the right of the decimal point. Will it hurt - no? Will it help? Figure that if you can, and if the user is happy using it - go for it
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:59 PM   #12
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Years ago we used to put ATF in the tanks of our diesel trucks but I never heard of putting it in a gas engine. This day and age the diesel injectors are a lot more sofisticated and expensive so we do'nt use it any more.
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:32 PM   #13
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Adding ATF to diesel fuel goes way back to a time when the engines were equipped with different mechanical type injectors, and mechanical plunger type injection pumps. The clearances in both these items were both minute and critical. Adding ATF or even engine oil to the fuel was done to make certain the fuel had enough lubricity to keep the plunger pistons which are lubed and cooled by the fuel was sufficient to prevent galding of these moving parts.

Todays modern gasoline injection systems operate at much lower pressures, and infact are nothing more than an electrically operated needle and seat mechanism and as such require no lubrication to speak of. What is critical however is the cleanliness of the injector orfice which determines to a great extent the pattern of the injected gasoline and the sealing of the injector tip. A few ounces of ATF per tank of gasoline probably will not be enough to do any harm to the system, I really can't see it doing any good for the system either. JMHO

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Old 06-20-2011, 10:47 AM   #14
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I have heard of it before.. But I strongly disagree with it.. NOT a good idea at all.

There are products you can add which will (So they claim) clean the injectors, And there are brands of Gasoline with cleaner already added at the refinery.

But not a one of them is Tranny Fluid.

There are two places in this motor home where I consider adding Tranny Fulid

THe Transmission (Where it is designed to go) and the power gear leveling system (Since it is the specified hydraulid fluid for that system as well) The gas tank.. NEVER!
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