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Old 08-05-2011, 12:12 AM   #1
jwillis
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Thumbs up Transmission fluid as injector cleaner........

I was listening to the local trucker radio show on WLW radio in Cincinnati the other night and they were talking about how some guys use transmission fluid as injector cleaner in trucks and cars. It supposedly has cleaners in it. I have run about three bottles of injector fluid through my car the past couple of months and it had really made it run a heck of a lot better. I always noticed that the injector cleaners I dumped in my gas tanks were a little red and now I'm wondering if the STP (and the other) injector cleaners were just transmission fluid. It sure made my car go from= hardly running to running like a scalded dog. Has anyone else on here tried this?
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:27 AM   #2
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Default Re: Transmission fluid as injector cleaner........

This is the 1st I've heard about using ATF as injector cleaner.

I've often heard of it being used to help clean out a junked up engine. Something like "add 1qt 250miles before an oil change".
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:29 AM   #3
D9H 90V
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Default Re: Transmission fluid as injector cleaner........

I dont know about gasoline engines, but its great for older diesel engines
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Old 08-05-2011, 01:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Transmission fluid as injector cleaner........

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I dont know about gasoline engines, but its great for older diesel engines
Yeah, you'll probably find they're talking about diesels. I wouldn't put ATF in the fuel tank of a petrol/gasoline car.

I know some people use ATF as engine flush because it's full of detergents.
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Old 08-05-2011, 02:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: Transmission fluid as injector cleaner........

The thing you have to understand about truckers is that they only tell the truth by accident. I don't know if the job attracts a certain type of person, or if the job turns ordinary people into fat liars who never stop talking. There are exceptions of course. Maybe 10% of truckers are normal, intelligent people.

ATF as injector cleaner is a fairly common trucker legend. Years ago, a few drivers had me fill their fuel filters with ATF before installing them. The trucks always started and ran, and it didn't seem to hurt anything. I wouldn't put it in anything modern, though. Newer injectors have much tighter tolerances, and who knows what ATF might do to a DPF system.

If you're thinking about putting ATF in your gasoline, I have a story for you:

When I was much younger and even dumber, I had a Caprice Classic Wagon with an Olds 307 that pinged more than I thought it should. Somebody told me that if you pour water or ATF into the carburetor while revving the engine, it'll "break up the carbon on the pistons." I tried it, and got no noticeable results. Then I got an idea. I filled a gallon jug with ATF and bungee-corded it in behind the radiator support. I ran a vacuum hose from the jug to port vacuum. Then I went for a drive. My car left a thick trail of light-gray smoke, and it pinged like crazy. If you dump ATF in your gas, it'll probably do the same, or it might retard the timing so much that you'll have no power.
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Old 08-05-2011, 03:10 AM   #6
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Default Re: Transmission fluid as injector cleaner........

atf works good for top engine treatment/ carbon removal.
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: Transmission fluid as injector cleaner........

few techs at my ford shop has older trucks as F250/350 with Legendary 7.3L that they will keep the old transmission fluids from the transmission flush that they will use it as their diesel fuels.. they has been doing for while... I dont because that transmission fluid have friction modified stuff inside and it will eat the injection parts on Cummins... i am driving my 2002 Dodge Ram 3500 with ISB 5.9L cummins. i had to use wal mart 2-stroke oil to keep lube the injection system...
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Old 08-05-2011, 05:09 AM   #8
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Default Re: Transmission fluid as injector cleaner........

This started before fuel injection was common on cars. I have done the ice water trick into the carb at high idle and it will work occassionally, and poured a quart of tranny fluid into a tank full of gas. The tranny fluid will work as well as most injector cleaners (not the real high end stuff) and gets very dilluted in a 20 plus gallon tank.

Both were showed to me as a kid by an old school mechanic and I have seen them both work. When using tranny fluid into the gas, only use 1-quart to at least 20 gallons, and use the cheap tranny fluid.

Now I use BG-44 or seafoam.
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: Transmission fluid as injector cleaner........

Very common, been doing it forever on diesels.
When I first started out, I was taught to use trans fluid to prime fuel filters if there wasn't a quick easy way to get some diesel fuel handy to use. I was also told it was a good lube for the injectors and pump. My fisrt supervisor in the Amry had us use a 55 gallon drum of it as a supply to get an engine started outside of the equipment.
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:18 AM   #10
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Default Re: Transmission fluid as injector cleaner........

I throw a quart in the fuel tank of my 7.3 all the time, keeps it quiet with that new ULSD crap they have to sell now.
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:05 AM   #11
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Default Re: Transmission fluid as injector cleaner........

It does quiet down the 7.3 fords. Ive used it regulary since 1983.It does get ecpensive now that atf is more $.friend of mine is a forklift mechanic and he claims that iso 45 is the same thing w/o the dye. I have tried it and it seems to work the same. It is a lot cheaper. This fall when I change the hydro fluid in the 2 JD's I'm going to save it for a diesel suppliment They hold 55 gal ea,so that should last a year!
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:14 AM   #12
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Default Re: Transmission fluid as injector cleaner........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deafautotech View Post
few techs at my ford shop has older trucks as F250/350 with Legendary 7.3L that they will keep the old transmission fluids from the transmission flush that they will use it as their diesel fuels.. they has been doing for while... I dont because that transmission fluid have friction modified stuff inside and it will eat the injection parts on Cummins... i am driving my 2002 Dodge Ram 3500 with ISB 5.9L cummins. i had to use wal mart 2-stroke oil to keep lube the injection system...
I use about a 60/40 mix of the WalMart TCW3 2-stroke oil mixed with Power Service Diesel Kleen. I put a pint of this mix in every other tankful on my VW Passat TDI (18 gallon tank). Used to put a quart in every other tank on the Dodge Cummins when I had it. It has never hurt anything and I keep doing it to maybe preserve the extinct (read unobtainable) injection pump on the old Passat.

I've used Marvel Mystery Oil before too. It may even be cheaper than ATF.
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:32 AM   #13
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Default Re: Transmission fluid as injector cleaner........

Don't worry about "friction modifier". That is the same stuff put in limited slip differentials. It is to make things slip MORE. Any one who has had a limited slip filled with standard fluid, knows what I am talking about. Standard oil isn't slippier enough and you get clutch chatter as they grab too well. Same with transmissions. A fluid with less friction modifier grabs harder.


The higher ash (mineral additive) package is not good for any type of conventional cats. Essentially similar to hard water build up in the shower. (calcium is one of the detergents)
Know a guy who runs gallons of it at a time. When I say gallons, I mean half a tank of dirty ATF in his f250.

These various "mouse milk" additives quiet diesels down by retarding the timing. They lower the cetane rating by diluting the fuel. Straight pump diesel has a higher cetane and ignites faster. By adding various crap with a much lower cetane number, the total average is also lowered and the fuel has a longer "ignition delay". Diesel noise is made by the fast ignition of the fuel. Slowing the ignition makes it quieter.
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:35 AM   #14
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Default Re: Transmission fluid as injector cleaner........

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffk14 View Post
It has never hurt anything and I keep doing it to maybe preserve the extinct (read unobtainable) injection pump on the old Passat.
Bosch rotary? Electronic or cable throttle?

They're all over the place here, a friend of mine used to rebuild and sell them as a side business, rebuild kits are easy enough to get too.
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:24 PM   #15
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Default Re: Transmission fluid as injector cleaner........

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Originally Posted by Moose-LandTran View Post
Bosch rotary? Electronic or cable throttle?

They're all over the place here, a friend of mine used to rebuild and sell them as a side business, rebuild kits are easy enough to get too.
1996 Passat TDI. From what I'm told, here in the states, the size of the flange that mounts up to the engine is a different size than anything else. The 1Z engine on the 1996 Passat supposedly was the earliest variant of the TDI that was introduced in the US and wasn't offered for very long. Like maybe for the first half of the 1996 model year. I really haven't researched it much more than that.
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Old 08-05-2011, 03:11 PM   #16
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Default Re: Transmission fluid as injector cleaner........

People are funny. They tend to believe what makes logical sense rather than what is correct. In this case, adding oil through the fuel system does not clean the injectors, it lubricates them if anything. I would avoid it at all costs as youre more likely to clog the injector than you are to clean it IMHO, and you could potentially damage other components in the fuel system by doing so. The higher end "cleaners" supposedly help clean the filter contained in the top of each injector, along with any mineral deposits around the pintle/body sealing surface, but Ive never noticed or been able to prove an effect. I actually did my final thesis in college on injector testing and cleaning by creating a bench to do so. The one thing that project taught me is the reason why injectors are considered a disposable non-rebuildable part in most small applications - its just not worth the time for a professional mechanic to monkey with them.

I would suspect these old wives tales start bc of diesel_research's explanation. Likely adding oil to the fuel tosses off the combustion a few degrees and gives the appearance of better operation.
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:55 PM   #17
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Default Re: Transmission fluid as injector cleaner........

Use something with poly-ether amines (PEA) in a gas car for the best bang for the buck for cleaning the fuel system.

I've had good luck with Marvel Mystery Oil in my car for lubricating the top end.
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:43 PM   #18
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Default Re: Transmission fluid as injector cleaner........

I have a notice for my m35a2 "deuce 6x6" that says to use atf as a fuel system cleaner aslong as the system isnt real gummy. They say it can disloge some major crud and clog the primary and secondary filters.
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