SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

January 4, 2014

Can I use too much fuel cleaner?

Q: I own a 2001 Jeep Cherokee with a 4-liter inline engine. It has 68,000 miles on it. My question is about using Chevron Techron fuel system cleaner. I drive only 250 miles per month. In the past six months, I’ve put in four 12-ounce bottles. The engine starts quicker and runs smoother. It also has a lot more pep. Can you use too much Techron?

A: Good to hear your car is running better using the Techron. Fact is, you can use too much Techron and cause damage to your fuel tank lining. You mention the vehicle runs better after you use it. That makes me believe that the fuel in your tank is old. You should try to run your fuel tank down to around a quarter tank. After you have it down that low, you should probably take around 15 gallons of fresh fuel. Check on the back of the bottle for the proper amount of Techron for that much fuel. Even though you don’t drive that many miles, I would suggest you have the oil changed twice a year and the tires rotated once a year.

Q: I have a 2002 Toyota Camry LE and I have an occasional rub from my steering wheel on turning the wheel. I have no other problems with steering. What do you think the problem is?

A: There are two probable causes that come to mind. The first is that a piece of the plastic steering column cover may be loose, causing a plastic rubbing at times. The other common problem I see is the steering column has a joint in it that resembles a universal joint. These tend to bind up occasionally. Either case, if the problem gets worse, it may cause your steering wheel to not return to center.

From a reader: I am the owner of a 2007 Trailblazer and wanted to make you aware of a letter that I received from GM regarding the fuel level sensor in my vehicle. The letter was received this past July and indicated that if I had already repaired or experienced a problem with my fuel level sensor within 10 years or 120,000 miles, the repair would covered at no charge by GM. ... I thought it was worth making you aware so that you might pass the information along to the person who sent you a question about this in a previous column. I would not want to see them pay out of pocket for a repair when it is covered by the manufacturer at no charge.

Car Care Tip: The Auto Scanner family wishes one and all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

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Larry Rubenstein is a master technician who owns a North Shore service station. His column appears every Saturday. Write to Larry at The Salem News, c/o Auto Scanner, 32 Dunham Road, Beverly, MA 01915, or send an email to scanauto@aol.com.

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