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Maniacal Motorist
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Discussion Starter #1
Added a bottle of Rislone fuel treatment (dual-cavity bottle type) in conjunction with a fill-up. Drove about three miles on surface streets, car started surging and sputtering, died a few times at idle, NO power. Quite concerning. Probably going very lean. Check engine light with random misfire codes and "no O2 sensor activity", no limp mode.

I put the bottle in at the pump FIRST with a close-to-empty tank. I figured the filling would aid in mixing, but I think now that was a poor technique.

I hope sitting overnight might help dilute the mix, but car is currently undrivable.

What now?
 

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Have you filled the tank with fuel already? Definitely do that first. Draining the tank and the fuel system is probably the safest thing to do, but may not be economical at the moment.

I suppose that the treatment could have dissolved carbon deposits or a piece of the fuel system and that now something is stuck in the injectors. I think it's unlikely though. My guess -- only a guess -- is that pump and lines need to be circulated for a few minutes to to dilute the fuel treatment.

Does it start/idle? What I would do is fill the tank completely with the highest quality fuel available and let it idle for about 15 minutes. Then I would reset the codes and work from there.

There is also a small chance that treatment has coated the substrate on the cats and damaged them, but that's tomorrow's problem.

donour
 

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All of that stuff except Techron is pure crapola. If you put it in empty, and the concentration quickly got to something, let's hope it clears. Its a Toyota motor. Just start it and let it idle for 10-15 minutes.
 

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I agree with brg that there are enough analyses out there that indicate most additives are just fuel and little else. Because they tend to be more benign than anything (in the correct doses), I'd bet it is just a coincidence and bad gas (or different gas than what the car had "learned" to). At least with my Elise, I am not surprised anymore when the car runs rough immediately after a full tank; it usually sorts out everything pretty quickly on its own (maybe ten minutes or so).
 

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My 2 cents: Additives are snake oil. And risky, since they can create problems.

Possible exception: Techron.

Caveat: My Techron Story: I once spoke on the phone to someone who said he was an engineer (an oil scientist-type lab guy) at Chevron. I don't even know how I got this guy on the phone. Anyway, I asked him about Techron. He said: "You don't need it if you're using Chevron gasoline." Whoever this guy was, he was obviously not in the sales department.
 

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Maniacal Motorist
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Discussion Starter #6
Great input from all, thank you. I filled the tank immediately after adding the snake oil at the pump. I hit the freeway, that's when things got wonky. A little vibration at first, then stall at idle in slow traffic. Restart ok, no power. Drove home about 20 miles, couldn't really maintain any speed above fourth gear. Couldn't climb a moderate grade even in second gear.

I'll try the solutions and report back. I'm on the BOE Headers with hi flow cat.
 

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Let's hope its just indigestion
 

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My 2 cents: Additives are snake oil. And risky, since they can create problems.

Possible exception: Techron.

Caveat: My Techron Story: I once spoke on the phone to someone who said he was an engineer (an oil scientist-type lab guy) at Chevron. I don't even know how I got this guy on the phone. Anyway, I asked him about Techron. He said: "You don't need it if you're using Chevron gasoline." Whoever this guy was, he was obviously not in the sales department.
Marrk, at least you to talked to one of the honest guys.

@Marrk @Bizjet Guy

Techron is just light solvent aromatic naptha with some additional toluene as a solvent to keep injectors clean. All Chevron gasolines contain it, their premium grades a little more.

That said, if you are buying gasoline in California, the CARBII gasoline formulation regulations are so tight, there is very little difference between a "Top Tier" gas between any of the major brands including Costco. Most of the off brands buy their fuels from various refiners and distributors. It still has to meet minimum state standards for octane, vapor pressure, initial boiling point, endpoint and additives. Federal standards are a little more lax.

Of course, YMMV.

My sources? I've spent more than 15 years of my engineering career in oil refineries in California.
 

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That said, if you are buying gasoline in California, the CARBII gasoline formulation regulations are so tight, there is very little difference between a "Top Tier" gas between any of the major brands including Costco. Most of the off brands buy their fuels from various refiners and distributors. It still has to meet minimum state standards for octane, vapor pressure, initial boiling point, endpoint and additives. Federal standards are a little more lax.
1) Can one brand of gasoline be of better quality than another, even if they both meet the state standard? (All else being equal) Or is gas just gas, bread just bread, peanut butter just peanut butter, and jelly just jelly?

2) If my wife's hatchback OEM recommends Regular (89 octane), and I switch to Premium (91 octane), will bad things happen? My understanding is 91 oct. is simply not necessary in her hatchback because, ultimately, we are talking about detonation, not horsepower increase.

Thanks, Stress.
 

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1) Can one brand of gasoline be of better quality than another, even if they both meet the state standard? (All else being equal) Or is gas just gas, bread just bread, peanut butter just peanut butter, and jelly just jelly?
Everyone seems to like Shell 93 and when tested it often comes out ever so slightly better. It might be better for your engine over 50,000 miles but if it is, its only going to be slightly better than average.
 

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Helpful hint: Toluene is a great (121 research octane number and high energy density) Otto cycle motor fuel. It's also an astoundingly good solvent. And it's available in quart (and maybe) gallon cans at your local home improvement center. It's also a really good fuel system cleaner.

How good? Well, if you (as I once did) dump a gallon of toluene (it was lab waste) in a mostly empty 1965 Corvair fuel tank, all the varnish in the tank will dissolve, resulting in several decades worth of fine, powdery rust plugging up the fuel filters in the carburetor bowl inlets.

Moral of the story: Yes, it really works, and doesn't need to have Techron branding to do the job. That said, if you suspect your fuel tank has some cruft in it, assume that your fuel filter (if so equipped), would benefit from a replacement shortly after the addition.

It is probably worth noting that the State of California hates the stuff because it's an aromatic hydrocarbon and as such is implicated in photochemical smog formation.

As for going above minimum recommended octane rating: no harm at all except to your wallet. The only functional difference other than octane rating is sometimes oxygen content, because alcohol is frequently used as a quick octane booster. The car can cope with the range of E0 to E10, or even E15 with just a hit to fuel economy.
 

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@Marrk

1) Can one brand of gasoline be of better quality than another, even if they both meet the state standard? (All else being equal) Or is gas just gas, bread just bread, peanut butter just peanut butter, and jelly
just jelly?

Gasoline is actually a blend of about 40+ hydrocarbon components taken as part of the refining process. There is very little difference between brands and refiners, especially in the Peoples Republik of Kalifornia. Sorry, 93 or 95 octane is only available from a VP or Sunoco race fuel distributor. Sucks to be us. If one's engine has a knock sensor, the ECU can exploit higher octane to increase horsepower by advancing timing.
Ethanol is added during blending for octane increase and NOX reduction. Most retail pump gas is very close to the advertised octane and additive package due to the improvements in blend process controls. Most of the additives are for keeping the fuel system clean and corrosion inhibitors.

Octane is the primary measure for performance. Higher octane fuels reduce the chance of detonation. Very briefly, the closer you can run to the minimum octane required for your engine, the greater thermal efficiency produced. Excess octane fuel (say 95R/M) actually has less BTUs/gallon than 91R/M. I know from dyno testing a Honda Fit 1500 will make 4 more horsepower from 91 octane fuel without any ethanol than 91octane E10. Mazda 12A Rotaries make the most HP on 87 octane without ethanol (Agricultural gas).
Secondary properties such as vapor pressure (Reid Vapor Pressure -RVP) is for easy starting during winter months and prevention of vapor lock during summer, hence summer and winter blends.

I suggest buying fuel from a station that pumps higher volumes of Tier 1 fuel, so there is less chance of deterioration from oxidation. Costco stations get resupplied 2 or 3 times/day. Small independent stations may get resupplied once a week if you're lucky. Fuel with ethanol oxidizes and starts losing octane in a few weeks.



2) If my wife's hatchback OEM recommends Regular (89 octane), and I switch to Premium (91 octane), will bad things happen? My understanding is 91 oct. is simply not necessary in her hatchback because, ultimately, we are talking about detonation, not horsepower increase.

Nothing bad will happen at all other than lightening your wallet and a very slight loss of performance and mileage. There are fewer BTU's in 91 octane than 89.

Regards,
Dan
 

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@Stress:

Thanks for that further information. I've been going to high-volume gas stations for years on the theory that fresh gas is better. My other theory has been not to buy too close to the time that they get their resupply because filling the station's underground tanks kicks up whatever sediment is on the bottom. But maybe I've been inhaling too many gas fumes . . . .
 

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@Stress:

Thanks for that further information. I've been going to high-volume gas stations for years on the theory that fresh gas is better. My other theory has been not to buy too close to the time that they get their resupply because filling the station's underground tanks kicks up whatever sediment is on the bottom. But maybe I've been inhaling too many gas fumes . . . .
Generally I agree with avoiding filling up at most stations when the truck is offloading fuel to the underground tanks. Places like Costco and ARCO get resupplied so frequently and they have extra duty filters at each pump, the risk of debris in your tank is really low. The worst ones are the very small independents that tend to accumulate water and rust from the fuel sitting in half full tanks picking up condensation or rain water. Worse yet are leaking tanks mixing with the local water table.... It was really, really bad when MTBE was used and caused contamination of a huge number of fresh water wells.
 

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Try to remember its a Toyota motor. Nothing special is needed besides clean premium.
 
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Maniacal Motorist
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Discussion Starter #17
Aside from random misfires, my bank 2 upstream O2 is dead. I'll get that sorted, then see where everything sits.
 

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Bet the treatment terminated it.
 

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Maniacal Motorist
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Discussion Starter #19
Update!

Pulled the undertrays to get to O2 sensors. Noticed oil seeping out exhaust seams... that's wonderful.

Installed new O2 sensor with no change. Swapped sensor positions to troubleshoot. Any sensor in that position goes low voltage and stays there. The value doesn't change with fuel trimming... wiring? Looks ok.

I think I'm going to compression test next to see how bad the damage is. The last forum post I saw with these symptoms had a €17000 bill.
 
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