ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JERRY ENGLER
Barry Allen has been using a unique maintenance tool at Webster Auto Service in Marion for the past three or four years that he says can increase gas mileage and performance of a car as well as extend its life.
It’s called the motor-vac. Webster said the motor-vac is not something to use to repair an automobile with mechanical problems. But it is one more thing you can do to keep your car in top-running condition.
Think of it as a routine practice such as changing the oil, fuel and air filters and spark plugs, he said.
How noticeable a difference a motor-vac treatment makes in your car’s performance depends somewhat on how bad the condition of your car was at the time.
But the really good news, Webster said, is that the treatment can make your car “run the way it was originally designed to do.”
The motor-vac injects a detergent into the fuel rails and engine of a car. Part of the process is with the engine off, and part of it is with the engine running so that any residues are burned up.
The motor-vac “pulses while it’s running, so it agitates and scrubs the interior,” Webster added.
The process cleans out the carbon and deposits that have been left by the engine running over time. Allen said the fuel rails, injectors, the combustion chamber, the cylinders, the tops of the pistons-most all of the engine parts-are freed from carbon buildup.
Because of this, fuel efficiency increases. Allen estimated most vehicles the motor-vac is used on will increase by two to three miles per gallon, “with the really bad ones making more of a change.
“The performance of the engine is better. The fuel flows more easily, so it mixes better, and there’s more power. The fuel ratio can be improved, and compression can improve. You’ve cleaned it all up, so the fuel is getting through like it was supposed to.”
The consumer has to decide whether the price tag-a little more than triple a normal lubrication and oil change-is worth it.
Allen said the current price is $99.50 for fluid and labor. The proof to him that the power-vac is worth the money is that customers who have had it done often bring in a second car to get it done, too.
Allen recommended that customers consider getting a power-vac job for a vehicle once every 40,000 to 50,000 miles. The frequency of the practice should be somewhat dependent on the type of miles a vehicle is accumulating, he said.
For instance, highway miles at higher speeds will leave less engine carbon deposits than slow miles in city traffic.
Just as other maintenance practices, such as changing oil regularly, can extend engine life, Webster said the power-vac can make an engine last longer.
“Dirt build-up, anything that impedes the engine from running well, can hurt the life of the engine,” he said. “Some people who come in to have it done can tell a lot of difference right away.”
Webster said he realizes the difference the power-vac makes by having been able to see it with his own eyes in a demonstration that allows seeing the inside of the engine with a type of scope.
“The inside of the engine was cleaned like it came originally. It was a really neat thing,” he said.