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R2e

Snake oil or Scientific breakthrough?

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I feel sure this will be a contentious subject. I have, for quite a few years, toyed with having one of my high mileage cars put through the Terraclean process after seeing it demonstrated on 'Wheeler Dealers' by Edd China, on an XK 4.0 V8. The before and after emission results appear to be pretty convincing and I feel sure that Edd would not lend his name to a dodgy process, he doesn't seem to be in the habit of endorsing specific products anyway in the way he has with Terraclean. The cynical types would probably suspect he was being paid a lot of money to do so, but who knows for sure?

This is the video 

 

I idly wondered if my recently purchased high mileage S-Type 4.2 V8 might benefit from this process, and at around £125 currently, it's not a huge amount of money. My background too, is days of youth spent decoking old bangers of cars and motorcycles so I am aware of how carbon can or could build up. My concern is that if I was selling a process like this, at the very least I think I would shove an endoscope down the inlet manifold and through the plug holes before and after so I could display pictures showing how well the process has cleaned out the carbon, but search as I might, that is something I cannot find. Even a rolling road before and after display might show if there was a measurable improvement.  Unfortunately virtually all the reviews I have seen are subjective "The car feels smoother" "The fuel consumption has improved" "The performance is snappier" "The exhaust isn't smoking any more" and therefore I feel of limited value and I would prefer some real empirical data to understand whether my car would actually benefit or whether it would simply be a placebo effect. The jury is definitely out on this one!

Does anyone have an opinion on this, perhaps had it done and can report a good or a bad result?

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If we assume that Terraclean does work then your engine would have to be dirty/clogged up for it to give you a benefit so you'd certainly want to ascertain that first.

To be honest I can't see much reason outside of a fuelling fault or mechanical wear problem that would allow any modern engine without an EGR valve to clog up. If there is such a problem then £125 to temporarily fix the symptoms is a waste of money and if it has an EGR valve then not blocking it off first is similarly a waste.

For example; My Jag is breathing oil vapour into the inlet manifold from the PCV system which is why I'm going to fit an oil catch tank before cleaning all it out. I've got a Golf TDi which I cleaned the entire induction system on but only after blocking the EGR valve as otherwise it would just gum it all up again.

The cynic in me says that Terraclean's marketing is biased towards people who can't change a wheel and think that anything under the bonnet has some sort of magic involved. I'm not saying that it's a bad product but if you know one end of a spanner from the other then you may have to ask them some direct questions to know how well it actually works in various given situations. Marketing will always be full of vague and ultimately useless quotes and statements, they're easy to wriggle out of when someone tries to hold the company to them.

My inner cynic also says that no matter how stand-up someone on TV appears there are always forces at work that are outside of their control. If today's agenda is to say black is white then that's what they have to say, if they won't do it then someone else will. Advertising is not only in the commercial breaks. I don't know this Wheeler Dealers, I don't watch TV and haven't done for years. But that Edd China keeps being pushed on me by Youtube even though I've never searched for anything to do with him or his programme. I ended up watching one out of interest and I have to say I don't like the cut of his jib but that's not necessarily a reflection on his professionalism or mechanical knowledge.

 

 

 

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This would be more by the way of preventative maintenance Ralph on the assumption that with high mileage there is likely to be carbon build up, but like you I am a little sceptical and I thought it would be interesting to get some opinions. I'm not saying it's an option I am necessarily going to take, the lack of concrete evidence bothers me, and my emission figures at the last MOT were frankly excellent so there is probably no need. The only reason it came up was I am getting a local garage to replace my lambda sensor and I noticed they offered Terraclean.

Regarding Edd China, actually I like him despite the hair, he's an old fashioned type of mechanic who fixes things, not a replacer of parts as so many are nowadays. He's also an excellent all rounder, which is why he is so popular, and encourages people to do things for themselves. He can actually tune twin carbs, albeit using one of those new fangled volume meters, not with the plastic pipe to the ear and the venturi to get both hissing the same like we did when we was boys :walkman:

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Hi

It don't work, anything added to the fuel will be completely burnt in the cylinder, so how can it clean the chamber and any thing after that

but lets put it this way, two cans are used in the process, at least a liter each and it takes 30 minutes to do, even my 4.2 would not use that much fuel at idle

they connect to the fuel rail and pull the fuse for the cars fuel pump, so you run directly off the machine, the fuel pressure on the machine can be set, if it set higher than running pressure, normal running pressure is usually around 45 psi, if the machine it set higher then the fuel pressure regulator will lift and the excess fuel goes to the tank, hence there adding a additive to your fuel, without you knowing

if the fuel in the can has a octane booster, then when the car is run on its own fuel, there would be a notice in difference in performance and emissions, due to the additive that they have added

any thing added to the fuel will be burnt, so it cant clean the piston, or exhaust valves, or egr valve, this is proved by emmision test where HC hydro carbons are checked in a mot, HC are usually very close to zero, HC is basically unburnt fuel, so no unburnt fuel, no cleaning

then only thing it could clean is injectors, but injectors rarely get dirty these days due to cleaner fuel and good quality fuel filters

additives like fuchs or silkolean octane booster are known to give enhanced performance and less emmisions due to get a better bang from your fuel

if you have ever stripped a engine and tried to remove carbon coke build up, it takes some effort, real effort, no additive is going to fetch that off easy while its running

cheers

Joe

 

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I had my  S Type 2.7 Diesel Terracleaned when I bought it four years ago, and it certainly benefitted from the treatment.

But since that time and with the advice of the mechanic who did the job, I have used premium fuel.  It certainly did make an impression on the fuel consumption and the smoothness of running.

I think that it helps the diesel engine more than it does the petrol engine.

Regards 

Peter.

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3 hours ago, JOE-DOT-COM said:

Hi

It don't work, anything added to the fuel will be completely burnt in the cylinder, so how can it clean the chamber and any thing after that

but lets put it this way, two cans are used in the process, at least a liter each and it takes 30 minutes to do, even my 4.2 would not use that much fuel at idle

they connect to the fuel rail and pull the fuse for the cars fuel pump, so you run directly off the machine, the fuel pressure on the machine can be set, if it set higher than running pressure, normal running pressure is usually around 45 psi, if the machine it set higher then the fuel pressure regulator will lift and the excess fuel goes to the tank, hence there adding a additive to your fuel, without you knowing

if the fuel in the can has a octane booster, then when the car is run on its own fuel, there would be a notice in difference in performance and emissions, due to the additive that they have added

any thing added to the fuel will be burnt, so it cant clean the piston, or exhaust valves, or egr valve, this is proved by emmision test where HC hydro carbons are checked in a mot, HC are usually very close to zero, HC is basically unburnt fuel, so no unburnt fuel, no cleaning

then only thing it could clean is injectors, but injectors rarely get dirty these days due to cleaner fuel and good quality fuel filters

additives like fuchs or silkolean octane booster are known to give enhanced performance and less emmisions due to get a better bang from your fuel

if you have ever stripped a engine and tried to remove carbon coke build up, it takes some effort, real effort, no additive is going to fetch that off easy while its running

cheers

Joe

 

Joe, they say there is no additive but if there is do we assume it is beneficial? You talk about HC which actually failed the MOT, if you watch the video, the HC dropped to virtually zero after treatment, when the car reverted to its own fuel in the tank(not with the Terraclean stuff), not sure how you square the circle there? I agree, removing carbon build up is not easy, but nor is removing scale caused by hard water, but boil it in vinegar and it goes pretty quick.  Like I say I have totally an open mind on this with a bias towards the cynical but there are aspects that are not easy to explain.

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2 hours ago, Old Peter said:

I had my  S Type 2.7 Diesel Terracleaned when I bought it four years ago, and it certainly benefitted from the treatment.

But since that time and with the advice of the mechanic who did the job, I have used premium fuel.  It certainly did make an impression on the fuel consumption and the smoothness of running.

I think that it helps the diesel engine more than it does the petrol engine.

Regards 

Peter.

Peter, I think Terraclean say that themselves, that the benefit is greater to diesel engines which would make good sense. I tend to think myself it might be worth my putting a couple of tanks of Shell V-Power petrol through the engine before even considering the option of Terraclean. I'm glad this is turning into an interesting discussion though :yes: My disappointment though is that this would be simple to prove empirically, but no one, including Terraclean is willing to go to that length, which does indeed make me very suspicious! But then I'm a suspicious, cynical, world weary, old man, so perhaps it's inevitable................

When you say it certainly benefitted from the treatment, it would be interesting to understand in what way.

 

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Hi Ron,

When I first got my car  I checked out it's service record, which was fine, but I also checked out its MOT record and it had had two fails in previous years.  Both of these fails were because of the owner's neglect.  One was a tyre that needed replacing to to excessive uneven wear caused by what appears to be incorrect true pressure, and the other by the windscreen washers not putting through enough water.

At the time I was using supermarket fuel and the mpg was not as good as I expected.  I saw the Wheeler Dealers video of the benefits of Terrarclean, and after it had been done I had a journey to Sheffield - 90 miles on dual carriageways and motorways and go 50,2 to the gallon on the way there and 46.8 for the full round trip.  Not only that, the engine was quieter and has been ever since.  Since that time I have used Shell V Power or when on holiday and need fuel other premium fuels.

My only issue has been sticky EGR valves which the very occasional shot of Millers diesel Eco Max seems to have cured, with the issue only appearing again once in the last 15 months.

When in my distant youth I did take the trouble to occasionally decoke my motor cycles apart from my Honda 250 Dream, one of the first 6 to be imported into the UK in 1962, and while I did over 75,000 miles it never needed a decoke  ---  I used to use the 100 octane Agip Supercorte Maggiore, as recommended by Bill Smith, a IOM TT winner in the sixties.   The fuel seems to keep the engine clean.

Joe --  who is a top engineer  -- has posted a very useful and informative post.

Regards,

Peter.

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