Sports Car Club of America

Gumout Tech Talk

TECH TALK, PRESENTED BY GUMOUT is pleased to introduce a new feature with the help of the experts at Gumout—Tech Talk, Presented by Gumout.

The staff at Gumout includes some of the most talented and knowledgeable engineers, scientists and technicians, and they have offered to take the time to answer SCCA member questions relating to the performance of their engines—how to keep them clean, efficient and powerful. This Tech Talk is not simply to discuss Gumout products, but rather anything related to your internal combustion engine.

This will be a great, interactive resource to help SCCA members get the most out of their vehicles, whether they’re full race engines, a Stock class Solo car, a tow vehicle, the family minivan or the kids’ econobox.

Submit your topics or questions by sending an email to Anyone who submits a question that makes it to this space will receive free products from Gumout!

Watch this space for updates throughout the year.

May 6, 2011

Question: Whether I am towing my autocross car (2006 Mazda MX5) to a distant event with my truck (2001 F150 4.2L), or using it to layout our next autocross track, it just seems to be lacking a bit of power. I have used Lucas fuel treatment in the past to anticipate a noticeable “seat of the pants” difference, but the seat and the pants were not communicating a difference.
With Gumout’s strong support in the SCCA, I am open to your suggestions for my F150 and MX5. - Scott in CA

Answer: If your vehicles seem to lack power it could be a variety of things, but you chose the easiest and most economical way to determine if it’s a minor deposit issue or something that needs some diagnostic work.

The reason you didn’t get a noticeable difference from Lucas fuel treatment/upper cylinder lube is probably that it has very little detergent in the formulation. Dirty fuel system parts tend to cause a lot of the performance issues and using a fuel additive without high levels of powerful detergents won’t do much to get your power back.

However, even using a high quality fuel additive is rarely going to make such a difference that you are being thrown back in your seat after pouring a bottle in your tank, but when using a quality fuel additive, you should expect to feel a difference in acceleration and see improved MPG. Keep in mind that the type of gas that you use plays a part in how much carbon deposits will form. The lower the detergent level, the more deposits form over time. If you’ve used gas from a grocery store or warehouse club and then use a fuel additive, you would see more of a performance difference than using a top tier gas such as Shell, Chevron, etc. which has higher levels of detergent than the discount brands. Also, if your vehicle calls for premium unleaded and you are putting in a lower grade, your knock sensor is making adjustments that actually reduce your performance and fuel economy of your car.

I would recommend one of 3 Gumout fuel additives: Regane Complete Fuel System Cleaner, Regane High Mileage Fuel System Cleaner (if your vehicles are above 75,000 miles), or our top of the line All in One Complete fuel system cleaner. All three offer polyethyl amine detergents that thoroughly clean all of the parts in your fuel system. Our high mile version has a bit of friction modifier in the formulation to help restore fuel economy, and All in One has a higher treat rate of friction modifier to improve fuel economy – it also treats up to 35 gallons compared to 21 for the other two products. All of these items provide a detergency level that is not found in even top tier gasoline, and they keep new deposits from forming for up to 3000 miles or 10 fill ups on average.
If you are using lower grade gasoline than what your OEM recommends I would pay the extra money and get the right gas for the vehicle. An octane booster can help offset some of the knock issues, but when the label claims to boost octane rating points, it is has a decimal in front of it; for example if you use 89 octane and put in an octane booster that claims to give you 4 octane points, you are getting an 89.4 octane rating, not 93. -Rusty Waples, Gumout

Question: How often should I use Gumout? I love what it did to my fuel mileage. -Mandy in FL

Answer: Gumout gas treatment and Carburetor/Fuel Injector Cleaner should be used every fill up, but keep in mind that these items offer the lowest level of cleaning.
Gumout fuel injector cleaners and complete fuel system cleaners such as Regane or All in One offer a higher level of detergent which can last up to 3000 miles or 10 tanks. The difference between these two types of fuel additives is that complete fuel system cleaners also clean up the combustion chamber, cylinder head and piston tops in addition to what the fuel injector additives clean: intake ports, valves and fuel injectors. This additional cleaning helps improve combustion even more, which helps improve fuel economy and performance. So value-wise, Regane and All in One offer a better value since you only need to buy one every 10 tankfuls and it cleans more parts than an entry level gas treatment. -Rusty Waples, Gumout

Feb. 23, 2011

Question: My power steering hose leaked fluid on my alternator. Is Gumout safe for this clean up? - Dale in WI

Answer: Generally, solvents and electrical/plastics don't work well. However, there are some solutions.It depends on how much power steering fluid has leaked into the internal workings of the alternator. If that is limited and most of the spillage is on the outside or visible/reachable parts of the alternator, wet a rag or toothbrush with soapy water, and it will do a good job of removing the unwanted fluid. Keep in mind that this requires ample drying time before the car is fired up again. Also an electronic parts aerosol cleaner will do the trick. If there are spots that these can’t handle, spray some parts cleaner such as Gumout Jet Spray carb & choke cleaner on a rag and clean up the affected areas. Please note, these types of cleaners have strong solvents that can damage plastics and some electrical connections, so do not spray directly on the alternator and avoid contact with plastic parts.

If there was significant seepage into the internals of the alternator, it could short and cause electrical malfunction with potential damage to parts. Err on the side of caution and replace the alternator. - Gumout R&D

January 21, 2011

Question: My question for the Gumout Experts is, after using Lucas for an extended period of time, will I need to do anything inparticular to ensure that I not only get the maximum effectiveness of the Gumout product, but also remove any remainders of Lucas in my system?
By switching from something as frequently used as Lucas to Gumout, will I run into any issues? - JP in MO

Answer: The Lucas fuel treatment and upper cylinder lubricant has an ingredient that actually leaves carbon deposits in the fuel system. While there isn’t any additional preparation needed before switching to a Gumout fuel additive, he should use one of our complete fuel system cleaners, such as Regane or All in One, to help remove these deposits and keep new ones from forming. These existing deposits can be removed in just tankful since these products utilize a high powered cleaning agent called Polyethyl Amine (PEA). Also, the protective barrier that fights new deposit formation will last up to 3000 miles – that could be up to ten tankfuls; this sure beats adding a bottle of Lucas every fill up. All you have to do is simply add a full bottle to a nearly empty gas tank and let Gumout go to work. - Gumout R&D

October 26, 2010

Question: With winter coming up, I was wondering what additive would be the best for my street and competition engines that won’t be run for 3 months or so. I run Shell branded gas in my cars. I have a 2002 BMW. I have heard that the injectors could gum up and clog over the winter months if not started periodically or use an additive. - Bill in CO

Answer: We recommend the vehicles be stored with full fuel tanks with the fuel system well sealed to avoid evaporation. Use a quality fuel stabilizer to prevent gum formation – Gumout offers this type of product; in addition to stabilizing fuel, it has a cleaning detergent that removes any existing gum and varnish, and has an additive that negates phase separation caused by ethanol.

These negative reactions occur most often during poor storage conditions. If the system is not well sealed it will allow fuel to evaporate resulting in deposit build-up that can make it harder to start the engine in the Spring. Plus, if you have ethanol in your fuel, it will attract any water that is in your system. This can happen even after one week of storage – the more humid and hot the climate, the faster the separation. Ethanol and water will separate from the gasoline and sink to the bottom of your fuel tank. Ethanol can remove deposits from the tank wall which can then be distributed throughout your fuel system and may have a damaging effect on seals depending on the level of ethanol in the gasoline. Once in the system, these deposits can cause clogged injectors and result in poor performance. Water can cause corrosion and rust, in addition, it can negatively affect proper combustion.

So use a fuel stabilizer this winter to avoid these problems, and next spring you’ll have a car that is ready to fire up!

Check out the upcoming December 2010 issue of SportsCar for more info on winterizing your cars!

Question: Rusty Waples, Gumout Brand Manager, was asked a question by one of the teams at the Runoffs at Road America. “How is it that Gumout Regane complete fuel system cleaner can clean intake ports?” Rusty wanted to confirm his response with his technical team, and here is what the Gumout R&D folks said:

Cleaning ports: Regane® contains a polyetheramine (PEA)detergent that contains nitrogen. This is a polymer-based detergent that has a part of the molecule that is highly soluble in the gasoline that is sprayed onto intake ports. The nitrogen part of the molecule is polar (like a magnet) and is attracted to the deposits (carbon and varnish) in the ports. The detergent molecule attaches to the deposit particle using the nitrogen. The rest of the detergent molecule remains soluble in the gasoline and so pulls the deposit particle from the surface and into the gasoline where it is rinsed away and burned in the combustion chamber. The action is similar to cleaning injectors, but the intake port deposits are more difficult to remove because the port area is hotter than the injector tips. The combustion chamber is the hottest of all and is the most difficult to clean. That is why polyetheramines are used. They are the most effective detergents that can stand the heat. Granted, the main portion of the port that can be effectively cleaned is the area nearest the intake valves, and cannot reach the upper portion of the port; however, the deposits are primarily formed where the fuel is sprayed (near the bottom), so that is the area that you want to clean and keep clean.

July 14, 2010
Question: With the addition of the Gumout product to the fuel system of a controlled fuel class (showroom stock and Touring cars), with the vehicle pass tech's fuel tests? – Rick in Texas

Answer: SCCA conducted both the at-track test and sent Gumout samples to the third-party lab for testing. The product passed all tests meaning it will not cause your fuel sample to fail the tests. - SCCA

June 21, 2010
Question: Since I have a 1950's era car (a Triumph TR-3) I would like to know how I can prevent damage to the engine when using the State mandated E10 fuel (soon to be increased). I also get this question asked of me, since many people know that I am involved with restorations and the SCCA. – Marc in Pennsylvania

Answer: From a corrosion perspective, a quality E10 fuel (top tier should contain adequate corrosion inhibitors. However, even with corrosion inhibitors in quality e10 gasoline, phase separation may still occur. This is where the gasoline, ethanol and water (which is attracted to the ethanol) separates in the tank. This separation may cause deposit issues within the fuel system.
A fuel system that old may not only have rubber and plastic elastomers that may react aggressively to the ethanol but the cleansing effect of the ethanol may also result in deposits shifting from one resting place to another, which causes leaks or restrictions. I would recommend investigating the integrity of the entire fuel system and replacing anything possibly sensitive to the ethanol. Safety is paramount.
From the perspective of the elastomers, the main question is if you are already using E10 in that vehicle. If you are already using E10 in a vehicle that old and are not experiencing problems, we would not expect any new elastomer concerns if the ethanol content rose from E10 to E15 (E85 is a completely different story, though). But if the system has never been exposed to ethanol blends before, a review of the elastomers within the fuel system would be warranted given the age of the vehicle. – Mark Ferner, Lubricants Group Manager, Shell Global Solutions

Further comment: There are fuel additives on the market that can help above and beyond what top tier gasoline has in regards to corrosion protection and minimizing deposits. Gumout’s products work by keeping phase separation in check and removing deposits that still may occur when ethanol removes deposits in a gas tank which are then distributed throughout the fuel system. If drivers can’t find these specific types of ethanol fuel treatments, fuel system cleaners with PEA polyether amine based detergents can help remove deposits and keep the system clean, but they can’t necessarily combat phase separation. – Rusty Waples, Brand Manager – Gumout

Question: What sort of danger(s) could I be introducing into my fuel system if I were to change my fuel pump and injectors to higher volume and tune my ECU for the purpose of using E85? Will the pressure be too high for the stock lines? Can the rubber components in my system stand up to much higher percentage of ethanol? – Dennis in Oregon

Answer: Regarding the maximum pressure using the stock fuel lines. This is really a question for the supplier of the fuel lines. The answer to the question regarding if the existing fuel system components can tolerate E85 is likely “no,” unless otherwise specifically noted by the manufacturers. For example, the fuel system on a street vehicle able to run on E85 is different from a vehicle not designed to run on E85. – Mark Ferner, Lubricants Group Manager, Shell Global Solutions