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CataClean is a chemical preparation that claims to clean dirty catalytic converters as well as fuel injectors and other fuel system components. It has been available for some time in the United Kingdom, but is relatively new to the United States, having been awarded a US Trademark on 07/20/2010.

CataClean is "not a gasoline additive" that you add to the gasoline. Imagine that.

The internet has many glowing testimonials extolling the miraculous benefits of CataClean, except for one dude who claims it ruined his electrical system. Most of the testimonials offer no evidence; just unfounded seat-of-the-pants impressions. Those few that do offer data are funded by 'an independent testing agency'. Sort of like Big Tobacco funding lung cancer research.


I decided to do a *truly* independent test of CataClean. It cost me $143.52.
I had a local shop do an exhaust gas analysis while I watched from 3ft away. The CataClean instructions say to pour the 16oz bottle into 4 gallons of gasoline. I poured the bottle into ~4.337 gallons of gas. The CataClean instructions say to drive the car 10 to 15 miles and then fill the tank. I drove 15.2 miles and filled the tank. At this point, the CataClean instructions end, leaving one to fend for themselves.
I drove 293.9 miles over a period of ten days. About 50 miles were on the open road, and the rest were short trips in city traffic. I filled the gas tank and went to have another exhaust gas analysis done by the same shop as before. I used 87-octane Shell V-Power Nitrogen-Enriched gasoline throughout the testing.

Pollutants increased in every category tested.

I assume the high HC levels are due to oil consumption.






Rolling Your Own:
According to this website, CataClean is composed of
Acetone --------------------- 10% to 30%
Xylene ----------------------- 30% to 60%
Isopropanol ------------------ 10% to 30%
Light Petroleum Distilates ------ 5% to 10%

Isopropanol is sold in autoparts stores as IsoHEET.
Acetone & Xylene are readilly available at paint and hardware stores.
Light Petroleum Distilates seem to be chemically similar to Mineral Spirits.
Mineral Spirits are also available at paint and hardware stores.

Averaging the concentrations of each ingredient and normalizing gives
Acetone ---------------------- 21.62%
Xylene ------------------------ 45.65%
Isopropanol ------------------- 21.62%
Light Petroleum Distilates ------- 8.11%

Omitting the light petroleum distilates (because we don't know exactly what they are) and rounding liberally gives
Xylene ---------------------- 50%
Acetone -------------------- 25%
IsoHEET -------------------- 25%
One 16oz treatment thus takes 8oz of Xylene and 4oz each of Acetone and IsoHEET.

If we add 1.5oz of Mineral Spirits as a substitute for the Light Pertoleum Distilates
Acetone ---------- 22.86%
Xylene ----------- 45.71%
IsoHEET ---------- 22.86%
Mineral Spirits ----- 8.57%
Which is well within the published concentrations.

At current prices for these chemicals, one home-made dose costs less than $3.
Compare that to the $25 for one dose of CataClean!
 

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CataClean is a chemical preparation that claims to clean dirty catalytic converters as well as fuel injectors and other fuel system components. It has been available for some time in the United Kingdom, but is relatively new to the United States, having been awarded a US Trademark on 07/20/2010.

CataClean is "not a gasoline additive" that you add to the gasoline. Imagine that.

The internet has many glowing testimonials extolling the miraculous benefits of CataClean, except for one dude who claims it ruined his electrical system. Most of the testimonials offer no evidence; just unfounded seat-of-the-pants impressions. Those few that do offer data are funded by 'an independent testing agency'. Sort of like Big Tobacco funding lung cancer research.


I decided to do a *truly* independent test of CataClean. It cost me $143.52.
I had a local shop do an exhaust gas analysis while I watched from 3ft away. The CataClean instructions say to pour the 16oz bottle into 4 gallons of gasoline. I poured the bottle into ~4.337 gallons of gas. The CataClean instructions say to drive the car 10 to 15 miles and then fill the tank. I drove 15.2 miles and filled the tank. At this point, the CataClean instructions end, leaving one to fend for themselves.
I drove 293.9 miles over a period of ten days. About 50 miles were on the open road, and the rest were short trips in city traffic. I filled the gas tank and went to have another exhaust gas analysis done by the same shop as before. I used 87-octane Shell V-Power Nitrogen-Enriched gasoline throughout the testing.

Pollutants increased in every category tested.

I assume the high HC levels are due to oil consumption.






Rolling Your Own:
According to this website, CataClean is composed of
Acetone --------------------- 10% to 30%
Xylene ----------------------- 30% to 60%
Isopropanol ------------------ 10% to 30%
Light Petroleum Distilates ------ 5% to 10%

Isopropanol is sold in autoparts stores as IsoHEET.
Acetone & Xylene are readilly available at paint and hardware stores.
Light Petroleum Distilates seem to be chemically similar to Mineral Spirits.
Mineral Spirits are also available at paint and hardware stores.

Averaging the concentrations of each ingredient and normalizing gives
Acetone ---------------------- 21.62%
Xylene ------------------------ 45.65%
Isopropanol ------------------- 21.62%
Light Petroleum Distilates ------- 8.11%

Omitting the light petroleum distilates (because we don't know exactly what they are) and rounding liberally gives
Xylene ---------------------- 50%
Acetone -------------------- 25%
IsoHEET -------------------- 25%
One 16oz treatment thus takes 8oz of Xylene and 4oz each of Acetone and IsoHEET.

If we add 1.5oz of Mineral Spirits as a substitute for the Light Pertoleum Distilates
Acetone ---------- 22.86%
Xylene ----------- 45.71%
IsoHEET ---------- 22.86%
Mineral Spirits ----- 8.57%
Which is well within the published concentrations.

At current prices for these chemicals, one home-made dose costs less than $3.
Compare that to the $25 for one dose of CataClean!
I always think its great when someone does research like this, all these amazing treatments, oils etc that are out there that make these wonderful claims, that the average owner cna't or won't verify. Having someone doing a test that actually has data is great.

I'm confused, from what I'm getting from your results, your use of CataClean didn't help anything, it actually worsened the performance of the Cat, if so, why would I pay $25 for it or for that matter $3 for the homemade version?
 

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There is another side to this..

Was his cat bad before testing.. Only a Before and After Cat Sniff test would tell if the Cat was Performing..

So the real test, is to try it on a [Known] Failed Cat, and see if you get ANY improvement..

Cap
 

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so I believe we can safely catagorize my catalytic converter as "Known Bad".
Dunno if I agree with that. I think your cat's output is beyond limits from the oil burning, but not necessarily 'bad.' And yes, I realize that is like saying "there are no bad cats, just cats that misbehave."
Kind of a moot point though.

Always an eye-opener to look at an MSDS, isn't it? Isn't giving your engine a "Seafoam Treatment" better-sounding than a 'kerosene and napthalene treatment' ? (well, then again, is it?)
 

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I think the benefits of this product would show if tested while it was still in the tank.

Several of the ingredients would increase the octane rating of the fuel. Similar to adding alcohol to gasoline.

My guess is if tested with the only the 4 gallons of fuel both HC and CO would read lower.
 

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What a hugely varying concentration of solvents in that product!
It's almost as if they don't care at all what they end up making.
And it's not like it takes too much effort to get the concentrations to +/- 1%.
 

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Wouldn't put it in my car, I've always found that leaving things alone if you don't have any problems works well. These products making great claims can maybe do what they claim (a very big maybee) but could cause you problems down the road in other areas.
 

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With those mixes it looks more like an octane booster than a solvent, probably why people are reporting seat of the pants results. Jetting a fluid like that at about 200% degrees through the pipes would probably clean oil residue out, my only worry about using aromatics through the exhaust is it will probably take a thin layer of the cat material with it as xylene is a product of cat-cracking itself.

Shooting through an actual running engine would be near useless, and any plastics and rubbers used in the fuel systems would be in great danger.
 

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CataClean works for doing what it says... it cleans the catalytic converter!!

My Audi A6 wagon had a 2.8L V6 and one of the cats would rattle for years. Eventually, the honeycomb material inside the cat on the driver's side deteriorated, plugging the exhaust. That caused the car to max out at about 10MPH & it could climb a hill PERIOD. I put the Cataclean in the gas tank, ran the car for 5 minutes, and sure as shit....the car started driving again. I had to do it again a year later & it worked just as it did the first time around. Upgraded shortly after for reasoning unrelated.
I'm using it now to clean some oxygen sensors that have caused the dash lights to pop on. Don't have the results yet. I was looking up "what's in CataClean" & came across this post. Great work & that's awesome that you had it analyzed and put this out for all to see. I've always been amazed at the $25-$30 tag.
 

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My Audi A6 wagon had a 2.8L V6 and one of the cats would rattle for years. Eventually, the honeycomb material inside the cat on the driver's side deteriorated, plugging the exhaust. That caused the car to max out at about 10MPH & it could climb a hill PERIOD. I put the Cataclean in the gas tank, ran the car for 5 minutes, and sure as shit....the car started driving again. I had to do it again a year later & it worked just as it did the first time around. Upgraded shortly after for reasoning unrelated.
I'm using it now to clean some oxygen sensors that have caused the dash lights to pop on. Don't have the results yet. I was looking up "what's in CataClean" & came across this post. Great work & that's awesome that you had it analyzed and put this out for all to see. I've always been amazed at the $25-$30 tag.
Nice first post but I'm calling BS. Cataclean does not dissolve the honeycomb material. Nice try. Do you work for the company or are you trolling?
 

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I tend to use milk of magnesia to clear up compacted material in my exhaust.
Do we want to know how it got compacted, not that there is anything wrong with that.

I got dilaudid with a MOM kicker after my knee replacement surgery. They screwed up the order and had me on the dilaudid for 12 days instead of 2. The floor nurse was funny. She would ask what flavor I wanted and did I want a double. It really makes a difference when you are on heavy duty pain meds. Otherwise, Taco Bell is a great colon cleanse.
 

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I used it based on this post on my Chevy Trailblazer. Whether it cleaned it up some I dont know. But I know I still have a Catalyst Operating below efficiency code on it. So my take is no, it does not work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I started this post over four years ago in the hope that it would inspire other members to do their own investigations and post the results; either supporting or refuting my findings. Alas, all the Spyder community has gotten is comments which neither confirm or refute my results.

Peer review is important in assessing the value of any report.
 
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