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Combating DI Intake Valve Deposits - Ford Focus ST #2846288 12/24/12 01:01 PM
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ajwan Offline OP
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My interest in DI engine maintenance has peaked now that I recently acquired a new 2013 Ford Focus ST!

We all know the pros and cons of DI engines. It certainly sounds like a low sulfated ash, phosphorus, and sulfur (SAPS) motor oil is the way to go. Problem is, there aren't a whole lot of them in North America. We know that Pennzoil Ultra is one of them (that I know of off hand) that carries the VW 504/507 spec for low SAPS.

But are deposits in the intake valve seat and stem really really a concern, especially for a Ford vehicle? The reason I say this is that it seems Ford is at least ahead of the curve when it comes to addressing this issue.

"Stephen Russ, technical leader for combustion for Ford’s 2-liter Duratec DI engine, said that similar to GM, engineers have determined the proper injection-timing calibration to help eliminate the carbon deposits. But Russ also said the technology of injection components – particularly the high-pressure solenoid injectors – has quickly matured, meaning excess valve deposits in most DI engines should become a thing of the past as these improved components are incorporated into production." http://www.edmunds.com/autoobserver-archive/2011/06/direct-injection-fouls-some-early-adopters.html

Not only that, but check out this patent by Ford:
http://www.google.com/patents/US6178944

"A control method and system is described for a spark ignited, four-stroke engine having multiple combustion chambers, each coupled to at least one intake and one exhaust valve, a fuel injection system for injecting fuel directly into each combustion chamber, and an electronically controlled throttle for throttling air inducted through an intake manifold into the combustion chambers. Comprising:

1) Detecting when to initiate an intake valve cleaning;
2) Indicating when the engine is operating in a homogeneous mode wherein the throttle is partially closed and fuel is injected during an engine intake stroke to generate a homogeneous air/fuel mixture; and
3) in response to said valve cleaning detection and said homogeneous mode indication, injecting additional fuel during a valve overlap of the intake and exhaust valves so that fuel is drawn into the intake manifold and subsequently inducted back into the combustion chamber past the intake valve.

Really really cool stuff. So it does look like Ford thought about these deposit issues wayyyyy before our time. Does make me rest easier on the EcoBoost 2.0T design and execution. Don't think it hurts though to stick with a low SAPS motor oil if you want to do your own changes, or MotorCraft.

Thoughts?

AJWAN

Re: Combating DI Intake Valve Deposits - Ford Focus ST [Re: ajwan] #2846341 12/24/12 01:58 PM
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skyship Offline
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I think it's an engine worth avoiding if you spend much time in traffic or do too many short trips. Not sure if using a higher quality and octane fuel would help stop the carbon deposits.
The patent and claims made by Ford just seem to be an attempt to put a positive spin on what appears to be a design fault.

Re: Combating DI Intake Valve Deposits - Ford Focus ST [Re: skyship] #2846343 12/24/12 01:59 PM
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demarpaint Offline
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Originally Posted By: skyship
I think it's an engine worth avoiding if you spend much time in traffic or do too many short trips. Not sure if using a higher quality and octane fuel would help stop the carbon deposits.
The patent and claims made by Ford just seem to be an attempt to put a positive spin on what appears to be a design fault.



popcorn2


God Bless Our Troops

Re: Combating DI Intake Valve Deposits - Ford Focus ST [Re: ajwan] #2846361 12/24/12 02:18 PM
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JHZR2 Offline
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Ive been running a maintenance dose of Redline SI-1 most every tank, but changing to 2-cycle every so often...

Re: Combating DI Intake Valve Deposits - Ford Focus ST [Re: JHZR2] #2846371 12/24/12 02:31 PM
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ajwan Offline OP
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So then maybe there is some utility in having a FI cleaner (Techron, Redline, Gumout etc) in a Ford DI engine as the a small amount of fuel (with cleaner) is injected between the intake and exhaust cycles.

From the patent, "cleaning operation will occur only during homogeneous operation because a manifold vacuum is needed to draw fuel from the combustion chamber into the manifold vacuum. Such vacuum will typically occur during homogeneous operation, where throttle plate is in a partially closed position".

Andrew

Re: Combating DI Intake Valve Deposits - Ford Focus ST [Re: ajwan] #2846389 12/24/12 02:52 PM
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Danh Offline
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As you have the car, advice to avoid it is probably not helpful. I have a non-ST Focus and use Pennzoil Ultra. The points you have made are good, but Ultra also has very low Noack volatility for a mass-market oil, which should help to minimize intake valve deposits.

As Ultra seems to hit the right notes, is readily available and priced competitively, it seems like an excellent choice to me.

Re: Combating DI Intake Valve Deposits - Ford Focus ST [Re: ajwan] #2846440 12/24/12 03:49 PM
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jdeare Offline
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I personally think the issue is overblown. You can find tons of people on the internet who supposedly have had it happen, but I've never met one in person and my mechanic claims to have never had to do a cleaning. Not that this means it's never happened by any means.

I personally am doing nothing special. I stick to good gas (Mobil or Shell usually) but I did that before I got a car with DI. I don't plan on using any extra cleaning additives because I don't feel they are necessary.

Re: Combating DI Intake Valve Deposits - Ford Focus ST [Re: Danh] #2846465 12/24/12 04:06 PM
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antiqueshell Offline
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Something else that I don't believe has been mentioned in these threads about DI engines on BITOG forums is that the US has a higher level of sulfur in our gasoline compared to Europe the level in the US is 30ppm while in Europe it is less than 10ppm (usually 3-5ppm). The only exception is that in California the level is only 15ppm.

It will be interesting to see how the issues with carbon and sulfur buildup in CA compare with the rest of the US.


Also YES if a small amount of gasoline is occasionally injected onto the valves in that Ford engine, PEA detergent WILL HELP reduce build up.

Last edited by antiqueshell; 12/24/12 04:08 PM.
Re: Combating DI Intake Valve Deposits - Ford Focus ST [Re: ajwan] #2846615 12/24/12 05:49 PM
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WANG Offline
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The fact that Ford didn't spec out a special low SAPS oil for their GDI engines seems to indicate that they aren't too worried. There is so much hand wringing about DI engines on BITOG that you'd expect to see one dead on the road every day.

Personally, I'd just use a good oil, and enjoy the car. A good catch can probably wouldn't hurt, I'd use one for grins.

Congrats on the new ride! I just test drove one and thought it was fantastic.


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Problem is, the average sportbike buyer is more lumberjack than surgeon." -Richard Pollock
Re: Combating DI Intake Valve Deposits - Ford Focus ST [Re: ajwan] #2846639 12/24/12 06:14 PM
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Use Pennzoil Ultra (you just can't go wrong for the price) and use regular gas (not premium) and a bottle of techron or Redline SI-1 before each oil change and you will be driving that car for years.

Merry Christmas!


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Re: Combating DI Intake Valve Deposits - Ford Focus ST [Re: ajwan] #2846677 12/24/12 06:35 PM
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Doesn't bdcardinal work at a Ford Dealership? I'd be curious to get his views of what he sees first hand.


Greggy D.

Re: Combating DI Intake Valve Deposits - Ford Focus ST [Re: ajwan] #2846679 12/24/12 06:36 PM
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pbm Offline
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I had read (somewhere) that the models with the most DI problems were the early ones (Audi etc..) and that Ford and GM had learned from these companies mistakes and had less problems (by design)...


'Journalism is Dead'
Re: Combating DI Intake Valve Deposits - Ford Focus ST [Re: ajwan] #2846701 12/24/12 06:55 PM
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Has anyone tried an aftermarket water injection system to remove deposits?

Re: Combating DI Intake Valve Deposits - Ford Focus ST [Re: ajwan] #2846756 12/24/12 07:49 PM
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Look, I have a Cadillac CTS with the 3.6DI engine. All I do is just before each oil change I will spray the intake down and run the engine while spraying a whole can of intake cleaner thru. This is the only way to wash the valves without taking the engine apart. I just turned 79k miles with no trouble at all. Now, my dad has the same car with 60k miles and he has no troubles either and does not clean his intake so maybe GM (and possibly Ford in your case) has figured out how to build DI engines without deposits like you see in Audis and others.

Re: Combating DI Intake Valve Deposits - Ford Focus ST [Re: ajwan] #2846878 12/24/12 10:25 PM
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antiqueshell Offline
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I wonder if you could remove the spark plugs and spray the solvent in directly onto the valves this way? Of course you couldn't spray them too much or you would get hydro lock but perhaps use a high PEA detergent cleaner fluid like Techron and soak the carbon deposits over night and then drive.

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