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#4699896 - 03/19/18 03:54 PM Intake Valve Cleaner -> CEL
Virtus_Probi Offline


Registered: 06/25/15
Posts: 3797
Loc: New England
On Saturday, I used my Subaru Top Engine Cleaning Tool to run a bottle of Subaru Top Engine Cleaner in through a vacuum line (same one I've used before, seems to run to the center of the plenum as displayed in a helpful video I found that was posted by another newer FXT owner) and, hopefully, past the intake valves in my DIT engine. The whole process seemed to go well, I would run the car at idle with the cleaner running for maybe 30-45 seconds and then close the valve and rev the engine for a bit until it smoothed out again before opening the valve again and repeating. The instructions recommended running 1/3 of a bottle in each cycle...I have a hard time telling how much is left in the bottle and stalled the car the first time I attempted this process by running too much at once, so I probably was more like 1/4 to 1/6 of a bottle each time. I wanted to be conservative because it was a LONG crank to get the car started again when I screwed up and I'm sure it seemed even longer than it really was.
Everything seemed to go fine, the idle would drop a bit while the cleaner was running and the engine would be a bit rough when I first started revving it up and would then smooth out, just like the directions suggested. I started seeing (and smelling) white smoke not long after starting and hoped this was due to unwanted carbon being burned out. Once the bottle was empty, I revved it up until the smoke was gone as suggested by the instructions, let it go back to idle, shut it down, cleaned up the tool, and then took the car out for a long drive.
The car felt great the whole time, but it threw a CEL right when I restarted it. I had my dongle handy and there was one active code and one pending...one was for bank 1 running rich and I forgot the other despite trying hard to commit it to memory. Cleared the codes and everything has been A-OK since then.

I think the CEL must have been due to the cleaning process and was no big deal for me, but it sure would have sucked to have to take it to the dealer for that if I didn't have the dongle/Torque app and the codes had been persistent. I don't know if this state disabled my turbo like the CEL I got after trying a new PEA fuel injector cleaner some time ago, I didn't even try to move the car before clearing the codes.

Maybe this kind of preventive maintenance is more trouble than it's worth??
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2014 Forester XT, 80500 miles
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#4699915 - 03/19/18 04:21 PM Re: Intake Valve Cleaner -> CEL [Re: Virtus_Probi]
LeakySeals Offline


Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 6517
Loc: Hudson, NH
Yes, I think its more trouble than its worth. Take the intake off and you'll see why. No way a mist can clean everything that needs to be cleaned. And why suck PCV oil and crud through the cylinders and on to the catalyst if you don't have to. I wouldn't be so fast to clear codes. Leaves you wondering and worrying if its gonna come back. And 9-10 it does. This is that one time I think it wont come back. But you may see a dreaded p0420 catalyst efficiency code if you do that too much. No clearing that with a dongle. You'll be fine.
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06 Escalade 6.0L AWD 155k. M1 EP 5w30 Fram TG
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#4699920 - 03/19/18 04:26 PM Re: Intake Valve Cleaner -> CEL [Re: Virtus_Probi]
Wolf359 Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 4477
Loc: MA
Lots of people make it to 200k+ without doing the things you do. So you really have to question whether what you're doing is really preventative maintenance or fixing a problem that doesn't exist and possibly creating new ones.

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#4699948 - 03/19/18 04:59 PM Re: Intake Valve Cleaner -> CEL [Re: Virtus_Probi]
Virtus_Probi Offline


Registered: 06/25/15
Posts: 3797
Loc: New England
Just revisited a subaruforester.com thread about this very topic that I had forgotten about and one guy said he went through O2 sensor replacement after having a dealer perform this kind of treatment...ugh!!!
_________________________
2014 Forester XT, 80500 miles
Last Change;
Valvoline Full Synthetic 5W30 d1G2
Tokyo Roki 15208AA170 filter

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#4699958 - 03/19/18 05:12 PM Re: Intake Valve Cleaner -> CEL [Re: Virtus_Probi]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 18248
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
Once every 50 or 60K maybe but I would get to exited about doing it. Burned out cats cost a lot more than walnut blasting the intake valves if it ever needs it later down the road.
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#4700118 - 03/19/18 07:45 PM Re: Intake Valve Cleaner -> CEL [Re: Virtus_Probi]
benjy Offline


Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 735
Loc: pa
DI engines are a [censored] shoot, some carbon others not so much!!! its likely most owners in the 100,xxx category will need an expensive valve cleaning!!!

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#4700206 - 03/19/18 09:09 PM Re: Intake Valve Cleaner -> CEL [Re: Virtus_Probi]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 5706
Loc: Waco, TX
Next time you do it and stall the car...... leave it off for a few hours.

Immediately restarting it = no cleaning benefits
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#4700397 - 03/20/18 07:06 AM Re: Intake Valve Cleaner -> CEL [Re: LeakySeals]
Virtus_Probi Offline


Registered: 06/25/15
Posts: 3797
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: LeakySeals
Yes, I think its more trouble than its worth. Take the intake off and you'll see why. No way a mist can clean everything that needs to be cleaned. And why suck PCV oil and crud through the cylinders and on to the catalyst if you don't have to. I wouldn't be so fast to clear codes. Leaves you wondering and worrying if its gonna come back. And 9-10 it does. This is that one time I think it wont come back. But you may see a dreaded p0420 catalyst efficiency code if you do that too much. No clearing that with a dongle. You'll be fine.


I wouldn't expect that a single can of cleaner like this could truly clean up heavily fouled intake valves, so I was trying to be proactive and keep heavy buildup from occurring in the first place by performing the mist cleaning on a regular basis. Maybe not worth it if I'm going to have to worry about messing up my O2 sensors and cats.

Re: Linctex, I can see letting the cleaner sit for a cylinder cleaning, but would the cleaner really stay on the intake valves for a more thorough cleaning while the engine is shut down? The instructions also indicated that the engine should be fully warmed up, so I thought that some heat was also necessary for the cleaning process. I don't know that your suggestion is a bad idea, but it doesn't match the instructions that came with the tool and cleaner.

I already have a bottle of Subaru Carbon Clean sitting in the garage and will have to decide how long to wait before using that. I'm not sure exactly how this stuff is different from the Subaru Top Engine Clean, the latter smells kind of like petrochemicals and bleach while the Carbon Clean just has a really potent bleach smell. One of the guys mentioned that leaving the Carbon Clean on the tool resulted in the plating being eaten off the metal, so I've been careful to rinse the tool off good after using either product.

Hey Subaru, go PFI/DI soon or I will take my business elsewhere! I was surprised to learn on this site that Acura apparently is not using that combo technology on the new 2.0l turbo for the updated RDX, I had assumed that all the big automakers would be gravitating towards that since it is supposed to be available to everybody royalty-free.


Edited by Virtus_Probi (03/20/18 07:07 AM)
_________________________
2014 Forester XT, 80500 miles
Last Change;
Valvoline Full Synthetic 5W30 d1G2
Tokyo Roki 15208AA170 filter

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#4700470 - 03/20/18 08:57 AM Re: Intake Valve Cleaner -> CEL [Re: Virtus_Probi]
Vikas Offline


Registered: 07/22/05
Posts: 11209
Loc: NorthEast
was the code P030x ? Then it is expected misfire code. If you are not getting it now, forget about it.

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#4700529 - 03/20/18 10:12 AM Re: Intake Valve Cleaner -> CEL [Re: Vikas]
Virtus_Probi Offline


Registered: 06/25/15
Posts: 3797
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: Vikas
was the code P030x ? Then it is expected misfire code. If you are not getting it now, forget about it.


I got lots of P0300 codes when my car was new (not actually misfire related), so I would have recognized those. I'm pretty sure one was P0172 (Bank 1 too rich) and I'm kicking myself for not making note of the other one.

I should have mentioned earlier that I drove around MA like crazy all day Sunday after the Saturday cleaning with no codes and the car feeling really great. Our daughter wanted to see some friends at a meet, so we went to her college in central MA, then to a high school right near Boston, then out to pick up lunch for the kids, then out for our own lunch, then back to her school, and then back home. Went through almost a tank of gas and didn't get stuck in traffic anywhere, I think lots of folks were home all day nursing their St. Patty's Revenge.
;^)
_________________________
2014 Forester XT, 80500 miles
Last Change;
Valvoline Full Synthetic 5W30 d1G2
Tokyo Roki 15208AA170 filter

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