Use of an Intake System Cleaner in Direct Injected and Ford EcoBoost Engines

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The primary difference in a port fuel injected engine and a direct injected engine is where the fuel enters the system. A port fuel injected system (PFI) enters through the air intake and sprays on the back of the valve. A gasoline direct injected system (GDI) enters where the combustion chamber is the hottest, on top of the pistons inside the cylinders (see photo). The GDI allows for a more even burn of the fuel, resulting in added power and improved fuel economy.

The problem is, there is never any fuel sprayed on the back of the valves to help keep them clean using the detergent package that is already in the gasoline. Even a tank additive would not address this issue. Why? Because it would never reach the area where the carbon is being built-up!

Liquid fuel system cleaners are most often solvent based. They must scrub to clean and remove carbon. Vacuum drip fuel system cleaners settle where the air/vacuum takes the chemical. It also creates a very lean condition in the vehicle. GDI and Ford EcoBoost engines traditionally burn lean creating an extreme condition when performing induction services utilizing the vacuum drip method.

A vacuum drip fuel system cleaner has also been known to dislodge the carbon in EcoBoost engines. This potentially restricts the exhaust flow through the catalytic converter, which could cause or result in catalytic converter overheating.

With traditional vacuum drip fuel system cleaning methods, liquid is being introduced through the air intake into the combustion chamber where it’s not intended. The cleaner is entering the system at the back of the valves and the fuel is entering the system in the cylinder. This results in a poor mixture of the cleaner and the gasoline, which could lead to poor combustion or stalling of the engine.

When utilizing Mighty’s VS7 Total Intake System Cleaner (SB300) aerosol method, the above problems are not present. It’s an active chemistry, not a scrubbing chemistry. While it does create a leaner condition in the vehicle, it’s not extreme. The active chemistry is designed to break down and dissolve carbon deposits on contact. This reduces solids into a gas, which are omitted through the exhaust.

The VS7 Total Intake System Cleaner formulation enters the combustion chamber via positive vacuum at 42 F (5.5 C) and emulsifies when meeting the warm/hot environment in the intake system. This creates the emulsion or active chemical fog. This eliminates the above problem of adding liquid to the system and reduces the potential for hydrostatic engine/vapor lock or other potential service related issues.

The precise delivery/application method of the cleaner fogs the entire intake system removing deposits. It safely and effectively cleans the upper engine, intake system and combustion chamber by dissolving carbon in difficult-to-reach areas from the plenum to the catalytic converter. Traditional vacuum drip induction cleaners have great difficulty cleaning hard to reach areas resulting in limited product performance.

LARRY BARNES is a 25-year veteran of the automotive aftermarket, was instrumental in developing the Mighty VS7 Chemicals Program and is currently the National Sales Manager with the Phillips 66 / Spectrum Corporation.

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