What Dissolves Carbon Deposits

Here’s the most searched query on what dissolves carbon deposits, people from all over have shown their knowledge with various approaches and processes. Which method to adopt are quite difficult for the audience, therefore must try only tested method and products to avoid any harm to your car engine.

Deposits in the injectors, combustion chambers and in the fuel system are the biggest reasons why vehicles and boats lose performance over time. These deposits rob engines and vehicles of performance, efficiency and raise emissions.

Deposits normally form in several different areas:

  • Inside fuel injectors
  • On the underside of valves
  • On pistons and inside combustion chamber cylinders
  • In fuel storage tanks and fuel delivery lines (before the fuel reaches the injectors)

Depending on where the deposits occur, you can have different mechanisms for deposit formation as well as different effects on the vehicle or engine.

Another Question is whether the carbon deposit will be dissolve using chemical/detergent without taking out engine parts?

The answer is No.. You can break them into little pieces, but cannot be dissolve from any chemical formulation, however you can clean them out after taking it out the engine parts. so when to take it out engine parts for cleaning carbon deposit.

  • You should try this method after trying out other non-conventional methods (Below in detail) such as you can use dedicated detergents for intake valve cleaner via spraying from air intake.
  • Other you can clean out injectors via from injector cleaners via filling it out in gas storage tank.

After trying above methods, and still you think you are having a performance issue then you can opt for conventional method (taking out engine parts) are in detail below.

According to Experts Suggestion of dissolving Carbon deposit by using detergents without removing engine parts:

Soot is the final ingredient in the hardened carbon deposits in the intake manifold and on the intake valves.  Initially, the oil based deposits are soft & wet and in the GDI engine’s PCV system are much more prevalent than the oil based deposits of earlier EFI engines. It’s well established now that GDI engines produce more soot than earlier gasoline engine designs. It travels into the exhaust system and some of it is circulated back into the intake manifold by the exhaust gas re circulation system.

So let’s start with the tested method and Chemicals which surely clean carbon deposit from engine components.

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How do you clean carbon deposits?

Conventional Method

In this method removing carbon deposits from intake valve, piston and combustion chamber cylinders is a lengthy process, you have to open the engine parts to clean these components which you can see in below in detail how to open and close engine parts after cleaning carbon deposit.

But only removing engine parts and cleaning from sand papers with untested chemicals can damage your engine, therefore always use tested and recommended products for cleaning carbon deposit.

  1. First you need to Get Gasket Remover Chemical for cleaning piston and cylinder wall carbon deposit or Intake valve chemical for intake valve cleaning.
  2. Second always use recommended scouring pad otherwise it could harm your engine parts by having a deep scratched into it.
  3. Third get plastic blades for removing carbon deposit after spraying and rubbing.
  4. Recommends the use of a razor blade or plastic gasket scraper to clean the gasket surface on engine components that are to be
  5. Reused. When cleaning gasket surfaces,

Please note the following:

  • When using a razor blade type gasket scraper, use a new razor blade for each cylinder head and corresponding block surface. Hold the blade
  • As parallel to the gasket surface as possible. This will ensure that the razor blade does not gouge or scratch the gasket surfaces.
  • Do not gouge or scrape the combustion chamber surfaces.
  • Do not gouge or scratch any engine-sealing surface during the cleaning process.
  • In the Last you can use WD-40 for cleaning and degreasing the engine parts you cleaned, the foaming action sticks to the surface, quickly cutting through the grease. All you have to do is wipe it up.

Lacquer thinner & xylene is also helpful according to many consumers, but it takes rather more time to clean and more dangerous, therefore better to use the tested products, if you are doing at home.

Process of removing, cleaning and re-assembly process.

According to survey and consumer reviews, cleaning detergents are affective to almost to 20 to 40 percent of cars used cleaning detergents, therefore first try detergents before go for conventional method.

Remove Engine Components for Cleaning

  1. The first step in cleaning the cylinder head is getting access to the cylinder head. You may need to remove some other components first.
  2. Unhook the spark plug wire and secure it, removing any batteries if equipped.
  3. Remove the muffler, muffler guard and any other components that block access to the cylinder. If you’re unsure how to remove the muffler, follow our guide.
  4. Cylinder head bolts near the muffler and exhaust port may be longer. To avoid confusion, prepare a template. Draw a rough outline of the cylinder head on a piece of cardboard and punch holes for each bolt location. Then, remove the cylinder head bolts and insert them in the corresponding holes.
  5. Lift off the cylinder head. If the head sticks, strike it on the side with a nylon-faced hammer. This should loosen the cylinder head enough for you to gently lift if off the engine. NOTE: Do not pry off the cylinder head. This can damage the surface of the engine block or the cylinder head.
  6. Remove and discard the old head gasket.

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Removing Carbon Buildup

  • Place the piston at the top dead center so that the valves are closed. Then, scrape carbon gently from the cylinder head, using a wooden or plastic scraper. Take care not to dig the scraper into the aluminum. On stubborn deposits, use a putty knife, wire brush or steel wool, taking care not to bear down on the metal surfaces.
  • Clean away the remaining carbon with solvent, using fine steel wool to smooth rough spots. You can also soak metal parts for up to 15 minutes to remove stubborn deposits. Scrape again, if necessary, to loosen stubborn grit. Then, clean the area thoroughly with the solvent and set the head aside. With the piston still at the top of the cylinder and the valves closed, use the same method to remove carbon deposits from the piston and the end of the cylinder.
  • Turn the crankshaft to open each valve, and carefully remove any visible carbon deposits on the valves and valve seats, using only a brass wire brush. CAUTION: Do not allow grit to fall into the valve chambers or between the piston and the cylinder wall.
  • Inspect the valves and valve seats to see if they are cracked, rough or warped. Bring damaged parts to an authorized service dealer for inspection before reassembling the head.
  • Using a scraper, solvent or both, remove any remaining carbon and residue left behind by the head gasket on the cylinder head and engine block. Clean the surfaces thoroughly before installing the new head gasket. Any debris or oil left on the cylinder head or engine block may prevent a tight seal and cause eventual engine damage.

Re-assembling the Cylinder Head

  1. Inspect the surfaces of the engine block, cylinder head and new head gasket to be sure they are clean.
  2. Place the new head gasket in position on the engine block. Do not use sealing compounds.
  3. Set the cylinder head on the head gasket, aligning the cylinder head with the gasket and the engine block.
  4. Remove each head bolt from its slot in the cardboard template. Then, insert the bolt in its original location, leaving it loose. Insert the other bolts in the same fashion. Make sure to attach any housings or brackets that are held in place by the head bolts.
  5. Hand-tighten the head bolts first, without using a wrench.
  6. Tighten the cylinder head bolts in increments, using a torque wrench (service part number 19393). Turn each bolt a few turns, then proceed to the next bolt until each bolt is just snug. For final tightening, use a torque wrench. Proceed in increments or roughly one-third the final torque. Consult your small engine manual for final torque specifications
  7. What chemical will dissolve carbon?

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For Piston and Combustion Chamber            

CRC Gasket Remover & ACDelco Top Engine and Fuel Injector cleaner

CRC Gasket Remover and ACDelco are an excellent chemical formula for cleaning carbon deposit, very safe and sound.

You can use this for valve cleaner, process remain the same as shown in the video.

Price:  view availability on Amazon

For Intake Valve Cleaner

CRC GDI valve cleaner & Liqui Moly can be used for conventional method as stated above or unconventional method by simply spraying from air intake valve as stated below.

Unconventional Method

Unconventional Method means you don’t have to open out all engine parts for cleaning, but to put these sprays from air intake valve hose after your engine temperature reach at an optimal level.

  • Use that spray @2500RPM until it empty, you will see a white smoke coming from exhaust pipe, sometime it wouldn’t so don’t be worry for the white smoke.
  • Then take your car on a highway for about 15 to 30 minutes with above 3500 rpm.
  • These method clean your engine carbon deposit from 10 to 20 percent, so the recommended method is the conventional method for cleaning carbon deposit.

Cleaning Chemicals to remove Carbon deposit

These chemical cleaners are injected into the car’s intake system and eliminate carbon deposits, however some can harmful to your engine and its components.

ACDelco 10-3015 Top Engine and Fuel Injector Cleaner 32 oz.

  • GM upper engine and fuel injector cleaner
  • Delivers immediate engine deposit cleaning
  • Product has multiple service applications
  • Use for in-rail fuel injector cleaning, engine intake system deposit removal, and piston top soaking clean-up
  • Low VOC compliant formulation

Price: view availability on Amazon

More Maintenance: High Mileage Oil Additive

CRC 05319 GDI IVD Intake Valve & Turbo Cleaner

  • Proven to clean intake valves on GDI engines and turbo systems
  • Easily installed through the air intake system
  • Highest concentration PEA (Polyether Amine) detergency available
  • Proven to remove up to 46% of GDI Intake Valve deposits in 1 hour
  • 150X more concentrated than fuel additives

Price: view availability on Amazon

Liqui Moly 2001 Valve Clean

Valve Cleaner is added when the Tank is Empty (when you fill it up)

What you can do is:

When tank is empty, add Valve Cleaner, fill up the gas and run the car till its empty again.

  • Better engine performance
  • Lower fuel consumption
  • Lower pollutant emissions
  • Protection against corrosion and carburetor icing

Price: view availability on Amazon

Sea Foam SF-16 Motor Treatment – 16 oz

  • Cleans injectors, carb jets and passageways
  • Cleans and lubricates intake valves, pistons and cylinders
  • Dissolves and cleans fuel residue in fuel systems
  • Dissolves oil deposits in crankcase
  • Clean timing chain tensioners and VVT actuators, quiet noisy lifters
  • 100 percent pure petroleum

Price: view availability on Amazon

STP ULTRA Fuel System Cleaner

  • Formulated to help save gas and lower emissions by deep cleaning the entire fuel system
  • Formulated to help restore peak performance and reduce friction by lubricating engine parts
  • Formulated to help prevent ethanol deposits and inhibit corrosion
  • Works with modern gasoline engines such as turbo, direct inject and hybrid vehicles
  • Compatible with cap-less gas systems

Price: view availability on Amazon


About The Author

Avatar for Ibrar Ayyub

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

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