GDI cleaning service? - Kia Forum

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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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GDI cleaning service?

Hey everyone, was recently at my local dealer for the recall on the front passenger seat of my 2015 Sedona EX. Purchased an oil change bundle (which makes it cheaper to have done at the dealer rather than by me) and had that performed, along with a multi-point inspection. One of the issues that they pointed out with my Sedona is the need for what they refer to as a GDI service. I know that these direct-injection engines are more susceptible to carbon buildup but I'm unclear on what a proper GDI service entails. Do I just add some type of fuel additive that cleans the system out, or do I need to manually clean the carbon buildup off the valves? Thanks in advance for the help.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 11:04 PM
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info, Steve. I guess what I'm getting at is if a solution like this spray is sufficient or if there are more steps recommended to removing the carbon buildup?
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 09:24 AM
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Seems like it'd be worth a shot, I am going to hold out on getting mine cleaned till I get ready for spark plugs. Since it looks like the intake has to come off
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 09:56 AM
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Gasoline Direct Injection means the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber. I would think it is much less susceptible to carbon build up on the valve, if not eliminate it entirely. Prior to GDI, fuel injectors are mounted upstream of the intake ports and spray mist toward the intake valves. That's why they were called port injection. With GDI, only air passes through the intake valves.

It doesn't hurt to use Techron or Seafoam occasionally, as carbon build up on piston crown can still be a problem, but I wouldn't worry about the intake valves.

That "GDI service" sounds like a profit adder. Why not ask them exactly what is done? If they cannot explain it clearly what is it that you are paying for, forget it.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Volfy View Post
... With GDI, only air passes through the intake valves .....
Not the case, given the recirculated exhaust gas coming in as well. And that's what can cause deposits on the back of the intake valves, because there is no gasoline washing it off, as there is in port injected engines.

The real question is how much of an issue these deposits become over time in the Kia/Hyundai engines. It's well known that there were quite a few problems in the past with a number of Euro vehicles (mainly German), due to excessive valve deposits. Expensive cleaning, such as walnut blasting, was often needed in order to keep those deposits under control. However, it's much less clear (so far) how much of an issue it is on the direct injected Korean engines.

I've seen virtually no accounts of valve deposits causing a specific performance issue on a direct injected Kia/Hyundai engine, and subsequently being resolved via valve cleaning. Not saying it can't be happening, only that I haven't seen it being reported so far.

And another thing that's very unclear is just how effective these various cleaning products are at removing carbon deposits from intake valves. There is one guy on this forum who has reported definite success removing valve deposits, based on borescope observation, using a CRC product that goes directly into the cylinders. Outside of that, I'm not aware of anyone else showing evidence of intake valve carbon being removed by any of these cleaning products (which are typically sprayed into the intake in one way or another).

And one thing that's almost never discussed is the possibility of damaging effects of the cleaning products on the engine. Some percentage of the cleaning agent must be getting into the oil, and eventually come in contact with seals and gaskets. Yes, the amount getting into the oil is likely to be very small, and I have no idea if it could actually cause significant engine damage. I guess I just don't like the idea of dumping something into the engine which is (supposed to be) strong enough to dissolve carbon deposits. Just my uneasy feeling about that, but clearly not supported by any published facts.

Bottom line for me is that, when I'm eventually forced to own a direct injected engine (which won't be a Kia/Hyundai), I will not be doing an valve cleaning process, unless there is a clearly established and documented need to do so.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volfy View Post
Gasoline Direct Injection means the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber. I would think it is much less susceptible to carbon build up on the valve, if not eliminate it entirely. Prior to GDI, fuel injectors are mounted upstream of the intake ports and spray mist toward the intake valves. That's why they were called port injection. With GDI, only air passes through the intake valves.

It doesn't hurt to use Techron or Seafoam occasionally, as carbon build up on piston crown can still be a problem, but I wouldn't worry about the intake valves.

That "GDI service" sounds like a profit adder. Why not ask them exactly what is done? If they cannot explain it clearly what is it that you are paying for, forget it.
Fuel/air mixture introduced into intake ports on MPI engines 'washed' away contamination on intake valves, with GDI engines gas from combustion chamber makes it back into intake valves passages contaminating intake valves with carbon buildup. This is a major issue with GDI engines so intake valves need cleaning.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 11:26 AM
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@ kiaguy002:

just run CRC cleaning a day or two before doing oil change.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by dubber09 View Post
@ kiaguy002:

just run CRC cleaning a day or two before doing oil change.
I've never seen even one report of anyone having a performance issue in a direct injected Kia/Hyundai vehicle, which was proven to be caused by carbon deposits on the valves. If you know of one (or more), by all means post the link to it here.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubber09 View Post
Fuel/air mixture introduced into intake ports on MPI engines 'washed' away contamination on intake valves, with GDI engines gas from combustion chamber makes it back into intake valves passages contaminating intake valves with carbon buildup. This is a major issue with GDI engines so intake valves need cleaning.
Actually, it's unatomized "wet" fuel that causes coking on intake valves. That fuel in liquid phase is the contaminant. If the fuel mixture is well atomized and/or vaporized, there is little to no liquid phase left, and any clearing/scavenging effect in the intake valves is no better than with air alone.
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