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2017 Kia Ceed
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Hello to all.

I bought 2017 new Kia Cee'd (restyling was 2016) with 1.6 GDI engine. I read that this GDI (direct injection) have
problem with Carbon Buildup (like some TSI engines by VW). Did Hyndai/Kia Corp fix this issue so far, because
they have this engine from 2012? Did Kia Official Service know something about this issue...is it
maybe fixed on the latest models, does it even exist? When i can expect to loose power?



" Even at the first check-up (5,000 miles), borescope footage showed intake valve deposits forming.
At each subsequent check-up, we noticed deposit buildup continued in the intake valves and intake ports."



Thanks a lot.
 

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09 kia spectra ex,04 Neon,04 Chry. T&C, 08 Pontiac G6 gt
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1,886 Posts
Fuel quality issues are more the cause of this than design deficiencies. Thank worldwide emission standards and economy ratings for "ultra precise" spray patterns and such for it also. I have not seen an engine yet that stays "brand new" from any kind of carbon build up, and would suggest the use of a fuel injection system cleaner/treatment in the fuel tank periodically. I know many will say otherwise or not to use. But that is my suggestion, proper dosage and not done every fill up is not going to harm anything. AGAIN my suggestion(opinion).
 

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2014 Sportage SX FWD
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220 Posts
Hello to all.

I bought 2017 new Kia Cee'd (restyling was 2016) with 1.6 GDI engine. I read that this GDI (direct injection) have
problem with Carbon Buildup (like some TSI engines by VW). Did Hyndai/Kia Corp fix this issue so far, because
they have this engine from 2012? Did Kia Official Service know something about this issue...is it
maybe fixed on the latest models, does it even exist? When i can expect to loose power?



" Even at the first check-up (5,000 miles), borescope footage showed intake valve deposits forming.
At each subsequent check-up, we noticed deposit buildup continued in the intake valves and intake ports."



Thanks a lot.
The problem is that GDI engines have a dry induction path. The fuel is sprayed directly into the combustion chamber. Because of this the incoming fuel that washes down the intake valves in a rail injected engine is absent. For the most part the deposits are thought to be caused by oil being introduced into the intake manifold from the PCV valve. A lot of folks have dealt with this by installing an aftermarket oil/air separator in the hose between the PCV valve and the manifold to trap the unwanted oil.
 

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2017 Kia Ceed
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Discussion Starter #4
Okay then. So the problem still persists, although the engine is implanted since 2012...And they are still offering that engine?
Did they fix sometning in a newer models? They are familiar with this problem. Toyota rebuilt their gasoline direct injection engine and fixed an issue.

If not, what can i do as owner of this engine? I don't expect to clean engine at 50 000 km.

Kia Motors know that GDI engine have that issue, and they offer 7-year guarantee, I do not understand how they are worth it. I hope that this problem will not occur to me, fuel quality in my country is very bad. :(

Thank you all for recommendations for the future.


I'm a little disappointed.
 

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2014 Kia Rio, 2010 Mercedes Benz C300, 2005 Ponitiac GTO, 2017 Chevrolet Colorado 2WT
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Along with using a so called 'top tier' gasoline or fuel additive if such isn't available in you region, and a good quality synthetic motor old, you can install a catch can as mentioned above:
 

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99 Kia Elan, 17 Ford Edge Sport, 15 Mustang, 08 Harley Nightrain
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9,695 Posts
Okay then. So the problem still persists, although the engine is implanted since 2012...And they are still offering that engine?
Did they fix sometning in a newer models? They are familiar with this problem. Toyota rebuilt their gasoline direct injection engine and fixed an issue.

If not, what can i do as owner of this engine? I don't expect to clean engine at 50 000 km.

Kia Motors know that GDI engine have that issue, and they offer 7-year guarantee, I do not understand how they are worth it. I hope that this problem will not occur to me, fuel quality in my country is very bad. :(

Thank you all for recommendations for the future.


I'm a little disappointed.
I'm interested to hear how Toyota fixed the issue - could you post some detail on that.
 

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2014 Kia Rio, 2010 Mercedes Benz C300, 2005 Ponitiac GTO, 2017 Chevrolet Colorado 2WT
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2016 Forte5
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I haven't gotten around to it yet (and probably should) but I plan to install a catch can, at least for peace of mind. They aren't too expensive, especially if you pick up a cheap eBay can and modify it so it actually works, so I figure it can't hurt to install one. Although I do remember reading about some guy with a GM product getting his warranty denied(!) because of the catch can, but I have a feeling there's more to that story. On top of that I've read plenty of naysayers online saying that the catch can does nothing, that the liquid it catches is mostly water, and that GDI engines will still build up deposits anyway.

I've also seen "GDI intake valve cleaner" from various companies, basically a spray can that you spray into the intake with the engine running. Supposed to clear away the deposits. Does that work? No idea.

FWIW, prior to my Kia, I had a Mk3 Focus which also had a GDI engine. I wasn't aware of the intake valve buildup problem, and I doubt the previous owner was either, since it was a fleet car from a local food distribution company. It had 80k highway miles on it when I bought it, and I put another 60k on it before it was totaled in an accident. The engine still ran as strong as the day I got it, and felt just as good as the newer ones I test drove.
 

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99 Kia Elan, 17 Ford Edge Sport, 15 Mustang, 08 Harley Nightrain
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I have a Ford Edge Sport with 2.7L V6 twin Turbo, and 2400 miles on the clock - need to install a good catch can on it soon.
 

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2017 AWD Sportage SX - Black / Beige
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Okay then. So the problem still persists, although the engine is implanted since 2012...And they are still offering that engine?
Did they fix sometning in a newer models? They are familiar with this problem. Toyota rebuilt their gasoline direct injection engine and fixed an issue.

If not, what can i do as owner of this engine? I don't expect to clean engine at 50 000 km.

Kia Motors know that GDI engine have that issue, and they offer 7-year guarantee, I do not understand how they are worth it. I hope that this problem will not occur to me, fuel quality in my country is very bad. :(

Thank you all for recommendations for the future.


I'm a little disappointed.
The only fix for this GDI intake valve buildup is to also provide a port or port injectors that can be used to basically rinse the intake valves periodically. Many newer engines from Ford and Toyota, there may be others, now have port injectors as well as direct injectors for this very reason., to keep the valves clean.

Otherwise, an oil catch can can certainly reduce this problem but won't eliminate it.

I suspect as these engines acquire mileage this problem is going to become much more common. I'm not looking forward to it either as I have an SX with GDI :(
 

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99 Kia Elan, 17 Ford Edge Sport, 15 Mustang, 08 Harley Nightrain
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The only fix for this GDI intake valve buildup is to also provide a port or port injectors that can be used to basically rinse the intake valves periodically. Many newer engines from Ford and Toyota, there may be others, now have port injectors as well as direct injectors for this very reason., to keep the valves clean.

Otherwise, an oil catch can can certainly reduce this problem but won't eliminate it.

I suspect as these engines acquire mileage this problem is going to become much more common. I'm not looking forward to it either as I have an SX with GDI :(
I don't believe that would be an ultimate solution.

On my Harley I've vented my crankcase to atmosphere - it's intake port injected, but the oil and oil vapour causes combustion chamber carbon build-up, as was demonstrated by a trial conducted by a few Harley enthusiasts.
 

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2017 AWD Sportage SX - Black / Beige
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I don't believe that would be an ultimate solution.

On my Harley I've vented my crankcase to atmosphere - it's intake port injected, but the oil and oil vapour causes combustion chamber carbon build-up, as was demonstrated by a trial conducted by a few Harley enthusiasts.
well, venting crankcases to atmosphere is a serious emissions violation. That's what PCV valves are for.

I agree it likely solves or at least seriously mitigates the problem but it's also highly illegal, right?
 

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99 Kia Elan, 17 Ford Edge Sport, 15 Mustang, 08 Harley Nightrain
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well, venting crankcases to atmosphere is a serious emissions violation. That's what PCV valves are for.

I agree it likely solves or at least seriously mitigates the problem but it's also highly illegal, right?
Not promoting violation of state laws, but pointing out that the port injection arrangement is not a complete solution, for that you'd still need a catch can etc.
 

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2014 Kia Rio, 2010 Mercedes Benz C300, 2005 Ponitiac GTO, 2017 Chevrolet Colorado 2WT
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I've also seen "GDI intake valve cleaner" from various companies, basically a spray can that you spray into the intake with the engine running. Supposed to clear away the deposits. Does that work? No idea.
If you mean by "spray it through the intake" as through the throttle body then no it won't clean the valves. You'd have to spray it through the PCV system for it to have any affect.
 

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If you mean by "spray it through the intake" as through the throttle body then no it won't clean the valves. You'd have to spray it through the PCV system for it to have any affect.
Here is one such product. It says to spray it into the throttle body, or anywhere past the MAF. I suppose you could also spray it through the PCV system as well.

CRC Intake Valve Cleaner

There are some interesting looking before and after pictures, but again I've never used it so I don't know.
 

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If you spray it into the throttle body, it will clean the throttle body but it won't get to the valves. The only way to get it to the valves is to spray it through the pcv system.
 

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2011 Forte SX 2.4L (thankfully MPI) A/T 137K miles
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First off, a disclaimer that I don't own a GDI, and have not spent time cross-checking and confirming information. That said, I've read reports in multiple places that chemicals are not very effective in cleaning carbon from intake valves, once the deposits have reached a certain amount of volume. The alternative I see mentioned most often is walnut shell cleaning, which apparently is a common procedure on other direct injected models, such as the German vehicles.

If the above information is correct, the requirement for a manual cleaning procedure would mean that very few DIYers would be able to do this maintenance (assuming that the cost of the cleaning equipment is high). But perhaps it might be possible to accomplish effective cleaning if chemicals are used immediately when the vehicle is new, and then on a frequent basis going forward. Perhaps someone reading this has good solid knowledge about cleaning these carbon deposits, and can provide additional information.
 

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I run a chemical cleaner through mine every other oil change. I use a product called BG GDI Intake Valve Cleaner every 15000 miles. It's a preventative measure to keep the deposits from reaching that certain amount of volume you speak of. I use a bore scope to view the results. But then, I'm not your average DIYer........
 

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I run a chemical cleaner through mine every other oil change. I use a product called BG GDI Intake Valve Cleaner every 15000 miles. It's a preventative measure to keep the deposits from reaching that certain amount of volume you speak of. I use a bore scope to view the results. But then, I'm not your average DIYer........
The percentage of direct injection engines appears to be constantly increasing, and I'm aware that I might not be able to avoid them forever. So with an eye on the future, I took a look at the BG product that you mentioned above.

I don't know how close your method is to this vid https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=yfp-t-s&p=bg+gdi+intake+valve+cleaner#id=1&vid=61d2f7e8b2598a8a80e675e07ee5f18f&action=click, but I'm assuming it's similar to what he does. The thing that made me more than a bit queasy was the caution he gave about removing the chemicals, in order to avoid engine damage. My superficial, quick take on this is to wonder if the cure is going to ultimately be worse than the illness. No factual basis for saying that, just something in the gut. But I also have no problem saying that I could be wrong, and that there might be no issues whatsoever with the product if used as directed.

I'm not in any way being critical of what you're doing with your vehicle. You're obviously WAY ahead of the vast majority on these auto forums, and I tip my hat to you for being so proactive. I guess it just comes down to the fact that I don't like direct injection engines, and haven't found anything so far that makes me feel any better about them. But that's just me, and is not meant to detract from what you're doing with your vehicle. I hope this continues to go well for you, and thanks for sharing the information about this product.
 

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He is using the 44K product. Different from what I use. I used to use OTC D-Karbonizer until I began to have difficulty finding it. I used it in my niece's Jetta GDI for years with no ill effects. Well over 150000 miles until she traded it in. Their intake valve cleaner has a very similar chemical make up.
 
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