What is Carbon Build-Up? How Does it Affect my Engine?

What is Carbon Build-up? How Does it Affect my Engine? 

Carbon build-up can be found inside the engine. Over time carbon builds up inside the engine from exhaust and fuel combustion. As the engine burns fuel, the layers of carbon build up causing the valves to stick. This can impede the valves sealing correctly when disposing of exhaust or intaking air into the cylinder.  Carbon can also plug up your fuel injector nozzles resulting in poor fuel delivery. 

For example, when there is a fire in the chimney you can see soot start to build up on the inside walls. This is exactly what is happening inside the engine! 

Oil travels a long road before it winds up in your vehicle. Gasoline from oil refiners such as Shell, Chevron, etc. mix their gasoline with their own kind of detergents. These detergents are formulated to remove or prevent the carbon build up in the fuel injectors and intake valves. This may differ though with a direct injection engine or a port fuel injection engine. With direct, the fuel is sprayed into the combustion chamber from the cylinder head. With port fuel injection, you have gasoline sprayed into the intake ports. But, enough about the technical stuff, the point is your fuel is doing what it can to reduce these carbon deposits from forming, but you will eventually need a skilled technician to get in there with an apparatus to further assist with the process.

We recommend doing these fuel cleanings about every 15k-20k miles so we can keep the valves clean and get rid of that sludge that would start to build up. We may start to see build up on cars that are over 50k miles. It can effect fuel economy as well, that is why we recommend this time frame here at our shop. 


These are just a few problems you might be experiencing: 

  • Decreased fuel economy/mileage
  • Hesitation while accelerating
  • Engine misfire
  • Black smoke coming from your exhaust 
  • Check Engine light
  • Sputters/ RPM fluctuation
  • Rough idle

In our photos below, we have a fuel induction apparatus in use that is cleaning the carbon out of the engine. So the mist of cleaner coming from the apparatus is what is shooting into the intake manifold and through to the combustion chamber and doing just that. 


 Example of dirty valves...(below) 

In this picture you can see a dirty throttle body, this is cleaned manually before injecting the solution into the intake...(below)  




When you see the engine icon that is on your car's panel, don't stress. You are advised not to ignore it, because it might lead to something more serious in future. If your check engine light is on, just call us at  American Import Auto, Inc. and we'll take care of the problem. Due to the complexity of present-day engines, the problem must by diagnosed by an experienced and skillful technician.

Give us a call today to set up your reservation! 

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