Carbon buildup in your car's engine can be heartbreaking, especially when you need to get on the road. Gasoline is burnt up and then sticks to the valves and pistons over time. This residue on your engine causes your car to sound weird and could affect the vehicle's power. If any of these problems sound like something you are dealing with, the chances are that you have carbon cuddled up on your pistons and wonder how to clean pistons without removing them.
In this article, we will answer your questions on cleaning your pistons to get your engine running smoothly again and how you can prevent carbon from building in your engine.
Table of Contents
What are the functions of your car's piston?
Well, before we get into the nitty-gritty of cleaning your car's piston, you should know the function of the piston.
One of the piston's purposes is to transfer expanding gas in the cylinder to the crankshaft. The pistons have two core functions actually: it seals off combustion gas and transfer heat to the piston walls, and regulate the amount of lubricant where they are meant to be. So, to prevent gas from getting into all the wrong places and a breakdown of your car, you need a good piston.
Related: Bad PCV Valve Symptoms
How do you clean a dirty piston without removing head?
If your car exhibits any of the signs listed above, then it is time to roll your sleeve and get them cleaned or take it to the shop.
However, if you are all about doing it yourself and would love to save a couple of bucks this time, then we have several steps that will help you get that piston sparkling in no time.
Many people have constantly asked if using an engine flush works, and the answer is that they are good to keep your engines going but aren’t perfect for getting rid of dirt from pistons.
When people think of cleaning pistons or engines, it can feel a little daunting, and that is because they feel you have to take the engine apart to get it right. Well, you don’t! Here are steps to clean your pistons without taking the engine apart.
- Step 1: ensure the ignition is off and the car is in a well-ventilated area. Parking in a spacious area allows you the luxury of movement and light and prevents hindrances.
- Step 2: Next, you need to disconnect the air take off your car by using a combustion chamber cleaner. This will help you get rid of carbon residues a lot more easily.
- Step 3: After the air take has been disconnected, you need to clean the fuel rail. Do this by disconnecting the fuel rail that connects the fuel tank to the injection rail. Use injection pressure apparatus to clean the fuel rails.
- Step 4: Turn on the car's ignition and use up all of the cleaning substances and while you wait for it to turn off, get ready your fuel enhancer.
- Step 5: Add the fuel enhancer and allow it to dilute. It will flow through the fuel stream and clear out whatever residue is left.
- Step 6: if you have got an engine performance product, go ahead and use it. This will improve the capacity of the car at the same time clean any blockage left.
Add to the engine oil in the car and allow it to run for 30-60 minutes. After this, you will change the oil with a new one and you are all set, ready to go.
Now that you have done all of this, your car is sludge-free and ready for the road.
Related: Metal Shavings in Oil
Tips to prevent your pistons from getting dirty.
Well, if you have been driving a car for a while now, you will know you can not quite get them to stay clean. In other words, your car is bound to get dirty, and the only way to prevent carbon build-up in your car again is to do regular maintenance.
Besides the regular maintenance, you should also make sure to use good quality gasoline for your car. Good quality gasoline will slow down the build of carbon but not entirely prevent them.
Furthermore, watch out for the oil levels in your car. Top the levels when necessary to keep everything running smoothly. Also, keep in mind that different cars have different oil intakes … look up the recommended oil and oil filters for your car to make things a lot easier for you.
One final tip to prevent piston issues is to take your car for regular checks with your mechanic. Checking regularly will prevent a car breakdown long before it happens.
How to know if the piston rings are dirty. The signs that your piston is bad (dirty).
Just like the human body, your car gives signs when it is sick, but if you aren’t certain about the symptoms, you might end up complicating the situation.
Here are three sure signs that your car has a bad piston;
- Excessive smoke emission:
Excessive smoke emission in itself screams, “heck, I am not alright!” This is rather too obvious but remains a sign that is sometimes overlooked. When your pistons are bad, it causes oil to leak and burn up. Leaking oil then causes your car to emit gray or white smoke from the engine.
However, do not confuse the color of the smoke for a piston problem; black smoke means there is a problem with fuel consumption, while blue smoke points to something in the car's oil compartments – probably an abnormal level in lubricants.
- Increase in oil consumption;
Have you noticed you have been spending more on oil than usual? If you have, then it is time to check those pistons (we will discuss this later in this article).
Because oil keeps leaking, there will be little or no oil left in the engine for them to work properly.
- Accelerating problems;
Another sign that your pistons are bad is when you start to notice a decrease in your vehicle's power. You may think this is not serious, not until the car fails to move. This happens as a result of the decrease in the compression taking place in your car engine. So, whenever you hit the gas pedal, the car takes forever to speed up.
Side note; If you aren’t too sure of these signs, it best if you take it to the mechanic to diagnose the car.
It is a wrap
There you go, folks; how to clean pistons without removing, but if any of this sounds tedious, I recommend you leave it to the professional to handle.
To ensure that the pistons are working perfectly, make sure the rest of the car works fine. The piston is only part of the car and can be affected by other parts of the car.
Check the engine coolants inside your car, preferably when the car is cool. Open the radiator to see if the water levels are good. Use a fuel enhancer, engine oil boosters, and remember to clean the fuel rails.
These tips will improve your car's performance greatly, but your engine and carbon build-up determines how the car performs.
Simon graduated with a Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Degree. He has over 20 years of servicing experience in both Japanese and German car dealerships. He now acts as a freelance mechanic’s instructor for local schools.