Want to do heavy "de-carbon", have questions.

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Hello all, My 2000 Corolla has 155K miles and has had a ping issue since about 100K miles. The ping occurs mostly between 55-70. Anyways, I have an oil change coming in a few weeks so I wanted to do a few things. 1. Either use seafoam through the brake booster or water sprayed in the intake. Which is more effective? 2. Do a piston soak. MMO, Seafoam, Berryman's, what to use? Is the procedure pretty easy? Sounds like remove plugs, capful of cleaner in the hole. Let sit overnight, put back together and fire up? 3. Last two tanks before the OCI, run consecutive Techron, SI-1, or Regane treatments. I'm also getting the car looked at soon, and may even try replacing the knock sensor(returning if not the issue :). Just wanted to see if this was a good plan? Thanks in advance!
 
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Mike, Still no luck with that pinging issue eh? \:\( I would do all of the items you listed, start with the cheapest first and continue doing one by one until your problem is cleaned up. I find a spray bottle with very hot water (not boiling) sprayed in a fine mist into the intake while running just enough to cause the engine to stutter but not stall out is the best method for decarboning engines. Then I rev it to 2K rpm and hold it there while I spray more generous amounts of mist into the intake, just enough at a time to make the car respond to it, but not enough to drop the the RPM's significantly but just enough to cause it to stumble a bit. Do this a couple of times and then follow up with a good fuel system cleaner that contains PEA and you should be all set to go!
 
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I like water. I've been thinking about buying a hand held steam sprayer and shoving it up my intake tube and just letting the car idle for a while.
 
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 Originally Posted By: StevieC
Mike, Still no luck with that pinging issue eh? \:\( I would do all of the items you listed, start with the cheapest first and continue doing one by one until your problem is cleaned up. I find a spray bottle with very hot water (not boiling) sprayed in a fine mist into the intake while running just enough to cause the engine to stutter but not stall out is the best method for decarboning engines. Then I rev it to 2K rpm and hold it there while I spray more generous amounts of mist into the intake, just enough at a time to make the car respond to it, but not enough to drop the the RPM's significantly but just enough to cause it to stumble a bit. Do this a couple of times and then follow up with a good fuel system cleaner that contains PEA and you should be all set to go!
That sounds like the best way I've heard yet. I'm going to do this soon and I don't like the vacuum line method for several resons.
 
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 Originally Posted By: BuickGN
 Originally Posted By: StevieC
Mike, Still no luck with that pinging issue eh? \:\( I would do all of the items you listed, start with the cheapest first and continue doing one by one until your problem is cleaned up. I find a spray bottle with very hot water (not boiling) sprayed in a fine mist into the intake while running just enough to cause the engine to stutter but not stall out is the best method for decarboning engines. Then I rev it to 2K rpm and hold it there while I spray more generous amounts of mist into the intake, just enough at a time to make the car respond to it, but not enough to drop the the RPM's significantly but just enough to cause it to stumble a bit. Do this a couple of times and then follow up with a good fuel system cleaner that contains PEA and you should be all set to go!
That sounds like the best way I've heard yet. I'm going to do this soon and I don't like the vacuum line method for several resons.
+2 on this. I've had real luck with this method...will be doing it again soon, before my October emission test is due....
 
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I have heard and seen good results with Mopar combustion chamber cleaner. Aerosol stuff you run through the motor and let it heat soak. Seems to work very well, and not to expensive.
 
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 Originally Posted By: chevrofreak
I like water. I've been thinking about buying a hand held steam sprayer and shoving it up my intake tube and just letting the car idle for a while.
Doing this at idle can be risky and I'll tell you why at the end. Get the engine warm, preferrably a half hour of good driving. I've always revved the engine to about 2000+ RPM and use a garden hose and kink it at the end with one hand. Use one hand on the throttle to keep the engine revved up and the other hand on the kink of the garden hose and vary both the engine speed and water flow at the same time. This used to work wonderfully with a carbed engine, but with FI you need to hook a hose (clear preferrably) on the end and snake it past your MAF sensor and have it close to the throttle plate. If you just spray water into a vacuum fitting, it's possible some cylinders won't get any water. I always like to do this for about 5 minutes minumum. Also, if you keep the engine revved up, it can take a fair amount of water without harm. My reason for not doing this at idle is that some engines have funky intake runners that can make your water pool up at idle. Then when you rev it up, your cylinder takes a big gulp of water and you've just vapor locked (and ruined) your engine. One example is the Cadillac Northstar.
 
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Kestas

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I've plumbed water from a gallon container in the cabin to a vacuum line. During a long highway drive, I let the vacuum suck the water into the engine. Flow can be controlled with a hemostat or some other device to restrict water flow and control it so it can only flow at highway speeds. This should reduce the risk of hydrolocking and make for effective cleaning.
 
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 Originally Posted By: BuickGN
That sounds like the best way I've heard yet. I'm going to do this soon and I don't like the vacuum line method for several resons.
Yeah I was never a fan of the VL method. Especially if you have an engine equipped with a MAP sensor. This can create bigger problems after the cleaning is done and moisture gets into the tube that feeds the MAP. Been there, never want to go back! The way I described works very well from my experiences... FWIW: I heard this is good to do regularly to keep your catalytic converters clean and operating well within specs because the hot water creates steam/vapour after exiting the combusion chambers and helps to rid the converter(s) of carbon. Never tore a converter apart to check but I'm sure it works... Planning to try on my Neon to see what it does for the converter which I know is almost plugged from the previous owners abuse. Steve
 
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I am going to be doing a piston soak followed by a water decarbonization but like the OP I am wondering which product would be best to use for the piston soak?
 
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 Originally Posted By: Kruse
 Originally Posted By: chevrofreak
I like water. I've been thinking about buying a hand held steam sprayer and shoving it up my intake tube and just letting the car idle for a while.
Doing this at idle can be risky and I'll tell you why at the end. Get the engine warm, preferrably a half hour of good driving. I've always revved the engine to about 2000+ RPM and use a garden hose and kink it at the end with one hand. Use one hand on the throttle to keep the engine revved up and the other hand on the kink of the garden hose and vary both the engine speed and water flow at the same time. This used to work wonderfully with a carbed engine, but with FI you need to hook a hose (clear preferrably) on the end and snake it past your MAF sensor and have it close to the throttle plate. If you just spray water into a vacuum fitting, it's possible some cylinders won't get any water. I always like to do this for about 5 minutes minumum. Also, if you keep the engine revved up, it can take a fair amount of water without harm. My reason for not doing this at idle is that some engines have funky intake runners that can make your water pool up at idle. Then when you rev it up, your cylinder takes a big gulp of water and you've just vapor locked (and ruined) your engine. One example is the Cadillac Northstar.
That's the very reason I would want to use steam. It won't pool ups very quickly, especially with a hot engine.
 

panthermike

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Thanks for the replies and yes, still Ping Issues!! I've been running 91 lately, and the ping has been reducing but still there. I'm also running MMO and will keep using the 91 to see what happens. What about the piston soak? Good idea, how, which product? Thanks again guys, great stuff.
 
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 Originally Posted By: TurboLuver
I am going to be doing a piston soak followed by a water decarbonization but like the OP I am wondering which product would be best to use for the piston soak?
I would spray a generous amount of brake cleaner in each of the spark plug holes, let it sit for an hour, to creep down the rings and disolve any gunk/carbon, then follow up with cranking the engine with the coil disconnected to get rid of any residual cleaner that is left and then soak the cylinders in MMO for a few hours to overnight. (put the plugs in place to keep dirt out of the cylinders. Then fire up the car as usual in the morning and let it get hot. I bet you this would give you excellent results. Don't forget to change your oil when all is said/done as the brake cleaner may deteriorate it a bit. I have done the brake cleaner soak before with excellent results and have poured a mixture of 1 part engine oil to 4 parts fuel system cleaner with PEA in each spark plug hole, but MMO will do the same thing. It has worked well on most engines that have stuck rings or dirty pistons/crud in the combustion chamber. I would do the water spray in the throttle body first before any of this as this will give you better results because the carbon will have a chance to have softened up a bit.
 
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OVERKILL

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 Originally Posted By: StevieC
 Originally Posted By: TurboLuver
I am going to be doing a piston soak followed by a water decarbonization but like the OP I am wondering which product would be best to use for the piston soak?
I would spray some brake cleaner in each of the spark plug holes, let it sit for an hour, to creep down the rings and disolve any gunk/carbon, then follow crank the engine over with the coil disconnected to get rid of any residual and then soak the cylinders in MMO. I bet you this would give you excellent results. Don't forget to change your oil when all is said/done.
From personal experience, AC Delco combustion chamber cleaner does a MUCH better job dissolving carbon than brake clean, and won't dry out the cylinder walls being used in this method like brake clean will.
 
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OVERK1LL, it will but it's not as effective at removing gunk from the rings from personal experience where brake cleaner is far more effective from what I have seen because the gunk on rings is generally oil based goo that responds well to brake cleaners "brake it down" effect. I also said above that the water sprayed in the throttle body should be done first to soften/remove excess carbon for best results first. I understand what you are saying about dry cylinder walls, this is why I crank over the engine to rid the engine of any left over brake cleaner and then follow up with MMO (or oil/fuel cleaner)to restore the lubrication to the cylinders before the engine is fired back up and also to clean any left over dirt/carbon. (edited above to include this)
 

OVERKILL

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 Originally Posted By: StevieC
Overk1ll, it will but it's not as effective at removing gunk from the rings from personal experience where brake cleaner is far more effective from what I have seen. I also said above that the water sprayed in the throttle body should be done first to soften/remove excess carbon for best results first. I understand what you are saying about dry cylinder walls, this is why I crank over the engine to rid the engine of any left over brake cleaner and then follow up with MMO or engine oil to restore the lubrication to the cylinders before the engine is fired back up. (edited above to include this)
Yeah, the idea of brake clean in the cylinders scares me, because it really does one heck of a job of drying...... My comparison of the two products was done cleaning IAC's for 5.0L Ford's. The Delco stuff literally ate the carbon right out of them, but still felt "oily". The brake clean didn't do a whole lot to the carbon, but made them VERY dry. I haven't tried the Delco stuff to clean varnish. I typically use carb cleaner or Varsol for that. I have also considered trying reducer......
 
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OVERK1LL, I honestly wouldn't recommend it if I didn't have 100% confidence that it would do no harm. I have done just brake cleaner with no oil additive follow up and the engines were just fine. I don't recommend this, but there was no ill effects. I would never post something I have never tried or had no idea what I was talking about, or if it had even the slightest chance at ruining an engine. \:\! The Carb/choke or throttle body cleaner is fine for the use you are using it for, but for a soak, I would honestly use the brake cleaner because it does wonders at eating goop from the rings/sidewalls of the pisons and leaving the area nice and dry for oil to get in there afterwards.
 
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 Originally Posted By: mechtech2
Water misted in while you keep the engine running works well.
I'm embarassed that I didn't think of this sooner. Thanks to Stevie. I almost can't wait to get the 109 octane out of the tank now so I can try it out. I'm no longer worried. On the topic of brake clean, I could not bring myself to do it. It degreases too well. Maybe if you used brake clean and then squirted some oil in there but that's too much work.
 
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