Gasoline Direct Injection Fuel Systems, Part 2: Mitigating Carbon Buildup

gasoline direct injection gdi carbon buildup maintenance

If you haven’t already, make sure to check out part one of this series where we discuss the pros and cons of Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) fuel systems. You’ll learn a bit about how this technology works along with the positive features and negative drawbacks.

The good news is that a properly maintained GDI fuel system will give you plenty of benefits while reducing—if not eliminating—the negatives. In part two of our series, we’ll be discussing exactly what you need to do to keep your vehicle running smoothly.

As we established in part one, if you drive a car manufactured within the last decade or so, there’s a pretty good chance your vehicle has a GDI fuel system. If you don’t, the information we’re covering today is still good knowledge to have in your back pocket for when you do purchase a newer vehicle. GDI is, in all likelihood, here to stay.

gasoline direct injection carbon buildup

The Biggest Drawback of Gasoline Direct Injection: Carbon Buildup

Carbon buildup is a damaging byproduct of running a GDI fuel system. When you shut down your vehicle, fuel and oil vapors will rise up through the manifold since the intake valves are open. These vapors will eventually cool down and create carbon deposits within all the components they can reach: the intake valves, the throttle plate, and the entrance to the throttle body.

If you’re not sure what all those parts are, don’t worry about it too much—the bottom line is that carbon buildup will eventually cause performance issues. The deposits are small at first, but given enough time they will accumulate.

Symptoms of carbon buildup in a GDI fuel system include:

  • Reduced power behind the wheel. This is caused by reduced airflow in the intake valves because there’s so much carbon buildup it can’t flow properly.
  • Significantly worsened fuel economy for the same reason as above.
  • Acceleration may feel sluggish or delayed. Your vehicle won’t have the same “oomph” it did when you took it off the lot.
  • Engine stalling and/or failing to start.

If the carbon isn’t removed, expensive repairs may be necessary down the road. While newer (or “fresher” if you prefer) deposits can be removed with a specialized cleaning product—more on that below—so-called “hard” carbon deposits require a time consuming, expensive repair that involves the removal of the intake manifold and using a media blaster to physically chip away the deposits.

In a moment, we’ll discuss how to avoid carbon buildup for a GDI fuel system, but first, let’s discuss what this means for the automotive service industry:

What This Means for The Automotive Service Industry

The automotive service industry has found a new service opportunity since the popularization of GDI fuel systems. Consumers who want their vehicles to perform properly and to continue enjoying the benefits of their GDI fuel system must prevent and/or remove carbon buildup—there’s really no getting around it until automotive engineers resolve the problems with the technology.

Even though the automotive manufacturing industry has made some progress in that regard with a variety of new models of GDI fuel systems, carbon buildup is still a problem even with newer vehicles. Supposing that the issue of carbon buildup was completely resolved, there are still at least ten years worth of consumer vehicles on the road using systems susceptible to carbon buildup.

If you’re in the automotive service industry, one of the best ways to help your clients with modern vehicles is to educate them about the risks of carbon buildup with GDI fuel systems. You’ll also want to offer them a service to remove and prevent carbon deposits.

gdi carbon buildup prevention

How to Prevent Carbon Buildup: BG Platinum

Insofar as carbon buildup in your fuel system and engine is concerned, truly the best cure is prevention. As we learned earlier, the removal of hard carbon buildup is a lengthy, expensive process—so why not prevent carbon buildup and enjoy the full benefits of your GDI fuel system?

It’s as easy as using the new BG Platinum™ Fuel System Service, available now. This product restores fuel efficiency, performance, power, and will prevent more expensive repairs later on.

The removal of carbon buildup should immediately become part of your regular maintenance schedule. Most professionals recommend using BG Platinum™ once every 15,000 miles for the best results.

Use The Best Products for the Best Results

Whether you’re a member of the automotive service industry or a vehicle owner, the team at BG is proud to offer nothing but the best products—and we’re awfully proud of our new carbon-busting BG Platinum™ product. If you’re driving a car manufactured within the last ten years, it’s time to look under the hood and have a visit to your local BG certified service center.

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