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Welcome. Engine Deposit Problems and Solutions Evidence of deposit problems Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Paper documentation. SAE Paper publication process Submit abstract. Submit Draft Manuscript. Re-submit corrected draft. Submit Final Paper.

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Engine Deposit Problems and Solutions

  • Evidence of deposit problems
    • Society of Automotive Engineers(SAE) Paper documentation
  • SAE Paper publication process
    • Submit abstract
  • Submit Draft Manuscript
  • Re-submit corrected draft
  • Submit Final Paper
  • SAE Papers considered automotive authority
sae deposit documentation
SAE Deposit Documentation
  • How much documentation?
  • SAE Papers published 1998 to today containing “all the words”
    • Intake manifold deposits …….. 1246
    • Fuel injector deposits ………… 1091
    • Intake valve deposits ………… 1866
    • Combustion chamber deposits … 498
    • Crankcase deposits …………….. 443

Engine & Component Manufacturers

SAE Papers by:

  • BMW
  • Chrysler
  • Ford
  • General Motors
  • Grand Marque


  • Mazda
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Mitsubishi
  • Nissan
  • Orbital
  • Siemens
  • Toyota
petroleum chemical producers
Petroleum & Chemical Producers

SAE Papers by: Agip Petroli, Amoco, BASF, Chevron, Denso, Esso, Ethyl, Exxon, ExxonMobile, Infinuem, Lubrizol, Mitsubishi Oil Co., Mobile, Nippon Soken, Oronite, Phillips, Shell, Synerject, Texaco

testing research institutions
Testing & Research Institutions

SAE Papers by: Additive Manufacturers Assn., Air Improvement Resource, Auchland Institute of Technology, Automotive Fuels Consultants, Automotive Testing Labs, CRC Deposit Group, Chalmers University of Technology, EG&G Automotive Research, FEV Motorentechnik, Institute for Technical Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Institute of Applied Thermodynamics

testing research institutions6
Testing & Research Institutions

SAE Papers by: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, MIT, OACIS Deposit Workshop, Pennsylvania State University, Petroleum Association of Japan, Princeton University, RWTH Aachen, Rutgers University, Sandia National Laboratory, Southwest Research Institute, State University of New Jersey, University of Kansas, University of Utah, Wayne State University


Deposit Forming Mechanism

  • Running engine cooled
    • Intake air flow, evaporating fuel
  • Engine stops, fuel residues remain
    • No cool air, no evaporating fuel
    • Heat rises, highest temp. after 15-30 minutes
  • Light fuel molecules evaporate
  • Heavy olefins, aromatics (sticky, waxy substances) remain, oxidize and polymerize
    • Forms sticky coating gums, varnish, resins

Repeat Hot Soak Produces Deposits

  • Each engine stoppage produces “hot soak”
    • Sticky coatings build up
  • Repeat hot soak accumulation
    • Bakes into thick hard carbon deposits
us driving conditions
US Driving Conditions
  • Recent study shows
    • 80% cars start at least three times per day
    • 63% trips under 20 miles
    • 57% driving in stop-and-go traffic
  • Typical US drivingproduces repeathot soak deposit forming conditions

Engine Design Problem

  • Deposits most critical engine design problem
    • Adverse effect driveability, power, performance, fuel economy, emissions, etc.
  • How?
    • Deposits interfere with air/fuel ratio, heat transfer, combustion, emissions, operation mechanical components

Emission Controls Increase Deposits

  • PCV routes oily crankcase vapors into intake air
  • EGR adds exhaust heat and carbon particles
    • Oily PCV crankcase vapors combine with EGR exhaust carbon particles and heat
    • Condense and layer over sticky coatings
    • Bake into larger hard, crusty carbon deposits
fast burn high swirl engines
Fast-Burn “High-Swirl” Engines
  • Intake geometry creates air swirl
    • Calibrated for specific rate of combustion
  • Deposits interfere with swirl pattern
    • Affects “all aspects of operation”
    • 15% restriction can cause 50% power loss
close tolerances
Close Tolerances
  • Fuel injector openings 0.002 inch / 0.05 mm
  • Size of human hair
  • Produces fine mist,cone shaped spray
  • 5% restriction “bad influence on driveability”
  • Reduced evaporation and combustion, less power, increased fuel consumption, increased emissions, etc.
squish area
Squish Area
  • Clearance 0.03 in. / 0.7 mm
    • Thin as paper clip
  • Piston deposits “carbon rapping” on cylinder head
  • Causes CCDI
    • Combustion Chamber Deposit Interference
engine control modules
Engine Control Modules
  • Calibrated close to “lean limit”
    • Deposits interfere
    • Upset calibration
  • Cylinder-to-cylinder deposits vary
    • Feedback system controls cannot correct imbalance between cylinders
    • All cylinders compensate
      • Affects performance, driveablity
      • Increases fuel consumption, emissions
fuel variables increase deposits
Fuel Variables Increase Deposits
  • Crude oil selection limited
    • Compromises quality
  • Fuel additives lack thermal stability
    • Beyond effective temperature range “become deposit forming”
  • Catalytic cracking
  • Heavy fractions, sulfur, aromatics
  • Mandated oxygenated/alcohols
  • Gums form during storage

Throttle Body & Intake Manifold

  • Throttle body deposit mechanism
    • Raw fuel blow back
    • Vapor purge gases
    • PCV oily crankcase vapors
    • EGR exhaust carbon particles and heat speeds deposit build up
  • Upstream from injectors
    • fuel detergents cannot control deposits
fuel injector deposits
Fuel Injector Deposits
  • Deposits inherent in design
    • Capillary action causes weeping at tip
    • Deposit forms during hot soak
    • “No injector totally immune”
    • Tiny deposits cause “streamers”
  • Additive concentrate can clean-up in one tankful
intake valve deposits
Intake Valve Deposits
  • Restrict air flow
  • Sponge effect
    • Absorbs and releases intake fuel
    • Causes hesitation, surge
  • Insulation effect
    • Insulates fuel from hot valve surfaces
    • Reduces combustion efficiency

Intake Valve Deposits

  • Seeping valve seals
    • Oil reaches valve head, forms deposits
  • Small deposits upset calibration
    • Rough idling, misfire, emissions, power loss,driveability problems
  • Heavy IVD prevent closing
    • Burn valve
  • Destroy engine

Combustion Chamber Deposits

  • CCDs in “all spark ignition engines”
    • Unavoidable product engine combustion
    • Observed early as 1882
  • Large amounts form in short trips
    • Low coolant temperature, engine speed, load
combustion chamber deposits
Combustion Chamber Deposits
  • Hot carbon deposits cause knock/ping
  • Reduced fuel efficiency
  • Power loss
  • Increased emissions
  • “Runaway surface ignition ... hole burned ... short time”
  • “Serious engine damage”
  • “Destroy engines”
carbon deposit knock ping
Carbon Deposit Knock/Ping

2. Spark plug ignition

1. Hot carbon deposit pre-ignition

3. Two flame fronts rush together

4. Pressure spike,“ping” waves

Piston damage from long-term pinging


Knock/Ping Damage

  • Combustion pressure reaches 1,200 PSI
    • Speed increases 90 FPS to 1,100 FPS
    • Heat increases
  • Piston overheats, swells, melts
  • Metal transfers to cylinder wall, seize
  • “Few hundred explosions …Shiny surfaces appear matted”
  • “10,000 shots … surfaces exhibitssandblasted structure”
  • “200,000 shots cavitation-like roughness 0.25mm in depth”
    • “Back wall severely damaged”

CCD Flaking

  • “New field problem” 2002, 2003 SAE Papers
    • CCD flaking
    • 5,000 - 10,000 miles of “mild, usually urban, driving cycles”
  • Standing engine cools
    • Water condenses on combustion chamber deposit
    • Start engine, heat triggers deposit flaking
    • Trapped in exhaust valve, loss of compression
    • Rough running, increased emissions, hard/no start

Valve Seal and Stem Deposits

  • To improve fuel economy & emissions
    • Reduced spring tension
    • Tighter stem-to-guide clearance
      • Causes “prevalent” valve sticking
      • Poor starting, compression loss
  • “Sticky” valve stem deposits cause valve stick open
    • Cold start driveability problems
    • “Engine damage”
crankcase deposits
Crankcase Deposits
  • Cold start water condensation
  • Combustion by-products and contaminants
    • Unburned fuel, acids, soot and residues
  • Crankcase becomes sewer
  • Causes piston ring sticking, plugging, breakage
  • Restricts oil flow
  • Carbon reduces heat transfer, traps heat in engine
direct injection gasoline engines
Direct Injection Gasoline Engines
  • Direct injection advantages
    • 15 - 30% improved fuel economy
    • 10 - 15% improved power
    • 6 number lower octane requirement
    • Improved volumetric efficiency
      • Air/fuel ratio 60:1
    • Reduced emissions
direct injection engine deposits
Direct Injection Engine Deposits
  • Why not? Carbon deposits:
    • Texaco 1951, Ford 1968
      • “severe deposit problems could not be overcome”
  • Deposit problem continues
    • PCV oil intake valve deposits
      • No fuel washing to remove
    • Injector nozzles exposed hot combustion
  • Deposits “one major obstacle”to direct injection engine becoming reality
intervals application frequency
Intervals, Application Frequency
  • “During the first 1,000 miles CCD builds up nearly linearly”
  • Fuel injector 15/45 cycle, failed deposit keep-clean testaverage 4,000 miles
  • CCD flaking problems at 5,000 miles “mild, usually urban, driving”
  • IVDs with 10% ethanol blend at 5,000 miles
intervals application frequency31
Intervals, Application Frequency
  • IVD driveability problems at 7,500 miles
  • CCD increase HC, CO, NOx at 9,000 miles
  • Control modules “mask” problem
    • Deposits severe before driver notices
  • Keeping deposits clean critical
    • Easier keep clean than remove hard deposits
  • Deposit control critical “for life of the engine”
  • MAP/AMRA 15,000 miles or every year
deposit problems sae conclusion
Deposit Problems - SAE Conclusion
  • SAE Paper documentation
    • Numerous SAE Papers
    • Extensive testing
    • Demonstrates need forregular FSC maintenance
  • Deposit problemsrequire solution
    • Safe
    • Effective

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