Intake Valve Cleaner for GDI Engines....problem down the road

I used to use the “CRC” branded stuff on our 2017 Sante Fe, usually every spring. This year; about a month or so after my yearly treatment, I started getting a code for my O2 sensors. Ended up they had to replace my Catalytic Converter, luckily it was under warranty.

I remember a thread about the dangers of using an Intake Valve Cleaner on our GDI engines and how the dissolved crap/carbon from the stems of the intake valves ended up damaging the Converter. I never paid much attention to it, but now that it’s happened, I stopped using Intake Valve Cleaner

(just wanted to point out, I am not talking about Injector Cleaner but specifically about Intake Valve Cleaner for GDI Engines)


Some companies, like Ford, really don’t like when people use spray cleaners for IVs. They say it’s a bad idea, and I agree.

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Okay, so here’s the deal with CRC spray cans and carbon buildup in your car’s engine. Don’t believe everything you read online about it. CRC spray doesn’t magically remove big chunks of carbon like some people claim. If your dealership said otherwise, ask for written proof.

Here’s the lowdown: CRC spray helps prevent carbon buildup from getting worse, but it won’t completely clean out all the gunk that’s built up over years of driving. It’s more like a maintenance thing. You use it regularly to keep the buildup from getting out of hand.

When you use CRC, it mainly tackles the newer carbon buildup on top of the older stuff. It’s best to start using it early in your car’s life and keep using it regularly to prevent major buildup down the road.

But if your car already has a ton of miles on it and a serious buildup, CRC might not cut it. In that case, you’re better off getting a mechanic to manually clean out the gunk. They can do a thorough job that CRC alone can’t match.