How to clean a diesel engine
Cleaning an engine, diesel moreover, can appear as a daunting and painful operation ... Think again, because there are today dedicated products very effective, whose implementation is relatively easy. If the satisfaction of a sparkling engine is a convincing argument, the presence of possible engine seeps that can lead to a refusal and a counter-visit to the technical control will convince you.
Here's how to clean a diesel engine .
Take precautions before cleaning a diesel engine
A cleaning operation, even if it seems harmless, requires preparation and some precautions, in order to preserve the following points.
Work with gloves and glasses (risk of projection).
Do not apply product while the engine is running (risk of injury or fire).
The respect of environment
Plan to recover the wash water, which may be contaminated with hydrocarbons.
For example, if you do not have a large bin, place a used carpet covered with sawdust under the car and position several confined containers under the entire surface of the engine-box compartment: the little dirty water that will flow out of the bins will be absorbed by the carpet.
Some products may be aggressive for the bodywork; protect it first with a plastic film.
Heat up the diesel engine
Run the engine at operating temperature; this action will increase the efficiency of the engine cleaner.
Remove the protective casings
For the sake of sound insulation, especially for diesel vehicles, the engines are now "encapsulated": plastic protective covers cover the upper part of the engine, close the bottom and additional elements such as the battery compartment .
To access the soiled places of the motor, it is necessary to deposit them. This operation is generally easy for the upper part, the protection is often simply snapped: a simple pressure is enough to extract it. The lower housing, plastic, is fixed by screws or staples.
Protect the sensitive parts of the motor
The electronic management of modern cars involves the presence of electrical components in every nook and cranny of the engine: sensors, actuators, connectors are powered by low-voltage electrical voltages. Projecting water on these components may lead to more or less long-term corrosion and parasitic resistance, source of failure. The alternator, the electrical boxes and the fuse boxes are also sensitive elements to protect.
Protect these organs as much as possible by wrapping them in plastic film, the time of the engine treatment.
Spray a degreaser on the engine
Protected sensitive parts, generously spray a best engine degreaser. Opt for a product of concentrated quality to dilute, which will allow you to modulate its content according to the degree of fouling of your engine (for an isolated use, there are packages of 1 l (average price: 15 €). instructions for the proportion to be used, as well as the recommendations.
Leave on for 5 to 10 minutes.
Rinse with a water jet (the use of the pressure washer is strongly prohibited, the high pressure may damage the electrical connectors, calculators and other sensitive elements).
Remove the protective plastics from the sensitive elements and blow the engine compartment with compressed air in order to remove as much as possible the residual water pockets.
Apply an engine protection product
If there are still dirt, repeat the operation on these areas (for more efficiency, you can apply degreaser and clean with brush).
If the result is satisfactory, apply a film of protective product using a spray can: there are products for marine engines, hydrophobic and dielectric (20 € 150 ml).
Lastly, reassemble the covers.
Clean the work area
Collect the dirty water. You can drown it in the sawdust for recycling (some landfills accept grease, otherwise ask a professional to include it in its selective collection of waste).
Start the engine and heat it to remove moisture.
Injectors are impurity and water sensitive devices, so it is important to change the fuel filter regularly. When it is saturated, one solution is to use injector cleaner. But there are two families of injector cleaners depending on the engine: gasoline or diesel. Let's look at the question more closely.
Injector cleaner: its composition
It is very difficult to obtain precise technical data of the composition of the injector cleaners, secret of manufacture obliges. However, we have deciphered for you, on a product label, the technical names of the ingredients according to the advertised performance of these products:
cleaning the feed system: we can assume the use of detergent products (degreasers) that correspond to aliphatic hydrocarbons and propanol ;
removal of traces of water in the fuel: water-repellent products (alkanes and isoalkanes);
improvement of combustion, cleaning combustion chambers, reduction of pollutants (inaccurate in fact, because more combustion is complete, more NOx are produced), reduced consumption, less smoke (ease of passage to technical control).
All these statements lead us to the possibility of products that boost engine combustion, by increasing the cetane (diesel) or octane (gasoline) indexes.
The data sheet contains C10-C13 hydrocarbons , ie fuels and solvents (gasoline - kerosene), as well as non-detailed aromatic hydrocarbons , which, depending on their exact composition, are additive agents for the growth of hydrocarbons . octane, solvents for the destruction of calamines ...
Use of the injector cleaner
There are 2 methods of applying the injector cleaner: the preventive mode and the healing mode.
As the name suggests, this treatment is a maintenance operation that aims to prevent any malfunction.
It is generally necessary to pour the product into the tank (minimum 20 liters of fuel), operation to be repeated every 5,000 km.
Here, the treatment arises from engine operating problems (misfires, smoke, fouling, loss of power, etc.)
Depending on the products, the treatment process is not the same:
for some, it will be necessary to increase the frequency of treatment;
for others, the product will be specific and concentrated for a single treatment (either in the tank, or if it is possible, the supply pipe directly plugged into the product container).
Cost of the injector cleaner
The prices are relatively high: according to the brands and the capacities, they oscillate around 40 € (± 10) per dose.
Example: for a diesel vehicle that consumes 6 l / 100km (average price per liter = 1.10 €), with a treatment every 5000 km, the additional cost will be around 10%, or the liter of diesel at 1.21 € .
Injector cleaner: conclusion
The questions that can not be hidden are these: is it effective? But also, what risks to treat its injection system with its products?
Objectively, to our knowledge, no serious study has been published on this subject, except the catchy advertisements of the manufacturers of cleaners.
Not to mention the additional cost, the technical progress made on motor oils, fuels, filtrations and engine optimization (to the extent that the maintenance of the vehicle is well followed), make the use of these products superfluous ...