How to clean pistons from carbon deposits? Methods and means of cleaning pistons from carbon deposits

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How to clean pistons from carbon deposits? Methods and means of cleaning pistons from carbon deposits
How to clean pistons from carbon deposits? Methods and means of cleaning pistons from carbon deposits

In order for the car engine to work properly for a long time, you need to monitor its condition, periodically cleaning the elements from carbon deposits and dirt. The hardest part to clean is the piston. After all, excessive mechanical stress can damage these parts. Craftsmen who repair cars at home have come up with many ways to clean pistons from carbon deposits.

Working principle

In order to perform a procedure such as cleaning a part, you need to figure out how it works. In the internal combustion chamber, gases expand and energy is transferred to the piston. The connecting rods then drive the crankshaft. This block is continuously affected by temperature, mechanical and other extraneous loads. Experiencing the force of gas pressure, the piston is very hot due to contact with substances that are formed from the combustion of fuel.

piston group
piston group

Due to the fact that during operation there is an increased load on the piston, black deposits gradually form on it. It also happens due to some kind of breakagemotor. Often such malfunctions can become a factor affecting the violation of the combustion process of the fuel mixture inside the cylinders.

What is carbon deposits on pistons

Looking inside the power plant, we will definitely see that many parts are covered with deposits of various kinds. Experienced drivers subdivide them into sludge, soot and varnish formations. One of the reasons for the formation of deposits is the breakdown of engine oil in the engine. It oxidizes and decomposes over time, so the decay products can settle on the elements, forming a deposit. Therefore, every driver should know how to clean the piston from carbon deposits.

soot on the piston
soot on the piston

Causes of soot

The most common cause of carbon deposits is incomplete combustion of fuel or a high percentage of various impurities and additives in the fuel. After the fuel comes into contact with a heated piston, valves or cylinder walls, harmful additives begin to accumulate, and over time a whole layer of deposits forms.

One common cause is infrequent oil changes. When the driver does not take care of the regular inspection of this system, then gradually the engine begins to coke. Therefore, experienced car mechanics recommend changing the oil after a run of 15-20 thousand km. Other factors that affect piston fouling include:

  • failed injectors;
  • old spark plugs;
  • faulty oil seals;
  • Piston ring wear.

Sludge on the side surfaces of the pistons and cylinder wallsmost often formed. Experts believe that carbon deposits appearing in the upper part of the piston will contribute to increased wear of the cylinder walls. Deposits can get stuck in the gap between the groove and ring on the piston. This leads to significant engine wear. Therefore, it is better to fix the problem as soon as possible.

Piston cleaning without dismantling the motor

According to experienced specialists with many years of practice, it is imperative to use manual mechanical cleaning in order to quickly and efficiently remove carbon deposits from pistons and other internal combustion engine parts. It turns out that for starters you need to almost completely disassemble the power plant. This method is the most time-consuming and costly, so many car owners try to get by with the method of cleaning pistons from carbon deposits without disassembly.

In this case, the engine and piston rings are decarbonized. In this piston cleaning method, the parts are not removed from the machine. Means that are intended for this purpose are active solvents. They are poured into the engine through the spark plug holes or through the lubrication system. Thanks to this, the pistons are cleaned without additional time and financial costs for disassembly.


A similar tool can be purchased at any store that sells auto chemicals. These products are produced by well-known brands - Liqui Moly, Xado, Gzox. For decarbonization, it is best to use the funds of these companies. Autochemistry has its own advantages and disadvantages. The advantages include the speed of the procedure andgentle effect on the engine. The disadvantages of the method are that during these manipulations it will not be possible to remove carbon deposits from the combustion chamber of the valves and the piston surface. In addition, according to many motorists, Gzox can only clean oil scraper piston rings for decoking.

Therefore, this decision is classified as a preventive one. If the motor is very dirty, then these procedures will not help get rid of such a problem as soot.

Removing plaque from the combustion chamber and piston

This method relies on the solvent cleaner being poured directly into the combustion chamber. Due to this, loosening of soot occurs. And after the resumption of engine operation, all deposits simply burn out. It should be borne in mind that for this type of decarbonization, more aggressive means will be needed. The most effective of them is the Lavr cleaner or its analogues.

In order to quickly decarbonize without removing the power unit and not spend too much time, you must follow the sequence of work:

  1. Warm up the engine to operating temperature without allowing cooling, and remove the spark plugs.
  2. Set the pistons to the middle position by lifting the car with a jack (for rear-wheel drive cars, you need to lift the wheel at the rear, and with front-wheel drive, in front).
  3. Shift into fourth or fifth gear and spin the engine with the raised wheel.
  4. After that, the location of the pistons is determined with a screwdriver inserted through the spark plug hole into the combustion chamber. After that, you can pour into each cylinder the agent fordecarbonization and leave the car for 30-40 minutes.
  5. After the lapse of time, approach the understood wheel and turn it up or down. This must be done so that the cleaner flows to the rings. Such actions should be performed for at least 5-10 minutes.
  6. Now you should spin the engine with the starter with the candles removed. It will take only 15-20 seconds. During this procedure, the remaining liquids from the cylinders are removed through the spark plug wells.

The last operation must be done, as the accumulated liquid can lead to water hammer if you start the engine with twisted candles. At the end, the candles are twisted into place, and the power plant starts up. You should not worry if the engine does not start immediately, since the oil film is washed off the cylinder walls during such a procedure. Sometimes thick smoke comes out of the exhaust system, which has a pungent odor. In this case, leave the engine to idle for at least 15 minutes.

Removing the piston group

This procedure must be carried out carefully so as not to damage foreign parts. A car owner who wants to do everything at home should take care of a set of tools in advance and prepare a place for disassembly in the garage.

engine disassembly
engine disassembly

Pre-draining oil from the power unit. Then you can remove from the head gasket all the pieces stuck to this part. Care must be taken to ensure that they do not fall into the mounting hole. Then, with a special triangular file, carbon deposits are removed from the upper partcylinder block. If this is not done, then it will not be possible to pull out the piston itself. After the necessary measurements of cylinder wear have been made, the piston group can be removed. If you also need to pull out the connecting rods, you will have to remove the engine pan.

Methods of external piston cleaning

Removed parts are ready for further action. Now you can not only inspect them from all sides, but also clean the pistons from carbon deposits with disassembly by any of the known methods. Folk auto repairers who repair cars at home offer alternative methods instead of traditional means.

According to them, cleaning products are the most effective:

  • ovens from fat;
  • salon;
  • carburetor.

They even suggest using the well-known Coca-cola, claiming that it copes well with even the strongest soot. However, despite the fact that the drink is famous for its cleansing properties, the effect is minimal.

Coca Cola
Coca Cola

Therefore, experienced experts do not advise experimenting with food. The pharmacy drug Dimexide proved to be good for decoking the rings, but it should be used as a last resort when the main sludge is removed.

Carburetor Cleaner

If the contamination is not too global, then this product will help remove carbon particles from the piston surface. This procedure will be successful provided that cleaning is carried out in advance by other methods,otherwise, nothing will work - persistent pollution will have to be removed again in more aggressive ways.

Oven cleaner

This household chemicals are also designed to combat pollution, however, of a different kind. This piston cleaner is designed to remove grease from ovens, pans, barbecues. According to the reviews of many drivers, the gel is very effective in combating piston deposits. Queen Cleaner gel from Amway performed especially well.

Amway Queen Cleaner
Amway Queen Cleaner

The tool must be used with care, because it acts aggressively on any aluminum surface. Therefore, it is necessary to apply the composition only on the surface of the soot. It is enough to wait 15-25 minutes, and then rinse with a damp cloth. Most of the dark coating will disappear.

Interior Cleaner

The most effective way to perform such a procedure as cleaning a piston from carbon deposits is considered to be a universal concentrate designed for washing heavily soiled car interior surfaces. Of the products offered on the market, the Italian product Atas Vinet is the most effective. For the procedure, it is necessary to dilute it in a ratio of 1/10 with water. However, even this decarbonizing fluid can hardly cope with hard deposits. After it, a special tool is used to finally remove small residues of soot. They are "Dimexide". For decoking rings, this drug is used quite often. However, even more often this solution is used for medical purposes.


Experts recommend that you learn in advance how to clean the piston from carbon deposits, and perform these actions as a preventive measure, without waiting for an engine breakdown.