Carbon Build-Up In Engine Compartment

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by TRPLXL2, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 New Member

    I have a 2001 S-10 with the 4.3 liter V-6 SFI, and it has just over 54,000 miles on it. Last year I had it die on me on the freeway, it was towed to the Chevy dealer and they replaced the Fuel Pump, and I had them also replace the fuel filter and the regulator since they had it tore apart. When they were looking it over they said that the engine had an excessive amount of carbon build-up on the engine, which could cause problems down the road. They wanted $600 to clean the engine compartment, and I turned them down flat thinking that it was just a scam to turn my bill from $1,300 into $2,000! My question is can carbon build-up lead to engine problems, such as the throttle body or other areas causing bad idle or stalling out.

    From day one the truck always idled really low around 450-475 rpm's according to my scanner, I adjusted it up to 750 and it has run fine for the last 7 years. I let the truck run today for 20 minutes to let it get warmed up, when I got in and revved it up to 2,000 rpm's and let off the throttle it stuttered and spat like it wanted to stall but didn't. I waited until it evened out and put it in reverse, as soon as I let off the brake the truck stalled out completely! If anyone's had this problem on anything they have owned (Tahoe, Silverado, Colorado, Cadillac) I would love to hear how you fixed it, and are there any ways that I could clean the throttle body to see if that helps. I have $0 because I have been layed off for the past 4 months, so this has to be a backyard fix for now.

    BTW: there are no check engine lights on, BUT the ABS light is on. That came on after I had the truck towed home, so that is yet another issue that has to be dealt with too! (I ordered an ABS scan tool from Auto X-Ray a few months ago, and I'm still waiting on that.)

    Any cleaners that you guys might have used that would get rid of the carbon please tell me, thanks in advance for your help..............AMY:grrrrrr::grrrrrr:
  2. Dr_Zero

    Dr_Zero New Member


    Good ole Seafoam is great for getting rid of carbon!

    When I got my truck it would ping some going up hill Seafoamed it and wow the difference was night and day.
  3. cascott325

    cascott325 New Member

    havent had the problem, but it sounds like seafoam is in your future. deep creep the intake, half a can in the brake boster line, half a can or a full can in the gas tank
  4. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 New Member

    Okay I did find an older thread about sea foam on this site, and I'll be honest that kind of scares me. I just put a brand new fuel filter and pump on the truck, I have never used any kind of cleaners on it so I just don't want it to immediatley block up the filter and pump. Is it absolutely necessary to put it in the brake system? On the other hand it might get rid of the ABS light (I couldn't be that lucky), well I guess I could try it and see what happens and if it screws up my injectors of fuel stuff I will really have some fun then. I do believe you guys and your opinions matter a lot, so I will check it out and see what happens.
  5. Dr_Zero

    Dr_Zero New Member

    Its not really going into the brake system its going in large vacuum line that leads into the intake and the rest is going in the tank and mixes with the gas and helps to clean out the injectors.
    Do a google search for seafoam and you will see many many people have been using it for years with good luck with many different kinds of vehicles.
  6. bzboardco

    bzboardco New Member

    I was leary of it also (sea foam). I used some in my 02 silverado and it really did make a difference I shortly after that installed new plugs and wires....I still had factory plugs and wires on my truck with 122,000 miles. I can barely tap the gas and spin the tires over. It would do it before but the throttle response now is greatly improved. :great:
  7. yotchie

    yotchie Member

    was the source of the carbon build up discovered?
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2009
  8. GaryL

    GaryL New Member

    When you say carbon build up on the engine, are you talking about the outside of the engine, as in "it's dirty"? If so, take it to the car wash, use the engine degreaser/tire cleaner mode, then rinse it off. Be careful not to spray it in the intake. I wash my engines every few months. It keeps them running cooler (better heat disapaiton when clean) and I also don't get near as dirty if I have to work on them.

    Here's a picture of my Trans Am's engine bay. You won't find any grease/carbon on this thing.:glasses:

    [​IMG]
  9. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 New Member

    Yes the outside of the engine compartment is covered in a black carbon snow, but when I was at the dealership they took off the throttle body and showed me. It did have a coating of carbon inside of it but it didn't seem that bad, so I told them to put it back together. They said that they have a "hot flush" that they run through in a pressurized manner, that will take care of all of the internal carbon buildup. I have had 2 other trucks and a car, and have never seen the motor get like that. I will take a picture of the engine compartment as soon as the weather gets better, it is hailing right now with 40 mph winds!
  10. bzboardco

    bzboardco New Member

    OOPS...You should still sea foam you engine....lol
  11. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Moderator

    Is it actually carbon or could it be dirt and debris atracted to oil residue on the engine and engine bay?

    Some dealerships will spray a petroleum based cleaner/detailer on underhood parts to shine the engine up so she's purty when a prospective buyer wants to look at her.

    As far as carbon build-up in the throttlebody thats normal, I dont think you could find many cars with a few miles that dont have some carbon in the throttle body. A better filter will eliminate some of this but not all.

    For cleaning engine bays I usually use Purple Power, but dilute it with water as this stuff will take off paint if your not careful.
  12. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 New Member

    I change my air filter every summer regardless of mileage, usually ranges between 6,000-7,000 miles. I have been using a K & N filter for the last 3 years instead of the AC Delco one, it is still the stock intake on it. I will look into that Purple Power stuff, because my dad said he has used it before he just forgot about it. Thanks for the tips, and I will post a picture of my messy engine probably tomorrow night.
  13. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Moderator

    Dont get me wrong cause I love K&N filters (got'em in every vehicle I own, which is a long list) but K&N filters (or any filter that uses oil as part of the media) have a habit of making microscopic bits of debris look large, the bits and pieces mix with the oil from the filter and start clumping together and when they hit the throttlebody or carburator they start looking like large pieces of debris. But if they were looked at under a magnifying glass you would see their a lot of smaller particles held together by the oil.
  14. Tunnelmotor99

    Tunnelmotor99 New Member

    I think you will find that spending $130 on a BG (and ONLY BG) Induction service and possibly a top end cleaning service will be well worth the money. I use their products every day and they are the only ones that actually work. Buy a few extra cans of their 44K and put one in every time you fill up. Their stuff is expensive but as I said it is well worth the money.

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