Water steam cleaning - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 5 Old 23-06-11 Thread Starter
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Water steam cleaning

Bear with me on this one as it's controversial and if you do this it is totally at your own risk. I've done it before on my previous car a '98 V70 T5. Effectively you use the power of water to clean the internals of your engine as it turns into steam during the combustion process loosening built up carbon on the valves and piston crown. There's a number of ways of doing this and through a mixture of trial and lots of error I use one of two methods now.

The first method as I have a cone filter, whilst the engine is running and up to temperature, I spray the filter with de ionised water for some time until the engine starts to stutter a bit.
DO NOT pour water in copiuos quantities or you will hydrolock the engine and kill it! I then take the car out for a 5 min thrash and see lots of greyish, light colour exhaust coming out. This will be the 'crap' being burnt off and coming out of the engine. I then repeat thsis a couple of times more using about half a litre of water.
The second involves a bit more fiddling and is better in many ways as it doesn't allow water to pass through the AFM. Put a small hole using a phillips screwdriver in the rubber inlet pipe near the inlet manifold or even just before the turbo. USe a small rubber hose, typically vacuum pipe sizes into the hole and the other end pinch or hold closed. Start the car and leave it ticking over and whilst running dip the pipe into the de ionised water. Either hold the pipe over the top of the water and use the vacuum effect of the engine to suck water up from the surface of the water. DO NOT submerse the hose continuously or risk hydrolocking your engine. Alternatively, dip the end of the hose in and out of the water quickly, sucking up small amounts each time. Once again, I use about half a litre of de ionised water in total stopping two or three times and each time tasking the car our for a quick thrash to clear it out.

As I said, this has worked on both petrol turbo and diesel turbo, but I have not tried it on a normally aspirated engine. I am not saying it is for everybody as I like to tinker and try riskier things with my car. It's an '01 2.4 jtd which cost me less than 500 on ebay so I have less to lose than most !
Finally, always remember to seal any holes you have made or your car will run rough and smokey AND I always change the oil within a week of carrying out this procedure as some water will pass by the rings into the oil reducing its capacity to lubricate. I always notice a difference after doing this as on my car it runs considerably smoother with less 'clatter;' than before and pulls better too. It should improve econonmy too, but if you do perform this, be careful as I'll accept no blame if you overdo it and lock the enfgine !
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Interesting but not for me!
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Read the guff on Optimax and Ultra fuels and having stripped two naturally aspirated high mileage engines both run on top grade fuel with frequent oil and filter changes both internally as clean as a whistle on inspection I'd not bother with that idea. :
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I have seen this done on some older Honda, crazy lot of steam and smoke from the exhaust. It seemed quite aggressive method. Maybe OK for old cars.
I would be afraid about lambda sensors and clogging of the cats. And I would definitely be afraid to try it on the latest generation of diesel engines with EGR, cats, particle filters, heat exchanges, exhaust gas coolers, diesel missions Fluid/AdBlue injection.... And don't forget the carbon with steam leaves the engine through the hot part of the turbo, its small particles and steam might get to its shaft axis through the seals, scratch it and it would fail after few tenths thousands miles.
As zulu writes, using a good fuel and changing oil often is a better idea to keep the engine clean.

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(Post Link) post #5 of 5 Old 28-06-11 Thread Starter
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Yep I know. All good and valid points but as I said it isn't for all, I like to tinker AND my jtd cost less than 500 on ebay so less to lose than others.
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