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Discussion Starter #1
I've been curious to know what Kia has done to prevent carbon buildup that, in the past, has plagued Direct Injection engines.

So I decided to write to Kia Canada and ask what their plan was to prevent this buildup.

What I received was the most lame answer ever.

Thank you for contacting Kia Canada. We appreciate your interest toward the Kia Soul.

The new 2012 Kia Soul was redesigned and received a new engine. For more technical information, we recommend that you contact a Service Representative at a dealership near you as we do rely on them for technical assistance.

If you have any additional questions or concerns you may wish to contact Kia Canada's Customer Experience Department directly by calling 1-877-542-2886, from Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5:30 pm Eastern Standard Time.

We appreciate the time you took to communicate with us.

Respectfully,

Sandy
Consumer Experience Representative Représentante au service à la clientèle

Kia Canada Inc.
180 Foster Cr., Mississauga, Ont., L5R 4J5
Tel: (877) 542-2886 Fax: (866) 267-7424
Email:contactkia.ca Kia Canada
 

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I've been curious to know what Kia has done to prevent carbon buildup that, in the past, has plagued Direct Injection engines.

So I decided to write to Kia Canada and ask what their plan was to prevent this buildup.

What I received was the most lame answer ever.

Thank you for contacting Kia Canada. We appreciate your interest toward the Kia Soul.

The new 2012 Kia Soul was redesigned and received a new engine. For more technical information, we recommend that you contact a Service Representative at a dealership near you as we do rely on them for technical assistance.

If you have any additional questions or concerns you may wish to contact Kia Canada's Customer Experience Department directly by calling 1-877-542-2886, from Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5:30 pm Eastern Standard Time.

We appreciate the time you took to communicate with us.

Respectfully,

Sandy
Consumer Experience Representative Représentante au service à la clientèle

Kia Canada Inc.
180 Foster Cr., Mississauga, Ont., L5R 4J5
Tel: (877) 542-2886 Fax: (866) 267-7424
Email:contactkia.ca Kia Canada
Why is it a lame answer. They told you what to do! Have you called:confused::confused:
 

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I agree that this is a lame answer. Most of the Dealership service departments are useless for technical information, much less to answer any questions like this. I'll bet that their answer is to sell you a "valve cleaning" service every 40-50K miles. Carbon buildup on GDI engines has been an issue, and some manufacturers are having more problems with it than others are. Currently, I don't know of a definitive answer as to how one could prevent it.
JL
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Why is it a lame answer. They told you what to do! Have you called:confused::confused:
The question is related to the design/engineering of the engine and what they have done to overcome the carbon buildup problem.

Since this is not a question about how to fix something that has already broke, why would I talk to a service rep at the dealership.

No service guy is going to know what the design team did to the engine to overcome buildup. All they will say to me is "Just come in every 20,000km for a valve cleaning". Those guys are trained on how to fix things, not how to design and engineer things.

It's like asking Kia for a price on a new Soul, only to be told to speak to the accounting dept for that information.
 

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The question is related to the design/engineering of the engine and what they have done to overcome the carbon buildup problem.

Since this is not a question about how to fix something that has already broke, why would I talk to a service rep at the dealership.

No service guy is going to know what the design team did to the engine to overcome buildup. All they will say to me is "Just come in every 20,000km for a valve cleaning". Those guys are trained on how to fix things, not how to design and engineer things.

It's like asking Kia for a price on a new Soul, only to be told to speak to the accounting dept for that information.
The tech may know if the EGR valve has been deleted as that's the common way to reduce carbon deposits in a direct injection system.

Not all tech's are wrench turning monkeys. I have no doubt some wouldn't have a clue. I also have no doubt the ones that like their job and keep up with technology trends would be able to logic it out. Ask the tech to look up where the EGR valve is in the service manual if they're part of the group that doesn't have a clue.

I'm not a professional mechanic. I didn't design the engine. Even I can tell you that if the engineers did an EGR delete it was to reduce carbon deposits.
 

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Techron Concentrate will clear any carbon build up. Just add
to a near empty tank and fill with 89 octane (nothing higher).
Take it for a highway spin getting engine up to a good clip. If
done before each oil change or 3,000 miles will keep carbon out
of the engine and keep the injectors clear. No need for cleaning
by mechanic if it's used on schedule. I dump the entire bottle
in when using it.

One major cause for carbon build up is the idling of cold engines
to make your car toasty on cold mornings. DON'T DO IT. Just
wear a good coat and hat. Get in the car, start it up and GO.
That's the best way to warm it up lowering risk of carbon build up.

Next use lower octane gas as it has fewer hydrocarbons in it. IF
travelling longer distances at highway speeds you can use higher
octane in warmer weather. It burns cooler than low octane and will
help control engine temperature in hot weather. Don't use it in cold
weather. To many unburnt hydrocarbons will cause carbon build up.
 

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Techron Concentrate will clear any carbon build up. Just add
to a near empty tank and fill with 89 octane (nothing higher).
Take it for a highway spin getting engine up to a good clip. If
done before each oil change or 3,000 miles will keep carbon out
of the engine and keep the injectors clear. No need for cleaning
by mechanic if it's used on schedule. I dump the entire bottle
in when using it.

One major cause for carbon build up is the idling of cold engines
to make your car toasty on cold mornings. DON'T DO IT. Just
wear a good coat and hat. Get in the car, start it up and GO.
That's the best way to warm it up lowering risk of carbon build up.

Next use lower octane gas as it has fewer hydrocarbons in it. IF
travelling longer distances at highway speeds you can use higher
octane in warmer weather. It burns cooler than low octane and will
help control engine temperature in hot weather. Don't use it in cold
weather. To many unburnt hydrocarbons will cause carbon build up.
You need to familiarize yourself with how a DI engine works. There's 0 nada absolutely no fuel in the intake tract. There's no EGR on most CVVTs. Fuel system cleaners will never reach the back of the valves or valve seats because of this.

Using correct octane, making sure you're at operating temp and doing WOT runs once in a while helps resist and undo some build up but it still builds up faster than old MPFi systems.
 

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The tech may know if the EGR valve has been deleted as that's the common way to reduce carbon deposits in a direct injection system.
Sadly, the decision to remove EGR isn't up to the manufacturer. If the emissions output is too high without EGR, then the government isn't going to let Kia sell the car without it.

Even I can tell you that if the engineers did an EGR delete it was to reduce carbon deposits.
I will postulate that, as a rule of thumb, every engineer would be happy to design every engine without EGR since it is essentially an emissions-controlling add-on and little more. But if other methods don't bring the engine's output to within federal specifications, then you have to make external changes. Why would anyone add a needlessly complicated external system to an engine if there were an easier, simpler way to achieve the same result?

That's how I see it, anyway, though I am not an engineer--I'm just an auto enthusiast who enjoys spinning wrenches on his own cars for fun.
 

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You need to familiarize yourself with how a DI engine works. There's 0 nada absolutely no fuel in the intake tract. There's no EGR on most CVVTs. Fuel system cleaners will never reach the back of the valves or valve seats because of this.

Using correct octane, making sure you're at operating temp and doing WOT runs once in a while helps resist and undo some build up but it still builds up faster than old MPFi systems.
Agree. He also mistakenly thinks there are less hydrocarbons in lower octanes. The fuel is identical. Octane levels are additives that allow the fuel to reach higher compression without spontaneously detonating (causing knock) and have nothing to do with hydrocarbons.
 

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This thread is more than 8 years old, last post was Sept. 2011.

Pat.
 

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Techron Concentrate will clear any carbon build up. Just add
to a near empty tank and fill with 89 octane (nothing higher).
Take it for a highway spin getting engine up to a good clip. If
done before each oil change or 3,000 miles will keep carbon out
of the engine and keep the injectors clear. No need for cleaning
by mechanic if it's used on schedule. I dump the entire bottle
in when using it.

One major cause for carbon build up is the idling of cold engines
to make your car toasty on cold mornings. DON'T DO IT. Just
wear a good coat and hat. Get in the car, start it up and GO.
That's the best way to warm it up lowering risk of carbon build up.

Next use lower octane gas as it has fewer hydrocarbons in it. IF
travelling longer distances at highway speeds you can use higher
octane in warmer weather. It burns cooler than low octane and will
help control engine temperature in hot weather. Don't use it in cold
weather. To many unburnt hydrocarbons will cause carbon build up.
The Techron will not work on GDI motors as the fuel does not spray on the back side of the intake valves to wash the carbon away as it does on a MPI motors. Higher grade octane will not help the carbon build up on the intake valves for the same reason. They will help to keep the carbon reduced in the cylinder and in the fuel injectors tho.
 

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Kia Soul 2015 2.0 litre EX GDI Alien Green II Pearl ~56K km (35K miles) Michelin CrossClimate tires
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This thread is more than 8 years old, last post was Sept. 2011.

Pat.
Yes, but it has valuable content. In particular Katmandoitall's post where he suggests using Chevron Tacron and advises against cold idling. Though he is wrong about lower carbon content.

It also provides historical context and perspective. Here we are in 2020 and all kinds of Kia Soul GDI engines are having problems. This thread started in 2011.
 

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Yes, but it has valuable content. In particular Katmandoitall's post where he suggests using Chevron Tacron and advises against cold idling. Though he is wrong about lower carbon content.

It also provides historical context and perspective. Here we are in 2020 and all kinds of Kia Soul GDI engines are having problems. This thread started in 2011.
Can you point to where modern Kia Soul GDI engines are having problems? The early (mostly German) GDI engines had terrible buildup. With VVT & software upgrades, the "tsunami" of coked up Kia Soul GDI engines has not materialized (to the dismay of the industry of spray products that sprung up).

This has been talked to death on this forum & very few real examples have popped up here. And trust me, we would be hollering about it. We're not a shy bunch.
 

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Can you point to where modern Kia Soul GDI engines are having problems? The early (mostly German) GDI engines had terrible buildup. With VVT & software upgrades, the "tsunami" of coked up Kia Soul GDI engines has not materialized (to the dismay of the industry of spray products that sprung up).

This has been talked to death on this forum & very few real examples have popped up here. And trust me, we would be hollering about it. We're not a shy bunch.

Is that a rhetorical question? Anecdotally, there seems to be lots of cases. Somebody new reports 'problems' relating to oil loss every week or so. Or so it seems.

You could be right GeoSoul. A robust data set is clearly missing.

Perhaps this time, where there is smoke, there is no fire. GDI engine problems do not appear to be showing up in the Consumer Reports owner feedback though from personal experience, I would hesitate to rely too strongly on CR frequency of repair data.

Which begs two questions:

1. Why have GDI/oil issues been "talked to death on this forum"? Hyper-vigilance? Or are engine outcomes essentially maintenance determined? In other words, outcomes are determined by owner actions.

2. Why did Kia go to a multi-port injection (MPI) engine for the 2020 Soul model? Was not the purpose/promise/hope of a GDI engine to deliver better fuel efficiency?
 

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Is that a rhetorical question? Anecdotally, there seems to be lots of cases. Somebody new reports 'problems' relating to oil loss every week or so. Or so it seems.

You could be right GeoSoul. A robust data set is clearly missing.

Perhaps this time, where there is smoke, there is no fire. GDI engine problems do not appear to be showing up in the Consumer Reports owner feedback though from personal experience, I would hesitate to rely too strongly on CR frequency of repair data.

Which begs two questions:

1. Why have GDI/oil issues been "talked to death on this forum"? Hyper-vigilance? Or are engine outcomes essentially maintenance determined? In other words, outcomes are determined by owner actions.

2. Why did Kia go to a multi-port injection (MPI) engine for the 2020 Soul model? Was not the purpose/promise/hope of a GDI engine to deliver better fuel efficiency?
Good points westslope.

I think the "horrendous" carbon building issue is to some extent "yesterdays news." It's a tricky issue and gets confounded because yes, there is some carbon buildup, but in ALL engines as well. It was more talked to death early on, but by the time the Soul went to GDI, the technology seems to have become more advanced with VVT & exact injector control through better software.

I guess my answer to question 2 would be a question: why does KIA continue to put GDI engines in the Telluride, Sorento, Optima, Sedona, Sportage, Stinger and K900. These are their flagship vehicles and would they put these terrible GDI engines in them? Even Genesis uses GDI in the G70, 80 and 90 series.

It appears to me the smaller vehicles, Forte, Rio and Soul get MPI now. I've never read anything about doing this because of carbon buildup (which by the way, MPI will have some carbon buildup too). It may be it's more conducive to IVT transmissions? Better gas mileage to reach CAFE standards?

We all get the concept "GDI doesn't spray the back of the valves." Bad. I think the industry for the most part seems to have solved this issue. If NOT----can you imaging the blowback KIA is going to get when all those Tellurides get returned? Yikes :)
 

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Good questions GeoSoul. The MPI mileage hit on small sub-compacts and compacts (Soul) might be less than the larger vehicles. In the background CAFE is driving this.

At the suggestion of poster Ron A, I went to the NHTSA web-site and searched on the 2015 Kia Soul. It is rated as highly safe.

Of 264 registered complaints, 144 were engine related. Seems like most of those complaints concern oil loss. Reasonable?

The carcomplaints.com site has 12 complaints regarding engine failure and they all seem related to engine oil.

(Excuse me while I drop down to the garage to re-check the oil level in the Soul.....)
 

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Good questions GeoSoul. The MPI mileage hit on small sub-compacts and compacts (Soul) might be less than the larger vehicles. In the background CAFE is driving this.

At the suggestion of poster Ron A, I went to the NHTSA web-site and searched on the 2015 Kia Soul. It is rated as highly safe.

Of 264 registered complaints, 144 were engine related. Seems like most of those complaints concern oil loss. Reasonable?

The carcomplaints.com site has 12 complaints regarding engine failure and they all seem related to engine oil.

(Excuse me while I drop down to the garage to re-check the oil level in the Soul.....)
I agree oil consumption is definitely an issue with some modern engines. Honda, Subaru, Toyota and Ford, among others, experience this as well. It's related more to piston rings, oil weight & the high pressure GDI fuel pumps. Also the type & how long car trips are.

It's not related to carbon buildup on the back of intake valves.

Keeping the combustion chamber environment clean is probably a benefit of using Techron.
 

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I’m glad I have an MPI now instead of a GDI. 👍🏼
 

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