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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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....
It's not related to carbon buildup on the back of intake valves.
....
How do you know that? Study? Expert opinion?

And if that is the case, is it worthwhile to regularly clean the intake valves as some on this forum do?
 

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2014 Titanium Stick Shift Pacific NW
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How do you know that? Study? Expert opinion?

And if that is the case, is it worthwhile to regularly clean the intake valves as some on this forum do?
In the context of the discussion on excessive oil consumption, I doubt you'll find any (many?) cases where some carbon buildup on the back of intake valves caused sudden & catastrophic oil depletion. Short of the presence of an outright leak (hole, gasket, filter seal, faulty drain plug etc), worn, defective or malfunctioning piston rings are a major culprit. Also for gas mixing with the oil, as experienced by some Honda & Subaru owners.

The problem is exacerbated by the high pressure GDI fuel pumps pressure, testing the piston rings ability to separate the environments.

If you're asking if carbon buildup can contribute to some overall level of oil consumption, yes of course it can. It's part of the overall engine environment and as it ages and gets dirtier over time, pretty much all engines can be expected to consume some oil.

If you're worried about carbon buildup or believe it's affecting your engine, by all means try a cleaning product, if for no other reason than to feel better.

I still believe there has failed to be a tsunami of owners who's Souls have succumbed to the deadly carbon buildup plague. There would be multiple threads on this forum of owners decrying it. I'd be one of the loudest 馃槶
Diagnosing Oil Consumption Issues
 

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In the context of the discussion on excessive oil consumption, I doubt you'll find any (many?) cases where some carbon buildup on the back of intake valves caused sudden & catastrophic oil depletion. Short of the presence of an outright leak (hole, gasket, filter seal, faulty drain plug etc), worn, defective or malfunctioning piston rings are a major culprit. Also for gas mixing with the oil, as experienced by some Honda & Subaru owners.

The problem is exacerbated by the high pressure GDI fuel pumps pressure, testing the piston rings ability to separate the environments.

If you're asking if carbon buildup can contribute to some overall level of oil consumption, yes of course it can. It's part of the overall engine environment and as it ages and gets dirtier over time, pretty much all engines can be expected to consume some oil.

If you're worried about carbon buildup or believe it's affecting your engine, by all means try a cleaning product, if for no other reason than to feel better.

I still believe there has failed to be a tsunami of owners who's Souls have succumbed to the deadly carbon buildup plague. There would be multiple threads on this forum of owners decrying it. I'd be one of the loudest 馃槶
Diagnosing Oil Consumption Issues
To be fair, the biggest lack of hysteria is because most people never own a vehicle from 0-150k+ miles where you'd start to really see these effects. The vehicle has often changed hands 2-3 times or more by the time it gets to 150k. But I think you're right - the worries are real but have been overstated. My Soul is at 150k now, and I definitely notice the oil consumption. It's not to the point of being noticeable out the tailpipe, and the extra cost (about 1-2 quarts maybe between 7.5k oil changes) isn't enough for me to break down the top end and clean the valves - in essence, I don't particularly care. I don't bother with the Techron any more because while I always thought the cleaning claim was dubious to begin with, the fact that there is some oil consumption at 150k shows that it really didn't do anything except waste about 10 bucks every oil change or so. I have kept using synthetic, since it has less byproducts and junk to burn off than conventional and that alone should help with some of the deposits issue, but I just accept the fact that if I keep this vehicle long enough eventually I will have to pull the head and clean the valves.

The other part of this is that we've been conditioned to think that once you put oil in an engine you don't have to worry about it again until you change the oil. This is foolish, since your driving habits and conditions play a big part in your oil condition. If you do long, high-speed interstate drags every day like I do, you are going to burn some oil - period. Partly because you're seeing extended operating temperatures, and thus more opportunity for oil to be vaporized, and partly because any condensation in the oil is going to be vaporized. If you only do 5 minute stop and gos every day to the Quickie Mart, your oil might always look full but that is because some of what you are seeing is water condensation on the dipstick. How much? No way to know for sure, but guarantee that it's there.

My Miata faithfully uses a quart of oil between oil changes when I'm running up and down the interstate going to the office every week. It's done this since it was (almost) new and never changed. The Kia used to use a negligible amount when it was low miles, now it runs 1-2 quarts depending on how full I started off. That works out to about 10 bucks between changes. I can live with it :)
 

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2014 Titanium Stick Shift Pacific NW
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To be fair, the biggest lack of hysteria is because most people never own a vehicle from 0-150k+ miles where you'd start to really see these effects. The vehicle has often changed hands 2-3 times or more by the time it gets to 150k. But I think you're right - the worries are real but have been overstated. My Soul is at 150k now, and I definitely notice the oil consumption. It's not to the point of being noticeable out the tailpipe, and the extra cost (about 1-2 quarts maybe between 7.5k oil changes) isn't enough for me to break down the top end and clean the valves - in essence, I don't particularly care. I don't bother with the Techron any more because while I always thought the cleaning claim was dubious to begin with, the fact that there is some oil consumption at 150k shows that it really didn't do anything except waste about 10 bucks every oil change or so. I have kept using synthetic, since it has less byproducts and junk to burn off than conventional and that alone should help with some of the deposits issue, but I just accept the fact that if I keep this vehicle long enough eventually I will have to pull the head and clean the valves.

The other part of this is that we've been conditioned to think that once you put oil in an engine you don't have to worry about it again until you change the oil. This is foolish, since your driving habits and conditions play a big part in your oil condition. If you do long, high-speed interstate drags every day like I do, you are going to burn some oil - period. Partly because you're seeing extended operating temperatures, and thus more opportunity for oil to be vaporized, and partly because any condensation in the oil is going to be vaporized. If you only do 5 minute stop and gos every day to the Quickie Mart, your oil might always look full but that is because some of what you are seeing is water condensation on the dipstick. How much? No way to know for sure, but guarantee that it's there.

My Miata faithfully uses a quart of oil between oil changes when I'm running up and down the interstate going to the office every week. It's done this since it was (almost) new and never changed. The Kia used to use a negligible amount when it was low miles, now it runs 1-2 quarts depending on how full I started off. That works out to about 10 bucks between changes. I can live with it :)
Double thumbs up JD (y)(y)

Every car in my family that has gotten near or passed the 100,000 mile mark definitely uses "some" amount of oil. Heck, my Acura began using about half a quart per month at 80,000 mi. Modern engines and new synthetic "skinny" oils have manufacturers adding pages to their owners manuals stating that oil consumption is a regular part of operation.

Cars are declining propositions, slowly dying from the day they're "born." Just like the vitamin and snake oil industry, there are alot of products being hocked to owners to extend the engine life. Some good, some not so good.

Great post! Thanks for that.
 

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With fuel injection being so precise now the extra fuel that carbureted engines used to convert to carbon is just not there. Carbs are a compromise between good everyday running and the need for power when desired. To run good at slower speeds a smaller carb size is best but power of course need much bigger. In the olden days taking a car, especially a performance car out and "Blowing out the Carbon" was believed by most of us to be a good thing. Cleaned the plugs off and the tops of the pistons as well. Care had to be taken because sometimes the amount of carbon was so great that engine damage could actually result in not done carefully. Police cars were often so carboned up that they hardly ran. I bought a used ex police 1970 Plymouth Fury with a 383 in it once and when I went to tune it up there were three kinds of plugs in it because the police service personnel only did the easy ones. Ran a lot better after that.. I remember seeing the aftereffects of a small town Dodge that spent most of its life putting around town until the force had to go on the 4 lane to chase a criminal. Engine blew a 1/4 mile down the road, parts and oil smoke everywhere. So I don't worry about carbon on any of my fuel injected cars at all. Never had any oil consumption issues(2001 Astro-195,000 miles) and aforementioned 2010 Soul with 130,000 on the clock. No usage to speak about on either or any other cars built after 1988 or so. And I keep cars for a loong time. Until they rust out or fall apart. Even ones not worth a bleep in my opinion I keep 120,000 +. So drive them and don't worry about it.
 

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

Pat.
While i didn't notice that when i posted, this post is incredibly relevant to me. I just bought a 2012 kia soul and it's the first GDI engine in any vehicle i've ever owned. Our other next-newest is a 2008 Toyota Sienna. The Soul replaced a 2001 Focus that i had to get something repaired on at least once a month. When my front wheel spindle unscrewed, it was time to upgrade.

The comments that have come after yours are very informative and make me feel better about not getting chemical treatments done to it. I have synthetic oil in it and it doesn't burn any oil at all at 94,000 miles.
 

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I was not being a smartass when I pointed out this was an old thread, I just didn't think you would get any traction with replies.

Pat.
 
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