How to Clean an Intake Valve

  • 0.5-1
  • Beginner
  • 10-15
What You'll Need
High Grade Fuel
Fuel Intake Valve Cleaner
What You'll Need
High Grade Fuel
Fuel Intake Valve Cleaner

Cleaning an intake valve is a slightly more complicated process than it may sound, but if you are reasonably familiar with the inner workings of your car, you can still save a bit of cash by doing it yourself rather than taking the vehicle to a mechanic. If the car is having problems starting, especially when the weather is cold, or it is just running badly in general, it is most likely that the intake valves need to be cleaned before resuming use. Since fuel hits the heated intake valves, deposits will eventually form on the inside or at the back of the intake valves. This needs to be cleaned out periodically, or your car will become unreliable and consume more fuel, resulting in a worse gas mileage.

Step 1 – Use a Higher Grade Fuel

Using a higher grade fuel with the addition of appropriate cleaning additives will provide the car with more control over the deposits. This will help to prevent the build-up that necessitates cleaning the intake valve often. It will still need cleaning, but much less frequently. There are different grades available, and many of the available brands offer three or more different grades of fuel. Be sure to thoroughly read the packaging before purchase to determine whether the product you buy is most suitable for the job.

Step 2 – Use a Fuel Additive

If you are using a lower grade gasoline, you can also use a fuel cleaner additive, which you can find at any auto store. Using an appropriate fuel additive provides a complete cleaning system for the intake valves.

Step 3 - Use a Fuel System Cleaner

Every 6,000 miles, you should also apply a full bottle of the fuel system cleaner into the gas tank. Again, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. The detergent chemicals in these products are designed to rapidly dissolve the deposits that build up on the intake valves.

Step 4 – How to Apply the Additive

The fuel intake valve cleaner should be used roughly every 3,000 miles and applied before you put more gas in the tank. Pour this into the gas tank as instructed to by the packaging. These additives contain powerful detergents which will help clean your car’s intake valves with minimal hassle. The additives available typically treat as much as twenty gallons of gasoline, though some products may vary. Be sure to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and specifications before purchase.

Step 5 – Take Your Car to an Auto Maintenance Shop

If you are still having trouble with the intake valves, you may want to consider taking the car to a mechanic. Many auto maintenance providers provide a service in which they will clean the intake valves for you at a moderate price.