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Old 09-14-2019, 05:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
EcoModding Apprentice
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Louisiana
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Gasoline engines have always had a tendency to "carbon up" when not driven hard. This is a natural result of the engine not getting "hot" enough to "burn off" the fuel deposits left after combustion. Kind of like clogged arteries to us couch potatoes. In my case, I used to notice it more when I drove overpowered V8s that loafed a lot more than the four-cylinders I've been driving in the last couple of decades.

Some folks like to use what is sometimes called the "Italian Tuneup" to mitigate this mechanical artery clogging, which consists simply of accelerating hard and raising the RPMs enough to clear some of the residual carbon from the engine. I "floor" my Mazda3 once in a while when entering a 70 or 75 mph Interstate. I sometimes can see a bit of grey or darker smoke come from the exhaust when I do this, proving that something different is happening.

I can't prove the Italians know what they are doing, but I "think" the technique helps keep the spark plugs and valves a little cleaner than they otherwise would be. The use of good quality gasoline which contain the proper cleaning additives also helps, I "think."

I don't notice any decrease in MPGs when I do this occasionally, and it does assure me that the car will respond appropriately in emergencies when the dozens of little ponies under the hood are called upon to get me out of trouble even if it is at the expense of a few more oats at dinnertime.
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