How To Clean Intake Valve Without Removing It

It’s a fact that deposits form in every fuel system but the amount and how quickly they form depend on the quality of fuel, the oil used, personal driving styles, and engine type.

Some enginesOpens in a new tab.

How To Clean Intake Valve Without Removing It


1. Wear protective glasses and gloves

This is an obvious thing since safety is always number one. In order to safely clean the intake valve without removingOpens in a new tab.

I work around cars a lot and I used to forget to put on my gloves or my glasses. You know, when you work on cars all day and you want to get things done, you forget about your safety. I used to come home with very dirty hands and skin burns on my fingers. My wife didn’t mind the dirty fingers because those fingers put food on the table, but she told me one day that she respected my work but I could be a lot cleaner and without injuries, if I only put on the protective gloves. So, me being a good husband, I did put on the gloves and made it my habit. It’s not bad to listen to the other half from time to time.

2. Get the engine to operating temperature

In order to clean the intake valve without removingOpens in a new tab.

3. Remove the air filter cover

The air filter has a plastic cover that has to be removed in order to get access to the MAF sensor. The air filter cover is located near the engine and has a duct that travels from the front of the car into the engine. To remove the air filterOpens in a new tab.

While you are at it, you can check the condition of the air filter and replace it or clean itOpens in a new tab.

4. Locate the MAF sensor

The MAF sensor is a part of the electronic fuel injector systemOpens in a new tab.

The mass airflow sensor, also known as the MAF sensor is usually located between the airbox and the throttle body. It is important to locate the MAF sensor because you are going to spray the valve intake cleaner past the MAF sensor.

5. Rev the engine to approx. 2,000 RPM

For this step, it’s best if you have someone behind the steering wheelOpens in a new tab.

6. Insert the cleaner straw past the MAF sensor

This is an important step. You should only spray the cleaning product after the MAF sensor. If you spray the cleaning product in front of the MAF sensorOpens in a new tab.

If you have an OBD Scanner (see prices on in a new tab.

7. Spray the intake cleaner

With the engine running at approx. 2,000 RPMs, go ahead and spray the intake cleaner (see the price on in a new tab.

The spray cleaner will be able to remove a lot of the carbon deposits that accumulated on the intake valves. It is important that you pay attention to where you are spraying the intake cleaner. Some vehicles have intake manifolds designed in a way that they will allow the intake cleaner to ”pool” in one place. What could happen next is when you are driving down the road, the intake cleaner could end up past the valves and trigger error codes on your dashboard.

8. Rev the engine up to 3,500 RPMS

When the intake cleanerOpens in a new tab.

9. Re-assemble the air intake system

After you are done with the spraying and revving your engine, it is time to reassemble the air intake cover. While you are at the air intake filter, inspect it and replace it if needed.

Then, turn the engine off and lead the engine head-soak for an hour. This will allow the intake cleaner to really cleanOpens in a new tab.

Igor Iwanowski

I am a certified Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) mechanic since 2018. I specialize in Brake systems, dashboard warning lights, EGRs, general engine problems, EVAP and Emissions issues.

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