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Why does carbon build-up occur in your diesel engine?

There still seems to be a bit of confusion concerning the causes of carbon build-up among automotive engines, but here, we explain the primary causes. As you might know, carbon build-up in any combustion engine is natural. Whether it be a passenger vehicle, diesel or petrol, or commercial transport, carbon deposits will build up on numerous components of the engine. However, you can opt from the best fuel additive, Australia, to fix your issue.

What Is Carbon Build-up?

Carbon is the outcome of the combustion process, which occurs as your engine burns diesel.

Think of your diesel engine as a barbecue pit or fireplace. When you burn wood, the outcome is the soot or carbon that covers the sides. Well, the same is true for diesel engines. Carbon accumulates in the cylinders, intake & exhaust valves.

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Carbon Build-up Symptoms

The build-up of carbon might manifest itself in various ways include:

  • Poor acceleration

  • Loss of power particularly, while driving at high speed

  • Cold stalling

  • Decreased fuel efficiency

  • Engine misfires

  • Engine judder at normal speed

  • Rough running

Why does Carbon Build-up Occurs?

So, before you opt for the best diesel fuel additive, Australia, let’s take a sneak peek at some of the causes of carbon build-up in your diesel engine.

1-Low quality Diesel

When the diesel quality is low partial combustion happens. However, water is produced, but carbon accumulates in the diesel engine, causing vehicle handling issues.

2-Too much start/stop travel

During rush hours, traffic might really build-up, causing a lot of start/stop travelings. However, this means more load on the engine, which leads to extreme carbon build-up. In populated areas, this means the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) might not get an opportunity to regenerate, causing carbon build-ups in that part of your vehicle.

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3-Lack of Maintenance & Servicing

Service plans are implemented for a reason. To ensure that possible issues with your vehicle are specked early enough & also that your vehicle is maintained & kept roadworthy. However, carbon tends to accumulate on diesel engines which don’t frequently under-go service.

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4-Frequent Short Travels

According to a study, one in three individuals uses their car for short travels which might be completed by public transport or on foot. Frequently making short travels might lead to carbon build-ups as more work is being done by your diesel engine than it needed to be.

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5-No Carbon Cleaning Service plan

Diesel vehicle owners might be seen to completely neglect the requirement of carbon cleaning as they don’t entirely understand the advantages it will have on their vehicle. Hence, many people don’t have a routine carbon cleaning service which clearly accelerates the carbon-accumulation issues for the vehicle owner!

Carbon Build-up Types

Over time, carbon deposits will build upon the valves & injectors, causing several problems. Here are some types of carbon build-up you must know of before opting for the best diesel fuel additive, Australia.

  • Intake valves:

With time, carbon can also accumulate on the intake valves, ceasing them from opening & closing appropriately. Moreover, this prevents airflow to the cylinders, decreasing fuel economy & engine power.

Even though intake valve build-ups are a usual by-product of combustion, they might accumulate quicker if the intake valve seals or guides are worn, or in vehicles with uneven valve timing, where the intake valves are open for a long time & are therefore susceptible to more carbon particles.

  • Injectors:

Carbon accumulation on the top of the injector might prevent diesel delivery, causing your diesel engine to run thin, in short, too much air & not enough diesel.

Moreover, this might cause several problems like misfires, bad fuel economy, rough idle, & increased emissions, & a greater risk of preignition & detonation. Generally, these deposits form in the phase immediately after the diesel engine is turned off, meaning that carbon will accumulate faster during lesser, more regular trips.

How to Diagnose Carbon Build-up?

Unluckily, several vehicle owners are not aware of the requirement for regular servicing till it is too late & their check engine light turns up. In this instance, there are a few easy procedures you might perform to diagnose the build-up of carbon:

  • Interpret any fault codes using a diagnosis tool

  • Check your engine blow-by

  • Carry out a vacuum test at idle & at 2000 RPM

  • Check compression

  • Check the intake valve timing

  • Conduct a leak test on the cylinder

If you are looking for the best fuel additive, Australia, opt for Smith Lubricants.


Service your vehicle regularly & ensure that good quality diesel is used. Follow the advice of the manufacturer for intervals & diesel grades/viscosities. Ensure that you fill up with quality diesel that helps control accumulations & build-up. Rev your diesel engine to redline every now & then.

Call to Action:

Are you looking for a fuel additive to add to your vehicle? In that case, Smith Lubricants will be the best option for you. Here you will find the best quality fuel additives that will help your engine provide optimum performance. Call this number 07 4653 1000, to talk to our office.


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