Our engines DO NOT need catch cans. They are made much better than the German and Japanese DI engines. You are wasting your money if you buy a catch can. Here is an article from Edmund's about DI engines from GM< Ford and Chrysler. It is a great article on this subject. Please read it and see how good GM's engines are compared to Audi's. You won't buy a catch can.
All Engines Not Designed Equally
Many automakers’ gasoline DI engines do not appear to exhibit any carbon build-up issues at all, however. Digging into online threads about Cadillac’s 3.6-liter DI V6 in its popular CTS lineup does reveal some owner concerns about carbon build-up, but it’s difficult to find even a single report that any build-up has actually occurred – a record that is notable considering that Cadillac has sold more than 200,000 CTS models with DI V6s (Audi sold fewer than 2,000 RS 4s in the US during its two-year sales run).
Haider, GM’s V6 assistant chief engineer, explained how GM has designed its DI engines to combat carbon buildup: “We maintain great engine function and performance in our all our DI engines through an optimization strategy with our valve events,” he said. “Our intake-cam timing, injector targeting and timing of the injection events are optimized to avoid direct fuel contact on the intake valves. This strategy keeps smoke and soot formation to an absolute minimum, which in turn prevents excessive deposit formation.”
At the Detroit Auto Show in January, Ford was confident enough about its popular 3.5 liter EcoBoost direct-injection V6 to have technicians tear down an example engine that had accumulated the equivalent of 160,000 miles through an intentionally abusive regimen of log dragging, high-speed towing and desert racing. When they opened it up before a live audience, they found some light carbon deposits on the valves and pistons, but not enough to affect performance. In fact, the engine showed a loss of just one horsepower afterwards – roughly what Boyadjiev’s RS 4 engine lost every 500 miles.
Stephen Russ, technical leader for combustion for Ford’s 2-liter Duratec DI engine, said that similar to GM, engineers have determined the proper injection-timing calibration to help eliminate the carbon deposits. But Russ also said the technology of injection components – particularly the high-pressure solenoid injectors – has quickly matured, meaning excess valve deposits in most DI engines should become a thing of the past as these improved components are incorporated into production.
Tony Chick, principal engineer at European Performance Labs in Stratford, Connecticut, has made a career of repairing and rebuilding high-performance engines from Audi, Porsche AG and BMW, among others and his operation has garnered a reputation among car enthusiasts as a go-to place for cleaning DI engines that have become choked with carbon. Chick thinks the problem for most affected engines can be traced to the breathing system – specifically, the design of its crankcase ventilation and exhaust-gas recirculation components.
All modern gasoline engines return some crankcase and exhaust gases back through the intake manifold in order to help control emissions, but, according to Chick, some exhaust-gas recirculation designs are “dirtier" than others. Some, he said, are less-effective at preventing the passage of tiny bits of oil, carbon and other particulates that eventually get baked onto the intake ports and valves.
Chick reached his conclusion after inspecting dozens of different DI engines at his shop and finding some, like the V8 in Boyadjiev’s Audi RS 4, regularly choked with carbon while others, like the DI version of Porsche’s horizontally opposed 6-cylinder, remained much cleaner.
If he’s right, the rapid adoption of DI has actually illuminated an issue, not caused one. A “dirty” intake or exhaust-recirculation design can easily go undetected in a conventional port-injected engine due to the cleaning effect of gasoline passing over the intake valves. When the same engine designs are adapted to direct-injection fueling, however, that cleaning effect is suddenly lost – and the carbon layers can build.
There is no simple fix for engines that are prone to carbon build-up, Chick says. What’s needed is a complete redesign of the crankcase ventilation and exhaust-gas recirculation systems to prevent particulates from getting through. Fortunately, the manufacturers whose engines are frequently cited in carbon build-up reports – mainly VW, Audi and Lexus – appear to have taken this step with many of their latest models. For instance, Audi’s new 3-liter supercharged V6, used in the S4 and A6 models, has so far been free from carbon-related complaints – a far cry from the 3.2 liter V6, which has numerous threads dedicated to the condition.
If Ford and GM engineers and Chick are correct, the carbon-buildup problem now may be relegated to previous engine designs that were not well-adapted for DI. But that’s probably little consolation to some early adopters like Boyadjiev, who must add regular carbon cleaning services to their cars’ ongoing maintenance requirements – a cost that, for now at least, they are expected to absorb entirely on their own as they grapple with the “dirty” secret of this emerging technology.
Mark Holthoff manages customer support for Edmunds.com.
Matt Landish oversees digital media development and publishing for Edmunds.com.
AutoObserver Staff: Mark Holthoff and Matt Landish
Silver Ice Metallic 2013 Camaro 2LT
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