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How to Clean Engine Valves Without Removing Head

March 18, 2024 | Victor Lukasso

This article will walk you through how you can clean engine valves without removing the head.

Due to combustion, grease and oil deposit are bound to create a build-up on the intake valves, causing an abnormal engine temperature increase.

Even though the rate at which these carbon build-up forms are influenced by the type of oil or fuel used, engine type, and car usage, it’s still inevitable in an automotive.

Also, most people might know how to get rid of it, but it’ll require them to tear down the entire engine to reach the valves before cleaning them up.


In this article, I’ll show you how to Clean Engine valves without removing heads.

How to Clean Engine Valves Without Removing Head

Just as it is done while cleaning the engine bay, I’ll advise you to use a dedicated valve cleaner spray for the valve cleansing.

You’ll also need to get some of the below requirements for a better cleaning procedure.

  • Protective eyeshade
  • Protective gloves
  • Engine Intake Valve Cleaner

Once the above tool is in place, you can follow the below step to continue washing your valves without removing heads.

1. Put on your protective clothing

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The first step in cleaning your valves is to put on your protective shades and gloves to prevent burns or fluids from contacting the eye.

This is necessary because the procedure is carried out while the engine revs and could spin objects in your direction.

2. Put your Engine in its Operating Temperature

Now, turn your engine and allow it to get into operating temperature, usually between 190°F to 230°F, or you can check out for when the temperature gauge stays between cold and hot.

3. Open the Air Filter Casing

Next is to reach out for the air filter cover and open it to grant you access to the MAF sensor. It is mainly held down by a clamp and a few nuts for some vehicles.

4. Locate the Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF sensor)

The MAF sensor is usually located within the throttle body and the airbox; its primary function is to regulate air intake into the system.

Finding it is essential because we will spray the valve cleanser right before it.

5. Rev your engine

You’ll need to rev up your engine to 2,000 RPM to keep it running and speed up combustion.

6. Place the cleaner straw past the MAF sensor

It’s vital to place the valve cleaner straw beyond the MAF sensor to avoid turning the check engine light on due to the massive Airflow.

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Doing the opposite will result in Error code P0113, which can be noticed from the dashboard. You can also click the attached link if you need assistance clearing the Mass Airflow diagnostic trouble.

7. Apply the Engine Valve Cleaner

While the engine is revving at a speed of 2,000 RPM, you can now introduce the intake valve cleaner into the system at 30-second intervals.

Make sure to apply the entire content while checking the engine’s reaction; press the gas pedal to 3,500 RPM if you notice stalling.

Also, spray the valve cleanser universally to avoid accumulating valve cleaners in the manifold.

This process should help remove all the carbon build-ups in the valves without removing the head.

8. Rev the Engine to 3,500 RPM

After introducing the valve cleanser into the system, it’s advised that you rev the engine to 3,500 RPM at least twice and keep the engine on idle for some time before turning it off.

9. Close the Air Filter system

After you’ve successfully removed the carbon deposit in the engine valve, you can now proceed to cover the air filter cover carefully.

It would be best if you did this when the engine is turned off so that you can inspect for any damaged or dirty parts.

10. Test your Engine

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Finally, you can test drive your engine to ensure your intake valves have been cleansed.

Signs of Dirty Valves

Watch out for the below symptoms that notify you that it’s high time you clean your Engine valves.

  1. Excess blue-white smoke from the exhaust
  2. Excess Oil Consumption
  3. Engine Power Loss
  4. Idling Engine
  5. Engine Misfiring

How to Clean Exhaust Valves Without Dismantling Engine

Here’s another tip for those who want to clean their exhaust valves without dismantling the engine.

  1. Firstly, find and remove the spark plugs
  2. Pour Quickleen cleanser into each plug hole
  3. You can now attach the spark plug loosely without the wiring connected and leave it to soak overnight.
  4. Now, tighten the spark plugs and wiring, and then turn on the engine.
  5. Drive the engine around until it becomes hot (it will bring out lots of white smoke)
  6. Remove the Oil Filter and pour the Quickleen Cleanser into it while the engine is revving (it will produce lots of white smoke)
  7. Allow the engine to cool then you can put the oil filter back in place.

That’s it.

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Meet Victor Lukasso, the owner of V. Auto Basics. Through this blog, Victor Provides Insights on the latest tips, maintenance, repair, and techniques in the automotive world.