Piston Slap: For a Cleaner EcoBoost, Install a Catch Can?
I’ve had my 2015 Focus ST for 15 months and 14,000 trouble-free miles so far, and I’m really enjoying the car. The car is still 100 percent stock, but I’ll likely contact Torrie for a tune before long.
As much as I like the car, I’m really alarmed to read about the intake valve “gunk” issues with Ecoboost and other direct-injection engines. It seems as if DI engines have a real problem that the manufacturers really aren’t willing to acknowledge or address (if it even can be addressed).
What’s your opinion on oil separators and/or catch cans? Are they a good preventive measure, or should I just resign myself to funding a cleaning via walnut shells or other similar clean-up tactics when gas mileage starts to dip, power drops, or misfires develop?
Some of the more basic oil separators, such as one from Steeda, cost $65-80, while more elaborate catch cans run $200 or more, plus installation. At that higher price, spraying in a can of CRC’s Intake Valve Cleaner now and then and just paying for a cleaning at some point down the road might not be such a bad choice.
What would you say is the most cost-effective choice for someone like me, who plans to keep the car for probably 80,000–100,000 miles, but probably no longer than that?
The ideal fix is a piggyback port fuel injection system. Toyota’s been at it for a while, with no internet chatter about walnut shell blasting. Since that ain’t happening on your motor (it’s going down on the soon-to-be released 4.8-liter V8), and because it’s turbocharged, consider installing a catch can as preventative maintenance.
Of course, that depends on the application. With a stock tune? Probably not. But after adding more-than-stock boost (via tune, bigger turbos, etc), consider it a mandatory upgrade. Catch cans are simple, cheap (but YGWYPF) and easy to remove/sell if returning to stock for resale purposes — which is highly recommended to claw back extra cash you won’t see otherwise!
What say you, Best and Brightest?
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