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After Using 'Gunk' Engine cleaner, car runs AWFUL

 
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Old 08-30-2009, 02:57 PM
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After Using 'Gunk' Engine cleaner, car runs AWFUL

OK so here is the background information. Last week my room mate wanted to clean his engine bay up. He bought that 'gunk engine brite' cleaner. He has a '03 Ford Focus. We covered most of the electronics, but forgot to cover the spark plug wires going into the top of the engine. This caused water to get down in the spark plug wells while rinsing.
We vaccumed it out and dried the wells completely before starting the engine. It started just fine, but was running very weak... almost like its running on 2 or 3 cylinders instead of 4.
Just now, we had the engine running and pulled the spark wires one at a time to see figure out if one cylinder was not firing. All four plugs resulted in the same way; engine sounding weaker. I did notice the one that had the most water in it didn't affect the engine AS MUCH... but still did make a difference.

Also another note: He has noticed that his gas mileage is terrible. CEL didnt come on the first couple drives, but did once, while driving up a hill. IM almost positive it was the misfire code.

Is it possible that the cure to this problem is simply new plugs and wires? Will an engine run very weak for just a poor spark?

Thanks for any helpful insight
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Old 08-30-2009, 03:24 PM
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Re: After Using 'Gunk' Engine cleaner, car runs AWFUL

Pull the plugs again and hit the cylinders with some shop air... just dont put yer face over it. Hopefully that will help. The problem with stuff like that is the detergent factor. It's designed to penetrate and thats exactly what it does. Plugs and wires may help as the others most likely have soapy water in/on them. Pull off the distributor to make sure theres no moisture or anything in there as well... I ushually use VERY dilouted simple green to clean the bay... For future reference... When I first got my Lude, the dealership had the engine bay steam cleaned...Took it for test drive... everything was fine....Drove it off the lot and got random misfire codes on all 4 cyls. It took about a week and a half for the light to finally go off and stay off.

Last edited by Ludeact01; 08-30-2009 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 08-30-2009, 10:59 PM
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Re: After Using 'Gunk' Engine cleaner, car runs AWFUL

Ok thanks for the help. Tomorrow we're going to pull the plugs and blow everything out. Will that gunk cleaner really penetrate through the threads of spark plugs?

On the engine, he doesn't have a distributor, but a 'coil pack'. We did take the coil pack off and clean the grounds and also checked for moisture. It seemed pretty dry so I dont think the coil pack is shot. I was reading around on the Focus forums and it seems that they have a common problem of the coil pack getting small cracks and then moisture runining them. We looked it over for cracks, but couldn't find anything.

Also, taking good note of your engine bay cleaning... diluted simple green will certainly be the only thing used from now on.
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Old 09-30-2013, 05:02 PM
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Re: After Using 'Gunk' Engine cleaner, car runs AWFUL

Keep your engine dirty!
Chemical cleaners penetrate too much were they should not, pressurized water enters in bearings and make it rusty inside. Maybe petrol and brush...
I would never buy an used car with a clean engine.
If compressed air don't solve, try a silicon oil spray; It does a good job pulling out water from hideouts - but pay attention to windows and specs, no way is known to clean glass from silicon oil.

good luck

Renzo
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