Better performance doesn’t start on a track, it starts in a test tube. The internal combustion engine is a complex piece of machinery, and the formulas that clean and maintain it need to react in specific ways to keep it performing properly. In short, when better science goes into a product, better performance comes out.

Fuel System

Performance and the Fuel System

Performance depends on every part of your fuel system working together at peak efficiency. Gumout® Professional Fuel System Cleaners clean and condition the entire fuel system to ensure everything from fuel injectors to intake valves to piston heads is operating properly.

Engine Performance

Engine performance can be affected in a number of ways, from rust and corrosion of metal parts to excess friction in the upper cylinder. But one of the most common causes of performance loss is fuel. Even high-quality fuel can leave behind carbon deposits that build up on key engine parts, eating away at performance. And each engine part affects that performance loss in a different way, from reduced horsepower to poor fuel economy.

Fuel Performance

Humidity and condensation can cause water to build up in the fuel system over time. In colder climates, this makes the gasoline in the fuel line more susceptible to freezing. 

In hot, humid climates water can accumulate in gas tanks through condensation. To help reduce emissions, most modern gasoline contains ethanol, a solvent that’s naturally attracted to water. When water enters the fuel system, ethanol absorbs it. Then, once it reaches its saturation point, the ethanol separates from gasoline and settles at the bottom of the gas tank. This is known as ethanol phase separation

From there, ethanol and water begin to attack the metal surfaces of the fuel system. Oxygen dissolved in ethanol weakens the outer layer of metal parts, while water causes them to rust and corrode.

The additives in Gumout Professional Fuel System Cleaners remove water from the fuel system, improving fuel quality and performance.

Fig. 4 – Fuel system

Fuel Injectors & Intake Valves

Fuel Injectors, Intake Valves and Ports

The combustion process starts with fuel injectors, intake valves and ports. They’re the first parts that fuel encounters when it enters the engine. And if they aren’t delivering the proper amounts of fuel and air, engine performance will suffer. This happens due to carbon deposits created during combustion.

Fuel Injectors

Carbon Buildup: Fuel injectors increase fuel efficiency and engine response times by delivering a fine mist of fuel right at the engine’s intake valves. This mist allows fuel to burn more easily, increasing the engine’s response times while reducing the fuel used.

Carbon deposits can clog fuel injectors, disrupting their spray pattern. As a result, less fuel is delivered to the combustion chamber. And the fuel that does enter the chamber burns less efficiently.

Some newer engines have gasoline direct injection also known as GDI; this technology helps reduce emissions and improve fuel economy by placing the injector directly into the combustion chamber. The challenge with this type of injector is that the extreme heat and pressure found inside the combustion chamber makes the deposits on the injector even more difficult to remove. 

Performance Issues: Hard starts, power loss, rough idle, slow acceleration, lower fuel economy, increased emissions. 

Fig. 1 – Clogged injector with poor fuel dispersion

Solution: Gumout Professional Fuel System Cleaners use a variety of detergents, including PEA the most potent cleaning agent available, to remove carbon buildup on port and direct fuel injectors. These detergents bond to carbon particles on injectors and disperse them to restore performance. They also bond to the surface of the nozzle, helping prevent further carbon buildup for up to 3000 miles. 

Fig. 2 – Injector after treatment with Gumout

Intake Valves and Ports

Carbon Buildup: Intake valves regulate the delivery of fuel and air into the combustion chamber. When carbon deposits build up on the base of valves, they act like sponges, soaking up fuel. This means that less fuel than expected enters the combustion chamber, disrupting the fuel/air mix and hurting performance.

In GDI systems, fuel is no longer sprayed onto the valves and deposits form from residual exhaust brought back into the system via EGR/PCV valves. 

Performance Issues: Rough idle, hesitation, surging, increased emissions

Solution: The detergents in Gumout Professional fuel system cleaners bond to carbon deposits on intake valves and ports to disperse them, restoring performance. They also bond to the metal surfaces of the valves and ports to help prevent future carbon buildup.

In GDI systems, these valves are still cleaned but an induction method must be used in order for the cleaning agents to reach the valves. Our 2 and 3 step kits offer this type of cleaning. 

Fig. 3 – Carbon buildup: untreated and treated

Combustion Chamber

Combustion Chamber, Piston Tops and Cylinder Heads

The combustion chamber is the most unforgiving environment in the engine. With temperatures as high as 495º F, it’s extremely difficult to clean, allowing carbon deposits to build up on piston tops and cylinder heads. Performance in the combustion chamber is also affected in two other major ways: friction in the upper cylinder and corrosion from ethanol and water.

Carbon Buildup

Engines generate power by igniting a mixture of fuel and air in the combustion chamber. The fuel and air are heated through compression, then ignited with a spark plug for a controlled explosion.

Carbon deposits on piston tops and cylinder heads trap heat, creating hot spots that can cause fuel to ignite prematurely. These uncontrolled ignitions create higher pressures than normal combustion and can cause knocking, pinging and, in extreme conditions, engine damage.

Parts Affected: Piston tops, cylinder heads, combustion chamber

Performance Issues: Pre-ignition, increased emissions, engine failure

Solution:  Gumout® fuel additives use PEA (polyether-amine) to remove deposits from difficult-to-clean parts like piston tops and cylinder heads.1 While most detergents burn up in the heat of the combustion chamber, PEA remains stable, even at 495º F. It bonds to carbon deposits and removes them from the fuel system, while bonding to metal surfaces to prevent future buildup. PEA performance has been proven using ASTM tests D5598, D5500 and D6201, and is recognized in The World Wide Fuel Charter (September 2013).

Fig. 1 – Combustion chamber

Fig. 2 – PEA (polyether-amine) molecule

1. The Gumout fuel additives that contain PEA are Multi-System Tune-Up, All-In-One® Complete Fuel System Cleaner, Regane® High Mileage Fuel System Cleaner and Regane® Complete Fuel System Cleaner.