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I've been reading alot of negative things about direct injection. I think this is the first car I've owned with direct. I had a 2014 Volt. Just got a 2016 Saturday. Now I'm paranoid about the deposit build up that will happen on the 2016 engine
 

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I've been reading alot of negative things about direct injection. I think this is the first car I've owned with direct. I had a 2014 Volt. Just got a 2016 Saturday. Now I'm paranoid about the deposit build up that will happen on the 2016 engine
A) Mostly carbon buildup problems seem to be related to VW and Audi direct-injection cars. There are comparatively few reports for Ford EcoBoost and Cadillac DI cars. Which means it varies considerably by implementation, and the Germans got it wrong for some reason. I'm sure they've fixed by now, but the important thing is that the problem is not one that can't be engineered around.

B) Most of the problems seem to be attributed to time at idle and under high-load, low-RPM situations. Those are conditions that literally almost never happen in a Volt. The engine never spins outside of about 1400-2400 RPMs, and never has more than a moderate load on it, only powering a generator when the car is being driven hard, and applying physical power to the gearing system only when loads are moderate and steady.
 

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My only experience with Direct Injection has been the GM 3.6L. I've had one in a Traverse, Enclave, and (2) Acadia's. The Traverse was a first year model, and it had problems with burning oil. They've all seemed to burn oil, but the Traverse was by far the worst (although still "within tolerances"), and could go through a quart every 3,000 miles. The problem was that the initial oil change interval via the oil life monitoring system was 6-7,000 miles, so if you do the math it was easy to be down over 2 quarts by the time you got the oil change light. There was also no low oil light on the car. As a result, many (including mine) experienced premature timing chain stretching, which required the engine to be removed from the car to replace the timing chain. GM's solution was to tighten up the oil life monitor so that is only goes about 4000-4500 miles between oil changes. This seems to continue today, because our 2017 Acadia still won't go much more than about 4500 miles between oil changes. We do a pretty heavy about of city driving and short trips (it mostly hauls the kids to and from school), but we also do vacations, etc.
 

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5.3 l ecotec, 7500+ miles per oil change. GM has DI figured out, I don't worry about it.
 

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...GM's solution was to tighten up the oil life monitor so that is only goes about 4000-4500 miles between oil changes. This seems to continue today, because our 2017 Acadia still won't go much more than about 4500 miles between oil changes...
We had a 2011 Acadia with that engine. We didn't have it long enough to experience any engine problems, but I did notice a fair amount of soot on the exhaust pipe finishers. After one of the oil changes, I sent a sample to Blackstone Labs for analysis. Even though I was using Pennzoil Platinum, Blackstone estimated the oil life at 4000 miles.
 

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I just pulled my manifold on my 2013 Volt to replace the coolant heater, and can confirm it is port injection on Gen 1's.

I used to work on VW's and the TSI 2L turbos were notorious for carbon build-up. We'd upsell a cleaning whenever manifolds got pulled or replaced. They had direct injection, and buildup would almost always happen. How you drove only changed when it would become a problem. I believe it mostly was because of oil getting circulated back in through the crankcase breather.

This is because there's no gasoline to wash the valves off, unlike port injection. No amount of fuel cleaner put into your fuel tank can help either. There are ways to clean them by injecting cleaners into the manifold with the engine running at high idle (results may vary). During the Tax Day floods, we had many waterlogged cars come in. I pulled the manifold on one that had sucked in water, and the valves were clean as a whistle. Engine was saved btw. I do not recommend dumping water into your engine to clean them though.
 

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I just pulled my manifold on my 2013 Volt to replace the coolant heater, and can confirm it is port injection on Gen 1's.

I used to work on VW's and the TSI 2L turbos were notorious for carbon build-up. We'd upsell a cleaning whenever manifolds got pulled or replaced. They had direct injection, and buildup would almost always happen. How you drove only changed when it would become a problem. I believe it mostly was because of oil getting circulated back in through the crankcase breather.

This is because there's no gasoline to wash the valves off, unlike port injection. No amount of fuel cleaner put into your fuel tank can help either. There are ways to clean them by injecting cleaners into the manifold with the engine running at high idle (results may vary). During the Tax Day floods, we had many waterlogged cars come in. I pulled the manifold on one that had sucked in water, and the valves were clean as a whistle. Engine was saved btw. I do not recommend dumping water into your engine to clean them though.
That's an old mechanics trick (water to remove crud ), we would block the radiator until the engine temp was almost boiling then spray a water mist into the intake with the throttle wide open until the engine would almost die and the crap would come out of the exhaust in a big blast. Saved a lot of work of dismantling and scraping carbon.
Might not work to well on the Volt configuration, an engine that runs at a set speed.
 
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