In this article, we will discuss how to setup the 3C Intelligent Engine Cleaner, including scanning the vehicle, understanding the codes, how to connect to the vehicle, some common Do’s and Don’ts, and the step-by-step guide to the engine cleaning process.
The vehicle we will be using is a BMW N55
Scan the Vehicle
First, connect a scan tool to the vehicle and note DTCs. On this vehicle, the DTC is saying that we have a catalyst with a catalyst efficiency issue.
Next, review PIDs. We want to find the PID for catalyst temperature, for bank one and if applicable, bank two. We will monitor these values later, during the engine cleaning process.
Connect 3C To Vehicle
Locate suitable injection point
You must find a centrally located, common vacuum port that’s behind the throttle blade, preferably the purge or the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV). With a point that’s centrally located, the chemical will be able to be distributed to all cylinders equally. Otherwise, all the chemical will only be distributed into one or two cylinders, causing motor and / or catalytic converter damage.
Always look for a very centralized location such as a purge or a PCV. If this location does not exist on the vehicle that you’re going to work on, the vehicle is not a good candidate for the 3C machine.
On this BMW N55, we will be working right behind the throttle housing.
Remove the straddle housing and purge valve. Attach the ATS brand hose, and temporarily reassemble throttle housing and boot.
Use only ATS supplied hoses. These hoses are made of a special material that won’t allow the chemical to stick to it, so it will blow through freely. Additionally, the inside diameter is very small, keeping the velocity of the chemical in air at a very high-moving rate. So once it comes into the system, it will be carried and it will remain as an aerosol. Off-brand hoses will not properly aerosolize or distribute the chemicals and could cause damage to the engine.
Chemicals properly aerosolized with ATS hose and injector
Chemicals dripping out in liquid form from off-brand hoses
The hose will be accessible (as shown below). Attach the nozzle of the 3C injector to the hose.
Attach the accelerometer clamp directly to the vehicle’s engine (left image below). The acceleromter detects vibrations in the engine. These vibrations are used by the 3C machine to determine if the engine is running or not, as the engine needs to be running during the cleaning process.
Next, connect the battery. Connect the positive lead to the positive post on the battery, and connect the ground assembly to a good ground on the vehicle. This will now allow current flow for the 3C system to operate (right image below).
Clamp with accelerometer
Connecting battery leads
(BMW Specific) Disconnect Valvetronic
This BMW N55, incorporates a variable (intake) valve lift system called Valvetronic. An electric DC motor drives a mechanical eccentric shaft to control intake valve lift. Valvetronic allows for a precise control of valve lift and reduces throttle suction loss. Essentially the engine speed can be controlled by intake valve opening in conjunction with throttle body opening. So this creates a small amount of vacuum in the intake manifold (ported vacuum). We don’t want low vacuum during cleaning.
So on this system, we’re going to disconnect the electrical connector at the Valvetronic motor. Once this is disconnected, what’s going to happen is the Valvetronic eccentric shaft will be defaulted. A spring will move it to where the valve opening is a full half an inch, and now the computer will default by using the throttle plate. That will create vacuum in the intake system, so we now have vacuum to suck the chemical end with. On all of the BMW and MINI products that use Valvetronic, this will have to be done to have vacuum in the intake manifold (system) in order to clean the vehicle.
Your 3C is now fully connected to the vehicle.
Start and Run the 3C
Approximate cleaning times by cylinder count are as follows:
Eight-cylinder engine – 10 minutes
Six-cylinder engine – 12 minutes
Four-cylinder engine – 14 minutes.
Take the red emergency stop switch and rotate it clockwise to unlock the machine. Next, select the number of engine cylinders your target vehicle has.
Next, press the button labeled Arm / Disarm. This arms the machine, meaning we are ready to start the process.
The final step is to start the vehicle’s engine.
Emergency stop switch
Arm / Disarm button
Start Vehicle Engine
The 3C will not run without the vehicle’s engine being ON. Trying to start the machine without a running engine will result in 3 consecutive beeps, which indicates that there is no running sensor.
Once the engine is ON, the Start Clean light will begin to blink.
Press Start Clean
After pressing Start Clean, the process will start in 10 seconds, allowing you time to enter the vehicle and raise the throttle. Continuously rev the engine between 2500 and 3500, with a target of about 3000. Every 30 seconds, the machine will beep rapidly. When you hear this, let your foot off the throttle and give a couple of throttle increases (not wide open throttle), and then continue holding at 3000.
Start Clean button
Holding engine RPM around 3000
During this process, you need to monitor the catalytic temperatures. Ideal catalytic temperatures remain under 1400°F to 1450°F degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature begins to climb, lowering the RPM to around 2,800, can sometimes reduce these temperatures.
If the catalytic temperature starts to reach 1450°F to 1500°F degrees, turn OFF the engine and restart it. When the engine is turned OFF, the 3C will see this, and it will automatically pause the process. Hold engine at around 2000 RPM. Once the temperature has reached about 1250°F degrees, restart the 3C system by pressing Arm / Disarm, followed by Start Clean and continue to clean.
Catalytic temperature should remain under 1450°F during cleaning process
If the engine starts to limit your throttle opening where you can’t rev the car and you start to lose throttle control, turn the engine OFF quickly with your foot on the brake, and restart machine by pressing Arm / Disarm, followed by Start Clean, and restart the cleaning process . You will now have throttle control back.
Complete the Process
After completion, the 3C intelligent induction cleaner will emit an audible, solid alarm beep, signaling the end of the cleaning process.
When you hear this alarm, you may exit the vehicle and stop the machine by pressing the emergency stop switch. Turn OFF the vehicle’s engine, remove apparatus from engine, and reassemble.
Drive the Car
Finish the process by clearing the fault codes, and driving the car.
Drive the car in a location where it’s safe to go to a wide open throttle position. We are only in first gear, so we’re not getting a top speed. Slowly roll into the throttle, and if there’s no audible ignition, go wide open and let some air flow, and that’s clearing all the chemical out. If you start to hear light pre-ignition during the wide open throttle, back out right away. Now, slowly roll back into the throttle, and if you hear any audible pre-ignition, back out and go ahead and apply it again. We want to do this very slow roll in until we clear any chemical puddling from the induction system.
The different engines will all have different tendencies. Some will have more puddling than others, but most engines will take between one and three accelerations to totally clear any chemical out of the intake manifold. Once the chemical is cleared out of the intake manifold, this vehicle will be ready to return to your customer. It will have better throttle response, better power, and better fuel economy.