Reader Question: De-crudding Soobie?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Mark asks: I have a 2016 Subaru Outback 4 cylinder with 80K miles. My deal wants to do a carbon cleaning for $250. Is this necessary? He said if I don’t do it soon, they will have to clean it manually by removing the manifold at a cost of $1,500. Should I spend the $250?

My reply: My Spider Sense is tingling . . . because the 2.5 liter four in the 2016 Outback  is not a direct-injected engine. Therefore, it should not have developed significant carbon buildup to warrant this work. I looked up the recommended service intervals (see here) and found nothing about a carbon cleaning requirement at 80k. Are you experiencing any issues with the car? Has the dealer showed you anything from Subaru that indicates your car needs this procedure as part of routine service?

If not – and the car is running well – I would not pay for this service. And I would be very suspicious of this dealership.

. . .

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  1. Also, $1500 for removing the manifold is a ridiculous price. That almost double what I would expect to pay to get a clutch replaced–which is a lot more hours in labor.

  2. $250 for a carbon cleaning?

    What is that, $20 bottle of fuel injector/intake cleaner and $230 in labor for pouring it into the gas tank?

    Or maybe it’s spraying a $20 can of intake cleaner into the intake, with $230 in labor for that?

    Even if they hook a pressurized can of cleaner to the fuel rail and run the engine off of it, there is no way that should cost $250.


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