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 Post subject: Subaru Upper Engine Cleaner SA459 for SJ
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:53 pm 
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I Say: Bright DRLs are like Kath and Kim's "Look at moy......"
Vehicle: MY13 XTP

Posts: 387
Location: OZ
Hi guys, need some help on how to use SA459 in our XTs? Which vacuum line to feed into?

Lately my XT is sort of shaking every now and then at idle (I've been using V Power for the last 2 to 3 tanks), and I suspect the upper engine clean wasn't carry out on the last service, albeit being charged for it. I went back to the service last week and as always they say it's fine, my dyno butt is overly sensitive they can't feel the car "shaking".

Here's my plan. I will do the following two first before getting to upper engine cleaner.
1. MAF and MAP sensor clean with CRC Mass Airflow Sensor Cleaner, or WD40 Specialist Contact Cleaner. Got a bunch of (rubber) O rings from supercheap just in case if I need to replace the O ring at MAP sensor.
2. If (1) doesn't fix it, will buy new air filter ($47 quoted.... :( )
3. If (1) and (2) don't solve it, then I will try SA459.

Appreciate any comments and help. Thanks guys.


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 Post subject: Re: Subaru Upper Engine Cleaner SA459 for SJ
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:38 am 
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Vehicle: My14 XT Black

Posts: 116
Location: Sydney 2000
When was your car last serviced? and have you checked you oil level and condition?

And I do believe this problem was previously brought up in another thread or possibly on subaru.org since I cant find it on here, and I think the verdic was that on a cold start up the engine will actually get a little random wobble

If your getting close to your next service then maybe just wait. I'm a firm believer in if it aint broke dont fix it, I'm in the navy and every time someone disturbs the salt on a ship it makes 10 more problems I gotta fix lol there's planned/corrective maintenance and then there is just going to far sometimes.

Oh and I've never used SA459, I've only ever used the in petrol tank upper head cleaner supplied by Subaru when serviced.


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 Post subject: Re: Subaru Upper Engine Cleaner SA459 for SJ
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:43 am 
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I Say: Bright DRLs are like Kath and Kim's "Look at moy......"
Vehicle: MY13 XTP

Posts: 387
Location: OZ
The car was serviced only about 2 months ago for 12 month service. Oil is golden brown and level is good.

I get that rough idle and wobble during cold start for the first 30 or 40 seconds. The random shaking at idle I referred to is when I stop at traffic light, foot on the brake, just sitting there and waiting. Or when I park the car in garage, shift the gear to N or P and wait for 30 to 60 seconds before I turn off the engine. All of the sudden I get that random vibration during this idle time (tried both S and I mode, same thing. S# mode seems fine though).

Checked clamps are ok, boost is holding up fine 1.0 - 1.1 at WOT.

I also noted down the following idle rpm once engine is warm:
I and S idle rpm is around 550-600
S# is around 750-800

And the needle doesn't fluctuate when I get that random shake.

Maybe I should switch back to 95RON before I do any MAF and MAP cleaning?


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 Post subject: Re: Subaru Upper Engine Cleaner SA459 for SJ
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:01 pm 
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Vehicle: My14 XT Black

Posts: 116
Location: Sydney 2000
That raising of RPM between the different modes happens in my car aswell, plus we might notice these little wobbles more becuase of the CVT, I'm not sure how the cvt is connected to the engine, torque converter like and auto? the power feels to direct to be a torque converter to me though feels more like a mechanical connection... Anyone care to shed some light

I dont have the answer you need but might posibly be the fuel and trying 95 might work, trial and error here I guess, and plus will make for a good write up when you come back with some data. e.g.

1: 98RON without MAF & MAP clean= (outcome)
2: 95RON without MAF & MAP clean= (outcome)
3: 98RON with MAF & MAP clean= (outcome)
4: 95RON with MAF & MAP clean= (outcome)
and so on.


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 Post subject: Re: Subaru Upper Engine Cleaner SA459 for SJ
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:44 am 
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Vehicle: MY13 SJ XT Premium

Posts: 382
Location: NSW Mid Nth Coast
easy_peasy899 wrote:
Hi guys, need some help on how to use SA459 in our XTs? Which vacuum line to feed into?
Lately my XT is sort of shaking every now and then at idle ...

Interesting that you raised that, I’ve been wondering that too. It was easy on the SH XT & earlier Subarus but I couldn’t find a suitable vacuum line on the SJ XT.

Our XT usually accelerates & idles very smoothly after reaching normal temperature (I always use 95 RON), but a few days ago I suspected every now & again it wasn’t idling as smoothly as it usually does so I considered adding a can of upper cylinder cleaner (SA459). However, with our next service being so close I decided to wait & see how it idled after the service.

I took the opportunity during the service to ask which vacuum line should be used for the SA459. The answer; none - on this engine there isn’t a suitable vacuum line. Remove the intercooler & spray ONLY half the contents of the can into the throttle body. Replace the intercooler then run the engine after a few minutes. Using the full can before running the engine may cause a hydraulic lockup - the remaining half can can be used if needed by repeating the above.

Some time ago when I owned an SH XT I was told that removing the intercooler every now & again to spray SA459 into the throttle body was normal to help keep the throttle body clean. Apart from this, the normal procedure was of course to spray the cleaner into the correct vacuum hose.

easy_peasy899 wrote:
Maybe I should switch back to 95RON before I do any MAF and MAP cleaning?

Seeing you recently changed to V Power, that would be my plan of attack to see what happens after a tankfull. If that doesn’t work, I would try the SA459 next.


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 Post subject: Re: Subaru Upper Engine Cleaner SA459 for SJ
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:57 am 
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Vehicle: MY13 SJ XT Premium

Posts: 382
Location: NSW Mid Nth Coast
Bryn88 wrote:
... I'm not sure how the cvt is connected to the engine, torque converter like and auto? the power feels to direct to be a torque converter to me though feels more like a mechanical connection... Anyone care to shed some light

From what I have read, there is a small torque converter. I agree it does seem pretty direct – maybe it locks up very early.


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 Post subject: Re: Subaru Upper Engine Cleaner SA459 for SJ
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:32 pm 
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I Say: Bright DRLs are like Kath and Kim's "Look at moy......"
Vehicle: MY13 XTP

Posts: 387
Location: OZ
subXT wrote:
.... I took the opportunity during the service to ask which vacuum line should be used for the SA459. The answer; none - on this engine there isn’t a suitable vacuum line. Remove the intercooler & spray ONLY half the contents of the can into the throttle body. Replace the intercooler then run the engine after a few minutes. Using the full can before running the engine may cause a hydraulic lockup - the remaining half can can be used if needed by repeating the above. ....


Thanks sub. I did the same, but I was told this is how they do it: Remove the MAP sensor, and spray half the can in there. Location wise, it makes sense to me being very central and will distribute the foam to all upper cylinders equally. However I have some doubts on this because the foam will get to the MAP sensor if MAP sensor is put back on. Unless they have some sort of plug, or it is ok to leave the MAP sensor unplugged while running the engine after letting the foam soak for a few minutes. Secondly, it will not get to the throttle body.

The last thing I was told was they do it after oil change. This one has been bugging me as I understood this should be done before the oil change.

How is your idling now after the service? Are you also using Castrol Edge Prof A3 5W-30 as recommended by Subaru Australia?

I spoke to my good old Hon Da mechanic who called me traitor because I now have Subie :lol: He recommended Liqui-Moly MOS2. He said if I recalled how much smoother my Euro was compared to others that's because he put in this additives for his certain customers.


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 Post subject: Re: Subaru Upper Engine Cleaner SA459 for SJ
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:40 pm 
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Vehicle: MY13 XT

Posts: 396
Location: Sydney
I suspected my dealer hadnt done an upper engine clean. Symptoms were the engine was getting sluggish and had a few flat spots. So went and got a can and sprayed it in through the MAP sensor hole with a dodgy bung I had made with a hole drilled in it big enough for the UEC straw to fit through. Easily removed with a 10mm socket. I was very very happy with the result, a little bit of black smoke from the exhaust and the car pepped up nicely after the clean.

Also, make sure you change the oil after its done. Some of the liquid gunk flows past the rings during the cleaning and ever though its minimal its still abrasive this is confirmed by checking your oil after its done. If there was any colour left in the oil before the clean, it will be gone and the oil will be completely black (full of carbon).


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 Post subject: Re: Subaru Upper Engine Cleaner SA459 for SJ
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:41 pm 
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I Say: Bright DRLs are like Kath and Kim's "Look at moy......"
Vehicle: MY13 XTP

Posts: 387
Location: OZ
Thanks Danoz for confirming UEC use via MAP sensor hole. Does it throw any CEL when the engine is running without MAP sensor connected?

If I can roughly summarize the steps for future reference on our SJs (from various read/discussion in this forum and others - thanks pete_mac for the clear steps on previous Foz):
Just before oil change
1. Warm up the engine to operating temperature (around 80 degree)
2. Turn engine off, and let it cool down for 5-10 minutes (let MAP sensor cool down first, not sure how sensitive it is like MAF sensor? Maybe need to wait longer?)
3. Disconnect battery negative terminal
4. Disconnect MAP sensor cable clip, remove MAP sensor by undoing the 10mm bolt, and keep it at safe place
5. Use a (short) spare vacuum hose and attach it to the straw that comes with the UEC can, then spray half can of UEC through the MAP sensor hole, apply the spray to each line and the centre part of the inlet manifold
6. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes
7. Make up a dodgy bung to block off the MAP sensor hole (but not too small that it may get suck into the manifold) yet has big enough hole on the bung to fit the UEC straw for further spray
8. Reconnect battery negative terminal
9. Start the car (could take a few turns)
10. Once engine is running, spray the rest of the can into the manifold - three or four short spray every few seconds (5 secs?) (may need a helper on the driver seat to rev the engine)
11. Turn engine off after can is empty. Let it sits further 5-10 mins.
12. Disconnect the battery negative terminal again
13. Reconnect MAP sensor
13.1. Check O ring and replace if require - would any Champion brand O ring from supercheap do if it's same size? Can't find the O ring from Subaru Spare Parts
13.2. Torque the 10mm bolt that holds MAP sensor in place to 3.5Nm and reconnect MAP sensor cable clip
14. Reconnect battery negative terminal
15. Go for a drive to purge out the remaining foam.
Then change with fresh oil

I will confirm steps above if I do end up DIY-ing SA459 UEC.

Here's my revised plan from simplest, cheapest, and less risk:
1. Use up all the V Power, and go back to 95RON
2. If still idle rough, add Liqui-Moly MOS2
3. If still idle rough, do a new air filter (or wait 4 months for next service....)
4. If still idle rough, do MAF clean
5. If still idle rough, do MAP clean
6. If still idle rough, do SA459 UEC

Will update in a week or two.

Also keen to hear if anyone think other oil is better than Castrol Edge Prof A3 5W-30 as recommended, of course please without starting a new oil war discussion lol


Thanks again guys.


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 Post subject: Re: Subaru Upper Engine Cleaner SA459 for SJ
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:24 pm 
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Vehicle: MY13 SJ XT Premium

Posts: 382
Location: NSW Mid Nth Coast
easy_peasy899 wrote:
... How is your idling now after the service?
Not only is it idling smoother but it is noticeably more responsive to the throttle & is definitely accelerating quicker – I’m not sure why though. I still haven't put the Subaru fuel injector cleaner in the fuel tank yet - I'm waiting for the next fuel refill.
easy_peasy899 wrote:
Are you also using Castrol Edge Prof A3 5W-30 as recommended by Subaru Australia?
No, I’m currently using Castrol Edge 5W30 A3/B4 full synthetic. When I had the SH XT I ran Valvoline SynPower 5W40 (SM) full synthetic which was a great oil for that engine, so I may change to a Valvoline 5W30 full synthetic after I use up my stock of Castrol Edge. Although, one of the Valvoline Technical Advisors told me that Valvoline SynPower 5W40 (SM) full synthetic is the better Valvoline oil for the SJ XT 2.0DIT engine if I wasn’t worried too much about fuel economy.

Edit added 14-Nov-14: I couldn’t get a definite answer on this, but the Castrol Technical Advisor I spoke to some time ago indicated that the Castrol Edge Professional A3 5W-30 & the Castrol Edge 5W30 A3/B4 were pretty much the same oil. That was my understanding of what he was saying. He said Castrol recommends the Castrol Edge 5W30 A3/B4 for this engine on their retail website & the Castrol Edge Professional A3 5W-30 on their trade website.


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