Taking Your Car To Redline Can Remove Harmful Carbon Deposits

Does the Italian tune-up actually work? It depends.

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If you've never heard the phrase "Italian tune up" before, basically, it means driving your car hard and bringing it to redline with the goal of flushing out any deposits or gunk. Depending on what you believe, it works... or it doesn't. Jason Fenske of is here to settle the debate once and for all.

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Fenske looked at a handful of studies done by the Society of Automotive Engineers researching whether it's possible an engine can rid itself of carbon deposits through hard driving. He discovers that yes, it is possible an engine can create enough heat to break apart the deposits—but that's not the whole story. One of the studies he looked at discovered that running a direct-injection turbocharged engine at high loads may actually increase the chance of carbon deposits forming. Whether an engine can rid itself of those deposits depends on if it can get hot enough to do so—and that varies from engine to engine.

Fenske adds that bringing your car to redline just once every time you drive it probably isn't enough to cause any significant carbon breakdown—you'd need a constant increase in temps to have any real effect.

You can watch Fenske's entire video below explaining the process and the studies he referenced, and decide for yourself.

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