A new product claims to help vehicles meet revised MOT testing standards – Autotechnician puts it to the test…
Flex Fuel-Energy Development (FFED) is looking for independent workshops to work with as part of its UK expansion with the introduction of its HY-Carbon engine cleaning technology.
FFED uses its HY-Carbon solution – a hydrogen decarbonising process – to ‘reduce engine emissions and fuel consumption and increase engine performance’. By injecting hydrogen into the intake manifold, carbon deposits are said to be eliminated from key engine components – the admission valves, the EGR valve, the turbo and the particulate filter. Independent engine tests conducted after using the equipment showed up to 50% less emissions – reporting up to 54% reduction in NoX; with a return of engine power and reduced fuel consumption.
Sebastien Le Polles, CEO of FFED, comments: “The UK Government recently announced strict changes to MOT testing on emissions. It stated that if ‘the exhaust on a vehicle fitted with a diesel particulate filter emits visible smoke of any colour’ the car will fail its MOT test. An engine treated with HY-Carbon eliminates the pollutants responsible for smoke colour altogether. We are providing consumers and service providers a simple, cost-effective solution to not only ensure a vehicle passes the new emissions standard, but that engine performance is regained, and fuel consumption improves.”
“We are very excited by the opening of our UK subsidiary. The UK automotive market represents a big growth opportunity for FFED and we are recruiting rapidly to ensure we can build a comprehensive dealer network for our customers and consumers to offer a non-chemical, safe and cost-effective engine cleaning solution.”
We asked independent workshop Complete Car Maintenance to test it out for us, here’s what owner Stuart White had to say:
“Although the control panel of the Flex Fuel looks a little complicated the machine is very simple in its setup and operation.
“The only consumable the machine needs is distilled water, there is a sight glass on the side to check the level and it is topped up through a filler on top of the machine. There is a hose which runs from the rear of the machine, which connects to a solid plastic pipe – this is inserted into the induction system, ideally just behind the air mass sensor. An adaptor is supplied for use on vehicles with twin inlets. There is then a connection to be made to the EGR, so that the Flex Fuel can control the operation of the EGR valve with varying cycles as it goes through its operation. The Flex Fuel is supplied with several adaptors and a universal connector.
“The Flex Fuel can be set to run for either 30, 60, 90 or 120 minutes. It was advised that is should be run for 60 minutes for a preventative clean and 120 minutes if there was a particular problem. The vehicle must be running throughout the process and the engine started before the treatment is added. The vehicle can be run at idle, although it was advised that the clean was more effective if carried out at 1,500 to 2,000 rpm.
“We carried out a test of the Flex Fuel on a 2007 Ford S-MAX 1.8 Diesel. The vehicle came in with the engine MIL on and was reporting a fault for a sticking turbo actuator. The vehicle was inspected for this fault and it was found that the operation of the VVT mechanism inside the turbo was notchy. We carried out a MOT emissions test on the car to give us a benchmark, the car passed the test with a 1.13 (pass value 1.8). The Flex Fuel cleaning process was then carried out for 120 minutes with the car at 2,000 rpm and the EGR operation connected. Once the clean was finished, the car was disconnected and left overnight.
“The following morning the car was taken on a short road test to get the engine up to temperature and another MOT emissions test carried out, the reading had dropped from 1.13 to 0.39. I was honestly surprised to see such a large reduction in emissions. The customer had agreed that I could take the car home that evening to see if the turbo fault returned, this is a round trip of over 70 miles. The car performed very well, and the fault did not return. I checked the car for codes and none were stored. I asked the customer to report back to me if the fault or light returned, and so far over two weeks have passed without report of a fault.
“I have to say that I was sceptical of the machine’s ability prior to using it but was surprised and impressed by the results on this particular car. We carried out the same procedure on a VW transporter with an EGR flow fault and we’re waiting to hear back from the customer as to its success.
“We also used it on a Land Rover Discovery, with an EGR valve reporting limited movement, although the process did slightly improve the operation of the valves on this vehicle it was not enough to prevent the fault being flagged and so the EGR valves required replacement in this case.”