Intercooler Cleaning


Well-Known Member
Aug 20, 2008
What are people using to spring clean or clean the intercooler these days. I use to use O2 safe carb cleaner, but I can't seem to find it any longer at my local auto parts store. Is there another cleaner that others are using?
I have been going to the local parts store and getting a case of brake cleaner. If I buy a case they typically sell it to me for 50% off the individual can price on the shelf. I use 6-8 cans in my PTE SLIC and put the remaining cans on the shelf.
I guess I never thought about the Brake Cleaner. I will try the Supertech brand from Walmart, the 6 to 8 cans of name brand Brake Cleen or Kleen cost too much per can to buy and use 8 cans.

Thanks for your input.
just pour gas in it let soak swish it around ,dump it on your weeds
wash it out with garden hose , drip drain it out and put it back in

Exactly. Been doing that forever, fill it up and let it sit for a while, empty and repeat if it was really filthy. Then
a good flushing with the garden hose and sit a day or two. But I give it to the neighbor, tell him it's 2 cycle gas for his trimmer.
I put them in an ultrasonic cleaner. Cleans the inside and outside very well.
Many general and automotive machineshops have large ultrasonics. Mine had a 55 gallon tank, i did the final cleanup on blocks, heads, intakes, etc. In it. I charged 20 bucks for intercoolers and did it while the customers waited. It took about 5 to 8 minutes. Let your pages walk thru the yellow fingers. Or Google the framazoid.
Of course the inside, but I honestly didn't know if it mattered if you put it in the inlet or outlet . That's what I meant by which side. Sorry I'm a newbie.
Probably doesn't matter. I poured it into the outlet side & back flushed. Mineral spirits might be an option.
If you aren't going to clean the IC correctly (ultrasonic), keep in mind that you have to purchase the cleaner, that entails $$$ and going somewhere. To clean it correctly will require at least a quart or two of solvent, and you have to buy it.
You should get some sort of rubber or neoprene caps and hose clamps to keep the solvent inside so the cooler can be inverted and agitated in all orientations vigoursly for ten or 15 minutes while partially filled with the cleaning solvent.
Then you have to safely and legally dispose of the now dirty solvent.
And the cooler still won't be as clean inside and out, as it would have been if soniced.
Or you just go to a place with a ultrasonic cleaner, and bring the IC and your TB (remove the TPS and IAC) and get both done much cleaner and easier than with solvent.
Or come up with more elegant solutions to an easy fix.
Of course the inside, but I honestly didn't know if it mattered if you put it in the inlet or outlet . That's what I meant by which side. Sorry I'm a newbie.

I’m sorry Mike. There's usually a lot of sarcasm on here and I was joining in. You’re question makes sense.

As a side note, the ultrasonic also cleans the outer fins that get a lot of road dirt and dead bugs that reduce cooling effectiveness.
Thanks TIMINATOR and everyone else. I will check around at some of the machine shops locally and see who has an ultrasonic cleaner and can facilitate cleaning. Sounds like this could help clean my fins as well, which I have a little black paint residue left from when I was trying to remove the black radiator paint.