Gasoline direct-injection (GDI) engines have a well-known propensity to form intake valve deposits (IVD), regardless of operator service, engine architecture, or cylinder configuration. Due to the lack of a fuel-washing process that is typical of Port Fuel Injected (PFI) engines, the deposits steadily accumulate over time and can lead to deterioration in combustion, unstable operation, valve-sticking, or engine failure. Vehicles using these engines are often forced to undergo expensive maintenance to mechanically remove the deposits, which eventually re-form. The deposit formation process has not been well-characterized and there is no standardized engine test to study the impact of fuel or lubricant formulation variables. To meet this need, a proprietary vehicle-based GDI-IVD test that is both repeatable and responsive to chemistry has been developed. Using a vehicle equipped with a 2.0L turbo GDI engine, the mechanisms leading to deposit formation have been studied and analyzed, and found to be a combination of engine oil, engine-wear elements, unburned fuel, and exhaust gas contaminants. The rate of accumulation was also found to be affected by engine lubricant formulation variables.