Walnuts are a snack that many people enjoy. But did you know that they can also be used to clean the intake manifold of a vehicle?
This service, called walnut blasting, is one of the services offered at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire.
It addresses carbon buildup, which is a common problem among BMWs and mini coopers.
We use walnut blasting to help clean the intake, intake valves and cylinder head.
One of our technicians performed it on a mini cooper, which was running rough.
How we perform walnut blasting
During walnut blasting, the intake manifold is removed. Then, we are able to spray directly into the cylinder head and the intake valves.
The shells are ground to a powder and that will help break up the carbon deposits, which is usually unburnt fuel and oil that has leaked out and hardened on the valve surfaces, valve stems and the cylinder head.
It almost acts like a jet of sandpaper that’s knocking the carbon off the valves.
Any remaining walnut shell residue can be broken or burned up by the engine.
Once the carbon deposits are cleared away, drivers may notice an increase in power and, most importantly, the fuel economy. This service will also help the engine breathe better and lower the vehicle’s emissions.
Another benefit of walnut blasting is that it won’t hurt anything, like the pistons or seals. It’s also environmentally safe.
Indicators that you need this service
So, how do you know that carbon is building up in the intake?
Poor fuel economy and running rough are the two of the most common signs.
You might also notice that your vehicle seems sluggish.
For example, drivers who bought their car at 5,000 miles and are now at 60,000 miles may feel that it isn’t running the way it used to. A walnut blasting could help with that.
Preventing and address carbon buildup
Performing regular oil changes, which we recommend every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, can help prevent carbon buildup.
Cleaning may also be a needed maintenance option, depending on the type of vehicle you have.
Part of the problem with the buildup is oil seeping by the valve stems or valve guides. There’s no way to fix it without taking the cylinder head off and taking the valves apart.
Some of these European cars, especially BMWs, tend to burn oil. So, if they’re leaking oil, cleaning the intake will be a common practice. This can be done with walnut blasting or a chemical cleaning, like the BG Fuel Induction Service.
The Fuel Induction Service helps clean out the fuel system. We suggest this service every 30,000 miles, but some manufacturers recommend it more frequently. To learn more about this maintenance option and why you should get it, check out this article we wrote.
Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.