Oceanside Auto Repair

Intake Valve Carbon Cleaning | Walnut Shell Blasting


Intake valve carbon cleaning is a suggested service for cars with direct injection. This would include all turbo charged and diesel cars. When we perform this service, we use materials that are safe and leave everything spotless.


Put simply, they open and close, while your engine is running, to help regulate the correct amount of air/fuel that travels through the system. Over time, engines with direct injection leave carbon buildup in your intake valves. This carbon buildup turns into a black sludgy substance, which sticks to your intake valves and intake ports. Unfortunately, this introduces corrosion into many places, one of which is your intake valves.

However, de-carboning your intake valve clears out these passageways, thereby allowing more air to flow through. This service can be an excellent way to regain some of your car’s lost performance. Additionally, you should see improved gas mileage. We have had customers leave our shop and say that their car immediately felt more responsive afterwards. The most common method for de-carboning your intake valves is Walnut Shell Blasting.


Why use walnut shells? On the one hand, they are hard enough to remove all the old carbon buildup. On the other, they are soft enough not to damage any of the metal on the intake valves or ports themselves. This method blasts little shells of walnuts at a high rate of speed into the intake ports and valves, while simultaneously using a vacuum to suck out the walnut shells and corrosion that breaks loose.


Our intake valve de-carboning method is the best. We take care and time to do the procedure correctly so we don’t miss any carbon buildup. The procedure is completed only when every intake valve and intake port are spotless. It is also important to note that we rotate the engine as we move from one intake valve to the next. This ensures we close and seal each valve prior to de-carbonizing the next valve. This guarantees walnut shells do not enter the car’s combustion chamber.

Pricing for this service varies depending on the vehicle and labor costs. For instance, to clean the intake valves we first need to remove the entire intake manifold, which sits on the top or side of the engine. This can be more time consuming on some cars than others, Also, the number of cylinders that your engine has will reflect the overall price. Just as pricing varies by vehicle, make and model, so do the service intervals.


When we perform this service, our clients receive before and after photos of the intake valves. The difference between the initial carbon buildup and the freshly cleaned intake valves reveals its effectiveness! If you are unsure whether you need an intake valve de-carboning (walnut shell blast), feel free to give us a call today and we would be happy to walk you through our process!

Make an Appointment or call Oceanside Motorsports at (760)721-5500


Auto Repair
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343 Airport Rd. Oceanside, CA 92058 (760) 721-5500