I have a 2009 MCS with 80k miles. I use Shell V Power premium gas only and have been using Techron in every tank (I know that's overkill, but I've been having symptoms and was hoping to avoid any large mechanic bills)
I've been reading all of the carbon build up threads and how expensive it is to get the carbon cleaned out. There doesn't appear to be any way to avoid the carbon build up with additives or any other way. So with that said, lets assume normal driving conditions (50% city / 50% highway), no crazy high-speed driving just normal jumping into traffic, how often will I need to get the carbon cleaned out? I've read anywhere from $800 to $1,600 for a cleaning (which is absolutely ridiculous for the time and materials involved). How often is everyone getting cleaned, 10k miles, 20k, 30k, 40k ??
Are their independant shops doing cleanings? Is this something I can do on my own? Are their any "gotchas" to look out for, if I do it my self?
Thanks for your thoughts
Problem is whatever cleaning additives you put in the fuel doesnt get on the valves as the fuel is injected into the cylinder and not the port.
I doubt you can give a time/mileage as to when it needs doing as it depends on so many variables.
You can mod the crankcase breather system so its not pumping oil fumes into the ports to stop it to some effect.
It costs a lot because its a head strip so doing it yourself would save money in labour terms, but you might have problems retiming the cams afterwards for which special tools supposed to be used.
Help me to understand the variables that will affect the carbon build up. Which variables have more negative effects? Which ones have less effect?
What if everyone just says what mileage they've needed a walnut blast. There appear to be quite a few folks that have had them. Has anyone had to have more than one walnut blast? If so, what was the interval between blasts?
The youtube clip I've watched, looks like you remove the intake manifold and blast the valves. I'm oversimplifying, but there doesn't look like there is that much to it. Does anyone have more details on what's involved?
For coke problems you should really see a professional, those sort of habbits can be extremely hard to break without expert advice and maybe even rehab. hope all goes well, so far I don't think I have a coke problem but I don't think there is anything you can do to prevent it apart from go for a good spanking regulary.
I've heard people having coking problems on 25k mile cars. Mine's on 40k now and I'm working towards a head strip and thorough clean followed by a pair of oil catch cans.
The walnut blasting method is cheaper, but does come with a risk. If the back of the inlet valves are not completely sealed (by rotating the engine to close the valves, or by carbon debris under the valve seat) from the combustion chamber, you could potentially fill the chamber with walnut shell.
Fuel additives will do absolutely f**k all to remove hardened carbon. One...its a DI engine so the valves are not sprayed with fuel (or cleaned). Two, if you've ever tried to manually remove carbon build up before, you will know how damn hard it is (it's like steel!).
Once you have the engine cleaned, fit a pair of oil catch cans inline of the breather pipes to vastly reduce the build up. Rest assured though, if you plan on keeping the car for any extended length of time, you WILL have to have it decoked with some kind of media blast or head strip.
Go read the net about using pure water to remove carbon.
It essentially involves a water atomiser, approximately 1 litre or water, a friend and a hot engine.
You spray water into the intake after the air filter ( i use the crankcase vent connection near the turbo) & as the water hits the very hot valves it vaporises & helps break of tiny bits of carbon. The friend keeps engine revs about 2000 - 3000 rpm. Apparently carbon can scratch the cylinder walls and other components so its all don at your own risk. Works good for me.
Thanks for the tip Tabintab. I've been looking into the OCC and will probably go this route in the near future. I had planned to keep this car forever, but I'm growing more concerned about the upkeep expense. I would rather put my money toward upgrades, but knowing that there are expensive maintenance costs has me wondering if I need to go another route entirely. It's disappointing that mini knows of this problem and doesn't do a little more to make the maintenance costs affordable.
Has anyone tried the chemical clean? Sounds like its a new process that's not quite as effective, but much less expensive.
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