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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > USA - NY / NJ / CT / PA > VAC Walnut Blaster Service | 135i/335i/535i Intake Valve Carbon Cleaning



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      04-14-2012, 10:04 AM   #1
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Post VAC Walnut Blaster Service | 135i/335i/535i Intake Valve Carbon Cleaning

***Due to popular demand, I lowered our price from $599 to $425 for Bimmerpost members***

Walnut Blaster Service for 135i/335i/535i

NEW PRICE: $425 (people say dealers charge $650-$800+)

About VAC: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=593996

About VAC's Walnut Blaster Service:
We use factory BMW tools to perform this job. These tools ensure the job is done right first time and there is no mess. The intake manifold is removed and all ports are cleaned with BMW factory tools and BMW approved walnut shell media. The manifold goes back on and everything is tested/checked.

We chose our technician Frank to perform these jobs - he is a former BMW dealer master technician who had the pleasure of being the go-to guy at his dealership for S62 (E39 M5) carbon cleanup jobs. (google it) He is now the go-to guy for N54 jobs ;-)

Why do you need this service?
See the pics below. All BMWs with direct injection will have this problem. This buildup can cause:
-driveability issues (stumbling, odd throttle response etc)
-loss of power
-inconsistent idle
-emission concerns

FAQ:
1. How do walnut shells fit in my intake port? They don't ;-) We use BMW approved walnut shell blast media which is more like fine powder. This is ideal for cleaning aluminum.

2. Will I start doing 70mph rolling burnouts after the Walnut Blaster service? No. Depending on how bad your buildup is, you may feel an immediate improvement or just a slight improvement. Rest assured that you will save yourself a headache down the road - as severely gunked valves are bad.

3. Can my buddy spray it with CRC and get the same results? No. This buildup is pretty stubborn, so the media blaster+walnut shell is mandatory for a proper job. If BMW specs this service with a media blaster, one can assume this is the best way of doing it. If they could do it quicker, they would - trust me.

4. How long will the service take? Expect to drop off at 9AM and pick up at 5PM. We have a showroom with TV, wifi and race seats if you want to wait





As it arrived:


Ready for work:
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      04-14-2012, 10:32 AM   #2
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wow, this is a fantastic deal, i remember talking to you about this before my dealer did it for me, glad you guys are doing it now. i felt an outstanding difference. fwiw, my dealer charges double that. i almost wish my valves were gunked up LOL.
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      04-14-2012, 10:44 AM   #3
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good deal!! highly recommend these guys..
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      04-14-2012, 11:15 AM   #4
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Review of VAC Walnut Blaster Service

So a couple months back, I started having slightly longer (but noticeable) cranks and my idle seemed to be rougher than it had previously. After seeing some of the threads on the forum about intake valves covered in carbon buildup, I thought I should get my intake valves cleaned... for the sake of good maintenance, if not for the problems I had above.

First, I called BMW Bloomfield (Bloomfield, NJ). The service advisor didn't even know what I was talking about. Then I called Prestige BMW (Ramsey, NJ) who quoted me $750 for the job. I wanted to see what other options were out there, and since VAC had recently done my Quaife LSD, thought I'd give them a call.

Mike@VAC, was extremely helpful, as always, and told me that they had just received the actual tool used by BMW service facilities for their intake valve cleaning! We set up the appointment for last Wednesday.

Mike took a picture of the intake valves for me (before they were cleaned) and wow... the build-up really WAS as bad as the others I've seen on this board... And as you can see in the after pictures, they look brand spanking new after the service!!

First thing I noticed was the idle was much much much smoother. Where as before I would have some occasional fluctuations in the idle, it's smooth and stable now. More importantly, though, the car feels much smoother on acceleration and dare i say more responsive. I'll be the first to tell you about the placebo effect, but I really do feel like the car is more responsive to throttle input now.

In any case, the over-all effect is a healthier engine and as always, VAC did an impeccable job!!

Last edited by skim7x; 04-15-2012 at 12:46 PM.
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      04-14-2012, 11:18 AM   #5
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^+1, i want to show some guys some shots i got from the dealer as well--it was disgusting after only 30k. so worth every penny ( well i didn't but you get the idea) to get them cleaned. idle much smoother, boost builds MUCH quicker and stays solid.overall, night+day. i need to get my ass down to VAC in the next couple of days, keep saying im going too.. post up some before/afters
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      04-14-2012, 03:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by skim7x View Post
Reserved for my review
That ur car Steve?
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      04-14-2012, 03:13 PM   #7
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Maybe add "how long will the service take?" to the FAQs? I'll be in for thus at some point...got 45k mi now.
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      04-14-2012, 03:37 PM   #8
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That ur car Steve?
Yup Updated my post #4
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      04-14-2012, 08:37 PM   #9
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Yup Updated my post #4
Cool, thanks for the review. So will an occ mitigate this issue? (sorry there's probably a hundred threads on this...)
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      04-14-2012, 08:39 PM   #10
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VAC is a great shop. Im interested in getting this service done. Im just not sure If I need t or not? I actually read a thread on this forum where a guy got his intake valves walnut blasted for $400 plus tax at faulkner BMW in lancaster PA. But Id rather pay to get it done by VAC, they are truely professionals with these cars. But how would I know if I need this service done? I have an 07 335i with about 36,800 miles.
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      04-14-2012, 09:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woptang22 View Post
VAC is a great shop. Im interested in getting this service done. Im just not sure If I need t or not? I actually read a thread on this forum where a guy got his intake valves walnut blasted for $400 plus tax at faulkner BMW in lancaster PA. But Id rather pay to get it done by VAC, they are truely professionals with these cars. But how would I know if I need this service done? I have an 07 335i with about 36,800 miles.
Your car might have the same symptoms that mine did... most notably an inconsistent idle. In any case, most people are getting this done around 5 years or 50k miles... keeps the engine healthy. Consider it part of maintenance just as you change your oil every 6 months.
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      04-14-2012, 09:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skim7x View Post
Your car might have the same symptoms that mine did... most notably an inconsistent idle. In any case, most people are getting this done around 5 years or 50k miles... keeps the engine healthy. Consider it part of maintenance just as you change your oil every 6 months.
Well as far as the idle goes, my car seems to idle fine. So I dont think I have that issue. I guess maybe I should just stick to the 50k miles marker and go from there?
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      04-14-2012, 09:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woptang22 View Post
VAC is a great shop. Im interested in getting this service done. Im just not sure If I need t or not? I actually read a thread on this forum where a guy got his intake valves walnut blasted for $400 plus tax at faulkner BMW in lancaster PA. But Id rather pay to get it done by VAC, they are truely professionals with these cars. But how would I know if I need this service done? I have an 07 335i with about 36,800 miles.
My local bmw dealer quoted me cheaper, i was hoping a private shop would be lower than bmw
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      04-14-2012, 09:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
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My local bmw dealer quoted me cheaper, i was hoping a private shop would be lower than bmw
Ya I was hoping the same thing. Cheaper would be nice. Especially when BMW dealers are charging way more labor per hour. But VAC are great professionals. I guess in this case, you get what you pay for. I think Id be more comfortable paying a few hundred more going to VAC knowing it will all be done correctly vs going to whatever dealership. But saving a few hundred would be nice also lol
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      04-14-2012, 10:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
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My local bmw dealer quoted me cheaper, i was hoping a private shop would be lower than bmw
I've heard some BMW dealerships have a cheaper price, but they don't use walnut shell blasting... they use chemicals to clean the valves and tell you that some vehicles may require multiple cycles of this treatment... so you might end up paying more than you expect. I actually called a few different independent shops and none of them were more affordable than VAC Motorsports... so I am a little skeptical if you tell me that your dealership will do the same work for cheaper. I've been wrong before, though

Quote:
Originally Posted by woptang22 View Post
Ya I was hoping the same thing. Cheaper would be nice. Especially when BMW dealers are charging way more labor per hour. But VAC are great professionals. I guess in this case, you get what you pay for. I think Id be more comfortable paying a few hundred more going to VAC knowing it will all be done correctly vs going to whatever dealership. But saving a few hundred would be nice also lol
If you ask me, I've seen BMW do a crummy job and skimp on repairs done on my car. They would do my oil change and not tighten the oil cap so oil splashed everywhere... they try to cut corners wherever they can, they replaced my turbos under warranty and when I got my DP's installed at VAC, they noted that the lines were everywhere and weren't fastened as they should have been... just poor service in general. And just today I had my windshield wipers replaced at the dealership and they put on the WRONG BLADES so the passenger side blade was hitting the car frame... the blade itself extended about 2cm past the A-pillar window border (as in, past the window, OVER the painted portion of the A-pillar)... would you really want a dealership with that kind of shoddy worksmanship opening up your engine and spraying media into your engine? What are the chances that they'll do a crummy job and lead to several return trips to fix what they messed up?

To be clear, I do not have any significant financial interest or other relationship with VAC Motorsports. That being said, IMHO, even if another shop / dealership offers this same service for $400, I'd still go to VAC, and that's my honest opinion based on my own personal experience.
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      04-15-2012, 07:21 AM   #16
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Skim, I was driving next to you on the nj turnpike the other day, saw your VAC sticker, car looked good! I was in my daily driver Ford Fusion so you wouldn't have noticed me...

I plan to get this walnut blasting done soon. I have 51k miles and don't really have any rough idle but sometimes the car stumbles. Can it be completed in one day?
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      04-15-2012, 09:02 AM   #17
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Skim, I was driving next to you on the nj turnpike the other day, saw your VAC sticker, car looked good! I was in my daily driver Ford Fusion so you wouldn't have noticed me...

I plan to get this walnut blasting done soon. I have 51k miles and don't really have any rough idle but sometimes the car stumbles. Can it be completed in one day?
Hey Bob... You know, I think you must have caught me on my way home from VAC... pretty coincidental haha, but that's the last time I was on the turnpike.

Yeah, I'd recommend getting the walnut shell blasting... you saw how bad my valves were at that time and it can only cause problems. I wouldn't say you need it emergently, but when you get a chance, I think it's definitely a good idea. It can absolutely be done in one day... I'd say it took them about 4 hours to do... I just sat in the waiting room where they have cable TV and WiFi and got some work done on my laptop.
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      04-15-2012, 09:49 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skim7x View Post
I've heard some BMW dealerships have a cheaper price, but they don't use walnut shell blasting... they use chemicals to clean the valves and tell you that some vehicles may require multiple cycles of this treatment... so you might end up paying more than you expect. I actually called a few different independent shops and none of them were more affordable than VAC Motorsports... so I am a little skeptical if you tell me that your dealership will do the same work for cheaper. I've been wrong before, though

To be clear, I do not have any significant financial interest or other relationship with VAC Motorsports. That being said, IMHO, even if another shop / dealership offers this same service for $400, I'd still go to VAC, and that's my honest opinion based on my own personal experience.
I agree you get what you pay for.... It was a quote for walnut shell blasting and was for $500. Where vac is i can see dealers charging 600+ for that but in reality your talking 4 hours of labor=????
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      04-15-2012, 11:05 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saxon
Quote:
Originally Posted by skim7x View Post
I've heard some BMW dealerships have a cheaper price, but they don't use walnut shell blasting... they use chemicals to clean the valves and tell you that some vehicles may require multiple cycles of this treatment... so you might end up paying more than you expect. I actually called a few different independent shops and none of them were more affordable than VAC Motorsports... so I am a little skeptical if you tell me that your dealership will do the same work for cheaper. I've been wrong before, though

To be clear, I do not have any significant financial interest or other relationship with VAC Motorsports. That being said, IMHO, even if another shop / dealership offers this same service for $400, I'd still go to VAC, and that's my honest opinion based on my own personal experience.
I agree you get what you pay for.... It was a quote for walnut shell blasting and was for $500. Where vac is i can see dealers charging 600+ for that but in reality your talking 4 hours of labor=????
Yeah, BMW $500 vs VAC $600 I'd go with VAC. You're lucky though, because up here by Manhattan it's $750!!!

I was at VAC at 9am and the job was all buttoned up by 4pm. They took extra time with my car, but obviously did not charge me for 7hrs of labor. They just try to charge the most reasonable, fair price they can for their services. Depending on how bad you're buildup is, it might take as long as mine did, or could be less time if you don't have a much buildup. I suspect every car would be different.
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      04-15-2012, 12:44 PM   #20
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and people say why get an OCC? lmao..VAC- i am thoroughly impressed.
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      04-15-2012, 01:02 PM   #21
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and people say why get an OCC? lmao..VAC- i am thoroughly impressed.
Seriously... I had the RissRacing catch can for a little while, and it caught some oil, not a lot... I removed it because there started being talk of increased PVC presures and I only recently (one month ago) installed the new BMS OCC (Which has already been working great!!). OCC is absolutely necessary for this car, no question, as you alluded to in your post.

And honestly, some people have been saying if it doesn't catch 100% of the oil it's not effective... I don't care if it only collected 50% of the oil, that's still huge. The BMS OCC does a great job and lets MINIMAL if ANY oil through...
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      04-15-2012, 03:04 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Yeah, BMW $500 vs VAC $600 I'd go with VAC. You're lucky though, because up here by Manhattan it's $750!!!

I was at VAC at 9am and the job was all buttoned up by 4pm. They took extra time with my car, but obviously did not charge me for 7hrs of labor. They just try to charge the most reasonable, fair price they can for their services. Depending on how bad you're buildup is, it might take as long as mine did, or could be less time if you don't have a much buildup. I suspect every car would be different.
bmw manhattan wants $750?
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