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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N54 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications - 335i > Nut job done! Pictures inside. Gross!



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      06-13-2013, 07:48 PM   #1
carlsontheflyer
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Nut job done! Pictures inside. Gross!

My car is a 2010 e92 335i with only 36,500 miles. I have always used 93 octane fuel only from a top tier fuel distributor. I change oil every 5k miles using only approved BMW synthetic oil.

I wanted to give a little history of my car first because for the last few months my car had been experiencing certain symptoms indicative of intake valve carbon buildup. I've been noticing longer than usual cold starts, occasional rough idle, jerkiness while accelerating, and some loss of power.

So I made an appointment with Harrison Motorsports, a very good independent BMW and Mini shop in Atlanta, for walnut shell blasting service, or as I like to call it, a Nut Job.

Well, if any of you still have doubts about the intake valves getting fouled up with carbon in N54 engines, or you think that your car still has too low miles to worry about it or that your car is magically special, well, a picture is worth 1000 words. And please keep in mind what I said above, my car only has 36,500 miles and believe me, I am OCD when it comes to my car's maintenance.

Without further delay...

Before:








After:

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Last edited by carlsontheflyer; 07-11-2013 at 11:01 AM.
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      06-13-2013, 07:56 PM   #2
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No surprise. Most people who argue that their valves won't get gunked up don't realize that fuel is not hitting the intake valves on this car. The injectors are in the combustion chamber not the intake. So it doesn't matter who's gas you use.... everyone valves will be gunked up by 35K miles, easily.
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      06-13-2013, 09:32 PM   #3
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your pics don't work for me?
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      06-13-2013, 09:34 PM   #4
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Don't see pics either ;(
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      06-13-2013, 09:37 PM   #5
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yep. No pics man.
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      06-13-2013, 09:53 PM   #6
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Sorry about that. Pics should work now.
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      06-13-2013, 10:15 PM   #7
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Looks so nice afterwards. How much was it?
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      06-13-2013, 10:19 PM   #8
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Holy hell...

Would you mind describing your driving habits a bit? Commute length, driving style?

Just curious about about something, not EVEN going to start the "You Should be doing X or Y" BS.
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      06-13-2013, 10:34 PM   #9
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I had carbon buildup after 9,000 miles... Doesn't take long. Did the cleaning when I got the car at 72k and then BMW blasted them at 81k under CPO because they were bad again... It's amazing how small the margin for theses cars to run perfect is.
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      06-13-2013, 10:44 PM   #10
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How much did it run you? Anyone know of a shop in the Cleveland area that will do it? My car has a pretty rough idle and uneven acceleration.
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      06-13-2013, 10:45 PM   #11
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75k and never cleaned them. Car runs great, but I've been spraying a LOT of meth... CWARREN just got a nozzle for blasting so hopefully I'll have it done sometime in the near future once he gets setup. Should be interesting to see how bad they are.
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      06-14-2013, 04:33 AM   #12
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Spoke to a BMW master tech today about this. He said that carbon buildup can start to have an effect on performance as quickly as 10k miles and that by 35k, a valve cleaning would make a noticeable difference for most customers. He also said that some injector failures were due to carbon fouling the injector tip as result of build up on the valves. He recommended I get a walnut blasting even though BMW wouldn't cover it unless the car was throwing codes or having easily noticeable running issues.

Looks like I'll be coughing up for one myself pretty soon.
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      06-14-2013, 05:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluesun
How much did it run you? Anyone know of a shop in the Cleveland area that will do it? My car has a pretty rough idle and uneven acceleration.
Im in ga and would like to know this as well.
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      06-14-2013, 06:27 AM   #14
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Anybody who lives in the Twin cities (MN) and surrounding areas, I know someone that can do this for $350. I just did mine and wow wow! Engine feels like it's brand new.
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      06-14-2013, 07:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharkBait
Spoke to a BMW master tech today about this. He said that carbon buildup can start to have an effect on performance as quickly as 10k miles and that by 35k, a valve cleaning would make a noticeable difference for most customers. He also said that some injector failures were due to carbon fouling the injector tip as result of build up on the valves. He recommended I get a walnut blasting even though BMW wouldn't cover it unless the car was throwing codes or having easily noticeable running issues.

Looks like I'll be coughing up for one myself pretty soon.
It's not a bad DIY. I did the rifle kit and brake kleen method.
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      06-14-2013, 07:38 AM   #16
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I just had my turbos replaced under the extended warranty for the wastegate rattle issue. While it was in I had them do the walnut blasting as was recommended by my SA. I had been having a noticeable hesitation when going to wide open throttle and had been considering having it done anyway so figured I might as well while they were in there for the turbos. I don't know if it was the turbos or the blasting (probably both) but holy hell does it feel better. No more hesitation and it pulls harder, wish I'd have done the blasting a year and a half ago.
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      06-14-2013, 09:07 AM   #17
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Can we ask again for those in Atlanta. How much was the service? Or post you do not want to say. Also, if one can determine they need cleaning and the car is still under warranty is that procedure covered?
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      06-14-2013, 10:02 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielg69 View Post
Looks so nice afterwards. How much was it?
6 hours of labor + a new gasket = $584

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revlis View Post
Holy hell...

Would you mind describing your driving habits a bit? Commute length, driving style?

Just curious about about something, not EVEN going to start the "You Should be doing X or Y" BS.
For the first 24k miles or so I did take mostly very short trips. I lived 2 miles from work and the oil temp gauge wouldn't even break 160 on colder days. And the car did use some oil, although very little, about 1/2 quart every 5k miles. Last September, however, we bought a new house about 16 miles from my work (but a MUCH shorter commute for my wife, so it's a win-win all around). The car now warms up properly, I have a chance to row through gears and give the engine a nice morning workout, and since then I haven't added a drop of oil between 5k mile oil changes. So I am thinking that most of this buildup happened in the first 24k miles.

Most of the time I drive in a spirited, although safe manner, not racing. Shift at around 4k - 4.5k RPM, but only after the oil temp gauge hits 200 degrees. Until the engine is warmed up, I am gentle on the throttle and shift between 2.5k and 3k RPM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluesun View Post
How much did it run you? Anyone know of a shop in the Cleveland area that will do it? My car has a pretty rough idle and uneven acceleration.
6 hours of labor + a new gasket = $584

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wedge1967 View Post
75k and never cleaned them. Car runs great, but I've been spraying a LOT of meth... CWARREN just got a nozzle for blasting so hopefully I'll have it done sometime in the near future once he gets setup. Should be interesting to see how bad they are.
The tech did tell me that using meth/water mix injection will slow down the carbon buildup, but will not eliminate it completely. At some point you WILL need to do this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luv135i View Post
Im in ga and would like to know this as well.
Harrison Motorsports in Alpharetta
Phone: 678-879-1200

6 hours of labor + a new gasket = $584

Quote:
Originally Posted by M3coupe View Post
Can we ask again for those in Atlanta. How much was the service? Or post you do not want to say. Also, if one can determine they need cleaning and the car is still under warranty is that procedure covered?
Harrison Motorsports in Alpharetta
Phone: 678-879-1200

6 hours of labor + a new gasket = $584. All dealers qouted $800 for the job. It is not covered by the warranty, unless it triggers the CEL and trouble codes and the service department determines that it is the cause of the malfunction. You will probably run out of the factory warranty before this issue is bad enough to cause codes. You can tell them that you *feel* the symptoms, but unless they can document it, they won't pay for it.
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      06-14-2013, 10:10 AM   #19
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I also want to add that the tech reset the adaptations after this service. He said that the computer adapts to changes in the engine, so as the intake becomes more restricted from the buildup, the computer reduces the amount of fuel it adds to the mixture. By resetting the adaptations, he basically wiped the slate clean, and the computer can adjust to easier breathing and start adding the correct amount of fuel. So proper power will return as the computer learns everything anew.
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      06-14-2013, 11:12 AM   #20
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Anyone know where to get this done in the Phoenix area? Thanks.
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      06-14-2013, 11:28 AM   #21
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^ I did before and after dyno pulls. You will notice gain some power back, especially before 3500 rpm. At 3000 rpm I saw a difference of 40 whp.
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      06-14-2013, 12:11 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wedge1967 View Post
75k and never cleaned them. Car runs great, but I've been spraying a LOT of meth... CWARREN just got a nozzle for blasting so hopefully I'll have it done sometime in the near future once he gets setup. Should be interesting to see how bad they are.
You should look into it. Even with methanol that only eliminates a small fraction. (very small).
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