If you have a direct injection engine in your car, you’re probably well aware of the benefits of this fuel delivery system. Direct injection allows high-performance vehicles to comply with environmental regulations without sacrificing power. Improved fuel efficiency combined with a powerful performance, plus decreased emissions, drivers get the best of both worlds. Originally found in BMWs, Mitsubishis, Audis, and other imports, now even domestic automakers including Ford and GM are embracing the direct injection engine.

Like every vehicle, to keep your car running optimally, you need to put some maintenance into it, and with direct injection cars, that involves regular carbon blasting. Not sure what carbon blasting is or if your vehicle needs it? Keep reading to learn more about this surprising maintenance procedure.

Why Do Direct Injection Systems Lose Performance?

Raleigh Import Repair and Carbon BlastingThe reason you get an improved performance with less fuel usage lies in how the fuel is delivered to the intake. Direct injection uses a higher air to fuel ratio, a 40:1 ratio, rather than traditional 14.7:1 ratio which means your fuel is used more conservatively. When it is injected, it’s sprayed closer to the spark where the combustion chamber runs at the hottest temperature, burning the fuel more completely.

While the process gives you more bang for your buck, it’s not a flawless method. In port injection vehicles, the injectors spray over the valves as it’s delivered. This continually rinses the intake of carbon that builds up from burning fuel. Direct injection systems bypass the intake valves, going directly into the cylinder head, so the intake is never cleaned. Without the spray, carbon builds up.

How Does Carbon Blasting Work?

When done by someone with experience providing luxury and import vehicle service, carbon blasting is a safe and effective method of removing carbon buildup from your valves.  It’s done by using highly pressurized air to spray the intake with crushed walnut shells, which is why this method may also be called “walnut blasting.” Using crushed walnut shells is eco-friendly, but, more importantly, it’s the best material to safely blast away the buildup without damaging expensive engine components.

What Happens Without Carbon Blasting?

As carbon builds up in the intake, the flow of air and fuel is choked off. This leads to a major reduction in your fuel efficiency and a noticeable decrease in power. Continued build up leads to misfiring, stalling, and cold start problems. Fortunately, as soon as the vehicle is cleaned and the carbon is removed, your vehicle can “breathe” better, and you’ll see an immediate improvement in performance.

How Often Should I Get My Engine Carbon Blasted?

If your vehicle only relies on a direct injection system (rather than a combination of port injection and direct injection), you should have your car serviced with carbon blasting every 50,000 miles. That’s assuming standard vehicle usage. If you use your car for more than typical day-to-day driving, or you start noticing the symptoms of carbon build up, you’ll want to bring your car into a Raleigh import specialist more frequently.  Vehicles that are equipped with a combination or port and direct injection don’t require intake cleaning generally.

Contact Our Raleigh Import Repair Team to Learn About Carbon Blasting

Carbon blasting is an important part of maintenance if you have a direct injection system in your car. If you haven’t had this procedure done yet, or you’re noticing you’re hitting the gas pumps more often or struggling to accelerate on the interstate, you should have your car looked at immediately. Contact our experienced team at Triangle Imports in Raleigh at 919-948-3444 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment! We’re here to extend the life of your vehicle and keep it performing optimally!