Ford Authority

Ford EcoBoost Carbon Buildup Issue Solved Via Walnut Blasting: Video

A common problem that arises with the Ford EcoBoost engine family is that of unwanted carbon buildup. As the vehicle ages and its mileage increases, carbon buildup occurs on the back of the intake valves, potentially causing drivability issues due to disturbed airflow. As Ford Authority previously reported, seasoned Ford technician Brian, perhaps better known by his YouTube alias Ford Tech Makuloco, has addressed this issue in the past. Recently, another vehicle ended up in his bay for a cleaning of excessive carbon buildup, and he found an efficient solution to get it running right again.

Ford EcoBoost engine with intake valve carbon buildup

This particular vehicle is a 2018 Ford Focus RS with about 44,000 miles on the odometer, although Brian explains that any vehicle with a Ford EcoBoost engine under the hood is susceptible to the carbon buildup issue. He says that he recently purchased a walnut blasting machine to clean vehicles with this issue thoroughly.

This machine collects the used blasting media and allows it to be recycled for multiple uses. Brian says that his previous video showing how to clean the valves manually with brushes and picks will also yield the same result, but the walnut blaster machine makes the process much faster and more efficient.

Ford EcoBoost engine valve after walnut blaster cleaning

“It is an invasive procedure,” Brian says, explaining that the intake must be removed in order to clean it thoroughly. Thankfully, the intakes on Ford EcoBoost engines are easy to access. Once the intake is removed, the valves must be closed before proceeding, and the open valves that are not currently being service must be taped off to prevent debris from getting inside.

Brian makes sure the engine in the Focus is properly positioned, then activates the walnut blaster. “Get it way down in there and hit it,” he says, pulling the trigger on the gun to start blasting the valves. After a few passes and vacuuming to get the blaster media out, the valve looks good as new.

“It’s a good thing, for sure, to do this every 40,000 to 60,000 miles to keep your [Ford] EcoBoost in tip top shape,” Brian says.

We’ll have more interesting videos like this to share soon, so make sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford EcoBoost news along with ongoing Ford news.

Alexandra is a Colorado-based journalist with a passion for all things involving horsepower, be it automotive or equestrian.

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  1. douglas girard

    BMW was doing it in the 1980’s

    1. The Gentle Grizzly

      They had to.

  2. Michael

    Yea sure, I am going to buy a vehicle that needs this done, every 44K miles, at $2,000 a crack if not more?

    1. Scott Graves

      I bought a 2013 Ford Fusion used and after three years had to tear it down to replace a head gasket. I tell people if someone offers you a Ford with that engine to shoot them because they are trying to kill you.

    2. Daniel

      Im on my second EB, last one was a 2.0 traded it @ 125K miles, not one issue. I currently have a Ranger bought in 2019 with the 2.3 EB @ 42K so far no issues. What worries me though is the first 28K miles was all freeway. I have since retired and milage in the last year is more stop and go which does worry me about carbon buildup. Overall they are good powerful engines. We’ll see.

  3. R D Mercer

    Redline it 2X a day ! Made sure do it when I had Focus ST.

  4. Mark B

    Installing a catch-can is a great way to draw off much of the pcv crap that is flowing into the intake. After I had my Focus ST valves manually cleaned, the tech installed a can and that surprisingly “catches” much of the water, gas and oil that would normally go straight into the intake. Granted, one has to empty it from time to time, but it’s not really that big of a deal.

  5. Gary . Virginia.

    Ford should have been able to fix this problem. Please tell me they have?

    1. Kevin

      Yes. It’s called dual fuel-injection systems that have both port and direct injection nozzles. During idle and low power, port fuel injection keeps the intake valves bathed in cleansing fuel, reserving the direct-injection nozzles for high power modes of the engine. Ford is also in a patent battle with MIT over the technology too. A few of the Ecos that don’t have dual fuel-injection have improved intake oil separation and EGR valves to minimize gunk going to the valves. The notion that you have to take the intake off and clean it every 40k miles is hogwash. I’ve put literally hundreds of thousands of miles on 2.7L, 3.5L and 2.3L Ecoboost engines and not one of them ever needed their valve cleanings.

  6. Steve

    That’s not solving the issue though?

  7. Mike

    What is this a nonsense garbage article: next an issue is “SOLVED” by replacing the engine? This is NOT solving things, journalists these days have no skills

  8. NoComment

    Carbon Buildup on the backside of the Intake Valves on DI only ICE engines (especially the GTDI turbo charged) is a real problem. Toyota addressed this with their multiport injection (D4-S which implements Port Injection + Direct Injection) on many of their ICE engines and Ford could as well (i.e., the Maverick Hybrid 2.5 ICE is multiport injection). Yet another reason to buy the Maverick Hybrid (SMFI) instead of the Maverick EB (GTDI)…

    1. Richard Sharp

      General motors does to but they have a real easy way to take care of that problem with an upper cylinder cleaning without tearing the whole car apart takes about a half hour

  9. Mark

    Top tier fuels, full synthetic oil changes, occasional spirited driving and CRC GDI and Turbo Cleaner every 3rd oil change (12k miles) has kept my 2014 Fusion Titanium EB carbon free. Been using the CRC since 2017 and at approximately 80 k miles. By far the majority driving the last 3 years have been city driving with only occasional highway driving. No catch can ever needed and just turned 148k miles.

  10. Albert Perez

    Had a 2015 Ford edge Titanium, At about 75000 Miles the carbon build up started, Spend thousands trying to fix the issue. I will never ever buy a ford again!!!.

  11. Charlie

    I had been waiting to see the new Colorado for 2023 as my two previous trucks were Colorado’s. I purchased them both new one was a 2007, the other a 2016. Both were 4 cylinders. The 2007 was a 2.9, and the 2016 was a 2.5. Both naturally asperated engines. The 2007 was super fast ,but the 2016 was an old lady. I was going to purchase a 2023 until I saw the available engines. 2.7 4 bangers only. First of all turbo’s burn dirty, run hot, need more oil changes, and more spark plug changes. Not to mention carbon buildup. I had in my heart to get a 6cyl naturally asperated engine. That left me with a choice of Toyota or Nissan. I chose the Nissan. 3.8 310 up. It is super fast, no spoiling no loss a high speed, just natural, and a nice looking truck.

  12. cj

    I pay extra not to have direct injection…or turbos…wish they let you get the 2.5 simple non turbo engine again…dont need power …need the realiblity..


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