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Carbon cleaning with manifold replacement


New member
So I’ve had some bad luck. 2 weeks ago my pcv went out, threw a ton of codes and after looking through the forums I decided to replace it myself, it went smooth and fixed the codes. Now I got an oil leak, I’m thinking the pcv took the rear main seal with it, and on top of that the lever on my intake manifold broke where it attaches to the metal ball off the runner. I have an appointment at the dealership in a week and am expecting about 1200 for the rear main seal, and I’m hoping that the intake manifold will still be under the 10 year 120,000 mile warranty. My question is what should I expect for an extra charge for a carbon cleaning? I’ve seen anywhere from 200-500.


Sorry to hear about your bad luck. Sounds like you've got a good handle on the issues though. I had my intake manifold replaced under warranty and opted to have the dealership perform a carbon cleaning for an additional 2hrs ($240) of labor.


New member
Some thoughts, as I went through all these things (RMS recently, IM 3 yrs ago):
-Get the RMS replaced at someone that isn't a dealer. The part is pretty inexpensive, even if you upgrade to the billet piece.
-After speaking with a couple service techs, I am told that carbon cleaning at the dealer uses a liquid only and not an abrasive material (crushed walnut shells) like indy shops do. I had a CC done at VW together with the IM replacement. I think I paid around $300. That was done at 80k. Fast forward to 110k and I had it redone with media blasting (walnut shells) and apparently the valves were in bad shape.


New member
So I took it in today and the RMS isn’t quite leaking, just seeping. But there is a fair amount of oil coming from the backside of the valve cover and from the vacuum pump. He suggested that if I’m fairly handy that I could probably take care of them myself, which is what I plan on doing once I’ve read up and watched a few videos. Doesn’t seem to complicated.

The service manager confirmed that my intake manifold is still under warranty so I’ll have them take care of that, he quoted the valve cleaning for $299 and say they use both chemical cleaning and they use a media blaster as well.

So all in all somewhat good news, if I can find all the info I need I’ll be able to save a ton of money and hopefully solve the problem myself.


New member
So I just got my car back, carbon cleaning ran me $265, so not to bad. But when I got home and looked under the hood I noticed there is now little pieces of carbon all over my engine bay, along with a couple shop rags tucked in on the right side. Pretty disappointed with my first time dealing with the VW dealer in town.

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New member
Wow that’s horrible. I would immediately bring it back with the rags in place and make them detail the engine. I just changed my girlfriends manifold and walnut shelled the valves and didn’t get carbon anywhere. Hers was BAD. This looks like careless work. I wonder what your valves look like. Anyone who leaves an engine like that obviously doesn’t have the OCD it takes to perform a good carbon cleaning in my mind lol


New member
Yeah I did take it back. I drove in and got out and handed her the rags and said “these are yours.” She took the car and cleaned all the shit off. The pictures she had showed me of the cleaning before and after weren’t very impressive, tho it was obviously better. I’ve heard bad things about this dealer in the past so I wasn’t even going to argue with them about it. My manifold is probably the last thing I’ll ever have to take in for warranty work so I’ll luckily never have to go back there again.

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The Fixer
It's hard to find a good dealer tech. Plus those guys are under the gun to finish within a certain time. Indy shops are a better choice, usually enthusiasts themselves. A new manifold is only $150, so I wouldn't necessarily give the dealer my business. You're not impressed with the carbon cleaning, but they still got your $300. I would leave a bad google review so others know what they're getting into. That's a lot of money for a half-assed job.
I do the 'italian tune up' to my car, 3000 rpm for 30 min hard driving, did the manifold at 155k and the valves were really not bad.
If you ever do the rear main seal, pay a little extra for the billet iAbed piece. It's worlds better than the oem part.


New member
Re the price of carbon cleaning, I have been quoted $700 in Atlanta region.

Also, re the rear seal, how can you tell it is bad. My 2012 MK6 eats about 1-1.5 quarts of oil a month...has 124k miles...could this be a rear seal issue or am I ok?

I also did the PVC at around 75k, it was a $70 part and took maybe 30 minutes. Sorry to hear all the issues that arose after.