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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So got the P2015 code today on my 2011 with 104K miles. The car is running fine and there is no oil consumption. After I bit of research I found the VW extended warranty on the intake manifold and I still qualify. I have an appointment for Wednesday and have a couple of questions. I am assuming (hoping?) the P2015 is covered under the warranty, but are there any other things I need to worry about? Is there something else they will try and sell me? I am thinking this should be the time to clean the carbon deposits. I asked about this and with the warranty work they charge $375 for this. Does that sound about right? I called another VW dealer and they said in that situation they would charge $300 to clean the carbon deposits. At a dealership, what exactly is cleaned when cleaning carbon deposits? Cylinder head? Intake manifold (if not replaced)? Valves? Any other potential issues when cleaning the carbon deposits? If I do the carbon cleaning I was thinking of asking for pictures. I would really like to see the before and after.
 

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If it is the manifold, warranty should be 10 year/120,000 miles. It would appear to be a covered repair. Get the real problem fixed first before opting for the cleaning as it may not be needed. As for other repairs depends what maintenances you have done during ownership. If you have the full owner's manual set, there will be a booklet listing VW suggested maintenances and mileages/time. If you don't have it, you may be able to find the info on line.
 

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I think I would find out what the warranty cleaning involves? This is quite a common problem on higher mileage engines caused by oil gunge and carbon build up in the emissions re-circulation. It's a problem that's been around for years and never really fixed in the engine design. Later engines were fitted with heater blocks to reduce the cooling of re-circulated gases and consequential condensation. But I have that on a newer VAG and still had to clean out all the gunge.

If the work is done under a V.W warranty I would expect them to clean and check the complete emissions system components. If you had a garage do this work it could cost a bit. As far as I know there are 3 approaches to 'cleaning'. The simplest, cheapest and least effective is to spray a solvent cleaner into the manifold. Unfortunately, this can dislodge carbon gunge and still cause flap valve problems. The second and better method still not requiring the manifold to be removed is to use a nut shell air blasting technique. The last method is to remove the manifold and associated emission controls and pipes and clean them off the vehicle. This is a more thorough process but costs more on labor. It still leaves the valve ports difficult to clean, unless the cylinder head is removed. Nut shell blasting can reach as far as the valve ports.

On balance I think I would see what their warranty clean involves and get them to do it because at least they will clear the error faults and may go further with other affected parts to get the engine right. They will probably use a snakecam to get an inside view of the coke build up and decide a simple solvent cleaner won't be too effective? If their procedure doesn't work after a few months, you may have to consider nut shell blasting or get engine parts removed for cleaning.

My experience has been with TdIs where I was able to easily remove the plastic manifold, pipes and flap valves. So far I've avoided removing the cyl/head. If you get everything cleaned, avoid using 'Long Life' oils, consider using a fuel cleaning additive every 5k miles or so, change engine oil every 6K and use low SAPS spec. oil. Additives won't fix a clogged manifold but may help slow down carbon gunge build up.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I think I would find out what the warranty cleaning involves? This is quite a common problem on higher mileage engines caused by oil gunge and carbon build up in the emissions re-circulation. It's a problem that's been around for years and never really fixed in the engine design. Later engines were fitted with heater blocks to reduce the cooling of re-circulated gases and consequential condensation. But I have that on a newer VAG and still had to clean out all the gunge.

If the work is done under a V.W warranty I would expect them to clean and check the complete emissions system components. If you had a garage do this work it could cost a bit. As far as I know there are 3 approaches to 'cleaning'. The simplest, cheapest and least effective is to spray a solvent cleaner into the manifold. Unfortunately, this can dislodge carbon gunge and still cause flap valve problems. The second and better method still not requiring the manifold to be removed is to use a nut shell air blasting technique. The last method is to remove the manifold and associated emission controls and pipes and clean them off the vehicle. This is a more thorough process but costs more on labor. It still leaves the valve ports difficult to clean, unless the cylinder head is removed. Nut shell blasting can reach as far as the valve ports.

On balance I think I would see what their warranty clean involves and get them to do it because at least they will clear the error faults and may go further with other affected parts to get the engine right. They will probably use a snakecam to get an inside view of the coke build up and decide a simple solvent cleaner won't be too effective? If their procedure doesn't work after a few months, you may have to consider nut shell blasting or get engine parts removed for cleaning.

My experience has been with TdIs where I was able to easily remove the plastic manifold, pipes and flap valves. So far I've avoided removing the cyl/head. If you get everything cleaned, avoid using 'Long Life' oils, consider using a fuel cleaning additive every 5k miles or so, change engine oil every 6K and use low SAPS spec. oil. Additives won't fix a clogged manifold but may help slow down carbon gunge build up.
So you are saying they may not have to remove the cylinder heard for the warranty repair for the P2015 code? I would only do the carbon clean if the repair is covered under the extended warranty. The carbon clean is not covered under the intake manifold extended warranty. Is there a possibility a carbon clean is not needed? How would I know? I don't have an issue of paying for a carbon clean if it is needed, but have had issues with dealers on these extended warranty repairs. They seems to want to add extra things that may or may not be needed. That is why I am asking here so I can communicate intelligently with the service department. So it appears I need to ask with a carbon clean what is cleaned and how? Last summer I had an issue with the secondary air sensor circuit and this same dealer recommended a "GDI Platinum Service" for $425, which appeared to be a fuel additive to clean the carbon deposits. I was not having performance issues and was skeptical an additive would have much of an effect so I declined.
 

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They can see a lot these days with a snakecam, even as far as the valve ports, but they can make a 'judgement decision' and stop at removing the cyl. head. $375 doesn't sound they will be removing much? V.W approved warranty fixes tend to be the minimum they can do easily and get sufficient mileage on the car without you coming back again. If you were V.W managing recalls with a huge Stealership network, many cars sold and having to pay the costs from your new vehicle sales when you are investing heavily in new (electric?) models, you might do as little as possible. If you already have over 100k miles and get another 50k, in that time other things may need replacing and you'll soon forget about this problem.

Workshops like warranty work and the more the better because they know the insurance is going to pay if they can present a good technical argument. Whenever somebody starts suggesting sprays and additives, they are running away from dismantling engine parts and doing a job that puts an engine back to it's as new left factory condition. But they know you won't pay their labor rates for that and most will get suckered into trusting sprays and additives because those products are aggressively marketed
 

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Discussion Starter #6
They can see a lot these days with a snakecam, even as far as the valve ports, but they can make a 'judgement decision' and stop at removing the cyl. head. $375 doesn't sound they will be removing much? V.W approved warranty fixes tend to be the minimum they can do easily and get sufficient mileage on the car without you coming back again. If you were V.W managing recalls with a huge Stealership network, many cars sold and having to pay the costs from your new vehicle sales when you are investing heavily in new (electric?) models, you might do as little as possible. If you already have over 100k miles and get another 50k, in that time other things may need replacing and you'll soon forget about this problem.

Workshops like warranty work and the more the better because they know the insurance is going to pay if they can present a good technical argument. Whenever somebody starts suggesting sprays and additives, they are running away from dismantling engine parts and doing a job that puts an engine back to it's as new left factory condition. But they know you won't pay their labor rates for that and most will get suckered into trusting sprays and additives because those products are aggressively marketed
I was under the impression the cylinder head needed to be removed due to the P2015 code. The $375 was only for scraping and removing the carbon, since the labor for disassembly would be covered under the extended warranty. Once they are in there, whether they remove the head or not, how can I verify the deposits are severe enough to need removed? Should I ask them to take pics and send to me? If I choose to do the carbon clean, how do I verify it was actually done?
 

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Removing the intake manifold is separate from the head. The manifold should be covered the head cleaning or removal is on you.
 

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Do you mean how do you verify, or do you mean how do they verify, or do you want to tell them what to do? Most workshops use a snakecam like the sort they stick up your a*se. :)The problem for you is they know the effort needed to remove, clean & replace the head so it's down to you to check the cost and decide what you want done. They might need to actually remove valves and camshafts then check and redo bucket shimming if your pockets are deep enough? Most workshops will have a look around inside first and make a judgement decision as to the level of carbon build up, which isn't necessarily the best decision for the engine. You can now see the advantages of compressed air walnut shell blasting.
 

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Do you mean how do you verify, or do you mean how do they verify, or do you want to tell them what to do? Most workshops use a snakecam like the sort they stick up your a*se. :)The problem for you is they know the effort needed to remove, clean & replace the head so it's down to you to check the cost and decide what you want done. They might need to actually remove valves and camshafts then check and redo bucket shimming if your pockets are deep enough? Most workshops will have a look around inside first and make a judgement decision as to the level of carbon build up, which isn't necessarily the best decision for the engine. You can now see the advantages of compressed air walnut shell blasting.
So the P2015 code is covered under warranty, but they have to order a few parts. Hopefully they can get it done tomorrow. What I was asking is if the dealer tells me a carbon clean is needed, how I can verify? Would it be realistic to ask the service tech to text me the pics of the carbon build up? By the way, I would love to have before and after pics for my documentation.I don't think they use walnuts shells. I was under the impression the valves need to be cleaned first by scraping then a solvent is used on the valves to soften any remaining carbon. It is my understanding this may need to be repeated if there is a lot of carbon build up. Does this sound correct? Thanks for the help.
 

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Here is what they will be doing
If they have to remove the intake to replace it anyways, you would think the actual cleaning would be a little cheaper.
 
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