View Poll Results: Should I seafoam my motor?

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Thread: To seafoam or not to seafoam?

  1. #1
    nist7's Avatar
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    To seafoam or not to seafoam?

    That is the question.

    The motor is a F22B1 2.2L I4 with 185,000 miles and has not had any major work done as far as I know (but has relatively new plugs and regular oil changes, and Im not sure but may have had head gasket replacement while it was with the previous 2 owners...). A buddy of mine just ran some seafoam through his 99 TL (1can in gas tank, 1 can in crankcase, 1can in intake manifold) and says that his car has much better throttle response and has pulled harder than ever.

    So I did some reading on various forums and most of the people swear that seafoam is a miracle while some see it as another snakeoil (if it aint broke why fix it?) and then there are some who report loss in compression and mis-firing after a seafoam treatment (which supposedly is due to "too much cleaning" that burned away the carbon deposits that were actually keeping gasket leaks plugged up in older/high mile motors that allowed it to keep compression).

    update:

    here we go:



    friend helping with the suction



    We went to one of the massive Chiefs/Royals stadium parking lot (Lot L) and basically drove in a huge circle on the periphery of the lot in 1st gear between 3500 and 5500 RPM burning off the seafoam, producing a massive trail of smoke. Unfortuantely no pic of the GIANT smoke cloud that was produced afterwards since we were both in the car.

    But I really could not tell any difference afterwards. The motor 'sounds' smoother but it seemed to not pull that much harder but then again these small 4 bangers have little torque at the lower RPMs for the 'pulling' sensation.
    Last edited by nist7; April 18th, 2009 at 10:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Previously known as starfox07 Eunos_Cosmo's Avatar
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    Go for it. The smoke-show is always fun.
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    MadCow809's Avatar
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    Do it. And let us know about the result.


    So incase you get mis-firing and compression lost, we will know what NOT to do to our engines : )
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    Ik ben niet alleen lekker met kaas! NooDle's Avatar
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    what is sea foam?
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    ediesbra's Avatar
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    ^ Must be a Yank thing, I never heard of it either

  6. #6
    The Deported Spectre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NooDle View Post
    what is sea foam?
    SeaFoam is the brand name for a series of automotive or shop petrochemicals.

    http://www.seafoamsales.com/products.htm

    They are known and proven to be the most or among the most effective of their types. Deep Creep is the most effective commonly available penetrant for freeing rusted fasteners, bar none (Kroil is better, but it's much harder to find). TransTune is startlingly effective at cleaning crud out of your automatic transmission (which can sometimes be a bad thing!), etc., etc.

    What the OP is talking about is applying the original SeaFoam motor treatment, which is where their name comes from (the stuff froths up and looks like the sea). You can use it in many different methods; the one they're talking about is feeding it into the engine through the intake tract or vacuum piping for decarbonization purposes. It is *very* effective at top end and valve face cleaning.

    I know the packaging looks like snake oil, but it's damn effective. Now, whether you *want* to totally decarbon the cylinders and such is another story, especially on older engines where the carbon may be all that's keeping the cylinders from leaking.... but if you want to do it, this is one of the most effective products. I've used it in Jaguars and other vehicles with no ill-effects and significant non-imaginary gains, but I can understand where it might cause problems for some people.

    I also used their TransTune product in a Ford AOD transmission to free a sticking valve body to great effect. On the other hand, I added it to an almost dead Jaguar Borg Warner 66 for the same reason, and when the stuff cleaned all the crud off the seals, the valve body didn't have pressure any more, as the seals had gone away years ago and the crud had taken its place.

    My advice is that if you have decided to clean your engine's internals, this is the way to go.
    Last edited by Spectre; April 7th, 2009 at 9:33 AM.
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  7. #7
    Ik ben niet alleen lekker met kaas! NooDle's Avatar
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    oh, it's one of those wonder oil additive thingies. Yeah we have those here aswell, they claim some pretty radical improvements like -15% fuel consumption, +10% power, cleaner running engine, less pollution, etc.

    I hear they work very well (there's usually one bottle for in the fuel compartment and one for the oil), but have never tried them myself...I find 35€ a bit much, especially if you have to change it every 2000 kms (which would be 15x/year for me)
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  8. #8
    The Deported Spectre's Avatar
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    Yeah, using it as a regular fuel additive doesn't seem to have huge benefits, IMHO. However, using it full strength as an occasional (annual/biannual) cleanout works well.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by NooDle View Post
    oh, it's one of those wonder oil additive thingies. Yeah we have those here aswell, they claim some pretty radical improvements like -15% fuel consumption, +10% power, cleaner running engine, less pollution, etc.

    I hear they work very well (there's usually one bottle for in the fuel compartment and one for the oil), but have never tried them myself...I find 35€ a bit much, especially if you have to change it every 2000 kms (which would be 15x/year for me)
    Well don't buy it. Generally these after market stuff don't work too terribly.
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  10. #10
    tigger's Avatar
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    A friend of mine used to work at an O'Reillys parts store. When I told him that I was thinking about running SeaFoam through my Fairmont's engine he told me that, "For every one person who comes back in raving about it, three idiots destroy their engine. And blame me." So I think it's fine, as long as you do it right.

  11. #11
    Twerp128's Avatar
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    Snake oil.

    The thing is you have no idea if it works or not, other than smoke. The only way to tell is to take the head off and if your doing that then why are you wasting time running Seafoam through it first. It's an automotive placebo.

    Any properly maintained engine should not have buildup, if you keep up on your oil changes, tune ups, and use quality lubricants and gasoline your car should not have any buildup in the engine. And if you're cleaning it by running a foreign liquid that is not oil or gasoline it mostly just causes problems. Of all the people I've talked to who are more knowledgeable than me, mostly mechanics and hardcore SCCA drivers, they all tell me to steer clear of any form of this. Ask any serious racer if he runs Seafoam or anything through his engine. No one does.

    An engine is a controlled environment, if has problems it is for a specific reason. Spend $15 and get a oil analysis which will tell you what foreign particles are in your engine and in what amount, plus they can even tell you if certain parts of the engine are wearing prematurely or if this or that isn't operating correctly.
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  12. #12
    The Deported Spectre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigger View Post
    A friend of mine used to work at an O'Reillys parts store. When I told him that I was thinking about running SeaFoam through my Fairmont's engine he told me that, "For every one person who comes back in raving about it, three idiots destroy their engine. And blame me." So I think it's fine, as long as you do it right.
    Yeah, doing it wrong can hydrolock your engine.


    Quote Originally Posted by Twerp128 View Post
    Snake oil.

    The thing is you have no idea if it works or not, other than smoke. The only way to tell is to take the head off and if your doing that then why are you wasting time running Seafoam through it first. It's an automotive placebo.
    Forgetting something?

    http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item....re&dir=catalog

    Yes, it is possible to examine the inside of the engine without disassembly.

    Yes, I have one, and have inspected engines before and after. Yes, SeaFoam works. No, you can't borrow my borescope.

    Any properly maintained engine should not have buildup, if you keep up on your oil changes, tune ups, and use quality lubricants and gasoline your car should not have any buildup in the engine. And if you're cleaning it by running a foreign liquid that is not oil or gasoline it mostly just causes problems. Of all the people I've talked to who are more knowledgeable than me, mostly mechanics and hardcore SCCA drivers, they all tell me to steer clear of any form of this. Ask any serious racer if he runs Seafoam or anything through his engine. No one does.
    Race engines do not experience carbon buildup as they are at full throttle on a regular basis. Engines that sit in traffic *do* and this is something that needs to be taken into account. Also, some engine designs are more prone to carboning-up than others and the current fuels we have don't help.

    An engine is a controlled environment, if has problems it is for a specific reason. Spend $15 and get a oil analysis which will tell you what foreign particles are in your engine and in what amount, plus they can even tell you if certain parts of the engine are wearing prematurely or if this or that isn't operating correctly.
    Oil analysis will not tell you how carboned-up your top end is.
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  13. #13
    nist7's Avatar
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    Alrighty. Thanks for all the feedback guys! From what I've researched so far hydrolocking occurs when people let their vacuum line suck up too much seafoam liquid too fast which obviously is bad when you dump a relatively large quantity of non-compressible liquid into any motor.

    But I think I am leaning towards doing seafoam within the next couple of weeks. The only other things that I am concerned about is a few people mentioning changing plugs afterwards, but not so sure about that. And of course a can of seafoam in the crankcase is probably not too healthy for the oil so I will probably change the oil and filter immediately afterwards and then again within a couple weeks. I don't think I will be putting it through the fuel system though.

    I will be updating as needed with pics and the results. And another thanks to all those who contributed discussion points and bringing in new insights. Especially to Spectre for that bad-ass borescope....like an esophageal endoscopy for your motor...hahah
    Last edited by nist7; April 7th, 2009 at 7:30 PM.

  14. #14
    Previously known as emil_t Ice_warmer's Avatar
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    if it aint broke why fix it?
    kind of answered your question, really.

    still though, i won't put any super-duper-cleanser-more-power-less-fuel-consumption-mileage-reductor no matter how old it is, though gas with additives that clean depositis, actually work mircales with my car, i would hit the pedal to the floor and it barely made any diffrence, 2 tanks of petrol with additives and it was like a brand new car, not really, but much better. usually all petrol sold has some kind of additives

  15. #15
    Blind_Io's Avatar
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    I haven't used SeaFoam, but I have used other detergents and fuel treatments. I have used a water-remover fuel treatment to get moister out of my carbs and fuel injector/carb cleaner on several motorcycles. As long as the injectors/jets are not completely clogged up it does help. On the bikes I run about three tanks through (one bottle of additive) and I do notice a difference.

    Never used SeaFoam, though.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    Race engines do not experience carbon buildup as they are at full throttle on a regular basis. Engines that sit in traffic *do* and this is something that needs to be taken into account. Also, some engine designs are more prone to carboning-up than others and the current fuels we have don't help.
    Modern fuel injection engines should not see that much carbon buildup. Excessive carbon buildup is only caused by contaminants, and like you said is exasperated by city driving. There is no reason a car shouldn't run for 300,000 miles on only proper maintenance.

    Furthermore, all Seafoam is, is kerosene diluted in oil. Kerosene cannot clean carbon deposits. Heat and steam can. Kerosene boils off and breaks down carbon. However at the same time Seafoam leaves more unwanted chemicals behind. Of the things I've heard, Techron is the best, it is the least invasive, after all it isn't hard to unstick Carbon, it's much harder to get rid of unwanted chemicals. In fact they used to clean the valve train by running water through the carburetor, essentially steaming the carbon off, why water injection is great.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    Oil analysis will not tell you how carboned-up your top end is.
    No, but it'll tell you what unburned additives are making your carbon problems worse.
    Last edited by Twerp128; April 7th, 2009 at 10:55 PM.
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    The Deported Spectre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twerp128 View Post
    Modern fuel injection engines should not see that much carbon buildup. Excessive carbon buildup is only caused by contaminants, and like you said is exasperated by city driving. There is no reason a car shouldn't run for 300,000 miles on only proper maintenance.
    I could go on and on about all that's wrong with the above statement. I think I'll use pictures instead.

    2004 Scion xB engine. Check out carbon buildup in #1:


    Toyota Supra 2JZ engine:


    Toyota 4A-GE head:


    You were saying?

    Furthermore, all Seafoam is, is kerosene diluted in oil. Kerosene cannot clean carbon deposits. Heat and steam can. Kerosene boils off and breaks down carbon. However at the same time Seafoam leaves more unwanted chemicals behind. Of the things I've heard, Techron is the best, it is the least invasive, after all it isn't hard to unstick Carbon, it's much harder to get rid of unwanted chemicals. In fact they used to clean the valve train by running water through the carburetor, essentially steaming the carbon off, why water injection is great.
    Except for the fact that most of the leftovers are also volatile and burn off with the kerosene. In addition, kerosene is a solvent that can break up hard carbon deposits where steam sometimes can't.

    No, but it'll tell you what unburned additives are making your carbon problems worse.
    Of which you can do nothing about since they are required by law in our gasoline now.

    Now, I don't advocate using Seafoam on a regular basis or as anything but a decarbonizing treatment titrated into the intake tract. For regular use, nothing beats Techron - but for an industrial cleaning of the compression chamber... yeah, Seafoam.
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  18. #18
    Twerp128's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    Except for the fact that most of the leftovers are also volatile and burn off with the kerosene. In addition, kerosene is a solvent that can break up hard carbon deposits where steam sometimes can't.
    Maybe Kerosene removes carbon better, maybe it doesn't. All I know is that the Kerosene will burn off extremely fast and that with it, it will strip some of the lubrication as well. And your engine is running during this!

    As for the pictures, they're just that pictures. I don't know how the cars where maintained or driven. So they don't mean much.

    I guess well just have to disagree. Everything I've ever been told, from mechanics, a Havoline rep, and people who've been racing cars for decades, it's all been the same. Never ever run anything through your oil or in your vacuum lines. In the end it causes more stress on the engine and more long term problems.
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  19. #19
    The Deported Spectre's Avatar
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    I would agree that in the oil is not a good idea. However, properly used through the intake is fine for occasional decarboning, IMHO.
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  20. #20
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    Sometimes de-coking can be bad, you don't know whats under all the crap and you could be opening Pandoras box.
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