When it comes to auto maintenance, more car owners are taking a proactive approach to ensure that their vehicles are in great shape. That’s why people are resorting to products like Sea Foam which is a motor treatment that is designed to help the engine run smoother and improve the vehicle’s fuel system. While some people have never heard of this product, others are confused about its effectiveness due to widespread debates on its effects.
If you were recommended this product or ran across it in the automotive aisle at the grocery store, you probably have several questions about this product. Is it as good as people say it is or can Sea Foam damage your engine in any way? How long does it take to work? Does Sea Foam Motor Treatment really live up to the hype?
First Off, What Is Sea Foam?
Sea Foam is a fuel additive that can be used in a plethora of ways. Believe it or not, Sea Foam has been around for over seventy years. Its longevity is what makes this product one of the most trusted treatments for engines and fuel systems. The company that manufactures Sea Foam also produces a range of products that are designed to improve important systems within your vehicle.
Sea Foam Motor treatment is made with a special formula that’s supposed to safely yet surely reliquify varnish, carbon deposits, sludge, and gum so that it can be flushed from the entire engine and the fuel system. This product also is designed to lubricate the internal components in the engine and all of the parts within the fuel system.
Cleaning the internal parts of your engine can seem nearly impossible without taking it apart. That’s where Sea Foam Motor treatment comes into play. Sea Foam does all the dirty work. It prevents you from needing to have your car's engine disassembled and cleaned by a professional which can be expensive.
Why Is A Cleaner Like Sea Foam Necessary?
Over time, your car's engine and fuel system (fuel lines, fuel injector, pump, and gas tank) become filled with excessive amounts of carbon deposits and sludge. Carbon deposits are a result of fuel being burned in the engine. Although fuel and oil are designed to improve your vehicle these products aren’t always clean and sometimes contain harmful particles.
This will decrease the engine performance and fuel economy. Clogged fuel systems can cause misfires and other dangerous conditions for your car’s engine. Sea Foam additives help extend the life of your vehicle by ensuring that they run smoothly. Sea Foam is safe to use in gas and diesel engines.
What’s In Sea Foam Motor Oil Treatment – Understanding The Chemical Composition
Sea Foam is a crude oil and petroleum-based product. Petroleum is made up of hydrocarbons which are formed from the remains of plants and animals that existed millions of years ago. These remains are extracted from layers of salt and rock. This motor oil treatment also consists of pale oil, IPA, and naphtha. All of Seam Foam’s products contain the same ingredients but with varying ratios.
The good thing about this product is that it doesn’t contain any Ethanol additives. A lot of fuel treatments on the market contain Ethanol additives which is a substance that is often added to gas to reduce carbon monoxide emissions.
Ethanol dries out the seals in your engine making it difficult for the motor oil to sufficiently lubricate them. Sea Foam is a highly recommended maintenance product because it doesn’t contain harsh or abrasive chemicals that can damage the engine or your vehicle’s fuel system.
How To Use Sea Foam In The Engine Crankcase
Sea Foam Motor Oil treatments are highly effective at removing deposits from the engine’s oil system and crankcase. While Sea Foam is great for all types of cars and trucks they are most effective in older vehicles since sludge builds up so fast in the crankcase and other areas where the oil flows.
Engine sludge can cause serious mechanical problems and will eventually compromise the health of your engine. As the oil breaks down it starts to collect on the engine reducing the oil’s ability to properly lubricate all the parts within the engine.
How To Check For Engine Sludge
If you’re thinking of using Sea Foam motor treatment to help remove sludge from the motor, you should first check for engine sludge. Here are easy ways you can check for sludging:
- Crank over the engine. Typically when oil starts to liquefy in the engine and starts to form sludge it will trigger the “Check Engine” light or the “Change Oil” sensor. If one or both of these warning lights are illuminated this can indicate sludge in the engine.
- Turn the car off and pop the hood. Inspect your vehicle’s engine for oil residue or signs of oil splatter. If you see clumps of dark and thick oil around the exterior of your engine you more than likely have an engine sludge problem. You might even notice oil splatter in other places where it shouldn’t be.
- Next, you should take a look inside the oil pan. You might need a flashlight to see clearly. It’s normal to have a little oil residue on the oil pan but if there is engine sludge the oil pan will be covered in thick clumps of oil.
Directions For Using Sea Foam In the Engine
Sea Foam is the best engine sludge remover. It reliquifies clumps of oil so that it can be filtered out of your vehicle’s engine. When you use Sea Foam you’ll need to have an oil change immediately so you should only use this product if you’re planning on having an oil change shortly thereafter.
First, determine your engine’s crankcase capacity. Most cars, SUVs, and trucks have 5 or 6 quart systems. You should be able to find this information in the owner’s manual. You can pour in the Sea Foam right in the oil filler neck. A can of Sea Foam is about 16 ounces.
Remove the cap and add an ounce of Sea Foam Motor Oil Treatment for every quart of oil in the crankcase. Sea Foam should stay in the oil for approximately thirty to sixty miles. This gives the Sea Foam enough time to break down the oxidized oil making it easy to remove the contaminated oil during an oil change.
Driving with Sea Foam in your engine long-distance or for an extended period isn’t recommended because this product makes the oil very dirty reducing the oil's effectiveness. However, Sea Foam is safe to use with all types of motor oil including synthetic, conventional, synthetic blend, and even high-mileage oil.
Can You Apply Sea Foam To The Intake Manifold or Vacuum Line?
The intake manifold plays a very important part in the engine’s overall function. It ensures that all of the air flowing into the engine is evenly distributed to every cylinder on the engine which can be 4, 6, or 8 depending on your vehicle. The vacuum line or tubes which are connected to the intake manifold are routed to different areas of the engine.
Sea Foam can be used to keep the valves in the intake manifold and the vacuum lines clean. However, you will need to have mechanical knowledge to apply Sea Foam to these areas because you’ll have to locate and disconnect the vacuum line that is responsible for feeding all of the cylinders.
When you apply this product to the vacuum line the engine has to be running. Slowly pour the Sea Foam into the vacuum line. Once about a third of the can is in the intake manifold, turn the car off and let the product work its magic for about ten minutes. When you turn the car on again the exhaust will be filthy. Drive around for about 5-10 minutes to get rid of the carbon that was drained from the engine’s components.
The Best Way To Use Sea Foam In The Gas Tank
Yes, you can also use Sea Foam to thoroughly clean and lubricate your vehicle’s entire fuel system. Since it's a petroleum-based product it's safe to use in diesel and regular fuel blends. The health of the fuel system and its components affects the engine as well. Did you know that the same build-up that occurs in the engine also occurs in the fuel system?
Over time the fuel injectors and the carburetor jets become clogged with deposits of sediment. This harms the intake valves and prevents them from moving freely which will eventually hamper how much air the engine gets.
A clean fuel system ensures the efficient flow of gasoline to the engine. Using Sea Foam in the gas tank provides the following benefits:
- Improves horsepower and engine performance
- Repairs hard engine starts
- Extends the life of the engine
- Boosts fuel economy
You should use an ounce of Sea Foam for every gallon of gas in the tank. A single bottle of Sea Foam can treat up to 16 gallons of gasoline. The best way to apply this product in the tank is to insert a funnel into the gas nozzle and pour the product directly into the funnel. If there is water mixed into the fuel, the Sea Foam will eliminate moisture as well.
Is Sea Foam Safe To Use On The Engine?
While Sea Foam is generally believed to be a reliable product for maintaining the engine and the fuel system there has been heat surrounding its use. Some people have claimed that Sea Foam isn't safe to use. Different experiences with using Sea Foam are to be expected, after all, not everyone has a positive experience with a product.
Based on past user claims here are a few of the top negative effects of Sea Foam:
Thins Out The Oil
Sea Foam can thin out the oil in the engine. Motor oil needs to have a certain viscosity or be at a certain consistency depending on the type of engine. If the oil is too thin it won’t be able to properly lubricate the engine and its components.
Not Suitable For GDI Engines
Car owners with engines that have direct injectors have reported that Sea Foam isn’t effective. Direct injectors require a very high-pressure cleaner to remove the gunk from the fuel injectors. However, Sea Foam has created a version that is specifically geared towards gasoline direct injection engines.
Decrease Fuel Economy
Using too much Sea Foam in the fuel tank can increase and in some instances create clogging in the fuel lines. This will ultimately lead to increased fuel consumption which means you'll be filling up at the pump frequently.
It is important to note that in most cases when Sea Foam causes damage to the engine it is because it was used improperly. Using too much of any maintenance product or applying it incorrectly can lead to damage. In really old vehicles where the O2 sensors and the spark plugs are under the hood, Sea Foam might be too strong of a product.
Sea Foam – Common Questions
Q: Do you put Sea Foam in before or after gas?
Sea Foam should be added to a fresh tank of gas every three months and in some instances sooner. If you don’t drive regularly, you can add Sea Foam to your fuel tank every time you fill up.
Q: How often should I use Sea Foam?
For vehicles that are driven regularly you can use Sea Foam in the fuel tank every 2000 to 3000 miles and in the engine every three months or when you are between oil changes.
Q: Does Sea Foam ruin the spark plugs?
Sea Foam itself doesn’t ruin the spark plugs but the carbon that may be in the deposits after the Sea Foam has cleaned the engine can make its way on the spark plugs. However, if the product is applied correctly and you elevate the RPM while using the Sea Foam it won’t foul the spark plugs. Some people do prefer to change the spark plugs after applying Sea Foam and getting an oil change but this isn’t always necessary.
Q: Can I use Sea Foam in a hybrid?
Yes, Sea Foam can be used on hybrid vehicles that also use fuel.
Q: Does Sea Foam repair bad fuel injectors or a damaged engine?
Sea Foam cannot repair failing fuel injectors or a bad engine. Sea Foam is a maintenance product only. If you have a bad engine or failing fuel injectors you’ll need to have your vehicle repaired before using this cleaner.
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