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Old 04-15-2010, 09:28 PM   #1
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Default What does The Garage think about Seafoam?

I've been reading some info about this, bunch of people saying it's good to use to clean up carbon, fuel injectors, crank case, etc. You're basically supposed to put it in everything except the radiator.

I was wondering what the Garage thought about this stuff. I'm doing a tuneup on my Freecar Altima, and it has 171+ thousand miles on it. Can Seafoam damage an engine, especially a high-mileage one?
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:33 PM   #2
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Putting it in the crankcase isn't worth much unless you've gone way too long wihtout oil changes. Running it through the vacuum lines to the intake does wonders for some motors. On my old Jeep, it smoothed out the idle beautifully.

Seafoam won't damaage your engine. Will give you a sweet smoke show though.
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:40 PM   #3
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It's snake oil, for the most part. You can find some anecdotal evidence of it helping this problem or that problem, but that's it.

I'd never pour it in my crank case. I'll concede it's possible it could make some difference by using it in a carburetor or fuel system, but I wouldn't put it in my gas tank, either.

Basically, for whatever they tell you it can be used for, it's either an outright snake oil claim and not necessary, or there are better products for the different areas of the car.
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:00 PM   #4
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I subscribe to the notion that things like this are exaggerated, placebo, harmful, or a combination of the three.

There are rare circumstances where pour in additives are great, and I have experienced them first hand although i was told otherwise. Both involved an oil treatment that helped stop oil consumption on my '84 Cressida with worn valve seals, and a '92 Jeep that was leaking from the rear main seal.

Neither had much longevity proof, because I junked the Cressida a few thousand miles after treatment, and sold the Jeep shortly after. Both worked in the immediate. I'm assuming the Jeep is still going because that straight 6 engine has rightfully earned a reputation of being indestructible. The Cressida had a good straight 6 as well, but lacked the torque of the Jeep.
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:09 PM   #5
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i've used it... good smoke show...

people claim that white smoke is carbon burning... i have a feeling it might just be seafoam burning.

Dealerships do similiar stuff with BG 44k and BG intake clean, either at the fuel rail or throttle body.

The stuff is out there. Plenty of it but who knows really what works on what. Not many independent places/people have done before and afters.

I've seen 3-4 guys post up about http://www.auto-rx.com/ on forums that i visit, pictures weren't as clean as the photos there but there was diffrences. But look at it this way, people who do this stuff have general know-how and well most likely their engines are cleaner then others.

I still think all are snake oil but i do buy them from time to time when they are on sale. Lucas mainly for the buy one get one free bottles.
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:15 PM   #6
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It will clean the carbon off of pistons/valves if feed through a vacuum line but then so will water
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:27 PM   #7
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back in ~06, I had a 93 Honda Accord and an 03 Pontiac Montana.

The accord was a beater with 175k, the Montana had ~40k.

I ran seafoam in the vacuum lines of both vehicles. The accord definitely benefited, smoother idle and acceleration. It also had one hell of a smoke show.

The Montana had no noticeable difference, and also didn't really put out much smoke.

I always wrote it off as a much more efficient Catalytic Converter on the Pontiac....

Now the Pontiac has 105k miles. Thinking I might try it again this weekend to see how much smoke I get
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:29 PM   #8
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Never used it...

I think it's a big waste of money and would never put it in any vehicle I own.
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:47 PM   #9
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I dont trust additives in my vehicle. Knowing my luck my engine would blow up.
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:07 AM   #10
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It's basically a solvent, so if something is gummed up or sticking, it will loosen it up. The thing is, on modern engines, using modern oil, and that are in daily use, that's really not a problem. If you've had a '64 Chevy sitting in a garage for 15 years, Seafoam might work wonders. On a '98 Honda with 200,000 miles, it'll make smoke, but that's about it. If you want to knock off carbon, do some full throttle runs, preferably up a long hill. You'll knock the carbon loose.
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:53 AM   #11
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Does seafoam work, YES. will it work for you, Possibly.

Its main function is getting the carbon out of an engine and it works great on 2 strokes and old 4 strokes that have been around for years or abused. It needs to be put in the intake AND crankcase. In the Intake it will clean up the combustion chambers and valves along with the top piston ring. It NEEDS to go in the crankcase to clean off the oiling rings if you are having an oil consumption problem. Don't run it too long in the crankcase, just long enough to warm the engine up to get it circulated, let is sit for 1/2hour then change the oil immediately. Ive had great luck with using it on old 2 stroke outboards fir restoring compression and on lawnmower engines that used oil. Even my old Explorer saw a significant drop in oil usage as it went from 1qt every 500 miles to 1qt every 1500 miles. That said, water mist in the intake will do just as good on that end but seafoam does wonders in a crank case. NEVER use the water method on a 2 stroke though, it will wipe the oil off the bearings.
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:35 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by T2urtle View Post

I've seen 3-4 guys post up about http://www.auto-rx.com/ on forums that i visit, pictures weren't as clean as the photos there but there was diffrences. But look at it this way, people who do this stuff have general know-how and well most likely their engines are cleaner then others.

I still think all are snake oil but i do buy them from time to time when they are on sale. Lucas mainly for the buy one get one free bottles.

I did an Auto-Rx treatment on my 98 Passat when I first bought it (2004). The 1.8T in the Passat is known for oil sludging issues due to a small crank case (3.8Qt with the OEM small filter) and an oil return line about 2.5" away from the turbo.

After the first 2k mile stage, I had my oil changed at a jiffy lube type place, and the guy commented on how much sludge was dripping out of the crank.

I changed it again at 3k like you're supposed to, and noticed some gunk but nothing crazy.

Mainly I did it for peace of mind, since I didn't have many service records from the previous owner, and he likely wasn't using the recommended synthetic.

As for Seafoam, I've done it a few times to the same car, half a can in the tank the other half sucked in through a vacuum line. The car felt smoother, though it could have been a placebo affect. The smoke show however, was worth it. I covered my entire block in a thick blanket of white smoke.
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Old 04-16-2010, 01:06 PM   #13
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I've used it several times in a couple vehicles. The first time I used it I did notice an improvement, after that I can't say as much. My saturn has been plagued with a surging acceleration since I bought it 120k miles ago and I've tried several remedies suggested by saturnfans.com yet the problem persists. The first can of seafoam was the only remedy that actually did make the problem go away for a few weeks.
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Old 04-16-2010, 01:32 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by JulesMaximus View Post
Never used it...

I think it's a big waste of money and would never put it in any vehicle I own.
yeah, real big waste of money.
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Old 04-16-2010, 03:39 PM   #15
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I've considered using it on my 87 Caprice for a while now. Having never done it before I am a little hesitant to simply unplug a vacuum line and put it in through there. It would probably work wonders though from what I've heard.
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Old 04-17-2010, 04:03 AM   #16
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It works well on older vehicles. I have used it on over 10 cars for friends and family and it does help, most told me they noticed a differnce and most of them had no idea i used it. Helped smooth out the idle and acceleration on my 88 CRX, couldnt believe the smoke that created.

I wouldnt bother on anything with under 100,000 miles on it though you probably wont need it.
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:45 AM   #17
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It looks neat. I'd love to see a car being seafoamed in person.
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:23 PM   #18
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ive used it on lawnmowers, jetskis, string trimmers, cars, trucks, etc. Never had a problem with it, but have noticed good results on mostly the 2 strokes with the hesitation going away, strong acceleration coming back, overall better idle, etc.

Its not snake oil and really does work.
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