how to use Sea Foam

SEA FOAM! What Is It And Why Should You Use It?

Over time, the internals of your engine get clogged up with all kinds of nasty stuff. Inside the crankcase, where the oil lives, varnish and tar build up on the surfaces of the pistons, rings, lifters and in the oil galleys that supply the oil to all the components. This lowers the engine’s ability to cool and lubricate itself, reducing the efficiency, performance, and life of the engine.
Sea Foam

The same build up occurs inside the fuel system as well, clogging the injectors or carburetor jets, gumming up the intake valves and on the tops of the pistons too. If the valves don’t move freely, then your engine’s breathing is greatly hampered. Carbon deposits on the pistons and valves can lead to hot spots which cause detonation, which lowers your engine’s performance. The trick is how do you clean? Virtually every engine, from 2-stroke lawnmowers to big rig diesels face the same problem.

Sea Foam has been around for over 70 years, and it is one of the most trusted treatments for all engines. While Sea Foam makes a range of excellent products, the main one is Sea Foam Motor Treatment. Sea Foam is specially formulated to safely and slowly re-liquify the gum, sludge, varnish and carbon deposits from the hard parts in your engine so they can be flushed out of the system.

Sea Foam helps lubricate the moving parts, particularly in the fuel system. Ethanol additives dry out the seals and leaves a varnish that makes it harder for oil to lubricate the parts. Removing this varnish brings the engine back into top working order. Inside the fuel tank, Sea Foam absorbs water, allowing it to be burned up in the combustion chamber without issue.

How To Use Sea Foam

Sea Foam Motor Treatment can be used three ways: in the crankcase, in the fuel tank , and in the diesel fuel filter. For cleaning the top end, use Sea Foam Spray as directed.

In The Crankcase

When added to the oil, Sea Foam will clean up sludge, quiet noisy lifters, and remove oil varnish. One can treats 16 quarts of oil so you get 2 treatments in one can for most vehicles. The best method is to add the treatment 500-1000 miles before the next oil change, and then add the rest after you have changed the oil. This will get the big amounts of varnish and sludge out, and the second treatment keeps things clean.

 

Pop the cap on the oil filler neck. You can add Sea Foam before or after an oil change.

Pop the cap on the oil filler neck. You can add Sea Foam before or after an oil change.

 

Pour up to 1 ounce of Sea Foam per quart of oil into the engine. We used about ½ of the bottle.

Pour up to 1 ounce of Sea Foam per quart of oil into the engine. We used about ½ of the bottle.

 

In The Fuel

One can treats up to 16 gallons of fuel. This will remove deposits from the fuel pump, injectors or carb jets, control moisture, and stabilize the fuel. In diesel engines, it will de-ice and has anti-gel properties.

One bottle treats up to 16 gallons of fuel. We poured in 1/2 of the bottle to make this a one-bottle job.

One bottle treats up to 16 gallons of fuel. We poured in 1/2 of the bottle to make this a one-bottle job.

 

Top-End

To clean carbon deposits from air intake systems, intake valves and combustion chambers inside the engine, including GDI engines, Sea Foam recommends using Sea Foam Spray Top Engine cleaner and lube (Part # SS-14). Sea Foam Spray is the same great Sea Foam only in aerosol spray instead of liquid form. Sea Foam Spray is used by inserting the included application hose and patented “HOOK TOOL” into the air intake just in front of the throttle plates in the throttle body.  Then start engine and let it warm up to operating temperature. Increase idle speed to 2,000 RPM and spray the contents of the container into the engine. Shut the engine off and allow it to “Hot Soak” for 15 minutes. After the Hot Soak period restart the engine and road test the vehicle aggressively until the exhaust is clean (road test normally takes 5 to 10 miles of driving). Easy to follow directions are also available right on the Sea Foam Spray container.

Treatments like this may seem complicated, but with a little bit of prep work, you can do it yourself and restore your vehicle’s power and performance. If you have any concerns, stop by your local NAPA Auto Parts Store or NAPA AutoCare Center.

Sea Foam Spray Top Engine cleaner and lube

To learn more about NAPA AutoCare, visit www.NAPAAutoCare.com.

about author

Jefferson Bryant

A life-long gearhead, Jefferson Bryant spends more time in the shop than anywhere else. His career began in the car audio industry as a shop manager, eventually working his way into a position at Rockford Fosgate as a product designer. In 2003, he began writing tech articles for magazines, and has been working as an automotive journalist ever since. His work has been featured in Car Craft, Hot Rod, Rod & Custom, Truckin’, Mopar Muscle, and many more. Jefferson has also written 4 books and produced countless videos. Jefferson operates Red Dirt Rodz, his personal garage studio, where all of his magazine articles and tech videos are produced.

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7 Comments

  • roland leclerc

    February 24, 2016 at 11:59 AM

    Reply

    i was told about seafoam never used it it made my 8 h.p. motor run real smooth

  • jack

    March 11, 2016 at 3:35 PM

    Reply

    Trickling water into vacuum line or into carburetor float bowl also helps clean valves and pistons of carbon deposits. I was told of this by a old timer and tried it on a old work Truck I had bought with 112k on it . Warmed it up then at steady 2500 rpm and trickled cold water into carb throat. It coughed black suit and chunks of carbon all over my driveway. The thing came alive after that. Unbelievable power difference. Truck still runs strong and now has 257 k miles on it and gets water treatment once per year .

  • Tyler

    April 8, 2016 at 9:15 AM

    Reply

    Seafoam is the best thing i have ever used now i use it on my mowers weedeaters, works great

  • willie

    May 26, 2016 at 7:02 PM

    Reply

    Can u pour it in the vacuum again after the first treatment is done?

  • Bill Bock

    October 6, 2016 at 11:48 PM

    Reply

    Use Seafoam In All My Vehicles…Motorcycles ,Cars ,Trucks ,Lawn Mowers, Etc…Excellent Product…Been Using For 5yrs …Keeps Everything Running Smooth 🙂

  • Marvin Conner

    March 8, 2017 at 6:22 PM

    Reply

    The number one killer of $130k funeral vehicles is lack of use. What I mean is we never get a chance to run them out on the open hwy. they have mufflers rust out at 8k because they never get hot enough to purge the moisture out. Funeral home to church is about 10 slow minutes. Then a slow crawl to the cemetery for 20 25 minutes, always shutting the engine off at every destination. Then going back to the funeral home in slow city traffic and back into the garage. Our new state of the art Cadillac hearse costs more than my house. I asked our mechanic at the Cadillac dealership about sea foam and he said it could void the warranty on emissions and just keep coming in for the $200 de carbon treatment. Bull! We bought six cans and on a Sunday night (closed) treated all of our six vehicle fleet. Then did a convoy down I 95 at highway speed. The results were amazing ! Our two 2006 hearses belched black then white smoke like a fire. We now take all the fleet out for a pizza and beer run down the interstate for a 60 mile round trip. We told the other mortuaries about this on the blog.

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