Can Sea Foam Damage Your Car Engine?

Can Sea Foam Damage Your Car Engine? – Maybe it isn’t exactly as it sounds. To a layman, the term “seafoam” paints a picture of bubbles that are caused by the agitation of seawater and characterized by the presence of surfactants. However, to a motorhead, it means so much more than a natural phenomenon. It is a solution to almost all car engine problems. 

The seafoam refers to a canned product, consisting of pale oil, naphtha, and isopropyl alcohol which is used to clean and restore lost engine power.

 What magical impact could sea foam possibly have on car engines? Is the product overrated or is it totally worth every penny? Could this be one of those times when we say that technology has done more harm than good? Well, we are about to find out.

Using Seafoam to Clean Engine

The sea foam-car relationship can be dated as far back as the 1900s and has seen the birth of various sea foam products. Over the years, it has managed to gain ground in the automobile industry, with the title of the most trusted engine treatment to its name. 

The most common variant is the sea foam motor treatment which performs numerous functions to ensure that your vehicle is up and running. Its mechanisms of action include lubrication of upper cylindrical parts to prevent corrosion and stabilization of fuel to prevent evaporation. It also plays a vital role in cleaning every nook and cranny of the engine, especially parts you can’t reach without taking the whole engine apart. 

It is noteworthy to mention the high compatibility between sea foam and cars and this is made possible by the fact that the product is made from crude oil, thereby rendering it safe for the fuel system.

The seafoam motor treatment is a specially formulated solution that consists of petroleum-based ingredients. These ingredients include Naphtha, Pale oil, and Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA). The Naphtha present in the solution plays the role of diluting heavy oils. This is especially useful in liquefying sludge deposits in the car engine which must have accumulated over time. 

IPA acts as a cleaning and drying agent. It helps to get rid of excess water in the tank by absorbing water and drying it out, thereby facilitating the ignition of fuel. The pale oil present in the product is a naphthenic substance that is known for its high solvency and performs the role of lubrication.

How Do You Use Sea Foam on Car Engines?

There are three ways by which sea foam can be used to clean engines and restore efficiency. 

Crankcase Cleansing

This is a great way to cut down on the noise caused by an accumulation of oil sludge in engine parts. This method helps to get rid of sludge and oil varnish. In order to get optimum results, it is better to empty half of the 16 oz bottle into the crankcase before changing the oil, subject the car to a 500–1000-mile drive and then pour the rest of the bottle in. 

This helps to get rid of as much sludge as possible and also clean out the case even after the oil service. 

Note that one treatment requires about 8 oz of sea foam. Hence, with the 16 oz bottle, treatment can be done twice.

Fuel Tank Cleansing

Most cars run on fuel and it is only natural that we refill the fuel tank continuously. However, as important as it is to ensure that the car doesn’t run out of fuel, a build-up of old fuel can easily lead to the clogging of tiny passages such as fuel injectors. 

Generous use of sea foam on the fuel tank can help to dissolve such build-ups and prevent severe engine damages.

Intake System Cleansing

Air intake systems are known to suffer from a lot of build-ups of carbon deposits. Ignoring the condition makes the car subject to risks of misfires. 

Hence, it is absolutely necessary to ensure a dirt-free intake system. It is recommended to carefully pour the contents of the sea foam bottle while the car is running at 2000 revolutions per minute. This should be followed by turning the engine off and subjecting the car to a 15-minute hot soak process. 

Upon completion, take the car out for an aggressive drive to clean out the exhaust pipe thoroughly. 

Does Sea Foam Work?

Well, just as they say, experience is the best teacher. You won’t really know unless you try it out. Nevertheless, if you are still contemplating whether to break your piggy bank for a bottle of sea foam motor treatment, then you might find this piece helpful.

The first encouraging fact about the sea foam treatment is that it is petroleum-based. The consequence of this is that it is relatively safe to be used on and for car engines. 

Also, the general public perception of the product is good with a positive product rating. Studies have also shown that although using sea foam on engines doesn’t necessarily cause an increase in miles per gallon (MPG), it has been found to play a huge role in maintaining fuel viability and cleaning car engines. 

Needless to say, this product is quite worth the buy so you can just go ahead and make that purchase. Nevertheless, you might want to try it out on that old pick-up truck which is likely to suffer from more carbon build-up than your Chevrolet with a less carbon-consuming modern engine. 

Is Sea Foam Good for Your Car?

Sea foam is a product that has been specially prepared to jettison all forms of dirt from your car engines such as sludge, gum, and carbon deposits. It also helps to lubricate all parts of the fuel system. 

One very good thing about it is that it helps to clean all the internal parts of an engine effectively without having to worry about the costs of paying a professional. That is something we definitely wouldn’t want to lose. 

What’s more? Since sea foam is a petroleum product, then, we can be sure that it contains majorly decayed components alone and not harmful substances like Ethanol additives. This is because most fuel treatments available in the market today are Ethanol-based and this component dries out engine seals, thereby rendering them inaccessible to lubricating substances. Thus, sea foam is highly preferred and recommended for maintenance as it does not contain abrasive components that could cause harm or damage to the engine. 

As potent as this product is in performing its duty, is it possible for it not to have any side effects on the engine at all? After all, what is good for the goose is not always good for the gander. Well, let’s find out.

Sea Foam Engine Damage: What We Know

Just as there are two sides to a coin, even the sea foam has its own negative impacts on car engines. In as much as the product has been rendered engine-safe, some past users still have a few negative things to say about it. 

One of such claims is that it thins out the oil present in the car engine. This could hinder proper lubrication of the engine parts, especially when it has gone below the required level for consistency and viscosity. 

Some users also believe that excess use of sea foam on fuel tanks could cause an increase in fuel consumption. This is no doubt, a major turn-off as having to fill up the tank too frequently is not very economical.

At this juncture, I think it would be right to say that too much of everything is bad. As effective as sea foam could be in ensuring the smooth running of your car engine, it really wouldn’t hurt to apply a little bit of caution, moderation, and discipline in its usage.

Bottom Line

Sea foam for car engines has been in use for about 70 years and has managed to still maintain its status as the most trusted maintenance product. This proves only one thing: it is totally worth the buy. Yes, it has its own negative effects, especially when used too frequently but no, it doesn’t render the product completely useless. If you ask me, I would say that the negative implications it is said to have on engines are quite negligible and it would remain our immediate go-to maintenance product for a very long time to come.

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