how to clean out sludge in an engine? - Nissan Forum
J30 1989-1994 Chassis 1989-1994 Maxima

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post #1 of 17 Old Jan 4th, 2006, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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how to clean out sludge in an engine?

Hi Gents,

I keep hearing about the stuff called "seafoam". Exactly what is this stuff and how does it work? Is it some sort of super cleaning agent? I have never seen this stuff in Pepboys or Autozone, so exactly where are you supposed to buy it? Also, if you buy you it, how do you use it? by adding it to your engine oil? By pouring it into your fuel tank as an additive to clean fuel lines?


If this stuff is useful in cleaning out gunk in a motor, does it do any harm to an older engine, such as mine with 146k miles, where tolerances/rings and so forth and no longer like new?

Any info highly appreciated.
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post #2 of 17 Old Jan 5th, 2006, 06:39 AM
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I got mine at O'reilly's, but I'm sure other places have it; ask them. The directions are on the can and I have heard that it really works. Good luck

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Originally Posted by JDM240Turbo
Where is the oil filter? Gonna change my oil soon
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post #3 of 17 Old Jan 11th, 2006, 03:02 PM
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seafoam works wonders
post #4 of 17 Old Jan 11th, 2006, 03:03 PM
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Wink seafoam

seafoam works wonders
post #5 of 17 Old Jan 11th, 2006, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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how do I use the stuff?

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Originally Posted by 92GOLDGXE
seafoam works wonders
I found this site that sells the stuff:

http://www.seafoamsales.com/

I have read that you need to find a source of vaccuum in your engine and introduce into the motor very, very slow via that hose, and the engine will want to bog down and die, but you must keep working the throttle to keep the engine from completely bogging down and turning off. You then leave it alone for about 15min, and restart the car normally after that, and that a huge cloud of black smoke, or carbon build-up will come of the tailpipe. I then heard, you put the remaining 1/3rd of the can in the fuel system, and the other remaining 1/3rd of the can into where your oil dipstick goes into, via a funnel, so it can mix with the oil and lubricate the lower part of the motor, and the stuff coming from the fuel system will lubricate the upper part of the motor.


Is what I describe a correct summary? If it is, where is a source of vaccum that I can introduce it, the brake vaccuum line? Can it be introduced into the motor by taking out the PCV valve temporarily and using that hole as the entry point? In other words, how do you do it exactly?
post #6 of 17 Old Jan 11th, 2006, 11:42 PM
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Seafoam is mostly overated:

http://theoildrop.server101.com/ubb/...c;f=5;t=004131

--- Bror Jace
post #7 of 17 Old Jan 12th, 2006, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Seafoam and Other solvents

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bror Jace
Thanks for your reply. I read almost the entire blog and it had more to do it seemed like, about people trading insults than doing any good automotive knowledge sharing. I like the fact that we have a nice crowd on this forumn.


I too have read about a product called "Auto-Rx" and "Seafoam". I have likewise read that seafoam has been around since WW-II and has been used to clean out Jeeps that were driven in harsh conditions. My feeling is that something has been around since WW-II still wouldn't be on the market if it wasn't working, although I myself have never tried it.

Here's my issue that I'm trying to resolve and I hope I can get good input on this. I bought a used 1993 Maxima that I feel was not well maintained by previous owner(s). After doing tuneup, changing PCV valve as well and so forth, the issue was not really resolved and would be worse when the motor was cold. It would get better as the car was driven. My feeling on this, is that the headgasket material would warm up further and seal better, under heat (from driving). In addition, I took the car to a shop and it was diagnosed with two bad injectors. I'm having work done this week to resolve that,replace all 6, and in addition, they'll use carb-cleaner to clean out my EGR valve.

I don't yet know what the car will run like with that work done, but I was hoping to clean out sludge from the motor to further extend its useful lifespan. I think part of the problem was the gas filter wasn't changed often enough, by the previous owner, no spark plug changes, wheel alignment was way off, tires were nearly bald, in other words, plenty of indication of a car that was pretty neglected. So, I already put so much money into this car, I can't do anything except hope it lasts another 2 years. So I'm hoping to clean out sludge and varnish in an effort to make the best of the situation.

Any advice really appreciated.
post #8 of 17 Old Jan 12th, 2006, 02:42 PM
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"mostly overated"....why not just overated?...that's because it does help in some aspects. It is used by some mechanic shops, and the thread that you pointed out does not have much validity. It's cheap and worth a try.

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Originally Posted by JDM240Turbo
Where is the oil filter? Gonna change my oil soon
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post #9 of 17 Old Jan 12th, 2006, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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AutoRX or Seafoam which one to use?

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Originally Posted by nismosleeper
"mostly overated"....why not just overated?...that's because it does help in some aspects. It is used by some mechanic shops, and the thread that you pointed out does not have much validity. It's cheap and worth a try.
Hi Gents,

Ok, so I have read the relative merits of both in great detail on many blogs. The question goes back to, what do I need to do given my automative situation of a car that was neglected? Will these things help? Which one will help more? Which one should I use if I just got replaced fuel injectors?
post #10 of 17 Old Jan 12th, 2006, 11:07 PM
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Guys, as nismosleeper was able to discern, I carefully said 'mostly' over-rated because the product does work, However, there's always a chance with a solvent-based cleaner like Seafoam that it can cause wear if used in too high a concentration or left in a sump for too long.

There's also a chance too much old sludge can be dislodged at once clogging filters and tight passages and doing damage that way.

As that BITOG thread pointed out, Seafoam is over-priced for what's in it (ingredients).

If you want to clean sludge out of your motor, Auto-RX (an ester-based cleaner) is probably the champ. The esters won't harm the innards of your motor like a solvent sometimes can.

Another approach to take is to do a couple short-duration oil changes using a gas/diesel 15W-40 motor oil. Even Supertech (Walmart) 15W-40 is worth using for 1,000 miles or so. These gas/diesel (HDMO) oils contain strong, strong detergent pacikages that will (safely) clean up neglected motors. Not sure how long it will take, however.

If you change your oil using one of these and the oil turns black quickly, it's doing its job ...

... safely.

--- Bror Jace
post #11 of 17 Old Jan 27th, 2006, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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cleaning it out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daryl Baines
I agree with Bror Jace it liquefies your sludge while you drive good luck.
Hi Guys,

Thanks for all the advice.
post #12 of 17 Old Jan 28th, 2006, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexnds
Hi Gents,

I keep hearing about the stuff called "seafoam". Exactly what is this stuff and how does it work? Is it some sort of super cleaning agent? I have never seen this stuff in Pepboys or Autozone, so exactly where are you supposed to buy it?
At a REAL parts store

My websites are for sale
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post #13 of 17 Old Feb 4th, 2006, 11:31 AM
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seafoam good stuff

I judged Seafoam according to consensus from a variety of personal experiences from others in forums and reviews, and also from the owner of a local marina. My best friend used it in his boat's inboard engine. You have to follow the instructions carefully in order for it to do what it's intended for. (i.e. running engine at higher rpm's while the stuff runs through, etc.) It worked successfully as far as we were concerned. It pushed out a lot of moisture, and seemed to keep it out for the whole season.
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post #14 of 17 Old Oct 7th, 2006, 06:01 AM
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Where is the PCV valve located?
post #15 of 17 Old Oct 7th, 2006, 03:04 PM
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