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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 03-26-2008, 06:26 PM
Tex330i Tex330i is offline
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How To: Use Seafoam

I've read some topics on here where people were confused on how to use Sea Foam; They weren't sure which line was a vacuum line, and some are embarassed to ask.

It's real simple: The thick line that attaches to your brake booster is the vacuum line, it pulls straight out of the booster and has considerable vacuum at idle. After the car has been fully warmed up pull off the brake booster line and let it drink half a can of sea foam (8oz). Let the car sit for 15 minutes then start it up and be prepared for a smoke show. You can follow up later with the other 8oz, or you can add it to your gas tank when it's almost completely empty to clean the fuel injectors.

The line disconnects where you see my username in the photo. Just wiggle it and pull it straight out.
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  #2  
Old 03-28-2008, 10:03 PM
Tex330i Tex330i is offline
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  #3  
Old 03-29-2008, 07:23 AM
im im is offline
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consider google of: youtube
or try this link.
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  #4  
Old 03-29-2008, 09:13 AM
arielb1 arielb1 is offline
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Thanks guys...this is great. Great way to teach others... teach me in fact.

I have a 2002 325i with 60k miles. It is very clean and runs great and strong.

Questions: Seafoam appears to be to clean the engine of carbon. Will I have to worry what this will do to my 4 Oxygen sensors? What other issues will this create other than resetting my engine OBD codes?

Thanks for educating me.
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  #5  
Old 03-29-2008, 10:26 AM
devarshi devarshi is offline
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The bottle says it is o2 sensor safe. I haven't used it yet though, so I don't know.
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  #6  
Old 03-29-2008, 12:12 PM
jared81 jared81 is offline
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ive used it, i dont have any scientific data to back it up, but the car does feel smoother, and i cant imagein it could hurt
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  #7  
Old 03-29-2008, 01:04 PM
Tex330i Tex330i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by im View Post
consider google of: youtube
or try this link.
He removed the hose from another location.. pulling it straight from the brake booster is much easier.
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  #8  
Old 03-31-2008, 07:12 AM
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I have a question. Is this THE way to use Seafoam in your car? I have heard of putting it in a full tank of gas, and I have also heard of adding it to your oil in the crankcase to remove carbon deposits in the crank (note: only about 200 miles before an oil change). Can this be done as well? Or is the method shown the ONLY way of using Seafoam?

BTW...I did a treatment of Marvel Mystery Oil in my gas tank and I believe it helped my MPGs by maybe .5 MPG...
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  #9  
Old 03-31-2008, 04:49 PM
Tex330i Tex330i is offline
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There are a few ways.
You can drain 1 quart of oil and put 2 cans of seafoam in its place and run the engine for 15-20 minutes. Do-not drive the car with it in there. This is similar to flushing with diesel fuel.

If you want to clean the injectors, you should run the fuel tank empty. Put in a quart or less of gasoline with a full can of sea foam. Drive to the gas station and run the engine until theres no more fuel/seafoam in the tank, then fill up.
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  #10  
Old 04-01-2008, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex330i View Post
...run the engine for 15-20 minutes. Do-not drive the car...
You are saying to let my car idle for 20 minutes? Isn't that horrible on a car?
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  #11  
Old 04-01-2008, 03:18 PM
Tex330i Tex330i is offline
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No, not idle.. vary the throttle. It won't hurt the car and it will really clean the internals.
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  #12  
Old 04-01-2008, 03:21 PM
sierrakilo99 sierrakilo99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex330i View Post
If you want to clean the injectors, you should run the fuel tank empty.
I highly recommend that you NOT run the fuel tank completely empty:

- there's crap (water, sediment, etc.) in the bottom of your fuel tank... do you really want that in your engine???
- the fuel pump is actually cooled by the liquid (fuel) that it pumps to the engine. Running the tank dry is a good way to damage a rather expensive part.

You can put fuel system cleaners (seafoam, etc.) in the tank when the tank is ALMOST empty and run it for a few miles, but I'd be very careful about running it completely empty.

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  #13  
Old 04-01-2008, 03:30 PM
Tex330i Tex330i is offline
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If your car doesn't sit for long periods of time there will be minimal debris in the tank. There are several filters to stop junk from entering the fuel system, and you are over-dramatizing. I would not suggest hooking a fuel pump up to power and running it for any length of time, but you can tell when your car is getting low on fuel.

It will not have a satisfactory cleaning effect unless it is mixed strong, sea foam suggests a 50% mixture with fuel. You want to empty the tank then put in a small amount of fuel with the seafoam. If there is a gallon or two left in the tank the injectors will not be thoroughly cleaned.
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  #14  
Old 04-01-2008, 03:46 PM
sierrakilo99 sierrakilo99 is offline
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Debris in your fuel tank has little to do with how long a car sits... however, the amount of debris that can enter the fuel tank is highly dependent on the cleanliness of the delivery system... ie that tank sitting in the ground at your local gas station.

Yes, there are filters in the system (both the delivery pump as well as the fuel filter on the car) but they will not prevent all the sediments (or water for that matter) from getting into your engine.

If someone followed your suggestion of draining the tank then putting in a quart or two of fuel system cleaner in and then driving it to the gas station while running it dry again, I doubt they'd get very far down the road before the car sputtered and stalled to a halt leaving them stranded and embarrassed.
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  #15  
Old 04-01-2008, 05:20 PM
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So it sounds like the vacuum line method for applying it to the fuel delivery system is the best way. And for this method, you would run the car at varying throttle for 15-20 mins.

As far as cleaning out the crank case...has anyone done this? Do I just drain out about a quart of oil and then add it directly to the oil fill? How long to I run it for? 100 miles? 200 miles? Seafoam's website is NOT helpful...
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  #16  
Old 04-01-2008, 06:04 PM
Tex330i Tex330i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sierrakilo99 View Post
Debris in your fuel tank has little to do with how long a car sits... however, the amount of debris that can enter the fuel tank is highly dependent on the cleanliness of the delivery system... ie that tank sitting in the ground at your local gas station.

Yes, there are filters in the system (both the delivery pump as well as the fuel filter on the car) but they will not prevent all the sediments (or water for that matter) from getting into your engine.

If someone followed your suggestion of draining the tank then putting in a quart or two of fuel system cleaner in and then driving it to the gas station while running it dry again, I doubt they'd get very far down the road before the car sputtered and stalled to a halt leaving them stranded and embarrassed.

You must be a master certified mechanic. Thanks! Not.
Any car that is regularly run (gas tank filled up and emptied regularly) can be run out of fuel and filled up without incident.
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  #17  
Old 04-01-2008, 06:05 PM
Tex330i Tex330i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradley01 View Post
So it sounds like the vacuum line method for applying it to the fuel delivery system is the best way. And for this method, you would run the car at varying throttle for 15-20 mins.

As far as cleaning out the crank case...has anyone done this? Do I just drain out about a quart of oil and then add it directly to the oil fill? How long to I run it for? 100 miles? 200 miles? Seafoam's website is NOT helpful...
If you drain a quart of oil and put in sea foam I would run it stationary at varying RPM for 20 minutes. I would not drive it, but that is my preference.
You can do the same thing using diesel fuel instead of sea foam.
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  #18  
Old 04-01-2008, 06:31 PM
Lbert Lbert is offline
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Do not run the car until the fuel tank goes dry. You run the chance of destroying your fuel pump. Fuel serves as a coolant and lubricant to your pump.
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  #19  
Old 04-01-2008, 06:52 PM
Tex330i Tex330i is offline
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Who do you guys think you are?
Trying to scare people into thinking they're going to burn up the fuel pump.
Run the car until it starts sonding like its running out of fuel and turn the key off.

The only way you'll burn up the pump is if you continue to run it, as in trying to start a car that is out of gas for a prolonged period of time. Nobody is suggesting this.
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  #20  
Old 04-02-2008, 09:03 AM
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...soooo, vacuum line method it is.
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  #21  
Old 04-02-2008, 09:39 AM
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SchwarzeEwigkt SchwarzeEwigkt is offline
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Maybe we can agree to disagree and just say that "it's not a good idea?"

I can say that I've seen some pretty funky stuff end up at the bottom of a fuel tank, but there is a filter on the fuel pump pickup to guard against that. Further, I used to work in environmental remediation, so I saw a fair number of fuel tanks cracked open. There's a bunch of crap in there most of the time. Gas pumps do have filters on them, but they don't stop everything.

There's also the fact that many manufacturers say that running out of gas can harm your catalytic converter, though I have no idea how.

My $0.02, anyway.
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  #22  
Old 04-02-2008, 06:49 PM
Tex330i Tex330i is offline
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You should put some in through the vacuum line and in an empty tank with an equal amount of fuel. The vacuum line method will NOT clean the fuel injectors.
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  #23  
Old 04-03-2008, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex330i View Post
You should put some in through the vacuum line and in an empty tank with an equal amount of fuel. The vacuum line method will NOT clean the fuel injectors.
What does the vacuum line method clean?
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  #24  
Old 04-03-2008, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex330i View Post
I've read some topics on here where people were confused on how to use Sea Foam; They weren't sure which line was a vacuum line, and some are embarassed to ask.

It's real simple: The thick line that attaches to your brake booster is the vacuum line, it pulls straight out of the booster and has considerable vacuum at idle. After the car has been fully warmed up pull off the brake booster line and let it drink half a can of sea foam (8oz). Let the car sit for 15 minutes then start it up and be prepared for a smoke show. You can follow up later with the other 8oz, or you can add it to your gas tank when it's almost completely empty to clean the fuel injectors.

The line disconnects where you see my username in the photo. Just wiggle it and pull it straight out.
Picture is attached.
Do you shut the car off when adding the Sea Foam into the vacuum line or should it be idling?
After the Sea Foam has been added, then do you reconnect the vacuum line back to the booster?
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  #25  
Old 04-03-2008, 09:22 AM
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Well, according to the video, it looks like you do all the steps while the car is idling.
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