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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 03-05-2005, 08:34 PM   #1
JmAbshire
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Rough Idle/hesitation? This could fix it for about $12

After talking with some friends about carbon deposits and dirty injectors I came across a well known product called Seafoam, http://www.seafoamsales.com/ stuffs been around for years and is by many accounts the best automotive cleaner around.

So I gave it a shot, the results were phenomenal! I was experiencing a really rough idle/vibration and a little hesitation. I checked everything from plugs, coils, vanos, and even the engine mounts; all in good shape. Iím not saying this will work for everyone, but a lot of people that have used this method and product have experienced excellent results. It turned out that I had some dirty fuel injectors and probably a lot of carbon deposits throughout the engine (have 35K currently on the odometer) that was causing the above symptoms. Anyhow hereís what I did:

1. First go buy yourself a can Seafoam motor treatment, and one can of Seafoam Deep Creep (aerosol can), about $5 each. Also youíll need a new hose clamp for the booster vacuum hose. Itís about a one half to three fourths diameter, eye ball it.

2. Making sure your engine is at operating temperature (donít do this on a cold engine) locate the brake booster vacuum line (check the picture). Youíll have to pry off the ďone-shot-dealĒ clamp from the hose. (Youíll be replacing it when youíre done with the new one you purchased).

3. Now the hard part, you have to remove the booster hose. Itís a pain because there is more than likely still a vacuum on it, what I did was carefully took a small flat head screwdriver and pried up underneath it and released the vacuum, then proceeded to wiggle it loose. This fitting has barbs on it so you canít just yank at it or itíll just get tighter, take your time itíll come off. Also take off the weather stripping so that you can work with the hose.

4. Now once itís off, get a funnel and wedge it in the hose. Have a buddy turn your car on, you will now notice a huge air draw (sucking noise) on the line, this is what you want. Then slowly begin to pour a little in at a time until you have used about one third to half a can of Seafoam. Caution: donít just pour the whole can down at once, thereís this thing called hydro-locking which trust me you donít want to think about. So just a little at a time, and youíll be fine. Your buddy will have to keep the RPMs up (around 1.5K) so the car wonít die right off the bat. Remember half a can. After youíve done this shut her down and wait about 5-10 minutes.

5. Youíre done with this part, plug the vacuum hose back on and tighten it down with new clamp you bought. Tip put the clamp on hose before you put the hose back on the fitting, I know obviousÖ.

6. Turn on your car, and let it idle for a few seconds, then let it rip, open it up to about 4.5k -5k RPM, now your really going to see what kind of crap is in your motor, smokes like a mother. This is all of the carbon and crap in your engine intake manifold, valves, lifters etc... Itíll stop after 15 minutes or so. Obviously do this in a well ventilated area!!!!

7. Now with the Deep Creep, pull out the hose assembly (marked DC on my figure) and while the engine is running again, spray the deep creep down in the hole, this is going to get your throttle body and idle position sensor cleaned up, use about a half a can. I recommend doing some, then go and drive around the block, then doing the other half.

8. Finally with the other half of your Seafoam (not the deep creep, the liquid) pour it into your gas tank, this will get your fuel injectors cleaned up nicely. Do this on a half a tank of gas, for a higher concentration.

9. Youíre done, and youíve done a cheep but highly effective tune up on a multitude of areas. Now just go and drive her a little harder than usual to get her nice and clean. Youíre probably going to notice a huge difference.

Hopefully this helps some people out, it worked great for me!!!! Jason

Disclaimer: As usual your car your choice, donít blame me!
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Old 03-05-2005, 10:54 PM   #2
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Excellent Write up.

Guess I know what I'll be doing this week.
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Old 03-05-2005, 11:16 PM   #3
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This isn't bad for the engine??
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:55 AM   #4
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did you buy yours online?
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There are some true ballers on this forum. Ten dollars is nothing to them. They use ten dollars to wipe the mud from their 900 dollar Ferragamo dog-walking shoes.
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Old 03-06-2005, 08:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L-I-B
did you buy yours online?
AutoZone has it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedwrite
This isn't bad for the engine??
Everyone I have talked too has said itís safe as long as you donít hydro lock your engine by putting to much fluid in at one time. I also talked to a mechanic at a dealership which is the one who recommended the actual product. So you'll have to be the judge... As for me I'm sold, this stuff really worked well for me.

Look around on the web, there is a ton of info in forums and websites that will tell you the sameÖ.

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Old 03-06-2005, 08:50 PM   #6
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I just barely tried this...when I poured a TINY amount in the funnel, it would rev like crazy. Is this normal? and when I poured about half the can in, let it sit 5-10 min, and started it up, it didn't smoke? did I do somthin wrong?
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Old 03-07-2005, 11:41 AM   #7
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you could simply have a much cleaner engine.

Nothing wrong with that
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Old 03-07-2005, 03:57 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by L-I-B
I just barely tried this...when I poured a TINY amount in the funnel, it would rev like crazy. Is this normal? and when I poured about half the can in, let it sit 5-10 min, and started it up, it didn't smoke? did I do somthin wrong?
Lot of factors here, quite possibly like Asmodeus said you might have a really clean engine. However I would ask if you revved up to 5K-6K or so a few times, donít be afraid its a BMW, mine didnít smoke that much either when I revved around 2-4K, then because people where around and wanted to be cool (LOL) I hammered it to around 5.5K, then I got a smoke show, really.... they ran.. Joking. Now that itís been a day, it might have evaporated within, go out and open it up you should get some smoke, if not donít worry your probably pretty cleanÖ.. try it again if your unsure, its safe. Let me know what happens.

Jason
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Old 03-12-2005, 03:42 PM   #9
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did any warning or check engine lights go on when you took out the booster vacuum line and then started the car? I'll probably do this when I go home for break.
I'm gonna run some through the gas tank first this weekend
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Old 03-13-2005, 12:22 PM   #10
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No lights came on for me, or on the other cars that i have used this method on.
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Old 03-15-2005, 11:59 PM   #11
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I have a 2000 328Ci, went and bought both the liquid and spray Seafoam. Went well with the liquid, however I came to realize I should have disconnected the bottom hose and the not the top. However, with the Deep Creap I was not able to disconnect the hose assembly. I was wondering you have any pointers. My setup seems to have one long hose that connects to the same unit as the orignal vacuum assembly that then connects to the larger tube that receives the air from the airfilter. When I tried to remove the hose, it was a no go.

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Old 03-16-2005, 06:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intldev
I have a 2000 328Ci, went and bought both the liquid and spray Seafoam. Went well with the liquid, however I came to realize I should have disconnected the bottom hose and the not the top. However, with the Deep Creap I was not able to disconnect the hose assembly. I was wondering you have any pointers. My setup seems to have one long hose that connects to the same unit as the orignal vacuum assembly that then connects to the larger tube that receives the air from the airfilter. When I tried to remove the hose, it was a no go.

Thanks
J.
I'm guessing that the 2000 328 has a little different set up on the master cylinder/booster than the later models? You know when you pull the right one off due to the huge vacuum and sucking sound you hear, and you should be able to follow the hose to the intake manifold area, good indicator. As far as the intake from what you said it sounds like the easy way to do it would be to remove the clamp after the MAF sensor (which is after the air filter) on your intake and just spray in the big hose as opposed to tring to pull off a little side or vacuum hose. I had to do this on my wifes Jetta because the size and location of the hose. Just have someone rev it up when you spray the deep creep in, if you dont it'll probably just pool in the bottom of the intake and evaporate, waste... Hope this helps...... Jason
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Old 03-16-2005, 07:51 PM   #13
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I haven't done this to my 328i yet, but I've used similar cleaners on other cars. Mazda sells "top end cleaner" that I used on my Miata with good effect. One thing - be sure to do this right before an oil change, as you're bound to get some of this stuff, which is a very strong solvent, into your oil both by simple blowby and especially during the soak phase of the cleaning. You don't want this stuff circulating through your oil for a significant amount of time as it'll do bad things to the oil.

Scott
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Old 03-16-2005, 08:11 PM   #14
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I haven't done this to my 328i yet, but I've used similar cleaners on other cars. Mazda sells "top end cleaner" that I used on my Miata with good effect. One thing - be sure to do this right before an oil change, as you're bound to get some of this stuff, which is a very strong solvent, into your oil both by simple blowby and especially during the soak phase of the cleaning. You don't want this stuff circulating through your oil for a significant amount of time as it'll do bad things to the oil.

Scott
Plus your oil is going to collect a lot of the deposits that are removed!

So this is a safe thing for sure? Seems like Seafoam is a harsh solvent, and it wouldn't be good for your hoses and any of the seals in your engine?
I'm very tempted to give this a shot...
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Old 03-16-2005, 09:59 PM   #15
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i'm pretty sure Seafoam is safe. my girlfriend's father is a mechanic and he highly recommended it. He uses it on his track car too. couple of my friends have used it w/o problems.
back to what insubordination had said - i didnt run the seafoam through my vacuum line yet, i just used it in the gas tank to get my fuel injectors cleaned nice. but i dunno, i dont see it being detrimental to the engine itself ?
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Old 03-24-2005, 03:21 AM   #16
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seafoam isn't a solevant its a petrolium product like the other post said... dont hydrolock the engine... put seafoam in as directed above... you might want to have your spark plugs changed in about 1000 miles after you use seafoam and have your oil changed within 3000... (just trust me on those)...
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Old 03-24-2005, 09:15 AM   #17
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seafoam isn't a solevant its a petrolium product like the other post said... dont hydrolock the engine... put seafoam in as directed above... you might want to have your spark plugs changed in about 1000 miles after you use seafoam and have your oil changed within 3000... (just trust me on those)...
I certainly understand the oil. But why the plugs?
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Old 03-24-2005, 09:54 AM   #18
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.....you might want to have your spark plugs changed in about 1000 miles after you use seafoam and have your oil changed within 3000... (just trust me on those)...

I agree with the oil as well, I would think that if you are concerned about spark plugs, you could just take them out and carefully clean them, i.e. remove deposits and such. Those guys can get pretty expensive.
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Old 03-24-2005, 11:01 AM   #19
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Thanks for the write up...This is the exact problem I was having with my car and didn't really know what to do...I'm gonna try some just in my gas first and then go from there...
Does anyone know how much new spark plugs go for and any recommendations on some? I know it sounds like a dumb question, but I don't wanna go to the dealer for them!
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Old 03-24-2005, 12:45 PM   #20
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XJONBX

I recently got some NGK Iridiumís IX (BKR6EIX-11) from http://www.clubplug.net/ for about $6, pretty good deal on a high quality plug.

One caution, make sure to regap them to .032 inch, they come stock at .044 inch, I had a friend who didnít and noticed a lot of hesitation and erratic engine behavior. For that matter one should always check the gaps when installing new plugs. I called an engineer at NGK, after discussing a few other things, we noticed that a lot of sites who sell these plugs have miss advertised the plug gaps. Other than that they are awesome plugs for the money.

Tip: donít buy one of those dial gap tools, you need to get a precision wire gap tool that only pulls back on the ground electrode without touching the center electrode. To close the gap on a plug, gently tap the plug, electrode first on a hard surface. I found a good one at NAPA.

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