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Are fuel treatments (like Seafoam or Gumout) worth it?

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  • Are fuel treatments (like Seafoam or Gumout) worth it?

    To those of you with at least 10 years of experience maintaining your engine..

    What are your thoughts on fuel treatments like Seafoam, Gumout, Yamaha Ring-Free, etc? I know we're not going to end this debate in one little forum thread, but I really would like someone to, in detail, explain to me why this stuff is worth paying for? As I understand, these products can reduce heavy carbon buildup in the cylinders. And I do believe that, because I've seen people perform independent tests with boroscopes showing before & after pictures.

    However, I don't see how a modern fuel-injected outboard could get that much carbon buildup in the first place. If you have a fuel/water separator filter and you're buying quality gas, do you ever need these products?
    Last edited by rejesterd; 06-05-2017, 11:14 AM.
    2011 F50TLR, 2010 G3 V167C

  • #2
    fuel sitting in who knows what kind of tank sits for who knows how long before being burned may not be the freshest fuel even if it was fresh when you put it in..

    Since we have no idea what motor you are dealing with,
    Go with what your motor manufacture recommends.
    after market you go with what you feel like and hope

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by 99yam40 View Post
      fuel sitting in who knows what kind of tank sits for who knows how long before being burned may not be the freshest fuel even if it was fresh when you put it in..
      See this is what I'm getting at.. what if I'm constantly running the tank down to almost empty, and refilling it every 2-3 weeks during the season? Would you still use fuel treatment?

      Originally posted by 99yam40 View Post
      Since we have no idea what motor you are dealing with,
      Go with what your motor manufacture recommends.
      after market you go with what you feel like and hope
      This is another thing I'm getting at.. to me, there's no difference between what I "feel and hope" and just blinding doing what the manufacturer tells me to do. I have a 2011 F50, and Yamaha recommends their Ring-Free treatment (which just happens to be the most expensive). But the service manual says nothing about regularly treating the fuel.

      I still plan on using a stabilizer for winterization, but I'm not finding any empirical evidence that you need to regularly treat gas that's less than 30 days old.
      2011 F50TLR, 2010 G3 V167C

      Comment


      • #4
        My F60 Yamaha gets 1/2 can of seafoam mixed with 5 gals of gas
        once every 2-3 months.
        the engine idles and accelerates smoother after treatment.

        Comment


        • #5
          There is no question that by itself the mix of petroleum fractions that comprise gasoline will not "burn cleanly" in an ordinary internal combustion engine -

          there is also no question that there are a number of specially synthesized compounds which if present in the gasoline, will act as "detergents"

          particularly for the intake valve stems

          Are you familiar with the "Top Tier Gasoline" Program? If not, you might google it

          A number of auto manufacturers seem to believe that the current EPA required minimum "detergent" is not sufficient, and that "somewhat more is better"

          Yamaha, in contrast, suggests you buy the "detergent" from them and add it yourself.

          Is RingFree "the most expensive"? I've never purchased it -
          but I do purchase my fuel from a "Top Tier" brand

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by dark_star View Post
            My F60 Yamaha gets 1/2 can of seafoam mixed with 5 gals of gas
            once every 2-3 months.
            the engine idles and accelerates smoother after treatment.
            Thanks. Just wondering how often you fill up your tank on the boat? And do you let it run down to almost empty?
            2011 F50TLR, 2010 G3 V167C

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by fairdeal View Post
              There is no question that by itself the mix of petroleum fractions that comprise gasoline will not "burn cleanly" in an ordinary internal combustion engine -

              there is also no question that there are a number of specially synthesized compounds which if present in the gasoline, will act as "detergents"

              particularly for the intake valve stems

              Are you familiar with the "Top Tier Gasoline" Program? If not, you might google it

              A number of auto manufacturers seem to believe that the current EPA required minimum "detergent" is not sufficient, and that "somewhat more is better"

              Yamaha, in contrast, suggests you buy the "detergent" from them and add it yourself.

              Is RingFree "the most expensive"? I've never purchased it -
              but I do purchase my fuel from a "Top Tier" brand
              Thanks.

              I would say of the 3 treatments I mentioned, RingFree is the most expensive. I've also never used it. I started using Seafoam because all the old boaters in my campground suggested it, but it never fully made sense to me.

              So my initial read of TopTier is that they mainly put a greater amount of the detergents that the EPA already requires in the gas. That's good because I would like to know what these detergents are exactly.
              2011 F50TLR, 2010 G3 V167C

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by rejesterd View Post
                That's good because I would like to know what these detergents are exactly.
                the most well known are a type of compound called "polyether amines" - shorthand "PEA" - originally developed by Chevron in cooperation with BMW - and originally sold as Techron.

                That is "essentially" what is in RingFree.

                Other petroleum companies have developed similar compounds - such as Shell's "Nitrogen Enriched" (amines are nitrogen compounds)

                my understanding is that Chevron has a sizeable ongoing research effort to discover/create improved compounds. I assume others do as well.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by rejesterd View Post
                  Thanks. Just wondering how often you fill up your tank on the boat? And do you let it run down to almost empty?
                  I have 2 portables, they are alternately filled every week.
                  they are run almost empty

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by fairdeal View Post
                    the most well known are a type of compound called "polyether amines" - shorthand "PEA" - originally developed by Chevron in cooperation with BMW - and originally sold as Techron.

                    That is "essentially" what is in RingFree.

                    Other petroleum companies have developed similar compounds - such as Shell's "Nitrogen Enriched" (amines are nitrogen compounds)

                    my understanding is that Chevron has a sizeable ongoing research effort to discover/create improved compounds. I assume others do as well.
                    Right, PEA is the only one I know of too. That's what made me start looking at the Gumout Multi-System, because Seafoam doesn't have PEA.

                    In googling some more, I see that the EPA lists polyether amine as one of the following detergent types:

                    (i) Polyalkyl amine;

                    (ii) Polyether amine;

                    (iii) Polyalkylsuccinimide;

                    (iv) Polyalkylaminophenol;

                    (v) Detergent-active petroleum-based carrier oil;

                    (vi) Detergent-active synthetic carrier oil; and

                    (vii) Other detergent-active component (identify category, if feasible.)
                    2011 F50TLR, 2010 G3 V167C

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Fresh gas is probably more important than Top-Tier gas. So, fresh Top-Tier is obviously the way to go. I add Startron Enzyme Fuel Treatment at each fill (unless I am going to run offshore and burn a whole bunch of new / fresh fuel all at once). But, I am adding the Startron to try and maintain the fuel itself. I don't even consider that it might aid in keeping the combustion chamber and exhaust path free from excessive carbon.

                      In winter I also use Marine Sta-bil since my yot sits.

                      20 years ago I "saved" a 23-year old OMC with sticking rings by removing the exhaust plate and then manually tapping on the piston rings (using a home made chisel-shaped, oak tool). I sprayed a ton of aerosol penetrant directly on each piston, banged on the rings a bit and then walked away. I repeated this treatment over a period of days. After I put it all back together, I ran a can of sea-foam through it. The increase in compression for each cylinder was dramatic as they had "carboned-up" significantly.

                      But, that was an old pre-mix two stroke. I can't imagine that is necessary with todays 4 strokes, just clean clean fresh gas.

                      If I ever buy another 2 stroke and its pistons all gummed up, I'm going straight for the Drano! I'll post a vid of the pre and post compression tests and the big smoky event in between as well.
                      Last edited by oldmako69; 06-05-2017, 02:41 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The more I think about this, it seems that I'm asking the wrong question. The question of "is Seafoam/Ring-Free worth it?" is too vague. I think my real question is: what problems can result from never treating your fuel with Seafoam/Ring-Free if you're already buying TopTier gas and you use it up within 30 days?

                        In my mind, the answer is: no noticeable problems will occur. Of course there will always be a small amount of old fuel left in the very bottom of the fuel tank, and that will mix in with newer fuel when you fill up next time. But if you consistently run the tank down to almost empty before refilling, the percentage of old gas that gets sent to your engine is extremely small and isn't going to grow over time.

                        Am I wrong?

                        (Yes, that was a Big Lebowski reference in case you were wondering.)
                        2011 F50TLR, 2010 G3 V167C

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by oldmako69 View Post
                          I can't imagine that is necessary with todays 4 strokes, just clean clean fresh gas.
                          Thanks, this is my feeling as well.
                          2011 F50TLR, 2010 G3 V167C

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Seafoam has been around since they used regular motor oil to mix with gas for 2 strokes.
                            it has be around a very long time and used to remove a lot of that carbon that was built up in the combustion chambers and exhaust.

                            Ringfree is expensive but goes a long way when added at a everyday mix. I will help keep the rings from sticking from carbon build up .

                            I usually run a seafoam clean out mixture when I 1st get a used motor just to clean it up the best I can to start with.

                            then use a good oil at the proper ratio, and avoid running old bad gas.

                            Small tanks can help as you have a quicker turn over of the fuel.

                            having 100 gallons of old bad fuel in large tanks and adding new good fuel makes a lot more bad fuel.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rejesterd View Post
                              Thanks, this is my feeling as well.
                              Also agree, Yami outboard, E 10,87 octane, no top tier or additives for me. WOT every trip for several minutes.

                              Don't add fuel unless your gonna burn it. Big boat up North that I slip gets marina valve tech...plenty of additives there...but who knows exactly what but E10 is the base at 89 octane

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