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Seafoam To Clean Oil Sludge - 2004 Tahoe 5.3l?

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#1 Jacob10



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Posted 06 September 2009 - 10:36 PM

I was wondering if anyone here has used Seafoam in the crankcase to clean out sludge. Long story short - I just found out today that the oil change place my wife has been taking her 2004 Tahoe to has not been changing the oil filter - and they were supposed to (and were charging us for it on the bill).

I changed the oil today and found 1/4" of crap in the oil filter and the drain plug and last 1/2" of the dipstick had a sludge residue on them.

My buddy who builds racing motors told me not to panic and just change this new oil and filter in another 1000 miles.

The guy at the auto parts store told me to use 1/2 can of seafoam in the crankcase with this new oil before it needs to be changed, then drive 20 miles and drain it while it is still hot.

Any ideas on the seafoam? Will it cause any harm? Or, should I just listen to my buddy and change the oil in another 1000 miles?

I was sort of panicked when I saw the filter, I thought I was going to have to trade the car in.....

Thanks in advance.


#2 oldschool327


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Posted 06 September 2009 - 10:48 PM

I use Sea Foam religously in the crank case of my wifes Volvo V70 R. It has 390,568 miles on it right now and runs perfect. Volvo charges 140 bucks for the same exact service to clean the sludge from these cars. They are known for running hot due to the turbo design and is included in the service schedule. I highly recommend this for your truck especially about the 50K mark.

Just make sure that you pour it in right before your oil change and do not leave it in longer than 50 miles. Run the engine to operating temp then drive around for a bit to make sure it is all cleaned up. You will notice a lot of sludge come out the drain when you drop the oil.
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#3 txab


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Posted 06 September 2009 - 10:52 PM

I saw your other thread. As long as your using a quality oil, it will clean your engine. Are you driving your Hoe enough to get the oil good and hot so as to burn off moisture and such? What oil was your Lube place supposedly installing?

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#4 C. Charles Hahn

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 11:45 PM

Listen to your buddy... just change out the oil again in 1K miles and on the next change, substitute one quart of oil for some Marvel's Mystery Oil. That stuff does WONDERS for clearing out crud from the engine.

Oh, and go bitch out the manager of that oil change place your wife was using. Jiffy Lube, I'm guessing? Seriously shady, those guys.
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#5 Jacob10



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Posted 06 September 2009 - 11:47 PM

Thanks for the replies. The tahoe is my wife's and she drive it about 40 miles round trip to work and back. So, I would think that should be good enough to get the moisture out of the oil.

I am not sure what kind of oil the place was supposedly putting in it - there was nothing on the windshield sticker.

One thing that made me feel a little better is the guy at the auto parts store actually builds stroker motors out of the Chevy 5.3L and doesn't think I hurt it - says they are a pretty tough motor. I hope he is right......

Edited by Joseph10, 06 September 2009 - 11:48 PM.

#6 Jacob10



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Posted 07 September 2009 - 11:04 AM

Thanks for the replies. I will be doing some serious bitching at that place. That is complete BS - I can't believe they would actually do that.....


#7 c4cruiser



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Posted 07 September 2009 - 02:47 PM

SeaFoam will work to clean the sludge out. Old-school techniques for getting rid of sludge involved filling the crankcase with diesel and letting the engine idle for awhile then draining it. Drain the oil, refill with a couple quarts of cheap 30W and the balance in diesel. Let the motor idle for 10 minutes, stop and drain it, replace the oil filter and repeat.

Even draining hot oil out while pouring in kerosene works too. Just takes time.

If your wife had been going to a chain store like a Jiffy Lube or similar, they should have records of the visits. It should show mileage, brand and weight of oil and the oil filter part number. I would talk only to the Manager or owner, not some guy who happens to be at the computer. Tell him you are going to contact the local BBB with a complaint.

If it's a franchise, contact the regional office and tell them what you have found. Do it by letter or email and ask that somebody contact you. Ask for a report that show what corrective action has been takes with the place.

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