Preventing Cylinder Damage During Storage

Some of the biggest problems that plague small engines come from long periods of unuse. As winter approaches and seasonal equipment is put away, it’s important to follow a few steps to keep small engines in good shape for next year.

Most important is to prevent fuel degradation in tanks and passageways through the use of Sea Foam Motor Treatment. But another common storage problem, and one that can become complex and expensive to fix, is rust damage to cylinders, chambers and rings.


Combustion of hydrocarbons results in a couple of byproducts; one of them being water. Water present in your combustion chamber results in rust. When an engine sits for short periods of time, this only results in rust bloom, which doesn’t have measurable consequences. Parts potentially affected are cylinders, rings, and valve seats.

If left to sit for longer periods, rust becomes more serious. Bloom advances into the surface and causes pitting and material loss. This means parts require reconditioning, machining, or replacement to return to normal operation. These changes can cause many symptoms, including:

  • Hard starting
  • Low compression/power
  • Burning oil
  • Backfiring
  • Fouling spark plugs
  • Misfires


Don’t let this happen to your equipment! Before putting a machine into storage, pick up Sea Foam Spray to fog your cylinders, and Sea Foam Motor Treatment to stabilize your fuel.

First, add the can of Sea Foam Motor Treatment to the fuel. Use at least 1 oz of Sea Foam per gallon of fuel, or add a higher concentration (4-6 oz per gallon) for more cleaning power.

Once the fuel is treated, run the engine until warm. Shut it off, and remove the air filter.

Before going forward, remember that the air filter being off means your engine is not protected from taking in debris, so operate in a clean environment. Also, these next steps may be best performed with someone helping.

Once the filter is off, start the engine and spray 3 to 5 quick bursts of Sea Foam Spray into the throttle bore, followed by one long spray while shutting off the engine.

Allow the engine to cool, then remove the spark plug(s). Spray Sea Foam Spray into the cylinder(s), then slowly roll the engine over with the plugs still out. This will ensure the product is evenly distributed over the entire combustion chamber.

Reinstall the plug(s) and torque to the manufacturer’s specification.

Your equipment is now ready to store, and give you the performance you need next spring!

RUST AND CORROSION can damage cylinders and chamber areas during periods of unuse. Sea Foam Spray and Sea Foam Motor Treatment protect critical engine areas during storage.

Sea Foam Spray protects cylinders from rust and corrosion during storage. Sea Foam Motor Treatment in the fuel tank tanks helps fuel resist evaporation, preserves ignition vapors, adds protective lubricity, and prevents the formation of gum and varnish in fuel systems.