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Old 12-31-2011, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Florida
3,360 posts, read 3,507,526 times
Reputation: 1806

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Today I purchased 'Bar's Leaks brand of 'stop leak' (heavy duty) for radiator leak...



I have no idea where this leak is...just know it's leaking...have no idea how or why...maybe cat's messen around underneath...

Anyways...the woman inside seemed fine with it when I asked them about the product...but the employee outside, who was a older male, suggested against useing it...

Not sure what to do...

So for future reference for anyone else faced with delima, please give us the good, the bad, the ugly of 'stop leak' products being used in the radiator...

If they're bad, why?

And if you could actually describe the chemical process that takes place once inside the radiator, I'd appreciate that too.

How does Stop leak mess up other parts of engine, including water pump?

Is there a better commercial alternative?

I mean these questions are for people who don't live on the farm and who don't have 5 generations of mechanics in the family...as well as a tool set in every bedroom...although now I'm seeing the advantage of that...

Most of us barely have time to go shopping for food, let alone a radiator that goes bad...

Your suggestions and or opinions would be appreciated, for myself and future readers...thanks...

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Old 12-31-2011, 11:51 PM
 
Location: United State of Texas
1,709 posts, read 2,576,437 times
Reputation: 2000
BAD BAD BAD.

You need to find the leak and fix it Gumming up the engine and cooling system with fix it goo is no solution. Costly engine repairs can result from as little as one serious overheating episode. Do yourself a favor and fix it right.
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:08 AM
 
Location: Florida
3,360 posts, read 3,507,526 times
Reputation: 1806
Ok, thanks...I guess the only other alternative is to fill it, park it, crawl underneath (gross, that means I'll get dirty)...crawl underneath, and wait for leak to occur....

I just don't understand how these things can happen...one day no leak, the next day, pool of coolent or whatever, under vehicle...
Dash light says coolent, so Im assuming that's what it is...checked other fluids, and they seem to be fine...

If 'stop leak' products are so bad, it just mystifies me why they continue to be sold...
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:10 AM
 
Location: United State of Texas
1,709 posts, read 2,576,437 times
Reputation: 2000
What vehicle is this?
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:15 AM
 
Location: Florida
3,360 posts, read 3,507,526 times
Reputation: 1806
gmc...probably early 2000's?
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:19 AM
 
Location: United State of Texas
1,709 posts, read 2,576,437 times
Reputation: 2000
Plastic and aluminum radiators in those tend to let go. Depending on the engine, some had intake manifold leak issues.

Stop leak products sell because they are profit in a bottle. You can get one for your engine, transmission, power steering, etc... they are all pretty much worthless. Some swell seals. Some circulate fibers to "plug" holes. You can guess how long they actually work.

Sorry but you need to find the leak and fix it properly unless you want further problems down the road.
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:20 AM
 
Location: Florida
3,360 posts, read 3,507,526 times
Reputation: 1806

Bar's Leaks Liquid Aluminum with Xtreme Cool - YouTube

Here's a youtube commercial Bar's leaks has out...

Hmm...I'm still not going to use it...cause everyone, every real person, has made me nervious against using it...
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:22 AM
 
Location: United State of Texas
1,709 posts, read 2,576,437 times
Reputation: 2000
It has been around for a long time... but it never actually fixed anything. It's a temp patch at best.
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:37 AM
 
2,319 posts, read 3,702,810 times
Reputation: 3457
Additives, bottled fixes, are a multibillion dollar business in the USA. Rarely does one actually work yet there are a lot of folks that swear by them. The placebo effect is what is in most of these snake oils and a lot of them can do damage. Can't tell you how many engines I've seen with cracked valves, cracked pistons from folks cramming crap down the intake manifold. There are few additives or fixes in a bottle that are nothing more than naptha, alcohol, and pale oil. If it says "petroleum distillates" on the bottle, now you know. A radiator fix in a bottle is going to plug a lot of things and depending on the engine can cut off vital coolant to areas. Once you put this crap in, it's a pain to get out. Same with these radiator additives that are suppose to cut surface tension and make coolant more effective. Once in the engine I can assure you that electrolysis will start and things will suddenly start to corrode. The fix- sell the vehicle because it ain't comin' out cause it's in the metal and you've screwed it up. Got a radiator leak-take it to a shop and have it fixed right.
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:42 AM
 
Location: Chicago
36,653 posts, read 58,119,052 times
Reputation: 25731
If it's a small leak, use about a teaspoon of course ground black pepper. I kept a radiator patched like that for about a year with periodic "refills" of pepper until the hole finally got big enough that I had to replace the radiator. Of course, who knows what kind of shape the water pump was in after that, but the car was an old POS so I didn't much care.
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