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Bar's Leak Head Gasket Fix

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by karl, Dec 21, 2008.

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  1. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    I'm not a big fan of engine additives and stop leaks,, and I'm sure others aren't either, so I thought I would post this.

    I have 1997 BMW 328i. The thermostat jacket is made of plastic on these cars and it broke. The car over heated. I changed the cover, the thermostat, and evenutally the water pump. I kept having over heating problems. This went on for about a week and half. Then I started notice the tell tale signs of a blown head gasket. Bad miss when you first start it until it warms up, a rough idle, loss of coolant with no visible leaks, and more than normal for the winter time, white vapor out the exhaust.

    Since it's really cold here and I didn't want to fool with changing a head gasket in his weather, and I also didn't want to pay an outraeous amount to have it changed, I tried Bar's Leak Head Gasket Fix. I bought the 31.00 bottle stuff because I didn't want to go to the trouble of flushing the coolant out and running water for the beter part of day. It's too cold here for that now.

    Anyway, This stuff works. I put it in let the car warm up. Then let it cool off and topped off the radiator. The second time I started it the rough idle was gone. I only have about 75 miles on it so far, but it's working.

    I'll try to find this post in a few weeks or a month, and give you guys an update.

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  2. beau5278

    beau5278 Member

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    I've had very good luck with regular Bars Leak but I never tried sealing a head gasket.I would think it will work for a while but once the weather gets better,I'd change the head gasket.
  3. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I would lift up the radiator cap and drive a Chevrolet under it. :cheese:
  4. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    Bart,

    If you lift up the body on BMW's you'll find that GM makes the automatic transmissions for them.
  5. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Not that I am condoning this practice, but now sounds like about the time that most individuals would be putting a for-sale sign in that car.

    The bar's leak can be very effective but it is not permanent and can lead to other problems such a plugged radiators and heater cores. Also, if the engine was overheated it is possible that the transmission took some heat as well (unless it has a separate oil cooler).

    Glad to hear it at least got you going again. I have used this in the same circumstance to "get me by" until a time that I was better prepared to do the real repair.

    pen
  6. Redox

    Redox Minister of Fire

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    Air cooled Beemers don't have that problem... :coolsmile:

    Chris
  7. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Glad to hear it worked for you. I've had mixed results. I ran into the same deal with an old Honda...leaking radiator and too cold to mess with it. Added Bars and the leak stopped...then the next day, I had no heat in the car. Took the hoses off the heater core and hit it with a shot of compressed air and a handfull of gray fibers puked out... put everything back together and heat worked again. Ran some in my old Blazer and it worked great. Years later, tried for a quick fix in a Bronco and it didn't help - but that was a combustion chamber to water jacket leak so I didn't have high hopes that a bottle of goo would fix it.
  8. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    Mine was a combustion chamber to water leak. I'm not sure on this engine, but if it's like other german car's I've owned, they're sleeved and the coolant flows all around the cylinder wall.

    The bad miss when I first started it and the rough idle, let me know I had a combustion chamber leak.
  9. wiringlunatic

    wiringlunatic New Member

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    I was a mechanic for years and still do some as part of my handyman business. I've found that not all radiator sealers are created equal. Liquid Bars Leak generally won't hurt anything and may work. Aluminum or bronze powder sealers (Alumaseal, Bronzeseal, and I think Bars makes one too) should be avoided at all costs unless the "For Sale" sign is in the near future. They are notorious for clogging cooling systems. My personal favorite is the sealing pellets. They were originally made by GM (and may still be available through dealers) and are also made by Bars, but not many parts stores carry them (NAPA is the only one in my town) They look like giant vitamins and look like they'd clog for sure, but they do work well. I bought a 92 Chevy van with 118,000 miles and a blown head gasket (dead miss, lots of smoke) and used them and it's been well over a year and it has 132,000+ miles on it and runs fine. My daughter's car had a leaky radiator and I used them in that too. No issues of clogging. The biggest problem of clogging occurs when people use 2,3,4, or more treatments because the leak hasn't stopped yet. Radiators that corrode will keep corroding and eventually leak worse. Replace them then, don't add more sealer. Head gaskets don't spread, so it may be possible to get a more or less permanent fix on them chemically.
  10. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

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    Years ago I had a '55 Ford F350 that had a cracked head.

    I took the head to a machine shop and they "plugged" the crack. It's an old, but effective, method that uses a series of overlapping holes drilled into the crack and each is plugged before the next, overlapping hole is drilled.

    The only problem is, over time, the repair can leak a little. I used a product called K&W;Block Sealer to stop this from happening.

    Similar to Bars Leak, you must drain the radiator, refill with WATER, add the Block Seal and run the engine for about 1/2 hour. Then drain the system and allow the engine to sit, overnight, without any coolant.

    This stuff sets up hard as steel and that old Ford never lost a drop of coolant for the next several years of hard work.

    Good stuff.
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