Radiator leak--any sealants work?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Frisco, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. Frisco macrumors 68020

    Sep 24, 2002
    Interesting topic I know.

    I can't actually the location of the leak, but it seems like the radiator is going. Coolant is on top of the radiator. Hoses look okay, I guess.

    Anyone know of any good sealants? Thanks! And sorry for the boring thread :(
  2. Hummer macrumors 65816


    Feb 3, 2006
    Queens, New York NY-5
  3. mcarnes macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2004
    USA! USA!
    Hummer speaks the truth. Google "mythbusters radiator egg".
  4. Luis macrumors 65816


    Jul 19, 2006
    Costa Rica
    Whoaa read the topic with the back of my eye and understood "radiation":eek:
  5. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    If it is a newer vehicle, likely the seal between the plastic endcaps and the radiator have let go.

    An older vehicle all metal radiator can likely be repaired with solder if you can find the leak.

    A couple packs/bottles of coolant dye should only be about $10.

    But also, check on the price of a new or used radiator -- some of them can be cheaper than you think. I know my vehicle is around $120-150 new.
  6. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2005
    On the moon.
    I've had some success with Bars Radiator Leak Stop.

    Its like 6-7 dollars at Autozone, but hey, I mean, if it doesnt work, you're not out that much, and it cant hurt to try eh?
  7. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2006
    IMHO, don't waste your money! Find the leak and deal with it. I have never seen them work, sealants never stick where you want, but they will stick in places where you don't want them! If the leak is hard to find, that would indicate that it is in a part under pressure during operation. Upper radiator, thermostat, take it out for a drive, park it while it is hot and running, pop the hood and look around. Usual warning about clothes, hair and fingers near the serp belt...:eek:
  8. RugoseCone macrumors 6502

    Aug 22, 2002
    I have to agree with Sherman, I've never had any success with the "sealant" products. Save the few dollars you'd spend on that and put it towards a proper repair.
  9. Frisco thread starter macrumors 68020

    Sep 24, 2002
    A friend of a friend who is a mechanic said put some black pepper in the radiator. I did this about a week ago. The leak stopped almost immediately. I also Googled it and Pepper to stop a leak is true.

    It's strange because now my engine's temperature is running lower than even before I had a leak. The lower the temperature your engine runs the better, but why has the pepper lowered my engine's normal operating temp? It was never hot, but since adding the pepper it is even cooler.
  10. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2006
    I don't want to rain on your parade, but engines need to run at a very specific temperature range, cooler is not neccesarily a good thing. It could mean that your thermostat is stuck open, which will cause big problems this winter!
  11. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Jan 14, 2007
    I agree, finding cheap ways to repair your car or not really repairing it at all.

    Remember that your car is an asset, the less you maintain it the less it is worth.

    Not properly fixing this issue could lead to severe engine damage.

    If your car is only worth $300 and you need a new car, then I suppose its not really worth fixing it but if you are planning on keeping the car for a while or intend on selling it soon, get it fixed.
  12. Frisco thread starter macrumors 68020

    Sep 24, 2002
    Thanks for the info. I am not a cheapo when it comes to car repairs. I have a 92 Accord and have put a lot of money into car repairs. Recently I developed a small radiator leak and was looking for a sealant. From what I learned sealants can do more damage than good, but everything I have learned about adding some pepper to the radiator was positive. It either seals or it doesn't with no negative consequences.

    So what is wrong with this? My thermometer is working--it's opening and closing. My heater core is not clogged.

    I do agree that when you have a problem to get it fixed, however throwing money at an old car is not always feasible and if a relatively safe alternative is available why not try it?
  13. true777 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 30, 2000
    California, Austria, Arkansas
    Do *not* ever go with the powdered stuff. It will only clog your radiator hoses without sealing the leak -- it is abysmal, and hard to get out. If you use sealant, go with liquid stuff, which works a little for very minor leaks but won't do miracles.

    Best thing to do is to go to a mechanic who can use pressure to determine where the leak is, and then have the leak fixed properly.

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