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View Full Version : Stop leak in my radiator OK?


2fast4u
03-29-2008, 11:50 PM
Well I ran one 0-80mph run in my 1995 850 GLT N/A and now my radiator has a leak on what appears to be the seams on the passenger side:oops:. No more of that nonsense.

I really don't have the time right now or the coin for that matter to buy a new radiator and install it. Can I use the Stop Leak stuff they sell at Wal-Mart or Autozone to seal it? Does this stuff work? I really do not want to put an egg in there, or pepper, or anything like that because that just won't last long enough in my mind but I could be wrong. On the flip side I heard Stop Leak can clog things and do more bad than good.

The leak is not gushing. It leaks quite slowly. I run my coolant tank between max and min lines and after driving around all night with a heavy foot it was just above min. My girlfriend drives the car to work everyday and it is urgent the radiator get patched up soon.

Learned not to beat on the DD today.:-(

Redwood Chair
03-29-2008, 11:54 PM
Yes it works.
Try 1/2 of the tube at first for a small leak.
Any good JY's around there?

2fast4u
03-29-2008, 11:56 PM
Thanks man.:) And yes I will be hitting up PnP. No days off though till probably Thursday and hoping to swap it out this next weekend. If it were me driving it I would carry a jug of water around. Its the lady though so I am trying to make life simpler.

Karl Buchka
03-30-2008, 12:01 AM
If the rad took a **** on a 0-80mph acceleration then it was on the way out anyway. I don't trust the stop leak **** but if it's a small leak it might fix it temporarily.

Redwood Chair
03-30-2008, 12:02 AM
Ok good.
Carry premixed coolant and water,
and don't use 'Green Death' aka prestone.

ovlov760
03-30-2008, 12:02 AM
I don't know much about that stop leak stuff other than that it seems to stay in your cooling system. We bought a used car that had had that stuff dumped in it and even after 2 flushes that were months apart I can still see traces of it in the coolant.

A new cryomax radiator can be had for $100 on evilbay and swapping the radiator should only take a couple hours if you haven't done it before. The worst part is that the radiator has to come out the bottom. It's not as easy as on a 2/7/9 series volvo, but it's not really hard either.

Mr. V
03-30-2008, 12:04 AM
Or...

#1 Locate steam from radiator indicating a pinhole or ruptured seam. You will need to watch this area to determine if leak has stopped.
#2 Let the car engine cool off enough to take off the radiator cap otherwise you could be scalded by hot water or steam.
#3 Pour one regular sized container of ground pepper in the radiator. The pepper will flow to the split or pinhole and will harden like a rock and plug the hole.
#4 If the hole is a bit larger, an egg or two will also work to fix stop the leak. The egg will cook in the hot water and get forced into the hole by pressure. Pressure will work to your benefit in plugging the hole.
#5 Remember to install the radiator cap so pressure will build and force the pepper or egg into the leak.
While both methods are temporary, radiators have been permanently repaired by this method, not to leak again.

1Adam12
03-30-2008, 12:28 AM
I had a 94 cavalier with a leaky freeze plug and I put these little tablet looking things in the radiator cap. They looked like yellow ROLO'S and they worked. I never had a problem with them. http://www.barsproducts.com/HDC.htm
But it is "temporary". It could last a day or a year...

Crazychopstick
03-30-2008, 12:37 AM
Ok good.
Carry premixed coolant and water,
and don't use 'Green Death' aka prestone.

Red Death is even worse.

I've run Prestone with no problems before. With a good flush every couple years, most any sort of coolant will be okay.

2fast4u
03-30-2008, 01:19 AM
Ya know, this chaps my behind. I was hoping to do this job his weekend. She drops a bomb on me that she needs her car to make a 300mile trip to new hampshire for a reptile show.

God. Do women think we are magcal wizards? And now its my fault it broke. I can't win.

Hope this stop leak works.


/end off topic rant:)

tryingbe
03-30-2008, 01:56 AM
Stop leak is the worst crap you can put in your coolant system.

Unless you like your coolant tank, engine, heater core...etc... to be clogged with those stop leak stuff.

5 years and 8 flushes, I still have those stop leak crap in my coolant system.

Typhoon
03-30-2008, 02:19 AM
Only stop leak I'll use is Silver Seal. The rest of that crap gunks up radiators and cooling systems badly.
If I was you, I'd tell your GF she needs a new radiator NOW. If it breaks out there, you'll be in for a world of pain. If she can't afford the radiator, she can't afford teh trip.

Regards, Andrew.

6kYellowLine
03-30-2008, 03:39 AM
find the leaks, marr the surface up and deform it and smear Quiksteel across it.

the plugs in both my tanks of my radiator started leaking at the connecting points where they were joined and some quiksteel made it Totally Aweomse =D

2fast4u
03-30-2008, 10:45 AM
Oh man. Now I am torn. I don't want to be seeing Stop Leak for years. Does this egg thing really work? Who has actually done this and had success other than Mythbusters lol? She can take the trip but she will need to stop and top up now and again. That kind of scares me lol. I don't want her burned.

I am going to test the egg when she gets home. See how long it lasts and report some test results. I would love to replace it but I have all my money tied up in something till thursday and zero time to do it till the weekend.


Thank you guys for helping me in a Volvo pinch yet again.

Redwood Chair
03-30-2008, 03:22 PM
Oh man. Now I am torn. I don't want to be seeing Stop Leak for years. Does this egg thing really work? Who has actually done this and had success other than Mythbusters lol? She can take the trip but she will need to stop and top up now and again. That kind of scares me lol. I don't want her burned.

I am going to test the egg when she gets home. See how long it lasts and report some test results. I would love to replace it but I have all my money tied up in something till thursday and zero time to do it till the weekend.


Thank you guys for helping me in a Volvo pinch yet again.

It's powdered aluminum,and you can do a continuous hose flush,
and get almost all of it out.

Mr. V
03-30-2008, 03:32 PM
When opting to use egg, only use the whites of several eggs.

Another option: black pepper.

(man, this thread is making me hungry)

casioqv
03-30-2008, 05:51 PM
Stop leak is the worst crap you can put in your coolant system.


I made the mistake of putting TWO of these in a car to try and temporarily fix a water leak. It totally destroyed the radiator (by clogging it), that turned out to not leak at all (it was the hose, and the water was trickling down).

I REALLY regret using it, and still can't afford a new radiator.

boost box 88
03-30-2008, 06:05 PM
I would not use the stop leak, have made this mistake, if its a beater and yur driving who the hell cares. Your GF, things screw up and your the bad guy or cheap ass that looses in the end.

2fast4u
03-30-2008, 06:31 PM
so egg white and ground pepper lol? can I get you some flapjacks with that?:-P


No really though pepper will clog it up? and opnly use egg white? Is it okay to use ground pepper? Some places online said use the whole kernel type. And again, who has done this lol?

2fast4u
03-30-2008, 07:36 PM
Well Project Swedish Breakfast has commenced. So far, I repeat, SO FAR(2miles) no issues. Waiting for the wife to get out of pet store.

BrickBaller
03-30-2008, 09:00 PM
I don't like either of the egg or pepper solutions. All you are doing is polluting the rest of your cooling system. Either fix it properly (should be able to get it brazed for under $20 if you take the radiator out of the car and into a shop) or tell her to top off the coolant every once in a while.

Lord_Athlon
03-30-2008, 09:01 PM
I hate stopleak. I dont think powdered aluminum is supposed to be in an engine.

2fast4u
03-30-2008, 10:45 PM
Most of the egg cooked in the resevoir. I unhooked it and empty the eg chunk. I am letting the ar et to outdoor temp this time and adding two egg whites.

It didn't seem to slow it down so I don't think the little bit of egg that made it actual stuck. The pepper didn't seem to do much either.

She will have to keep topping up until I can fix it. Is it safe to trust the low level light that comes on when its empty? I know the oil presure warning lights come on hella late. Just want to make sure if using the low coolantlight as a fil up time is going to kill a water pump or smething.


Thanks guys.

Redwood Chair
03-30-2008, 10:49 PM
I hate stopleak. I dont think powdered aluminum is supposed to be in an engine.

I disagree,it is most excellent for worn waterpump bearings;-)

WhiteT5
03-30-2008, 10:49 PM
Most of the egg cooked in the resevoir. I unhooked it and empty the eg chunk. I am letting the ar et to outdoor temp this time and adding two egg whites.

It didn't seem to slow it down so I don't think the little bit of egg that made it actual stuck. The pepper didn't seem to do much either.

She will have to keep topping up until I can fix it. Is it safe to trust the low level light that comes on when its empty? I know the oil presure warning lights come on hella late. Just want to make sure if using the low coolantlight as a fil up time is going to kill a water pump or smething.


Thanks guys.

The low coolant light should come on when the reservoir is near empty.

clipster
03-31-2008, 12:18 AM
Is it safe to trust the low level light that comes on when its empty?
That idiot light for that particular purpose is a last ditch effort afaik, with no backup.

So if the bulb quits, you're screwed. And man I've been working on cars for more than 30 years and I've never seen so many idiot comments about stop leak. What a bunch of whiners.

Damn straight, you dump 2 bottles of prestone pellets in your radiator at once you obviously don't know what the @#$! you're doing. If the flow and temperature ain't there to dissolve the pellets, then you've just clogged up an old system - congratulations!

And this crap that you can't get it out of your system after x years is a dumbass story.

Hell just drain the engine coolant system and feed it with a garden hose. For cripes sake, there are methods that work! WORK ON IT more than 60 seconds for Gods Sakes! Your system WILL become clear and back to normal.

Crushed peppercorn is the old hands way - it's an old trick from the previous century that worked on standard performance engines not designed to work at the high temperatures and pressures that are inherent on today's engines. Much like how ancient road warriors actually pissed in the radiator when stranded without water... lol.

My way of being darned sure that a radiator or cooling system issue isn't going to kick my butt on the way home or wherever is to keep the system un-pressurized - ie keep the top loose. Stuff that's in there to stop the leakage won't be forced out by unnecessary forces of temp/pressure etc. I mean you're trying to get from point a to point b - not run a freakin road race (or a factory system) with a hosed radiator. Sure you may loose some coolant when you stop and shut off the engine, but at least if the cooling system is working with good air and water flow, you'll probably be ok whilst driving the thing down the highway.

Your mileage and coolant level may vary.
Regards.

2fast4u
03-31-2008, 12:45 AM
wow. Thanks man. Going to PnP tomorrow afternoon. Took the end of the day off so I could get this done.

I filled 3 coke bottles with water, put them in the trunk and sent her on her way home. Hopefully she will fill it periodically. If not, then she can pay a shop to replace the HG and or motor. I don't fix ignorance.

RockVegas
03-31-2008, 08:17 AM
So, you do know for sure it's the radiator, right? You're positive you don't just have a leaky hose? Would hate for you to get a new radiator and it not be the problem.

2fast4u
03-31-2008, 03:20 PM
I see it seeping from the side tanks(?) of the radiator. If I pull the rad and its a hose, thats fine. Atleast I know the rad is good lol.

2fast4u
04-01-2008, 01:32 AM
The Swedish Breakfast most certainly worked. I would skip the pepper bit. It hardened into little balls. HARD little balls. Not to mention how abrasive it can be let alone clogging.

Either way I am reporting back to say that the egg tricked worked. 5 egg whites. I took 1.5 out. I did it wrong the first time and poured the white in while the motor was still warmish. This cooked the egg before it could reach its destination. If ever attempting this, LET THE MOTOR GET COLD!!!


I was shocked to see that after 300 miles of driving I had not lost a drop of coolant. The seams that were gushing before are now dry.

Tomorrow I pick up the replacement radiator. Any differences I should look for? will a turbo model work? If I do not have oil/tranny coolers will a radiator setup for one work? Thanks a lot guys!

6kYellowLine
04-01-2008, 01:48 AM
a radiator set up for tranny/oil cooling has hose fittings that should be plugged-the rest of the radiator will work fine just cap the nipples!
the rest of the radiator is a separate, sectioned off to seperate oil/tranny cooling from engine coolant, but how effective is an oil/tranny cooler that has the cooling element coolant temperature? dumb idea if you ask me...but cost effective i suppose.

Con-Tiki!
04-01-2008, 05:47 AM
i might be the thriftiest person on here, but i think a brand-new rad from partsamerica is only about $104. seems like a small price to pay versus the stress of driving around with a bad radiator.

2fast4u
04-01-2008, 12:59 PM
Going to PnP now. 90 day warranty. I know a turbo model has 50k miles on it in there. Hoping to snatch that one.

Otis
04-02-2008, 04:58 AM
Sounds like you have it under control.

But I thought I'd add here for anyone who is going the Stop Leak route, might as well go with the stuff that Subaru sells. The "Genuine Subaru Cooling System Conditioner".

They came up with it to avoid a ma$$ive recall for their early 2.5 litre engines, which all develop head gasket leaks in a ridiculous short time.

Supposedly it's the highest end of chemistry for this kind of goop. I think Subaru has avoided the recall with this stuff.

This is the letter sent to angry Subie owners:

Phase II EJ25 Head Gasket Leak

WWP-99 Service Campaign - Cooling System Conditioner

Subaru has determined that certain 1999 through 2002 model year 2.5L equipped Subaru vehicles may experience an external coolant leak from the cylinder head gaskets. This is the result of normal relative thermal expansion and contraction variations of engine parts. As a precautionary measure, SOA is recommending that a special conditioner be added to the engine cooling system to prevent leaks from occurring or to correct existing leaks.

Only early Phase II 2.5 liter engines are affected by this campaign. Phase I 2.5 liter engines (some 1999 model year and prior years) are not affected. Countermeasures applied to the manufacturing process for those 2002 and later VINS not affected by this campaign have eliminated the need for this campaign to be performed on those vehicles.

In the future, it will be necessary to add Genuine Subaru Cooling System Conditioner to the SUBARU vehicle cooling system whenever the engine coolant is replaced. The updated recommended service procedure as well as intervals for coolant replacement will be added to all applicable service manuals. As a reminder, we will include an update page in the owner notification letters that should be added to the Owner’s Manual and Warranty and Maintenance Booklet. We ask you to keep in mind that replacement of fluids (including Subaru Cooling System Conditioner) during inspection and maintenance services are not covered under warranty.

If the vehicle owner has this Service Program repair performed promptly, Subaru will extend coverage under the Subaru Limited Warranty on the vehicle for cylinder head gasket external coolant leaks to a period of 8 years or 100,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Warranty coverage begins on the date the vehicle was delivered to the first retail purchaser. If the vehicle was used as a demonstrator or company vehicle before being sold at retail, warranty coverage begins on the date the vehicle was first placed in such service. As a further condition for this extended warranty coverage to apply, the vehicle owner must have Genuine Subaru Cooling System Conditioner added to the vehicle at any subsequent cooling system services at the interval specified in the Warranty and Maintenance Booklet under the heading “Schedule of Inspection and Maintenance Services”.

Dealers will automatically be sent an initial quantity of Genuine Subaru Cooling System Conditioner. Dealer bulletins and affected VIN lists will be mailed to dealers in early February 2004. Owner notification letters are scheduled for mailing in stages.