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#612339 - 04/15/04 09:52 AM What's the best radiator sealer?

There is a very minor leak on the radiator of my '96 Cherokee. It's so small I haven't lost enough water in 1000 miles to need to fill it. I'm not quite sure where it's leaking from, but I think it's where the plastic tanks go up against the metal of the radiator. I was looking at the radiator sealer products today at Fred Meyer...there's about 15 different brands. Also there's the walnut shell type and then what they call "aluminized". Several different brands - Bar's, Gunk, Alumaseal, etc. What's the best?

#612340 - 04/15/04 06:19 PM Re: What's the best radiator sealer?
doitmyself Offline

Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 5124
Loc: MI
Hi Zmoz,

I have always used Bar's Leaks with good results. It will postpone a repair for a year or two. I use the goopy pellet stuff in the brown bottle. It has never plugged anything up and seems to be safe for water pumps, etc..

I live in a GM factory town and there is an urban legend from GM employees and local mechanics that GM puts this stuff in their new cars at the factory. I have never confirmed this.

#612341 - 04/15/04 07:38 PM Re: What's the best radiator sealer?
dagmando Offline

Registered: 08/18/02
Posts: 233
Loc: Midwest
I second Bar's Leak but I use the liquid stuff in the silver bottle. SAAB owners have been doing this for years to prevent head gasket leaks and the famous SAAB heater core leaks.

#612342 - 04/16/04 09:42 AM Re: What's the best radiator sealer?
W.T.McGlynn Offline

Registered: 04/13/03
Posts: 318
Loc: Lomita,Ca.
"Bar's Leak" hands down,the best.
Have used it for years,and it never let me down.

#612343 - 04/15/04 10:18 PM Re: What's the best radiator sealer?
cryptokid Offline

Registered: 02/01/03
Posts: 1565
Loc: palm beach
dont know what happen to my last post, but anyways ill try it again.

i like to use a little more extreme approach when sealing up leaking radiators and heater cores.
if they are copper or aluminum i will mig weld or braze the leak up while the rad or heater core is in the car. this is much better solution than a mechanic in a can stop leaks.

it the leak is in a plastic section of the rad or heater core, then i replace it. i dont believe any bottled fixer uppers are a viable perminant cost effective solution to a problem.
i mig welder or a torch with a brazing rod is though.

#612344 - 04/15/04 10:40 PM Re: What's the best radiator sealer?
Jelly Offline

Registered: 08/10/03
Posts: 2569
Loc: College Dorm...
Have any of you here talking about how good Bar's Leak works ever visually inspected the "interior" of your cooling system after use of this product? While these products do stop leaks, the system's I've seen after use of "stop leak" products are coated in a brown "sludge".

Your thoughts?

One product I would definitely steer clear of is this stuff...worked great for about four months, but then overflow tank became coated in light brown "sludge" and solid particles appeared in the coolant!


#612345 - 04/16/04 05:44 AM Re: What's the best radiator sealer?
Virtuoso Offline

Registered: 02/25/03
Posts: 2677
Loc: Cow town, NE
Your best bet is to fix it properly rather than load your cooling system with **** . I know it's not what you wanted to hear but it's true. [Smile]

If it's leaking where the plastic endtakes meet the radiator, you can probably recrimp the fingers that are holding the tanks on with a set of vice grips and care. Otherwise I'd buy a new radiator w/ a lifetime warranty.