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Old 09-26-2008, 10:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default "liquid aluminium" stop leak?

I have a slow mysterious coolant leak on the 2.2 and I bought a bottle of Bar's liquid aluminium stop-leak formula. But before I pour any in I thought I'd better ask the board if they have had good or bad experiences with it.

Has anyone used this? Did it do any good or harm?
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i am perpetually wary of products like that. i had a never ending coolant leak on my last car and it took me 2 coolant flushes, 2 days with the car in my garage, and about $175 in parts and stuff before i was finished....and i still didnt fix it. i THINK it was some stupid plastic thing that was attached to the block but i will never know....god it pissed me off.

ANYWAY, i would not be comfortable doing it...but im not a mechanic and i have no experience with it
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Old 09-26-2008, 11:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have used bars leaks in the past, didn't seem to cause any problems but I didn't have any leaks at the time either.

Of course you could always just go with the good 'ol Subaru 'conditioner'.
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I used the same liquid aluminium on my first car: a 1986 Honda CRX, it seemed to work well. The CRX kept running for about a year after I used the stop leak and then I sold the car, so I'm not too sure about the long term effects.
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Old 09-26-2008, 02:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've used that exact product on two cars. I chose the liquid aluminum one because it looked "better" to me than the other stop leak products (basically it looks like aluminum flakes suspended in a liquid). The other ones looked like reddish crud suspended in goo.

The two cars I used it in was my in-law's Forester and Toyota truck. Both cars had coolant disappearing without any visible leaks that I could find (probably HG or something else). Anyhow, they haven't completely stopped the problem, but have dramatically reduced it. Both cars only need a top off of the reservoir like every 1.5 months or so, where it was needing weekly top-offs prior. So it does help.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The Bars Leak is a standard addition to coolant on the series of Northstar engines Cadillac was using in 98. If you drained the coolant, you had to use 6 tabs of whatever they called it.

I believe that what the regular Bars Leak is is, amongst other things, walnut shell fibers. Apparantly they do not absorb moisture until they are partially exposed to the atmosphere; when they absorb moisture they expand and clot. This is why Cadillac required them in the Northstar - they would help stop the VERY expensive head gasket issues they were experiencing.

I don't know what the liquid aluminum version is, but it can't be all bad. It certainly can't hurt anything. So, if you think it would help, go for it.

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Old 09-26-2008, 11:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well, I'm encouraged that no one is yelling NO DON'T DO IT so I will give it a try. BTW tomorrow morning we go on a 300-mile drive.
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Old 09-27-2008, 03:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Last bit of advice - use a funnel & shake the bottle well. Also, run the car immediately after putting it in, don't let it sit, it'll probably sink to the bottom of the radiator and not distribute as well.

2nd time I used the stuff, in hopes of getting the stuff better distributed in the engine, I put it in a cup of 50/50 coolant and mixed it even more, then poured that in.
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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couple days late on this but i'll chime in anyway.

i grew up driving old cars and have used alot of coolant stop leak, the best stuff i've used is the little plastic bottle of aluminum flakes [alumaseal].

the last time i used it was in a 90 bronco. i bought it low miles but also poorly maintained. after i flushed the radiator the thing sprung 3 or 4 leaks in the core. i used two containers of the alumaseal and they all sealed up. drove the truck hard [offroading, towing] and it never had an issue after that.

i did use bars leak a long long time ago and it did seal but the leak returned after about six months. used alumaseal and it was good until i sold it.

i actually keep containers of alumaseal in all my cars along with tubeless repair kits, duct tape [million and one uses] and basic tools and other jerry rig parts.

as a side note, alumaseal mixed with coolant [all makes and models] works as a tire puncture sealant. i learned this offroading form a guy along time ago. basically a "get you home" thing but if you have some in your car and you don't have another option, drain a little coolant out of your car, remove the tire stem, pour the dry flakes in the hole and pour some coolant in. i've seen it work a dozen times out in the dunes and on the trail.
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Here's a funny theory, but I'll throw it out there since we're talking about stop-leaks.

On the 2 cars I needed to add the Bars Liquid Aluminum stop leak to, what happened is both were very neglected and had old green coolant. We're talking several years old and when I drained/flushed them, lots of white, powerdery stuff came draining out (I'm assuming that's the silicates and/or phosphates that have dropped out over time).

Anyway, I refilled both with Peak Global (no silicate/phosphates). Not that long after, both started using coolant. Now I'm not saying the Peak Global caused this, but here is my theory. The old, dirty, silicate-filled coolant was acting like it's own stop-leak! When I drained that out & put the good stuff in, no more crud to stop the leaks (wherever they may be, both cars had no visible external leakage).

What does everyone think about this theory of mine?
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