: "Weeping" Head Gasket



Chuck C
07-16-04, 10:38 PM
The mechanics at Cadillac said I have a "weeping" head gasket = not leaking but damp. I've read the sad stories about blown head gaskets ($2,800, $31,00, $4,500, and beyond) but with my condition, I'm wondering..

How many more miles I can go before it blows?

Also, what causes head gaskets to go bad? What can I do about my problem currently? What happens when a gasket blows while driving?

(btw, the damage would be $3,500 in my case)

eldorado1
07-16-04, 10:43 PM
The mechanics at Cadillac said I have a "weeping" head gasket = not leaking but damp. I've read the sad stories about blown head gaskets ($2,800, $31,00, $4,500, and beyond) but with my condition, I'm wondering..

How many more miles I can go before it blows?
Between 0.5 and 100,000 miles.


Also, what causes head gaskets to go bad?
Oxidation due to breakdown of corrosion inhibiters in the coolant, weak head bolt "clamping force"



What can I do about my problem currently? What happens when a gasket blows while driving?
Change the coolant if you haven't done so in a while, put in some Bars stop leak as recommended by GM... Pray for the headgasket gods to smile upon you?

Anthony Cipriano
07-17-04, 01:54 AM
Fill the system with fresh 50/50 coolant/distilled water, add 6 of the GM coolant supplement pellets to the system (to the radiator hose not the surge tank) and drive it and forget about it.

The coolant supplement/sealer is excellent at sealing up "weeping" coolant. If it's an external leak that is being seen as the "weeping" headgasket I wouldn't worry about it in the least. It's not going to fail catostropically and suddenly dump all the coolant out or anything like that. If the coolant supplement seals it up or slows it down then it will probably run a long long time like that. If it does start to get worse then decide what to do - either that or have the head gasket replaced now. Same difference. Personally, I would put the sealer in the system and forget about it unless the weepage turned into a real leak that the sealer couldn't handle.

caddyshack24
07-17-04, 01:56 AM
lmao @ weepage.. sorry

Quadrasteer
07-17-04, 12:07 PM
When you let the antifreeze out of the lower hose and/or rad. drain do you also flush out the block or rad.? At 90k should the hoses be changed? I think my head gskt. also leaks a little, would re-torqueing the head bolts help stop the leak?

Ranger
07-17-04, 11:08 PM
When you let the antifreeze out of the lower hose and/or rad. drain do you also flush out the block or rad.? At 90k should the hoses be changed? I think my head gskt. also leaks a little, would re-torqueing the head bolts help stop the leak?
You will get different opinions on this but my last car ('92 Deville) had 125K when I traded and still had original belt & hoses. If they are not soft and mushy, they are probably good. They are much better than they were 30 years ago.
Don't flush, just drain and refile 50/50 coolant/distilled water. Don't forget the sealant tabs or "bars leak gold".
The head bolts come with a thread lock compound on them so I would not recommend retorqueing. If the threads are starting to pull, you may speed up the prossess.

Chuck C
07-18-04, 09:14 PM
Thanks for all the replies:

Where can I obtain "bars leak"
What do you mean "add 6 of the GM coolant supplement pellets to the system (to the radiator hose NOT the surge tank)?"
Are supplement pellets the same as bars leak?
What is the process for adding the pellets to the radiator hose?
Is this difficult?
Is it okay to add to the current coolant mixture? (was flushed a mere two months ago)
How come the dealer/mechanics didn't recommend/perform this?

eldorado1
07-18-04, 09:56 PM
Thanks for all the replies:
Where can I obtain "bars leak"
What do you mean "add 6 of the GM coolant supplement pellets to the system (to the radiator hose NOT the surge tank)?"
Are supplement pellets the same as bars leak?
What is the process for adding the pellets to the radiator hose?
Is this difficult?
Is it okay to add to the current coolant mixture? (was flushed a mere two months ago)
How come the dealer/mechanics didn't recommend/perform this?

You can get it at walmart... There has to be at least 3 threads that have pictures of what it looks like by now... As far as I am aware, the supplement pellets are the same ground up walnut shells that's in the bars stop leak. He means to add it to your radiator hose, instead of the place you normally put coolant to fill it up. It is fine to add it to any coolant mix. The dealer should have performed it, it is listed in the service manual. Mechanics may or may not be aware of it. I can't comment on the procedure.

here:
G12BP or HDC, I believe Anthony is referring to 6 tablets of the HDC?

http://www.barsproducts.com/origin.html

Anthony Cipriano
07-19-04, 01:00 PM
Thanks for all the replies:

Where can I obtain "bars leak"
What do you mean "add 6 of the GM coolant supplement pellets to the system (to the radiator hose NOT the surge tank)?"
Are supplement pellets the same as bars leak?
What is the process for adding the pellets to the radiator hose?
Is this difficult?
Is it okay to add to the current coolant mixture? (was flushed a mere two months ago)
How come the dealer/mechanics didn't recommend/perform this?


Use the forum search feature and search "coolant supplement" and read some of the other posts. The coolant supplement/sealer has been explained in detail in many of them.

BarsLeaks is available at most any autoparts or discount store. Walmart specifically has the desired BarsLeaks "golden seal" powder. GM sells the coolant supplement/sealer at any GM dealer. It comes in pellets about 1 inch in diameter and 1 inch thick. The GM coolant supplement pellets and the BarsLeaks material are the same thing.

You put the BarsLeaks/GM coolant supplement into the cooling system at the radiator hose - not at the surge tank where the radiator cap is. The material needs to be installed into the main flow path of the coolant. The surge tank, by design, is a very low flow area so installing the sealer there is ineffective as it will not get distributed through the system.

The company that markets the BarsLeaks brand sealant also supplies the GM coolant supplement pellets to GM. They're the same material.

Disconnect the radiator hose when the system is cool, pop in the pellets or pour in the sealant material into the hose and reinstall the hose. Top off the cooling system to account for the coolant you will spill. Wash away any spilled coolant with a garden hose so that pets wont drink it and get poisoned. Pretty simple.

If the coolant is fresh then just add the sealer. The sealer was installed in the cooling system at the factory when the car was new. It needs to be replenished when the coolant is replaced as the sealer loses effectiveness over time and miles and most of the sealant is lost when the coolant was drained for replacement so it needs to be reinstalled with the fresh coolant. Possibly there was a slight porosity or seepage originally that the sealer was sealing up and then when the sealant was removed from the system with the fresh coolant fill it started seeping.

Chuck C
07-19-04, 06:00 PM
Ah thank you very much guys! I'm gonna get right on this. I wish I saved the receipt that explains all that the dealer had done when the coolant was flushed a while back. Just in case they did in fact add the pellets, how many is too much?

eldorado1
07-19-04, 07:00 PM
Ah thank you very much guys! I'm gonna get right on this. I wish I saved the receipt that explains all that the dealer had done when the coolant was flushed a while back. Just in case they did in fact add the pellets, how many is too much?

I would say... 50 is too much. No, just kidding ;) I'd put it in even if the dealer did as well. The new formulas have particles so small it won't hurt anything. Plus they have seal conditioners in it for the water pump.

Ranger
07-19-04, 09:15 PM
[QUOTE=eldorado1]You can get it at walmart... There has to be at least 3 threads that have pictures of what it looks like by now... As far as I am aware, the supplement pellets are the same ground up walnut shells that's in the bars stop leak.

http://www.barsproducts.com/origin.html[

They are ground ginger root not walnut shells.

cadillac6
07-19-04, 09:25 PM
im just wondering if I dont have any headgasket problems could i add the pellets anyway?

can you get them at wal-mart?

eldorado1
07-19-04, 10:23 PM
[QUOTE=eldorado1]You can get it at walmart... There has to be at least 3 threads that have pictures of what it looks like by now... As far as I am aware, the supplement pellets are the same ground up walnut shells that's in the bars stop leak.

http://www.barsproducts.com/origin.html[

They are ground ginger root not walnut shells.

I think we're both right...
"BarsLeaks brand ... is made up of ground up ginger root and walnut shells.... "
from http://www.caddyinfo.com/howtosealantconfusion.htm

Don't know if it's right or not... I doubt bars wants their secret formula out :rolleyes2:

eldorado1
07-19-04, 10:26 PM
im just wondering if I dont have any headgasket problems could i add the pellets anyway?

can you get them at wal-mart?

:bighead: That honestly made my head hurt. You are supposed to have the pellets in anyways. It's a "general maintenance" item. Like changing your oil. Yes, you can get them at walmart. :drinker:

peteski
07-20-04, 06:27 AM
If you buy the genuine GM version of those pellets, there is a list of what is in them. It does say that they have ginger root, walnut shell and few more items. One of them is a spice (turmeric, I think). Honest ! :) It is amazing what we put in our cars... Anybody ready for a Northstar BBQ ? :bonkers:

If you buy the Bars Leak tabs or Bars Leak Gold Seal powder - they use same stuff as the GM version.

Bars Leak Gold powder is available at Wal-Mart.

Too bad that adding them to the antifreeze makes it turn ugly rusty brown color :annoyed:

But if they seal "weepage" - so be it !

Peteski

Chuck C
07-20-04, 11:32 AM
Too bad that adding them to the antifreeze makes it turn ugly rusty brown color


ah that could be an indicator that the mechanics added it to my coolant!

Ranger
07-20-04, 12:01 PM
If you buy the genuine GM version of those pellets, there is a list of what is in them. It does say that they have ginger root, walnut shell and few more items. One of them is a spice (turmeric, I think). Honest ! :) It is amazing what we put in our cars... Anybody ready for a Northstar BBQ ? :bonkers:

If you buy the Bars Leak tabs or Bars Leak Gold Seal powder - they use same stuff as the GM version.

Bars Leak Gold powder is available at Wal-Mart.

Too bad that adding them to the antifreeze makes it turn ugly rusty brown color :annoyed:

But if they seal "weepage" - so be it !

Peteski
They seal pretty well. Last Friday I replaced the upper intake on my wifes '96 Bonneville. When I opened the drain on the radiator nothing came out. I was baffled. The engine was still hot as my daughter just got home so it was still under pressure. Then I remembered the sealant tabs I had put in there so I poked a screw driver up the drain tube and coolant came pouring out. Guess that stuff works. Now I am wondering how much of it is settled in the bottom of the radiator or other spots clogging coolant flow. :hmm:

Anthony Cipriano
07-21-04, 12:38 AM
They seal pretty well. Last Friday I replaced the upper intake on my wifes '96 Bonneville. When I opened the drain on the radiator nothing came out. I was baffled. The engine was still hot as my daughter just got home so it was still under pressure. Then I remembered the sealant tabs I had put in there so I poked a screw driver up the drain tube and coolant came pouring out. Guess that stuff works. Now I am wondering how much of it is settled in the bottom of the radiator or other spots clogging coolant flow. :hmm:


The coolant supplement material is actually ground up ginger root. The tiny fibers of the ginger root are carried through the coolant system in suspension rather than actually dissolving into the coolant. So, there will be some natural settling of some of the "fines" in the system in quiet areas with low flow and at the bottom of various containers and vessels - such as the radiator end tank where the drain is. A natural buildup in a vertical hole with no flow at the bottom of the end tank isn't really comparible to the horizontal ports of the radiator tubes where there is a lot of flow and they are not at the very bottom of the end tank.

The other thing that happens with the ground up ginger root particles is that they get chopped up over time by the water pump impeller until they're so small that they aren't effective and the tiny pieces will settle as they don't get carried through the coolant in suspension as well as the normal fibers of the fresh supplement. That is the reason that the sealer will lose its effectiveness over time (due to being so chopped up and fine) and needs to be replaced.

The ginger root has a unique property that makes the sealant work so well and really prevents it from clogging small ports and orifices with active flow in the cooling system. The ginger root particles/fibers shrink when wet and expand when they dry. The wet fibers in solution in the coolant will collect at a leak point and tend to clot there and then expand on the dry side of the leak where there is air. This seals the leak as the fibers see air on the atmospheric side of the leak and really prevents the fibers from clogging any other ports or orifices in the system as long as they remain wet on both sides of the port or orifice.

Gelled coolant and mineral deposits are the most common cause of clogs and blockages in the cooling system and heater core. The silicated coolant is more prone to gelling and old coolant and/or lack of use of the vehicle or occasional use tends to exacerbate gelling. The gelling coolant traps the supplement material so it looks "muddy" and people think that it's caused by the supplement but in reality the gelling is the problem and the supplement is just the evidence.

Like anything, the supplement isn't perfect but it rarely, if ever, causes a problem. Even when applied in massive doses it really isn't an issue with plugging or anything unless the coolant is old or it is installed in the wrong place ie. surge tank instead of the radiator hose.

Since the supplement doesn't dissolve but is carried in the flow of the coolant in suspension it can clog up the hose from the surge tank to the water pump if copious amounts of the supplement were to be installed in the surge tank. The glop of softened supplement will settle into the hose and block the flow since there's very little flow through that hose - it just conducts pressure to the pump. The glop of supplement will block the hose unless it's flushed out. That's why the recommendation is always to install the supplement into the radiator hose where there's a lot of flow. Kind of like you don't want to pack all the food into the garbage disposal and then turn it on. The sudden amount of residue could clog the drain. But by putting in smaller amounts while there is a flow of water the drain will be fine.

Chuck C
07-21-04, 10:19 AM
hey, walmart didnt have the tablets, so i ended up buying the pellet mixture (PLT11 from the website) will that work?

Ranger
07-21-04, 06:24 PM
hey, walmart didnt have the tablets, so i ended up buying the pellet mixture (PLT11 from the website) will that work?
You want G12BP or HDC. I don't think I'd use PLT11.

Anthony Cipriano
07-21-04, 11:11 PM
hey, walmart didnt have the tablets, so i ended up buying the pellet mixture (PLT11 from the website) will that work?


The pellets are very inexpensive. Why not stop by the GM dealer and get the correct stuff?

Chuck C
07-21-04, 11:35 PM
The pellets are very inexpensive. Why not stop by the GM dealer and get the correct stuff?

i defn. will...the stuff i bought was all they had. it's like the third time that my walmart has not had what i've wanted. grrrr

Ranger
07-21-04, 11:53 PM
I found this site where you can get a package of 6 or a life time supply bottle of 120.
http://www.midwayautosupply.com/searchby.asp?txtSearch=Bars+Products&select1=mfg