: Sealing a radiator leak

12-16-06, 07:14 PM
Hi all:

I have a 96 Seville SLS, and it's been real good to me. Well the other day I notice a real small drip of coolant from the front passenger side of my car after I drove around town. I took it to a shop and the guy said the side tank of my radiator was possibly starting to separate and it is leaking. They quoted me 600 to replace the radiator, and with the holidays I can't afford that right now.

I want to know if I could possibly seal the leak, since it doesn't seem to be horrible? Is there a certain sealant out there that will work best? Has anyone tried this?

I don't intend to have it like this forever, but just to get me through to the new year. Thanks for your help.

12-16-06, 07:52 PM
Use the GM cooling system suppliment (sealant tabs). Get them from a GM dealer or get Barsleaks tabs (product code HDC) or the powdered version (G12BP), they are one in the same. Use nothing else and put it in the radiator hose, NOT the surge tank.

12-16-06, 07:54 PM
Bars Leak is recommended to be placed in the engine regualrly to help seal small leaks. If you search for Bars Leak you will probably get some good help.

Some people say Bars Leak is a temporary solution, but others say they use it once and it seals for years. I personally dunno.

Edit:Ranger types faster :p

12-16-06, 08:40 PM
Thanks guys. I already use the GM sealant tabs. The last time I put them in was about 6 months ago, but I thought they were more because the metal of the engine was porous. And when I did it, I broke up three tabs and put them in the resivoir where the radiator cap is, not in the hose. So how should I do that? Loosen the upper hose and drop it into the hose?

I was thinking more of a sealant I could apply to the outside of the space between the side tank.

12-16-06, 09:34 PM
The surge tank is a low flow area. They may still be sitting in the bottom. Yeah, pull the upper hose and pop them in there.

12-20-06, 07:24 PM
Thanks for the tip on Bars Leaks. That worked like a charm. I appreciate the help.

12-20-06, 08:19 PM
If you are a good DIYer, I think the tanks run about $75 bucks and taking the radiator out and replacing the tanks is not too hard but it might take you a full day or two in your driveway.
The radiators are usually not to blame but the plastic tanks like to crack from the pressure and thermal cycling.
I usually offer the customer tanks or a new radiator but if you pay labor the price difference isn't worth messing with on doing the tanks, because it's faster to just put a new one in.

The seal tabs might help but it's impossible to say. I have seen those tanks turn from drippers into sprinklers in a hurry. You might keep some extra coolant in the trunk in case it speeds up. You don't want to run it low and risk blowing the head gaskets!

Good luck, sorry about the bad timing.