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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone ever try this stuff? My 1986 Corolla needs a head gasket but I'm not putting that kind of money into it. I'm thinking this might give me a little more time to shop for another car.

Has anyone here ever used this or heard whether it works or not?

Thanks
 

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Bleh, this is the same stuff that tells you to run 100% water in your coolant after using it is it not? I don't trust those fixes in a can either. How skilled are you with tools? A head gasket is something you could possibly do yourself if you're decent with them and could borrow a torque wrench.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Bleh, this is the same stuff that tells you to run 100% water in your coolant after using it is it not? I don't trust those fixes in a can either. How skilled are you with tools? A head gasket is something you could possibly do yourself if you're decent with them and could borrow a torque wrench.
No, you just add this to the coolant/water mix that's already in the radiator and let the car run for 15 minutes. It says to use only half the fluid for a 4-cylinder engine.

Here's the link: http://www.barsproducts.com/1111.htm

I did read on another forum that you should let the car run for an hour rather than just 15 minutes.

As for being handy, I'm not. So no, I won't be replacing the head gasket myself. I'm just trying to prolong this junkers life until I can get another car.
 

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The Return of the Red Coupe
2010 RAV4 V6
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Stop being cheap and get it done, all those quick fix crap do not work... better yet, just swap another motor in, you can easily get a motor for $400-500.
 

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Stop being cheap and get it done, all those quick fix crap do not work... better yet, just swap another motor in, you can easily get a motor for $400-500.
I'm not being cheap. I had the head gasket replaced and also got a valve job 2 years ago. Spent $1700. I won't put any more money into this car. Just trying to prolong it's life a little longer so I don't have to go out today and buy another one right away.
 

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The Return of the Red Coupe
2010 RAV4 V6
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Then its time for a new motor, once the motor overheats badly and metal warps it's not easy to get it fixed.

what motor do you have? usually old 4AGEs and even 4ACs are cheap to find these days.
 

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I'm not being cheap. I had the head gasket replaced and also got a valve job 2 years ago. Spent $1700. I won't put any more money into this car. Just trying to prolong it's life a little longer so I don't have to go out today and buy another one right away.
You had it done two years ago and it's already going out? Either your mechanic used inferior materials or didn't do something right; he torqued the cylinder head bolts wrong, or possibly left old material on the mating surface. Don't go back to whoever did it whatever you do, not to mention $1700 seems a bit high; when you say valve job what exactly did he do? Sounds offhand like you're stuck in a money pit though.

And I think the point Ren is making is there is no fix for a leaking headgasket. Headgaskets are not rubber, something that, in theory, could be patched by either putting something in them to fill the gaps or something that would make it expand. A headgasket on the other hand for these should be a graphite composite (even if it was an MLS the same idea applies), and there is not a lot you can do to them in that respect. The best way of prolonging the life of it is keeping up on your oil changes and coolant. Make sure the cars temp range is staying at a steady range over time. Keep up and both of those and just drive it until it blows up.

That said, are you sure it is a head gasket? While possible, it would be rather odd for the mechanic to have screwed up; often a mistake by a mechanic is NOT a one-off thing, so unless you've heard a lot of complaints this is not likely to me. Have you had your compression tested?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You had it done two years ago and it's already going out? Either your mechanic used inferior materials or didn't do something right; he torqued the cylinder head bolts wrong, or possibly left old material on the mating surface. Don't go back to whoever did it whatever you do, not to mention $1700 seems a bit high; when you say valve job what exactly did he do? Sounds offhand like you're stuck in a money pit though.

And I think the point Ren is making is there is no fix for a leaking headgasket. Headgaskets are not rubber, something that, in theory, could be patched by either putting something in them to fill the gaps or something that would make it expand. A headgasket on the other hand for these should be a graphite composite (even if it was an MLS the same idea applies), and there is not a lot you can do to them in that respect. The best way of prolonging the life of it is keeping up on your oil changes and coolant. Make sure the cars temp range is staying at a steady range over time. Keep up and both of those and just drive it until it blows up.

That said, are you sure it is a head gasket? While possible, it would be rather odd for the mechanic to have screwed up; often a mistake by a mechanic is NOT a one-off thing, so unless you've heard a lot of complaints this is not likely to me. Have you had your compression tested?
First off, I am not a mechanic. I really have to rely on what the mechanic at the shop tells me. He told me it's the head gasket and did not recommend I sink any more money into the car. I do believe something was not done correctly when the gasket was replaced 2 years ago but as the warranty was for 1 year there's nothing I can do about that.

The car has not overheated so I don't think that's the cause of the problem. I keep an eye on the temp guage so I'm positive about that. About a month ago the car made a weird sound when I started it up. My first thought was low oil but the oil was fine. Checked the coolant , it was very low. Weird the car didn't overheat due to this, but it didn't. I added coolant and kept checking. I was adding about 2 quarts per week over the month so took the car to the shop. They did pressure test the cooling system and said there are 2 minor leaks, 1 from the radiator hose and 1 somewhere else, but that the main problem was the head gasket and coolant leaking to the inside.

2 years ago I was told one of the valves was leaking and needed to be fixed. At the same time the timing belt was replaced along with all other belts. The idea was the car would run for a few years after putting the $1700 into it but that's not the case.

Since the diagnosis I'm not needing to add as much coolant, don't know why. The car runs well except for a loud muffler which I guess can be attributed to the head gasket problem?

My plan is to keep the coolant full, keep the oil changed as needed, and drive it until it dies. I just thought maybe the Bar's Leak would give me a little more time.

Any idea how long the car might last if I do nothing but keep the coolant full and do regular oil changes? I don't drive much. This 23-year old car has 133,000 miles on it.
 

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First off, I am not a mechanic. I really have to rely on what the mechanic at the shop tells me. He told me it's the head gasket and did not recommend I sink any more money into the car. I do believe something was not done correctly when the gasket was replaced 2 years ago but as the warranty was for 1 year there's nothing I can do about that.

The car has not overheated so I don't think that's the cause of the problem. I keep an eye on the temp guage so I'm positive about that. About a month ago the car made a weird sound when I started it up. My first thought was low oil but the oil was fine. Checked the coolant , it was very low. Weird the car didn't overheat due to this, but it didn't. I added coolant and kept checking. I was adding about 2 quarts per week over the month so took the car to the shop. They did pressure test the cooling system and said there are 2 minor leaks, 1 from the radiator hose and 1 somewhere else, but that the main problem was the head gasket and coolant leaking to the inside.

2 years ago I was told one of the valves was leaking and needed to be fixed. At the same time the timing belt was replaced along with all other belts. The idea was the car would run for a few years after putting the $1700 into it but that's not the case.

Since the diagnosis I'm not needing to add as much coolant, don't know why. The car runs well except for a loud muffler which I guess can be attributed to the head gasket problem?

My plan is to keep the coolant full, keep the oil changed as needed, and drive it until it dies. I just thought maybe the Bar's Leak would give me a little more time.

Any idea how long the car might last if I do nothing but keep the coolant full and do regular oil changes? I don't drive much. This 23-year old car has 133,000 miles on it.
If your coolant disappeared it would be in your oil; do you do your own oil changes? You can probably see it if you take off your oil cap; if it looks like chocolate milk or really foamy you have an issue. If coolant is being burned, the exhaust should have kind of a sweet smell. If the oil is contaminated change it immediately.

Weird sound can be a lot of things depending on the type of sound; was it a whining, a grinding, or a smashing kind of sound? I don't exactly buy the valve issue... if one of your valves somehow had a "leak" it would mean an issue with the valve seat, and I can guarantee the car never would have run correctly or likely passed inspection, much less last over 100k.

I believe their are test strips you can buy that you can use to test your coolant for the presence of exhaust gases, which is a sign of a bad head gasket.

A loud muffler is nothing more likely than a bad/worn out muffler.

As for how long the car will last... who knows. If it is a head gasket, it could blow up next time you go out on the road or last awhile longer.
 

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The oil looks fine. It's not foamy nor does it look like chocolate milk. I don't do my own oil changes. It needs changing which I was going to have them do but once I got the head gasket diagnosis I told them to just leave it figuring the car was a goner. Now I'm thinking I'll take it somewhere else to be changed and see if they mention anything troublesome. I'm tempted to have the pressure tested somewhere else to see what they say but it seems silly to spend the money. What I know for sure is I'm losing coolant and it's not going to the outside. I let the car run for about 20 minutes and looked for a drip or fluid on the ground. There was nothing.

The "weird sound" was kind of like metal against metal, not loud at all. I just heard it the one time and I've not heard it since I've been making sure the rad and reservoir are full. I hear a gurgling sound when I start the car which stops after a few seconds.

The valves were not mentioned this time so apparently not an issue at this time. I was told coolant is leaking into the cylinders.

The exhaust doesn't smell sweet to me. There's no white smoke. I remember there was a lot last time the gasket blew(2 years ago).

By the way I do appreciate your time and input.:thumbsup:
 

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The head gasket leak stopper is effective against external leaks [freeze plugs etc. but it can and will plug the radiator [unless it is crossflow like on full size old GM cars]
Many bad shops resurface head using belt sander instead of head milling machine [this have been done to my supra in the past]
Bimetal stock engines do the best with graphite type gasket; the teflon-paper felpro is not very good choice.
the used head from not-oveheated engine from the junk yard can be a good choice [I fixed my 79 Supra with it]
some random pittings on the had surface are not a problem unless they are is under fire ring of the gasket
NEVER ever reuse the head bolts for 83 and newer Toyotas [except 22r]
 
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