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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 03-20-2012, 05:39 PM
DBar DBar is offline
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Exclamation Does Head gasket sealer work?

I have been told that I need a head gasket, there are no visible signs other than exhaust gasses entering into the coolant system. Im debating weather to replace the gasket and skim the head or replace the engine. Neither are pretty options. The car drives great, no power loss and sounds great so I was wondering would it be worth using a sealer and seeing how long I can get out of it before forking out the big bucks.
has anyone ever used this stuff?
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2012, 06:12 PM
QAfred QAfred is offline
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Make sure it is not a CVV (Crankcase Ventilaton Valve) failure and putting undue pressure in the cranckcase causing the blow by...might be too late.
Perhaps you could change the CVV and associated hoses resolve your pressure issue in the crankcase and thereby resolve your leak...maybe a little stop leak at that point...once you fix the root cause. Head Gaskets don't blow on these things unless you overheat or run on a broken CVV for too many miles.

my experience is that if you have a leak on these things: Valve cover gasket, Oil Filter Housing gasket, Oil Pan gasket etc. you need to ask yourself a question, " how long has it been since I've replaced the CVV"?, if it is over 60K, then replace the CVV first and then fix the leak....just what I am starting to notice now that I maintain three E-46's.

I know there are ways of testing for CVV failure, and you should do that, but I think they start to fail intermittently, causing the pressure fluctuation / oil leaks before they test bad or cause oil to blow every which way during hard failure.

Last edited by QAfred; 03-20-2012 at 06:26 PM.
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  #3  
Old 03-20-2012, 06:43 PM
ckleung100 ckleung100 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QAfred View Post
Make sure it is not a CVV (Crankcase Ventilaton Valve) failure and putting undue pressure in the cranckcase causing the blow by...might be too late.
Perhaps you could change the CVV and associated hoses resolve your pressure issue in the crankcase and thereby resolve your leak...maybe a little stop leak at that point...once you fix the root cause. Head Gaskets don't blow on these things unless you overheat or run on a broken CVV for too many miles.

my experience is that if you have a leak on these things: Valve cover gasket, Oil Filter Housing gasket, Oil Pan gasket etc. you need to ask yourself a question, " how long has it been since I've replaced the CVV"?, if it is over 60K, then replace the CVV first and then fix the leak....just what I am starting to notice now that I maintain three E-46's.


I know there are ways of testing for CVV failure, and you should do that, but I think they start to fail intermittently, causing the pressure fluctuation / oil leaks before they test bad or cause oil to blow every which way during hard failure.
I may be wrong but I dont think that head gasket failure can be attributed to the CCV. It's usually over heating, over reving or age.

Have you done a compression test yet? How many cylinders are affected?

Last edited by ckleung100; 03-20-2012 at 07:49 PM.
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  #4  
Old 03-20-2012, 09:13 PM
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catso catso is offline
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Try the sealer. Some new car manufacturers now use it. It's rolling the dice but MUCH cheaper and easier than replacing the head gasket or engine. Good luck and let us know your results.
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  #5  
Old 03-20-2012, 09:22 PM
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Before you do anything else, go and get a second opinion.
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  #6  
Old 03-21-2012, 05:59 AM
DBar DBar is offline
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havent done any compression test, but I was there when he did the chemical test on the coolant and it can be seen that exhaust casses are in the radidtor system. its a Diesel so it went green. and it can be seen bubbling. Im giving this steelseal a go, when your talking 700quid for a new gasket whats 30quid?? its worth a shot and il let yous know how it goes.
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  #7  
Old 03-21-2012, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DBar View Post
havent done any compression test, but I was there when he did the chemical test on the coolant and it can be seen that exhaust casses are in the radidtor system. its a Diesel so it went green. and it can be seen bubbling. Im giving this steelseal a go, when your talking 700quid for a new gasket whats 30quid?? its worth a shot and il let yous know how it goes.
Good luck.
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  #8  
Old 03-21-2012, 02:24 PM
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SJBimmer SJBimmer is offline
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Don't use sealer. There is no such thing as mechanic in a can. It could plug up your radiator or your heater core, or both. Then you will have real problems. If the car has not been overheated, have the head gasket replaced, and do it the right way. Get a compression and leakdown test first though to verify that the head gasket is indeed faulty. Combustion gas in the coolant is a good indicator though. You might also want to check torque on the head bolts first. Diesels run a very high compression ratio.

Last edited by SJBimmer; 03-21-2012 at 02:25 PM.
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  #9  
Old 03-21-2012, 04:21 PM
DBar DBar is offline
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Too late SJBimmer its been done, il know in the morning wheather you can buy a mechanic in a can or not haha, ive no quams about doing the job right, I just cant afford to do it right now. so in a couple of weeks il get it sorted. might flush the Rad tho, just incase, but apperantly it will only react with metal at high temp, they are going to tell you that anyway I suppose.
thanks for the posts and il let you know how it goes.
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  #10  
Old 03-23-2012, 07:34 AM
DBar DBar is offline
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Rite lads, im not jumping the gun but the Steel seal has certainaly stoped the warning light from coming on and seems to be doing the trick, il have to wait a few days to be sure, but worst comes to worst and il be doing the head gasket.
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  #11  
Old 03-23-2012, 07:38 AM
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but worst comes to worst and il be doing the head gasket.
No, the worst case is now your block is full of that stop leak crap and will lead to an early death of your engine. "miracle fluids" usually do more harm than good. I have seen it first hand. Think about it, you just put METAL in your cooling system that forms a seal where your leak was. What is to stop it from blocking critical passages and other parts?
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  #12  
Old 03-23-2012, 07:58 AM
DBar DBar is offline
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I know what your saying but if its a chemical reaction then it requires the correct condations, so it wont harden everywhere, only at the point of interest. It isnt metal, it just forms a ceramic material. I might drain the cooling system in a few days and see what comes out.
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  #13  
Old 03-23-2012, 08:00 AM
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I know what your saying but if its a chemical reaction then it requires the correct condations, so it wont harden everywhere, only at the point of interest. It isnt metal, it just forms a ceramic material. I might drain the cooling system in a few days and see what comes out.
Looks like you read the back of the package. I speak from experience, not marketing lingo.
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  #14  
Old 03-23-2012, 08:05 AM
DBar DBar is offline
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what do you suggest then? flush the cooling system and remove the head? I havent trusted the bottle, there are pleany of poeple that it worked for and ive spoken to a few mechanics that say it cant do much hurt.
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  #15  
Old 03-29-2012, 02:25 AM
anton831 anton831 is offline
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Ive used the seaIer on another car i used the new hitech water onIy mixture it worked 5 months sofar if yu need to use the seaIer i wouId onIy use the water type seaIer but beware your waterpump wiII start to Ieak due to bearing faiIure from the seaIer. But rapIacing head gaskets arent hard as you think b ut a cracked head is worser
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  #16  
Old 03-30-2012, 12:26 AM
Rob43 Rob43 is offline
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.

Last edited by Rob43; 03-30-2012 at 12:42 AM.
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  #17  
Old 03-30-2012, 12:41 AM
Rob43 Rob43 is offline
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And I speak from more experience than most of you. My name is Rob43, & I normally post over at E46Fanatics.

About 3 years ago I bought a $12,000 race motor for my SCCA E36 BMW 325I race car. This motor made great legal WHP in the class I race in, but early on in the life of this new motor, it developed a crack somewhere in it & would quickly overheat. When I pressure tested the cooling system to about 15-20PSI, it would quickly bleed that pressure out. To say the least I was really pissed. The owner of the race shop that built my Bimmer suggested I try the Moroso "ceramic" engine sealer, he had success with it once before. So with several more important races coming up, I had a choice. Spend $15 for the ceramic sealer or have another $12,000 race motor built, guess which one I opted for ? That's right, the $15 ceramic sealer, after about a 30 minute install of this sealer guess what, all of the sudden my cooling system was holding 20PSI indefinitely. This race motor ran for more than a year with the ceramic sealer in it until I tore it down for a freshen up. The sealer worked perfectly under the harshest environment possible, there was no sign of any extra sealer anywhere in my race motor. Plain & simple, it was a complete, win win product for me. So yes, I believe it works.


Good luck,
Rob
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  #18  
Old 03-30-2012, 04:39 AM
ckleung100 ckleung100 is offline
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Originally Posted by Rob43 View Post
And I speak from more experience than most of you. My name is Rob43, & I normally post over at E46Fanatics.
With that ego, there is no need to tell us you normally post over at e46Fanatics..

Welcome to Bimmerfest.

Last edited by ckleung100; 03-30-2012 at 04:40 AM.
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  #19  
Old 03-30-2012, 05:18 AM
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With that ego, there is no need to tell us you normally post over at e46Fanatics..
No kidding, funny how a newcomer thinks he has more experience than all of us and he has no idea what experience we have. Block sealers can work, but I am of the opinion that miracle fluids are no substitute for actual mechanical repairs. Do you know how many cars I have had to fix because they put stop leak in their A/C system or cooling systems? A lot.

And a race motor and a street motor are quite different. I'd be willing to bet the race motor doesn't see the miles a street motor does.
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  #20  
Old 02-16-2014, 11:53 AM
Sfarrar29 Sfarrar29 is offline
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I used the blue devil sealer in my 98 528i...I bypassed the heating core, took out the thermostat, ran the sealer and then flushed out. Worked like a charm! After 18 months, it is finally showing that the sealer is wearing off. Am going to do another treatment...beats a gasket replacement for such an old car.
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  #21  
Old 02-16-2014, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Sfarrar29 View Post
I used the blue devil sealer in my 98 528i...I bypassed the heating core, took out the thermostat, ran the sealer and then flushed out. Worked like a charm! After 18 months, it is finally showing that the sealer is wearing off. Am going to do another treatment...beats a gasket replacement for such an old car.
You`re responding to a thread that`s been inactive for two years. Check the dates before posting....
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  #22  
Old 02-16-2014, 10:38 PM
Sfarrar29 Sfarrar29 is offline
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I did check...this post helped me tremendously when I needed it 18months ago...after my success I felt it appropriate to report. I did not know that there are time police out there.
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  #23  
Old 03-11-2014, 12:12 AM
hcokiid hcokiid is offline
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Originally Posted by Sfarrar29 View Post
I did check...this post helped me tremendously when I needed it 18months ago...after my success I felt it appropriate to report. I did not know that there are time police out there.

Great thread, for me anyways.

I am seeing good, and seeing bad.. The bad being I have read where this stuff does no good for cars, and the good being its doing great for BMW's.

OP did it end up working for you?

Also how do you take the thermostat out when its built in? Thanks.
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  #24  
Old 03-11-2014, 02:10 AM
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crowz crowz is offline
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Ok time for some myth busting

Are sealers bad?

Yes and No.

The aluminum sealers by bars leak (pellet type) are normally considered perfectly safe for your motor with alumium heads.
Most new cars are shipped with it in the cooling system from NEW. Thats right folks you can buy a new car that left the dealership with bars leak in it.
They all have their own name for the product but its supplied by bars leak and their ilk and the part number is changed for their use.
Cadillac, Chevy, Gm, Ford, RollsRoyce....etc

BMW doesnt use the product best I can tell. Doesnt mean that they dont, but they dont have any information showing they do.

But by nature Aluminum heads leak. Its just a by product of how they are cast. Theres always some form of flaw in them.

For some vehicles its even considered normal routine to add new sealer from time to time. Cadillac and gm trucks are well known for this one. Basically the factory pellets finally run out and have to be replaced.

The product itself is pretty much harmless if used correctly. But again the product Im talking about is the pellets that are designed for SMALL leaks.

This brings us to the other products out there. Basically headgasket in a can. Most of these are FAR from safe. They will eventually plug heater cores, radiators and block passages given enough time. If you blow a head gasket and its a major issue aka instant boil overs and so forth I wouldnt recommend using the heavier products.

BMW has service bulletins against any kind of additives since its their belief that it can coat the head causing hot spots leaking to cracks. I doubt the mild aluminum sealers will be much danger but as with anything use at your own risk.

This should cover all the basics on using sealers.

Last edited by crowz; 03-11-2014 at 02:16 AM.
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  #25  
Old 03-11-2014, 02:47 AM
samster1 samster1 is offline
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It does work, I've used it real often on our customers cars, but I've always used ceramic based, and what's neat is that when you actually do the job you see where it sealed, but as we tell our customers, this is a temporary fix, the problem is still there, cause customers at times don't have the cash to have it done right away, the most vehicles I've don't it to are the infamous Pontiac Montanas with the 3.4l engines,....so keep in mind it is a TEMPORARY fix.......but to be really honest I've never tried it on a BM, with other cars I've never put it in through the rad, I've always put it in through a hose opposite to the thermostat, cause often times there are air bubbles ripping through the system and found we were just wasting the stuff putting it in through the rad, all that to say with the complicating BM bleed proceedure I wouldn't know from where to put in through for it to be most effective

Last edited by samster1; 03-11-2014 at 03:01 AM.
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