Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-07-2012, 08:36 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,481
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
What is Bar's or Rislone Stop Leak or Head Gasket Fix and what does it do in your E39

Q: What is in the Bar's Stop Leak product and what will it actually do in an E39 that overheated?
Normally we have a canonical thread for what every common fluid does in the E39, but today, while trying to help someone with a head-gasket/cooling-system/cracked head leak, I typed /bars leak F3 and /rislone F3 into the bestlinks and was surprised to find nothing listed:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Internal leak

So, I simply start this new thread to flesh out what is it that is being suggested by many when they say to use "bars leak" or "bars stop leak" to solve BMW E39 overheated-related leaks.

The first task was to see what the Bar's Leak web site recommended, but I was immediately sorry I went there because the confusing plethora of products sold under that brand (and under the Rislone brand) is almost overwhelming. So I called Bar's Leak technical support at 800-345-6572 and asked what I should use if I had a BMW E39 with one or more of these common problems:
  1. Cooling system leaks
  2. Head gasket leaks
  3. Cylinder head leaks
The technician immediately asked two questions:
  1. What is leaking (i.e., oil or coolant)?
  2. How long does it take the engine to overheat (i.e., before or after 20 minutes)?
The technician said that if it's oil leaking, they have no product for that - but if it's leaking coolant, and if the engine overheated in less than 20 minutes, the product suggested was the $60/liter HG-1 Bar's Head Gasket & Cooling Sealant, but he said that was a three-day involved process of repair.

I said the engine overheated in greater than 20 minutes (which I assume would be a typical E39 situation in the future), for which he suggested the $30/24oz 1111 Bar's Leak Head Gasket Fix, which he said handles all three leaks (cooling system, head gasket, & cylinder head).

When I asked why so many products, he said each will attack a different area (e.g., some attack radiator leaks). Since an E39 owner with a radiator leak would likely simply replace the radiator, I concentrated my technical support call on the more insidious hard-to-find coolant leaks nearer to the engine itself.

Given they have scores of products, let's limit this discussion, for now anyway, to the following refined question:
Q: What is in the PN 1111 Bar's Leak Head Gasket Fix and what does it do in an E39?



EDIT: I added the technical datasheet and the material safety data sheet below.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	head_gasket_fix.png
Views:	6252
Size:	161.0 KB
ID:	352244  
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 1111_Bars_Leak_Head_Gasket_Fix_MSDS.pdf (25.2 KB, 184 views)
File Type: pdf 1111_Bars_Leak_Head_Gasket_Fix_TDS.pdf (55.4 KB, 118 views)
__________________
Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 12-07-2012 at 08:58 AM. Reason: Updated details.
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 12-07-2012, 09:08 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,481
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
The Bar's MSDS says product 1111 Bar's Leak Head Gasket Fix is composed of:
- Sodium Silicate (Liquid Glass) CAS NUMBER 1344-09-8

Googling for those keywords, I immediately find plenty of references, as it's a very common chemical ... so I simply start with this:
- Wikipedia Sodium Silicate Na2SiO3
Quote:
Originally Posted by wikipedia
Sodium silicate can be used to fill gaps within the head gasket. Commonly used on aluminum alloy cylinder head, which are sensitive to thermally induced surface deflection, and can be caused by many things including head-bolt stretching, deficient coolant delivery, high cylinder head pressure, over-heating, vapor-lock, etc.
"Liquid glass" (sodium silicate) is added to the system through the radiator, and allowed to circulate. Sodium silicate is suspended in the coolant until it reaches the cylinder head. At 100–105 °C sodium silicate loses water molecules to form a glass seal with a re-melt temperature above 810 °C.
A sodium silicate repair will last two years, sometimes longer. The repair occurs rapidly, and symptoms disappear instantly. This repair only works when the sodium silicate reaches its "conversion" temperature at 100–105 °C. Contamination of engine oil is a serious possibility in situations in which a coolant-to-oil leak is present. Sodium silicate (glass particulate) contamination of lubricants is detrimental to their function.
Trying to keep this related to typical E39 overheating repairs, it would seem imperative, based on what was said above, that the user determine ahead of time whether or not the oil was being contaminated by the leaking coolant. If so, then this isn't the product for the user.

Doing an E39-only bimmerfest-only search is a bit difficult due to the common search terms, but I found this, which is perhaps the best existing BMW E39 thread for reference:
- Bars Leaks experiences: success or failure? (by bobdmac)

These other threads offer brief anecdotal information on bars leak efficacy:
- Radiator leak fixed for $3 dealer wanted 1500
- Cracked head/blown gasket!!!!
- 528 - overheating. Again!?!
- head gasket repair
- Cracked head/blown gasket!!!!
- Alternative Cooling Components
- Buying used E39 - Ever overheated?
- Ok guys i know we can solve this one!
- Bad Compression problem
etc.
__________________
Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 12-07-2012 at 09:51 AM. Reason: Added details
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-11-2012, 08:43 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,481
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
For the record, the bars leak was suggested in this E46 thread today:
Quote:
Originally Posted by scarede46er View Post
If the head gasket is gone, it is an expensive repair anyway. I would get a bottle of bar's leak head gasket product and keep it in the trunk along with a gallon of 50/50 coolant in the trunk just in case. Chances are the car is OK. But if not, you can possibly use the product to make it home and then have a mechanic fix it.
__________________
Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-11-2012, 11:04 AM
sawtooth4x4 sawtooth4x4 is offline
Fueled By Gasoline
Location: Layton UT
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 127
Mein Auto: 1988 E30 Super ETA 325
don't ever use that on a BMW or any other Euro car. holy crap. fix it right.

we had a lady bring in her BMW to a dealer I worked at. She had stuck that crap in there. When we pulled apart the car to replace her engine because it had been cooked. The radiator was plugged with that crap. All in an effort to keep from having to change out a leaking coolant reservoir.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-11-2012, 12:38 PM
E36 Phantom's Avatar
E36 Phantom E36 Phantom is online now
I Am The Machine
Location: Somewhere Between The Valley & The Bay
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 20,452
Mein Auto: Dreier, Fünfer & Siebener
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=663189


Blue, this my thread from personal experience in M52 328i. I tried blue devil since the engine was toast anyway, and had some from draining it sitting in a pan for 3 Weeks and it turned to gel, check out the video I had. Also found it crystallizing in various cooling passages when we pulled the old block.

I can't ever recommend using one of those products based on my experience.



Sent from my LG Revolution 4G using BimmerApp
__________________
// Chad //
// 2001 BMW 740i M-Sport // 2002 Lexus LX470 //
// 2009 Kawasaki Concours 14 // 2006 Kawasaki Ninja 250 //
// 1999 Chevy Tahoe //



Quote:
Originally Posted by SlimKlim View Post
You're a derbanana
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-11-2012, 04:52 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
Banned
Location: earth
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,403
Mein Auto: car
Quote:
Originally Posted by sawtooth4x4 View Post
don't ever use that on a BMW or any other Euro car. holy crap. fix it right.

we had a lady bring in her BMW to a dealer I worked at. She had stuck that crap in there. When we pulled apart the car to replace her engine because it had been cooked. The radiator was plugged with that crap. All in an effort to keep from having to change out a leaking coolant reservoir.
Quite clearly, she had not used a silicate-free product. Silicate free / coolant friendly products are coolant friendly, and do not really sediment out and clog things up when they come into contact with existing antifreeze in the cooling system.

The coolant friendly products seem to be at least twice as expensive as the coolant unfriendly products. The coolant unfriendly products require you to first flush your radiator, use the product, flush it again, then fill with antifreeze finally, so the cost amounts to the same or higher overall and certainly alot more time and potential for mischief is involved.

However, we found K-seal being sold on Ebay for under $20, have been using it in a radiator for 1 month with no issues of any sort in a car that is driven daily. Unfortunately, it did not fix the targeted problem, which we now feel to be unrelated to the HG or cylinder head.

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 12-11-2012 at 04:54 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-11-2012, 06:04 PM
Bennt771 Bennt771 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Barrie
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 287
Mein Auto: 2000 540i,89 Por 930,Vett
I used the head gasket fix on my 2002 nissan sentra se-r. It did work. But.... it also froze my rad cap in the closed position. Had to get a new one. All in all.... it worked.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-28-2012, 06:25 PM
Tin Alley Tin Alley is offline
Registered User
Location: Dothan, AL
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 20
Mein Auto: 97 328i, 01 325i, 01 530i
I have seen the Bars HG3 kit used in a 97 530i that had a blown head gasket. When the cooling system was pressurized coolant was getting in the #3 cylinder. The Bars stopped the leak and he has been driving it for several months now. How long it will last who knows but worth a shot on an older car. I'll let you know if he has an problems.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-27-2013, 06:54 PM
lsrguy98 lsrguy98 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: St. Louis Missouri
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 217
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 528i
I had a small leak around the two O rings on my 99 528i. I used the basic Bars Leak you get at Walmart.
I called Bars and talked to one of the engineers. GM and Chrysler used this stuff in the 50's and 60's on
every car that rolled off of the assembly line. They still use it today in pill form. I put it in about 4 months ago
have had no leaks and no issues.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-28-2013, 01:29 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,481
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by lsrguy98 View Post
I had a small leak around the two O rings
Wow. If I had a leak on an easily gotten to o-ring, I'd replace the o-ring.
- What is the complete list of o-rings to order for routine oil change maintenance tasks (1)

But, it's good to know anecdotally, whether the bars leak works or not - so thanks for the input.
__________________
Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-28-2013, 07:12 AM
lsrguy98 lsrguy98 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: St. Louis Missouri
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 217
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 528i
Bars Leak

The price of the O rings weren't the problem they were only $2-3. The problem was getting to them was $350-$400 in labor and with 178K miles I thought I'd go ahead and do it. The Bars Leak is liquid enough to pass through the average size screen hole. Again, I've had no problems.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-28-2013, 10:57 AM
mifesto mifesto is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: NJ
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 223
Mein Auto: m3
i've been praying someone has experience using such product for the heater core. in this winter, driving my bmw is a miserable experience. either you drive and freeze(dont use heater) or you smell the nasty oolant(but stay warm). its such a minor drip/leak the carpet never gets wet.

Last edited by mifesto; 01-28-2013 at 12:06 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-28-2013, 02:35 PM
lsrguy98 lsrguy98 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: St. Louis Missouri
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 217
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 528i
I initially did smell this stuff when I put it in. It lasted about 2 days and then the smell went away. Not sure where it was coming from. Normally I would just fix the problem but with the miles I have on this car 178K I went ahead and used it. I also talked to the engineers at the company and he answered the questions I had. I'm not saying you should use this stuff but it seems to have worked for me so just telling you my experience.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-28-2013, 02:40 PM
lsrguy98 lsrguy98 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: St. Louis Missouri
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 217
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 528i
Also, keep in mind I did not use the head gasket fix but the basic one PLT11.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 02-18-2013, 11:55 AM
esilvas esilvas is offline
Registered User
Location: Converse, TX
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 74
Mein Auto: 2001 540i
After reading this thread, I put some in my 540i last night. I spent the entire weekend looking for the leak. I am convinced it is a slow gasket leak. So far, no more leak. I will update in a few days.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 02-18-2013, 02:53 PM
lsrguy98 lsrguy98 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: St. Louis Missouri
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 217
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 528i
Leak

Yes, let me know how it works. I did mine about a month ago and no leaks and no overheating.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 02-18-2013, 05:33 PM
esilvas esilvas is offline
Registered User
Location: Converse, TX
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 74
Mein Auto: 2001 540i
So far, one (1) day down and no problems. Car runs fine with no overheating.
__________________
Just looking to have some fun while enjoying the ride.

'01 540i 6-Speed
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 02-27-2013, 12:52 AM
esilvas esilvas is offline
Registered User
Location: Converse, TX
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 74
Mein Auto: 2001 540i
It has been almost two (2) weeks and still no coolant leak. After running Test 09, my engine read 106-108F on the road. It spiked at 110F while idling, but only once and not again. So far, things look good.
__________________
Just looking to have some fun while enjoying the ride.

'01 540i 6-Speed
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 02-27-2013, 09:41 AM
spmonki spmonki is offline
Registered User
Location: Coal Valley IL
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: Early 98 528i
I personaly have the 1111 in my car at the moment due to a bad head gasket leaking into the rear cylinder. I usually do not prefer to use such products, but due to haveing an extra engine and winter starting with no place to work on the car i tried it. Has been in the engine for three months now with no coolant loss. Heater still funtions properly, and still have adequate coolant flow. I did not put this in the resevoir. I removed the upper radiator hose at the radiator and poured the entire bottle into the hose ad reattached it. I then ran the car for twenty minutes, turned it off and let it cool. So from my experience the 1111 works it may not be anyones prefered method of repair, but will suffice until a better repair can be made.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 02-28-2013, 02:00 PM
lsrguy98 lsrguy98 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: St. Louis Missouri
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 217
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 528i
Bars Leak

I don't normally use such products either except for my 1965 Dodge Dart. I normally just fix the problem. I did talk to a few of my friends who had used it and they had no problems. My brother who's a mechanic recommended not using it but he's a purist like most mechanics. I also factored in the fact that my Bimmer has 176K miles and is 13 years old. This 528's engine purrs like a kitten and is so much fun to drive. I'll find a way to keep it running forever. As a matter of fact I'm going to by another engine, M52 I think, and slowly rebuild it so that when this one craps out I'll switch them out. Crazy?????
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 09-22-2013, 09:57 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,481
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
This is a post-mortem look by a subsequent buyer of what happens with head gasket repair goop:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxeah View Post
Sooooooo, finally gave in and had a great BMW Tech, Autobahn, Natick Ma

Very cool he inserted a fiber-optic cable into the spark plug hole, pressurized the cooling system, lo and behold drip,drip,drip cylinder #3.

So I thought it was worth my time to give a head gasket repair a shot, since the car would be a big paperweight.

Actually, it turned out to be much easier than anticipated.

After the head was removed, the gasket was not all that bad, but every cooling passage on the block and head was plugged up with head gasket repair crap.

Also head gasket holes were totally clogged up with this gunk.

After 3 hours of sandblasting, water blasting and wire pipe cleaners I got both block and head as clean as new.

I am waiting for new headbolts (forgot to order) to reassemble.

Moral on this story?
Don't use that crap, even as a last resort.
Alan
__________________
Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 09-22-2013 at 09:59 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 09-22-2013, 12:08 PM
lsrguy98 lsrguy98 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: St. Louis Missouri
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 217
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 528i
What crap did you use?
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 05-17-2014, 12:25 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,481
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Just noticed this related blurb in the BMW TIS located here:
__________________
Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 05-17-2014, 12:41 PM
johnstern's Avatar
johnstern johnstern is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Cape Neddick, Maine
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,038
Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 528iT/5, S/C
I have used a product called alumaseal. It is a small container of aluminum powder that is supposed to seal leaks in radiators, heater cores, etc. It is not for head gasket type leaks. I've got to say the stuff works great and does not plug up passages in the block or head but seals up heater cores great. Once in a while, I'd smell coolant from a leaky heater core but in a few miles no more smell.

Of course, when the hole in the core gets big enough, replacement is necessary.

Last edited by johnstern; 05-17-2014 at 12:49 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 05-17-2014, 08:49 PM
zersys zersys is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Sydney
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 140
Mein Auto: 02' E39 530i Executive HL
What is Bar's or Rislone Stop Leak or Head Gasket Fix and what does it do in ...

This sort of crap can get you out of a jam for a while, great for old cars with cast iron everything and tough cooling system bits. I've heard many stories about old GMs and fords surviving years longer with bars leak.

But it's the product I only recommend to people who are willing to dispose of the vehicle later if things turn sour, because it can do some pretty horrible things to your coolant passage ways. How do I know? Here's an ecotec engine in a car I bought a few years back, I took the inlet manifold off to find this. Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByBimmerApp1400384760.270841.jpg
Views:	239
Size:	187.5 KB
ID:	440352

Yes, that is supposed to be a clear passage.

Turns out the heater core was leaking and the PO used some of this stuff to fix it.

Last edited by zersys; 05-17-2014 at 08:57 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
bars leak, bars stop leak, cooling system repair, cylinder head, head gasket, stop leak


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:51 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms