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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-10-2012, 12:33 AM
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E36 Phantom E36 Phantom is offline
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Blue Devil Head Gasket Sealant - WARNING

This is a little warning from my own personal experience about Blue Devil.

I bought a very cheap 97 328i from the original owner with an incredibly bad HG sending coolant both into the oil and the combustion chambers. Badly. Since it was a cheap car just to get back and forth to the train station a couple miles away, I thought I'd give Blue Devil a try based on the positive reviews I'd read. Yes, there are many negative reviews as well, but I wondered if perhaps they had just done something wrong. I purchased the yellow label type, which is the "professional" version that requires a flush and thermostat removal. There's a while label version which is supposed to be safe to dump in the system as is.

I flushed the cooling system thoroughly before use with a flushing agent, then ran water through for a while to ensure the system would be pure water. I looped a hose to bypass the heater core to ensure no Blue Devil would clog the core, just in case. I removed the t-stat and reinstalled everything. I also put in new cheapy copper plugs, appropriate spec of course, to ensure there would be good combustion to create a pressure differential to seal the HG.

Long story short, it didn't work. At all. The car was literally pouring water out the tailpipe and only made it about 25min out of the Blue Devil required 50 minutes of treatments before it had fully emptied the cooling system into the oil and out the tailpipe.

Now, normally snake oil not working properly wouldn't be thread worthy. Here's what is. According to the instructions, after the treatment, you reinstall the t-stat and call it a day. It specifically says it's safe with all coolants and you can leave it in the system. I drained the radiator though since it didn't work anyway. The pan looked mostly like water with some blue flake in it at the bottom. OK.....I figured the mixture had precipitated a bit. Jared and Usama were here and can attest to the coolant drainage, especially since Jared took a little bath in it.

Fast forward 3 weeks, I haven't had a chance to do anything with the coolant and it's been sitting in the pan in my garage. This is what it turned to, a complete gel. Based on this, I can't recommend ever using this product.

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  #2  
Old 12-10-2012, 12:44 AM
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:55 AM
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  #4  
Old 12-10-2012, 08:52 AM
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Speaking from experience: The coolant flush bolt that is on the block is about 1/4" long. So be prepared for gushing when you remove it.


As it so happened, I dropped the bolt and took about 2-3 seconds of coolant shower before I was able to put it back in. Oh well, at least it didn't get in my eyes!


Usama and Chad had quite the laugh at my expense.
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Jared, why don't you just put "It's Giubo" in your sig? Save a lot of typing.
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this jared guy sounds intimidating lol.
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:10 AM
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That's pretty crazy. Imagine if you left your car parked for 3 weeks with that stuff in it.
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  #6  
Old 12-10-2012, 09:33 AM
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Yeah, sorry about laughing.........but it was pretty damn funny. Also, it's exactly like the diys say, just a big uncontrollable shower. No easy flow at all. Combined with the O2 being right below it, I can't imagine anyone ever using it to drain the coolant with it in the car. I'd just flush it instead.


But yeah, not only did Blue Devil not work, the whole thing turned to gel in 3 Weeks. Don't use it, m'kay?

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Old 08-09-2013, 04:04 PM
wildbimmer wildbimmer is offline
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Originally Posted by E36 Phantom View Post
This is a little warning from my own personal experience about Blue Devil.

I bought a very cheap 97 328i from the original owner with an incredibly bad HG sending coolant both into the oil and the combustion chambers. Badly. Since it was a cheap car just to get back and forth to the train station a couple miles away, I thought I'd give Blue Devil a try based on the positive reviews I'd read. Yes, there are many negative reviews as well, but I wondered if perhaps they had just done something wrong. I purchased the yellow label type, which is the "professional" version that requires a flush and thermostat removal. There's a while label version which is supposed to be safe to dump in the system as is.

I flushed the cooling system thoroughly before use with a flushing agent, then ran water through for a while to ensure the system would be pure water. I looped a hose to bypass the heater core to ensure no Blue Devil would clog the core, just in case. I removed the t-stat and reinstalled everything. I also put in new cheapy copper plugs, appropriate spec of course, to ensure there would be good combustion to create a pressure differential to seal the HG.

Long story short, it didn't work. At all. The car was literally pouring water out the tailpipe and only made it about 25min out of the Blue Devil required 50 minutes of treatments before it had fully emptied the cooling system into the oil and out the tailpipe.

Now, normally snake oil not working properly wouldn't be thread worthy. Here's what is. According to the instructions, after the treatment, you reinstall the t-stat and call it a day. It specifically says it's safe with all coolants and you can leave it in the system. I drained the radiator though since it didn't work anyway. The pan looked mostly like water with some blue flake in it at the bottom. OK.....I figured the mixture had precipitated a bit. Jared and Usama were here and can attest to the coolant drainage, especially since Jared took a little bath in it.

Fast forward 3 weeks, I haven't had a chance to do anything with the coolant and it's been sitting in the pan in my garage. This is what it turned to, a complete gel. Based on this, I can't recommend ever using this product.

And changes are that most of those head gasket products, sold under different names will not work as much as they say it does
Those companies are cashing in and compete with the other head gasket makers, but behind that, I don't see any very large facilities where a lot of technicians and engineers are permanently working on car engines, neither any chemical laboratory
The misleading ads and false advertisements is to force people to buy the product
Bar's has no integrity at all. They live in Michigan where more than 1 million people stepped out of the state. They holed up in a solitary place, good for wolfs and wild animals
You tell me, how you can collect any money from those people, for engine damages?

Last edited by wildbimmer; 08-09-2013 at 04:06 PM.
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  #8  
Old 08-11-2013, 12:54 AM
Oxide_325i Oxide_325i is offline
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You must have had a Serverly trashed head. i've used the blue devil and bardahl head gasket repair stuff in motorcycles and cars. The blue devil stuff fills the cracks and broken area's in with that stuff that turns into gel to stop the leak. There was no hope for that head to be reused i'd assume.
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  #9  
Old 02-23-2014, 07:30 PM
capricornbmw capricornbmw is online now
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Every part of the cooling system stays wet unless you have problems. So you won't be getting precipitation.

In any case, you can always flush it out after you've applied it and driven around in it for a week or two to seal the fix. The companies concerned (because I spoke to them while researching this) will tell you that its ok to leave it in the system - when you press them. They would rather you flush it out just to avoid spurious liability claims.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by capricornbmw View Post
Every part of the cooling system stays wet unless you have problems. So you won't be getting precipitation.
You must have a pretty big space to get precipitation in it. Generally that only happens out side.
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:14 AM
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You must have a pretty big space to get precipitation in it. Generally that only happens out side.
^Bingo
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  #12  
Old 02-24-2014, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by hnaz View Post
^Bingo
Bingo indeed. Precipitation also happens when the salt in solution becomes concentrated, in this case by evaporation, which of course will not happen within the cooling system. Further, salts that come out of solution without modification move back into solution easily, and hot liquids dissolve more salts more easily than cold liquids. So sedimentation quickly moves back into solution once the coolant heats up.

All this is purely academic because the concentration of Na2SO3.H20 required to arrive at the sedimentation point is probably like 50-100 times what is present in a cooling system when 1 bottle of block sealer is used.
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:18 AM
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Bingo indeed. Precipitation also happens when the salt in solution becomes concentrated, in this case by evaporation, which of course will not happen within the cooling system. Further, salts that come out of solution without modification move back into solution easily, and hot liquids dissolve more salts more easily than cold liquids. So sedimentation quickly moves back into solution once the coolant heats up.

All this is purely academic because the concentration of Na2SO3.H20 required to arrive at the sedimentation point is probably like 50-100 times what is present in a cooling system when 1 bottle of block sealer is used.


Using snake oil to fix a head gasket is a well documented terrible idea.
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:44 AM
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I've decided to continue the discussion that began here :

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...=750851&page=3

..over in this thread, to avoid going OT in the above thread. The poster concerned there has a genuine problem and needs dedicated attention to his issue.

So, I'm going to respond to a comment posted there, over here instead. I'm sure the member wouldn't mind as he has also responded here earlier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hnaz View Post
Ok, I am just going to throw this out there:

The fact that replacing the HG has more successful results in stopping a leak and not clogging up your thermostat, water pump, heater core, radiator, water journals, etc far outweighs the negative experiences. And it is a recommendation from the shop manual as well if warning signs are there.
Pretty obviously, an actual HG change or a cylinder head weld or replacement in the case of a crack, will definitely fix such a problem, in all cases, whatever the extent of the original issue. Block sealers may and often do work but in smaller more manageable cases. This has always been made clear to the public.

Quote:
As far as the mechanic in a can fix, there are more failed results than successful, hence why it would not be recommended to go by the mechanic in a can fix.
The anecdotal evidence out there does not suggest that.

And lets say you're right. Even if your chances of success are 10%, what would you do if you had to weigh spending a refundable $30 against a $1000 repair ? Even if you did your own work and you had free spare parts lying around, what would you do when you compare an hours worth of idling the engine versus maybe 2 days of solid labour on a comprehensive HG replacement? Would you take the gamble ?

I don't see people saying that its a gamble that they wouldn't bother taking. I see people saying that its practically dangerous. And that just doesn't match the evidence.

Quote:
I am just going off of reading the posts up until now, and the defense provided for the mechanic in a can. Sounds like doing an HG repair is the proper way to go.
A HG repair is the perfect way to go, but if a block sealer works, it works and holds for good. Not all people are purists and and not all purists always have the time or money to do this when they encounter a problem. The block sealer, like everything else, is just an option. I assert that it is a viable option considering the alternatives, with no downsides provided instructions are followed to flush the cooling system.

Quote:
Further, concerning racing engines as was provided by DF, you do know that people pop out their engines and rebuild them after a race right? If they don't then they have a spare engine on stand by and toss the old one way, or salvage the useful parts off and toss the remnants away. And like DF said, if I am doing quals and I noticed a sweet smell when I am in the paddock and confirmed it is the HG, no spare engine around or the time between heats is not enough, I'll buy a can of snake oil, or mechanic in a can, toss in it and drive. I know afterwards, that engine is going to be rebuilt.
You didn't read that post carefully. Here you go :

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob43 View Post
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
That dude raced the sealed engine for nearly a year (it wasn't F1 for a post race rebuilding routine). He did not rebuild it after that one race. The block sealer held for that time, under the most punishing environment. I think that's a clear testament to the long term efficacy of the product, if you're fortunate enough to find that it works to fix the problem on your car. And if it didn't work at all, they couldnt even use it for one race due to the extreme demands on the cooling system.

Last edited by capricornbmw; 02-24-2014 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:58 AM
capricornbmw capricornbmw is online now
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Contributors in the above linked thread included a senior fest member who had done warranty work for subaru's recall in 2004 for their HG problems, which they had fixed with a block sealer alone. He basically proved that the gloom at doom of heater core blockages etc is unfounded.


People say using a block sealer is a bad idea for 3 reasons :

1. It can clog up your heater core or the rest of your cooling system, either immediately or over time as it 'sediments out'


Well subaru used it for their recall cars and granted a HG specific 100k warranty on it and any consequential damage it might cause. Obviously, there are no such clogging issues if the instructions to flush and keep the cooling system clean are followed. And obviously they did not suffer overheating due to narrowing coolant passages etc either. This is Subaru, not Trabant. They read forums too. I think they would have tested their fixes first under all conditions before applying it to their cars, especially considering the embarassment of a recall.

So this myth is dead in the water right there...its been dead for 10 years in fact. And what off those guys who make YT videos complaining about clogged cores ? Do you think they flushed their systems before application? If they weren't sure when was the last time their systems were flushed, do you think they used a reputed dedicated flushing fluid to flush their systems , before applying the sealer ?

I sympathise with them greatly but should the technology be blamed when people take risks by not following instructions ?


2. Even if it does not cause damage, the chances of success are too poor to justify the money or time.


The fact is that the companies offer a money back guarantee, no questions asked. Someone who has tried this and failed and is looking at an expensive repair is pretty likely to go back to the auto store and get his refund. If it failed 90% of the time, I think they companies concerned would have gone out of business very fast....not due to liability payments to cover damage caused by their product, but due to simple refunds...so bad net sales. The auto stores would also stop stocking them.

And in this case it is VERY EASY to see if it works or doesn't work. There can be no doubt. Steam out the tailpipe stops. Overheating at idle and on the move stops. Coolant level stops dropping. No more milkshake in the crankcase. This holds for 2 weeks of daily driving, just to be very sure. Stuff that you need zero analysis to perceive, that your grandmother could do, and thus take a walk back to get the refund later if unsatisfied.

Conclusion ? It works often enough for it to be a viable business. And that means it has saved many people tons of money by reducing a $1000 repair to just $30.


3. Even if it fixes the problem, it will not hold over the long term. Its a weak fix.


When it works, it works and holds. This is clear evidence from all the people who had the good fortune to have it work when they had an issue. And Rob stated that it held in his racecar for nearly a year worth of races. So it is clear that this works and holds, when it does work.

Block sealers are a form of cutting edge chemical technology, pure and simple. It should not be vilified by the prejudiced old schoolers. It is a viable long term option for some HGs and cracked head repairs. If it doesn't work, you're out around $30 for the flush and new coolant (you'll get a refund for your block sealer), at worse. Its a good bet for many people.

Last edited by capricornbmw; 02-24-2014 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:21 AM
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Please stop spewing your singular opinion. You have stated the same thing many times over and you are the only person here with your opinion. It is not shared by the masses for the simple reason that you ignore.

That reason is that there are FAR more cases of these miracle products causing irreversible harm than of the ONE case you repeatedly thrust upon us (and it isn't even your own personal experience) of ONE of these products working. If you can actually support your claims with fact opposed to anecdotal evidence of one person's experience that you've not even seen firsthand then great. Else please keep your extraordinarily unpopular opinion to yourself in future as all you are doing at this point is presenting your own straw man fallacy.

Aside from this ONE LONELY case you've brought forth the ONLY cases I've ever read about for these products 'working' are from advertisements.

You've made your point: That YOU believe these products work, and have offered people an option to repairing their issues correctly despite arguments against using these products by every other contributing poster on both of these threads.

EDIT:

I've asked for this thread to be locked.
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:46 AM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Thread reopened.

Bimmerfest members are free to post their opinions.

Bimmerfest members are also free to ignore them.

There is nothing in this thread I see which violates the tou.

Last edited by MMME30W; 02-24-2014 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capricornbmw View Post

Block sealers are a form of cutting edge chemical technology, pure and simple. It should not be vilified by the prejudiced old schoolers. It is a viable long term option for some HGs and cracked head repairs. If it doesn't work, you're out around $30 for the flush and new coolant (you'll get a refund for your block sealer), at worse. Its a good bet for many people.
Johann Glauber documented the properties of water glass as it was called in the day, circa 1646. Since you consider this "cutting edge", who do you classify as an "old schooler"? Noah?

The reason for the large variability in results is that sodium silicate goes through the gel to "glass" conversion at approximately 100C-105C. If it isn't directly exposed to those temperatures it does not convert and then doesn't seal. If you have a coolant circuit to combustion chamber leak that is very small, you get the sodium silicate lingering there long enough to under go conversion and you'll get some sealing. If you have more of a leak you get enough flow between the coolant circuit and the combustion chamber that it actually cools that spot and therefore you don't get a seal. If you have a breach between the coolant circuit and the oil circuit from either a defective head gasket or a cracked cylinder head, neither of these liquids nor the point where the breach has occurred reach the critical transformation temperature and you don't get a seal. While there are inspection processes (high excitation level, high resolution X-ray) that will allow you to determine the condition of your head gasket and cylinder head, those are generally reserved for jet engine parts and the expense of the equipment and the cost of the trained technician put it out or reach of automotive application, so in summary when you try the HG sealer you don't know the location or actual size and shape of the breach so it's a crap shoot. Very small coolant circuit to combustion chamber leak, you have a chance of sealing. Larger leak in same area, small chance of sealing. Coolant circuit to oil circuit, virtually no chance of sealing.
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by MMME30W View Post
Thread reopened.

Bimmerfest members are free to post their opinions.

Bimmerfest members are also free to ignore them.

There is nothing in this thread I see which violates the tou.
Thanks MOD! It's settled down to a healthy debate in this thread. It got a little over the top in the other thread where it started.....
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:04 AM
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I'm sick to death of this endless argument. I've PERSONALLY seen nothing but bad come of using block/coolant system sealers, and will never use one again, regardless of the $30 vs. $1000 or more cost comparison.

By the way, it will be far more than a $1000 risk if the sealer performs as I've seen it do. You'll be replacing more than just the head gasket after that crap clogs everything to heck. I've SEEN it myself.

Your choice is spend the $30-ish for the sealer and roll the dice (the house wins most of the time) or spend the money and time for a proper, by-the-book fix.

I'm done with this. Do what you want.
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:09 AM
capricornbmw capricornbmw is online now
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Jonesin, you might want to consider that I've called the companies and extensively read about and checked this out. I.e. I've done as in depth a research as I can from my desktop and with my telephone. You can see my opinions are well founded and plausible from all logical basis.

That said, you've thrown the gauntlet down by demanding that the thread be locked. You're not so inexperienced to know that there's merely one opinion out there, and besides, unless it can be disproved, one testimonial is still proof of concept and the science behind it. I will look for more testimonials and post them up. I'll spend like 5 minutes a day, every day. I'll do this for the next 2 weeks. I might post piecemeal and send it up here as a consolidated piece.

I'm going to do this because there's a decent chance that the knights with 37,000 posts between them will, in future, help someone like me avoid the mistake I made in the past, which was to skim through the online forum material and get easily scared off by the hue and cry over mechanics in a bottle...as a consequence of which I changed my entire engine, on account of two coolant-chamber microcracks. My bank account recovered, as has my anger at myself for being so hasty. There will still be people driving old gasoline fired cars in ten years for whatever reason if that's how long it takes for the public to accept repeated facts, well so be it.

At this point, I'd like to implore everyone who has had good results with block sealers to step forward and post up their experience. It need not be your car but it can belong to someone else you know of. Let us take it that the case needs to be proven. No matter. I've benefitted greatly from forums - some of the smartest most committed people can be found here. Let me give something back, if I can.
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:18 AM
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jonesin jonesin is offline
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The complete and entire point I've tried to get across to you is simple. Ken said it above. These products do NOT ONLY seal the area they need to seal. They more often than not also seal other things. Narrow passages like water jackets and radiator cores and heater cores.

I am not saying that they do not work. They do. They work too well. They are designed to clog shyte up and they do that marvelously.

My issue with them is that they cause far more issues than they will ever solve.
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:18 AM
capricornbmw capricornbmw is online now
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I'm sick to death of this endless argument. I've PERSONALLY seen nothing but bad come of using block/coolant system sealers, and will never use one again, regardless of the $30 vs. $1000 or more cost comparison.

By the way, it will be far more than a $1000 risk if the sealer performs as I've seen it do. You'll be replacing more than just the head gasket after that crap clogs everything to heck. I've SEEN it myself.

Your choice is spend the $30-ish for the sealer and roll the dice (the house wins most of the time) or spend the money and time for a proper, by-the-book fix.

I'm done with this. Do what you want.
I agree. You have.

So consider this. Subaru used it on their streetcars that were recalled in 2004, to fix a HG problem. Then, they slapped a 100k/8 year HG repair warranty over and on top of any preexisting general warranty, for that repair. They are a company with large resources both money, equipment and experts. They are dealing with an expensive recall, using a controversial product (as block sealers were in 2004) and risked truly becoming the laughing stock of the auto engineering world if THAT failed / caused foreseeable problems as well.

This is a fact. And this is what finally convinced me that this stuff does not cause new problems. Subaru is a semi major car manufacturer. They have a reputation. Like everybody else, they sweated blood to build that reputation over many years.

Would they use a block sealer if heater cores etc would be messed up ? During daily use? Spirited use? When the car is parked for weeks or months? Especially when they like every major car manufacturer, probably have insurance to cover the cost of recalls?

Those are the questions that makes one ponder.

I feel the 'customer guinea pig' phase of the block sealer's introduction is over. The instructions have surely been updated to account for avoidable problems, and the product seems to work in more cases than it doesn't hence its commercial viability.

Last edited by capricornbmw; 02-24-2014 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:21 AM
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:22 AM
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Commercially viable doesn't mean squat.

The Pet Rock was commercially viable.
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