Head-Gasket-Repair>>Autos>>Repair and Maintenance>> Head Gasket Repair
12 authors / 5 revisions / last update: February 17, 2017
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Topic: “Head gasket sealants, which one really works” Plus Fetched Reviews: “Head Gasket Sealers
Theres lots of sealer products out there… Submitted by: Frank M. (Cert. Mechanic) - Silver Member since: 2012 Last update: 11/18/2016 Note: The names of certain sealers have been altered for legal reasons. There's a lot of products out there which claim to seal head gaskets but many of them are totally useless and others can even harm your engine. The reason most sealers don't work is, Bars, Blue Devil, Steal Seel, Thremagazket and more all use water-glass as their ingredient.
Also known as sodium silicate, water glass is a solution that may appear as a barely solid agent or a thick liquid. It has a number of uses, with many of them related to the manufacture of products usedfor building materials, textiles, and fire safety. When combined with magnesium silicate in a water solution (such as a engines cooling system), this material can also be used to seal head gaskets since it reverts back to a solid when it reaches about 200 degrees. Onced cured, it becomes glass-like and very brittle. At this stage it cannot handle extreme pressure or expansion and contraction. It can only crack, and that’s where the problem begins.
Back in the 60's and 70's when all engines were made of steel and iron, water-glass based sealers could actually seal a cracked head gasket (at least for a short time), because steel only expands and contracts about 12%. Now, almost all cars and trucks have aluminum cylinder heads and more and more now have aluminum engine blocks. This presents a huge problem for water-glass based sealers. They just can’t flex with the newer aluminum engine parts. So, why do all those company’s still produce it? It’s an inexpensive mineral, thats easy to extract from the ground. It occurs naturally in most parts of the world and is cheap to mine. Those old-school companies have been around since the 60’s when water-glass and silicates where still relevant with older vehicles with steal and iron engines. Their factories simply aren’t equip or up to date enough to manufacture anything but silicate based sealers. Besides why would they want to change their manufacturing program to better suite today’s vehicles when most people are to stupid to know better than to use their out-dated sealers on their newer model vehicles… As long as people keep buying old, out-dated silicate sealers, they’ll keep selling it…
Todays newer vehicles require a liquid sealer that can flex and expand with the engines aluminum parts like cylinder heads and engine blocks. This is because, aluminum can expand and contract about 30% more than steal and iron. So far, the only brand we've found that doesn't use water-glass as a main ingredient is Titan Sealers. They appear to be the only manufacturer to have invested the time and money to develop a modern sealer for todays modern cars and trucks. Does it cost a bit more than old silicate sealers, sure. But is it worth it? We’ve tested it on over 30 vehicles in the last 48 months and, YES it appears to be the best sealer available for any vehicle with aluminum cylinder heads and blocks. It seems to work just a well on steal/iron engines, out lasting silicate/water-glass sealers by about 4 years. Finally, another problem with water-glass based sealers is that they cure at about 200 degrees. Most newer vehicles now operate between 195 to 225 degrees. If you used a water-glass based sealer it would cure in every area of the engine causing clogs. Titan Sealer doesn't use water- glass so each kit can be customized to your engine's running temperature at the cylinder head. This prevents Titan Sealer from curing in other areas of the engine. We think that's pretty smart... No More clogged radiators or heater-cores…
What happens when water-glass sealers crack away in your engine...?
 Updated on 2/17/2017 by: Danny S. & Mike W. (Danny's Automotive) - Member since: 2011
What happens when water-glass starts to crack-away? That's an easy question to answer. Would you want to chew broken glass in your mouth? Of course not, but that's what your engine begins doing. An engine's water-pump, radiator, heater-core, intake manifold gasket and especially it's rubber coolant lines and radiator hoses begin to be torn apart by tiny pieces of that broken water -glass. It could be compared to getting sand in your veins, not good for anything in there is an major under-statement. Enough said on water-glass. If you decide to use that stuff, then you made already have sand in your veins and it’s affecting your brain. lol… So, any sealer brands out there that don't use water-glass..?   Not many. We have tested every liquid head gasket sealer on the market and the only brand we've found that doesn’t use water-glass as a main ingredient is Titan Sealers.   The Titan sealer appears to stay flexible after curing and did not crack-away after we used it and later disassembled the test engines to check and see. We also tested the other-brands like Bars , Blue Devil , Steal Seel , Thremagazket  . The Titan  Brand came out the winner, Here's the break-down as to what happened on customer’s vehicles... Barz Liquid Sealer  (water-glass sealer) : Used on a 2008 Ford Escort: Symptoms: White steam out of tailpipe, coolant mixing with oil, running hot, loss of compression in coolant-side and oil-side of engine. After using the Barz Liquid Sealer: Still steam from tailpipe, coolant still mixing with oil, compression better by 2psi overall. Slight increase in compression at cylinder # 3. Still running hot. Oil-side of engine was still showing compression loss. End result: Really was not worth our time . Titan Sealer Repair Kit  (Polymer-Based Sealer): Same 2008 Ford Escort: We flush the escort’s engine and started again with the Titan Head Gasket Repair Kit. After using Titan’s polymer-based sealer, no steam from exhaust after 30 minutes. Temp begining to return to normal after 4th run-cycle, (2 hours of run time). Compression back up to normal after 3 hours run-time with sealer in vehicle. End result: Delivered this vehicle to our customer with a full repair of head gasket leak... Blue Dev_il Liquid Sealer  (water-glass sealer): Used on a 2004 Volvo: Symptoms: White steam out of tailpipe, running hot. After using the Blue dev_il Liquid Sealer: No steam remains, still running hot at 238+,compression better by 7psi. Sealer clogged the heater-core and thermostat causing engine to overheat and crack cylinder on outside edge. Now leaking coolant externally unto header. Bad product! End result: New leak on outside of head, new crack on head, clogged the heater-core. Worse-off than before we started using it… Titan Sealer Repair Kit  (Polymer-Based Sealer): Same 2004 Volvo: We flush the volvo’s engine twice and started again with the Titan Head Gasket Repair Kit. After using Titan’s polymer-based sealer, Titan stopped steam after about 10 minutes of running engine with sealer inside. No overheating after 6 run-cycles, (4 hours of run time). External cool- ant leak better by about 75%. End result: We gave it another 2 run-cycles next day and external leak completely repaired. No steam, no overheating… Steal Seel Liquid Sealer  (water-glass sealer): Used on a 2006 BMW: Symptoms: Running hot, very high compression in cooling system, would actually blow upper radiator hose off radiator after 15 minutes of idling in park. After using the Steal Seel Liquid Sealer: Running cooler, did not overheat, still very high com- pression in coolant system, water being pushed out of over-flow tank after 22 minutes of idling. End result: Better results than Barz and Blue Dev_il, but it did not repair head gasket. Titan Sealer Repair Kit  (Polymer-Based Sealer): Same 2006 BMW: Since so close to a full repair, we did not flush-out engine, just went right into the Titan Repair… After using Titan’s polymer-based sealer, Titan stopped over-pressurization in coolant system after about 3 run-cycles, (60 minutes of running engine with sealer inside). End result: Probably should have used the Titan Sealer in the first place… But delivered the car to customer with a full repair… KW Sealer  (Waterglass-Based) Used on a 2000 Cadillac w/ Northstar Symptoms: Running hot, high compression in cooling system, pushing water out of over-flow tank. After using the K+W Liquid Sealer: Still running hot, still very high compression in cooling system, still pushing water out of over-flow tank after 17 minutes of idling in park, still mixing water in oil. Clogged thermostat, engine shut down after 26 minutes of idling in park with solution in engine due to overheating. End result: Completely ineffective, did not repair head gasket. This was the worst of the water-glass sealers! Not only did it not repair anything, it caused more damage then we started off with. Second only to Blue Dev_il in overall time wasting… Titan Sealer Repair Kit  (Polymer-Based Sealer): Used on same 2000 Cadillac as above: Flushed coolant system several times to remove any left-over water-glass from system and replaced thermostat… After using the Titan Liquid Sealer: Temperature down to 217 degrees, normal compression in system, no water mixing with oil. Had occasional temperature spike on highway at 65-75 MPH but would level off back down at about 205 to 215 degrees. Not bad, no negative effects after 24 hours. We're very surprised that the Titan Sealer worked on this car after K+W did absolutely nothing. Good product! The reason the Titan Sealer worked must have to do with not containing water-glass and this Cadillac has an all aluminum engine. Apparently the Titan could flex with the aluminum and not crack off like the K+W (silicate-based) Sealer. We are going to try the Titan on that 2007 BMW to see what it does in that engine with aluminum heads… If you need Titan you can find it at their website: www.titansealers.com
Updated on 2/17/2017 by: Danny S. & Mike W. (Danny's Automotive Service) - Member since: 2011