I have a small radiator leak and someone suggested that if I added either cinnamon or black pepper that would stop the leak without doing any damage to the cooling system.
Has anyone heard of this fix before?
Will it plug the internal radiator passages?
How much do you add to stop a leak?
Should I clean and flush the cooling system before using or can it be added to the antifreeze mixture?
I've cleaned out several Model T blocks and radiators that had the cooling passages completely blocked by oatmeal, Bars Leak, and who knows what else. Pepper should block cooling passages equally well. I've heard of old timers recommending eggs and corn flakes too.
Why not add bacon and make it a balanced breakfast?
Sorry if the attempt at humor seems out of place, but it is an attempt to get to what my opinion is - you should have the leak fixed by a competent radiator shop for best results.
I have fixed leaks many times with black pepper, back when I was young and broke. It is a good emergency fix. But some of the old "junkers" I drove back then, were just driven with the black pepper fix, till I got rid of the car or truck. It does not seem to matter if it is just water or anti-freeze mix. You really should have the radiator fixed correctly, but I carry a box of black pepper, in all my older cars and trucks as well as the Ts...
Serrano peppers will make the engine run "hotter".
I think the breakfast foods may be OK if you use them only to get you to the radiator shop.
(Message edited by steve_jelf_parkerfield_ks on March 22, 2015)
An older friend told me that he used black silicone sealant to fix small leaks.He said if you could see the leak & get the sealant around the leak area it would work fine.You would have to drain the rad coolant below the leak & make sure it was dry.That way you could drive it now & have it repaired properly during the winter.
Pepper is fine in a waterpump system but when all you've got is thermo system you need all the freedom to flow that is available, Don.
When I pulled the head there was chunks of rust and other crud in the water jacket. I cleaned it as best as I could but I’m sure there are still rust flakes swimming around.
My point is even with some crude in the water I still have a couple of small leaks in the rad so if they don't stop the leak I don't see how pepper will help.
Charlie, you can pretty much choose the condiment of your choice, however this is a poor temporary fix which will reduce the efficiency of your cooling system.
I would first determine if your radiator is viable and can be easily and properly repaired (locate leak - solder leak). If not, then your options range from leak stoppers, epoxy patches, RTV patches, plaster of paris etc., because you'll soon be purchasing a new radiator anyway.
Wrigley Spearmint will work on visible leaks. You chew it up and stick it on. Do it when the coolant is drained and let the gum thoroughly dry before filling. I don't recommend using anything on the inside except coolant and distilled water. If the gum doesn't fix it, time for the radiator shop or new radiator.
Black pepper worked for 6 months for me.
Was on a tour and pulled up on a car that had the fan get into the radiator 7 or 8 leaks it wouldn't hold water long. Sent a fellow back to a store to get a tin of black pepper, nobody thought it would work, the other option was go get a trailer.
Long story short no water pump and in about 3 min. it stop leaking and he was able to finish the tour. Saw him on a tour 6 months later and he hadn't repaired or replace the radiator. Nor was it running hot. It is a patch that will get you home.
I have used Right Stuff to permanently (so far) stop several small cooling system leaks— even a cracked water jacket when I didn't have another reason to tear the engine down.
Repair area must be clean and dry.
Note: Right Stuff might look like black silicone but it handles and performs differently and is my first choice of sealant for most applications.
Chris, Your right about that but I think the Ultra Black is really close to the same thing but with a longer working time.
Both are amazing!
Of the six vintage cars that I own, virtually half of them have new radiators in the last 3 years since getting (rather, jumping!) into this hobby. You know where I stand on fixing leaks!!
Your local radiator shop will likely have a fine powder you can add to the radiator . My radiator shop call it the "radiator man's best friend"
When I run out of toothpaste, a handful of sand will get the job done till I can get to my shower kit.
I once hit a deep valley gutter in the road on the way to be in a parade, it caused my radiator to start leaking bad around the bottom tank and overheated, desprate,I put about a table spoon full of coffee grounds in the cooling system, It worked until I got the new Berg radiator.:^)
John, Was it Breakfast Blend, or something more stout?
I once had a radiator leak in the boonies with a company car and stopped by a roadside ditch to fill the radiator. Being Florida, the ditch water was loaded with green algae scum.
I thought I would have to stop and fill the radiator again in 10 miles or so, but made it back to the office. I told the motor pool guy about it, but when I asked him about it months later, he said it was running and cooling fine and he didn't see any reason to fool with it. I left the organization several years later and the car was still in service.
So if the black pepper fails, maybe you can find some good pond scum.