As the title implies, my wife's 99 VW Bug just started squirting coolant out from somewhere behind the engine and in lieu of doing the right thing (which probably involves replacing a gasket or the whole car) I want to just pour something in to hopefully plug it up for the last few years of its life. Will black pepper do the trick or will it mess with the water pump, etc. and make me regret it?
I don't know that pepper would work well on pressurized cooling systems. Bar's Leaks or Silver Seal will work better...maybe?
I doubt it, modern cars run at to higher pressure, 16lbs or so, more than likely just a hose, replace it.
Canadian Tire sells a sealer, it is a liquid, with copper colored flakes in it, it will even seal a head gasket , how long it will hold depends on the leak, about $30
It does work in an emergency but is short lived
I guess I'll have to suck it up and do this the right way then. Thanks guys!
Crack a raw egg in it. will seal the leak and the radiator will still work
Don't forget the bacon, biscuits, and gravy.
Before dumping Bar's Leaks in the cooling system, if I were you I would search the New Beetle forums and see what the common causes of coolant leaks are and what it takes to fix them and then see if I could diagnose the specific problem with my car. Might not be as bad as you think and a fairly easy fix.
If you buy a new water pump from Chevrolet it comes with a seal tab that is ground ginger, I have user ground ginger and it has worked on pressurized and non pressurized systems. I carry a small jar of it in my tool kit, the trick is to mix the powder with hot water and add to a hot motor.
I have a bad leak on my hay wagon, it is in a tough place to get to and pulling the engine is not something I want to do right now. I have tried Bars leak and it helped but when I did not have any the next day I dumped a bunch of finely ground black pepper in it and it works better on a leak than bars leak. The down side in this case is that it tends to unseal when the system pressure drops and the pepper is sucked back into the system, then the coolant will leak out.
I used to drive an old IH dump truck on a cattle ranch. Was waaay out in the "south forty" one day when the truck radiator sprung a pretty good leak. I used what was on hand to fix the radiator leak. You guessed it, a hand full of dried out cow patty! The radiator was still holding 5 years later. The only drawback was that it smelled kind of bad when you checked the water level...
If you decide to try Bar's leaks, here is my (favorable) experience:
My first car was a 1972 Dodge Charger with a 318 V8. It developed a small leak in the radiator, and because I was poor at the time, I decided to try Bar's leaks (the flakes). It sealed the leak in minutes without harming the cooling (that I could tell). I drove the car two more years, then sold it to one of my brothers and he drove it for another year before it got totaled when a drunk driver slammed into it when it was parked on the street.
If the raw egg doesn't seal it, have a plate ready for scrambled eggs.
Way back when our everyday car, an '85 Honda would lose water and then stop losing water. One day I had to pull the head, head gasket had failed. With the head off, on could see the carburetor and the pre heat water system on it. It had a control valve that was part steel and part aluminum. That thing was actually in two pieces, but corroded enough that most of the time it didn't leak! Turned out to be a "factory only" part, and the new part was also made of dissimilar metals, but it lasted until we sold the car!
Found the issue, I wasn't expecting the throttle body to be heated and it's the hose to that which has failed. With the trickle coming from behind the engine I had wrongly assumed head gasket. Hopefully the local VW dealer has the part on the shelf and I ought to be able to fix it on the weekend.
Newly Minted Road Apples work well !!!!
Trading it in works better....I should know, I retired from a VW/ Buick dealership. Buicks- no trouble. VW's lots of trouble.
My '72 VW beetle didn't have any coolant to squirt out! Sure don't miss the heater or defroster!
If it is a VW it is most likely one of the plastic water connector pipes that has cracked. It will break off completely at some point. VW is known for them failing.
I sold my old 1958 FIAT 600 in 1970 with the radiator holes plugged up with back pepper, the transmission with half a kilo of ground beef in it The clutch plate painted with egg white and one window held up with a corn cob.
six months later I found out it was being used as a pigeon coop.
I knew a guy years ago that put oatmeal in his Chevy six to plug a cracked block, had to take out the thermostat because it plugged up. The crack seeped a tiny bit but otherwise the oatmeal worked, Don.