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Radiator Stop Leak – What Is The Main Function?

Radiator Stop Leak

Radiator stop leak is a product that is necessary when dealing with certain issues in your car to prevent any further damage. This stop leak is a chemical applied to your radiator’s walls, acting to form a type of coating and base over small holes. If you do not use a radiator stop leak, these holes can lead to issues within a leaky radiator, gasket, or hose.

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This radiator stop leak prevents the radiator from breaking its seal and leaking fluid. The stop leak lets your vehicle stay running properly for a long enough time to allow you to safely drive to a local and a nearby repair shop. This preventive measure and quick fix allow you to get to a professional who can do a full repair or replacement without any further damage occurring in your car. 


By learning how to use a radiator stop leak, you can keep your car running for longer and safer – allowing you to get to a mechanic’s shop and fix your vehicle before it gets any worse. Plus, this is a crucial and essential skill for every driver to know – to prevent you from being stranded on the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere, with a cracked radiator, and a non-running vehicle. 


Keep reading to figure out the steps of how to use a radiator stop leak, the average cost to repair an automotive radiator hose, the different types of radiator fluid, the most popular radiator stop leak types, the benefits of a radiator stop leak, and more!

How to use a radiator stop leak

The first step in using a radiator stop leak to fix a leaky or broken radiator is to find the type of sealant or stop leak you want to purchase for your specific car. Any kind of radiator stop leak is available from various automotive companies, mechanic shops, department stores, or hardware stores in your local area. For example, you can try Stop Leak, a widely recognized product that helps fix radiator leaks from getting worse over time. 


Second, you need to pour the product, like Stop Leak, into the radiator. This recommended amount to pour into the radiator leak is usually one full bottle. However, all kinds of radiator stop leaks differ, so make sure to read the product label to see the recommended dosage. Unscrew the radiator cap and pour the product in the radiator without letting any of the coolants drain out unintentionally.


Third, add the radiator stop leak to the radiator at the leaking spot. Use the radiator cap to add the fluid until the coolant level is equal to the amount recommended by the maker of the radiator sealant product. 


Fourth, start your car and see what happens with its performance. Start the engine and give your car around 5-10 minutes to warm-up, circulating the plastic radiator sealant through your cracked radiator or gasket and helping to fill up any small holes during the process. 


Next, fill the radiator with around a half mixture of both water and coolant to finish off the cooling system and make it full. This is the second to last step of using a radiator stop leak to fix your radiator damage. 


Lastly, allow your car to sit multiple hours so that the radiator stop leak can be installed and given enough time to fix the leak. Avoid driving your car within this time frame, but rest assured you can drive your car as normal after the sealant has sat and affected the leak in the right way. 


By learning how to use a radiator stop leak, you can keep your car running safer for a longer period of time. Radiator stop leaks are crucial to your car’s safety and can effectively seal off a leak and keep your car running effectively. Now let’s find out the different kinds of radiator stop leaks are available on the market. 

Types of Radiator Fluid


Radiator fluid to repair radiator leaks and use in radiator stop leaks comes in different varieties that can all depend on what you need and what you are willing to spend on the product. The main types of radiator fluid are ethylene glycol/polyethylene glycol, non-toxic radiator coolant, and extend-life radiator fluid, comprising the main three types of radiator fluid that are used in radiator sealing and radiator stop leak products. 


Ethylene glycol is the most popular type of radiator fluid, while the non-tox radiator coolant does not contain either of these materials or products. The non-tox radiator coolant is better for health benefits and environmental usage, as it is non-toxic. Lastly, the extended life radiator fluid contains extra additives used to make the air conditioner and the car radiator work for a longer period of time, enhancing the radiator sealant’s quality. 

Types of Radiator Stop Leaks


There are two main kinds of radiator stop leaks besides the three types of radiator fluid used in the radiator. The kinds of stop leaks include tablets and liquid.


  • Tablets


Although the tablet form is not the most common kind of radiator stop leak you might use, you can find the product in tablet form. This tablet dissolves to form particles that flow to the leakage areas, filling the gaps and holes. When the temperature gets high enough, the particles burn up to seal off the cracks. 


  • Liquid


This type of radiator stop leak is much more common and easily flows through the radiator fluid to reduce the system’s friction. 

Benefits of Radiator Stop Leak


Using a radiator stop leak, you can prevent further issues from occurring and keep your vehicle running at a high operating level for a long time. Just check out the benefits and pros of using a stop leak in your vehicle.


  • Prevent a breakdown



Driving with a radiator, a leak in your car can quickly harm the transmission, radiator, and engine, leading to your car’s breakdown in no time. Driving with a radiator leak is very harmful to your car if you do not use a radiator stop leak as soon as you notice an issue.


Any major loss of radiator fluid will cause your car to stop functioning, leaving you stuck in the middle of nowhere. The radiator works by cooling the engine by using coolant. If the radiator did not use coolant to cool down the engine, the vehicle would overheat due to the excessive friction. The hotter the engine gets, the higher the chance of the engine overheating.


The radiator works to prevent this from happening. If you do not use a radiator stop leak, the breakdown will surely happen.


  • Keep yourself safe



By making sure your car is topped off with the appropriate amount of radiator stop leak fluid, you can ensure your safety while driving on the road. Keeping your fluid topped up ensures that your radiator will not overheat on you in the midst of driving. If this were to happen, you would immediately need to pull over, which can derail your plans and cause a dangerous driving situation. 


  • Improve car performance



Making sure the radiator stop leak is constantly getting the appropriate amount of fluid can help your car run at an optimal level for a long period of time. Over time, the leak in your radiator will cause excess stress and damage to the car’s power and other key parts of the vehicle, like the engine and transmission. Make sure the reservoir isn’t leaking to ensure that the stop leak for the radiator is doing its job.


  • Save money



Stopping a radiator fluid leak using a radiator stop leak fluid can help save you money in the long run. Catching a leak before it gets worse and causes excess damage can mean that you will have on complete replacements and repairs. Suppose you do not use a radiator stop leak. In that case, you could end up paying for a complete radiator replacement, transmission replacement, or engine replacement, which will be costlier than purchasing a radiator stop leak fluid. 


  • Protect seals



If the seals in your car or radiator have cracked, hardened, contaminated, or dried seals, oil leaks are sure to happen. Oil leak additives revitalize and lubricate the main seals and gaskets to return to their original viscosity and flexibility, ensuring that the radiator stop leak prevents any future radiator leaks or performance issues. 

Radiator Stop Leak Pricing


With the traditional radiator stop leak fluid, you usually spend most of your money on the size of the container you are purchasing and the oil quality. Within the lower price range, say about $5-$35; you usually find anything that is less than 12 ounces, comprising a smaller amount of radiator sealant.


The next price range is generally around $35 and higher on the market, comprising bigger bottles and containers that have more solutions, more variety, and more applications. It could be best to buy radiator sealant in bulk purchases because this way, when you need it, you have it. It‘s better to be prepared with this type of problem. 


  • Stop Leak vs. Radiator Repair



Why is there a leak in your radiator, and what can you do about it? Stop leak additives might seal the small leak in your radiator, but they may not deal with the source of the damage to prevent further leaks. Be sure you change your coolant frequently to avoid additional holes and damage. Old coolant can lead to corrosion inside your radiator if you do not use a radiator stop leak fluid. Not only will all this corrosion and buildup damage the piping of your radiator, but it may also clog your radiator completely.


If there are multiple leaks, or if there’s a leak in an area that the radiator stop leak can’t seal, it’s time for radiator repair services. Stop by your mechanic to find affordable parts for a DIY repair or let a professional repair your radiator if the radiator stop leak does not work.


A radiator that has not been cared for by the owner may need to be flushed before you seal it using a radiator stop leak. A single small hole might be easy to seal, but it also may be a sign that other areas of your radiator are damaged and may soon leak. Pick up a radiator cleaning solution that works for your vehicle. Follow the included directions and thoroughly flush your radiator before sealing any tiny leaks.


  • Why The Stop Leak Is NOT Working



Although a radiator stop leak can create a trustworthy seal in a number of areas in your cooling system, there are many situations where it won’t work properly and to the proper extent. If your radiator stop leak has stopped creating a seal after you have flushed your coolant, you may need to add an additional additive to the radiator stop leak. 

-Check These Areas

If it’s never properly sealed your radiator leak, check for leaks in the following areas:

These areas can’t be sealed by using a radiator stop leak, so you’ll need to replace a part to restore a tight and secured seal. No amount of radiator stop leak can protect these areas from a minor or major leak and might need to be addressed by a radiator repair.

-Overuse Of Radiator Stop Leak

Another common issue with a radiator stop leak is when it forms a complete seal in your radiator. This side effect is typically caused by overuse of the radiator stop leak. Carefully read the directions on your radiator stop leak package. Every company uses a slightly different strength and filler material combination, so it’s essential to only add the precise amount of stop leak necessary to fix the damage in the radiator. 


Using a radiator stop leak is a key step in keeping your car running smoothly and safely for a long period of time. The coolant system and the emissions system are main systems in your vehicle, and need to be taken care of so that your car runs at an optimal level. Using radiator stop leaks can help your car stay healthy! 


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