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Don't Use Steel Seal
Posted by Stewarja on 07/10/2009
I recently bought a 2003 Nissan Sentra GXE with the 1.8 engine for my daughter. The car has 109K miles, but is in perfect shape. After a few months I noticed that the car was using about 1 quart a week of antifreeze. I could not find any leaks, but after awhile it began to blow white smoke out of the exhaust and I could smell antifreeze coming of the exhaust when it started up. Clearly I had either a blown head gasket or a cracked head. I called my mechanic it would be 14 hours labor (~$1000) to replace the head gasket + parts ($100-$200). He told me the much better choice would be to do an used engine swap, since the labor to do that was actually a little less at 13 hours. He found one from a crash test car that had 216 miles for $1300, which would bring the swap to around $2500 with misc. parts. He said it would be a really bad idea to do head gasket, since most of the time he has seen other damage to the piston rings. For $1300 more, to go to a nearly brand new engine was clearly the way I intended to go. I did some research on “Steel Seal”. I was very skeptical, and was concerned it might cause other damage, but I thought I’d give it a try since I intended to swap out the engine if it did not work anyway. I followed the instructions exactly, left it to cool down overnight. When I drove the car the next day, it appeared to do absolutely nothing to fix the car. The white smoke was not that bad, so I thought I’d drive it a few days and see.

On the 2nd time I drove the car all of the sudden when all the way up on the temperature gauge and the car started running badly. This rise in the temp. had never happened before. I drove it a few and parked the car. After the car cooled down, I pulled the radiator cap. To my amazement, the radiator was completely plugged with a hard white polymer (note when I added the Steel Seal it was clean metal). Bottom line, now I need a new radiator too. DO NOT put this product in your car, you will be very sorry.

     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-07-10:
If I was replacing an engine that cracked a head, or a gasket, after noticing a coolant leak that I couldn't identify, I'd darn sure replace the radiator too. I'd consider that no loss, while testing a product that someone should never use ever. Those radiator sealers are guaranteed to cause additional problems, and will never fix the cause.
Posted by madconsumer on 2009-07-10:
wouldn't a compression test show what and where the crack was?
Posted by Starlord on 2009-07-10:
Did you discuss your choice of this product with a mechanic? I don't think so.
Posted by Raid on 2010-11-10:
Ok, to give my feedback some credit, I am a certified mechanic, and I am currently employed as a mechanic in the U.S. Army. When I came home this last time on leave, I discovered that my fiance had even less mechanical expertise than I imagined, and apparently had a hard time figuring out what would make an engine overheat, and yet leave the heater in the vehicle almost non-functional. This woman and vehicle maintenance do not mix. So by the time I got to it, my blazer had developed a blown head gasket near the intake manifold. I drive a 1999 Chevy blazer LS with 125K on it. I have put a lot of work into it over the years, and am pretty proud of the end results, but I was sure I was looking at a very costly repair for my truck. Well, a friend of my dad's had this bottle of Steal Seal just sitting in his garage, and gave it to me to try. I figured it was just another gimmick product, but I figured it was worth a shot. Now in regards to the review that "stewarja" posted, I wonder at what kind of coolant/antifreeze you were using during the process you put your vehicle through, as you should not have been using any kind of the DEX-COOL or red color antifreeze with this product, you should be using the green kind, even if it isn't what the car calls for. Also, you said you remembered to follow all the directions exactly, did you remember to run this stuff through with the thermostat removed? My blazer uses the DEX-COOL type antifreeze as well, and I flushed my cooling system before I used the steal seal. Because the white, waxy substance you describe is actually a common occurrence with DEX-COOL type antifreeze. If the thermostat fails to open, or the antifreeze overheats, it will form that white waxy substance throughout the system. I have seen it many times. It may also have been present before you ran the steal seal through, and it was simply pushed into the radiator with the treatment. It always pays to flush any system in your vehicle before adding new chemicals to it. Now, because I have a 4.3 V-6 engine, Steal Seal calls for a bottle and a half to be used, and I only had the one. I followed the instructions exactly, and only used the one bottle, I also looked at their website on the internet to be sure I had the process right. It worked beautifully. My leaks stopped, I had no more white smoke, and my engine ran much better. at the end of the process, I put fresh GREEN coolant in, and a new thermostat, and had had no problems since. I have been driving the vehicle for over a month now, and it still works great, and the symptoms have not reappeared. So all I can say at the end is that it worked great for me, but every vehicle problem is different, and may have different causes. Always be sure you know the root cause before you try to fix a problem with your vehicle, lest you treat the wrong problem and not the cause.
Posted by Steve on 2011-08-15:
I too had the same experience, a clocked solid radiator. I called steel seal and they insist that their product will never clock a radiator unless I had a previous clog. I know for a fact that I had no flow issues within my cooling system prior to the installation of Steel Seal.STeel seal will do nothing for me other than not charge me for the product. So I'm out $350.00 because they lie. Steel seal even admitted that they used to recommend removing the thermostat before installing steel seal because it could cause a blocked radiator. There response to the situation is bad! The comment that Bob made at steel seal that if the product didn't work they would be out of bussiness.I assume they prey on the people that just accept the clogged radiator and don't complain.I even offered to bring my radiator to them. Bob didn't want to see it, just refund my credit card. I must assume my heater core is clogged as well another $1000.00 repair, Thanks Steel Seal. Maybe they should call steel fuser, or clogger.
Posted by usafaviator on 2011-10-09:
I ordered Steel Seal for my 98 BWM 528i and followed the directions to the T. Didn't work. Contacted the company and they sent another treatment...didn't work. Save your money and just get the head gasket done right. You will end up wasting the money on Steel Seal that you will end up spending on the proper job in the first place!
Posted by moparman74 on 2012-01-20:
don't use Steel Seal, it clogged my heater core. I gave steel seal a shot and it says absolutely nothing on the bottle about A) removing thermostat or B) bypassing heater core while treating. I mixed it with GREEN coolant like it says and ran it at 1000 rpms. While running it it STALLED my car. it re started and ran rough with the check engine light on with a code for a misfire. I reset light and it seemed to run ok but I had no heat. I took it to a garage and they said my radiator was cracked. I had just changed it 5 months prior not sure if related to steel seal. I replaced radiator and noticed white slime that seemed to dissolve when I picked it up. I also replaced thermostat and noticed a white scale inside the head I am not sure if that was from Steel Seal or maybe calcium and other minerals from someone not using distilled water previously. I still had no heat after the thermostat and radiator were changed. I took it to another garage and said my head was still cracked and my heater core was plugged. About $3,500 to repair both. I am sending quote to steal seal to get my money back. I think steel seal needs to right better directions and advise people to remove thermostat and or bypass heater core.
Posted by Dougie on 2012-05-27:
My son's Suzuki Reno had a small antifreeze leak in number 4 cyl. When you would start the car after siting a while it would miss for about a minute then clear up. It also threw a 304 code. Since you cannot remove the thermostat in this car Steel seal said ok to leave in. I drained the system , flushed it clean with clear water, installed the steel seal and filled with DISTILLED water. I ran the car 1000 rpms for one hour. left cool completely. When I pulled number 4 plug it was not fouled with coolant, I had no misfire code 304 and when I started the car 3 hours later the car did not miss. So, so far this stuff appeared to fix the problem. I will drive a day or 2 and if all is still good I will flush again and fill with 50 percent anti freeze green with distilled water. You must do it just like that to be sure it will work. Also this type of repair is not for any really massive leaks as I have been told.
Posted by John Swanson on 2012-07-11:
I purchased steel seal for my 2000 neon, same symptoms as above, followed the directions and almost 2 years later it still works great! So I don't know why you had clogging issues, I'm sure your system was already clogged and neglected like most are. This stuff works and your post is confusing to others that might want to try it. You must follow the directions and be sure your system in thoroughly flushed and not clogged with other garbage. Don't listen to these others that are negative about it, if you were to see their cars and the shape their cooling system is in then no sealer would work in it. This worked for us and I would do it again in a heartbeat, saved us over $800.00 to replace a head gasket!
Posted by Dougie on 2012-07-31:
I'm following up again from my post 5-27. 2 months later 4 thousand miles later and the car is still running with no leaks and fluid level is as I left it.
Posted by Rick on 2012-09-06:
Alot of people give this better than par reviews, so it makes a little sense before you spend over $700 on a head gasket and then find out you also had clogged radiator, leaking water pump etc... i would gladly invest in $20-$30 before i threw away hundreds
Posted by FYI-DUDE on 2012-09-12:
You guys with the white mucky goo in your radiator think maybe it could be the mixture of oil and antifreeze in your radiator??? conditions and obviously the placement of problem can cause all kinds of strange stuff to get into your radiator... be careful before you blame a product when you are dealing with a serious engine problem! I have been surprised many times as to the cause problems.... not being a smart ass, just telling you guys that I've personally used steelseal in an emergency, and it worked good enough for me that I have decided on foregoing the gasket repair... I'm at 15k miles now, and if it blows tomorrow i will still be surprised at how well and long it worked for me!
Posted by Andrew on 2013-01-23:
If you read or call Steelseal for their instructions, the tell you specifically what to do. The first thing is to drain all antifreeze out of the engine and flush with water. Next, pour in the Steelseal and run for 1 hour. Next, drive it around a bit. Finally, add anti-freeze to the engine. You do not want to have any additives or antifreeze in the engine while doing this.
Posted by leonard hevian on 2013-02-20:
A simple question: after drain the systems of all fluids:have the steelseal treatment use alone or clean water must have to fill the systems to be mixed with the steelseal fluid to fill the whole systems?
Posted by follow up again from Dougie from 7-31 on 2013-02-26:
10,000 miles and 7 mos.later and no head gasket leak
Posted by Forenza on 2013-04-08:
Dougie,

I have a Suzuki Forenza, which has the same engine as Reno. Since our cars don't have radiator caps, did you pour in Steelseal into the radiator by disconnecting the large hose from the engine that goes to the top of the radiator?

Thank you.
Posted by John on 2013-04-09:
You guys are wrong. It does not say to use just water in the cooling system. On the site under instructions it says, "If the radiator is full, drain down enough antifreeze from the radiator to get the Steel Seal in."

I have a really small leak in my HG. No smoke out the pipe, although it makes this puff noise during idling and runs rough. I don't lose any coolant, but there are small bubbles in the radiator. I checked with a block checker. Color turned yellow, but took at least 10 minutes before it did. I put in Steel Seal today after removing the thermostat and ran at 1000 rpm for 1 hour as instructed and let it cool down completely. It's still bubbling. Maybe tomorrow or next week it will stop, I guess I'll soon see.
Posted by Bill on 2013-05-31:
Please look at the website about how to use this product.
https://secure.steelseal.com/index.php/t14
Posted by Clive on 2013-06-08:
Well today steel seal has just stuffed my radiator too. Seems to be a bit of a pattern emerging here. DON'T USE THIS PRODUCT YOU CAN'T BE SURE WHAT DAMAGE IT WILL DO.
Posted by jay on 2013-07-03:
i used it and had no probs with it saved me the money, i don't get what the problem is when you get your money back if it doesn't work, i was using it as a last resort to scrapping it and it saved me some money and I've got another 6 months so far on it, it seals for coolant leaking in its not meant for anything else really
Posted by Clive on 2013-07-09:
Hi Jay, if you'd had to pay the £700 bill for putting my car right you'd get a feel for the problem. The refund is not the point it's the damage Steel Seal can do that people need to understand.
Posted by Rey on 2013-07-30:
Guys I am no mechanic but I'm a DIY type of dude. I own a 1992 cougar with over 200k miles, yes hard to believe it has lasted this long lol... I too was losing coolant with no leaks like many others on here so I gave Steel Seal a shot. Steel Seal is no miracle worker so if your car is losing a significant amount of coolant per week then you'll probably need a head gasket replacement on the other hand if you notice the coolant loss/symptoms gradually increasing you can catch the problem before it extends. I believe that's what I was able to do. White smoke was coming out the exhaust so why not give it a try I thought. I don't recall the exact step by step on direction manual but what I did was flush the cooling system completely. Then I ran the car around the block and flushed again. I did this about 4 times. Then filled with clean water only and the correct amount of Steel Seal for my 6 cylinder. I then let it idle for about 45min to an hour, from time to time I'd give it slightly more rpms for a couple minutes. Like I said I'm not mechanic but this worked for me. Once done I waited until the next day, drove it around and my car was back to normal. Yes, Steel Seal claims that it can be mixed with almost any type of antifreeze but I did not wanna take that chance. Anyways that's my 3 cents. Hope it helps someone on here.
Posted by ken on 2013-08-29:
This guy is nuts. Steel Seal is a miracle in a bottle. It fixed my 91 corolla that drives better now than before Steel Seal. I had a blown head gasket. Been driving 3 years now with zero problems. Going to use it in my jeep cherokee tomorrow that also just blew a head gasket. Awesome stuff!
Posted by aries on 2013-09-12:
hi

I have used this product on my vehicle and it has been over 2 years

I have recommended this product to other people and they have had the same results

I believe the product does work but i also think it depends on how much damage has occurred to each engine

I think its more the severity of the damage verses the product that determines each individual outcome

This product may be suitable for low to average damage, but high or extreme damage, I don't think any product can seal

This product has the highest success rate to reseal so i think its more you have to assess the damage condition of your engine before you decide if this product is suitable for your vehicle or not

aries
Posted by wally on 2013-09-22:
well I got some steal seal and didn't think it would after a hour of running it in my car the head gasket stopped leaking and over heating it made me think twice about steal seal its # 1 now in my book and will tell others about steal seal it not a steal it saves you money !!!
Posted by Tony Yates on 2013-10-23:
My 1st try with steel seal on a 2002 pug 206 1.4 petrol engine, done the same thing as the guys above, clogged my system up with white solid gunk.
2nd time I used it (only this month) on a 2003 skoda fabia 1.4 Mpi and it fixed the HG like a dream. IMHO it all depends on the kind of coolant in the vehicle as USA and Europe have different coolant additives etc. and the amount of damage already done to the HG. Steel seal will only issue refunds etc if a recognised garage diagnoses a HG failure, buys steel seal, treats the engine with it, and if it doesn't work then refund.even though I ended up with 1 engine full of gunk and another fixed perfect I will still swear by steel seal and reccomend it to friends
Posted by Leonard on 2013-11-28:
The white gunk in your radiator sounds like water/oil mixed together. Maybe it was almost plugged before you put steel seal.
Posted by Ron Max on 2013-11-30:
I am 62 Worked for GM dealership and other types of mechanic work. I usually don't ever use any of the Radiator or Engine stop leaks...they just stop stuff up with metal or corn meal or whatever they use. I contacted several mechanics that have used "STEEL SEAL" before I decided to try it. I have now used it in five different engines with 100% success rate. I still prefer to replace head gaskets or what ever the problem is. However, sometimes the time is not right or what ever. This stuff looks like regular Anti-Freeze and has no metal or corn meals in it. It has a chemical reaction to "Hot Spots" and it has show some really good success. It is cheap $100.00 for two bottles for a V8 and you need to follow directions, some of those above did not do that. This is the only product I have ever found that works, if it does not work they will give you a full refund! Or you can try another treatment...your choice. That is fair! This is a "BAND AID" so treat it as such and not a magic fix that will last forever! But for what it is and the price...you can't go wrong...and never us "BARS LEAK" it will for sure stop up the radiator And heater core!!! Good Luck and I'll use this stuff when necessary!
Posted by John Campbell on 2013-12-19:
94 Camry with blown head gasket. Mech. said $1500 to replace head gaskets and machine the head. He also warned me that lower end of motor might not take the upper head rebuild. He quoted $7500 for rebuilt engine! I saw a man on You Tube suggest Steel Seal for the blown head gasket. I bought some and added to engine as directed. 4000 miles later it is till running better than ever. I carry a gallon of water with me just in case. Don't know how long it will last, but I am sure that it depends on the amount of damage to the head. Good Luck
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It Works!
Posted by Louisvilla on 12/07/2013
WHITTIER, CALIFORNIA -- So my 1994 Jeep Cherokee Sport was not leaking any coolant nor was it getting into my oil however the #6 cylinder was leaking exhaust gases into the coolant causing the head to run hot and the upper hose to be hard due to the exhaust pressure being pumped into the system.

I researched the Steel Seal as much as I could on line. I bought the product and called the tech line to go over what I needed to do before I started for my situation. I drained and flushed the extended life coolant from the system and from the overflow tank. Although it did not say to I also removed the thermostat like Scottly Kilmer did on his you tube video. I then removed the #6 spark plug and injector wire.

I added the two bottles of Steel Seal for my 6 cylinder motor, $100.00 worth of product. I then added distilled water to top off the system. Next I replaced the rad cap and ran the car at idle in my driveway at 1000 rpm twice for one hour on and one hour off to let it cool down.

I then ran the car again at idle twice for 1/2 hour on and let it cool for 1 hour off. The next morning I reinstalled the plug and injector and I drove it to Costco to get gas not hard just like an old guy.

Because It had no thermostat it stayed around 150% which was great because before the treatment it would get up to 230% quick forcing me to shut her off just before the red line.

The next day I re-installed the new 195% thermostat from Napa which is what the factory temp for my motor calls for and the temp gauge went close to the red 230% so I pulled that thermostat out and put a 180% thermostat which is now keeping me in the 205-215% temp safe zone.

Seems I had 2 issues one being a defective new thermostat and the other the head gasket.

In a few days I am going to flush out the Steel Seal because I do not want it to glog up my system later by accidently adding the extended life coolant which is not compatible. Dex cool is not compatible either according to the directions that came with the product.

Today I am still concerned and a bit skeptical of what the long term outcome will be.

Louie
     
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Posted by Paul on 2013-12-08:
Steel Seal appears to be sodium silicate - which can be purchased for a lot less money. The real solution to fixing a head gasket leak is to replace the gasket, and while apart check to make sure the mating surfaces are true. On an older vehicle such as yours, attempting fixes such as this may be a wise alternative cost wise. One should research the sodium silicate "fix" carefully before taking the plunge to learn the pros and cons - there is a lot on the internet. Glad it worked for you.
Posted by FoDaddy19 on 2013-12-09:
I'm a bit leery of those kinds of products. I'd just replace the head gasket before it gets worse and you end up warping the head. Replacing the head gasket on this engine isn't particularly difficult.
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Steel Seal Not Permanent
Posted by Talonsmark7 on 06/16/2013
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- I confired that I had blown head gasket. I know it is lots of money to reapair so I thought I'd give this product a try. I followed intructions to T . The first time is work some but didn't total seal it, I called the company and they did send a second dose. I again did as instrutions said. It did work I was amazed but...... in couple months it failed. It does not hold. Life time warranty only means one replace ment not life time of car.

So the word life time is a bit of a misleading word. So do I recommend this? Well maybe for a short fix till you get rid of car but permant fix, NO!!!!. This it is not.
     
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Posted by trmn8r on 2013-06-16:
I understand your questioning the claim of the warranty, but the only effective repair of a head gasket is to replace it.

Here is their warranty: "If the Steel Seal fails to repair or fails at any point during the time you own your vehicle you have two choices:
1. You can receive a one-time free replacement to redose your car
2. You can receive a full
refund"

Personally, if tried this product and it failed, I would go for the refund. It isn't cheap, at $100
Posted by BigAl on 2013-06-16:
One thing you must keep in mind is that there was a reason the head gasket failed the first time. Had you merely replaced the head gasket (instead of using this sealing product) it too could have failed after a few months. Too many times failed parts are replaced but the reason the part failed is not addressed. This is the difference between a true mechanic and a part changer.
Posted by FoDaddy19 on 2013-06-16:
I don't think it's reasonable to expect something that comes out of can and costs $40 or whatever it does, to be a realistic alternative to an actual repair. If you have a blown head gasket a can of miracle goo probably isn't going to be something that will magically fix the problem forever or any length of time for that matter.
Posted by bill on 2013-09-10:
I used steel seal on my 700 Honda motor cycle. my compression improve for 10 miles then the water pump seal starter to leak, now I pulling the engine to replace the water pump at113.00 dollars and Iam going to replace the head gasket,afther all. there is no quick fix
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Steel Seal Works Perfectly
Posted by Tcliffordpont on 12/18/2012
I put steel seal in my BMW and the car now runs perfectly. Before steel seal car would idle rough and not only blow smoke but water out the tail pipe. After adding steel seal and letting car cool, I had to drive car at highway speed for 5 miles before smoke stopped. No smoke now, car runs smooth and strong, heat is excellent. I cannot believe this stuff works. If you have a problem call technical support, they will help. For instance, they will tell you how to deal with something that is plugged up. One suggestion is to add a bottle of draino, run the car 5 minutes, then flush everything out. The idea is to not use acid, use sodium hydroxide which will not harm metal or rubber. Technical support told me to run the car at highway speed.

     
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Posted by ok4now on 2012-12-19:
This sounds like a temporary fix to a very expensive problem. I would trade the car now while it still has value.
Posted by leet60 on 2012-12-19:
I agree with ok4now. The symptoms you are describing your car having sound like a head gasket that is blown or about to blow. While this might be a temporary fix, you will likely see a major engine failure before too long.
Posted by Dirty gas.. on 2012-12-19:

Where are you buying gas from? I'd change gas stations! Try it, that just might help! Dirty water contaminated holding tanks, something people don't even think about!
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