Car leaks can become safety hazards if left unchecked. Now, you’re wondering if you can use a stop leak product to fix that problem, but wouldn't it be more effective if you used it more than once? We researched these concerns for you to give you the following information.
You may only need to use stop leak once to seal mild to moderate leaks in your vehicle. Multiple applications might be possible, depending on the product. However, fixing the source of the problem should provide longer-term results than using stop leak frequently.
Keep reading as we talk about this leak-inhibiting product in greater detail. We’ll also relevant yet still important pieces of information in this post, including what happens if you apply more than the recommended amount of stop leak in your car.
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How Does Stop Leak Work?
As its name implies, stop leak works by sealing cracks, gaps, and holes in different locations in a vehicle, including the radiator. But take note that this product is often only a temporary solution. So it’s typically best to use a stop leak to halt reasonably small automotive leaks.
How Long Does It Take For A Stop Leak To Work?
The activation time of stop leak products often depend on the formula they carry. Certain options may activate as fast as 10 to 15 minutes of engine idle time. Other choices may seal leaks only after driving for 3 days or 200 miles, whichever comes first.
Will Using Stop Leak Harm My Engine?
Proper usage is important for stop leak not posing any threat to your vehicle's engine. Improper application may result in additional harm to different automotive assemblies and parts, including (but not limited to):
- Cooling system
- Water pump
- Heater core
- Various hoses and pipes
How To Use Stop Leak?
Different stop leak products often have dissimilar application instructions. It’s because these solutions generally use different formulations, requiring users to pay attention to specific steps.
Still, here are some steps to help you get a general idea of how to apply stop leak to your car:
- Turn off your vehicle’s engine and let it cool for a few minutes.
- Find the source of the leak.
- Shake the stop leak container well.
- Apply the recommended amount of stop leak over the crack or gap.
- Allow the product to set for a few minutes.
- Drive your vehicle or set it to idle to help solidify the stop leak.
Note: Pay attention to the product’s recommended application location. Certain stop leak products may work best when applied to specific areas in vehicles, such as radiators and heater cores.
You can also watch the video below to look at a visual guide on how to apply this product:
What Happens If You Put Too Much Stop Leak In Your Car?
If used correctly, stop leak solutions shouldn’t put your vehicle at risk of damage. Applying more than the recommended amount may place harm to your car, such as:
- Cooling system malfunctions or breaks down
- Debris buildup in the radiator and its connected hoses
- Other harmful reactions with moisture in different automotive systems
What Is The Best Product To Stop Engine Oil Leaks?
Some stop leaks provide better benefits than others. Certain options that may catch your attention are:
1. Lucas Oil 10278
Compatibility is one of the strong points of this particular stop leak product. It provides the ideal results if mixed with different types of motor oils, including petroleum and synthetic variants. If used properly, this stop leak may also aid in reducing engine noise while increasing fuel efficiency.
Despite its excellent flexibility, this product may not still work with certain engines and motor oils. For instance, one user reports that this stop leak didn’t work for his 2004 Lexus ES330. It’s because that car was using lightweight or fuel-saving motor oil.
2. BlueDevil Oil Stop Leak
This product offers a long-term solution for leaky engines. Some users say that it has been over 2 years since they first applied this stop leak to their cars’ engines. At this period, those customers said they didn’t see or feel the need to reapply this product as the seal persists.
Interested buyers should know that this stop leak has a relatively long activation time. It should take about 3 days of frequent driving for the solution to take effect.
3. STP High Mileage Oil Treatment + Stop Leak
Interested buyers with strict budgets may want to look into this stop leak product. It’s one of the least expensive options on the market, and it can still provide satisfactory results (if not more) to its users.
Note that this oil treatment and leak-stopping solution often provides the best results for vehicles with over 75,000 miles of use.
What Are The Common Causes Of Engine Oil Leaks?
Although it’s a good idea to keep a container of stop leak in your vehicle, it’s still important to learn how these leaks occur. That way, you can reduce the frequency of using stop leak, allowing you to make the most out of the product.
So, here are some of the relatively common causes of engine oil leaks:
Loose Drain Stopper
Also called a drain plug, this component prevents oil from its reservoir from escaping. Take note that the drain stopper needs to have a proper and secure installation for it to do its job. Otherwise, you might be losing engine oil faster than usual.
Oil Pan Crack
Generally found underneath the engine, the oil pan is the container that holds the engine oil. A crack, gap, or hole in the oil pan can prove to be disastrous for a vehicle’s normal functions. The resulting leak may cause other problems, including:
- A persistent burning smell
- Dirty oil stain underneath the vehicle’s parking sites
- Low oil light that won’t go away
- Engine overheating, resulting in smoke from under the hood
Gaskets are generally seals that help prevent unwanted oil and liquid transfers to locations that don’t need them. These parts may wear out over time, causing oil and other automotive solutions to seep into other areas.
How Do You Fix An Engine Leak?
Aside from applying stop leak products, it’s possible to apply other solutions to help stop engine leaks. Take note that the method you apply should make sense with the results of your troubleshooting. For example, here are the general steps to fix an oil pan crack:
What You’ll Need
- Epoxy sealer
- Drain pan
- Engine oil
- Turn off your vehicle’s engine and engage its hand or parking brake.
- Go underneath the vehicle and locate the oil pan. Next, search for the crack or gap in the reservoir.
- Place a drain pan underneath the oil pan. Then, remove the drain plug or stopper to allow the leftover engine oil to escape into the pan.
- Apply automotive-friendly epoxy to the crack or gap in the oil pan according to the product manufacturer’s instructions.
- Wait for the epoxy seal to dry and cure.
- Fill the oil pan with a fresh batch of engine oil.
- Turn on the vehicle’s engine and allow it to idle. Check if the seal works as intended.
You can also watch this video to see the steps mentioned above in action:
After reading this method, you might also be wondering how to stop an oil leak from a Ford F-150 EcoBoost engine. If so, follow the link to know the answer.
How Can You Prevent Engine Oil Leaks?
Although stop leaks can help deter important liquids from your vehicle from draining unexpectedly, you may also apply preventive measures to help reduce leak occurrences significantly. Some of the precautionary actions you may apply are:
- Replace an old oil filter
- Avoid driving in severe weather conditions
- Follow routine inspections and maintenance programs for your vehicle
You should only use stop leak once. That's because using it frequently typically means you're dealing with a more serious problem with your vehicle. Although you may use stop leak multiple times, you should still seek long-term or permanent solutions to seal those leaks.
If you’re looking for the answers to other automotive leak-related concerns, check out these other great reads: