Buyer's Guide: Choosing the Right Head Gasket Repair Solution

March 15, 2012 by Jeff Ventura

When talking about blown head gaskets, the first question we get asked about our head gasket repair products is, “How do I know which one to choose?”

Good question. We have three main products to address head gasket issues: our Bar’s Leaks Head Gasket Repair (p/n 1100), Bar’s Leaks Head Gasket Fix (p/n 1111) and Bar’s Leaks Professional Carbon Fiber Block Seal Head Gasket & Cooling Sealant (p/n HG-1).

                                        

All three are meant to deal with head gasket leaks, but there are differences. I’m going to discuss each product here, starting with our strongest.

Our Professional Carbon Fiber Block Seal Head Gasket & Cooling Sealant (p/n HG-1) is our strongest, most professional-grade product of this type. It’s antifreeze compatible, meaning no flush is necessary unless your system is dirty.  HG-1 contains Xtreme Cool (a water wetting agent which reduces temperature) as well as carbon fiber and aramid fibers. When dealing with a head gasket leak, consider fibers to be like rebar in concrete: they’re necessary to form a truly strong, permanent bond.

Our Bar’s Leaks Head Gasket Fix (p/n 1111) is one of our most popular products due to cost and how convenient it is to install. Like HG-1, no draining of the cooling system is required unless the system is dirty. Its sealing strength is a bit below our HG-1 product, but the installation is quick and easy. For most mild to moderate HG leaks, this product has worked wonders for tens of thousands of customers.

Our Bar’s Leaks Head Gasket Repair (p/n 1100) is the first head gasket-specific product we came out with approximate eight years ago. It gives a very strong seal and is our most affordable HG product, but the installation is more demanding because the product is not compatible with antifreeze. You’ll need to completely flush your cooling system BEFORE using this product, as it can be used with water only.  Immediately after doing the procedure, we ask that you drain your system and let your car sit 12-24 hours (weather permitting -- you can't leave only water in the system if it is below freezing). After the waiting period, you’ll need to flush again, making sure to get all the product completely out of your cooling system.  You can then refill your cooling system with an OE-recommended coolant. You can assume your car will be laid up for a full day (maybe a bit longer) for this installation.

So, here’s how all that boils down:

  • If you want the strongest product we offer AND the most convenient, choose our Carbon Fiber Block Seal Head Gasket & Cooling Sealant (p/n HG-1). It sells for around $60 retail, but is truly a pro-class product. (And still considerably cheaper than a full mechanical head gasket repair, which run $1,500+.)  Recommended if your car can run for 15 minutes without overheating.
  • If you want a strong product AND something that’s very easy to install, choose our Bar’s Leaks Head Gasket Fix (p/n 1111). It’s one of our most popular products overall for a reason. Sells for around $30 retail.  Recommended if your car can run for 20 mintues without overheating.
  • If you want a very strong product AND you have the time and knowledge to do a more manual install, choose our Bar’s Leaks Head Gasket Repair (p/n 1100). Sells for about $10 retail.  Recommended if your car can run for 15 minutes without overheating.

If, after reading this, you still have questions about which product is right for your particular head gasket problem, call our technical support at 800-345-6572 or hit us up on Facebook and ask your question there. We’re here to help!