Using an additive to stop an oil leak....

Has anyone ever had success stopping a head gasket leak by adding an additive to the oil?
Car has over 230,000 miles - I am looking to do things cheaply but do not
want to harm the car because it runs very well.
- Ben
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Ben Martin wrote:

No. They don't work. Anything that will stop the l;eak would do damage to your enngine. Are you certain it is a head gasket and not a valve cover gasket? Big difference in cost and ease of fix.
--
-Fred W

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On Wed, 07 Jun 2006 22:40:36 +0000, Ben Martin wrote:

Welp.. no. The plastic parts and gasket/seals have to be replaced at your mileage. Do you have an E34? The parts don't cost anything and the labor ain't much so odds are it'll be cheaper just to bring it to a independent bmw shop.
Typical high mileage synthetic oil has additives to make the seals swell and so do the regular additives, of course. But if the seal just ain't there anymore, which is your case, there's no point. Honestly, it cost me 100 bucks to get a shop to fix this on a E34. It's not a big deal, and if you wanna do it yourself, check out www.bimmer.info and do a search. Good luck.
ER
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Enoch Root wrote:

I seriously doubt that you paid $100 for a head gasket. Even a valve cover gasket costs more than $50 in parts (gaskets & bolt seals) per head (x2 if it's a V8)
--
-Fred W

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On Thu, 08 Jun 2006 07:18:25 -0400, Fred W wrote:

It's a V8, and I bought it and brought it to them. It took them a little over an hour, so it was 100 in labor. So.. "Honestly, it cost me 100 bucks to get a shop to fix this on a E34." They did a great job, and this was the thing that cost the least in repairs. Engine mounts- holy crap. Took the guy 2 days to do this. Anyhow, all told I dropped about 4K in bringing the entire car up to mint specifications.
So anyhow, for the original poster, if you know what you need to buy, you can get it from www.bmaparts.com, but get a bmwcca membership first so you get a discount of 5% off OEM parts. Also you get discounts from the BMW independent shops for the bmwcca membership. Good luck.
ER
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Enoch Root wrote:

I think you guys are talking apples and oranges. For $100 and an hours work, they changed the valve cover gasket. A head gasket change is at least an all-day job for a pro, and 10 times the cost.
Ben, you never did say what was leaking, and where it was going to. Compression leak to water jacket? water leak to ..? Oil leak to outside of engine?
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Thanks to all for getting back to me.
The car is leaking oil between cylinders 4 and 5, on the exhaust side of the engine. One tech told me this was a "classical" failure for this car, a 1990 BMW 325is.
Some oil may be going into the cooling water, but I am not sure. There is a very small amount of oil in the water that has been there a long time. It may be residuue from the time my car overheated at 160,000. I had the top end redone then. The car now has 230,000 miles. I do have to add coolant occasionaly. So maybe it is possible that I have a very small two way leak between the crankcase and radiator portions of my engine. But a lot of oil is coming out of the head gasket, on the exhaust side.
But the car still runs very well.
- Ben

not
your
labor
independent
swell
ain't
cost me

and if

Good
little
and
you
you
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Ben Martin wrote:

Well, heck, other than being messy and having to check the oil, that's no big deal. No additive will stop it, but it's possible you could seal it from the outside if you can get at it. Permatex used to make an aerosol that you could spray onto a leaking joint to stop an oil leak. Designed for oil pans and such with no pressure, but it could work on a head gasket.
If it were mine, and it was losing enough oil to be a nuisance, here's what I'd do: Pull enough of the simple stuff off to get a clear working area around the leak. Clean it and degrease thoroughly, spray brake cleaner into the seam where it's leaking. Be sure it's cold. Then press some of the epoxy putty - JB Weld, preferably - into the seam for about 2 inches or more either side of the leak. You should be able to do this such that it's almost invisible. You don't need a big glob on it. Replace the items removed, let it set up overnight.
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Ben Martin wrote:

The reason everyone is asking what the symptoms are is because it does not sound like you have a head gasket problem.
It sounds more like you have a valve cover gasket problem which is trivial to fix.
Find out which it is and then you can decide how to proceed.
--
-Fred W

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