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Symptoms of a Power Steering Leak

1600Modern cars come equipped with a power steering system to make driving at low speeds a breeze. While some make use of electric steering assist, the bulk of cars on the road today use a hydraulic oil to provide power assist when you turn the steering wheel. Like with any fluid under your hood, your power steering fluid needs to be at the right level to function properly. There are several symptoms of a power steering leak you can watch out for as a hint that your system needs attention:

  • Low fluid level: Most people check their oil and coolant level frequently, but they forget to check their power steering fluid level. However, it is critical to safe steering and the longevity of your power steering rack. Driving your car with low or missing power steering fluid can result in costly repairs. Your power steering reservoir is equipped with a level indicator, so be sure to check it from time to time. Since your power steering system is sealed, missing fluid means there’s a leak somewhere.
  • Leaking fluid: It can be tempting to ignore a few drops of oil under your car. You might assume it comes from an oil change or oil level check, but it’s always important to try and identify the type of oil and source of the leak. Wipe down your power steering reservoir and lines as well as possible and check frequently for new traces of leaking oil. Many of the oils under your hood appear the same color, so look closely at your reservoir and lines to determine if it’s coming from your power steering circuit or not.
  • A squealing noise: Older cars are especially susceptible to ‘power steering squeal’ when the fluid level gets low. It can vary from an occasional chirp to a shrill, eardrum-popping shriek, especially during low-speed maneuvers when parking. Other times it will be more of a dull whine when you have your steering wheel turned all the way left or right. In all cases, this means your power steering fluid is getting low, and you need to top up your fluid and stop the leak, wherever it is.
  • Decreased steering performance: At this point, it means your power steering fluid is dangerously low. You might not notice much steering performance difference on the highway, but in town and when parking, you’ll have to put in a lot more effort to turn your steering wheel. You risk damaging your steering fluid rack if you operate your vehicle at this stage, so make sure you get off the road and parked safely as soon as possible. Often this means you have a moderate power steering fluid leak that needs attention.

1630Once you’ve detected your power steering fluid leak, the repair is simple. Choose one of our Bar’s Leak power steering products and get back on the road in just a few minutes:

You don’t need automotive expertise. You just need a bottle of one of our proven leak seal products. Trust Bar’s Leaks for all of your under-hood oil and fluid leak concerns!

How to Fix an Antifreeze Leak in Your Car

1150Have you ever started your car to find the ‘Low Coolant’ light come on or discovered a large pool of coolant under your vehicle? Have you been driving down the road and noticed the ‘Check Engine’ light come on?

If you have, you know what a hassle it is. Running low on coolant is at the very least an inconvenience, and in extreme cases, it can damage your engine and result in high repair costs. It’s important to frequently inspect your vehicle for coolant problems and make sure you stop them as soon as they start. There are several ways to fix an antifreeze leak in your car, but you have to start by identifying the source of the leak.

Antifreeze can leak from your car:

  • At the radiator: The most common source of leaks is your radiator itself. Many modern radiators have an aluminum core (the tubes and fins) and crimped-on plastic tanks. Older vehicles may have welded aluminum tanks, while even older cars might have a copper radiator. In all cases, a leak can occur at any of the joints in the radiator itself or where the tanks connect to the radiator.
  • At the reservoir and hoses: Antifreeze leaks are also common at the various connections between your rubber hoses and the engine, antifreeze reservoir, heater core, thermostat housing or radiator. Over time, hoses can get hard and brittle, and clamps can loosen slightly, allowing antifreeze to leak out. Some of these are easy to inspect, while others are difficult to access and inspect from under the hood.
  • At the head gasket: This is one of the most troubling locations for an antifreeze leak. Often when a cylinder head gasket leak starts, it’s not long before you have major coolant loss. And while it’s bad enough if the coolant leaks outside of your engine, if it leaks inside, you will see a reduction in power, increased emissions and the potential for major engine damage due to mixing oil and coolant.

G12BPOnce you’ve identified the source of your antifreeze leak, you’ll be glad to know that the hard work is done! All that’s left is to choose the right Bar’s Leak product for your type of leak. We have proven chemical formulations specifically formulated for all the possible antifreeze leak situations under your hood:

With these and other Bar’s Leaks products available to you, fixing your car’s antifreeze leak is a cinch. We’ve been making ‘3-minute mechanics’ out of customers for 69 years, and we can make one out of you, too! Order your Bar’s Leaks antifreeze leak solution today, and you’ll be ready at a moment’s notice to take care of any antifreeze leak that sneaks up on you.

What Can Cause an Antifreeze Leak From Your Car?

1150Antifreeze is critical to safe operation of your vehicle. It protects your engine from overheating by taking the heat from your engine and cooling it with the outside air flowing through your radiator. It also keeps your cooling system water from freezing in cold temperatures. Additionally, it acts as a rust inhibitor inside your engine, piping and radiator. As an important under-hood fluid, your antifreeze needs to be checked regularly, especially on older vehicles.

An antifreeze leak can be caused by many different things:

  • A blown head gasket can allow your coolant and engine oil to mix. This is dangerous for your engine and can cause a major catastrophic failure. Even if it doesn’t cause a breakdown right away, you will see your fuel economy drop, your engine performance suffer and your emissions go sky-high.
  • A blown head gasket can also allow coolant to leak to the outside of your engine and onto the ground. This will result in a low coolant level and decreased cooling of your engine. If you drive even for a short time without enough coolant, your engine can seize or die altogether.
  • An antifreeze leak can occur through a hole in your radiator. Corrosion of your radiator tubes or damage because of stones or debris can create a leak. You may also see a leak between the tank and radiator body over time, as the sealing gasket wears out.
  • You can also have antifreeze leaks at the various hose attachment points. Over time, your hoses get hard and brittle, and as a result, coolant can sometimes leak out where they join with your water pump, heater core, radiator or engine.

1196No matter what the cause, the result is the same: potential damage to your engine if you drive without the correct amount of coolant. This isn’t just a problem in winter, either. The name ‘antifreeze’ might make you assume it’s only critical in winter, but your antifreeze (also called engine coolant) is critical when it’s hot out as well to remove the heat generated by your engine. Your coolant needs to be in tip-top condition all year round.

In the case of a small leak at a radiator hose, it might be possible to tighten the clamp and stop the leak. In most antifreeze leak conditions, however, you only have two options: repair with expensive, time-consuming physical repairs to the hoses, gaskets or parts that are leaking or use a bottle of Bar’s Leak.

HDCWe carry many different products for various antifreeze leaks, including these popular solutions:

We can stop mild to moderate antifreeze leaks with our affordable, easy-to-use Bar’s Leaks products designed to work quickly and give you years of leak-free driving. Trust the company with 69 years of experience in the business and some of the most advanced chemical formulations on the market.

How to Stop a Car Oil Leak

It’s usually pretty easy to discover you have an oil leak — you see that dark oil stain on your garage floor or in your driveway. It’s an obvious sign that your oil is leaking from your engine, usually around the oil pan MS-1_Box_webgasket. While a tiny leak doesn’t necessarily present an immediate concern for your engine, it’s a sign something is wrong, and your car’s oil system needs attention.

An oil leak is a problem for several reasons:

  • If enough oil leaks out and your oil pump gets starved of engine oil, it won’t be able to pump enough to lubricate your engine when it’s running. That means extra wear, reduced fuel economy and possibly significant damage that requires costly repairs.1040-PNG
  • An oil leak, even a small one, represents an environmental concern. The oil that leaks from your car in parking lots and while you’re driving will eventually find its way into the water stream, which has a negative effect on flora and fauna.
  • A puddle of oil can represent a slip hazard. Even a small amount of oil on the bottom of your shoes can make you slip and fall, possibly injuring yourself. With enough oil on the ground, it can even be a problem for cars and cyclists, who will have difficulty stopping.
  • Losing oil is the same as losing money. A few drips here and there may not represent much money, but over weeks, months and years, it can start to add up. With the cost of modern engine oils, it doesn’t take long before you’re feeling it in the wallet.

Thankfully, we have a easy, affordable solutions that have been proven over the course of years and millions of customers. A simple application of our brand-new Main Seal Motor Oil Leak Repair (p/n MS-1), Concentrated Rear Main Seal Repair (p/n 1040) or Engine Oil Stop Leak Concentrate (p/n 1010) will stop your engine oil leak and get you back on the road in just a few minutes. You don’t need automotive expertise — we’ve been helping customer become ‘3-minute mechanics’ for nearly 70 years!

What Happens If You Don’t Repair Your Oil Leak?

1010You might see a small oil leak and decide it’s not worth your time to repair it. What’s a few drops of oil, right? The problem with most oil leaks, however, is that they don’t stay small for long. A leak, no matter how small, means there’s a gap in the seal somewhere in your engine. That gap will get bigger over time because of pressure, friction, thermal expansion and vibration. In many cases, you will notice the leak getting bigger, but in some cases your oil seal or gasket will suffer a major failure all at once. We know, we’ve talked to customers who have suffered through this.

The result is a major oil leak and a disabled car. It’s bad enough if it happens in your driveway, but it’s much more inconvenient and dangerous far from home and on a dark highway at night, for example. Don’t put yourself in that situation. At the first sign of an engine oil leak, pour in a bottle of Bar’s Leak and stop that oil leak before it becomes a problem. Then enjoy years of reassured driving thanks to our experience stopping engine oil leaks for the long haul!

La Niña Predicted to Bring Cold Snowy Winter: Get Ready for Spike in Cooling System Leaks

Every year, Bar’s Leaks®  is asked by the media to highlight four affordable solutions to repair cooling system leaks, which are more frequent during the cold months. Here are this year’s recommendations based on our experience.

Bar's Leaks Stock Up For Winter Products

Winter is hard on vehicle cooling systems, and weather predictors like AccuWeather are forecasting this year’s switch from El Niño to La Niña to bring bitter cold in the Northern Rockies and Northern Plains, persistent cold in New England and heavy snowfall in the Great Lakes region. This harsh weather will result in many vehicles – especially older vehicles – being unable to keep their engines at a constant operating temperature due to a variety of cooling system leaks. These cooling problems arise year after year, and we are asked by the automotive trade press about what we recommend as good first-option repairs.

“Just about when Daylight Savings Time ends and winter cold starts to kick in, auto parts stores and big retailers like Wal-Mart generally see a higher demand for Bar’s Leaks® cooling system repair products. Our products have been protecting and repairing vehicle cooling system leaks since 1947,” says Jim Moffitt, longtime VP for Bar’s Leaks. “Cold temperatures make leaks in the radiator, heating core, head gasket or freeze plug cry for attention. That’s why we encourage customers to be prepared and stock up to meet this seasonal demand.”

Here are four of Bar’s Leaks’ best-selling cooling system repair products that have served on the front line in cold, harsh weather conditions. They are all designed to be added directly to the cooling system without flushing the antifreeze, and are compatible with both conventional green or blue (silicate-based) and extended life red/orange or yellow (OAT/HOAT) antifreeze or water.

winter is coming

Radiator Stop Leak Concentrate (P/N 1196) – Stops minor cooling system leaks and drips caused by normal cooling system wear and age. It is available to distribution in case packs of six 11-ounce bottles. (Contact us about this product, or find this product near you.)

Cooling System Repair (P/N 1150) – Stops coolant leaks and corrects other cooling system problems to help prevent costly future repairs and breakdowns. Also contains Xtreme Cool™ to stop overheating and reduce water temperature. It is available to distribution in case packs of four 16.9-ounce bottles. (Contact us about this product, or find this product near you.)

Liquid Aluminum Radiator and Heater Core Stop Leak (P/N 1186) – The next generation stop leak product certified to be used in all cooling system types. It is guaranteed to safely and easily seal leaks in plastic, aluminum and metal (copper/steel) radiators, heater cores, gaskets and freeze plugs. Also contains Xtreme Cool™ to stop overheating and reduce water temperature. It is available to distribution in case packs of six 16.9-ounce bottles. (Contact us about this product, or find this product near you.)

Pelletized Radiator Stop Leak (P/N PLT11) – Stops larger leaks in plastic, aluminum and metal radiators, heater cores, blocks, heads, gaskets and freeze plugs. Also has a water pump lube that lubricates water pump seals and inhibits the formation of rust and scale. It is available to distribution in case packs of six 16.9-ounce bottles. (Contact us about this product, or find this product near you.)

These Bar’s Leaks cooling system products are designed to work on most 4-, 5-, 6-, 8-, and 10-cylinder gasoline, turbocharged and diesel engines.

All Bar’s Leaks products are made in the U.S.A. Always have been. Always will be.