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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys. Just had a big victory with the CRV. Had a crack in the block and was able to repair it with the pour-in 'stop leak' stuff. Actually worked. Let me explain:

I picked up a 2003 CRV with issues. It was cheap so I can't complain. Anyway, oil was overfilled and was blowing white smoke. Replaced oil with proper amount of mobile 1 synthetic 'high milage', new sparkplugs, but still white smoke/vapor and smelled weird - like burning coolant. Tore into it (after lots of k24 youtube how-to's and reading comments on forums about head gasket replacement) and replaced head gasket with a fel-pro and new bolts etc. Everythink torqued down right, very careful job. Checked timing, timing was good (it was a big challenge to get the cover off and on again with engine in car but it worked out), honda bonda done right, new gaskets (but reused exhaust gasket at advice of someone on the forum who said old gasket is better than the newer alternatives unless you buy OEM gasket)...

Started it up and still, white smoke. No change to smoke or smell. It was like a vapor too... Pretty clearly was burning coolant. Was loosing a little coolant too each drive... 14 or 20 miles and would need to add coolant. Realized it was probably a cracked block. Engine has over 230,000 on it. Went to a parts store and asked if they had heard of that block sealer you can pour into the engine. They recommended K&W sealer (its by CRC apparently - comes in a big green bottle, maybe a liter or so?). I hesitated because it mentioned it has 'fibers' in it - i don't want to gunk up the coolant system. Amazon reviews were a solid 3.5 out of 5 stars... so the stuff was working for someone anyway! over 140 reviews on there, too. So I figured it was worth a shot.

I poured in the coolant (not into the radiator, but into the upper hose - after letting out some radiator fluid from the hose, which basically just spilled out). I then resecured the upper hose, turned the car on (cold engine) and then with the rad cap off, topped off the radiator 'almost' all the way, and poured in some more of the K&W stuff (slowly) into the radiator. Capped radiatior and let car warm up. It was still blowing white smoke for about 5 minutes. Then suddenly, it reduced to a much less smokey output, and then completely stopped smoking. ZERO white smoke/vapor.

I have put over 200 miles on this car since head gasket replacement to test it. It smoked the whole time regardless of engine temp. Now, literally nothing. It is amazing. I was one step away from taking it all apart, removing the block and having it either professionally repaired or applying JB weld directly to any crack found. I hear that stuff actually works and does well. But anyway, I am so glad to not have to do that. What a relief. I beat on the car a bit (pedal to the floor) a number of times since fix, and it is holding well. I think that this product, as it advertises, does provide a permanent fix. But even if it only buys me another 20,000 miles, It was worth it. And I still have 2/3 of the bottle left. Plus, the bottle says you can leave it in the vehicle's coolant system indefinitely as a preventative additive.

I am not a troll trying to sell this stuff, but this is my first post. I decided I had to let people know about this and what better place than the CRV forum. If any of you are in the Pacific NW (Washington, greater Seattle area) and have a similar issue with your CRV, I would be happy to show you what I did and let you use another third of my bottle, too. I don't know how long it lasts unsealed, so might as well use it up. Thanks for reading.
 

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Not a cracked block. This can only be a cracked cylinder head or bad head gasket (also a cracked throttle body, IAC and such can leak antifreeze too into the engine). Cracked head requires being repetitively overheated or engine not being shut off and continued to drive when overheated.

However I've yet to see a head gasket video tell the most important thing about replacing the gasket, having the head surfaced. This is a MUST and cracks are always found when this is done as all shops that do automatically test for cracks.

Did you use the proper copper head gasket spray when installing the new one and make sure both the block and head were perfectly clean?

Please do not think this stuff is any form of a permanent fix because it's not. You will find out over time the damage the stuff does to the cooling system. It's another "fake mechanic in a can" crap. Works great at first but costs you more down the road due to more repairs than just fixing the original problem correctly. I doubt you'll have yours long enough to matter but be advised it's going to happen if you keep it long enough.

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, to respond to your statement: Yes, a cracked block can cause antifreeze to leak into combustion, and yes my head was properly resurfaced, and mating surfaces were clean. Copper spray is not required, and the new head gasket was excellent and a good replacement. Head was mated properly, bolts torqued correctly.

Secondly, it is incorrect to assume that this is no permanent fix. Some have had issues down the road, and as I stated in my post, I recognize it might not last forever, and yet still see the value in it. This particular product has enough good reviews from people who have used it long-term that I believe it will work out just fine. There is a risk of problems to the heater core and radiator, but those are generally noticed immediately. After a good deal of hard accelerating and testing, it is still holding well and there is no smoke.

If you do not want to risk it, then by all means do whatever you would do if you were in this situation. As for me and many others, this has worked out really well. Yes there are risks but I approached it conservatively and it was an excellent fix. The engine is old, and if something did go catastrophically wrong, it would not be the end of the world to swap in a lower miles engine (and transmission at the same time). I don't know where you get the idea that I won't be keeping the car for long... that was a little strange. I mentioned that I was looking forward to at least 20,000 miles on this fix. I plan to keep it for a good long while. It is a great ride (that no longer smokes) and I am pleased with it.
 

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I know of some that have had good luck with it so far, but seen more problems than anything with it always months or even years after the fact.

As for the block thing, I worded that wrong my mistake there (pays to proof read lol). But this wouldnt fix a cracked block. Works for heads depending on crack location.

I'm a lifetime tech, I've seen so much of this stuff come and go. That stuff is the best by far for sealing but seen it fail down the road on more than one occasion. All that stop leak stuff has always created issues down the road, some right away others many miles later. Types of coolant play a part in how fast the effect happens (gms dexcool is the worst).

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for clarifying. You say you are a lifetime tech and I respect that. I guess one way to mitigate any issues would be to drain it out and refill with another round of coolant. Not too hard to do. We can agree to disagree on the cracked block - apparently this stuff is good for that and the head was removed and inspected - no crack. But after I ran this stuff through the coolant, no smoke. I agree that there are much more solid repairs. I just felt that this was a worthwhile attempt because the engine doesn't owe me anything. It will probably have 250k on it by the end of the year. I wanted to try this cheap alternative and it actually worked. I bet that there are a number of people out there with higher-miles engines that, with a head gasket issue or in my case (suspected) cracked block/water jacket, want an alternative to a bigger project. I will edit my original post with the recommendation to replace coolant to avoid issues.
 

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No need to edit.

In a pinch I wouldnt hesitate to use it (like right now I couldnt afford a new head or engine).

As for cracked block with that, for external that's possible since the block is alloy. But combustion chamber no way.

I will agree we are not in agreement in confidence on the stuff.

Once repair has taken effect, I would be flushing out.

I'm not sure if you caught my other details behind what else can leak antifreeze into the system. Neither would be caught in a head test. May be worth a look at the throttle body as it could be something literally as simple as the gasket for the idle air solenoid.

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Tigris99 I have an update: This morning, small amount of white smoke. We will see. I will update if it returns. And thank you for the suggestion: I will check that gasket. Let me ask you a question: This all started when the prior owner overfilled the oil (way overfilled...) and it all started running really rough. Had no issues before that. Any thoughts? Thanks for your responses and insight.
 

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if it's just a puff of white smoke at cold start dont worry about it unless it has that sweet antifreeze smell. It's pretty normal at high miles for the valve guide seals to leak a little when sitting overnight.

As for the overfill. That will make it pour out blueish white smoke like crazy because the crank case is over pressurized and that oil is trying to be pushed out. Overfilling can damage pistons and rods, crank, crack heads and so on. But most common is a ton of oil being dumped places where it shouldnt be. Not to mention trashes the catalytic converter.

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I have to agree with Tigris99 on this not being a cracked block scenario. It sounds more like a leak in the intake port portion of the head that is water jacketed. A cracked block would have combustion chamber gasses being pumped into the coolant and subsequent bubbling in the radiator.
I once had a BMW 352e that ended up with water in the oil. Turned out they had a congenital defect in the head where a thin part of the casting would eventually crack, passively letting coolant enter the oil system. I used a can of Bars Leak to solve that problem until I could get the engine replaced with one out of a junked 528 that my brother found in a junk yard up north. The Bars Leak worked for a while but eventually did leak again.
 
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