Tuesday 11 December 2012

Road - Busting a Gasket

Amidst the drivel and dross that fills up a journalist’s mailbox every morning there is always a nugget of interest. The trick is, spotting it. So this one took my eye right away and I thought back to Alistair Inglis on Mull in October.

He would have been out after the first night had it not been for a gasket change in the early hours of Saturday before the second Leg on Saturday afternoon. In other words, had it been a ‘normal’ one day forest rally, he wouldn’t have finished.

Fixing gasket leaks are a bit more serious than burst radiators where eggs or porridge are recommended or sealing leaky fuel tanks with Q Bond, so maybe a bottle of this product is worth carrying in the service barge.

Stocked by Yorkshire based GroupAuto, Steel Seal has been re-launched, and they claim it can permanently seal blown head gaskets, warped heads and cracked engine blocks.

Simply mix it with antifreeze and water and pour it into the radiator of a cold engine.  When the engine is started and reaches its operating temperature the mixture is drawn into the damaged areas by the extra heat which then seals the cracks with a thermo-chemical bonding process. Once the bond is complete the chemicals become inert, so there is no reaction when other products are added to the cooling system.

The repair can withstand high temperatures and high pressures and creates a permanent seal. It is suitable for both petrol and diesel engines; steel and aluminium and can work on any vehicle with a water cooling system ranging from cars to vans, bikes, boats and tractors.

Whether you'd choose to use it on a 300 bhp rally car engine would depend on how desperate you were to finish an event, but if the tow car or elderly barge developed a leak, then at £39.99 it might just save the day!

I haven’t tried it myself, but I’m off to Mr Singh’s India curry house in Glasgow tonight for a vindaloo, so I might just need a bottle tomorrow! I wonder if they do free samples?

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