Ode to JB Weld

I had heard people sing the praises of JB Weld in the past, but I had never had occasion to use it .. until last week.

Boring car stuff below:

Our 1989 Nissan Sentra sprung a coolant leak. I nearly blew a gasket myself – if you want to see the true definition of angst, observe someone experiencing a minor but crippling car problem while late to one of his best friend’s funeral. Yeah. It was a little frustrating. Anyways.

The leak was just a tiny pinhole leak on a metal fitting for a small coolant line that heads to the throttle body. A pretty tiny leak on a minor line, but it was high-pressure enough to spew coolant everywhere and quickly drain the system. It was also in a very painful location to remove and replace. I don’t even want to think about what I would have had to do to get at it, but I bet it would have involved disassembling the air filter housing and throttle body. Luckily I didn’t have to find out.

JB Weld to the rescue: When I finally got around to it, I just bought some of the “JB Kwik” 5-minute epoxy, which also says it works fine on wet surfaces (which was key here, obviously). I wadded up a tiny little ball and molded it around the leak. Presto-chango. The next morning it was hard as a rock (well, metal) and the leak was sealed up tight.

Unfortunately it was still running very hot, which was a bit of a mystery: I figured it was either a fried thermostat from the hot temperatures, or there had been a lot of air injected into the system. So I let it run for a while, and I did see some air bubbling in the reservoir, so that was a good sign. But it was still running hot and not getting much better, so I just let it sit for a few days.

This morning I went out and checked it out, and I was right: the reservoir was bone dry. I topped it off with coolant and took it for a spin: running cool as a cucumber. I guess there was just a lot of air in the system that took a while to bleed out. This is a big relief because I really did not want to have to drain the coolant and replace thermostats and crap.