Finding the Right Sealant to Use
A sealant is a material that closes small openings between objects to prevent air or liquid from passing through. With a lot of parts joined together inside your vehicle, a sealant is a helpful tool that could prevent these parts from leaking. Read on to know the different types of automotive sealants that you could apply on various car parts.
Choose a sealant for the right car part
Among the different types of sealants for various applications, there are three common types that can be used for your vehicle. These are the room temperature vulcanizing (RTV), anaerobic, and pipe joint compound sealants. You can find a short description for each and their uses below:
- Room temperature vulcanizing sealant
A RTV sealant is used mostly for engine rebuild or repair. It's also the best choice for sealing leaks around the engine. It can even replace a conventional gasket in some applications. However, this type of sealant is not applicable in very high temperature, so be careful when using this type of sealant.
- Anaerobic sealant
Used mostly on machined surfaces, an anaerobic sealant hardens when there's no air that surrounds it. This sealant is best applied inside your car engine because it can withstand temperature beyond 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember not to let an anaerobic sealant fill any threaded hole because it will have an effect on the torque readings.
- Pipe joint compound
This is a type of universal sealant that lubricates joints of fuel lines and pipes in your vehicle. The temperature range for a pipe joint compound can go as low as -65 degrees Fahrenheit and go as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Choose a type of pipe joint compound sealant that doesn't contain lead or asbestos because these chemical are dangerous to your health.
Some tips to remember about sealants
- Choose the appropriate amount of sealant that you need. You can check the different amounts which range from three to sixteen ounces. If you want to stock a sealant for your garage, then go for the 16 ounce size.
- The type of sealant you choose for a specific car part is critical. You should read if a sealant is applicable or not on a specific part because it can result to a big problem.
- Always cover the sealant when not in use. Although sealants have different drying rates, most types will dry up quickly, and you won't be able to use them again when they harden.
How to Apply a Sealant on a Car Part Correctly
A sealant is almost as important as any part in your car because it helps to prevent leaks and corrosion, and it protects some parts from damage. One specific part of your car that benefits from a sealant is the engine gasket. Read on to know how to apply sealant in a gasket correctly.
Difficulty level: Moderate
- Clean rag
- Solvent solution
- Gasket sealant
Step 1: Apply solvent solution on the clean rag, and wipe the gasket and its surface. Clean the area thoroughly by removing all the dirt and the residue from the old sealant. A clean surface will ensure that the new sealant will bond tightly.
Step 2: Take the gasket sealant and apply it on the surface of the gasket. Spread the sealant well around the edges, but do not apply too much. Wipe off the excess sealant before you place the gasket.
Step 3: Align the gasket on the surface, and place it on top. Again, wipe off any excess sealant around the edges.
Step 4: Apply sealant once more, but this time, on top of the gasket. Make sure you don't use too much sealant. Wipe off the excess, align the cylinder head, and place it on top. Remove the visible sealant around the edges.
- Apply the sealant around the edges of the bolt holes, and do not let it seep in.
- If dirt, oil, or hardened sealant is difficult to remove on the surface, then use a spray degreaser and a metal scraper. Use the spray degreaser on the surface, and leave it for a minute. Scrape the surface afterwards, and wipe it clean with a rag. Repeat the process if necessary.
- Sealants have different drying rates. It is important to do this procedure as quick as possible without mess. Read the specific properties of the sealant before using it.