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How to Use Black Pepper to Seal a Head Gasket

by Larry Parr

A head gasket leak can be serious and time consuming and expensive to repair properly. Sometimes it's just not convenient to fix a small head gasket leak immediately, so you need to temporarily stop the leak until it can be permanently repaired. This is where a bit of ground black pepper can come in handy.


Open the car's hood. Wait for the engine to cool and then remove the radiator cap. It's sometimes necessary to press down on the cap to turn and remove it.


Put two tablespoons of ground black pepper into the coolant in the radiator. Put the radiator cap back on and close the hood.


Start the engine and drive the car slowly for half an hour. Drive on surface streets, not the freeway. The idea is to allow the pepper to flow through the system and to accumulate at the leaks, eventually plugging them and stopping them.


Park the car and check for leaks. Allow the car to sit for half an hour and inspect the area under the vehicle for any signs of leaks. If the car is still leaking, add two more tablespoons of ground black pepper to the radiator and drive the car for half an hour at moderate speed.


Park the vehicle and check it once again for leaks. If leaks persist they may be too severe to be cured by ground black pepper.


  • Black pepper is only a temporary fix and not a permanent solution.

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About the Author

Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for television, everything from "Smurfs" to "Spider-Man." Today Parr train dogs and write articles on a variety of topics for websites worldwide.

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