Hey guys I have an 06 Buick LaCrosse with 145,000 miles. Yesterday after driving my girlfriend to work and sitting in the parking lot for a second my car started overheating like crazy and steam came from the hood. Sure enough it’s a coolant leak. I always suspected there might have been some sort of leak or something going on with the car for a while but no oil change place or even mechanic thought anything was going on. Usually just told me the light dripping I heard after driving it was probably just condensation for the AC system somewhere. Well turns out that leak decided to get big and it’s coming from an small L shape metal (I assume aluminum but I’m not sure) pipe. I’m guessing it’s going or coming from the water pump itself but I’m no mechanic just done a little work here and there. Ultimately my main question is if there is a way I can seal that that would work for at least a little while if not “long” term. I tried Jb weld high heat epoxy and I’m guessing either the chemical make up of coolant or it needed more time to cure (I let it cure over night) caused it to start to bubble out and fail, I have more to try with but I don’t want to keep spilling coolant. It’s at the bend in the pipe so I’m not sure what limitations that creates. I just need this thing to hang on a little while longer (a couple months) until I can get a truck for work (landscaper) so I’m worried about taking it to a shop and having to shell out money I’m trying to save up. Thanks In advanced. Could I hit it with some aluminum brazing rod? Just did some research and found that. Can get a torch and some rods for like $20/$30 if that’ll hold. Again it’s real small holes

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Apr 18, 2022 at 13:19

1 Answer 1


Is the leak coming from where a metal (yes, most likely aluminum) and rubber part are joined? If so, you can remove the crimped ring which is there and treat the interface like any other by using a hose clamp. You can remove the crimped ring by splitting it with a grinder, Dremel tool, diagonal cutters, or hacksaw (if you have no other choice). All you have to do is split it and it will pull right off with a pair of pliers. The tube side will have a "bump" on it, so make sure you put a hose clamp above that portion and it should seal just fine.

If the leak is occurring from the metal, that's a whole different ball game. About your only way to fix it is to replace the part. You could possibly take it in to a shop which can TIG weld and get the hole fixed, but that's a long shot, because "used" aluminum can be a lot harder to weld.

Yah, JB Weld is not going to cut it. You can do a lot of things with it, but in this case it won't work. The pressure, liquid, and heat sort of leaving it lacking.

  • Figured. It is the metal itself. The the piece is L shaped and about and a couple inches The leak is occurring on bend itself. The “corners” if you will on top and bottom have tiny holes. My guess the heating and cooling expanded and contracted the hole(s) so it didn’t always show I until it finally went. The top hole just bubbles out but the bottom is a nice consistent drip or even slow stream now so I don’t have coolant in it currently. The holes are very small though so maybe a quick weld would work? I can take a picture soon. Can’t imagine it’s an easy piece to replace. Apr 18, 2022 at 15:40
  • @CalebatWaterwash - By "easy piece to replace", if you are talking about finding such pieces, probably easier than you think. If you're talking about where it's located and how to replace it physically, I really wouldn't know. If worse comes to worse, you can always replace the entire thing with coolant based hosing. It would just have to be long enough to reach, point to point, and have enough internal diameter to pass the appropriate amount of coolant. Apr 18, 2022 at 17:17
  • I was just coming by to ask if that would work. I was thinking of grinding off the angle than using adjustable horse clamps to tighten on some hosing over the remaining metal. Apr 18, 2022 at 18:58
  • @CalebatWaterwash - You can do that, with a slight caveat. You need something in the metal for the hose to catch on, like a flare at the end. Most of the metal tubing like yours, comes with a "bump" which would be located under the crimped band, This helps keep the hose in place even when it is under pressure. If you don't have something there, it will want to slip/blow off, even if you had a tight clamp in place. The hose just doesn't have enough traction to stay in place. Apr 18, 2022 at 19:59

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