Lots of people recommend it. Lots, including me, don't. I dislike the use of this sort of product even in an emergency, although I accept that sometimes it can be the only way to get home. I certainly wouldn't put it in a healthy system that wasn't already leaking. If it is leaking, then it's quite possible that the system has suffered neglect, and a leak-stop product can actually clog a neglected system.
Some time ago, when I was more of a regular on SaabNet, I got involved in an investigation into the use of Bar's Leaks when I was becoming increasingly frustrated with certain people advocating its use as a preventative measure on the strength of anecdotal evidence. The whole thing started in this thread, the investigation carries on in this one and is summarised here. The VP of Product Development at Bar's Products, Clayton Parks, contributed to the discussion and I'm glad to say that the chief proponent of the use of Bar's in the 9000, Bob Davis, engaged in a very useful e-mail exchange with me so we could try to separate fact from hearsay prior to publishing our findings.
Bob and I still disagree on the question of whether Bar's should be used as a preventative, or even at all, but at least we both acknowledge each other's point of view and know that we are basing our judgements on facts rather than hearsay or marketing claims.
Thanks for all the bits over the holidays, I will try and answer them all in one go....
1. The car was parked on the level.
2. It has only started doing this over the holidays when it has been raining.
3. It appears to be plain water.
4. It was tipping down this morning when I left for work, and there was a new puddle again.
I think you could be right about the idea of a blocked drain. where do I start looking ? I have looked under the bonnet area and cleared out the usual leaves and [expletive deleted] etc, but where next to look ?
If you reckon the water is coming in above the brake pedal, I would start with the plenum chamber drain, this is the drain from the false bulkhead area under the bonnet. The drain is in the centre. You can try clearing it, if blocked, from the engine bay and remove the false bulkhead. If this drain is blocked it would cause a build up of water in the false bulkhead, plenum chamber, and it could easily leak in through the grometts, speedo cable, vacuum pipe etc.
I'd just like to add my own note of scepticism about using Bars in any modified engine...
Modified engines get much hotter than normal. Fact of life. If Bars works to stop leaks then it must some how block up small holes. Small "holes" or pitting also exist on the surface of the metal as it is not 100% smooth. These holes are beneficial as they increase the overall surface area, thus helping heat transfer. Until such time as someone can prove to me that products such as Bars do not also "fill" these other holes, thus decreasing surface area, I'm not going to put it in my tuned engine.
Having got into studying this a bit through the discussion on Saabnet, I know that how Bar's claims to stop leaks is by using very small particles that expand considerably on contact with air. This, they claim, means it passes through very small holes internally without blocking them. They don't say whether it fills imperfections in the internal surfaces, nor whether it clings to those surfaces.