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Old 09-29-2012, 11:18 PM   #1
Browzer
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Member#: 306433
Join Date: Jan 2012
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Orange County NY
Vehicle:
2005 Subaru WRX
Black

Default weird series of problems

I hate to start new threads that may have been covered before. But everyone I ask lately seems to have a different answer. so I'll start at the beginning, and hope someone can shed some light on these problems.

I bought my 2005 impreza wrx in january from a dealer. I took it home and the next day after a drive and it was smoking.

Took it to a mechanic around me to find out what was wrong with it. he gave me a list of things, the main thing being that a gasket was leaking oil on the exhaust causing the smoke. So the dealer agreed to fix all the issues. And i asked them to replace the timing belt and the water pump while they were at it and i paid them 400 for that.

they fixed it, didnt have problems since then.

about 2 weeks ago, when my car was idling, the temp gauge would rise slowly.

I took it to my mechanic, they discovered that my coolant tank cap's seal was cracked. I replaced it, and it hasn't rose since.

BUT, and heres where im at a loss, my car is giving off a strong smell of coolant. They guy said when he looked at my coolant cap, he spilled some, and i would be smelling it for a while. but it was overwhelming.Early on a cold morning it was smoking a little, but no temp rise.

I took it back a week later, they said it appeared that I have some kind of coolant leak, they said it could be the timing belt cover, or the water pump, but they'd have to really take it apart and i'd have to pay. (they've been looking at my car for free before all this)

I got word there was a guy at a garage that was a "subie specialist" because he worked on subarus for years.

I go in, I tell them I smell coolant, all he says without missing a beat is "head gasket, head gaskets shot"

they were almost giddy about it. they looked at it, and determined it WASN'T the head gasket. but by looking at it can you even tell?

I've actually known these guys for a while, I used to deliver food to them alot, and they were always nice. he told me I have oil seals?(pardon my ignorance if thats wrong) that were leaky and that could be what the smoke is.

but tbh, I dont think he really took a good look, because they brought me in the back to look, but he didnt seem to put a whole lot of investigation into it. then we started talking about up pipes and down pipes and perfomance mods, and he just kept telling me "you're gonna blow your engine. these cars are ticking time bombs, dont bother" etc.

he told me to keep an eye on my coolant and oil and temp levels.

coolant smell still coming, temp gauge normal, oil level normal.

All that said, I was hoping someone could give me some advice, shed some light, idk. I want to get an up pipe down pipe and an exhaust, but a) this guy scared me into doing ANY mods because I don't want to blow my engine b) I want to make sure i take care of any issues before I buy any mods (if i even can)

Once again, im sorry if this topic has been covered, but I'm really confused, if you've read this whole thing, thanks in advance. I'm a total n00b with cars, I've only been into the scene for about 3 years, so please pardon my ignorance.

Also, I should add, my car is flashed stage one with a cobb. just as a side note.
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:30 AM   #2
recce02
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Join Date: Jan 2002
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Location: Good ol Temecula
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02 GCRally prepped
277TQ 281HP 19PSI

Default

You can DIY if you have some mechanical skill.
Buy/rent a coolant pressure tester from Autozone or local auto store that rents tools.
Really easy to use. With the car cool, take off rad cap and attach proper connector. Pump it up to proper pressure, a quick search will give you the right psi. While its under pressure look around to find the leak. Obviously radiator area, also turbo has coolant lines, throttle body has coolant lines, heater core lines go from drivers side on the back of the block to the firewall, coolant lines on the bottom of the block that go to oil filter, also the heater core inside the cab/lower portion in the center of the dash. You won't be able to see the core but any leak there will be damp.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:24 AM   #3
pghana66
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Member#: 302066
Join Date: Nov 2011
Vehicle:
2002 WRX

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how many miles and is it the original radiator? my 02 oem was part plastic, the top piece. they start to get cracks n will seep coolant. this wont immediately show a temp rise on your gauge unless you r low on coolant as the cracks are passing more noticeable amount of coolant out of the system. not sur what come in the 05, but its worth a check. when u r doing the system pressure check n the engine is warm check along the top of the radiator for coolant seep. gl.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:02 AM   #4
tebriel
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Member#: 244190
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Vehicle:
2004 BRP WRX Wagon
2004 JBP WRX

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is there coolant on the top of the turbo coolant reservoir? Both of mine have leaks there, either from the hoses or the cap.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:12 PM   #5
Browzer
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Member#: 306433
Join Date: Jan 2012
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Orange County NY
Vehicle:
2005 Subaru WRX
Black

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by recce02 View Post
You can DIY if you have some mechanical skill.
Buy/rent a coolant pressure tester from Autozone or local auto store that rents tools.
Really easy to use. With the car cool, take off rad cap and attach proper connector. Pump it up to proper pressure, a quick search will give you the right psi. While its under pressure look around to find the leak. Obviously radiator area, also turbo has coolant lines, throttle body has coolant lines, heater core lines go from drivers side on the back of the block to the firewall, coolant lines on the bottom of the block that go to oil filter, also the heater core inside the cab/lower portion in the center of the dash. You won't be able to see the core but any leak there will be damp.
When I took my car in im pretty sure they did that test. but they kinda said "well you look like you have a leak" so im guessing the test didnt show anything or maybe they didnt do it right? idk, i'll look into that. maybe the people at advanced auto could give me a hand. something tells me id over look some aspect on my own. but thats a good idea. im gonna see if any of my more engine savy friends know about that. thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pghana66 View Post
how many miles and is it the original radiator? my 02 oem was part plastic, the top piece. they start to get cracks n will seep coolant. this wont immediately show a temp rise on your gauge unless you r low on coolant as the cracks are passing more noticeable amount of coolant out of the system. not sur what come in the 05, but its worth a check. when u r doing the system pressure check n the engine is warm check along the top of the radiator for coolant seep. gl.
Im afraid I dont know how many miles the original radiator has. I think i may bring it back to the shop if the pressure test doesnt prove conclusive. thanks for the heads up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tebriel View Post
is there coolant on the top of the turbo coolant reservoir? Both of mine have leaks there, either from the hoses or the cap.
when I first bought the car there was, but it never did it again. so I kind of assumed that wasnt the issue. but i'll keep an eye on it. thanks for the reminder tho. i forgot about that until you just mentioned it.
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