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Old 12-26-2006, 07:01 PM   #1
CletusTheDwarf
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Default Overheating question for a friend

My friend has a '98 Subaru outback wagon. Her heat hasn't been working for a little while. This morning, she was driving, noticed something didn't smell good, like something burning. At the same time she noticed the temp guage was high, and some steam/smoke was coming out of the hood. (not sure steam vs smoke, forgot to ask that). She pulled over, looked under the hood, and saw the radiator hose was cracked, and the steam was coming from there. She let it cool down, then drove the last 4 miles home.

It was about 20 miles to the subaru dealer, so she tried to make the drive, made it about 10 miles and it started to overheat again. She pulled over, waited 30 min, then drove again. Started to overheat again, but this time when she was stopped at a light, it stalled, and wouldn't start again. She said it didn't crank, like she had a dead battery. She got it towed to the dealer, and they said she needed to spend $6000 on a new engine. Any thoughts on this? Is she getting screwed, or is she screwed?
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Old 12-26-2006, 07:09 PM   #2
shortys64
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Well.....mistake number 1 was the fact that she kept attempting to turn off the motor and then restart it and drive to the dealer. She could have been waiting at that light too long and fried her motor (while the temp was rising out of control) but the only people that will know that are those that tear the thing down. So, yes she is probably screwed.
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Old 12-26-2006, 07:11 PM   #3
powercurve
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The heat not working as in a) the fan not blowing or b) fan blowing but no heat. If the fan is blowing air into the cabin but it's cold even when the car is hot, I'm gonna go ahead and say the thermostat got stuck ... which led to the overheating.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CletusTheDwarf View Post
My friend has a '98 Subaru outback wagon. Her heat hasn't been working for a little while. This morning, she was driving, noticed something didn't smell good, like something burning. At the same time she noticed the temp guage was high, and some steam/smoke was coming out of the hood. (not sure steam vs smoke, forgot to ask that). She pulled over, looked under the hood, and saw the radiator hose was cracked, and the steam was coming from there. She let it cool down, then drove the last 4 miles home.

It was about 20 miles to the subaru dealer, so she tried to make the drive, made it about 10 miles and it started to overheat again. She pulled over, waited 30 min, then drove again. Started to overheat again, but this time when she was stopped at a light, it stalled, and wouldn't start again. She said it didn't crank, like she had a dead battery. She got it towed to the dealer, and they said she needed to spend $6000 on a new engine. Any thoughts on this? Is she getting screwed, or is she screwed?
Head gasket(s)/heads gone. Sorry. And no, for the love of god don't let her pay 6000 grand for a new engine at a dealership. You can get a used engine and pay any shop to swap it in and have it cost 3 times less ... or get the headgaskets/new heads (assuming that's whats gone) fixed.
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Old 12-26-2006, 07:12 PM   #4
Swanny07
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Ouch... Should have asked somebody if it was a good idea to drive it. Yeah it might have cost her some money to get it towed there, probably less that 6,000 if i recall.
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Old 12-26-2006, 07:13 PM   #5
CletusTheDwarf
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man, i was afraid of that...she really can't afford that, just spend 6k buying the car a few months ago...so if that's what the dealer says...he's likely giving her the truth?
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Old 12-26-2006, 07:15 PM   #6
powercurve
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Well, it would help to know exactly what the techs at the dealership said ... we're just kinda guessing here without seeing the car etc.
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Old 12-26-2006, 07:18 PM   #7
CletusTheDwarf
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yeah, she talked to me after talking to him on the phone, she was on the way to the dealer right now to get the details. i'll let you guys know more when i know more. how much would you estimate for a used engine install?
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Old 12-26-2006, 10:09 PM   #8
Impresario
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Blown headgaskets are very common in that generation of Outback wagons - it happened to my mom's car at 110k miles.

Try this company for rebuilt engine prices - I believe Subiegal recommended them some time ago:

http://www.ccrengines.com/
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Old 12-26-2006, 10:15 PM   #9
CletusTheDwarf
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yeah, she needs new head gaskets, and a new radiator, not a whole engine hopefully. she's getting more quotes tomorrow. thanks for your help guys.
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Old 12-26-2006, 11:55 PM   #10
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This isn't making sense to me. The original post said the radiator hose was cracked. So, the hose went, coolant leaked out, she kept trying to drive until the engine seized, and the repair is head gasket and new radiator
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Old 12-27-2006, 04:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leecea View Post
This isn't making sense to me. The original post said the radiator hose was cracked. So, the hose went, coolant leaked out, she kept trying to drive until the engine seized, and the repair is head gasket and new radiator
what else do you expect to go when a car overheats severely?
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Old 12-27-2006, 09:51 AM   #12
leecea
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I thought an engine run to the point of seizing would have some bigger internal problems. Anyway, in this case, I'm glad to be wrong.

I was also suprised that the radiator was damaged, unless that was part of the original problem.

I'd hate to see them charge her for replacing these things, then find there are bigger problems later. When my brother seized an engine years ago, it was ruined.
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Old 12-28-2006, 12:29 PM   #13
redlegacygt
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have her ask the dealership if its a headgasket. Then have her get it towed to another shop, not a dealership. She'll be paying more labor then parts. Find another local shop that isnt a dealership that works on subarus and have them do it. My headgaskets were done for around 900. Sure beats paying 6k or anywhere near that...
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