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Old 01-26-2007, 05:09 PM   #1
blatant
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Member#: 108951
Join Date: Mar 2006
Default Mystery Leak

PHANTOM LEAK

2006, 2.5i, MT, 25k.

So I leave for the west coast on Wednesday morning from DC. I drive straight, aside from stopping for bathroom or fuel. Total gear weight is about 250lbs and two mt bikes on roof, clearly not heavy.

I arrive in AZ on Thursday night, also arriving with me is a SPIKE in my TEMP GAUGE (whew, thankfully I noticed the gauge) followed by me pulling over and noticing that there is no coolant in the reservoir and none visible in the radiator.

As I stopped for fuel every couple hundred miles I checked the oil and the coolant and they were always within acceptable ranges. Now, the temp indicator never went into the red, thankfully. So I resort to filling it with whatever water I had. I had no coolant available. Thankfully the radiator only took about ½ gallon, so it was not empty. I filled the reservoir all the way up and then went to a quickmart to buy coolant. 50/50 premixed, which the dealer claims is ok for use after I explained what I’d done.

NEXT DAY at the dealer.

Explain to them exactly what you read above. Dealer says “ok, we’ll check it out” Dealer calls me in an hour, come and get it………Nothing is wrong. I’m like “huh, there was coolant all over the place and you’re telling me it’s all good?” Yep. They said they pressure tested it and it was cool. They also checked the cap. It was cool. They adjusted the coolant level and that was that. Go figure. It looked like it was leaking from the lower hose on the right side, as you look down where it attaches to the radiator.

My thoughts are a new car should have a mystery leak that a DEALER can’t find.

So now I sit here wondering wtf…..wondering if I now have an UNRELIABLE Subaru and if road tripping it is a bad idea as I don’t want to break down in the middle of nowhere AND w/o roadside service as I sat on hold with Subaru roadside for 40minutes and NEVER spoke to anyone….what a joke. I had AAA but didn’t need them.


ANYONE else ever have a phantom leak of any sort or ever hear of anything like this?


thanks for reading and any insight.
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:44 PM   #2
CHPgotnothingonME
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Location: SoCal/Riverside
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MY06 vf39'd WRX
S204

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i remember i thought my car was leaking coolant and there was white residue everywhere but when i looked at the coolant tank i noticed that the dealer/mechanic put too much coolant in. i think you are only supposed to fill it halfway. if you fill it pass the line then yeah it will leak for sure and climb it's way up the black hose.

hope this helps.
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Old 01-26-2007, 06:08 PM   #3
blatant
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHPgotnothingonME View Post
i remember i thought my car was leaking coolant and there was white residue everywhere but when i looked at the coolant tank i noticed that the dealer/mechanic put too much coolant in. i think you are only supposed to fill it halfway. if you fill it pass the line then yeah it will leak for sure and climb it's way up the black hose.

hope this helps.

thanks. however, it was filled to the proper level, but thanks for the words.
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Old 01-26-2007, 08:05 PM   #4
Tim Sanderson
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Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: S.E. wisconsin
Vehicle:
00 Impreza 2.5 RS
Blue Ridge Pearl

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Coolant has water in it. Which evaporates when it's in the overflow. During normal operation through thermal expansion coolant goes from the radiator into the overflow. During cooling the fluid in the radiator will contract and this will draw the fluid back in from the overflow.

Eventually if unchecked, the reservoir will go dry. When this happens and the motor goes through a heat cylce it does not draw back what it expelled and will then draw air. It's only a small amount of air each time but as you found out it does add up.

The air that is drawn into the radiator during cooling can be expelled during the next heat cycle but only the amount displaced by expansion. Eventually you get what happened to you.

Fill you overflow with straight coolant. It evaporates less quickly than water and it's what most overflow caps say on them.

I hope that explains it and I also hope I'm right.
Good luck
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Old 01-27-2007, 11:59 AM   #5
Hayes
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Location: Cape Coral,FL
Default

The dealer probably tighten all the hose clamps during the inspection & pressure tests.
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:54 PM   #6
shokur
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Member#: 139405
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Orange County, CA
Vehicle:
2004 Impreza WRX
Java Black

Default Steam coming from the right side of the hood, smelled burn coolant?

I am wondering since you guys are talking about the coolant problem, and I am newbie here and cannot post my own thread yet. I would like to add to this saying that my problem is also coolant related and I can't quite figure out where the leak is coming from. I checked out the two radiator hoses while running the car and I don't see any leaked but I noticed on cold days I will see steam coming from the passenger side of the hood and the odd smelled of burned coolant. But today I discovered where the steam is coming from and I can see a small puddle of coolant on part of the engine which I'm not sure what it is at the moment but It is right under the Intake. I think it might be a waterpump or a thermostat issue but then again I don't have any overheating issue. I also have pictures but cannot post links because I am a newbie. So any help would be greatly appreciated.

Take a look at the pictures:
snktech.com/DSC00111.JPG
snktech.com/DSC00110.JPG
snktech.com/DSC00109.JPG
snktech.com/DSC00108.JPG

Last edited by shokur; 01-31-2007 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:53 AM   #7
rkramer
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2002 WRX Sedan

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sounds dumb, but if you checked the radiator before you left and maybe didn't have the cap on right? it could have been turned sideway a little, or just not tightened down. After you filled, it was put on correctly, and the problem never showed up again.
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