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Old 04-30-2007, 10:01 PM   #1
Payback45
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Exclamation OverHeating

I changed the spark plugs on my wifes 2002 legacy yesturday and today she tells me that she feels vibration in the gas pedal. I checked it my self and it is there. Also, on the way home I noticed that it was over heating all the way up at the H. What could I have done to cause all this? I changed her plugs from champion to NGK G-power. Any ideas?? What could I have done? It was fine before the new plugs.
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Old 05-01-2007, 12:48 AM   #2
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Check to see if both your radiator hoses are hot when the car is warm. Also check the coolant level and color. Any CELs?

NGK's are fine for Subaru motors. Did you gap them properly?
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Old 05-01-2007, 07:27 AM   #3
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When I bought the plugs at NAPPA I asked the guy behind the counter if there was anything that I needed to do like gapping and he said no you will be ok. What is the danger of not gapping? Can I gap them now that they have been installed for the last two days? The strange thing is I installed the same plugs on my car an 02 legacy GT and I am not seeing any problems.
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Old 05-01-2007, 10:32 AM   #4
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I'm pretty sure they're properly gapped out of the box. That's unlikely the problem here.
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Old 05-01-2007, 11:32 AM   #5
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The one thing that I remember not doing was putting the lube on the spark plugs to keep out moisture and stuff like that. Could that be the problem? If so, can I add it now?
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Old 05-01-2007, 12:04 PM   #6
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Sounds like a different problem to me. As far as overheating, did you change your coolant lately? Thermostat been replaced lately? When its overheating, does your air blow cold or hot when heater is on?
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Old 05-01-2007, 12:32 PM   #7
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Yesterday was the first time I noticed it. Haven't touched the coolant. thermostat hasn't been touched. When I noticed that it was over heating I turned the heat on right away full blast and nothing but the hottest air came out. I was trying to cool it down. but we were so close to home before I noticed it it didn't help any.
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Old 05-01-2007, 12:42 PM   #8
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How often do you drive your wife's car? I don't think changing the spark plugs has anything to do with the overheating.

My guess is either (1) it's been overheating for a while and your wife just doesn't notice it, or (2) it just happened to start overheating when you drove it.

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Old 05-01-2007, 03:00 PM   #9
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I know she would have noticed it over heating. A friend looked at it and said that the coolant was just a bit low and to and lots of water and see what it does
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Old 05-02-2007, 12:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Payback45 View Post
I know she would have noticed it over heating. A friend looked at it and said that the coolant was just a bit low and to and lots of water and see what it does
I would be nervous and concerned that just possibly you may have developed at some point either a blown or "weaping" cylinder head gasket issue. If you can, try and closely monitor the situation. Is coolant being consumed ?

Also just stating the obvious, but when you replaced the Spark Plugs, did you apply some "anti-seize" compound to the threaded portion of the new spark plugs ? Also is there any chance that maybe you placed a wrong spark plug wire on one of these new spark plugs. Also maybe when you yanked off the wires you could have damaged them.

With the car gently idling, try gently removing one spark plug wire at a time. If the idle speed decreases, replace the wire. If the Idle remains unchanged, or increases you have a problem.

An incorrectly placed spark plug wire could (hypothetically) cause a mis-timed spark that could cause an over-heating issue do to pre-ignition.
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Old 05-02-2007, 12:52 PM   #11
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Hows your oil level? Also have you ever replaced your thermostat on the car? Also have your check the coolant properties, i.e. is the the coolant premixed that you have in it or not mixed properly? Could be HG failure too .. does your coolant res. have any black in it? That would be parts of your Head Gasket.
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Old 05-02-2007, 03:10 PM   #12
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The anti seize was the only thing I didn't apply to her car. Can I apply it now? Will it make a difference? I checked the wires and they are all placed correctly. #3 I was having a hell of a time trying to get off the plug, but after some good pulling I got it. Is it safe to have the car running and remove the spark plugs? I have never replaced the thermo. Also We have never changed the coolant in the car since she has had it. She got it at 8,000 miles and she is up to 53,000 now. I am sure it is time to change it. is the coolant something I can change myself or do I need to take it somewhere. Also how do you do it. Just trying to learn as much about my cars as I can. thanks for all the help.
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Old 05-02-2007, 05:07 PM   #13
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plugs dont have anything to do with any car overheating.

anti-seize is always a good idea, i.e. rusted-up plugs are a bitch to drill out.

plugs arent alwasys gapped out of the box, plus they get dropped and jumbled in the stores and the gapping changes... always a good idea to take an extra 5 min to gap em right.

like sub_speed_guy said, check to make sure the lower radiator hose is getting hot when the car has been running, if it doesnt, then your thermostat isnt opening.

as for the vibration, check to make sure each plug wire is seated right on the plugs and on the coils. and check to make sure they arent damaged or loose inside.

best of luck, hope you figure it out.

p.s. its never a good idea to handle or remove a plug while the car is running. youll get a mighty jolt.
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Old 05-02-2007, 05:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Payback45 View Post
The anti seize was the only thing I didn't apply to her car. Can I apply it now? Will it make a difference?
My suggestion would be to remove each plug, measure the spark plug gap (adjust if required), and apply some anti-seize compound to the threads before re-installing the plug. Not appling the anti-seize compound will not cause the issues you are describing, but leaving this step out could cost you some expensive work when you next change the spark plugs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Payback45 View Post
I checked the wires and they are all placed correctly. #3 I was having a hell of a time trying to get off the plug, but after some good pulling I got it.
By pulling so hard on the spark plug wire, you MAY have dammaged the electrical connection to your #3 spark plug. This would leave you running on three cylinders and a fair amount of unburned vaporized fuel being pumped out of cylinder #3 into you cars exhuast & catalitic converter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Payback45 View Post
Is it safe to have the car running and remove the spark plugs?
Pulling plug wires from a running motor COULD give you an unpleasant (painfull) ~ 30,000 Volt electrical shock. I wouldn't call it especially dangerous, although its a good idea to use caution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Payback45 View Post
I have never replaced the thermo. Also We have never changed the coolant in the car since she has had it. She got it at 8,000 miles and she is up to 53,000 now. I am sure it is time to change it. Is the coolant something I can change myself or do I need to take it somewhere? Also how do you do it?
Most people will tell you to change your coolant once every year. Personally I change mine, like every OTHER year (I am lazy), and for sure there are pleanty of folks who get way with a three year interval, or who trade in their cars lease every third year. I would have your coolant system flushed out and the thermostat changed just as a precaution at this point.

If you do decide to change it yourself, please understand that coolant is toxic... it has a sweet taste to it, and is totally leathal to pets or wild animals, who will be unlikely not to drink this stuff and eventually die from it, if you leave even a drop of it on the ground. If you are capable of collecting all the coolant and having it disposed of in an environmentally safe way, then go ahead and change it.

In order to change the coolant, I would follow these steps:

1. Get the car up in the air (jack stands, or a ramp).

2. Get under the car and drain the coolant into a container. Make sure your container is larger than the total coolant capacity of your car (engine + Raditor).There are generally drain plugs in the radiator and the motor. Drain both of them. Replace the drain plugs, and refill the radiator with straight water and maybe an aftermarket coolant flush bottle.

3. Following the coolant flush instructions, run the motor for a bit, adding water as nessesary as air bubbles to the top. Let it sit a while, and then drain this coolant as well. Refill with water, and run the motor a second time on straight water. Drain it, checking to see if it runs clean. If you see rusty, corroded crud or other sludge, repeat this "flushing process" until you have cleaned out the crud from your motor. After you have replaced the drain plugs, get the car back on level ground.

4. Replace the thermostat with a new one.

5. If you are using a "pre-mix" solution (50/50 Water + Coolant) just add it straight, or if you are planning on using your own mix, add distilled water (roughly half the capacity of your cars cooling system), before toppping off with coolant. Coolant is heavier than water, so add it last.

6. Run the motor with the radiator cap off, looking down to check the coolant level as air bubbles to the top. Add coolant as the level drops off. After a bit there should be no more air bubbling to the top. At this point, you can shut it off, and replace the radiator cap.

7. Clean up your work area, taking care not to leave coolant on the ground. Dispose of the old coolant in an environmentally safe manor.

EDIT: Coolant is castic to paint and metal surfaces. Make sure to clean up your cars engine bay area, and to hose off any areas that you might have spilt coolant onto.

8. Check the coolant level in the radiator again in about a week when it is "cold", and top off with additional coolant, if nessasary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Payback45 View Post
Just trying to learn as much about my cars as I can. Thanks for all the help.
I hope this helps.

Last edited by Jonathan; 05-02-2007 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 05-02-2007, 06:00 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by gt_drifter View Post
Plugs dont have anything to do with any car overheating. Anti-seize is always a good idea, i.e. rusted-up plugs are a bitch to drill out.

Plugs arent alwasys gapped out of the box, plus they get dropped and jumbled in the stores and the gapping changes... always a good idea to take an extra 5 min to gap em right.

...

P.S. Its never a good idea to handle or remove a plug while the car is running. you'll get a mighty jolt.
While I agree with you on Anti-seize and checking the spark plugs gaps, I very much disagree with you saying its a bad idea to remove plug wires from a running car. I have always found it a sure fire diagnostic tool for figuring out which, if any, cylinders are not firing. Maybe if you have an expensive diagnostic computer at your disposal you dont need to resport to such simplistic "backyard" diagnostic techniques? If you can reccomend a better procedure, I would like to know about it.
Thank you.
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Old 05-02-2007, 07:32 PM   #16
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they make a special tool that you plug inbetween a spark plug and the wire. if its getting juice, then it lights up. its usually less than $5 at any auto store.
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Old 05-02-2007, 11:06 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by gt_drifter View Post
they make a special tool that you plug inbetween a spark plug and the wire. if its getting juice, then it lights up. its usually less than $5 at any auto store.
Sounds interesting, although for diagnostic purposes, I still prefere my technique of pulling one wire at a time with the engine running. Its a technique that works for me that I trust, although other folks may indeed feel more comfortable with your special diagnostic tool.
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Old 05-03-2007, 09:59 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
Pulling plug wires from a running motor COULD give you an unpleasant (painfull) ~ 30,000 Volt electrical shock. I wouldn't call it especially dangerous, although its a good idea to use caution.

Don't do this. When I wasw a teen I was having trouble starting a honda three wheeler. So I took the plug our and was holding it in my hand to check for spark. Instead I ended up checking how fast I could land on my ass when I pulled a started cord. I can only imagine how much more it would suck to get the shock from the car.

Last edited by GZoomer; 05-03-2007 at 10:00 PM. Reason: d**n spelling
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Old 05-04-2007, 02:50 PM   #19
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You might also check your cooling fan. A fan that doesn't always turn on can easily be missed by your wife. Though the fans don't usually fail with so little miles on them, you could just have loose contacts to the switch, a bad switch, or a bad fan. This general category is easy to check, just start the car and let it idle. If the car starts to overheat and the fan never turns on, then you know it's one of those three things, that's assuming you've checked the lower radiator hose is getting hot as suggested above. This is also is assuming that your fan is electric and not driven by the motor (which I don't think any legacys are right?)

Good luck!
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan
Pulling plug wires from a running motor COULD give you an unpleasant (painfull) ~ 30,000 Volt electrical shock. I wouldn't call it especially dangerous, although its a good idea to use caution.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GZoomer View Post
Don't do this. When I was a teenager I was having trouble starting a Honda ATC three wheeler. So I took the spark plug out and was holding it in my hand to check for spark. Instead I ended up checking how fast I could land on my ass when I pulled the starter cord. I can only imagine how much more it would suck to get the shock from the car.
Ummm... Holding a spark plug in your hand while you attempted to start your Honda isnt an example of using caution, although you certainly found out the hard way that your Honda was producing a fairly healthy electrical spark in a hurry. By holding the plug in your hand you effectively made your body part of the electical "ground" circutry.
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Old 05-04-2007, 11:11 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
Ummm... Holding a spark plug in your hand while you attempted to start your Honda isnt an example of using caution, although you certainly found out the hard way that your Honda was producing a fairly healthy electrical spark in a hurry. By holding the plug in your hand you effectively made your body part of the electical "ground" circutry.
I know that now and I knew that then. Just wasn't thinking. I still didn't know if the plug was working and a spark was occuring arcoss the gap. I don't remember from the time I started to pull the starter and sitting on my ass.

On a side note I may be a slow learner. I have been zapped 3 times.
That was the first time. The second time I reached over to wiggle a mic cord while holding my Bass. The third time I thought I had discharged a picture tube in a computer monitor and I had not. The tool I was using to discharge was busted.
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Old 08-08-2007, 12:49 AM   #22
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alright, i am having some issues and wanted to get the opinion of experts, I have a 2000 Legacy GT and lately while driving the temp will jump all the way up to hot and the AC will start blowing warm. Can you tell me what the issue is?
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Old 08-08-2007, 08:33 AM   #23
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Head gaskets.
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Old 08-08-2007, 09:14 AM   #24
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so I need to replace head gaskets, is there a list of recommended stuff to replace along with them?
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Old 08-08-2007, 01:26 PM   #25
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yes, things like timingbelts, waterpump, plug wires, the list is endless, however it all is based on what you've done yourself already or what you have funds to do, since headgaskets are'nt too cheap to do unless you can do them yourself..
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