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Old 09-15-2012, 03:00 PM   #1
nubsub
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Default 2012 impreza 2.0i coolant consumption?

hi everyone, i know there have been discussions about oil consumption, but how about coolant?

i have 5000mi on my 2012 impreza, and i noticed today what i thought was a faint smell of coolant after parking the car. i looked at the reservoir and it's about 3/4" off of full. i'm almost certain it was at full when i got the car.

is this normal? something to be concerned about? i will certainly keep an eye on it in the days ahead and will likely check in with the dealer at some point, but i wanted to see if anyone has similar behavior with their car.

thanks!
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:11 PM   #2
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I'm glad you brought this up. Hopefully someone with better posting skills will chime in with how to check it. Mine is right AT the low line. I just got home from a twenty mile roundtrip, so the car is hot. Will check again in a couple hours when its cool. I complained to Bill Bryan, who sold me the car, that the level was low at about 3/4 below the full mark. Called soa they referred me back to the dealer. Dealer told me "you don't know how to check it, it has to be hot and running". So I didn't remember to check again. Its been in for three factory services. So- what do I do to "top off" my coolantt? Its a "sealed, maintenance-free" system as far as I knew.
I'm now officially PISSED at this turd of a car. Now I have to carry a bottle of coolant/water mix, and a quart of oil with me to "do my part". Damn Subaru...
Thanks, nubsub, for bringing to my attention yet another aspect of maintenance that I'm concearned about. I guess I'm gonna have to maintain this car like its on its last legs... Its built like it is already.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:13 PM   #3
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It seems Murphy and his law are at work on my car! This SUCKS!
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:48 PM   #4
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Checked mine today after I read this, it was above the full line. Better than being low, and it won't hurt anything to have the reservoir slightly overfilled, but it's supposed to be at the full line when the car is fully warmed up.
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:22 PM   #5
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Just checked mine every way possible. Cold, hot and running, and hot not running. I have almost NO coolant in the reservoir. Its slightly below the low mark. So I'm going to call soa when they open. And ask for their coolant consumption allowance.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 79letour View Post
Just checked mine every way possible. Cold, hot and running, and hot not running. I have almost NO coolant in the reservoir. Its slightly below the low mark. So I'm going to call soa when they open. And ask for their coolant consumption allowance.

Lemon law please. Why don't y'all return these trade in for newer model
Or different car.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:03 AM   #7
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THEY ARE THE NEW MODEL!
And they've written themselves out of liability in the owners manual. Shady tactics employed by all the car companies.
The outgoing model had much more stingent consumption allowances.
Basically unless your car physically will not drive anymore, subaru says its fine.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:05 AM   #8
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Plus- I'm hesitant to take a $3000 hit to the wallet because Subaru and Bill Bryan sold me a turd and are now looking the other direction twittling their thumbs.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:41 AM   #9
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Have you had Mastro look at the coolant problem yet? They're already evaluating the oil consumption problem, so they could easily handle the coolant problem at the same time. I'd leave Bill Bryan out of it, and deal directly with the dealership you like.

Coolant leaks don't make me as nervous as oil consumption. There's probably a very slow coolant leak someplace, and it's usually pretty easy to find (just look for the discolored drips forming beneath the car). My TDI had a coolant leak during the first 5k miles of ownership. They ended up replacing my water pump under warranty. Problem solved. On the TDI, once I removed the plastic belly pan, it was easy to find the drips.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:02 AM   #10
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There probably isn't a leak, it was probably underfilled at the factory. Mine is on the low end of the reservoir when the engine is hot. The same level it was at when I looked under my hood the day after driving it home.

Should I have demanded they top it off? Probably, but it isn't really an issue and I don't have the vapors over it.

The hysteria on this forum is probably worse than that for Justin Bieber sightings, but I wouldn't know, as I don't pay attention to that either.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:28 AM   #11
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Yeah, its just that finding the time to take it to Mastro. My help didn't show up today, and I have 400 half inch bridge shoes to plasma.
I'd never take my car back to Bill Bryan. They're just aweful people to deal with.
I have record on paper and in emails of inquiring about the low coolant level a few times. Always with the answer of "you just don't know how to check it". Typical SOA answer. But if it fries, at least I've completely covered my posterior.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeeper View Post
There probably isn't a leak, it was probably underfilled at the factory. Mine is on the low end of the reservoir when the engine is hot. The same level it was at when I looked under my hood the day after driving it home.

Should I have demanded they top it off? Probably, but it isn't really an issue and I don't have the vapors over it.

The hysteria on this forum is probably worse than that for Justin Bieber sightings, but I wouldn't know, as I don't pay attention to that either.
The lack of consumer backbone is far more evident than hysteria...
My level WAS 3/4" low new. No big deal. It dropped to halfway, I inquired. Now its virtually empty. Now- that coolant had to go somewhere.
You always have some commentary to make for someone who "doesn't pay attention".
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 79letour View Post
I have record on paper and in emails of inquiring about the low coolant level a few times. Always with the answer of "you just don't know how to check it". Typical SOA answer. But if it fries, at least I've completely covered my posterior.
If you're feeling motivated, get under the car and remove the belly pan, and look around for yourself. That's how I found my TDI's coolant leak, after the stupid dealership couldn't find it. Freaking idiots--there were pink stalactites dripping off the bottom of my engine. So I took a digital photo, printed it, brought the car back to the dealership, and said, "This is what you'll find if you try. Fix it."
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:40 AM   #14
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I'll be doing a vigorous inspection after work.
And honestly- thanks for reminding me why I abandoned VW as a company in 2002.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:41 PM   #15
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Just decided to get off my lazy ass and check my coolant level. Mines well under the low line after not being run since last night. This is honestly the first time I've checked it so I don't know if it has gone down or not since I first got the car. I'll also be checking the level later today when the car is running and hot to see if there is a difference in the level. I'll keep y'all posted.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:56 PM   #16
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OK, I don't have my owner's manual with me, so can anyone tell us if our Imprezas need a special variety of coolant, or is it a product that can be purchased at Walmart or the friendly local auto parts store?

I know my TDI needed very special coolant that could only be purchased at a VW dealership for a boatload of money (of course). If you tried mixing in one of the coolant products available on the market (including the ones that claim to be compatible with all colors of coolant), you would ruin all of the coolant in your car's system and would have to flush it out ASAP.

I'm wondering if the Impreza's coolant is more generic.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:16 PM   #17
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It says in the manual that you MUST use subaru's coolant, or you'll shorten the life of the coolant. So- if I top mine off with distilled water to get to the dealer, do I have to pay to have it fluashed? The manual is horribly written, vague, and really only serves as a c-y-a for the manufacturer of the car.
Since my car consumes oil, has a really ****e drivers seat, and a windshield made of vapor, I may as well let subaru fill it. Besides according to them I "don't know how to read it".
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:19 PM   #18
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Yes, please let us know, Jrobb!
I'd be curious to see if us "oil burners" are having coolant issues as well.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:28 PM   #19
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I'm still voting for a coolant leak failure.

My TDI's leaky water pump was not unique to me. Many 2010 TDIs (and I think even some early 2011s) had this same problem.

So I think some of our Imprezas have coolant leaks, probably coming from the same area or part.

Of course, I'm just making a prediction. But I'm sure we'll get to the bottom of this soon enough. The coolant is going someplace on these cars, and it's supposed to be a closed system, so I'm not blaming evaporation. Once one of you with a coolant issue figures out where your coolant is going, the answer will likely be the same for the rest of you with coolant issues.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:48 PM   #20
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I've smelled coolant before, but it must be either from the tires from a spill or someone that parked there before, my coolant has been at max since I got it.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:48 PM   #21
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wow! seems like i started quite the discussion. the level i reported previously was after the car had been sitting for about 30min so still warm, but not hot.

i'll have to inspect further. of course, i'm not down to low, so i won't touch anything and keep an eye on it in the months ahead. i definitely feel if it is going down appreciably, that is indicating a leak somewhere. as suggested, it might be under that big plastic belly plate... but it's likely slow for my case...

do any of you have any sort of odor coming from the engine bay? (my nose is pretty lame so i might be smelling coolant with a faint mix of oil, too.*)

*thankfully, my oil level still is rock solid at the high mark after 2500mi since my last (first) change.
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:07 PM   #22
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my car has always had a "smell" coming from the engine bay when I park it in the garage. but I didn't think much of it as I'm famous for having k9-level smelling abilities.
I have one of those fancy garage floor coatings, so today before I pull in, I'll check for any seepage spots.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:05 PM   #23
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Just checked the coolant level while the car was running and after driving for a bit. The level came up to just about exactly in between the low and full lines. Guess I'll keep an eye on it more often to see if the level drops at all.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:37 PM   #24
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I was also concerned when after some time (10k) I noticed that when cold my coolant level was a bit below the low line. i was going on a long trip, so I went to the dealer to see if they would top me off. Service writer wouldn't do it and told me to make an appointment to check the system. I went to the parts dept and purchase a jug of the Subaru fluid. You cannot just add water to top off levels...check the manual. The coolant set me back almost $27!
So far, the fluid level has remained stable, so I believe that most of us were underfilled and not properly at the time of delivery. So much for quality checks at the dealer.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:55 PM   #25
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I'm NOT paying $20+ for coolant. If it comes to that, I'll just do what I do for industrial plasmas, and run a higher mix of distilled water. Besides, I live where it never snows, and I've never had a car "freeze". The water is actually what does the cooling, the other chemicals are to prevent freezing, also the water pump supposedly needs some of the additives.
I could just use the distilled water, but I've went out of my way to stick to subarus specifications and not void my warranty. I have enough coolant to get to Mastro this weekend. Will give them a call tomorrow morning.
If it ends up being a "total loss" liquid cooling system, like the "total loss" oiling system on my car, I may as well just get the cheapest stuff I can find, and check it often.
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