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Old 12-20-2004, 09:57 PM   #101
rogerd
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Ya know, a coolant conditioner is going to do NOTHING to prevent blown head gaskets.

Head gaskets blow due to the combustion pressures effectively exceeding the "sealing strength" of the studs/bolts that hold the head to the block. Whether the coolant is water, glycol, or whatever is pretty much irrelevant.

Head gasket problems are not uncommon where engines have been "pushed" by the manufacturer or aftermarket to larger bores (and hence smaller sealing areas) than the original design (as in pushing a 2.2 to a 2.5). It's also in my experience, much more common with alloy heads than iron heads. In fact, the only head gaskets I have ever had "spontaneously" blow have been with alloy heads. The only times I have had to deal with iron heads blowing gaskets were due to the engines being run very low on coolant and severely overheating.

What to do? About the only pro-active step you can take to head off (bad pun) the problem is to re-torque the head(s) after the break in period following initial (factory) build, or a rebuild. That way, at least you know that it is properly screwed down. And of course, make sure you never, never, ever over heat.

Oh, and once an alloy head has blown a gasket, 90% of the time it is no longer 100% flat - either warpage, or erosion due to combustion gas blowby. So, get it skimmed before you re-install, or it will blow again. And if, like Subarus, the block is alloy, check the mating surface for flatness very carefully also.
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Old 12-20-2004, 10:34 PM   #102
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Silly boy, let me educate you....

SOA: Did you use the Subaru Cooling System Conditioner with each coolant service?
Customer: No
SOA: Your head gasket install will run you $XXX

You didn't see the math did you rogerd?

BTW, you are right, but I think you can see the logic in my illogical argument though can't you?
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Old 12-20-2004, 10:55 PM   #103
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...like I said originally, selling this snake oil stuff is a "for profit" activity, not a solution to a problem. Equally, all SOA claims in the documentation is that it stops leaks - no mention of head gaskets at all. My message was meant for the many out there who are not under warranty - like most in that 97-00 window; in warranty, you play by the rules of the game. Outside, you can apply logic. And "beware of overheating your aluminum engine" is probably the most important message.
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Old 12-21-2004, 07:08 PM   #104
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Default Behave ladies!!!

Unabomber and rogerd,

Can we please get along? Let's see if cooler heads prevail.

1. SOA's snake oil is for profit, but will protect all of us subie owners from big, bad SOA profit makers. Given the whole grand total of +- $15.00 for a gal. of SOA coolant snake oil, the SOA coolant additive snake oil and the distilled water, I'll bet y'all we've already spent WAY TOO MUCH effort over ... nothing!!!

2. Given the potential costs of damaged water pumps, clogged radiators, blown head gaskets, poor performing cooling, etc. $15.00 WINS.

3. Give big, bad SOA profit their $15.00 = keep your ride running fine with the snake oil.

NO BRAINER!!! Come on girls, much a do over... nothing!!! If we were discussing $150.00 or more, I'd say; let's get into it, but for the cost...

There you have it.

Rosco
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Old 12-21-2004, 07:18 PM   #105
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We actually see eye to eye, we're just messing around. The Subaru coolant isn't snake oil though. It is the 100% correct coolant for your car, but since it's a private label of Subaru, it's pricier. The same rules apply for Honda or Toyota branded coolant. The coolant conditioner though....that's up to interpretation and I tend to agree with rogerd that the main cause of the problem is something else. I personally doubt a $1.50 bottle of a rebranded Holt's (English version of Bar's Stop Leak) is going to save my head gasket.
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Old 12-21-2004, 08:39 PM   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerd
Ya know, a coolant conditioner is going to do NOTHING to prevent blown head gaskets.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerd
...like I said originally, selling this snake oil stuff is a "for profit" activity, not a solution to a problem. Equally, all SOA claims in the documentation is that it stops leaks - no mention of head gaskets at all. My message was meant for the many out there who are not under warranty - like most in that 97-00 window; in warranty, you play by the rules of the game. Outside, you can apply logic. And "beware of overheating your aluminum engine" is probably the most important message.
I see you've got a know-it-all newb on your hands, Unabomber.

The idea that SOA chose to introduce the coolant conditioner requirement as a "for profit" activity is ludicrous. The coolant conditioner was introduced as part of a "service campaign" (a recall, though not a mandated safety or emissions recall - strictly voluntary) which involved hundreds of thousands of Subarus and the only action was to add the coolant conditioner. For those owners who responded to the campaign, SOA extended the warranty for cylinder head gasket external coolant leaks to a period of 8 years or 100,000 miles, whichever occurs first, from date of delivery. That campaign probably cost a mint.

SOA explicitly claims both in the service campaign bulletin sent to dealers (see http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...readid=4881570) and in emails sent to affected owners (see http://www.scoobymods.com/forums/sho...04&postcount=5) that the coolant conditioner prevents coolant leaks from developing and corrects existing coolant leaks at the head gaskets. SOA also explained to its dealers' service technicians, via its monthly Subaru Tech T.I.P.S. newsletter, exactly how the new coolant conditioner works to seal off head gasket coolant leaks (see http://www.scoobymods.com/forums/att...achmentid=2666).

But, feel free to ignore SOA's recommendations.
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Old 12-22-2004, 11:12 AM   #107
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Default What he said!!

Yeah... go ahead, don't add the $1.50 coolant conditioner.

Una and rogerd, nothing to it. I just think its silly to avoid spending an inisgnificant amount of $ to get a lot of peace of mind. I don't know about you guys, but facing the possibilty of big dollar repairs and the down time without our rides isn't the way to go. The downside to all this nonsense is less than $20.00 for us shade tree types. Go shade tree types.

Happy holidays all

Rosco
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Old 12-23-2004, 10:09 PM   #108
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Are there any possible downsides to using stop leak on a regular basis, like with every coolant change, especially if you car has no leaks or head gasket issues? I read it might plug up heater cores or even radiators but there's not much info about it.

I think it's interesting that using regular EG coolant is a big no-no because it can damage seals even though you can't even see the silicates in there they're so tiny, but it's ok to pour that thick brown gravy in there every coolant change. Those particles floating around can't be good for the water pump seal...I guess that's my main concern.

How does stop leak "lube" the water pump? Bar's claims it does that, and I'm guessing Holts is the same thing.

Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I'm really curious about this. I did add the conditioner when I did the 30K mile coolant change.
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Old 12-24-2004, 10:35 AM   #109
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I wouldn't use Bar's as it's not recommended by Subaru. I can feel your pain about the additive, but we can only place our trust in Subaru that Holt's thick brown gravy is doing good by our cars. I have no idea how Bar's or Holt's does what they say they do, so I push that big imaginary "I Believe" button.
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Old 12-26-2004, 04:40 PM   #110
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As the "know-it-all newb", who happens to have a Master's in mechanical engineering, and years of automobile design and development experience behind him, I stick by my point. Additives do NOT fix head gasket problems in any way shape or form. Manufacturers do "own brand" products to make money - be it oil, coolant, parts, whatever. They could easily specify what we should buy - but that way, they and their dealers don't make money.

Don't get me wrong, if I have to pour some SOA magic gunk into the car to maintain warranty coverage, I will do it - I'm just more realistic than most as to its efficacy.

As to Holts and Barrs - that's the stuff I used to pour into clunkers when I had no money to fix them.

Last edited by rogerd; 12-26-2004 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 12-27-2004, 08:57 PM   #111
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Here's a question to bring the thread back on track from the additives and coolant types discussion: where the heck is the "air bleeder/breather screw" for the radiator? It refers to it in the service manual, but I'll be damned if I can find it! I changed my coolant without ever figuring out where this thing was . . .
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Old 12-27-2004, 09:40 PM   #112
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What service manual are you referring to? I don't see that in the 02 factory manual that I have. There is no bleeder for the radiator, just the drain plug at the bottom.
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Old 12-27-2004, 09:54 PM   #113
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I just hope that Subaru is not using Holts Radweld or similar as a fix, as was implied by one of the posts. Used to excess it may clog heater radiator cores, which have narrow pathways - in fact Rover specifically disapproves of its use for this reason (see the Holts web site). Btw, Holts also makes "piston seal" a substance to "seal" up sloppy pistons in their bores to stop oil consumption, plus additives to fix gearboxes and Redex, an oil you pour into your gas tank, etc., etc.

The plain fact is that a modern well designed, properly screwed together engine does not leak - until the water pump goes home at what should be around the 100k marker at least. It also does not blow head gaskets unless it is severly overheated.

Like I said, if it's needed for warranty, so be it. But no way would I pour any of this stuff into a vehicle of mine by choice.
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Old 12-27-2004, 10:20 PM   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulder
What service manual are you referring to? I don't see that in the 02 factory manual that I have. There is no bleeder for the radiator, just the drain plug at the bottom.
Step 8 in the page pictured on the first page of this thread, and it's also mentioned in this PDF on page 10:
http://www.endwrench.com/current/win...ngineMaint.pdf

(It says "to refill the cooling system, remove air breather plug from radiator")
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Old 12-27-2004, 10:34 PM   #115
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That link and the accompanying pics are not WRX-specific, just general Subaru maintenance. The WRX radiator has no bleeder.
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Old 12-27-2004, 10:58 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulder
That link and the accompanying pics are not WRX-specific, just general Subaru maintenance. The WRX radiator has no bleeder.
OK, but it does say (turbo model) after step 8.
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Old 12-27-2004, 11:02 PM   #117
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I was referring to the endwrench link. The manual excerpt in this thread does not actually refer to a breather plug, just a bleed hole in the filler neck of the radiator under the cap. If you have an 02 WRX you don't have this either as your radiator doesn't have the cap.
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Old 12-27-2004, 11:05 PM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unabomber
Silly boy, let me educate you....

SOA: Did you use the Subaru Cooling System Conditioner with each coolant service?
Customer: No
SOA: Your head gasket install will run you $XXX

You didn't see the math did you rogerd?

BTW, you are right, but I think you can see the logic in my illogical argument though can't you?
does the coolant conditioner apply to all subarus? when i called my dealership about it they were like uhhh huh?
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Old 12-28-2004, 06:19 AM   #119
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Your dealer = ignorant. It applies to ALL Subarus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerd
Like I said, if it's needed for warranty, so be it. But no way would I pour any of this stuff into a vehicle of mine by choice.
You have an 05 so that Holt's stuff is already swimming in your coolant.
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Old 02-12-2005, 09:07 AM   #120
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What about a coolant flush? There are generally three ways to perform this:
a. After the system is drained, many fill up the radiator with regular or distilled water alone. Then heat cycle, cool, and drain.
b. After the system is drained, fill up the radiator with a "radiator flush" product and water. Then heat cycle, cool, and drain, and then run clear water through to wash out any traces of the product.


I have an odd case here: My garage uses well water that is NOT suitable for drinking. The garage is in an industrial area and I would assume the groundwater is quite toxic. Who knows what is in it.

Should I use the well water for the flush?
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Old 02-13-2005, 10:43 AM   #121
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I'd definately skip a well water flush. Non-potable water such as well water is loaded with sulfer, iron, and all sorts of not aluminum friendly stuff. I'd also bring in water in jugs to triple ensure they don't use well water for the regular fill.
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Old 03-27-2005, 07:17 PM   #122
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I'm curious as to why you rank deionized above distilled. Deionized is just that...no ions but it can be chock full of nonionizable stuff (organics.) Distilled water is generally considered to be of higher purity than deionized.
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Old 03-27-2005, 08:46 PM   #123
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I can't recall right now as I found that somewhere on some website or other in my research for this article. The whole "which is better" topic can be argued though and as long as you use either, you are fine.
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:53 AM   #124
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Last edited by Peaty; 01-15-2006 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 07-28-2005, 12:13 AM   #125
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^^interesting ... so phosphates are OK as long as they are "non-amine" whatever that means

Also, I have an old partial jug of cheapo Supertech coolant that lists the ingredients as ethylene glycol, diethylene glycol, and water. Does that mean it has no silicates or phosphates?
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