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Old 07-19-2005, 08:47 PM   #1
slikrik05
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Default Overheating

I am having a problem with my radiator in my 2000 Impreza 2.5RS. When I do city driving, after about 30-60 minutes of driving my coolant/antifreeze gets to a really low level. I lose about a quarter to half a gallon and it smells like evaporated coolant. However, when i do highway driving, the coolant level doesn't drop as much. Also when I leave my car garaged overnight, the coolant level also drops but there is no puddle under the car?!? I figure my radiator is leaking somewhere, but where is the coolant going if its not dripping to the ground and why does it lose less coolant when driving on the highway.

I really don't know what is happening.
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Old 07-19-2005, 09:09 PM   #2
mrpedal
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Take it and get a leakdown test done, you might have a bad head gasket

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...ht=head+gasket
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...arbons+coolant
Subaru now says to add 'conditioner' at change time:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...ht=head+gasket

search around a bit (can't believe I'm telling someone else this). Hope that helps.
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Old 07-19-2005, 09:40 PM   #3
Sikken
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I'm no expert but there is more air hitting the front of the car at highway speeds, so it runs cooler...mine does anyway
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Old 07-19-2005, 10:15 PM   #4
slikrik05
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So I inspected my car further, I noticed a very very very light white smoke (or vapor possibly from burning coolant) coming out of the exhaust. I read about the leaking head gaskets and I do think that is what is wrong. I plan on buying a new car in the coming weeks so I really don't want to get this fixed since I am going to trade it in. Do you think buying some coolant conditioner (leak stopper http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...ht=head+gasket) will at least delay the head gasket breakdown process until I get a new car?

Last edited by slikrik05; 07-19-2005 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 07-19-2005, 10:35 PM   #5
Tim Sanderson
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Ok, sounds similar to what happened to mine. Need some more info from you though. How many miles on the car? Did you buy it new? Have you ever received a notice in the mail about the coolant/additive tsb/campaign/fix-it dealy?

A leakdown test may help as mrpedal stated.*

If you want to do some investigating for yourself here's what you can do:
get the front up on jack stands. Take a peak at the bottom of the engine. Look right at the seams where the heads meet the block and see if there is a green/moist stain there on either side. If so then you can probably bank on head gasket failure. Another thing you can do while your under there is look at the lower radiator tank. There is a harness that runs along there that you'll have to move, but run your finger along that tank and and the rail just below it and see if you come up with any greenish colored moisture. If so then you can bet on a leaky radiator.

Mine started leaking at @75-80k but only during the colder months. I thought it weird also. And when I'd get out of the car after my 40 minute ride home I'd smell that familiar sweet coolant smell. Never dripped, never a puddle, but the coolant level kept on dropping.

*I don't know if this is the case with all of the 00 rs's that had this problem, but the coolant was leaking externally on my car so I'm not sure if the leakdown test will reveal it. When I changed my head gaskets at 100k miles or so I found that the sealing material that isolated the lower coolant passage on the driver side had deteriorated enough to let a small amount of coolant leak out externally.

Btw, I received the notice about the leaks from s.o.a. one week later.

I wound up replacing both head gaskets and my radiator. I did the work myself.

Hope this helps, sorry about the bad news.

Good luck.

p.s. Make sure you check both your radiator hoses, the t-stat housing, the heater core hoses, and the throttle body coolant hoses before you decide to spend your money. This might be a pin hole leak so get a mirror and a flashlight and check it while it's hot.
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Old 07-19-2005, 11:08 PM   #6
slikrik05
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my car has just over 80k miles on it and i bought it used at around 60k miles. Did you have a light vapor coming out of the exhaust.
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Old 07-19-2005, 11:30 PM   #7
Tim Sanderson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slikrik05
my car has just over 80k miles on it and i bought it used at around 60k miles. Did you have a light vapor coming out of the exhaust.
No I did'nt to my knowledge. My leak was external. Pull your plugs and look at them. If one or two of them is/are cleaner than the others then you may have your answer(coolant tends to steam clean them). Don't forget to look at that other stuff too. It's always best to do as complete a diagnosis as you can before you decide on a course of action.
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Old 07-19-2005, 11:39 PM   #8
slikrik05
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well the thing is that i am probably getting an rsx type-s as soon as I can find a dealership that has one with the right color, so I am not going to get this repaired and I hope it makes it to the dealership so I can trade it in. Would it help to get the conditioner that subaru offers to at least delay the inevitable or is it too late (assuming this is a head gasket problem)?

and btw the only time I am going to drive this is on the way to the Acura dealership for the trade-in.

Last edited by slikrik05; 07-20-2005 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 07-20-2005, 07:42 PM   #9
solbey11
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When I worked at a Subie dealership we had a car with an external head gasket leak. Just for laughs we put the conditioner in and took it for a drive. When it came back, no more leak. Honest to God truth! So it could be a temporary fix. Check with a Subie dealership. They may be under warranty still. I think if you use that conditioner they extend the warranty on your head gaskets to 100k miles. Not positive, but look into it.
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Old 07-20-2005, 09:29 PM   #10
slikrik05
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The thing is that the warranty is already void since I bought the car used with some mods. I did go buy some of the conditioner and poured it into my coolant tank. I haven't driven it yet so hopefully I will find out tomorrow if it is still leaking.
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Old 07-20-2005, 09:51 PM   #11
slikrik05
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So I drove my car around for about 15 minutes and then I stopped to check the coolant. Due to the leak, my coolant has had air bubbles constantly rising from the bottom of the tank while running but the bubbles stopped. Hopefully it temporarily fixed the problem.
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Old 07-21-2005, 02:01 AM   #12
97subGT
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What tends to happen on these motors is that the coolant will leak out of the back bottom corner of the driverside head gasket and end up landing on the exhaust and i think your car has a full belly pan cover so any coolant that doesn't burn off on the exhaust ends up getting soaked into the pads on the inside of your belly pan . That could be the reason you don't see any coolant on your driveway.

i know there was a recall for 01-04(maybe could be 00-04) 2.5L motor that involved putting that additive you were talking about in the radiator. Subaru did this for a way to prevent this leak from happening, but I think it is to late for this additive to work if the leak is as bad as it sounds.

Oh yeah BTW i am a trainee Subaru tech. at a dealship just about every subaru with the 2.5L SOHC motor seem to leak in the same place some leak real bad and some leak just a little bit.
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