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Old 11-15-2005, 03:09 PM   #1
porkboy
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Member#: 100770
Join Date: Nov 2005
Default Help my diagnosis, please! Water pump or head gasket?

I have a Soob Legacy 2.2 liter. It has been erratically overheating. When it first started overheating I changed out the thermostat. It was fine at idle, fine around town but take it on the highway and it overheated. Tried another thermostat (hey they're cheap) and it worked around town and for a 10 minute drive at 65 on the highway. So I thought it was fixed and I went on a 150 mile drive and noticed 70 miles into it that the needle was about to break through the dashboard. It was at night, I had no money, all I could do was limp home turning it off on every downhill, coasting all I could, etc but it still got so hot that I melted the plastic cooling tower on the radiator. So I swapped out the radiator (BTW radiators.com is a great source for replacement radiators: $135, next day shipping and no S and H charges). I took it back on the highway. I went 20 miles at 70 MPH and it ran cool. Fantastic! But when I pulled off the highway and turned it off, opened the cap and topped off the coolant in the radiator things went sour. I got back on the highway for the 20 mile return trip and before I even got to the top of the onramp it started overheating again.

So, I'm confused. If the head gasket were broken wouldn't it overheat all the time? If it were the water pump wouldn't it over heat all the time? Could a belt be slipping some of the time and not all the time? What's my poor Soob's problem?

And I've only got 125K miles. Aren't these engines supposed to be "bulletproof"? I heard they put them in small aircraft they're so reliable.
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Old 11-15-2005, 08:45 PM   #2
Hayes
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Since it runs cooler at speed and heats up at idle I would check to see if your cooling fans are operating. In addition: I've read on this NG that some after market cheap thermostates can cause overheating. Check cooling fans first.
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Old 11-15-2005, 09:34 PM   #3
porkboy
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Default It's the other way around.

It's not hot at idle, cool on highway. Other way around. Fans work fine. I checked those.
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Old 11-16-2005, 01:27 AM   #4
solbey11
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take your car to a shop and have the coolant checked for hydrocarbons. It's almost a guaranteed head gasket if the test is positive. It the water pump goes, it will make a noise or leak. Sounds like a head gasket.
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Old 11-16-2005, 01:43 AM   #5
z
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04 STi
CT-DE-FL rinse+repeat

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Something as simple as a bad radiator cap can cause overheating too. If the system's not pressurized, coolant can start to boil and then spew out the overflow.
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