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Old 05-30-2020, 01:36 PM   #1
jacobe38
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Member#: 435830
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Detroit MI
Exclamation Early head gasket warning signs?

warning: noob EJ post below

last october my '13 wrx was over heating at the track, and only at idle in the paddock. it threw the code for failed coolant temp sensor. i pulled the sensor and tested it with a multimeter and it was indeed bad.

swapped it, all was good.

last week at the track, ran great all day. never over heated during or after runs in the paddock. yay.

as i am packing up to leave, the cars been idling while im loading up, and wiping down the facility with lysol wipes, etc, i notice it starts over heating. went up to 250ish coolant temp. was still climbing until i got moving. odd, the car had been in the paddock for 20 minutes prior. noticed it had pushed some coolant into the overflow tank. not enough to puke it out but the level raised by 2-3 inches. the level hasnt dropped since that day.

its ran fine since, hasnt overheated anymore doing errands around town. but i got a 2 chamber combustion leak tester, since why not.

the fluid turned green (indicating CO2 present in radiator). i tested my LGT (another turbo ej255) and it stayed blue. the test states that it will turn yellow for gas engines and green for diesels. however, green is on the way to yellow, and i believe just simply indicates a lower level of CO2 vs a yellow reaction.

is this enough evidence to judge this as the early signs of failing head gasket? there are no hallmark signs of a blown HG such as puking coolant, milkshake oil/coolant, etc. but i figure this could be the early warnings.

thoughts? thank you for your time
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Old 05-30-2020, 05:55 PM   #2
dangerousatom
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..... it is one of the signs but not thee big one. Oil in coolant or coolant in oil are the big ones.

Since you own the tester I’d keep randomly testing it ( every 500-1k ) but definitely test it when you get a temp spike, that will be the tell tail test.
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Old 05-30-2020, 08:27 PM   #3
jacobe38
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thanks. yeah thats not a bad idea.
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Old 05-31-2020, 01:32 AM   #4
bp05obxt
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Seems odd that it is at idle only. I wonder if the their is an issue with a cooling fans or the water pump not moving enough volume at low rpm?
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Old 05-31-2020, 02:23 PM   #5
J_C_O
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2006 WRX SW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobe38 View Post
warning: noob EJ post below

last october my '13 wrx was over heating at the track, and only at idle in the paddock. it threw the code for failed coolant temp sensor. i pulled the sensor and tested it with a multimeter and it was indeed bad.

swapped it, all was good.

last week at the track, ran great all day. never over heated during or after runs in the paddock. yay.

as i am packing up to leave, the cars been idling while im loading up, and wiping down the facility with lysol wipes, etc, i notice it starts over heating. went up to 250ish coolant temp. was still climbing until i got moving. odd, the car had been in the paddock for 20 minutes prior. noticed it had pushed some coolant into the overflow tank. not enough to puke it out but the level raised by 2-3 inches. the level hasnt dropped since that day.

its ran fine since, hasnt overheated anymore doing errands around town. but i got a 2 chamber combustion leak tester, since why not.

the fluid turned green (indicating CO2 present in radiator). i tested my LGT (another turbo ej255) and it stayed blue. the test states that it will turn yellow for gas engines and green for diesels. however, green is on the way to yellow, and i believe just simply indicates a lower level of CO2 vs a yellow reaction.

is this enough evidence to judge this as the early signs of failing head gasket? there are no hallmark signs of a blown HG such as puking coolant, milkshake oil/coolant, etc. but i figure this could be the early warnings.

thoughts? thank you for your time
My WRX had a bad HG and the symptoms were similar.
It ran fine on daily driving at city speed, then if I went to a mountain pass all was fine until I stopped, overheating would start and not stop anymore, heater would not work and the coolant would start to spill out of the bottle and bubble a lot.
I had a leak from the combustion chamber into the cooling system.
I think it was initially caused by a bad radiator.
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Old 05-31-2020, 05:14 PM   #6
R1VAL
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let the car warm up to operating temp, then keep an eye on the overflow reservoir, if you see any bubbling at all, even small air bubbles, that's your exhaust escaping into the cooling jacket of the engine. If the hydrocarbon presence test was positive, yes they are very accurate tests and you can expect the failure to accelerate.
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Old 05-31-2020, 10:45 PM   #7
jacobe38
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Location: Detroit MI
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thanks for the input everyone! good insight and suggestions.

I will monitor this stuff as suggested and for now, assume that i have a failing HG.
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:32 AM   #8
subaru_gc8
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Location: Orange County CA
Vehicle:
2004 WRX wagon
silver

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobe38 View Post
warning: noob EJ post below

last october my '13 wrx was over heating at the track, and only at idle in the paddock. it threw the code for failed coolant temp sensor. i pulled the sensor and tested it with a multimeter and it was indeed bad.

swapped it, all was good.

last week at the track, ran great all day. never over heated during or after runs in the paddock. yay.

as i am packing up to leave, the cars been idling while im loading up, and wiping down the facility with lysol wipes, etc, i notice it starts over heating. went up to 250ish coolant temp. was still climbing until i got moving. odd, the car had been in the paddock for 20 minutes prior. noticed it had pushed some coolant into the overflow tank. not enough to puke it out but the level raised by 2-3 inches. the level hasnt dropped since that day.

its ran fine since, hasnt overheated anymore doing errands around town. but i got a 2 chamber combustion leak tester, since why not.

the fluid turned green (indicating CO2 present in radiator). i tested my LGT (another turbo ej255) and it stayed blue. the test states that it will turn yellow for gas engines and green for diesels. however, green is on the way to yellow, and i believe just simply indicates a lower level of CO2 vs a yellow reaction.

is this enough evidence to judge this as the early signs of failing head gasket? there are no hallmark signs of a blown HG such as puking coolant, milkshake oil/coolant, etc. but i figure this could be the early warnings.

thoughts? thank you for your time
yep sure is. the next thing to happen is it will start to puke out coolant out of the over flow.
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