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Old 03-29-2019, 03:33 PM   #1
Blackhawk_wrx
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Question 2006 WRX Overheats at Idle

Over the past two weeks I have been having issues with the coolant temperature rising when at idle. While driving the temperature holds at 188-195 but as soon as I stop and park the car, after 2+ minutes of idling the temperature begins to slowly rise past 210. I had a small coolant leak over the downpipe due to a loose clamp, but I have since fixed that and burped the system. One thing I noticed was that the radiator will not pull any coolant from the reservoir. I have checked the line and it does not have any holes or cracks in it. It seems coolant is going into the reservoir but not coming back out of it.

Could this be causing my car to overheat at idle?

Or are these symptoms of a head gasket?

Edit:

Oil after I checked was also not on the dipstick (even after putting in a quart a week ago and having it at full mark) and oil light is staying on for about 5 seconds after start up. Last night while driving home, CEL turned on and oil light briefly flashed on for a second. the CEL was for secondary air.

I parked it last night and haven't driven it since. I was planning on pulling the motor to do the clutch is May but it looks like I may have to do it sooner.
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Last edited by Blackhawk_wrx; 03-29-2019 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 03-29-2019, 05:16 PM   #2
dryvby
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Sounds like a headgasket. Rent a tester from an autoparts store and it will tell if there are exhaust gases in the coolant.
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Old 03-29-2019, 08:47 PM   #3
Blackhawk_wrx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dryvby View Post
Sounds like a headgasket. Rent a tester from an autoparts store and it will tell if there are exhaust gases in the coolant.
I will go see if they have one available for rent tomorrow.

I just got home from work and I noticed that the radiator hose had collapsed and there was quite a bit of vacuum in the system. Could the radiator cap have to do with overheating at idle?
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Old 04-02-2019, 11:58 PM   #4
Exit 37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhawk_wrx View Post
I will go see if they have one available for rent tomorrow.

I just got home from work and I noticed that the radiator hose had collapsed and there was quite a bit of vacuum in the system. Could the radiator cap have to do with overheating at idle?
The radiator cap works off of pressure, so not really. It'll open up to bleed when pressure builds. Definitely get the combustion leak detection test kit. If the fluid changes color, then you have a bad head gasket, allowing combustion gases to escape into the coolant passages, causing your overflow tank to burp out the excess coolant.
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Old 04-03-2019, 10:07 PM   #5
Matt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhawk_wrx View Post
I will go see if they have one available for rent tomorrow.

I just got home from work and I noticed that the radiator hose had collapsed and there was quite a bit of vacuum in the system. Could the radiator cap have to do with overheating at idle?
Yes, it is possible. I had a similar issue with my NA Impreza, but under load and occasionally in slow traffic. I went through three caps in a year and a half.

The car was sold with about 250k on the odometer and the headgaskets were never done.

I also spent a ton of money on my old Nissan truck that had the same issue. Radiator cap as well. Unless you see white smoke, milky garbage on the dipstick, or overheating with driving, you probably don't have headgasket issues.

Try the cap, its a hell of a lot cheaper.
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Old 04-03-2019, 11:37 PM   #6
vica153
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Does it actually overheat or just hit 210? Does it come down when the high speed fan kick on?

If you're having issues with air and the system not working correctly then by the time the hi speed fan kick on the temp can hit 210. If the radiator hose is collapsing, then you obviously don't have leaks. Seems like simple radiator cap fix.

Last edited by vica153; 04-03-2019 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:18 AM   #7
StarkWRX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dryvby View Post
Sounds like a headgasket. Rent a tester from an autoparts store and it will tell if there are exhaust gases in the coolant.
IF you have a significant headgasket leak, then your radiator hoses should be rock hard since the exhaust is pushing 100+ psi into the cooling system. Grab the upper radiator hose and try to squeeze it with the engine running. If it's rock hard then you definitely have a headgasket problem. Otherwise it will feel squishy.

Overheating at idle, evidently is a insufficient cooling problem. Do you have the stock radiator? How many miles? My radiator just blew after 140K miles.

Is there any junk in your system? Did you do a coolant flush? Is the hose in the overflow tank clogged? Does it reach the bottom of the tank?

Next, are both your fans coming on at idle? Do the fans have all their blades?
Is anything in front of the AC condenser impeding air flow through the radiator?

You can put the car in diagnostic mode (with the green plugs under the dash) and the fans should cycle on/off.

Are the fins on your radiator in good condition?

Overheating at idle is a problem, but not sucking in coolant from the overflow tank is another problem and they may or may not be related.


It's funny you mention this because I also planned to do my clutch last summer and it finally died in January.
Then my radiator blew in February, and the night I lost all my coolant, the temp gauge went into the red (H) and after filling it up with coolant (even though the radiator was cracked) my red oil light came on. I was certain I had at least 3-4 quarts in the engine, but then all of a sudden I had 1 qt.

Bizzare.

Last edited by StarkWRX; 04-12-2019 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:01 PM   #8
Gasguzziler
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Parts stores have test kits to see if combustion gasses are in the coolant system which would be from a blown gasket
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:05 PM   #9
Imeld21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gasguzziler View Post
Parts stores have test kits to see if combustion gasses are in the coolant system which would be from a blown gasket
+1
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