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Old 02-08-2018, 07:48 PM   #1
IanT-EJ22
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Default EJ222 Impreza Water Temp Issue

Got a 2000 Impreza Outback Sport 5spd with the 2.2L, SOHC, Phase 2, EJ222 motor. Its got about 144k on it.

What im noticing is that the temp gauge will slowly raise from 0 to about 1/3 way if I let the car idle to warm up and it will stay there, it wont go above 1/3. It will raise and read about 1/2 if I drive the car for a few min (full operating temp, normal for most cars). All of this is of course normal untill AFTER the car is fully warmed up (1/2 way on the gauge) and I park...the gauge will fall down to like 3/8 or less. Its weird, you would think the lack of moving air while parked would cause it to actually raise but it doesnt it falls substantially.

I know cars pretty well so my assumtion is that either the thermostat is bad or its low on coolant. It could also just be a normal condition from the fans cooling the water down really efficiently or a bad coolant temp/fan sensor that has the fans running for too long but idk. What do you guys think?
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Last edited by IanT-EJ22; 02-08-2018 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 02-08-2018, 08:28 PM   #2
v2rocket_aka944
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are the fans turning on when the gauge is at the 1/3 mark?
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:45 PM   #3
Elbert Bass
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Have you checked the coolant level in the radiator? Does the lower radiator hose get warm next to the radiator as the car is warming up the first time - or staying cold until after the gauge gets past 1/3? Do you have heat when the car is idling after the gauge starts to move? Is the heat consistent or go cold/warm/cold?

FYI: proper temp range with good thermostat/fans is 195 to 205 - the gauge really doesn't move for that small a range.
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Old 02-08-2018, 10:38 PM   #4
IanT-EJ22
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I havent got to checking the coolant level yet but I will. I should check the fan operation too. The heat, well it seems to be correlative to the gauge. It lacks heat while parked for sure, it drops a good 20degrees after about 5min. I'll put my hand on the radiator hoses tonight and see whats goin on with them.
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Old 02-10-2018, 01:20 PM   #5
IanT-EJ22
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I have checked the coolant in the radiator and it is topped right off. Im thinking I should change the thermostat.
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Old 02-11-2018, 05:25 PM   #6
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I have bought a FailSafe thermostat and fel-pro housing gasket from autozone. I figured for $30, why not replace it. Going to do that today, we'll see how it works out.

One thing I did notice yesterday, and I think its because it was a much warmer than average day here in Vermont, was that the gauge read 1/2, post warm up and there were a couple times I parked the car and let it idle for 15-20min. It stayed at 1/2 like it should. I didnt lose heat and the gauge read 1/2 consistantly. Oh well, we'll see if a thermostat change and a coolant flush/fill/bleed will help out with the water temp drop on the real cold days.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:56 PM   #7
Elbert Bass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanT-EJ22 View Post
I have bought a FailSafe thermostat and fel-pro housing gasket from autozone. I figured for $30, why not replace it. Going to do that today, we'll see how it works out.

One thing I did notice yesterday, and I think its because it was a much warmer than average day here in Vermont, was that the gauge read 1/2, post warm up and there were a couple times I parked the car and let it idle for 15-20min. It stayed at 1/2 like it should. I didnt lose heat and the gauge read 1/2 consistantly. Oh well, we'll see if a thermostat change and a coolant flush/fill/bleed will help out with the water temp drop on the real cold days.
Good luck with that thermostat. Aftermarket thermostats aren't known for playing well with Subaru. You will see the difference when you remove the one in the car (assuming it has a Subaru thermostat in it).
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elbert Bass View Post
Good luck with that thermostat. Aftermarket thermostats aren't known for playing well with Subaru. You will see the difference when you remove the one in the car (assuming it has a Subaru thermostat in it).
This.

The other thing to take a look at is if your AC compressor kicked on or not (from using defrost). This can trigger the fan. This in combination with a failed or failing thermostat will cause the issues you are having if it failed open.

Also don't mix coolant, especially in an EJ.
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:16 PM   #9
IanT-EJ22
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I installed the thermostat and gasket. I used a cleaned drain pan and drained only what I had to. I refilled the coolant with what I drained, being careful not to get and dirt or debris in there and topped off the radiator with Prestone. So far, it warms up to around 1/2 on the temp gauge and pretty much stays there. I havent put the car to the true test which is a sub 30degree day but it will come soon enough.
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:12 PM   #10
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Do the fans turn on?
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:16 PM   #11
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:08 PM   #12
Charlie-III
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanT-EJ22 View Post
Got a 2000 Impreza Outback Sport 5spd with the 2.2L, SOHC, Phase 2, EJ222 motor. Its got about 144k on it.

What im noticing is that the temp gauge will slowly raise from 0 to about 1/3 way if I let the car idle to warm up and it will stay there, it wont go above 1/3. It will raise and read about 1/2 if I drive the car for a few min (full operating temp, normal for most cars). All of this is of course normal untill AFTER the car is fully warmed up (1/2 way on the gauge) and I park...the gauge will fall down to like 3/8 or less. Its weird, you would think the lack of moving air while parked would cause it to actually raise but it doesnt it falls substantially.

I know cars pretty well so my assumtion is that either the thermostat is bad or its low on coolant. It could also just be a normal condition from the fans cooling the water down really efficiently or a bad coolant temp/fan sensor that has the fans running for too long but idk. What do you guys think?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elbert Bass View Post
Have you checked the coolant level in the radiator? Does the lower radiator hose get warm next to the radiator as the car is warming up the first time - or staying cold until after the gauge gets past 1/3? Do you have heat when the car is idling after the gauge starts to move? Is the heat consistent or go cold/warm/cold?

FYI: proper temp range with good thermostat/fans is 195 to 205 - the gauge really doesn't move for that small a range.
Big swings in coolant temp, my first thought is air in the system.
Period.

HG, does the overflow tank suddenly run high (usually driving around the block or more)?
Forget oil in cooling or cooling in the oil.......what does the engine do?
I use a cooling pressure tester to pretty much determine what is going on.
Usually a compression test or leakdown won't show it.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by IanT-EJ22 View Post
I havent got to checking the coolant level yet but I will. I should check the fan operation too. The heat, well it seems to be correlative to the gauge. It lacks heat while parked for sure, it drops a good 20degrees after about 5min. I'll put my hand on the radiator hoses tonight and see whats goin on with them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by v2rocket_aka944 View Post
Nice link, I would not bet my side jobs on it.........
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Old 02-17-2018, 04:59 PM   #13
IanT-EJ22
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Everything seems normal after the thermostat change though it does seem to run a little cooler in general but at least there are no swings in temp. I think the outside temperature has alot to do with the fans running and overall engine temp. I will observe on a real cold day and let the car idle and see if the gauge drops, thats the real test.
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