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Old 05-06-2002, 05:38 PM   #1
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 14931
Join Date: Feb 2002
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: between redwoods and vineyards
Default Coolant Overflow Tanks

I went to a Subaru dealer to have an oil change done. He noticed that the anti-freeze in the overflow tank was higher than the normal level. He proceeded to take the overflow tank out and dump approx. 1/2 gallon of anti-freeze out of the system. I just happened to look at my temp gauge (which I don't do that often, because it is always rock steady), and the temp gauge was into the red. I immediately took it to a gas station, by which time it had cooled down (due to airflow over the radiator), and hosed it down, and added anti-freeze. This vehicle is still overheating. WHY??
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Old 05-06-2002, 06:32 PM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 12221
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: bay area, ca
2002 wrx wagon
wr blue


hmm... i think those lines are meant for when the car is cold. When it warms up it can go past the max mark and that's ok. It's not the best idea to add antifreeze when the car is warm but if you have no choice then you have no choice. Sometimes you can add coolant and the system will need to be driven around and burped. Check the coolant level when the car is cold. Also, try to see if you have any leaks in your cooling system.
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Old 05-06-2002, 06:59 PM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 16696
Join Date: Mar 2002
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Baraboo, WI
2002 WRX Sedan Stg2
2013 OBW roll'n at 30+mpg


Sounds like a faulty thermal fan switch...
If all the air is purged out of the system (open cold & fill)
there shouldnt be a problem...
Old Fords NEVER had a catch bottle but the system would purge out excess anti-freeze on the ground & leave a 3/4" air gap at the top of the raditor (but that is a ford).
Air could have been induced into the system by the draining of the bottle when the hose pulled out of the bottle.
Why do people have to mess with something that isn't broke
Fill it cold & good luck
if the temp gauge skyrockets again note if the fan on the radiator is running...if not crank the heater to help the system.
Also see if the fuses are good or missing for the fans some people may take them out so they don't start on a warm engine while being worked on (rare very rare)
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Old 05-07-2002, 04:31 AM   #4
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 4116
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Humboldt County, CA
2002 Impreza TS


First, your dealer mechanic sounds like a moron.

Then... the catch bottle is a nice luxury, but my '74 BMW didn't have one, either. Didn't matter, the radiator would just vent itself onto the pavement, and I'd top it off every couple months. My understanding is that the catch tank is just for everybody that can't be trusted to do any periodic maintenance on their cars...

Once the car is cool, or at least once you can lay your hand on the radiator cap, open it and top off the radiator itself, that's the important part. Then run the car for a couple minutes to circulate the coolant and burp the air out, then top it off again.

Good luck,

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Old 05-07-2002, 12:06 PM   #5
Scooby Guru
Member#: 7374
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: North Bay, SFCA
2007 Grandpamobile

Lightbulb heater

Then run the car for a couple minutes to circulate the coolant and burp the air out,
And make sure to do this with your heater turned on!
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