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Old 01-24-2011, 11:16 AM   #1
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 117454
Join Date: Jun 2006
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Reston, VA
2005 FXT PDX Stg II
2015 Kia Optima SXL

Default Line of Strange Symptoms: 99 Forester

So it all started last Monday night...I was driving along and all was fine. Pulled into a McD's and on my way out the car began to stutter when I would give it a little gas. The car acted like it was struggling to accelerate and did so in a very jerky motion, but only under throttle. My impreza had done this before and it was caused by a slit in a spark plug wire grounding itself out to the manifold. After wiggling the wires around and testing the connections, the problem went away.

Two nights later, my car flips a CEL and it is the P0420 Catalytic Converter below threshold one code. Not a big deal, I was going to just go home and either replace it or just punch the cat out for the time being. The code has not come back since even though I never did do anything about it.

The next morning however, I was driving to work and noticed my car steaming a little more than it should have. Saw the temp gauge was at H and immediately pulled over. The car cooled down and was pouring out steam, which appeared to just be coolant that had been thrown onto the manifold when the coolant tank had popped its cap. After having the car towed to a shop, the mechanic flushed the coolant system and replaced it and said could not discover a leak even up to 25lbs of pressure. Even after driving it around he couldn't find anything wrong. The thermostat is fine and he cleaned the o2 sensor and said even the cat didn't appear to be operating out of normal range. The car is definitely loosing coolant though. In my 50 mile drive to school last night the coolant level went from full in the tank to nearly the low line. It seems to be pooling on the plastic guard right underneath the radiator.

The motor has around 75k miles on it and the head gaskets were replaced in August with the kit from this website:


My best guess is a leak from the radiator hoses that only happens under driving pressure but the other symptoms have my puzzled in such quick succession. Does anyone have an idea of what is going on?
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:27 PM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 80465
Join Date: Jan 2005
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: Bailey, CO
2001 2.5RS
Black Diamond Pearl


If the coolant leak is enough to leave a pool, turn it on and watch for dripping. Seems like the p0420 is from the plug wires. Looks like you have 2 problems. But a bitch ain't one!
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