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weird over heating problem


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52 replies to this topic

#1 mikaleda

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 07:22 PM

okay i just bought this car and i don't know much about it, it is a 90 subaru legacy. I know it has a rebuilt title because they hit a deer. The car runs good but still has some damage from the wreck. I can't see where its leaking from but, the passenger side of the engine compartment has antifreeze all over it. When i bought it i drove 60 miles home no prob then i drove 40 miles and while i was in town i over heated so i stopped and let it cool and drove 40 miles back home no prob. The next day i drove it 1 mile and it over heated i let it cool and drove 7 miles no prob, then on my way back i made it 5 miles and over heated and had to stop four times for the last two miles because of over heating.The top radiator hose was hot, bottom was cold the fans work so i suspected a thermostat. I pulled it today and boiled it and it opened so i flushed the system. The weird thing is the heater worked when i bought the car now the heater doesn't work but, the car wasn't over heating sitting running for ten minuets while i was flushing system. what is going on this doesn't make sense? :banghead: oh ya even though its leaking it doesn't get low on water seems like. I tried adding water and it only took a cup or so after 150 miles.

Edited by mikaleda, 29 May 2012 - 03:53 PM.
puncuation


#2 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 07:35 PM

Find a way to start and end your sentences. I would reccomend punctuation..... but I'm sure a google search would yield other options.

Your overheating sounds like classic head gasket failure. You should stop overheating it or at least start changing your oil after you do.... you will kill the bottom end quickly if you keep it up.

GD

#3 jarl

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 10:55 PM

What GD said -about the punctuation-

Only need to add: check the coolant for traces of combustion residues and/or the oil for evidence of coolant on it. If you don't find either, try to purge the cooling system CORRECTLY (search the forum for a how-to) and see if the overheating continues. Finally, if the overheating continues, for Pete's sake STOP driving the car until you fix it.

#4 mikaleda

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 09:35 AM

sorry about the puncuation i don't have a lot of time online, i have stopped driving it once i could. when it over heated the first time i thought it was the fans, the second time i needed to go to work so i can get a backup car it was close and it didn't over heat much. there is no water in oil and no oil in water, the water is clean. i have never over heated it by much, when it started over heating i would stop and let it cool down until it was cold again. i don't think it is the head gasket because i am not getting circulation. before i decide it is something as big as a head gasket i'm going to change the thermostat and see if that works. if it is the head gasket i am going to replace the engine because of the failure rate on these engines when you replace the head gasket. this engine has alot of miles on the highway. i have been through this twice before with the exact same engine, and once with the same year and model. we replaced the head gasket and it ended up being the thermostat. then about 1000 miles after the head gasket we had to change the engine.
P.S. i was wondering why you think i didn't flush the system correctly i followed the manuals instructions to the T.
P.S.S i'm not driving it until i get it fixed

Edited by mikaleda, 28 May 2012 - 09:41 AM.


#5 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 10:41 AM

I replace head gaskets all the time - failure soon after a head gasket change has never happened to me. You have to evaluate if its worth doing the HG's or not of course but "a lot of miles" is not typically reason enough to condemn it.

EJ head gaskets don't mix coolant and oil - they blow exhaust gasses into the coolant - the bubbles collect on the thermostat and insulate it from the hot coolant causing it to close - resulting in a temperature spike. That is ALWAYS how phase-I engines fail.

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder, 28 May 2012 - 02:15 PM.


#6 mikaleda

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 11:13 AM

hum interesting, i never thought of that i will look into it. thank you for the information. if the new thermostat doesn't fix the problem i will look into getting a head gasket. i just don't want to be :horse:

#7 mikaleda

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 11:53 AM

if it does end up being a head gasket (now that i think about it, i think you'r right) what is a cost effective way of doing it? i don't have $1000 dollars, that is what my local six star subaru was going to charge my mom she has the same car as i do. i am at best a shade tree mechanic i have fixed alot of minor things on my moms car but the farthest i have gone into her engine is replacing an injector.

#8 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 02:14 PM

Best way to do them is to pull the engine out and put it on a stand. But lots of people have done them in the car. It's not fun and its a lot of bending over and hard on your back.

The gaskets and such that you will need run about $100. But you should also consider anything else it needs while you are in there.... Timing belt, water pump, etc.

GD

#9 mikaleda

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 09:06 PM

i was thinking along the same lines since i don't know how old the timing belt is. I might as well change the water pump to. I am getting the instructions from mitchel on demand on timing belt and head gasket replacement.:banana:

#10 jarl

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 09:56 PM

P.S. i was wondering why you think i didn't flush the system correctly i followed the manuals instructions to the T.


The FSM's instructions to burp the cooling system include removing one of the block's plugs, but as far as I know no one in this forum do that. That means using a lot of steps to remove the air bubbles. One of the symptoms of an incorrectly burped system -typical after replacing the thermostat- is the heater blowing cold air. Which is why I mentioned burping the system correctly.

On the other hand, when I mentioned checking the coolant I said "combustion residues". It's not too hard to check the cooling system for the presence of hydrocarbons, but if you say the coolant is clean, that may not be the issue.

#11 ccrinc

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 09:07 AM

Radiator. Again I ask, why does nobody ever recommend changing the radiator?

And, after overheating, ALWAYS change the thermostat (Subaru Genuine only, thank you). They never work correctly again once they've been overheated.

#12 mikaleda

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 09:11 AM

thermostat. i agree i was planning on doing that, i have had that problem before.

changing the radiator. I can find out if its the head gasket by checking the compression. i could spend $100 on a radiator and find out its the head gasket, or i could check the compression and find out for sure if its the head gasket or not.

Edited by mikaleda, 29 May 2012 - 09:19 AM.


#13 mikaleda

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 09:14 AM

The FSM's instructions to burp the cooling system include removing one of the block's plugs, but as far as I know no one in this forum do that. That means using a lot of steps to remove the air bubbles. One of the symptoms of an incorrectly burped system -typical after replacing the thermostat- is the heater blowing cold air. Which is why I mentioned burping the system correctly.

On the other hand, when I mentioned checking the coolant I said "combustion residues". It's not too hard to check the cooling system for the presence of hydrocarbons, but if you say the coolant is clean, that may not be the issue.


its still a good enough reason check the compression and find out.

#14 ccrinc

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 09:51 AM

Early EJ22 head gaskets don't just "blow" on their own. Engines don't just randomly overheat without reason. The reason is lack of properly circulating coolant, especially for an EJ22.

Is it the original radiator? Very likely. Therefore, you have a 22 year old radiator which is well known to corrode from the inside out. Are your upper and lower radiator hoses the same temp? If not, you have a blocked radiator. It's true that you probably have to beat yourself up doing the head gaskets and water pump, etc. by now, but I still am quite certain you will end up having to replace the radiator as well.

BTW, I am not trying to denigrate your financial status: believe me, I've been there more times than I care to. But it irks me that I hardly ever see anybody mention the radiator when it is the heart of the cooling system. Sometimes, ya gotta bite the bullet to keep your car dependable.

#15 ivans imports

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 10:03 AM

rare to see a bad rad cause it to overheat fast rad is uhasaly on hills or after a bitt of driveing sounds like air lock and not proper bleed procedure but probly wreaked headgaskets from low coolant level most likly water pump was leaking level got low and engine overheated use shop air in cly to identify whitch cly has blown headgasket put 120 psi in cly and check for bubbles in rad if so needs headgasket thiss works evry time and dose not lie cly must be at tdc and will have to hold crank with bar i use a gutted comp tester with blow gun with high preshure hoses to join them

#16 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 10:41 AM

And, after overheating, ALWAYS change the thermostat (Subaru Genuine only, thank you). They never work correctly again once they've been overheated.


This is simply not true. The OEM thermostat's are not the locking variety and will generally function just fine after an "overheat".

Here in the NW it is comparatively rare to see radiators plug up. In nearly 100% of failure cases they start leaking externally due to cracked plastic tanks or leaks between the core and the tank.

Compression check will show nothing. You have to put high pressure to the cylinder as Ivan noted to find a HG leak.

GD

#17 ccrinc

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 11:50 AM

I will defer to you on the OEM thermostats.

But looking at the original post, the car had a close encounter with a deer: there is coolant all over the engine compartment on one side. Does this not tell you that there is very likely a crack in the radiator itself, or maybe a coolant hose? It's certainly worth checking out.

It just annoys me that everyone always starts shouting "HEAD GASKET" without trying to find out WHY the damn thing started overheating.

#18 mikaleda

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 12:10 PM

either way i am going to get a new radiator because it is leaking. if i'm going to spend time and money into a head gasket i wan't to make sure everything is right which means new thermostat and radiator as well. Thanks ivans for the tip on how to check the head gasket i will do that. does anyone have any idea which cylinder i should check first?

#19 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 01:37 PM

External radiator leaks will not generally result in overheating unless you run low on coolant. He says it isnt low.

I drove a 98 25D about 50 miles last week that had a 2-drip-per-second leak from the water pump weep hole. You just have to watch the coolant level. I've seen dozens of leaking radiators - they don't overheat unless they run low on coolant.

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#20 ccrinc

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 02:04 PM

That's because there's air in the heater core instead of coolant.

Reread his OP. Carefully. (Just imagine there's all the proper punctuation. :))

Plus, whatever the crack is, it blew coolant all over the engine compartment.

Edited by ccrinc, 29 May 2012 - 02:05 PM.
addition


#21 mikaleda

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 03:20 PM

what i thought at first was they punctured the radiator when they hit the deer and put some silver seal in the radiator which clogged it. on the last trip i took with it after i flushed the system, the heater worked and when it started to over heat it would stop working like the thermostat was closing back up.

#22 jarl

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 04:00 PM

I had exactly the same behavior from my car after doing the timing belt and water pump. It was an air bubble in the heater, that cleared itself as I was driving scared as hell trying to get home before the temp needle reached the red zone. I just didn't manage to remove all the bubbles before driving the car. C' est tout.

#23 Cougar

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 06:59 PM

Having a block check done is a simple and cheap thing to do to see if there is a headgasket problem. The stop leak may have clogged some of the radiator passages so it isn't workind as well as it could be.

#24 ivans imports

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:41 AM

mabee thiss got missed the rad can only be filled properly when car is not running with bleeder plug open fill rad till comes out bleeder and wait for last of bubbles to get out the fill takes about a 1/2 hour to 45 is a slow fill i think people lose patencie and dont fill it enuff or run engine and airate the coolant always fill subarus not running

#25 mikaleda

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:47 AM

where is the bleeder plug? my manual didn't tell me anything about this.




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