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07 Suburu Legacy Sedan Overheating

07 Legacy Overheatint

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11 replies to this topic

#1 srusten

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 09:41 AM

I have a 2007 Legacy Sedan that recently started overheating, it would go up to the red line and initially it would drop down again and then go back up. I did not drive it that far when I noticed the problem but I did have to drive some distance and so I stopped the car to have something to eat, etc. a couple of times to let the engine cool down to prevent any more serious problem. I took the car to a trusted Mechanic who is a Suburu Expert with a private shop. He went through all the standard procedures, checking for leaks, radiator, smoke in the exhaust, coolant in the oil, etc. etc. No problem with any of this. So he then ordered a new OEM Thermostat and replaced the old one but it would not open. He tested it outside the car and it was fine, he also flushed the Radiator but found the flushed coolant to be clean. All of this done he removed the Thermostat which eliminated the overheating and informed me that there must be a problem in the engine and it would be too expensive for me to have it removed and overhauled and that I did not need the Thermostat. I have since learned that this is not a good idea cause it can cause other problems. I have 12 months to go on my Chase Car Loan and owe approx. $4000 so I must assume I will not be able to trade the car in for another until that is paid off. This is all very disturbing to me because I live in a rural area where a car is essential and I need to make occasional trips back and forth to NYC and now I'm afraid to make the trip. This is a Life Threatening situation for me and I would very much appreciate feedback about this. While it may not be ideal, is it OK for me to run the car without the Thermostat the 12 months I have to go before my loan is paid and I can trade my car in for another New or Late Model??? (Oh Yes, the Temp Indicator is registering correctly now constantly at the middle line and I tested the Heater and it works fine and likewise the AC. In addition the AC was on when the car first started to overheat.)

 



#2 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 01:11 PM

how many miles on the car? when was the timing belt last changed? ANY other issues with the car? any wrecks or repair work before this happened?

 

 

 

could be 1 or 2 confusion factors here;

 

 if a new t'stat worked when tested on the bench, it should work in the car UNLESS a huge air bubble was somehow preventing coolant flow. A 'subaru expert' would know how to confirm there was no air in the system so......?

 

is coolant being pushed into the overflow bottle? OUT of the overflow bottle?  Does coolant pushed in to the overflow get pulled back into the radiator when the car cools?

 

Can you rent or borrow a car for any urgent trips?

 

Also, post a new thread asking for a shop recommendation near Hankins - I think your Subaru Expert has dropped the ball somewhat here.


Edited by 1 Lucky Texan, 05 August 2014 - 01:18 PM.


#3 srusten

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 03:25 PM

THANK YOU SO MUCH 1 Lucky Texan, you have nailed the whole story perfectly. The car has 135K miles and Yes my Suburu Mechanic did indeed install the TB around 110 when he had to pull the engine to deal with leaking Head Gaskets and while he was at it he installed new Plugs and Wires and Thermostat and Adjusted the Valves, etc. etc. and the car which always had a lot of Power performed Mo Better Yet.

 

And Yes, he accorded with you that the problem is obviously an Air Pocket in the Engine which he nevertheless discouraged me from wanting to deal with because as he said it would be very expensive for me and he was doing me a favor therefore when it's my suspicion he was just doing himself a favor because he is VERY Busy these days and probably did not want to be bothered with such a Time Consuming job now. After installing the new Thermostat in response to the latest problem of Overheating and it did not solve the problem he asked me to bring it back in and leave it for a few days so he could check it out further and this time he did an even more diligent flushing of the Radiator that revealed nothing unusual and so after also checking the Water Pump and that turning out to be OK (or so he said) he then made the conclusion about the Air Pocket and again not wanting to get into pulling the engine he simply pulled the T Stat and informed me that "We don't need it" and "the car is no longer overheating." He made it seem like there would be no problem but later when I told him I had to go into the city he made a bad joke to quote "If you use the AC going in don't use it when you come back" indicating that a serious problem could result that Bummed Me Out big time as you can well understand.

 

As for the Coolant flowing in and out of the Overflow bottle that was working fine as were the Fans after he first installed the T Stat but I did not get more than 30 miles down the road when the car started overheating again and I had to bring it back to him the next day and leave if for a few days so he could check it out further as related above. I haven't seen any coolant in the overflow bottle lately but the coolant is holding at steady level in the Radiator.

 

Doing some further Research on the matter here Online I've learned that there could be a connection to the AC that should be checked out and as for the "possible" blown Head Gasket, there is no external leak showing and I read where Suburu provides an inexpensive additive to the Coolant that supposedly will seal any suspected minor internal leaks which I would try if you are aware of this and you deem it legit. No there have not been any wrecks or other such but the rear end of the Exhaust at the Flange has rusted out and I suggested that might have something to do with the problem (possible blockage in there?) but he rejected that out of hand. (I'm thinking I might get this other righteous dude to do that job which is no big deal as you know, cut out the flange and any rusted out pipe entering the mufflers and weld some new pipe and it's a done deal. Is it possible this could have some connection to the problem?)

 

I'm living in the Boondocks where the Wild Critters outnumber the Peep but there are Two Subbi Dealerships in not too distant away towns, Minooka in Scranton, PA and now Johnson Suburu in Middletown (was Fedders before) but they charge more inflated prices and this was the other virtue of the Private Subbi Expert cause he was a Prince for as long as he was until this situation...

 

And to interject a bit of Humor here in the latter regard, I've been Married Three times and those relationships began with Love also but, well I guess I don't have to tell you the rest. Right? Any other ideas about what could be done please do let me know...

 

And Oh Yes as you will be gratified to know you're being of help to a Disabled Vet here and I Thank You so much again.

 

                                                                                                SR



#4 farmer

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 08:34 PM

If an air pocket at the thermostat is the problem, just drill an 1/8 hole in the Tstat to bleed the air out.  They are pretty common, but not all thermostats have them.



#5 srusten

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:54 PM

Not sure I understand that, the problem is that the T Stat won't open because it's not getting the hot water needed to do so because of an air pocket in the Engine or at least that's how the situation has been explained to me. Does drilling the hole in the T Stat remedy that and where exactly do you drill that hole?  Are you saying that this will bleed the Air Pocket out of the Engine? My Mechanic told me he'd have to overhaul the Engine again and this would be too expensive and I should just run it without a T Stat, the suggestion being that I should just forget about this car and get myself another which pissed me off mightily cause I can't afford to do that any time soon seeing as I have 12 months left before my present Loan is paid off. Other than the overheating which just started this car runs great thanks to the work that was done at 110K, T Belt, new Head Gaskets to replace those that were leaking, new Sparks, Wires, Valves adjusted, New Battery. etc. etc., the Engine has excellent Compression and runs smooth as silk so no way I'm going to just throw this car away as he suggested. I Love this car, touch the pedal with your toes and it Moves, got  good Brakes, recently had new Rear Disks and Pads installed, handles perfectly, got a great Heater and AC, Body is in very good condition. I'm very pissed off about this indeed and I'm hoping you folks can direct me as to exactly what I got to do. If what you are telling me Farmer is gonna bleed out that Air Pocket I definitely want to get another T Stat and try it. Would appreciate hearing from everybody else about this also. I'm one of those folks doesn't believe in wasting good stuff that can be repaired, I wanna restore this car to good health so I can keep running it and enjoying until I'm ready to buy another.



#6 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 01:05 AM

first, thank for your service to our country. (my father, grandfather and all 4 of my uncles served. i did not experience that honor)

 

I did a brief google search around hankins and noticed the dealership in Oneonta (5 star?) seemed to have good reviews.

 

 

 

I am very confused about your mechanic and have some concerns his headgasket job has failed. The air pocket/bubble we refer to is NOT the same as combustion products leaking into the coolant system ('blown headgasket). basically, it is a one-time procedure done during or immediately after re-filling the system. Either a special fill thru a temporarily removed hose end, or a 'burping' maneuver often done with the car's front wheels up on ramps or jackstands. He may have needed to have the heads resurfaced or, in some other manner, failed to get the HG job done correctly. But i think you may need to try to get your mechanic to stand by his
work - unless you are getting bad 'vibes' from him and want to start
over. Again, kinda hoping someone on out Forum has a shop suggestion.
Your car may be able to get by fairly well in the summer without a
t'stat - you may have lower gas mileage - but winter will be brutal. For
you AND the car's engine and performance. You will get poor mileage amd
maybe carbon deposits and perhaps stress the catalytic converter. He
needs to stand by his work or offer a GOOD diagnosis that points to some
unrelated new problem.

 

Kudos on getting the timing belt done on time!

 

I guess we have to assume he used a TRUE OEM-style t'stat and not some aftermarket 'listed' for the car;

 

Thermostats%204%20sm.jpg

 

 

Our cars are picky about a handful of things; spark plugs and wires, some of the emissions sensors, and thermostats. And no drilling should be required.

 

 

I have poor social skills, but I've had my best luck with approaches using the following general guidelines;

when you discuss your car with your mechanic, try not to use the word 'you' too much. say "I feel the car still needs follow-up service." I need this car to be reliable and safe - i don't care about a slow drip or a tiny rattle or a little dent. I DO need to trust the car was repaired correctly." . Sometimes you have to use a line like; "If you were me, how would feel about this issue?" What should I do next to get my car repaired correctly?"  bring up how much you've already paid and car isn't repaired. But, at some point, you may have to decide to write-off your relationship with this guy unless you want to go to small claims or other court. i doubt he wants to be in front of a judge next to a disabled vet! Still, I doubt anyone over the internet can help too much. We do best when people have car problems, not people problems. Even with car problems, it's difficult.


Edited by 1 Lucky Texan, 06 August 2014 - 01:27 AM.


#7 farmer

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 10:20 AM

I would wonder why he felt the problem was more serious than just an air bubble that needed burbed from the system.  That's something that's been around for ages in all makes.  It's been a real problem in Ford Rangers of latter years.

 

What you could do is bring the engine up to operating temperature with the radiator cap off and see if any compression blowby is coming out of the radiator.  The water should be warm at the radiator outlet.  That tells you the thermostat has opened.  If there are no air bubbles in the coolant after about five minutes of running, there shouldn't be a problem with the head gaskets leaking into the cooling system.


Edited by farmer, 06 August 2014 - 10:22 AM.


#8 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 10:32 AM

^^^ yep, plus, some people have used long/overnight coolant system pressurization to find leaking HGs. But, many times the HGs fail in odd ways, like exiting a highway, then, they seem to be OK at idle again.

 

Seems weird that he recommended what he did - like he's ashamed of his work and/or trying to dodge getting back inside this engine.

 

everyone makes mistakes - we make them where I work. But paying customers want a reasonable solution, not a dodge or run-around.

 

 

you might consider also posting for a shop recommendation here; http://forums.nasioc...splay.php?f=16  and here;  http://forums.nasioc...isplay.php?f=26

 

 

 

hope it works out.


Edited by 1 Lucky Texan, 06 August 2014 - 10:55 AM.


#9 srusten

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 01:57 PM

Thanks again 1 Lucky Texan and Farmer, I very much appreciate your help and I fully respect your knowledge. I did contact Oneonta Suburu on your recommendation 1 Lucky Texan and it does seem to be a righteous Dealership with to my gratification a Service Manager who I talked to and impressed me that he is a serious Mechanic and Suburu Expert. As further evidence that my regular mechanic didn't want to get into a Headgasket problem as the reason he didn't do the CO2, the SM at Oneonta immediately informed me that the test had to be done straight off to determine if there is a Headgasket problem and that If I wish I could make an appointment for the Test and Diagnosis of the problem for only $38. However while I do intend to do business with them in the near future, because it's a long ride I'm thinking that I can just get the Test done by this other recommended shop and that will confirm one way or the other whether there is a Gasket problem. But lastly, as I've related NO Exterior Leaks were found, No Oil in the Coolant or vice versa, No white smoke coming out of the exhaust or any other kind of smoke for that matter, all of which suggests to me that first of all if there is a weakness in a Gasket it must be modest and could perhaps be dealt with without needing to pull the engine. In addition relative to what 1 Lucky Texan related as to how the front wheels  should be elevated when refilling the system after draining, my present shop did NOT do so and therefore it may indeed have been the case that they were not diligent enough with the Refill and this caused the Air Pockets. SO to cut to the chase I'm thinking to get the CO2 test done and if that tests negative I could have another shop drain and refill the coolant, and if it should test positive I have discovered a product online that is called Thermagasket that has dozens of recommendations by customers who have used it, that will indeed heal a modestly compromised Head Gasket and save poorer of pocket car owners like me the expense of an engine overhaul.  Are you familiar with this product and if so would you accord with me trying it seeing as how it's very inexpensive???



#10 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 03:08 PM

first - I have no connection with the dealership in Oneonta - but it seems they have some good reviews. That's all. glad they seemed helpful on the phone.

 

The nose-up 'burping' has been done a lot on older soobs, may be less necessary on newer ones. Still, many cars (some Toyotas and Hondas I know of) require special coolant fill procedures like filling the block first or opening an air-bleed near the top of the block. Subarus are not unique to this.

 

I'm no expert, but the basics of the 'typical' headgasket failures in Subarus are mostly of 2 types - external 'weeping'/dripping of withe coolant or oil or both. Just drops on the plastic undercover or ground and sometimes blown back onto exhaust and undercarriage by airflow. Easy to keep up with if you diligently check fluid levels. Then there is the type with symptoms closer to what you experience, that is very high combustion pressure push past the HG into the much lower pressure of the cooling jacket. Those gasses begin to expand immediately and can push fluid/bubbles into the overflow bottle past even a good radiator cap. usually no white smoke, usually no 'chocolate mousse' in the oil. Just fuel/combustion gasses in the coolant. yes. there can be other type of failure, just that for Soobs, they are less common.

 

Because of the origin of the pressure and the direction of flow, it is EXTREMELY unlikely any product added to the coolant can help with the last type of failure listed above. I would say less than 1% chance of success. There is also a risk of clogging the radiator or other deleterious effects. If you had white smoke out the tailpipe - maybe it would help. I don't know though. Foe external weeping as described above, there is a Subaru Coolant Conditioner. It seems to be product similar to that thermaguard and other cooling system "leak-stops".

 

One other point I don't recall (sorry if it was mentioned already) if your engine has been overheated severely, or maybe too many times, bearing damage could have occurred. If there is a good possibility of this, best approach may be swapping in a low miles used engine from a wreck. possibly about the same money as a rebuild or even cheaper.


Edited by 1 Lucky Texan, 07 August 2014 - 03:19 PM.


#11 srusten

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 05:07 PM

In response to the last about severe overheating, I don't believe that was the case, when it first started I was on the return trip from NYC when it started going up to the red line but then dropped back in just a few minutes but what I did was to stop for a bite to eat to let the car cool down and I stopped like that again when I got closer to my place and then the very next day I made an appointment with my mechanic and did not drive it much before taking it to his shop. After he installed the new OEM TStat and road tested it and it seemed to be fine I headed home with the car and about 20 miles along I believe it was it went up to the red line again and so I stopped soon as I could and let it cool down again and then called to make another appointment in which they did the things I've related, flushed the radiator and ran the coolant from same through a sein to see if there was any crap in there but there wasn't, then they did the Refill. But I clearly recall that they did not raise the front wheels as I now understand they should have done.  Testing it after that when the T Stat still would not open that's when they pulled it and gave me back the car and told me I didn't need the T Stat. I'd try the Suburu Coolant additive if you recommend that but first again I'm going to get the CO2 test done to see if there is a problem with the Gaskets and as I related before if the test is negative I'll take the car somewhere where they'll do the appropriate Fill procedure with the front wheels elevated and filling directly into the engine and install a new T Stat and see what happens.



#12 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 10:18 PM

sounds like a plan.

 

BTW - a car t'stat can be tested on the stove top, should open at around 175 degrees (just before boiling) close again when it cools. I even test them before I install a new one. NOTE! if you test an old one, make certain the pot/pan you use is THOROUGHLY washed. Ethylene Glycol coolants are toxic. Never even taste it and if it's left out, pets and even children can be attracted to it because it has a sweet smell/taste. no exaggeration - sever kidney damage.






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