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'96 Leg Outback Overheating still...


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#1 kman

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 03:59 PM

Well, my research on this very helpful site seems to indicate that my head gasket is blown but I'd thought I'd run it by you guys before I bring it in to the shop yet again.

The car overheats very predictably on steep hills. Driving around town, idling or driving on freeways the temperature stays fine I've had the water pump replaced and the thermostat replaced recently. A test for exhaust gases in the coolant came up negative several months ago but now I'm seeing little black crumbs in the expansion tank and generally dirtier coolant. Also, when the car overheats I lose heat to the cabin (air blows cold). The first time it really overheated on a steep hill recently the expansion tank filled up so much it boiled over.

Is it bad to drive the car even when it's not overheating? This happens really only going up steep hills so it's been easy enough to avoid. But now I need to do a 100+ mile drive (mostly flat) and I'm afraid to do it.

Will draining and replacing the coolant help me drive the car a little bit more? I don't have the money for these repairs.

I have noticed also that the car is idling lower nowadays, sometimes stalling when cold. The engine seems to stutter from time to time too...

Any thoughts? Is there a way I can do a sniffer test myself? And finally, can anyone recommend a really truly good subaru mechanic in Marin or the Bay Area?

Thanks,
Kevin

#2 kman

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Posted 29 March 2005 - 03:00 AM

I did the bubble test today....

drove up a steep hill and checked for bubbles in the expansion tank... sure enough it was bubbling steady... yet another symptom for the worst...




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