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Strange Temp behavior...


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12 replies to this topic

#1 Sweet82

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 02:23 PM

Took the Forester on a 900 mile trip last week (Yellowstone).
About 3 1/2 hours out while climbing the contental divide the Forester
decides to start heating up? I had a 20 min stop at around the 2 hour mark for gas and goodies...but other than that no problems or stopping.

What it does...for no apparent reason the heat gauge will climb from the 1st mark (where it usually camps and does not budge) and moves rapidly above the 1st mark and peaks out just below the 2nd mark (just under the Hot Zone). It takes 30 - 60 seconds to get to the 2nd mark and then takes 30 - 60 seconds to drop again...? The car never gets above the second mark. It may continue at no particular frequency or it may behave normally again. It does not seem to hang on the hot side too long (30-60 sec) before moving down again.

What I do know, both fans are working. Turning on the heater does not seem to cool it down. I have been unable to associate it with anything I'm doing while driving but, it may happen climbing more than decending. It rarely does it on flat ground.

My thoughts are a really messed up thermostat or some sort of bubble circulating around the cooling system....

Help! Having your car act up on vacation can really mess up your attitude.
Thanks,
Glenn
82 SubaruHummer
84 GL Wagon
01 Forester L--intermittant heating problem... :banghead:

#2 RallyKeith

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 03:06 PM

Hate to ask, but what year/engine is it. Is it a DOHC 2.5?

Keith

#3 scttysctt

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 03:27 PM

I had the same problem in my 96 Legacy, it got worse and eventually overheated without cooling back down. I replaced my thermostat, but it did fix the problem, and now I am getting ready to replace the water pump. Good luck.



Took the Forester on a 900 mile trip last week (Yellowstone).
About 3 1/2 hours out while climbing the contental divide the Forester
decides to start heating up? I had a 20 min stop at around the 2 hour mark for gas and goodies...but other than that no problems or stopping.

What it does...for no apparent reason the heat gauge will climb from the 1st mark (where it usually camps and does not budge) and moves rapidly above the 1st mark and peaks out just below the 2nd mark (just under the Hot Zone). It takes 30 - 60 seconds to get to the 2nd mark and then takes 30 - 60 seconds to drop again...? The car never gets above the second mark. It may continue at no particular frequency or it may behave normally again. It does not seem to hang on the hot side too long (30-60 sec) before moving down again.

What I do know, both fans are working. Turning on the heater does not seem to cool it down. I have been unable to associate it with anything I'm doing while driving but, it may happen climbing more than decending. It rarely does it on flat ground.

My thoughts are a really messed up thermostat or some sort of bubble circulating around the cooling system....

Help! Having your car act up on vacation can really mess up your attitude.
Thanks,
Glenn
82 SubaruHummer
84 GL Wagon
01 Forester L--intermittant heating problem... :banghead:



#4 Sweet82

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 03:34 PM

Hate to ask, but what year/engine is it. Is it a DOHC 2.5?

Keith


It's an 01 Forester L with the 2.5...

#5 RallyKeith

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 03:51 PM

It's an 01 Forester L with the 2.5...



Ah, so that should be SOHC.

So the odds are less in your favor that it would be a head gasket issue.

Keith

#6 cookie

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 04:19 PM

it was not unusual for the temp to go up to near boiling on the high parts. We would downshift to cool off (less load on the engine). I would expect the car heat guage to rise while climbing mountains.I would also expect the fans to come on more. If you are not boiling it should not be a problem.

#7 Diesel

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 04:43 PM

Sounds like a classic thermostat problem. At least keep your fingers crossed.

d.

#8 Buddythedog

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 09:53 PM

SOmetimes too much advice, well intentioned can make a mountain out of a molehill. I always fear when I post a concern about my car on this, the best of all Subaru sites. I leave feeling more afraid than when I was praying to make it home. That said, all the above advice is right on. I had the same problem in my old Honda and it was the water pump. The cue was the temp gauge would rise, hover for a brief time, and fall back to normal. In the beginning it would be sporadic, then happening more and more. In a sube loyale, it would just leak tiny amounts of coolant out of the weep hole on the bottom side. I would look to the thermostat, then the water pump. If you do any of these, replace ALL of your hoses. It is money well spent, as they're probably old and gummed up. that way the car, cooling system is disassembled and everything will have new fluid. You break a hose down the line, you just bought disassembly and new coolant.

#9 Sweet82

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 12:20 PM

Last night, after a six mile drive, I smelled Antifreeze again....

I looked under the hood and found a drop of antifreeze on the back of my fan support next to the radiator overflow tank?

This tells me the overflow tank had overfilled and was spilling out.

I ended up putting around/at least 32 oz. of antifreeze back in the radiator to fill it properly per the manual, last night.

Last week, I topped off the overflow tank before I left on my trip but not the radiator. During the trip I topped off the overflow tank several times...

I'm not sure when I lost (32+ oz.) but if that was down before the trip, could that cause the temp spikes? Or are the temp spikes causing the loss of coolant?

Chicken or the Egg...
Thoughts?
Glenn
82 SubaruHummer
84 GL Wagon
01 Forester--- :banghead:

#10 cookie

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 12:28 PM

I would start with a pressure test for leaks and a new thermostat. An external tiny head gasket leak could slowly be removing your coolant.

#11 Setright

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Posted 18 August 2005 - 01:14 AM

Rad cap!


Honestly, this is how many headgasket failures start - not just for the EJ25. Rad cap stops holding pressure due to a weak spring or cracked seals and some coolant is allowed to expand out. Causing the spill at the overflow.

Under load, the lack of pressure in the cooling system allows local boiling and can give rise to the funny temp needle behaviour you are experiencing.

Replace the rad cap, fast!


Leave the worrying for later.



*My car's cap went south when I did the same. 600 miles into Germany and I discovered an overflowed overflow bottle at a highway gas station! DOH! The rad hoses were soft even with the engine running. Still a local dealer provided a new rad cap and all was well.

#12 Sweet82

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Posted 18 August 2005 - 09:55 AM

I've got no problem putting a new cap on. That would be a cheap fix, if thats the problem.

I drove it to work an back yesterday and it didn't overflow into the coolant tank like it did the prior day.
That's good, but... nothing has been consistent so far with this cooling problem.

I'm waiting and keeping my fingers crossed.

Thanks,
Glenn
82 SubaruHummer
84 GL Wagon
01 Forester--on probation

#13 cookie

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Posted 18 August 2005 - 04:28 PM

the cap is one of the items that get checked. It sure would be nice if that is all it is and when Gnumans car had problems that was the winner.




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