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Mystery water noise


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23 replies to this topic

#1 subegrl

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 01:36 PM

I hear water sloshing behind the dash when I start to drive my car. (01 Forester L). I thought it was a clog in the air cond. hose so we blew pressurized air into the hose, and nothing came out. When the car is parked some water does drip out of the hose.

What else could it be?

#2 Sweet82

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 01:53 PM

Your low on antifreeze.

Check your antifreeze level.
My 01 Forester did the same thing. I noticed it most when I first started the car. It eventually did some intermittant minor overheating.

Good Luck,
Glenn
82 SubaruHummer
84 GL Mad Max
01 Forester L

#3 subegrl

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 01:55 PM

Thanks, will check that asap!

#4 Sweet82

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 05:01 PM

Checking the antifreeze level is not as easy as you may think.

There are high points in the cooling system that allow air to get trapped.

You have to "burp" your system to get all the air out.

Keep monitoring it over time and it will eventually work it's way out.

Don't let your overflow reservoir go dry. Keep it up to get the bubble out of the system.

#5 subegrl

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 05:05 PM

Well we just checked it. The car is level and has been parked for a few hours.

It was low but not shockingly so. I think we put about 6 ounces of bottled water in it and then 6 more into the overflow container.

I am due to get my brakes done soon and was thinking about asking my mechanic to do a radiator flush and fill with fresh antifreeze. Do you think that will 'cure' the problem? Should I ask him to 'burp' the system?

#6 mtsmiths

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 05:20 PM

Unless your mechanic KNOWS Subarus don't let him anywhere near the cooling system. Find someon who understands the airlock problem,and have THEM do a cooling flush and new anti-freeze, even if means going to the stealership.

Can't hurt anyhow, winter's nigh!

#7 porcupine73

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 05:26 PM

If it's just low i'd doubt flushing would make any difference, though it's never a bad idea to keep the coolant fresh esp. if you're using conventional high silicate 'green'. You definitely want to make sure all air bubbles/pockets are out correctly; there are other threads on how to do this. Just pouring in the new coolant til it won't take any more almost guarantees there will be air pockets.

#8 subegrl

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 05:27 PM

Unless your mechanic KNOWS Subarus don't let him anywhere near the cooling system. Find someon who understands the airlock problem,and have THEM do a cooling flush and new anti-freeze, even if means going to the stealership.

Can't hurt anyhow, winter's nigh!


Well, he's been pretty good to me so far. He 'did' my timing belt/water pump at 100,000 miles.

Regardiing keeping the overflow reservoir from going dry - how much water should it have in it when the car has been sitting like it has been now?

#9 porcupine73

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 05:36 PM

Well basically if you have a particular level in your overflow tank and you see it going down over time then of course the coolant is going somewhere. Usually when cold I fill to the line on the tank. Just after changing the coolant I usually fill it up a few inches more since it usually gets sucked in eventually and even if the overflow overflows it just spills out, maybe not environmentally friendly but it will work.

#10 OB99W

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 04:51 AM

It's important to check both the radiator and coolant recovery tank levels. Certain types of cooling system leaks can cause the recovery tank to still have a reasonable fluid level, and yet the radiator (etc.) not to be full. In fact, if you find that your recovery tank level seems okay, but the radiator is down, checking for a leak is a good idea.

This End Wrench article explains in more detail how the radiator can be down while the recovery tank still has coolant, and is a good read overall: http://endwrench.com/images/pdfs/CoolMay05EW.pdf

#11 OB99W

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 05:04 AM

Unless your mechanic KNOWS Subarus don't let him anywhere near the cooling system. Find someon who understands the airlock problem,and have THEM do a cooling flush and new anti-freeze, even if means going to the stealership.[...]

Good advice. Here's what Subaru says, although I don't think it's the "final word" on the topic: http://endwrench.com...derEWFall05.pdf

#12 BSOD2600

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 07:45 PM

It seems all these tips apply to NA engines and not turbo. I don't have a bleed screw on my 94 turbo legacy. The coolant tank on top of the engine is full and the overflow tank is partially full. Yet, I still hear a water sound (typically during acceleration) coming from the dash area. My car doesn't overheat, so I guess it's all good. Just bothers me hearing it often.

#13 johnceggleston

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 08:09 PM

do you hear this rain or shine, (all the time) or just when it rains.? it's hard for me to imagine that 6oz. of coolant would make it low enough to slosh/gurgle.

i remember something about water getting inside the passenger rocker panel, (the part below trhe door on pass. side.) can't imagfine why it would sound like it's in the dash so it probably has nothing to do with your situation.

good luck.


It seems all these tips apply to NA engines and not turbo. I don't have a bleed screw on my 94 turbo legacy. The coolant tank on top of the engine is full and the overflow tank is partially full. Yet, I still hear a water sound (typically during acceleration) coming from the dash area. My car doesn't overheat, so I guess it's all good. Just bothers me hearing it often.



#14 BSOD2600

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 08:41 PM

Yes, I hear it all the time. Since I've had the car, it hasn't rained, so I really doubt there is any water caught in my door(s).

#15 outbackusjunkus

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 09:26 PM

After installing my 2.2 this weekend, my brother showed me a trick when adding coolant. After we filled the rad, he pulled the upper rad hose, and the top heater hose on the back of the motor. Then poured the antifreeze into the top rad hose until it came out the heater hose. After the car warmed up I topped off, many miles since and haven't had any issues or had to add coolant since. Quick and almost too simple, any thoughts?

#16 Virrdog

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 09:39 AM

After installing my 2.2 this weekend, my brother showed me a trick when adding coolant. After we filled the rad, he pulled the upper rad hose, and the top heater hose on the back of the motor. Then poured the antifreeze into the top rad hose until it came out the heater hose. After the car warmed up I topped off, many miles since and haven't had any issues or had to add coolant since. Quick and almost too simple, any thoughts?


So the coolant was going through the engine and then the heater core and coming out the heater core outlet? Then yes, that is a good way of getting 99% of the way there. Some people remove the hose and simply fill the heater core.

#17 Virrdog

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 09:41 AM

It seems all these tips apply to NA engines and not turbo. I don't have a bleed screw on my 94 turbo legacy. The coolant tank on top of the engine is full and the overflow tank is partially full. Yet, I still hear a water sound (typically during acceleration) coming from the dash area. My car doesn't overheat, so I guess it's all good. Just bothers me hearing it often.


Have you moved the coolant tank? One trick I had to do one time was to start the engine and rev it so the coolant level dropped in the tank and topped it off and capped it before letting off the revs.

#18 BSOD2600

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 08:36 PM

Have you moved the coolant tank? One trick I had to do one time was to start the engine and rev it so the coolant level dropped in the tank and topped it off and capped it before letting off the revs.


Nope, I haven't. Since I've got the legacy turbo, it seems there are a LOT more tubes, etc that I'd have to move to accomplish this.

Furthermore, is it common for the overflow coolant tank to slowly go dry? Example, before going on a 215 mi road trip yesterday I checked the overflow tank and there was a little in there. When I was idling at my destination city, I once noticed some steam coming from the left corner (as sitting from the drivers seat) of the hood. So obviously more coolant was boiling out the overflow. Something to be concerned about or just keep putting coolant in the overflow tank?

#19 ron917

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 12:49 PM

That shouldn't happen. First thing I would do is replace the radiator cap - it may be weak and not holding pressure.

#20 Virrdog

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 06:54 PM

Next time you see steam, open the hood and see where it is coming from. You might have a coolant leak on the line going to the turbo or somewhere else where its dropping it on a part of the exhaust.

#21 BSOD2600

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 07:11 PM

The steam is/was coming from the coolant overflow. Just got back from a long drive and I have a LOT of coolant overflowing out: http://www.ultimates...ad.php?p=522238

Ideas?

#22 wolfhound

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 11:06 AM

im in a hurry so i didnt bother reading the whole post. when i heard a water noise from my 2003 baja it was because my head gaskets were blown. this is common for these vehicles and the boxer engines are notorious for having bad cooling systems. i would have a mechanic test the exhaust fumes for the presence of coolant. they do this with some kind of test kit (you can also get one at a parts store).

if your head gaskets are blown it will allow water into the head and force air into the coolant lines which will cause youre car to overheart for a few seconds before cooling back down. this problem will persist and grow gradually worse and could seriously damage youre engine.

in the mean time, burp your coolant by taking the radiator cap off (when the engine is cold) and allow it to run. you will notice it bubbling air out of the radiator. do this until it quits burping (took my car about 5 minutes or several engine cycles). add coolant until your radiator is topped off. this way you can limp it around until you get a permanent fix, but get the exhaust tested. i wouldnt drive too far with it behaving this way.

i hope this helps you

#23 danbennett2u

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 11:11 AM

The post is over 5 years old hehe. With all of the other coolant related posts how the heck did you find this one?

#24 jarl

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 05:07 PM

62 months... Should we call the Guinness Records?




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