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Coolant leak 2001 Outback Ltd
Posted 28 July 2003 - 09:09 AM
Our 2001 Outback Ltd wagon has developed a coolant leak somewhere in the aft end of the engine, not far from the centerline. Viewed from the top of the engine, it is not possible to see the leak, and I have felt around the cooling (heater) hoses and they are all dry. Seen from the bottom, the leak is dripping down onto the top cover that forms a tunnel for the steering assembly. There is no way to see exactly where it is coming from, at least if you are laying under the car.
It started with a small whiff occasionally of coolant smell, and not much loss of fluid. Now, it is a drip that, I am guessing, commences when the thermostat opens.
What could possibly leak in this area?
Posted 30 July 2003 - 10:14 AM
Took it to the dealer. The dealer says the problem is a blown head gasket on the driver's side. I now just want to know whether this is a common problem with Subarus or a real fluke.
Posted 30 July 2003 - 10:38 AM
i believe that your 2001 outback has a 2.5L sohc engine. this is known as the phase 2 2.5 engine. whereas the phase 1 engines tend to blow head gaskets between the cylinder and coolant passages, the phase 2 tends to have the head gasket leak externally. it isn't a fluke, and is a problem that subaru is ignoring completely, despite many revisions to the head gaskets and torquing procedures.
Posted 30 July 2003 - 11:08 AM
Back again in mere minutes! The dealer was going to give me some crap about not getting the 30,000 mile check where they replace the coolant, but I then informed him that I had checked for the words "head gasket" on this forum and out poured dozens of reports! I faxed them the first eight pages (of 17 total). They have given up talk of making me pay for this.
The dealer guy pretended it was all news to him, but the service manager told me there was "really no need" to fax him the info, since they had seen lots of blown head gaskets there.
The service manager said Subaru has changed the engine for 2002 and also, has changed the formulation of the coolant. Apparently, the previous cars have had a coolant that he said will break down in two years and form an acid. It is the green coolant. The better stuff is red and it goes for four years or more. But he said he is not sure that this has anything to do with the problem.
Myself, I have never heard of "corrosive coolant" getting to a head gasket. Instead I would suspect the two most common problems--head bolt torque and warping/shifting of the engine due to hot and cold cycles. One of the ways to prevent this kind of thing is to re-torque the head bolts after a suitable break-in period on the engine, and periodically thereafter. But that would require Subaru to admit to the problem instead of trying to ignore it, and would require warranty maintenance they don't want to do.
This should be a recall, IMHO.
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