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'98 Outback overheating


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25 replies to this topic

#1 MrDundee

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 03:43 AM

Hey everyone. I just purchased a '98 Outback on May 18th, 2007 with 147,000 miles on it for $4200. I love this car but the night that I bought it I took a 45 minute trip away from home and it started overheating while idling at a gas station! I took it back to the used dealership I bought it from and they thought it was the thermostat. They replaced it and but it still had the same problem. I have taken it back 3 times this week! They called the nearest Subaru dealership and they told them to bleed the engine of air which seemed to help. I left with the car and later that night it started overheating again. The needle goes up and down. What should I do? I have now been researching this problem on the internet only to find out that this is a COMMON PROBLEM!! Someone told me I should just purchase a 2.2L engine from a 1995 Outback and have it put in to replace my 2.5L and that I won't have problems after that. I am on the verge of just trying to get the used dealership to take my car back and let me buy something else from them in it's place but I know that is not going to happen without a fight. Please help!!!

#2 Suzam

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 08:03 AM

Sounds like it could be classic blown headgasket. Do a search of this board, plenty of info. If the used car dealership does a hydrocarbon test on the coolant and it's positive, maybe you have a chance of getting them to repair it under thier warranty. Get it diagnosed ASAP. I f you don't trust them have the Subaru dealership do it for you and have them pay for a positive test. Hopefully the engine hasn't overheated to the point of warping the heads, which is fixable, or cracking the block.

#3 grossgary

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 10:41 AM

sounds like headgasket to me. i'd do everything and anything in your power to make them take it back. the previous owner got rid of the car for this very reason, they dumped it (probably traded it in), a used lot bought it at auction and now you got it. get them to take it back or fix it, that's your best option. they didn't pay very much for it, so they may even have it fixed ($1,000 - $1,500 job) if there's any warranty at all.

#4 MrDundee

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 11:49 PM

The problem is there was no warranty from the used dealership. It was As/Is. I don't know what they will do. they have already been doing work on it trying to fix it and they haven't charged me anything thus far. Should I buy the EJ22 engine and have it put in and see if they will split the cost or something??

Michael

#5 Steve455

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 11:52 PM

i would fix the headgaskets ,that should be the cheapest way.i did mine on my 96 and it was done for under $400.

#6 86BRATMAN

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 12:03 AM

If you've got some mechanical ability and a day or so to work on it. I'd just do the headgaskets, front seals(cams/crank/oil pump), timing belt and water pump. This will have the car set for some time to come. Or weigh the cost of an ej22, pretty much any year from 90-96 will be a drop in swap(95-96 autos will have egr, I didn't notice if you had a manual or auto).

But first see what you can get them to do for you.

#7 MrDundee

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 03:02 AM

i have an automatic. I have read that even though other people have had the same problem and had the gaskets fixed, it keeps happening again multiple times.

#8 Skip

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 06:36 AM

MrDundee sir,
You may want to read through this post.
The newer Subaru engines

#9 grossgary

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 07:25 AM

tons of information on this board about dealing with headgasket issues. you have a few options. there are two caveats to replacing the headgaskets, it must be done properly and it must not have been run hot too much. if it was consistently run hot then significant engine damage can result. not knowing the history or the previous owner, there's no way to determine how much or how long the car was run hot like this. it would likely be fine, but you may be taking a gamble by replacing the headgaskets if the engine block is damaged. that's why i like to buy cars from the owner rather than the dealer. more info about the car...and you always get a much, much better deal too.

i would check with the BBB and see how well this company rates, sounds like they've treated you quite well so far. that would be great if they'd split the cost of fixing this or something along those lines.

if you install a 2.2 engine, be sure any 1997 and newer engine has a new timing belt and water pump installed and check all of the timing belt pulleys. most likely the one sprocketed idler (the one with teeth) will need replacing. 1997 and up 2.2's are interference engines, do not install one with an unknown timing belt. and besides...you'll basically be gauranteed many miles if done properly anyway.

keep in mind, even with blown headgaskets that motor you have it worth $500. so if you end up replacing it, be sure to sell it to recoupe some of the costs.

#10 The Dude

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 10:01 AM

You might want to check your state laws. In SOME states a licensed used car dealer must provide a minimum warranty.

If you're are able to do the work yourself, I would just have the heads checked and replace the gaskets. Even if the block is cracked, which is unlikely, you wouldn't be out much for parts. USE GENUINE SUBARU HEAD GASKETS ONLY- THE LATEST REV.

I don't don't know anything about the particular dealership you purchsed the car from. But I have to say, I wish I had a nickel for everytime someone has posted that he bought a Phase I Subaru from a dealership and the car just happened to overheat on the way home. Sometimes, the poor guy has the car towed home or back to the dealeship with the front wheels in the air. Now, he's got a car with a screwed engine and a screwed AT as well. Did you get an operator's manual with the car?

#11 MrDundee

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 10:26 AM

Yes I have the operators manual and case for it! The car seems to be very well maintained. If I can just get it to stop overheating it would be immaculate!

#12 johnceggleston

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 03:53 PM

i would try and make them take it back. short of that i'd try to get them to fix it. assuming it cost 800$ to replace the gaskets, would have bought the car for 5000$ ?

make them take it back!! get your cash and buy from another seller. if you swap cars with them, they are going to work the deal so you pay for the repair.

#13 MrDundee

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 02:07 AM

How can I make them take it back when there was no warranty??

#14 Olnick

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 03:25 AM

How can I make them take it back when there was no warranty??


Check to see if Alabama has a Consumer Protector's office. Talk to your local BBB office. Call the DMV and see if they can help you or point you in the right direction. It all depends on the laws of your state. Since they just sold you a car that apparently is not serviceable you may have some rights. But do it asap.

Good luck.

#15 MDW25gt

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 11:22 AM

If the Fix is done right it will likely last a long time. Not knowing the history is the problem you have. The only way to know is to get into it. (the motor) at that point you might discover you would be better to do the different motor route rather than fix. Lots more money.

If you can get the dealer to refund and take the car back that would be best option in my opinion.

My first head gasket went at 133K. I have 45k on the new motor with no problems. Knock on wood. My engine is strong and runs well because the guy that did it , did it right. The other key piece to this is knowing the watch outs for this problem. You can chase that by a search after you get your current problem solved.

#16 uniberp

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 04:49 PM

How can I make them take it back when there was no warranty??


You drive in and be very polite.

Simply say "The car is overheating because it has a leaking headgasket. The car cannot be safely operated in this condition. I bought the car in good faith that it did not need major repair. It needs a major repair. Can you help me?"

If they give you a line, do not waver. Insist on repair or refund. The only acceptable repair is headgasket replacement. A Subaru dealer will confirm the diagnosis.

#17 msmithmmx

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 07:45 PM

Wow, it is these stories that make me see red. AS/IS does not give them the OK to sell you a car that was never working. If he told you this car is in working order then you have a case. I am sure it was traded in or sold becasue it had a busted head gasket. I would be nice about it and if he will not budge I would go to small claims court and sue for the repair which could be 1800 dollars. You were scammed fight back..:Flame:

#18 porcupine73

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 07:56 PM

Yah I would look into your local/state laws. In NY, pretty much any vehicle sold by a dealer comes with a warranty (length depends on mileage). It makes no difference if the dealer says 'no warranty', 'as is', etc; the law still says 'warranty'.

#19 grossgary

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 09:42 AM

i've worked on a few EJ25's with headgasket issues. based on my experience i doubt they didn't know it had issues to begin with. be interested to know if it had a new thermostat and radiator caps....proof that someone knew it was overheating and tried the cheap/easy fixes first. still couldn't prove whether it was the previous owner or the seller though.

#20 MrDundee

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 06:05 AM

funny thing is the first thing they tried was changing the thermostat and the mechanic told me that when he got into it he discovered there was no thermostat installed!!

#21 Skip

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 07:11 AM

Mr Dundee may I ask who is "they"

Possibly "they" did not know the thermostat
was at the block side of the lower rad hose.

Not many car's Tstats are mounted in this location.

Maybe they stuck one in up top
spmewhere??? I don't know where.

Now you have twins.

#22 MrDundee

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 01:36 PM

I don't know. I know he was up under the car when installing it.

#23 Skip

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 01:58 PM

That is the correct place.

Now does he know about "burping"

Maybe air is trapped in the system?

#24 The Dude

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 03:25 PM

Sure, the thermostat is missing. This car has been overheating for a while. The first thing many people would try to stop the the overheating is to replace or remove the thermostat. Obviously, for some reason, the previous owner of this car did not want to spend $1,500 USD to replace the head gaskets in this car. Since the car otherwise APPEARS to be in excellent condition you have to wonder why? Are there other unknown problems with this car that caused the previous owner to not spend the money for the head gaskets?
BTW, $4,200 is way under the Kelly Blue Book retail valuation for this car. There may be a good reason for that as well. The poster bought a car "as is" with out having a mechanic first thoroughly check out the car. That may turn out to be a costly decision.
It Alabama state laws permit it, I would return the car. If that is not possible, it might be worthwhile to have a mechanic check out this car before contemplating any expensive repairs.

#25 michaelbteam

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 01:15 AM

When my 99 OBW was leaking and I did not have time to fix it [winter] I still drove it 20 miles each way to work, uphill, all winter, emptying my overflow back into the radiator [cold] before the next leg. Could only do this without the thermostat. Could have done this forever probably as long as it did not overheat and break it. Tiny leak was forcing coolant into overflow, just had to keep the radiator full.




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