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Found 30 results

  1. Hello all, hope you're having a good night (or day)! My '92 Loyale has run well for the past couple months I've owned it. No overheats, no stalling and good, smooth power (for a Loyale). A couple days ago I got bored and decided to drain and replace my coolant which was brown and a little chunky. I'm very very new to auto maintenance and I don't really have anyone to tell me what's what, so I didn't recognize the brown coloration as a sign of oil-coolant mixing. Drained it all out of the radiator and flushed with water till it came out clear, filled it up with new coolant and bubbled it for about 30 mins just like the YouTube videos said. Of note is that it didn't take all 6 qts of coolant like it's supposed to, only about 3. I chalked it up to some water from the flushing process staying in the block. Like I said, not very experienced. Car ran just fine for about two days until it overheated in the Chick-fil-A drive thru (best possible time, I know) and blew some white smoke out of the tailpipe. Of note is that my temperature gauge never went above about half, nowhere near the red. I went inside and ate my chicken sandwich and let it cool down. Coolant was back to that nasty brown although the level hadn't gone down, still right up to the fill cap. However, my oil was low beyond the dipstick. I had checked the oil a few days prior to changing the coolant and it was right where it should be. So I go to the Publix conveniently right next door and fill er up. Drove home (only about 2 miles) with no noticeable loss of power, but a steady rise in temperature. I thought at first that low oil might have caused the overheat, but it was still happening with oil full. Did some research and found that burning coolant makes white smoke, and that that mainly results from blown head gaskets. But the thing is, the car hasn't blown any white smoke since that day at all. Not only that, but my oil is still clean, I haven't noticed any loss of power, and my radiator hoses are squishy while engine cold. Only the coolant is brown and contaminated. I think the issue may be combustion gas in the coolant system that's preventing my thermostat from opening and preventing me from adding the correct amount of coolant. What do ya'll think? Am I stupid and missing something obvious, because I wouldn't doubt it. I bought some pour-n-go head gasket sealer as a stopgap till I can take more drastic measures, but I don't really want to pour it in brown coolant until I know what the problem is. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
  2. HERE WE GO AGAIN...UGHHH 2006 Tribeca 3.0 H6 Just bought a 2006 Tribeca one owner with 149000 miles...seemed fine the day I got it....One week later ,top radiator hose on passenger side developed a small hole and made the engine overheat a little.All this time,I noticed the defroster only put out hot/warm air on the driver side and all the forums say that's a stopped up heater core...Every time I turned the defroster on , the engine temperature would immediately start to rise, then I could bleed the air out and/ or turn the defroster off and the engine temperature would drop immediately .WELL ....maybe its the heater core for some people, not me...So I made a loop and hooked the heater core supply lines together so coolant stays in the engine only..I placed a funnel in the radiator and filled it half way and after about fifteen minutes of idling I still get bubbles and when the engine revs they are even more pronounced... 1) Since I am doing the Head gasket job, are there any special odd things to consider for this engine?(Ive been through this process with my ea82, and with my ej22, and my 1.8 Nissan Sentra). I just want to be prepared 2)Is there a best way to check the heater core while I have the engine out? 3)Since this one has a timing chain(and its really quiet btw) anything special things there to consider? Thanks all for any insights!
  3. Hi All, This is my first post here. I recently did a timing belt on my 1999 Legacy Outback Wagon, with a new water pump. Job went well, all parts bolted up and timing came out fine, no problems running now. However, even after burping the cooling system with a radiator bucket, multiple times, the car still overheats and I don't feel heat. There are no signs of a blown head gasket that I can tell, the car runs fine and doesn't smell or smoke or anything, has full power. What should my next step be? I replaced the thermostat with a genuine Subaru thermostat. My water pump is one of the old style pumps, with the teeth as opposed to the disc. Help!! I'm not sure what to do!
  4. 92 Loyale with 187K. 2WD. Is there a way to guess if this is just a blown Head Gasket or a cracked head? The car has been losing coolant for a couple of years. Now the temperature started rising. I introduced compressed air in all the cylinders at TDC. At the cylinder #2 the coolant started leaking from the radiator. I am a fairly conservative driver, drive around the town and do not rev the engine. What do you guys think? Regard, Sam
  5. 2000 Forester Temp gauge hits red during light stop and go traffic or highway driving within 20 minutes, does not hit red just from idling. Temp gauge rises with coolant temp viewed on scan tool. Thermostat opens at correct temp (lower radiator hose gets hot), has new Fail-Safe thermostat. Fans turn on at 95 C. When the gauge hits red the temp is 100 C, highest temp I saw was 101 C, temp stayed between 90 C and 95 C at first but once it hit 100 C it wouldn't drop unless it sat and idled for about 10 minutes. I didn't push it too much because I didn't want to damage anything, A/C off and heater off, ambient temp 80 F. Cooling system was burped when thermostat was replaced and then a week or two later burped again and I got more air out of it. Burping procedure: with spill proof funnel on radiator, run engine until thermostat opens, let engine run and occasionally rev to about 3000 rpm until no more bubbles are seen. I waited about 15 minutes after thermostat opened each time. Head gaskets have been recently replaced. I don't trust the dash gauge, I don't think 101 C should be red-line but it does seem high, I haven't been able to find a maximum temp spec or normal operating range. I haven't worked on Subarus much and this is my first time messing with a Subaru cooling system. I haven't yet blown out the radiator fins, that's on the schedule this weekend. Is this a normal operating temp? At what what temp is engine damage likely to occur? I'm not even sure if I actually have a problem or not with a coolant temp of 101 C.
  6. Hi guys my 97 impreza stationwagon is overheating. There are no leaks on the car and everything works perfect. When i drive long distance approx 100km and further then when i stop the heat gauge climbs and spills all the water out of the reservoir. Checked for water in the oil nothing. Could it be that the thermostat can be shot and not opening and how do i replace that.
  7. Hi, My 1990 american legacy wagon I've just bought has an over heating problem. It drives fine and the coolant temp stays slightly below the centre of the gage on all flat and downhill roads no matter how much you thrash it. It's only when I drive up a hill that it slowly starts to overheat. If I pull over and let it idle it will go back to the normal operating temp in less than a minute, as soon as I start driving up hill again it starts to overheat. It doesn't seem to matter how much I accelerate, it seems like the only thing that makes it heat up is going on the up hill slope. Does anyone have any clue what could cause this? Thanks
  8. So here's the scoop, I just replaced the radiator in a 2002 Subaru Legacy base model with AT. The original OEM radiator cracked just below the top neck, causing the car to start overheating, hence the replacement. I replaced it with a parts store replacement radiator, not an OEM one. I didn't change any hoses, thermostat, etc., just the radiator and a coolant fill. I know, I probably should've done a new thermostat too, but needed the car back on the road asap, which now hasn't happened. I filled the radiator through the fill neck, topped off the overflow tank and let the car idle up to normal temp. I made sure to fill it until it didn't draw anymore in. First test drive, within a mile or so the gauge starts climbing to 3/4 or so. Pulled over, let it cool down and limped it back home. I did some research, thinking that there might be air locks, so I tried various methods of burping - squeezing the upper and lower hoses while running with the radiator cap off, letting the heat run full blast while do so... nothing seems to help. I'm not sure if there is still air in there or if I have a problem with the thermostat possibly? I'm solely basing all of this off the stock temp gauge... At idle, the car never goes over the 1/2 mark. It only starts to soar when you take it for a drive, and it goes up within a mile give or take. The heat is very hot and working great, the lower radiator hose never warms up at all??? Not sure if it should? Take into consideration that it's in the lower 30's outside. Both cooling fans kick on and off at idle as well. I've not seen it draw anything from or overflow into the tank at all. The coolant is not boiling, it's not shooting out of the neck or doing much of anything with the rad cap off. I've tried just about everything to make certain there is no air trapped. So I'm kinda stumped at this point... My next plan of action is to drain it all and replace the thermostat, but I thought I'd seek some advice before doing so.
  9. I own a 2006 Subaru Outback wagon 3.0 liter R, 130k miles. Car is randomly overheating (not red-lining, but almost). Sometimes you can drive all day, no problem. Other times, temp needle creeps up to near the red. Several months ago (before the problem started), the radiator hose burst (car was turned off before overheating). So, shop put in new hoses, belts and coolant. Recently, this problem started, so I drained the coolant (was very clean), flushed the system with plain water, including the hater core. Installed new Subaru thermostat. Filled 50/50 with Subaru Long Life coolant, and Subaru Coolant Conditioner. Burped the system per instructions. Also replaced the radiator cap with a new Subaru cap. Problem continued. There are no obvious leaks that I can see. Typically, needle will be steady in the middle, but will suddenly start climbing after a lot of driving, then go back to middle. I think both fans are running, even with the A/C off (expected if engine is hot). Advice I've been getting is that this is a HG leak, especially because often the overflow tank will boil -even if the car car hasn't overheated. Here's an update, after a few weeks. Now I'm more puzzled than ever! First, a little more info. The car never gets above-normal hot at highway speeds, even if I've been driving for a few hours. It can start when I get onto local traffic AFTER having been driven fast. (Note that I'be never allowed the needle to go although way to red). The usual behavior is that the the needle will slowly go up and then back down to the middle position. Later, if I'm back on the highway, it goes back to its normal position a touch below middle, and stays there. If I pull over and look under the hood, the overflow tank is full and boiling. After these incidents, I always top off the coolant. (The boiling causes coolant to spill out of the overflow). I know many of you are thinking that this is definitely a head gasket failure, like I've already been told. Well, stay with me because this gets interesting. Recently, I took the car out and was in local traffic for approximately a half an hour. I was on a highway for about 5 to 6 minutes during this drive and reached a speed of 50-60 miles an hour. When I arrived home, I opened the hood and saw that the overflow tank was bubbling. (Note that the car was not overheating at all during this drive). But I was glad to see the bubbling, because I could now do a test. I am in possession of a block tester kit that I had been loaned from AutoZone. This is one of those gadgets that allows you to suck air into a clear cylinder into an indicator liquid. If the liquid turns yellow, you know that there are combustion gases present. I stuck the device into the overflow tank (not the radiator itself, of course, because the engine at this point was hot). The coolant in the overflow tank at this point was 4 to 5 inches below the level of the device, so there was no chance of sucking any coolant into the device. Bubbles were still coming out of the the overflow tank tube. Following the directions, I squeezed the tube for two minutes, probably more like three. And … (wait for it) … Nothing. Nada. The liquid did not change color at all. It stayed the same shade of light blue the whole time. This should indicate that NO combustion gases were present coming in the overflow tank. Now, the cynical among us may say "well, how do you know that that indicator liquid even works? Maybe it's just water with blue food coloring." Well, I thought of that. I did something else as a control. I walked to the back of the car, while it was still idling, and put the block test device near the tailpipe and squeezed the bulb in and out a number of times. Within seconds, the liquid changed from blue to yellow. This indicates to me that the block tester is working. I've done this test several times since, sometimes on the overflow tank, sometimes on the radiator. Same result. Oh, and one more thing: often the bubbling continues for about a minute or two AFTER the ignition is turned off. How could combustion gasses be bubbling out of the overflow tank if the car's not running? Also, I pressure tested the radiator with the engine off. The needle hardly moved in 10 minutes. The fans are running if I check under the hood after pulling into my driveway. So, (considering all this info, sorry) do you think I'm right that the issue here is not a blown head gasket? Is air getting into the cooling system, or is air trapped in the cooling system, or is a leak causing the coolant to boil (because the system loses pressure)? Should I get the coolant system refilled professionally (under vacuum)? What's the next step?
  10. I have a 91 Loyale with a problem the has me scratching my head. Since I inherited this great car its had this weird (at least to me) problems. In the summer thetemp runs at the high end of the normal range, if I turn on the A/C it goes into the red. And in the winter time the temp barely gets into the normal range and no warmer. I did have a problem with the A/C cutting out but solved that problem with a fix I found on this forum. but the issue with the heat/no heat I don't believe had any bearing on the A/C issue So 1. Runs hot in summer, with A/C on it overheats 2. I tested the electric fan and it runs, whether our not it come on when I'm driving I don't know, though someone told me if the a/c is on the fan should run. 3. Barely gets warm in the winter. 4. Shop Put in an aftermarket thermostat years ago with marginal change. Any suggestions?
  11. Hey guys. My 1985 GL wagon has been running pretty hot just after taking it on a 9 hour drive from Tahoe to southern CA. At first I was thinking that the thermostat wasn't opening up, and then noticed that the cooling fan wasn't turning on no matter how hot the engine was. Just driving around town it runs just below the red on the temperature gauge. Is the cooling fan not working alone enough to make it run that hot? And what are some ways to trouble shoot the fan not working? Last project completed on it was a new water pump, which was done by a professional. And it did fine on the 9 hour drive. Thanks Dewey
  12. Okay this is my stepdads car it is a 1997 legacy Brighton EJ22 213k I have diagnosed the problem but I want your opinion. Here's what happened, we were driving down a dirt road that was fairly hilly and after a while the temp gauge started going up. The temp never got into the red zone so he kept driving it and when we got to level ground it cooled down a little to about half. then it started fluctuating up and down, by this time we were on the highway and we had the heater on full blast so I had my window open and I could here a squeaking, like an alternator belt but slower. The heater would cool down whenever the engine Rpms slowed but would come back when engine Rpms were brought back up around 2500 Rpms. When we finally stopped and got out and checked it out I popped the cap off of the coolant resivour and it was full, there was no bubbles with the engine running. Also I felt the radiator and over 3/4 of the rad was cold top hose was hot and the bottom was cold. This car has always ran just a little under halfway on the temp gauge since my stepdad first got it and it looks like the original radiator. He did have it flushed a couple months ago but it didn't change where the temp gauge sat. This is what I believe happened. I think that it has a clogged radiator and when we started going up the steep hills it over heated enough to push some of the coolant out the resivour on to the timing belt covers (there was coolant on the TB covers) and some of it got on the timing belt making the water pump slip until we stopped and let it dry out. I think we should change the radiator, coolant, oil, and inspect the timing belt/water pump. What do you think?
  13. I bought this 1997 Outback DOHC with 198,000 miles about a year ago. Just after purchasing the car I took the car for a road trip from Seattle to Santa Barbara while towing a 400lb trailer. About two hours from SB my car started to overheat. This was strange because I had recently had the radiator replaced. When I opened the hood the pressure cap on the radiator had fluid on it and the overflow reservoir for the coolant was overfull. After the car cooled, I took the cap off and started the engine while filling the radiator from the top. I nursed the car to my final destination. On the way home from this same drive I had another overheating when I pulled off the freeway and went to the gas station. I let the car sit and then the next day took it to a jiffy lube to have the cooling system purged and filled, eliminating any air pockets. I was able to make it the rest of my trip without any hitches but I still had suspicions. Since this trip the car overheated twice and then finally when I checked the car after another overheat I found oil in the coolant reservoir. Since then I have pulled the engine and got the heads off. I am not a trained mechanic and wanted to hear another persons opinion about my cylinder walls and heads. I want to know if it is worth installing new head gaskets on this motor or if I should search for a new block and machine the heads. Thanks in advance!
  14. It all started when her timing belt snapped and took a decent chunk of the engine with it. She spent a month at the shop with a man whom I thought knew Outbacks well. Her head gaskets were replaced, all hoses and clamps were replaced, as well as many other parts. She carted me around for a while longer after that, but then she started to overheat on the highway. My dad (who has been employed for 30+ years as a mechanic) took her off my hands for the last two months and replaced everything again, as the first guy apparently did a bad job at some stuff. I got her back and she was fine for a while and then the issue began again. I love my car and quite frankly can't afford to replace it. My dad is at his wit's end with this issue. When it overheats it's after about 10-20 minutes on the highway. City driving does not seem to be an issue (though it may be that I don't drive for very long periods of time in the city). The coolant reservoir appears to be very full when it's overheating like that and there's smoke and/or steam (I never had to learn about cars since my dad and brother and boyfriends always took care of this stuff so I'm not as knowledgeable as I should be. Forgive me if I type something that sounds ridiculous). When I blast the heat it helps. When it's overheating on the highway and I get back into the city (at slower speeds) it cools down a bit (though still runs high) with the heat blasting. So much has been replaced in the engine in the last couple years including and most recently, the thermostat, head gaskets, water pump and hoses. Help! Before this car tears our family apart.
  15. Bought a used 2005 Forester great shape needed a motor. Replaced it with a used Legacy 2.5 that had timming belt and head gaskets replaced two years ago. I always smell antifreeze but never see it. I noticed the coolant reservoir was empty a few times. Well it keeps needing coolant so Im almost pos that the head gaskets are shot. Is this worth fixing or should I just cut my losses now? Is this a problem that will keep happening? I always had a love and trust for Subaru untill now.
  16. Hello. I'm new here making my first post I just bought a 1995 Legacy to replace my 2000 Outback that's having head gasket issues for the third time in three years. Anyway, the new one has some issues that I was curious about. First, it needs a new alternator. Can I use the one that's in the Outback or will I need to buy one? Second, the Legacy is having minor overheating issues. As in it starts heating up when I go up hills, but the needle never tops out and it will cool down once I'm over the hill. Please please tell me this is an easy fix. I'll scream if I end up with another head gasket issue.
  17. Good afternoon - my happy 2000 Forester was running perfectly, until yesterday, when the heater started blowing cool air while at a red light. Once moving, it warmed up. I got on the interstate, and soon noticed the heater air cooled off if I coasted - so, 50 mph, engine barely more than idling. But for two miles at 60 mph, the gage was normal. Then the gage pegged to hot. I pulled over, let it cool thirty minutes, started up, made it a block before the gage pegged. I waited an hour, then tried again and made it about home - about ten miles. It would overheat and the heater would blow cold at red lights, but once moving, it immediately cooled down. The overheating at stops is as if the fans didn't work, but I don't get the heater being cold. I bet on a sticking thermostat, thinking higher engine speeds spun more water and opened it - so I replaced the t-stat and both rad hoses, then did a chemical clean-and-flush. The system seemed clean, and is now cleaner. Also did an engine flush and changed the oil and filter. Then I drained all the water out and added in a gallon of antifreeze and topped it up with water. It warms up normally and the fans operate normally while parked and idling. There is a bit of steam coming from the fill-neck area, but from just below the tank bottom seam. I imagine there's a minor leak, but I watched it carefully and wasn't really losing water. With the engine at normal operating temperature, I removed the rad cap. At idle, it didn't look like water was moving through the top tank. If I revved the engine, I could see water coming in fast from the top rad hose - on the passenger side - but it seemed to come from a small orifice - not a big hose. The overflow tank doesn't seem to do anything but sit there and bubble. Still, it idled for twenty minutes, and the heater worked and I couldn't see any leaks, besides the steam leak So, I drove a two-mile loop: the gage was pegged to hot when I got back and the heater was blowing cold. I shut it off, confirmed water was visible under the cap, and started it up. It immediately returned to operating temperature - the gage dropped to normal operating temp in about ten seconds, where it stayed, idling for twenty minutes, fans cycling normally. The system does not seem pressurized when I remove the cap. I put a heavy rag over the cap, expecting the usual dangerous whoosh of steam, but there was nothing, not even a hiss, as if the system was not pressurizing. I don't think the steam leak is preventing pressurizing; the steam wafts out like from a boiling pot. It doesn't jet out, like from a pressure vessel. I think I need a new cap to ensure it seals, and a new radiator because of the steaming leak - but I'll try the cap first and see if the steam stops. But why does the heater blow hot and cold? It's as if when the engine is hot, the water quits moving. Past t-stat failures have been with them refusing to open, and I have vague memories of having one fail open, but I've never had one act sticky. And water pump failures have been noisy and leaky at the pump. But that's been on Chevy, Jeep, and Toyota...is Subaru different?
  18. All: EJ22 is back in the 1995 Legacy L wagon. Pulled it for clutch / seals / oil seal / etc. Got the engine back in and she started after I followed the procedure for priming oil pump! Tanks fairtax4me. Have lots of other question...but the most immediate. Car is getting hot. Was putting fluid in it...and it ran for about 10 mins....went to take it up the street and it moved to H quickly. Also took the cap off and it was pushing fluid out the cap. This car is new to me. When running before did not overheat (in driveway). Oil looks fine. Please God don't be a head gasket after all this work. Anything I am missing here....does this sound like I need to burp the coolant? And what is best way to do that...saw some other threads. Concerned in Annapolis ;-) Thanks, Tom
  19. Hi all, first time posting, seems like a great community. The problem: I have a 2001 Subaru legacy L. It has 190K on it, mostly highway miles. It needs its head gaskets done, but I just took it into a shop and the repairman said it wasn't looking too bad, they were seeping but not leaking. Driving home from work yesterday it started to overheat for the first time, temperature gauge got up to H but did not redline. Managed to coast pretty much all the way home (downhill) and let it sit in my driveway for awhile. Checked the oil and coolant levels and they both appear to be fine. Oil is maybe a tad high (slightly above F). Took off the radiator cap (with engine cool) and it bubbled and then was still. It seems like there are little copper flecks in there, not sure what those are from or what they indicate. Don't seem to see any of the notorious white sludge in my coolant that would indicate that the head gaskets have blown. Recently (May) replaced the radiator and thermostat, so I wouldn't think those would be the problem, although I'm not too sure on the longevity of thermostats. Looking for some help on diagnosing the problem! Might just be time to go get the head gaskets done? Thanks for any help!
  20. Hello, we are having issues with our 2003 Baja overheating. It happened once, it was all the way on the H before I noticed it. Never had too much trouble out of it. I pulled over, the reservoir cap was off and there was fluid everywhere. We got it home, flushed the system, replaced the thermostat, checked for leaks, checked the radiator and hoses, there are no bubbles coming from the reservoir, all seemed well. (The head gaskets were replaced barely 2 years ago). It ran fine for about a week. Then same thing...hot, pulled over to let it cool...got it back home, getting hot again about every 1-2 miles and pulling over again to let it cool (took forever to get home lol). Then, we replaced the radiator cap and it ran fine for about a day. Next, we replaced the water pump and the thermostat again. This time, it ran for about 45 miles and then got hot. We pulled over to let it cool. It ran for about 10 more miles before it got hot again. After letting it cool a second time, we went about another 10-15 miles to our destination and it didn't get hot again. It won't get hot while running in the driveway, even when reving the engine. It has to be driven before it will overheat. We believe we have gotten all the air out so the thermostat will open properly. The fans are kicking on. We have driven it short distances 3-4 miles to town and back with no problem for about a week now. Today, drove it further, about another 45-50 miles (not at once, 8 hour break in between) and it got hot again on the way home. Getting hot again after a cooldown about every 1-2 miles instead of 10-15. Is this a head gasket issue? And why would they fail if they were replaced only a couple of years ago?
  21. Hey All, I am in need of some help from someone who knows their way around an older Subaru. I purchased a 1990 Subaru Legacy Wagon with only 86k miles on it from a single owner. The car is in great shape and I felt was an excellent buy. After putting a few thousand miles on it Ive noticed that the cars temperature seems to go a bit above the half way mark at times. Before say a month ago the temperature gauge lived between completely cold and mid way. I dont know if this is an indicator of a head gasket problem or if this could be the radiator. Ive heard the 2.2 4cyl 5-speed manual engines in that year dont have the head problems as much as the others do. Please help!!
  22. So I had replaced the thermostat the first time and a couple of months later it was overheating again- usually after it had been running off and on that day. short 10-20 minute trips. doing fine, then temp gauge shoots up and it doesnt come down till I turn it off. The heat might not work as well. Ive burped it by the manual a couple of times since the 2nd thermostat (from Subaru- amazing how much better it is). It is doing it again. It doesn't seem super hot- there is no steam and it smells ok. the radiator may be hot or it may be warm. I may keep the fans running and it'll cool down pretty quickly. burp it again and it does it again. no leaks of coolant or oil as far as I can tell. ANY IDEAS(besides head gasket)?
  23. Hi guys, I'm new to the forum and wanted to see if anyone had any advice on working on my Subaru. It's a 1997 Subaru Legacy Outback with the 2.5L DOHC engine. Of course I had the head gasket go so now it is sitting in my driveway as I get ready to work on it. What I wanted to know is there anything else I should be looking at and replacing while I am working on the engine. I know the timing belts are known to have some problems so I was going to replace that. Anything else I should keep an eye out for?
  24. I am trying to diagnose my overheating issue with my wagon. I am trying to find out if there is a good way to tell what the problem is? First I found a busted hose by the water pump, replaced it, it ran for a day without issue. Then it came back. Then I did the thermostat replacement. Then I found a small leak in a metal coolant line (near throttle) patched it with JB weld. I thought that would fix the issue. No deals. I am trying to figure out the next step to find the problem. Is it the water pump, radiator, head gasket? Something else. It does not blow white smoke. The water pump does not make noise. It does smoke a little under the hood near the throttle area. Could it be that it is not circulating oil properly? Could that be it? Any ideas on how to definitively find the problem will be very helpful. Block test next???? Thanks all.
  25. I have 2001 Subaru Outback 2.4L Automatic wagon with about 190K miles. It runs great, however when it gets below 40 degrees farenheit, it has a few symptoms that are not present when the weather is warm. 1. Strong odor of gasoline, so much so that I cannot turn on heat unless the car is moving and wind is forcing the order to leave the engine area. 2. Overheating when driving more than 5-10 miles, regardless of uphill or downhill. At the end of last winter, I replaced the thermostat, drained old coolant, then refilled the system with 50/50 coolant to make sure I had a proper mix. Sure enough, I drove about 10 miles, and immediately saw the engine begin to near the red line. After this, I brought it to a mechanic and asked them to look for any problems and possibly check the water pump. They gave it back to me and told me the water pump wouldn't fail the way it is engineered, and they claimed that it had to be a head gasket problem. I don't believe they actually checked anything out because they didn't charge me after leaving it with them for three days. So, I saved up a little cash and it was around May, when things started to warm up. When I was ready to bring it in to have the head gasket replaced, the weather had consistently risen to 50-70 degreees farenheit and I was no longer having overheating issues. I was testing it on hills, and with AC on full, trying to get it to overheat with no success. So, I figured even if they replaced the head gasket, I couldn't verify that their work was successful until it got cold again, so I didn't do it. Now that we've had a couple weeks where mornings are below 30 degrees, all the symptoms are back, and they seem to be worse when it is really cold than just cold. I don't have anyway of proving that the gas odor and the overheating are related, but I never have one without the other. If I lived in a warmer climate, I don't think I would even be aware that there is an issue because it drives great in the summer and I have no issues, even on long road trips with the car packed and AC on full blast. Other info... I didn't see any excessive rust or metal particles when I flushed the coolant, I've always changed the oil regularly and i've used synthetic oil since it cleared 100K, no major mechanical failures but have replaced starter, alternator, knock sensor, belts when worn. Timing belt changed at 125K. Flushed & changed transmission fluid at 150K. I've regularly replaced spark plugs, spark plug wires, & distributor cap, but I've never replaced the fuel filter or anything fuel related because I was always afraid of a spill and stinking up the garage and having to hear my wife complain for weeks while the smell went away. Please help me!! I've aked every mechanic that I've randomly run into and they only tell me that it's either thermostat, water pump, or head gasket, however none of those suggest that it would work fine in the summer but overheat and stink in the winter. Any insight and explanation could help. I'm at a loss. I don't want to spend $1500 for a head gasket replacement and find out that it was some other anomoly that only costs me $50. I love my Subbie and hope to get her to at least 300K miles.
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