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thechesirecat

'98 Legacy Outback overheating w/ no heat

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Hi all,

I've got a '98 Legacy Outback w/ 115K on it. I bought it when the headgasket blew for the original owner, so the timing, water pump, and head gasket have all been re-done in the last 6 months.

 

I overheated yesterday at the tail end of a 40 mile commute and had steam coming out from evaporating coolant. I figured I'd sprung a leak in one of the heater hoses, and sure enough one was spraying coolant.

 

I fixed all that this morning, but aside from the antifreeze leak, am still having the same overheating issues.

 

1. overflow coolant tank was bubbling when I stopped the engine.

2. Upper hose and lower hose were compressed due to pressure, upper hose was hot and lower hose was cool.

3. heat does not work, and covers inner windshield with a film that makes me think antifreeze may be escaping.

4. car does not overheat while idling.

 

I can't tell if I should focus on the water pump or heater core. It's possible the mechanic did a poor job and the water pump is bad, as he was a friend of a friend and took over 2 months to complete the repairs. However, the filmy residue left by the blower makes me think that the heater core may be the issue.

 

Any ideas?

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Loop the heater core hoses to take it out of the system.

 

Sounds like you may still have air in the system. Make sure you fill the radiator with the air bleeder plug on the passenger side removed. Doesn't hurt to have the car on an incline and to start it with the cap off and fill as it warms also.

 

If that doesnt work the HG job is probably suspect. You really need to know what you are doing and it doesn't sound like this was quality work.

 

GD

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Sorry to hear about your overheating motor. Unfortunately, you have all the classic signs of a bad head gasket. I have a 98, and have already encountered this problem.

 

Suggest you read the archives regarding bad head gaskets on this forum under the "search" section. There is a lot written on this subject.

 

1998 Subaru motors are prone to blowing head gaskets. It is the main weakness in what is otherwise a good motor.

 

Whatever you do, don't continue to over heat the motor, or you will be replacing the engine, instead of repairing the engine.

 

Let us know how you are coming along with this problem.

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Thanks for pointing me towards the air bubble. I replaced the coolant (which looked clean). After the temp initially shot up after idling for a bit, it normalized after I took it out and the coolant circulated. The check engine light came on, but I'll take a faulty sensor over a head gasket any day.

 

I theorize that I may have inadvertently created the bubble when I replaced the heater hose, but who knows.

 

Thanks again.

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Thanks for pointing me towards the air bubble. I replaced the coolant (which looked clean). After the temp initially shot up after idling for a bit, it normalized after I took it out and the coolant circulated. The check engine light came on, but I'll take a faulty sensor over a head gasket any day.

 

I theorize that I may have inadvertently created the bubble when I replaced the heater hose, but who knows.

 

Thanks again.

 

You can also get a check engine light on due to a cooling fan irrationallity when they get low on coolant. I've seen it a few times when the head gaskets are blown and sucks the coolant down.

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