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dwerick

1996 Legacy Outback 2.2L leaking coolant

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I recently got a 1996 Legacy Outback as my first car, and it has driven great for the first 5000 miles that I've owned it.

 

A couple days ago, however, I noticed some what I think is coolant below the engine. Then yesterday I noticed some more pooling beneath the engine. After checking again today, none has leaked.

 

It seems to me that the location of the leak is next to a radiator hose and timing belt cover (but not on the hose itself). You can see the two shiny drops of fluid in the attached picture.

 

There is no overheating, "off" smells, or any other behavior out of the ordinary-- just the leaking.

 

Any idea what may be the cause of this leak, and what I should do about it? I'm not too mechanically savvy, and this my first car, so any help is much appreciated!

post-64030-0-59472700-1471885689_thumb.jpg

Edited by dwerick

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You are going to have to do a timing belt job unless you can determine that it has been done in last 60K miles.  One of the things changed often with a timing belt job, is the water pump.  The water pump gasket  could be leaking and giving the occasional drops.  Monitor the cooling level closely and look up the multiple videos on DIY timing belt changes.

 

ps/  you don't have an interference engine, so if you have a timing belt break, all it will do is strand you.  It wouldn't cause a catastrophic engine failure like the 1997 and latter cars would.

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The water pumps have a weep hole in them and when they start going bad they will drip coolant out of it.

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Not common for these pumps to drip. Usually the gasket goes bad when someone has replaced the pump and used a paper gasket. That pump does look old though.

Either way, Timing belt time.

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A shop in Waterbury that does a lot of Subarus did the waterpump on my last Outback for a little over $300; timing belts should usually be done at the same time, beyond the scope of most non-professionals. 

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