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Greetings, I'm new here and new to Subaru. I acquired a 1997 Impreza OBS about a week ago and unfortunately I noticed on Saturday that it was leaking, no, dumping coolant. See video:

 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/GvePuqUZJdODNBbB2

 

It was difficult for me to figure out where it was coming from but I decided to try the thermostat gasket. I installed a new one and the issue appeared to go away. Yesterday after driving the car, however, I noticed some more coolant loss, though not as much and it only seemed to happen after the car had been run and then stopped. I pulled the radiator cap and poured coolant directly into the radiator and in a matter of seconds heard it dripping out onto the ground. 

 

Here I laid under the car and squeezed the lower radiator hose and some coolant came out. 

 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/SJDMHH08Ks10aGq52

 

My guesses are: 

 

1. Warped thermostat housing (read this elsewhere, no idea really).

2. Water pump is no longer sealing to the engine properly

3. Heater line connecting to the water pump is cracked or loose. I don't know because I can't see it. 

4. Water pump has failed. This seems to be too much coolant to be coming from the weep hole and while I've never experienced a bad water pump, it understand that they can be noisy. Mine is not. 

 

Thanks for any advice anyone can offer. This is really stressful because I bought this high-mileage but well-maintained car from a friend as a quick solution to my car-less problem and barely a week in, and I have this, and not a lot of money to deal with it. If it's water pump I wonder what the cost might because of how much has to come apart to fix it. 

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looks wet above the thermostat housing.

 

I am guessing water pump.

 

They aren't always noisy, and can leak quite a bit of coolant when they fail.

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High-Mileage w/out service history = Timing belt, pulleys/tensioner, WP and Tstat. - ASAP.

 

As this is an INTERFERENCE engine, you must ensure your Tbelt is up-to-date cuz if it breaks, things from go from $>$$$.

 

Kit is <$150; Labor depends on who does it. I'd say less than $500. These engines are super-easy to do, SOHC. You and a buddy could likely pull it off...Youtube it!

 

Many times the Tbelt is done w/OUT replacing the water pump, but this is why NOT to do that.

 

"...from a Friend" ???  :-(

 

I've sold cars to NON-friends and helped fix repair$ that I missed...."CARMA" 
 

Edited by wtdash

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Thanks for the replies. I do have the service history, but it's all in the form of invoices from a mechanic. I just haven't had a chance to sort out what's what. I'll do that when I get home tonight and update here.

 

Yep, I've looked into the kit for the belt and pump, etc. The price for the kit is no big deal. Any recommendations on brand?

 

I think I could do the work. It certainly looks easier to work on than my Volvo V70 that died. My biggest concern is the timing belt, which I've never actually done on a car. This guy's video does make it look quite straightforward: 

 

He's a solid guy and had no idea this was an issue. I'm not questioning him at all. 

Edited by mavam

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sounds good....if you're going to 'be in there anyway' I recommend reading up on the Oil Pump. It's also easy to do, but adds 30+ minutes to the job.

 

 - Pull the pump w/the crank seal

 - Scrape off the old RTV sealant on both faces (pump and block)

 - Tighten the Phillips head screws on back - likely loose. 

 - Install the the NEW little Oring into the block

 - RTV as FSM shows

- Install pump - DO NOT overtighten those 10mm (socket) bolts...snap easier than your fingers.

 - Install NEW crank seal 

 

Search on beer garage subaru for pics (PG13 site)....he goes into a mild tear down of the pump...I'm not sure that's needed.....others may 'flame' me for that!  :Flame:

Edited by wtdash

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Good to know, I'll look into that as well. Thanks!

 

In the records I have, the last timing belt, rad hoses, t-stat, and water pump was 104k miles ago ago. If that's true, I believe it is past due time.

 

Edit: I'm enjoying this Beer Garage site. 

Edited by mavam
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So, I have nothing else to indicate that it would be this but does anyone think this could be a head gasket? I suppose it’s really the only other option here if it wasn’t the water pump.

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If it’s a head gasket you typically won’t see coolant dropped on the ground or pouring out of the engine.

 

My bet is you have a dead water pump shaft seal - most likely due to the water pump wearing out from incorrect service (read: replacement) intervals.

 

Personally I always go with genuine water pumps, they have a cast impeller that reduces cavitation compared to the pressed steel impeller found on aftermarket water pumps. However, for a daily driver that is not put under a lot of stress such as regular high revs or hard acceleration, the pressed steel impeller will be fine ;)

 

If you choose to do the cam belt yourself, make sure you align the “|” mark on the cam wheel and not the arrow ;) And always rotate the crank twice after the belt is installed, check alignment again, if good reassemble, if out a tooth remove belt and start again ;)

 

Cheers

 

Bennie

 

Edit: a head gasket will typically blow bubbles into the radiator. How small/big will depend on how badly blown the HGs are. Not fixing this coolant loss issue could result in a blown hg or two...

After replacing the water pump, run for a week if issue is resolved then change the oil if it’s been cooked or you don’t know the history on it ;)

Edited by el_freddo

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If it’s a head gasket you typically won’t see coolant dropped on the ground or pouring out of the engine.

 

My bet is you have a dead water pump shaft seal - most likely due to the water pump wearing out from incorrect service (read: replacement) intervals.

 

Personally I always go with genuine water pumps, they have a cast impeller that reduces cavitation compared to the pressed steel impeller found on aftermarket water pumps. However, for a daily driver that is not put under a lot of stress such as regular high revs or hard acceleration, the pressed steel impeller will be fine ;)

 

If you choose to do the cam belt yourself, make sure you align the “|” mark on the cam wheel and not the arrow ;) And always rotate the crank twice after the belt is installed, check alignment again, if good reassemble, if out a tooth remove belt and start again ;)

 

Cheers

 

Bennie

 

Edit: a head gasket will typically blow bubbles into the radiator. How small/big will depend on how badly blown the HGs are. Not fixing this coolant loss issue could result in a blown hg or two...

After replacing the water pump, run for a week if issue is resolved then change the oil if it’s been cooked or you don’t know the history on it ;)

 

That's what I figured about the HG, but wanted another thought out there before I started digging into it. 

 

Waiting on a response for when the last timing belt/water pump was done. The rest of the maintenance is really solid, which is why I was comfortable buying it. New oil and filter every 3k miles. Regular attention to power steering, new coolant, brakes, tires, etc. 

 

This is and will be barely a daily driver (less than 10 miles a day on average really), so I may go with the steel impeller.

 

Thanks for all the tips. At the very least I should be quite comfortable doing the timing belts on my Ducati in a month or two once this is sorted out. 

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