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Rice Burner

Question about engine getting hot while sitting in traffic

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I have a 1997 impreza outback sport 5 speed with around 202k miles. While sitting at idle in traffic with the air conditioner on the temp. guage will go up in the high temp range where I am afraid it will overheat. If I start to drive again the temp goes down or if I am still sitting in traffic and turn the air off the temp will go down. If anyone has any ideas what might be causing this please share. Thanks

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I have a 1997 impreza outback sport 5 speed with around 202k miles. While sitting at idle in traffic with the air conditioner on the temp. guage will go up in the high temp range where I am afraid it will overheat. If I start to drive again the temp goes down or if I am still sitting in traffic and turn the air off the temp will go down. If anyone has any ideas what might be causing this please share. Thanks

 

Sounds like the electric fans on th eradiator aren't coming on....maybe a bad relay, or blown fuse...

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Fans or a clogged radiator. When was the last time the cooling system was serviced?

 

 

nipper

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Fans or a clogged radiator. When was the last time the cooling system was serviced?

 

 

It has been two or three years ago

 

Its due. With the mileage on the car, a clogged radiator wouldnt be a surprise.

 

I'm curious, when was the last timing belt done, and was a water pump done then?

 

nipper

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The timing belt and water pump were done about 4 years ago when I bought the car. I just found another post where it looks like someone else has/had the same problem as me. The vehicle runs great when moving or sitting still with the air off. No temp. problems then. Only with air on while sitting. Same thing is happening to my 98 Jeep Cherokee Police Jeep except when that happens it does not matter if I am moving or sitting still. In the Jeep it will cause the coolent in the overflow tank to boil. Nobody in the motorpool can figure it out. Oh well, its getting replaced in 2 months anyway with over 215k miles.....

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Well it sounds like to me failed radiators. Radiators can clog, and/or the cooling fins can fall apart. At this mileage on either vehical it wouldnt surprise me.

 

nipper

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Cooling system service is a must, with checking rad for clogs. When it was serviced last, what brand/type coolant was used? The oat/dexcool types can cause clogging if there are any leaks letting air into the system. Subaru does not want oat coolants to be used in Subaru's. Many 'all makes all models' coolants are dexcool clones.

 

The coolant 'boiling' in the overflow tank sounds like what happens when a head gasket fails allowing exhaust to blow into/pressurize the coolant, then it bubbles into the overflow tank.

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You can always start with the cheap fix, replace the radiator caps. I missed the boiling in the jeep. Man if your guys in the motor pool cant diagnose that, i wonder how the rest of the car is.

 

nipper

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You can easily check to see if the fan motors are working:

 

Key to ON, engine off. A/C switch pressed in. Both fans should come on.

 

(This doesn't confirm that the thermo switches work, but you'll know if the motors are still okay)

 

Clogged radiator, is my guess by the way. Either external or internal.

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If it's due to a clogged radiator, I would think it would get hot even when moving.....so to me it sounds like ther is no air passing throught the rad when sitting still, so it gets hot....once moving the wind blows through the Rad cooling it down...this is why I said to check the fans...

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If it's due to a clogged radiator, I would think it would get hot even when moving.....so to me it sounds like ther is no air passing throught the rad when sitting still, so it gets hot....once moving the wind blows through the Rad cooling it down...this is why I said to check the fans...

 

It can be partially clogged where the AC is just enough extra of a heat load to push it over the edge.

 

 

nipper

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What if only the right fan turns on?

 

Then a bad left fan motor, thermoswitch or relay.

 

nipper

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dammitt

 

Jump the thermoswitch, its should start the fans.

 

If it doesnt then you need to look at the fan or the relay.

 

nipper

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Could have been overcurrent for the fan, like does it turn freely by hand? Or something stuck in the fan like a plastic bag or anything could do it too. Or the fan motor going bad. Or wiring issue. Or fuses will sometimes blow over time, like be faulty. Esp on fans which probably have an inrush.

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Relays are good, and the fan motor is good.

 

I am confused though, after looking at the haynes manual. It is the driver side fan that doesn't work (Hanyes describes this as the main fan), but it is the Sub-fan fuse that is blowing. ????

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I had a similar problem on my '92 Sentra SE-R. The right side radiator fan was not turning on, just the left side fan. I took the fan motor aprt and found out that one of the brushes was hanging up. cleaned that up and it's been fine for, oh, about 5 years now.

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