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I finally made the overflow tank bubble and steam.

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I'm almost certain it is headgasket failure now. I've posted a previous thread about this trying to narrow the problem down because I hadn't seen any of the normal headgasket signs.


Today I put in a new battery, new EGR valve, and new rear brakes (hey, why not?) and I am still having problems with the car almost stalling at idle and fluctuating/abnormal idle.


I realized that I had been driving the car like grandma since it started having problems, and that I hadn't really beaten on it for a long time, so off I went.


Overdrive is for weenies. Real men go 70 in 3rd. Well, real men with automatic transmissions anyway. The car drove as beautifully as a 99 Subaru Outback with bald summer tires and failing suspension can drive. I noticed no problems or hesitation, in fact the transmission was responding as good as it did when the car was brand new. I hadn't driven it like this since I had it flushed 3 months ago.


After winding (bored push up/ push down would be more accurate than "winding") through all of the (3) gears and generally driving like I was at an autocross for an hour, I headed back home to the garage.


I popped the hood and checked the overflow reservoir's volume - it had raised a half inch and was above the full mark. I opened it and couldn't see the fluid. I shined a light in and realized I couldn't see the fluid due to the cloud of vapor rising from within.


I blew on it and cleared the air, so to speak, then I noticed many bubbles (1-2 per second) coming up through the coolant, which was no longer quite as green as it should be. More visible vapors were rising from the coolant. It looked like steam. I tried smelling for gas/oil but I have a cold and can't smell anything.


I'd take it to the dealer tomorrow but I'm still waiting on a parts order from 1stsubaruparts.com with all the items they will need to do the repair and other important 60k things (water pump, thermo, timing belt, etc).


I hope I can get it in before christmas, and I hope I get it back in running condition. The last two times it has been to the dealer it has come back with new gremlins and problems I've had to resolve myself. I don't like the local dealership one bit, but I'm still under 60k miles and it's ridiculous for a headgasket to fail so soon.


I'd like to thank Alias### (forgot your numbers) and everyone else who helped me out with suggestions and tips in the other thread. This is a great forum and I'm honored to still be a moderator here after all these years.


PS- New suspension goes on as soon as the engine is fixed! I'll post pics.



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If done properly I think that technique is the most conclusive DIY test for head gasket failure.


Sorry to hear about your admission to the club.


Good luck!

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