Engine Cooling problem
2003 Subaru Forester 4 cyl All Wheel Drive Automatic 110000 miles
While on the road with my 2003 Forester for about hour driving on the highway at 70 mph I ended up stuck in bumper to bumper traffic thru a toll & then a bridge for an hour. After about 15 min. In the temp guage started moving up to almost the red zone. I turned the heat on in hopes to keep from the red and seemed to work a little but then it eventaully it shot up over red. There was no steam & the engine seemed to running ok. Everytime I was able to move foward, the needle would go down to normal & then climb back up when stopped again. I coudn't pull over on the bridge cause literlly no where to go. This went on for 45 minutes untill we were over bridge and traffic was moving along again. The temp gauge was back to normal the rest of the way. I did notice clear water under the car after I was parked for awhile but no clloant. Checked the coolant level seemed fine, even in the resvior. Could this be water pumb issue or temp sensor issue?
Hi LAH. Welcome to the forum. Sounds like the electric radiator fan is not turning on. (Most people don't know to turn the heater on - well done). If you were running the air conditioning, that would explain the water puddle which is normal. On most cars, the radiator fan runs all the time the AC is turned on, but on some models it only runs when the compressor cycles on. Pop the hood and watch or listen if the fan runs when the engine is hot. Moving the vehicle will produce air flow that will bring the temperature back down but it will take a good 10 - 20 mph to do so. If increasing engine speed brings the temperature down even when the vehicle isn't moving, look for a loose water pump belt or in rare cases, a broken water pump impeller. Those will cause poor circulation but typically using the heater won't help in that situation.