1999 Subaru Outback CAR IS OVERHEATING

Tiny
WINTERS
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 SUBARU OUTBACK
  • 4 CYL
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 10,500 MILES
I HAVE A 2.5 L LEGACY OUTBACK WHICH BLOWS COOL AIR FROM THE HEATER AFTER ABOUT 20 MIN OF DRIVING THEN OVERHEATS. PRIOR TO CAR DOING THIS I HAD TIMING BELT, THERMOSTAT, WATER PUMP REPLACED. GARAGE REPLACED THERMOSTAT AGAIN FIGURED IT WAS DEFECTIVE BUT DID NOT MAKE A DIFFERENCE. NO EXCESSISVE SMOKE OUT THE TAIL PIPE, OIL LOOKS FINE, NO VISIBLE LEAKING EXCEPT WHEN PUSHES WATER OUT THE RESERVOIR JUG WHEN IT OVERHEATS. I DUE GET AN OCCASIONAL ANTIFREEZE ODOR INSIDE THE CABIN BUT THIS MAY BE COMING IN FROM THE OUTSIDE WHEN IT OVERHEATS. I HAVE BEEN TOLD MANY DIFFERENT THINGS ABOUT WHAT MAY BE WRONG FROM A LEAKING HEAD GASKET, BLOCKED RADIATOR, FAULTY WATER PUMP, TO THE SYSTEM BEING AIR BOUND. HOW DO I DETERMINE WHAT IS WRONG BEFOR I START REPLACING PARTS BY TRIAL AND ERROR?
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Saturday, April 5th, 2008 AT 4:53 AM

4 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Feel across the radiator fin for cold spot-it should be evenly hot across and also do a block and pressure test on the cooling system.
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Saturday, April 5th, 2008 AT 5:10 AM
Tiny
WINTERS
  • MEMBER
I ran the car until it started to overheat. Felt the outside of the radiator which was cold all around. The inner part of the radiator [where the fans are ] felt hot at the upper quarter of the radiator and cold all over the rest. I can call my dealership tomorrow to schedule a block and pressure test. Sound like a circulatory problem?
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Sunday, April 6th, 2008 AT 1:49 PM
Tiny
DLONGAR
  • MEMBER
I had the same problem with my Outback at 80,000
miles.

Here a run down on my story.
I over heated one cold winter day and brought the car in for service.

First they replaced the radiator (said there was a hole). About 3 days later it overheated again.
Next they replaced the thermostat, but told me
the old one tested fine. Again it overheated.
I went and searched on the internet and found
a bunch of people with the same problem (hundreds of people) I called subaru, they insured me that
my car was not part of the head gasket problem I have a late 1999 outback limited, they said the problem was 1998 - early 1999. But after
seeing bubles in my overflow reservour, and other
similar symptoms as people described on the internet, I told my mechanic to replace the head gaskets.

The Mechanic had never replaced head gaskets on a subaru before, but they did it. They made a few errors, so they ended up taking the heads off again. I continued to smell anti freeze for a few weeks and determined there was a leak. They put some dye in the coolant and I ran it for about 2 days and brought it back, they took the heads off again, said the new gaskets had failed, they put another new set of gaskets in again and all has been good since. Since they had to rip so much of the engine apart I had them also replace the timing belt and gave it a full tuneup. It was about $3000 in total for all the work and I didn't have a car for most of a month, but It's has been running well for the last 25K miles. For the first 10K I was very angry at Subaru, but $3K was cheaper than getting a new car and I've since put on a few miles and am trusting the car again. It's hard to handle the $3K at one shot, but the first 80K of driving was trouble free, and now another 25K with no other problems. If I have a problem again, I'm turning this car into a Electric! ;-)
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Friday, April 18th, 2008 AT 1:20 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
I ran the car until it started to overheat. Felt the outside of the radiator which was cold all around. The inner part of the radiator [where the fans are ] felt hot at the upper quarter of the radiator and cold all over the rest. I can call my dealership tomorrow to schedule a block and pressure test. Sound like a circulatory problem?

Sounds like the radiator is clogged-up coolant is not circulating
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Friday, April 18th, 2008 AT 2:02 PM

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