2000 Subaru Outback Coolant Problems

Tiny
DANB2008
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 SUBARU OUTBACK
  • 4 CYL
  • AWD
  • MANUAL
  • 72,000 MILES
I have a 2000 Outback. One cold Day I had Hand in front of heater vent and noticed fluctuations in air temp coming out. I had just accelerated onto the Highway, and a glance down at Temp gauge showed it was on its way up to 3/4 at a slow pace. Cranked heat, slowed to 35 mph and crawled to next exit (never redlined the temp gauge). 200 yards off the exit, heater vent air ran HOT then switched to ICE cold air. Down a short hill to Repair chain, where I watched coolant drip out quickly.
They replaced "Burst" Radiatior and thermostat, all related hoses ($670). Car fine for 100 miles, after which I noticed the same symptom (fluctuations in Air temp from vents, noticed temp guage drifting). Next day, no issues. Third day, issues back, this time heat dropped out again, temp rose to 3/4 and had to sit and wait for car to cool. OVerflow tank empty, radiatior seemed dry, but would only take 1/4 gallon straight anitfreeze before overflowing. Filled overflow with 50/50, nursed home.
No leaks evident overnight. Now I have sloshing sound from under dash, particularly when accelerating from a stop.
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Thursday, December 4th, 2008 AT 7:31 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
Ok you need to find out where the coolant is going it is going somewhere. I would say you need to have a good shop do a leak test to see if you have a head or head gasket problem where compression is getting into the radiator. If there is not problem there then the coolant system may not have been burped out all the way meaning there are air bubbles trapped thoughout the system and it is not completly full. Let me know what you find.
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Thursday, December 4th, 2008 AT 10:48 AM
Tiny
DANB2008
  • MEMBER
Wow: You were right on target. I was praying it was the air bubble in system, but the shop states the Head gasket on drivers side leaking (compression test).
The next problem is the $2300 estimated to fix. While I dont doubt that is what is necessary for a shop to stay in business. That is a lot of cash for a head gasket.

I've done gaskets on older V6's, 8, but never on a horizontal engine. They state the motor needs to be pulled in order to get the heads off, and then the heads have to go to shop for machining. (If you measure the compression drop only on one bank, why would you send both heads to the shop?)
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Friday, December 5th, 2008 AT 11:40 AM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
Ok here is the brake down of it all. $2300 sounds very high to me. Yes you do pull the engine to do the gaskets because it will take a lot longer in the car. Now I usually drop it out the bottom buy dropping the complete sub frame it is faster and I work on it there. Doing both head gaskets makes sense because it is out and the other may not be far behind, and if goes later then you are in there again for about the same labor. Now as for the cost of it all it should cost about $680 in labor to do both head gaskets, now you do not need to rebuild the heads they just need to be pressure checked for cracks about $60 and then if there are no cracks check for worp and shave if needed aout $45 per head. As for parts the head gasket set is about $220 and then timing kit (you are already to this point so no extra labor just parts) at $91 and the front seals crank seal $12 and the cam seals at $6.99 each and check the water pump as you already here so labor should be very little if any extra at this point $50 and then the fan belts about $15 each there are three and radiator hoses about $15 each there are two and anti freeze at $12 a bottle may need two. So with that worst case should be around $1300. So I would call around and get prices and ask what they are doing for the money if they are doing a valve job then ask why unless there are burnt valve and at 72000 I doubt it then move to the next place. Now on a suburu dont go to just any shop pic one that has experience with them ok. Hope this helps and if you need anything else or have any more question just ask. Thanks.
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Saturday, December 6th, 2008 AT 9:25 AM

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