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98 2.5 RS
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119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay guys I'm pretty much at my all time low with cars here...my subaru is overheating and I have been getting mixed information. According to a shop across the street from me it is not the head gasket but it is in fact an "internal block problem" The way he explained it to me is that coolant/water is not flowing properly and is only reaching half of the radiator. They said that they have done this to a couple other subarus mostly 98-99s. On the other hand I have my friend who owns a shop and works on subarus and he said he has never heard of this and he still thinks it's either the HG or water pump...I just have no idea what to do. I just bought this car for $4,000 and it's my only car. I'm 18 and just got a new job and this is going to make it alot harder to get to. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
 

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2002 2.5RS BRP
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2,393 Posts
Well I have never heard of that before. Take it to the dealership and see what they say.
 

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'98 RS, '13 BRZ
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689 Posts
pop the cap on your radiator. Check out the rubber rim of the cap for any sort of gunky buildup. Check inside the radiator too. Last time my car was overheating, my radiator was plugged up with massive amounts of reddish paste crap that i have no idea what its from. If thats the case, pull your radiator out and flush it as many times as you can stand with a hose. Check out your hoses, thermostat, and water pump while you got the radiator out too. Good luck.
 

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98 2.5 RS
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119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well I have never heard of that before. Take it to the dealership and see what they say.
Yeah I would but...the closest Subaru dealership is like 30 miles away and I don't think my car would make it, and also I don't have the money to get a dealership to fix anything but you were probably just suggesting to have them diagnose my problem. Thanks for the advice.
 

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2005 Legacy GT Wagon
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1,021 Posts
the coolant system is a closed system meaning that unless there is a blockage in your radiator, coolant is getting there. I would guess its your water pump. If there is any smoke or if you take off the cap and you see oil in the radiator, or you change your oil and there is some milky stuff, then it would be the head gasket.

That guy doesn't know what hes talking about. I had a mechanic tell me I needed a new head gasket when I already knew I only needed a thermostat.
 

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Two Mini Coopers!
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That first guy sounds like he's on something... like crack!

I would do as suggested - remove the radiator cap when the car is cool, start the car, and see if coolant starts flowing after a few minutes (when it's warmed up.) Healthy coolant is bright greenish/yellow. If air bubbles start to gurgle out, you've probably go a head gasket leak. If the coolant is a funky color, buy some radiator cleaner and a flush kit and follow the directions.

To check the thermostat, you have to find the housing where the radiator connects to the block. Remove it, and pull out the thermostat. Drop it into a pot of warm water, then turn it up. When the water reaches boiling, you should notice the spring slowly start to open (usually around 160-180 degrees - just before the water starts boiling). It if does not open, go buy a new one. You'll likely need a new gasket/o-ring and maybe some blue RTV sealant. (I forget how Subaru's work, I'm sure someone will correct me here.)

The water pump has a little drip hole at the bottom. Let the car run for 10 minutes or so. Do you see a puddle of greenish fluid under the front of the engine? If so, you probably need a new water pump.

Change your oil. Is there water in it? Does it smell a lot like gasoline? Those are both signs of a leaking head gasket.

Finally, you can have a mechanic do a leakdown test and a compression test. Both will give you great information.

Bottom line? Test before you replace. It's much easier.
 

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98 2.5 RS
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119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That first guy sounds like he's on something... like crack!

I would do as suggested - remove the radiator cap when the car is cool, start the car, and see if coolant starts flowing after a few minutes (when it's warmed up.) Healthy coolant is bright greenish/yellow. If air bubbles start to gurgle out, you've probably go a head gasket leak. If the coolant is a funky color, buy some radiator cleaner and a flush kit and follow the directions.

To check the thermostat, you have to find the housing where the radiator connects to the block. Remove it, and pull out the thermostat. Drop it into a pot of warm water, then turn it up. When the water reaches boiling, you should notice the spring slowly start to open (usually around 160-180 degrees - just before the water starts boiling). It if does not open, go buy a new one. You'll likely need a new gasket/o-ring and maybe some blue RTV sealant. (I forget how Subaru's work, I'm sure someone will correct me here.)

The water pump has a little drip hole at the bottom. Let the car run for 10 minutes or so. Do you see a puddle of greenish fluid under the front of the engine? If so, you probably need a new water pump.

Change your oil. Is there water in it? Does it smell a lot like gasoline? Those are both signs of a leaking head gasket.

Finally, you can have a mechanic do a leakdown test and a compression test. Both will give you great information.

Bottom line? Test before you replace. It's much easier.
Thanks alot for the information! I replaced the aftermarket thermostat with an OEM thermostat (seems alot more durable) and we ran a block test but i still have to run a compression test. I will also test out the other suggestions.
 

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A GC, GF, and a '79 Brat
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I'd replace the Head Gasket anyway, it's not hard and doesn't take long. My car did the same thing but also smelled really bad of burning oil (I so need a new motor....:D).
 

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98 2.5 RS
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119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'd replace the Head Gasket anyway, it's not hard and doesn't take long. My car did the same thing but also smelled really bad of burning oil (I so need a new motor....:D).
Not hard and doesn't take long, please tell me that's a joke? It's also very expensive (for me at least) And i don't know how to do it at all so even if the HG is like $300 it would be about $900 in labor alone.
 

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2001 BRP Subaru Impreza 2.5RS
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Not hard and doesn't take long, please tell me that's a joke? It's also very expensive (for me at least) And i don't know how to do it at all so even if the HG is like $300 it would be about $900 in labor alone.
$300+$900 shop price is not a bad deal :p. Dealership quotes $2300 for the HG repair.
 

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1998 Subaru Impreza RS - RBP
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I'm doing mine for like $50... in my garage. haha!

If it's an inner HG leak like mine was, your coolant will smell like exhaust. And when it overheats, your coolant reservoir will fill up and possibly overflow!

Goodluck!
 

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Go to the shop that has the most experinece with boxer engines . My head gaskets went and I had them replaced for $2000 with the Timing belt and Water pump included.

$4000 for a new engine with labor???...sounds like a used motor and that means you still might need HG's , TB and WP to be safe.

good luck . snb420
 

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WTF Mate?

Hey omega you know who this is. Sorry to hear about the HG's going man . So that was some load of BS that shop gave you . I just finished fixing that yellow bugeye here in town . Some kid hacked together this kids boost controller and some how the car still ran..well sort of . Get the car to me so I can get the motor out and have you on your way again.
 
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