Engine Coolant Low? - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Engine Coolant Low?

My was poking around under the hood and checking the oil last night and I noticed the Engine Coolant was right at the minimum marker...

I don't know much about this sort of thing and I know that some of the fluids are ok to be low when cold vs hot, etc, is this one of them? Is engine coolant something that you need to top up? Never had that issue before.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 09:23 AM
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It is a good idea to keep the system within the specified fill marks. You definitely don't want the coolant levels to drop too low.


grab a jug of 50:50 premix coolant from Canadian Tire, or pick up a bottle of premix the next time you're at the dealership. I check the coolant level every time I check the oil levels.

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 11:02 AM
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I'd stick with the Subaru Super Blue as they say it's good for something like 10 years. It's premixed, no water.

Don't mix with something inferior.

List of mistakes: 1. Buying an oil eating Forester
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 11:36 AM
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Is engine coolant something that you need to top up? Never had that issue before.
Once the cold coolant level drops down to the reservoir's "Low" mark, you should top it off to the "Full" mark. See OM Section 11, Maintenance, pages 11-13 and -14 for specific guidance.

Your Forester's cooling system was filled with water and Subaru's Long Life Super Coolant at the factory. This blue elixir is supposed to last 11 years or 137,500 miles. I think it's OK to top off with distilled water, but more serious fills may require purchasing a a jug of the 50:50 coolant mix from Subaru.

Related recent post: Alternative coolant for 2014 forester

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 01:39 PM
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level

OK, I haven't read the owner's manual, BUT, I NEVER add coolant when the level is at the Minimum mark when the engine is COLD. This always indicated to me that it was at the correct level for a COLD engine.

Once the engine is fully warmed up, and if it is being operated in HOT conditions, I do look for it to be at the FULL mark in that situation....if it was not FULL in that situation, then I might add some coolant.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 03:12 PM
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Per the OM citation above, Subaru considers the "Full" and "Low" marks to apply to cold coolant. Similarly, my Ford truck reservoir's MIN and MAX level marks apply to cold coolant:



The coolant was still a bit warm when I took the pic.

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 06:40 PM
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You are correct! I guess I got my habits from living in the desert, where, if I filled the reservoir up to "full" when the engine was cold, every car I had would end up puking out coolant on those 110 degree days. if it were filled to the "full mark" when cold.

Thanks for the head's up... I needed to update my habits. I just went out and added coolant to my Forester. I have only had about 3 days above freezing since November, but, the recommendations are different than what I remembered.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackheart View Post
Y I just went out and added coolant to my Forester. I have only had about 3 days above freezing since November, but, the recommendations are different than what I remembered.
Did you use the correct coolant?

Be careful what you wish for.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 07:57 AM
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Did you use the correct coolant?
I had some Subaru Long Life coolant on the shelf, unopened, from my last Subaru. I doubt it has changed enough to be unacceptable. Mixed it with a little distilled water...should be good!
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 10:10 AM
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I had some Subaru Long Life coolant on the shelf, unopened, from my last Subaru. I doubt it has changed enough to be unacceptable. Mixed it with a little distilled water...should be good!
Well..unfortunately they aren't the same. If you used SOA868V9210. That is not the Super Blue Stuff that good for 135K? miles. In theory diluting with the stuff you used brings the life way down. That is my understanding based on the information on this board.
soooo..
You can siphon it out and use the Good Stuff..or you can just continue to use what you are using and change in in say 50K miles.

Be careful what you wish for.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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Just to be specific, I am talking about the large resevoire seen in this photo, immediately above the drivers side headlight...

http://images.thecarconnection.com/l...00380344_l.jpg

There are no markings for cold and hot levels. It is right at the low mark when cold, should it be filled?
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SuubMarine View Post
Just to be specific, I am talking about the large resevoire seen in this photo, immediately above the drivers side headlight...

http://images.thecarconnection.com/l...00380344_l.jpg

There are no markings for cold and hot levels. It is right at the low mark when cold, should it be filled?
Isn't the one you're describing for the windshield washer fluid?
(almost looks wedged between the headlight and the battery...)

The one with the small black tube from the radiator area arching over to the top of it should be for the coolant, yes?
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 05:19 PM
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The one with the small black tube from the radiator area arching over to the top of it should be for the coolant, yes?
lol..yea for sure.

Be careful what you wish for.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-01-2014, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Isn't the one you're describing for the windshield washer fluid?
(almost looks wedged between the headlight and the battery...)

The one with the small black tube from the radiator area arching over to the top of it should be for the coolant, yes?
Haha, yes absolutely... embarrassing. Sorry, I'm posting from work so I haven't looked at the car in a bit.

I believe it was the one right below (closer to grill) where you put the oil in, but I'll double check that next time I drive.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-02-2014, 04:17 AM
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Haha, yes absolutely... embarrassing. Sorry, I'm posting from work so I haven't looked at the car in a bit. .
lol..no biggee. The yellow cap will say "Coolant"

Be careful what you wish for.
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