('98-'00) Coolant Leak around Rad Upper Hose - Help - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Coolant Leak around Rad Upper Hose - Help

Hi Guys,

My Son's Forester 99' L has been leaking some coolant round where the upper rad hose is. Now, I'm not sure if that's coming from there positively.

It seems that ways because I have tighten the brace for the top part of that hose and my son said that the splatters around the plastics to the left of the hose( where some air intake and horn are) diminished.. - ( the coolant reservoir had to be brought back to full once since)

We were thinking that it could be the rad cap too but when I squish the hose around the brace I can see a bit of liquid sipping from under where the brace is..

What would be the best way to know for sure if it's the hose? We just had the TB jobe + WPump done with new Subby Coolant and conditioner done a few months back...
If it's the hose, how difficult is to replace DY? - Which brand and where should we get this parts?

Any inputs appreciated!
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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A couple of things to check. First the Subaru's and many other manufacturers use radiators with plastic end caps (cost savings) and they eventually start to leak. Clean up the coolant splatter and take it for a short drive and check under the hood. Usually the coolant will pool along the top seams of the rad and the fan can move it around making it hard to trace, but ultimately I think this will be the issue.

If it is just the hose, I strongly recommend OEM for the couple of dollars difference. Again since you've now cleaned up the engine bay, check once the car has warmed up and feel around the hose at both ends for small leaks that will build with driving, also feel around the clamps. The reason I recommend OEM is I had to change the radiator on my 99 Forester and used aftermarket, the amount of trimming I had to do to make it fit and the feel of the rubber (felt thinner) didn't inspire confidence. Within the year it started leaking at the clamps. Replaced it with an OEM that fit perfectly and no leaks.

If it is just the hose, I'd also recommend two new clamps. Pretty easy with a pan underneath, you will loose some coolant from the hose, install the new one and top up the coolant, you can gently squeeze the hose to release trapped air. It is also advised to allow the engine to come up to temp where the fans kick on (my mechanic recommends letting the fans cycle twice) with the rad cap off.

If it turns out to be the radiator, have a read through here, the XT's also have this issue and most use 1800radiator.com make sure you get one for an automatic. Blew my radiator today And if you do change your rad, new OEM hoses and clamps would be recommended by me.

keep us posted with what it turns out to be.

Cheers
Doug
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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A couple of things to check. First the Subaru's and many other manufacturers use radiators with plastic end caps (cost savings) and they eventually start to leak. Clean up the coolant splatter and take it for a short drive and check under the hood. Usually the coolant will pool along the top seams of the rad and the fan can move it around making it hard to trace, but ultimately I think this will be the issue.

If it is just the hose, I strongly recommend OEM for the couple of dollars difference. Again since you've now cleaned up the engine bay, check once the car has warmed up and feel around the hose at both ends for small leaks that will build with driving, also feel around the clamps. The reason I recommend OEM is I had to change the radiator on my 99 Forester and used aftermarket, the amount of trimming I had to do to make it fit and the feel of the rubber (felt thinner) didn't inspire confidence. Within the year it started leaking at the clamps. Replaced it with an OEM that fit perfectly and no leaks.

If it is just the hose, I'd also recommend two new clamps. Pretty easy with a pan underneath, you will loose some coolant from the hose, install the new one and top up the coolant, you can gently squeeze the hose to release trapped air. It is also advised to allow the engine to come up to temp where the fans kick on (my mechanic recommends letting the fans cycle twice) with the rad cap off.

If it turns out to be the radiator, have a read through here, the XT's also have this issue and most use 1800radiator.com make sure you get one for an automatic. Blew my radiator today And if you do change your rad, new OEM hoses and clamps would be recommended by me.

keep us posted with what it turns out to be.

Cheers
Doug
Thanks Doug. Now that you mentioned, I remember that there was coolant along in the top of the radiator.. When you say "radiator cap" I'm assuming you're referring to the top part of the rad and not the rad little "cap", where you pour coolant correct?

Now to find if it's the radiator that would be better to take to a tech because I'm not sure how to know for sure. We will do the short drive and see if the splatter is coming from the fan blowing the coolant leaking from the rad or just the hose... Hope I'm been clear here. Thanks again for your valuable inputs.
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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No the caps that I am referring to are the side end caps on either side of the radiator and the top cap that runs the length of the radiator. When bleeding the new hose, since air can be trapped as you fill, leave the rad cap off as it comes up to temperature and the fans cycle twice.

And I forgot to mention if you need to get a new rad, I'd recommend a new OEM radiator cap vs an aftermarket. The aftermarket radiators are built the same but if you got 10+ years out of the original, well, you know .....
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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No the caps that I am referring to are the side end caps on either side of the radiator and the top cap that runs the length of the radiator. When bleeding the new hose, since air can be trapped as you fill, leave the rad cap off as it comes up to temperature and the fans cycle twice.

And I forgot to mention if you need to get a new rad, I'd recommend a new OEM radiator cap vs an aftermarket. The aftermarket radiators are built the same but if you got 10+ years out of the original, well, you know .....
Thanks. Because I don't have the car, my son does I can't double check it yet.

Is the Koyo Rad in the thread you've linked this one from ebay?

FORESTER BRAND NEW KOYO RADIATOR LIFE TIME WARRANTY | eBay

I think that ultimately( because I'm not that savvy :) ) we'll have to take to a tech to properly diagnose this. The Guy we know is the same that did the TB Job..
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm pretty confident from reading related posts that if it is indeed the radiator, go with https://1800radiator.com/ if doing it yourself. Your tech will likely have his preference for suppliers and if you're happy with his work then let him choose the supplier, it will likely be close in price anyway. It's important to get the model for automatics as it contains a transmission cooler at the bottom of the rad.

But I will stand firm on my belief that the OEM hoses are the best because they were made to fit for your model and not 6 different makes that involve trimming and twisting to fit.
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by good dog View Post
I'm pretty confident from reading related posts that if it is indeed the radiator, go with https://1800radiator.com/ if doing it yourself. Your tech will likely have his preference for suppliers and if you're happy with his work then let him choose the supplier, it will likely be close in price anyway. It's important to get the model for automatics as it contains a transmission cooler at the bottom of the rad.

But I will stand firm on my belief that the OEM hoses are the best because they were made to fit for your model and not 6 different makes that involve trimming and twisting to fit.

Thanks Doug. I completely agree about the hoses and all. I'll call the tech tomorrow and price a rad just to see what he comes up with. I have called him about this issue but I was inclined to believe the problem was the hose. Now after reading your posts, I see that it might be the rad after all.
If the case, when I go to the Subaru dealer to get the coolant I'll pick up the OEM hoses and clamps if they have it.. I'll be back here bugging as soon as I see the car maybe tomorrow.
Actually it is not leaking much at this time but I told the kid to keep an eye in the overflow tank and keep it in the full mark with distilled water for now..
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I used 2 90 degree silicone hoses to sort mine. I did the botton hose with a normal rubber 90 degree hose. All secured with stainless steel hose clamps.







Hope this helps.

Cheers,
mdg.
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Old 02-11-2012, 03:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yea..what Good Dog (Doug) said. Subaru brand rad cap and double clamp. The reason I like to double clamp is then you don't tighten clamps so tight. This allows more cushion in the hose under the clamp and the rubber will be flexible longer and you won't need to retighten.

Actually I really prefer the OEM spring clamps. They are the permanent solution.
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