('01-'02) A question about coolant mixing... - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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A question about coolant mixing...

Hello everyone,

I've recently noticed that the coolant level in the reservoir is below the "Low" mark, so I went to the local store (Canadian Tire) and bought the OEM vehicle specific Coolant (it says on the bottle "Recommended for Acura, Subaru, Honda).

And this is what I've done, the coolant originally in the radiator and reservoir is green in color, the one I used for topping up is blue (used about 0.5 L).

My question is, should I be draining everything out ASAP and filling it up with either the green or the blue only? (because it says in the owner's manual "Never mix different kinds of coolants", I know I'm an idiot and should've read that before doing anything..)

Thanks a bunch in advance for any info/suggestions.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 03:56 PM
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Your coolant shouldn't be low unless it's not doing it's job and needs to be changed. Thermal breakdown occurs which makes it less effective at heating up and cooling your engine.

How do you know it was low? By the radiator? Was the reservoir full?

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 03:58 PM
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Universal type

Usually the coolant in Subarus is Blue. The green coolant found in your car could be a universal type. That is, no silicates, no phosphates, no nitrates. So adding the correct blue coolant would not do any harm.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 04:01 PM
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The one thing to be careful about is that the blue coolant (at least the OEM stuff from Subaru) is already pre-mixed 50/50. Green coolant is usually not - you'll have to add distilled water.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 04:02 PM
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Hi,
I would 2nd the comment that you do need to determine why it's low on coolant. Hopefully you're aware of the Head Gasket issues w/most Subarus of your vintage.

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TD

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgtdic View Post
Your coolant shouldn't be low unless it's not doing it's job and needs to be changed. Thermal breakdown occurs which makes it less effective at heating up and cooling your engine.

How do you know it was low? By the radiator? Was the reservoir full?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
Sorry for the confusion, by "reservoir", I was actually referring to the expansion container, the white plastic one with two lines marked "Low" and "Full" on it, the coolant level was just a tad below the Low mark. I just checked the coolant level today, and it dropped by about half an inch from the Full mark which was where I topped it up to with the blue stuff, that's from driving the car about 300 km.

Considering the cross sectional area of the container around the Full mark level, it is not really that much but I'd still like to figure out why.., I've heard of the head gasket problem with older Subaru, I'll check underneath the vehicle tomorrow..
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 05:59 AM
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If it is disappearing, then it's one of three things. You have a leak, the coolant is now in your oil, or it needs to be flushed and changed.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 06:45 AM
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My Forester is a 2008 made in July 2007. It came with Subaru's green "Long Life Coolant" good for 30 months/30,000 miles. It must be mixed 50/50.
In late 2008/ early 2009 Subaru switched over to blue "Long Life Super Coolant" good for 11 years/137,500 miles on the factory fill, and 6 years/75,000 miles on the second fill. It is premixed.

Subaru then put out an email saying: "Going forward we are recommending that when adding, replacing, or servicing the cooling system, the blue Genuine Subaru Long Life Coolant should always be used."

That sounds like the green and blue can be combined, and that is what happened at my 30K service. The dealer drained the radiator which removed about half the green coolant in the system, and added blue.

I recently had the head gaskets preemptively replaced by an independent while they were doing the timing belt, and they filled the system with green coolant, because it was "original".

Based on Subaru's email, I don't think the color of the Subaru coolant matters when adding or changing, but the coolant should be Subaru.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 06:54 AM
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Here is something that is VERY important to be aware of, and perform if applicable:

https://www.carmd.com/Tsb/Download/33838/238283

That said, periodic topping off of coolant in Subaru overflow reservoirs is normal as it is not a closed system and coolant/water slowly escapes into the atmosphere.

Good read here:

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/...-too-long.html

Last edited by Fate; 05-20-2017 at 07:05 AM. Reason: More info
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