('98-'00) 1998 forester has some serious issues anybody have a clue? - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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1998 forester has some serious issues anybody have a clue?

I take it to the same mechanic and have spent quite a bit of money and here is where I am at. It will over heat randomly more so when it is colder. It will overheat going up a hill or sometimes after climbing a hill it will be fine and then overheat going down the hill. I replaced radiator and water pump recently and had a new thermostat 2 years ago. It has had lots of parts replaced including timing belt, knock sensor etc..

Mechanic says he has no clue maybe it is a bad head gasket. He said it is really hard to tell. The other problem I have is it is clunking and feels like something is binding up in the back. You can feel the clunk vibration go right through the car. It does not do it going straight or turning a little. It happens when turning to park the car. When pulling into a parking spot it clunks and vibrates the whole car and when I stop and put it in park it will make 1 last clunk sound and the car will slip back about a foot after selecting park.

Does the noise and vabrations backing out of the driveway or where ever you have to do sharper turns. If I put the car in neutrol when turning sharp the clunking will stop no matter what direction I turn or how sharp I turn. It is not bad cv shafts as I have 2 new cv shafts in the rear. Feels like something in the driveline mechanic says it looked ok to him he doesn't know. It is bad feels like the car is going to fall apart it clunks so bad. Anybody have a clue what is wrong?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2013, 04:36 AM
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Re: 1998 forester has some serious issues anybody have a clue?

Lets start with overheating..

Overheating a Subaru is BAD, they often warp heads if its bad enough..

Subarus are notorious for getting large bubbles im the cooling system.. they either need to be burped out or vacuumed out.. sometimes with the front of the car lifted/on ramps..

Aftermarket thermostats for Subarus are garbage.. if it wasnt a stock or exact stock replacement, I wouldnt trust it..

The stock thermostat has a bypass valve in it to help prevent overheating and pressure build up..

If the cars ever had "stop leak" put in the cooling system it could be gumming up the works..

Now the binding.. it could be the center diff.. has the oil ever been changed, not the transmission fluid but the diff oil itself (automatic?)

It could be a wheel bearing too, is there noise associated with the binding?

The rolling a foot back when putting it in park is disconcerting... thats excessive.. im not nearly as good with the auto as I am with the manual..so others know better



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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2013, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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Called mechanic he said since the noise and vibrations go away when moving when I put it in neutral it sounds like to him it is the drive shaft. He said when you put it in neutral it takes the pressure off the drive shaft and that's why it goes away. Mechanic seems to think my overheating is caused by a bad head gasket. But he said there was really no test he could do to find out for sure since it was a subaru. Does this make sense?
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2013, 09:24 AM
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Jeep,

When my '99 had bad HG's, I had three symptoms:

1) Noticable gurgling or bubbling sound behind the dash driving from a stop. Air was accumulating in the heater core...highest point in the system;
2) Notable "whisps" or beads of oil in the coolant reservior and radiator. Strong smell of oil in the reservoir;
3) Occaisional rise of the temp gauge above normal, until one day it finally went to the hot mark.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2013, 03:33 PM
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Look for the overflow tank to be dirty with oil, look for bubbles in the coolant overflow tank too (with the car running). One can also have the oil and/or coolant tested to check for exhaust/oil in the coolant or coolant in the oil. Several ways to do this. And is your mechanic someone who is knowledgeable with Subaru's?
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2013, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BWCA Suby View Post
Jeep,

When my '99 had bad HG's, I had three symptoms:

1) Noticable gurgling or bubbling sound behind the dash driving from a stop. Air was accumulating in the heater core...highest point in the system;
2) Notable "whisps" or beads of oil in the coolant reservior and radiator. Strong smell of oil in the reservoir;
3) Occaisional rise of the temp gauge above normal, until one day it finally went to the hot mark.
"Air was accumulating in the heater core...highest point in the system" When the temp gauge was almost in the red I turned my heater on high and it was just blowing cold air until I got the temps back down. Is that a sign also? I will check the reservoir tank tomorrow.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2013, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=Criticalmass;1457329]Look for the overflow tank to be dirty with oil, look for bubbles in the coolant overflow tank too (with the car running). One can also have the oil and/or coolant tested to check for exhaust/oil in the coolant or coolant in the oil. Several ways to do this. And is your mechanic someone who is knowledgeable with Subaru's?[/

Yes he works on them a lot. He personally owns 4 of them as well.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2013, 11:54 PM
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I would vote a large air bubble somewhere in your radiator system. Take off the radiator cap, turn the car on, and turn the heat all the way up. It will self-bleed that way. Let us know what you find.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Criticalmass View Post
I would vote a large air bubble somewhere in your radiator system. Take off the radiator cap, turn the car on, and turn the heat all the way up. It will self-bleed that way. Let us know what you find.
How long do I let it run for?
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 12:23 PM
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Umm...I'd like to say until it's done but that won't help you. Let's say for 20 minutes? And watch the temp gauge. It might be inaccurate but if it starts to go upwards of the normal middle area, shut it down.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 12:44 PM
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this sounds like head gaskets to me.. :(
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Reservoir tank smells pretty fowl and it looks coated on the inner walls. I took my finger and wiped the inside of the tank and had sludge all over my finger. Looks like old oil that had been sitting around outside and gotten wet. That is what the sludge looks like. Has to be the head gasket I guess. Overheats now as soon as I climb any larger hills. As long as you have somewhat flat roads it will not overheat. It will idle and never overheat either. This sucks. Put so much money into the car already. Ok so I figured out it needs new head gaskets but what is the clunking and grinding when turning sharp, I know it'snot the cv shafts and if I put it in neutral the noise will go away. Is it in the drive shaft or rear gear case? Any ideas?

Last edited by jeepattack89; 03-20-2013 at 06:45 PM.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 07:11 PM
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Was worried about that...but yeah, that sludge doesn't just magically appear there unfortunately...

As for the clunking, considering you're already dealing with bad news, I'd say you might have a case that is bad or that is going bad. I'm not as good with driveline issues, but that sounds pretty telltale too. It's just a fact of these cars that the headgasket becomes a maintenance part eventually, especially that era.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Criticalmass View Post
I would vote a large air bubble somewhere in your radiator system. Take off the radiator cap, turn the car on, and turn the heat all the way up. It will self-bleed that way. Let us know what you find.
I tried this 2 days ago and I have not had any overheating issues yet. I hope it was just a air bubble but my question is if I had a bad head gasket would it just get air bound again?
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 10:20 PM
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I tried this 2 days ago and I have not had any overheating issues yet. I hope it was just a air bubble but my question is if I had a bad head gasket would it just get air bound again?
yes it will. You have a 98- dual cam 2.5. If it overheats 95% chance it is the head gaskets.
Unless I see a leak in the radiator, I mostly use all the clues in the above posts and call it a bad h/g.
the last dual cam HG I did last week had consistent air bubbling into the reservoir, but some only release the gasses at a slow rate that you cannot see. In this case you want to have the shop use a exhaust gas analyzer ($$$) at the radiator or a hydrocarbon tester NAPA AUTO PARTS
to see if it is bad.

Steve
ASE Master Tech
Subaru Tech
98 Forester
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