('03-'05) Coolant usage in 2003 Forester - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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Coolant usage in 2003 Forester

2003 Forester XS, 120K miles, head gasket replaced at 60K. I suspect the head gasket is again failing. Symptom is that it uses about a pint of coolant every 500 miles. I don't see it leaking, I think it's being combusted.

I replaced the coolant recently with Subaru Super Coolant, and added a bottle of the Subaru leak stop. I'd like to keep this car going until the Forester redesign in a year or two - say, 20K more miles. The question is, can I keep just topping up the coolant, or is this a doomed strategy and I need to pony up the $2k+ for another gasket? Can I add another bottle of leak stop?

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 02:38 PM
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If the coolant is leaking into the cylinders, I don't see that you have any good choices.

A pint per 500 miles is a fair amount of coolant. Left unchecked, the coolant will damage the engine and destroy the catalytic converter.

A second bottle of conditioner might help, but it might also stop up your radiator or clog your cooling system. One bottle is good . . . or at least okay. More than this is not a good thing. And, it's unclear if any amount of conditioner will help the 'usage' issue.


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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 10:44 AM
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Perform a coolant system pressure test and see if your cooling system is leaking. You can usually rent this tool from the auto parts store. If the leak was internal, you'd think there would be a visual sign of the burning of coolant (white colored exhaust) or exhaust gas being forced through the cooling system into the reservoir (bubbles).

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