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2006 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
2006 Forester XT. - Got a new skidplate. Went on easy enough. 1. Took the car out in the snow to off-road a little, and got a smoking coolant leak. 2. Came back to the garage, took the plate off. Went back out and drove on the roads, with no plate - no leak (no off-roading). 3. Put the plate back on then went out again (off-roading) and the smoking leak was back.

It only leaks with the plate on. Now we were only off-roading with the plate on, so I can't necessarily say it is the plate. Could it be the angle of the car while off-roading? Built up pressure with the plate on? It doesn't leak with the plate off, but I am only street driving with it off. Totally baffled.

Clues - leak seems to be on the passenger side of the engine, when it does appear. Leak is not visible to the naked eye.
 

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2014 CVT
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where is the steam coming from???? the tail pipe or under the hood? could be the skid plate is pressing on something causeing it to leak, but when you take the plate off it takes the pressure off and causeing the leak to stop, just a thought
 

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I can't imagine anyway the plate would affect the coolant unless you're using very very long bolts in the front 2 holes and they're somehow hitting the bottom of the rad.
 

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2006 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The leak is in the engine on the passenger side. The bolts are the stock bolts that came with the plate. The leak doesn't seem to be coming from the radiator. It's more in the vicinity of the Air filter. It seems to be up higher and not close to the skidplate.
 

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2006 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Coolant leak and skid plate

2006 Forester XT. - Got a new skidplate. Went on easy enough. 1. Took the car out in the snow to off-road a little, and got a smoking coolant leak. 2. Came back to the garage, took the plate off. Went back out and drove on the roads, with no plate - no leak (no off-roading). 3. Put the plate back on then went out again (off-roading) and the smoking leak was back.

It only leaks with the plate on. Now we were only off-roading with the plate on, so I can't necessarily say it is the plate. Could it be the angle of the car while off-roading? Built up pressure with the plate on? It doesn't leak with the plate off, but I am only street driving with it off. Totally baffled.

Clues - leak seems to be on the passenger side of the engine, up around the air filter.
 

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2006 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Primitive plate w/ coolant leak

It's a primitive plate. The only other thing I can think of is maybe when we hit the ice that broke the original OEM plastic piece, we did more damage than we know and somehow the plate is antagonizing it?

Yes only leak with plate on & off roading.
No leak with plate off and not off roading.
 

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2009 Forester XT 4 speed auto
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from the new info you provided I would look for a small leak before driving it again.
I think the addition of the plate is raising the temp enough to expose your leak.
 

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Could it not just be a little snow got jammed in between the plate and the engine while you were off-roading and it's turning to steam from contact with hot engine parts?
Is there a noticable drop of coolant level in the expansion tank? Did you have the chance to take a wiff of the steam? It is unusual for an object to puncture the cooling system without creating a permanent leak, as the cooling system is pressurized when the engine is running. Sounds pretty strange, good luck figuring it out!

Dav
 
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