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2017 Forester XT Touring
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm leaving tomorrow for about 1,000 trip and I noticed that my 08 coolant level is low. Like, below the "low" line and can't even see it in the reservoir, low. I honestly don't remember checking it in the 25k miles I've had it but I haven't had any overheating so I'm thinking maybe it was just low to begin with or has "burped" itself over time.

Should I go to Subaru and pick up their coolant to top it off or would I be safe with any coolant?

Obviously I will keep an eye on it from now on.
 

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'98 Forester
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I'm leaving tomorrow for about 1,000 trip and I noticed that my 08 coolant level is low. Like, below the "low" line and can't even see it in the reservoir, low. I honestly don't remember checking it in the 25k miles I've had it but I haven't had any overheating so I'm thinking maybe it was just low to begin with or has "burped" itself over time.

Should I go to Subaru and pick up their coolant to top it off or would I be safe with any coolant?

Obviously I will keep an eye on it from now on.
You will want to get OE Subaru or get a Coolant that is compatible with the Subaru Coolant , we use the Zerex Asian coolant in most Subarus , only issue is it is pink , so the mix with green will look funny ... The old "Green " coolant will mot mix well with the OE coolant and could be a warranty issue in the future ..
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring
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Discussion Starter #3
Last time I bought some coolant for a car, about 4 years ago, they sold a "mixes with any color coolant" type and I remember it being green. So perhaps I'll just get some of that.
 

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2006 Forester 2.5X AT
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Definately OEM

Make sure the added coolant is compatible with what you have. Since you haven't mentioned any work done or changes you made I donkey-u-me that the coolant left in the engine is OEM. I would go with only OEM for top offs until you have a flush done. My Dad made the mistake once of mixing coolants and it made a gummy tar like substance that clogged the overflow tube. Luckily I caught the mistake before it was a problem.
 

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2016 Outback and WRX CVT
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http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/608392-post20.html

:smile:

Like those above have said, you can use generic - just be sure it's the right kind.

Also, if your vehicle uses the "blue" colored Subaru "Super" coolant, know that adding anything else will bring down its service interval.


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Also, remember, what you're looking at is the overflow tank.

There should be marks for both hot and cold minimum levels. Add your solution to correspond with the state of the vehicle, either at-operating-temperature or when "stone-cold," i.e. after the vehicle has sat, overnight.

What you really don't want to do is that you don't want to add your solution to the "hot-minimum" line, with the vehicle cold, because once the car warms up, you'll surely then overflow the overflow. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Engine Temp:
When I checked it was last night around 10am and prior to that I pulled in the garage at around 7pm - so I would say that the car was cool - probably not "cold" and there was no coolant visible in the plastic reservoir at all.

Coolant:
The car has the OE coolant that came with it in December of 2007 (it's an 08 model) and based on THIS, should not have "Super Coolant."

I picked up some of this but now all of you got me thinking.

The local dealer, which I do not like and would prefer not buying anything from, has coolant for $28/bottle. I guess I could error on the side of caution and just pick up a bottle.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Alright. I think I'll just buy some Subaru Green Coolant at the dealer, mix it with some water, and top off. But why, oh why, does the local dealer have to suck so much. Not only are they not nice, supposedly give horrible service, but they sell the coolant for more than the next closest dealer. Too bad I need it tonight or else I'd just buy it elsewhere.
 

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Ah crap.. I'm back with my 05 XS
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TOp it off with distilled water for now.

Actually, open the rad cap and if the radiator is low too then, yeah maybe get some coolant.
 

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2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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^^ this. Pop the radiator cap and if the level in there looks like it will take less then a quart I would top both the radiator off with distiled water and the over flow, possiably put in a bottle of water wetter.... Water cools better then antifreeze, I don't think many parts of CA. are going to see freezing temps in the near future.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
True about the freezing, good point. I haven't popped the cap yet but I will. I can't image it's really that low, just maybe slightly. So yeah, you've convinced me again. I'll stop by the store and pick up some distilled H20
 

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Ah crap.. I'm back with my 05 XS
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Yep I've been topping off with distilled water with my leaky t-stat housing and it's been holding quite well actually. If you radiator is EMPTY at the neck, that's when I'd go with using coolant instead. But yeah otherwise, DISTILLED water should do you just fine for 1k miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
if it's considerably low, i'll still put distilled water in and then when I get back setup an appointment at the dealer - the car is still under warranty with no engine mods.
 

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Remember that distilled water is A-OK when it comes to cooling: and yes, water cools better than anything - but there's the anti-corrosion part of the equation to keep in mind, too: for a "streeted" daily-driven vehicle, that's a big part of the equation.

But yes, if you're low, now, I'd do like neoshi and flstffxe said, top-off with distilled water. It'll get you where you need to go - until you can source more of the coolant/antifreeze that you're comfortable using (and paying for) or until you can get your car to the dealership that you prefer - with no problems (again, this comes, doubly, for warranty...although I cannot speak with any certainty on the issue, my gut instinct is to say that a distilled-water-only emergency fill will be easier to justify than the use of a non-Subaru Coolant/Antifreeze, no matter what the technical specifications of the latter, given that nice little tricky "out clause" that Subaru has managed, to the MMA), particularly in your locale, and again particularly at this time of year.

If you're so low that you've drained the overflow when the vehicle is cool, it's likely that you might have some air in the system. In that case, I'd fill via the radiator cap(s). You'll want to burp the system, afterwards, too, just to be sure.

As for "water wetter" products, I'm still somewhat on the fence about them.

I've used RedLine Water Wetter in my '05 LGT - which I've had since May of 2005 - with no problems, but at the same time, many in my home community, LegacyGT.com, are quick to point out that this has an unknown effect when used in conjunction with Subaru's Coolant Conditioner, and also that Subaru specifically warns against the use of such aftermarket additives, which is an important consideration for those looking at potential warranty concerns. Since true long-term data is lacking, I'm still somewhat hesitant to really recommend its use - at least not without putting this little disclaimer out there. :smile:

Oh, and like neoshi said, it's always a good idea to carry some water - if not a coolant mix - in your trunk. :smile: I like the made-for-laboratory-use Nalgene bottles. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
When I got home from work today I popped the hood (engine hot) and checked the coolant level in the reservoir. It was at the low line. I put in a about 3 oz of distilled water and it went to mid-high level. I came back in about an hour and it had dropped to the low level again. So I put in about 3 more oz.

After completing an oil change I took the car for a gas run, came back and checked again and it was at the high mark (hot engine) so I think I'm good. We'll see what happens after the 1,000 miles this weekend.
 

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2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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My guess is it is just some of the water in the 50/50 mix has evaporated off while the engine is hot.

Engine get hot, hot water expands going into the overflow where it is basically exposed to open air.

For what it is worth, both our '08s have had to be topped off, with what I would guess to be around 10oz.

I wouldn't worry about diluting the water to antifreeze mix either. Subaru may ship the vehicles with a 50/50 mix, even if the car is destined for a dealer in Texas there is nothing saying the vehicle wont be delivered to some one in North Dakota in -40°F temps. They have to provide what is basically a universal mix and 50/50 is commonly regarded as that mix. However it is also common practice to a 10-30% antifreeze mix in climates that don't need the freeze protection.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Just so everyone knows. After my trip this weekend the car did fine - the water level is the same as it was when I left and no overheating happened in the 100+ degree weather. Must have just been evaporated water over time.

Thanks for all the help!
 
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