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2003 Forester
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok ....so my '03 Forester is overheating and I can see a little drip of coolant coming from what looks like the back side of the engine block. With not very much oil leakage.

So I did a combustion block leak test and it came back negative. No combustion gases in the coolant system. It doesn't look like there's any oil in the coolant or coolant in the oil.

With the overheating I plan on already doing a flush thermostat, new coolant also a new radiator cap and coolant conditioner

With this seeming like being only a coolant leak .I'm hoping the conditioner will help stop the leak. But we're also be a good idea to locate where the leak is cleaning up and put some type of JB weld to try and seal up the outside. if yes what is the absolute very best product I can get

Thank you all in advance
 

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2005 Subaru Forester 2.5X
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24 Posts
Have you ever opened up your engine? Also, have you recently done any flushes? If you were planning on taking the engine out, look at all the plugs. There are some under the engine, next to the pan. Some of them are coolant ones. You might just need to take them off and rewrap in Teflon tape.
 

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Super Moderator
2001 Forester S, 4EAT
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3,739 Posts
@Dawson510 You have a 2003. How many miles you got on the engine? Coolant leak is a sign the Head Gasket is going. The only sure fire way to know if coolant is leaking into the oil is to take an oil sample and send it off for testing. That is how I confirmed my Head Gasket was leaking. Blackstone lab report came back showing coolant in the oil. I never did combustion block test. I ended up having both oil and coolant leaking at the seam between the head and the block on both the drivers side and passenger side.

Sadly there is no stop leak or external fix for this issue. However I did drive the vehicle for 20,000 miles or so and just kept on monitoring both coolant and oil levels. And annually sending in an oil sample for coolant in oil until I felt it was getting to high and then I had the head gaskets replaced. your JB weld or some other stop leak will not fix the issue.
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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15,263 Posts
If your gasket even leaks antifreeze even a few drops the HG needs replaced. Forget the stop leak. Its too late (more than likely)...given its overheating.
 

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@Dawson510 -- Welcome to the forum!

How many miles on your '03?
Has the radiator ever been replaced? Did you know that the cooling system must be flushed and/or filled using distilled or reverse-osmosis filtered water?

Are you looking for an emergency fix or a permanent one? If the latter, do you have the money and tools it will take to do it correctly?

There are measures one could take that most here will not agree with, since most here seem to have the money on hand to pay others to do the major HG replacement. I, myself, do not.

More information, please.

Meanwhile, drive it as little as possible or not at all.



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2003 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have not had the car very long. There is about 190,000 miles on it. I maybe put 5,000 on it.. But I know if kept up on maintenance and care they could go up to almost 300,000.I only use it for work so since this happened I have not been driving it other than to try to locate the leak. I know the coolant conditioner and or if I end up finding the leak JB welding over the top of it is only temporary so today I plan on locating the area cleaning it up a bit and see if I could find exactly where it's coming from.
 

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2003 Forester
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Also I have heard good things with the Subaru coolant conditioner from other forums.
 
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