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2000 Forester L
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Had some issues earlier in the winter with my 2000 Forester L wanting to overheat, which happened on a few occasions then completely stopped. I noticed no problems with the water pump,radiator, hoses or anything in the coolant itself. Replaced the old thermostat with a new Subie and flushed the system to be careful. Everything was fine for a month or so.

So as spring arrives, my coolant levels in the radiator are dropping and I have coolant leaking out the bottom of the reservoir tank while the engine is at temp. Forester hasstarted to over heat a bit. No matter what I do the reservoir tank will fill way beyond the max level, even after siphoning the excess out and topping off the radiator levels. I know the temp gauge is working properly, the fans are working,the water pump is good, there is a new thermostat. I do notice a bubbling noise when I first drive the car in the morning. Do I have an air pocket somewhere? I am not leaking coolant anywhere else.
 

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2000 Forester L
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
No, I made sure to note the position (as suggested)! I'm pretty uneducated on how this matter, as I 've never had a problem like this before. I notice also my fans are working overtime as well..
 

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2000 Forester L
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
the dreaded headgaskets....heard my mechanic curse profusely over these. Is this an expensive fix?
 

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2004 Forester 4EAT
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5,462 Posts
Yes, but a one time fix as long as it's done right. LOTS of info here. Get to do mine (on both cars) this spring. yay
 

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03X MT
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846 Posts
if your car's coolant has not had the Coolant Conditioner added to the radiator then try that. It solved my overheating issue a few years ago.
 

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2005 XS
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166 Posts
I suppose headgaskets will always be suspect due to the history of problems they've given us over the years.

But consider another item as previously mentioned: Is there an air bubble in the system? I'm pretty sure my 2005 XS suffered from some type of air bubble in the cooling system. The symptoms were:

1. Loss of coolant. I think the coolant was being pushed out of the overflow tank because I could see dried liquid and some drops of the coolant around the jug.

2. I could smell the coolant. Never a good thing because it means the coolant is escaping somewhere.

3. Just a pain in the rear end to always have to check the coolant level and add a few ounces (okay, cc's) every few days.

I'm still keeping an eye on it, but the problem disappeared after the system was drained and refilled at one of the Subaru dealers.

I feared HEADGASKET, but apparently that wasn't the problem.

Ray Lovinggood
Carrboro, North Carolina, USA
 

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2000 Forester L
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
My regular mechanic is baffled. I am also getting a CEL coming up as a cylinder 4 misfire, which led him to believe the head gasket. He inspected the #4 plug and it was fine. As of today the car starts to overheat within the first 5 minutes of driving. After letting the car sit for 10 minutes, it will not over heat again. Forester idles very roughly still, but no loss of performance while driving. Going to a Subie specialist down the road, not going risk any further incidents. Thanks for all the input, will post the verdict.
 

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none none
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My regular mechanic is baffled. I am also getting a CEL coming up as a cylinder 4 misfire, which led him to believe the head gasket. He inspected the #4 plug and it was fine. As of today the car starts to overheat within the first 5 minutes of driving. After letting the car sit for 10 minutes, it will not over heat again. Forester idles very roughly still, but no loss of performance while driving. Going to a Subie specialist down the road, not going risk any further incidents. Thanks for all the input, will post the verdict.
Thats how my friends legacy with a failed headgasket was acting. He let it go for a while and now it has a visible leak with it spraying steaming coolant out the headgaskets. The symptoms sound a bit like a coolant jacket to combustion chamber leak, where the exhaust gases are getting past the headgasket into the cooling jacket and pushing the coolant out and causing loss of compression etc giving the missfire. I'd do a hydrocarbon test on the coolant and leakdown/compression test.
 

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lose coolant

I have a 2004 forester 2.5tx or rx. 600 miles ago I had an oil change n topped off the fluids. now there is no coolant. Well there wasn't till I just filled it. it never over heated but there was no heat.
I need to know what am I looking at for a cause, fix n price.
 

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2005 Forester Automatic
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495 Posts
I have a 2004 forester 2.5tx or rx. 600 miles ago I had an oil change n topped off the fluids. now there is no coolant. Well there wasn't till I just filled it. it never over heated but there was no heat.
I need to know what am I looking at for a cause, fix n price.
First off, bumping a 4 year old thread is usually not the best way to get good answer, and second, we cannot really tell if you have a turbo or not (very different set of problems and issues).....

You are losing coolant for sure. If you are very lucky, you have a leak in a hose, the radiator, or waterpump. You need to get the vehicle up on a lift, remove the lower shroud and run it till warm and see. A good repair shop can do this.

If you are seeing white "smoke" when you first start the vehicle, then never mind first option. You have a blown head gasket and you are done. Needs new gaskets, possibly new valves and maybe much more. Might be salvage time.....

If you are not losing coolant from a leak and no white smoke, then then coolant loss is slower. You should run the vehicle hard, and then look at the radiator overflow and see if there are bubbles. That indicates an exhaust gas leak, and if there is exhaust gas entering the coolant, then on the down stroke, there is coolant leaking into the cylinder, explaining your coolant loss. Can be hard to detect, as the leak may be small. That also means a lot of $$$ to repair....
 
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