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2012 Forester 2.5X 4AT
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155 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My was poking around under the hood and checking the oil last night and I noticed the Engine Coolant was right at the minimum marker...

I don't know much about this sort of thing and I know that some of the fluids are ok to be low when cold vs hot, etc, is this one of them? Is engine coolant something that you need to top up? Never had that issue before.
 

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2007 XT Sport 5MT
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24,014 Posts
It is a good idea to keep the system within the specified fill marks. You definitely don't want the coolant levels to drop too low.


grab a jug of 50:50 premix coolant from Canadian Tire, or pick up a bottle of premix the next time you're at the dealership. I check the coolant level every time I check the oil levels.
 

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2011 Forester Automatic
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120 Posts
I'd stick with the Subaru Super Blue as they say it's good for something like 10 years. It's premixed, no water.

Don't mix with something inferior.
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,255 Posts
Is engine coolant something that you need to top up? Never had that issue before.
Once the cold coolant level drops down to the reservoir's "Low" mark, you should top it off to the "Full" mark. See OM Section 11, Maintenance, pages 11-13 and -14 for specific guidance.

Your Forester's cooling system was filled with water and Subaru's Long Life Super Coolant at the factory. This blue elixir is supposed to last 11 years or 137,500 miles. I think it's OK to top off with distilled water, but more serious fills may require purchasing a a jug of the 50:50 coolant mix from Subaru.

Related recent post: http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f88/alternative-coolant-2014-forester-281201/#post2949905

HTH,
Jim / crewzer
 

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2013 Forester Automatic
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408 Posts
level

OK, I haven't read the owner's manual, BUT, I NEVER add coolant when the level is at the Minimum mark when the engine is COLD. This always indicated to me that it was at the correct level for a COLD engine.

Once the engine is fully warmed up, and if it is being operated in HOT conditions, I do look for it to be at the FULL mark in that situation....if it was not FULL in that situation, then I might add some coolant.
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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Per the OM citation above, Subaru considers the "Full" and "Low" marks to apply to cold coolant. Similarly, my Ford truck reservoir's MIN and MAX level marks apply to cold coolant:



The coolant was still a bit warm when I took the pic.

HTH,
Jim / crewzer
 

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2013 Forester Automatic
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408 Posts
You are correct! I guess I got my habits from living in the desert, where, if I filled the reservoir up to "full" when the engine was cold, every car I had would end up puking out coolant on those 110 degree days. if it were filled to the "full mark" when cold.

Thanks for the head's up... I needed to update my habits. I just went out and added coolant to my Forester. I have only had about 3 days above freezing since November, but, the recommendations are different than what I remembered.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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Y I just went out and added coolant to my Forester. I have only had about 3 days above freezing since November, but, the recommendations are different than what I remembered.
Did you use the correct coolant?
 

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2013 Forester Automatic
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408 Posts
Did you use the correct coolant?
I had some Subaru Long Life coolant on the shelf, unopened, from my last Subaru. I doubt it has changed enough to be unacceptable. Mixed it with a little distilled water...should be good!
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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I had some Subaru Long Life coolant on the shelf, unopened, from my last Subaru. I doubt it has changed enough to be unacceptable. Mixed it with a little distilled water...should be good!
Well..unfortunately they aren't the same. If you used SOA868V9210. That is not the Super Blue Stuff that good for 135K? miles. In theory diluting with the stuff you used brings the life way down. That is my understanding based on the information on this board.
soooo..
You can siphon it out and use the Good Stuff..or you can just continue to use what you are using and change in in say 50K miles.
 

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2013 VW CC Sport 6MT
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171 Posts
Just to be specific, I am talking about the large resevoire seen in this photo, immediately above the drivers side headlight...

http://images.thecarconnection.com/lrg/2012-subaru-forester-4-door-auto-2-5x-engine_100380344_l.jpg

There are no markings for cold and hot levels. It is right at the low mark when cold, should it be filled?
Isn't the one you're describing for the windshield washer fluid?
(almost looks wedged between the headlight and the battery...)

The one with the small black tube from the radiator area arching over to the top of it should be for the coolant, yes?
 

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2012 Forester 2.5X 4AT
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155 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Isn't the one you're describing for the windshield washer fluid?
(almost looks wedged between the headlight and the battery...)

The one with the small black tube from the radiator area arching over to the top of it should be for the coolant, yes?
Haha, yes absolutely... embarrassing. Sorry, I'm posting from work so I haven't looked at the car in a bit.

I believe it was the one right below (closer to grill) where you put the oil in, but I'll double check that next time I drive.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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Haha, yes absolutely... embarrassing. Sorry, I'm posting from work so I haven't looked at the car in a bit. .
lol..no biggee. The yellow cap will say "Coolant"
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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Just to be specific, I am talking about the large resevoire seen in this photo, immediately above the drivers side headlight...

http://images.thecarconnection.com/lrg/2012-subaru-forester-4-door-auto-2-5x-engine_100380344_l.jpg

There are no markings for cold and hot levels. It is right at the low mark when cold, should it be filled?
My '12's coolant reservoir has "Low" and "Full" graduation lines. The pic below shows the coolant level between the two lines.



HTH,
Jim / crewzer
 

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2012 Forester 2.5X 4AT
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
My '12's coolant reservoir has "Low" and "Full" graduation lines. The pic below shows the coolant level between the two lines.



HTH,
Jim / crewzer
Yep, mine is the same, but sitting right on the 'low line'

Time for a top up?
 

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2014 2.5i Limited Automatic
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8 Posts
"Tainted" my factory fresh 2014 coolant... what now?

Thanks for the lively discussion concerning coolant folks... never thought the subject of hot vs. cold measurement could be so interesting! :biggrin:
I made the mistake of mixing some typical “green stuff” into the radiator along with the factory-filled extended life blue stuff in my new Subaru Forester 2014 Limited 2.5i, was misled by the manual stating that the main tank being at or near “Low” (with a cool engine) should be topped off while in fact - like the rest of you - I've observed that it expands to well above that level when warm of course. Unfortunately I didn’t notice the warning about mixing coolants on the next page :shake:. The coolant I added was RacePRO Prediluted 50/50 Antifreeze Coolant, says “compatible with all other coolants” etc., and composed of a mix of Ethylene/Diethylene glycol and water + "corrosion inhibitors"; I did this at around 1000 miles. Per the manual, the lifetime of the coolant is now shortened to that of the green stuff (2-3 years / 36K?). I would like to get it flushed and replaced with the Subaru Authentic Blue stuff for two reasons: the maintenance interval and because the car is new, but should I do this now (I’m now at roughly 3000 miles) or can I wait until the recommended 3750-mile oil change interval? Also, have I done any harm to my engine/radiator by using this “typical” green coolant mix?
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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but should I do this now (I’m now at roughly 3000 miles) or can I wait until the recommended 3750-mile oil change interval? Also, have I done any harm to my engine/radiator by using this “typical” green coolant mix?
That would be foolish. You should run at least 30K miles with what you have. The only benefit of the Super Blue is it lasts longer.
 
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