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Smoke from engine after pushing it a lil to about 4 rpms. I have a major heavy foot lol. 2001 forester L. Has always got me from A to B to C and back. Inherited it this past yr from my grandmother who loved her subie. She had Heavy foot too. Only reason I've put money in it. Sentimental. But I'm starting to regret the 4000 plus input bucks over last 2 yrs. New shocks struts, rack an pinion, tires, AC and serpintine belt. All good. Then cv axle on right front. 148000 miles so not bad for 01 considering she skirts with lighting response. But the other day stepped on her gas and she skirted as normal. Few miles and home. Then I see the smoke and smell the coolant burnt. Pop her hood check it and there's evident spray upon the under soft material of the hood. And a obvious coolant pool of liquid right under where the start of the exhaust manifold/pipe stemming from driver side. I see that least a 1/2 maybe 1/4 cup of coolant just chilling there. Not sure what my issue is? Help! Tired of forking money for parts that now I feel like I may not have needed considering I now have issues after 4 grand of engine work! Upper an lower hoses intact and flexible as they should be. So expansion tank/lines or if tank location is there maybe issue? Maybe thermostat? Baffled athe this time on what it is. Maybe head gasket failure? Temp Guage never moved. No flag lights on dash. And head gaskets were replaced at 110 000 ish miles probably 6/ 7 yrs ago by subie dealer. So any suggestions or help is very appreciated! Love my forester and will fix it with more mulah if I have too. Just wanna know my ABCS on the issue before considering taking to dealership so I won't be bent over their desk and sit there as they rake out my piggy bank. Thanks anyone with helpful info. Oh and radiator fans and cooling system(besides the giant leak I noticed) seems in working order. Temp Guage never showed getting to hot. And I'm afraid to drive it at all till I know issue. Don't wanna replace parts if I don't have too just because I drove it when I shouldn't have. Again anyone with tips or tricks to help I'd be very appreciative. Even criticism I suppose is better than nothing haha. Thanks.

· Registered
2012 Forester X Auto
3,644 Posts
A coolant leak won't affect your operational temperature until you run out of coolant.
Provided the car is not overheating, it may make a mess under the hood but it won't ruin your engine.
Check your oil.. Is it contaminated? (does it look like oil).
If so, don't drive the car - You will shortly destroy it because coolant makes for a poor lubricant.
It's hard to tell (for me) from your description exactly where the leak is, but you need to find out WHERE it's coming from, not where it's pooling.
It could be a hose leak (easily corrected).
I guess it could also be a head gasket, but kind of unusual to get a spray out of a HG leak... but hey, anything is possible.
To me, it sounds like a plumbing problem at this point.
I'd soak up coolant, make sure you have adequate coolant in your overflow tank and warm up the car.
You can then rev the engine (if it isn't leaking/spraying already) and you should be able to see where a leak is coming from.
If it is a head gasket (an unfortunately common problem) it is still worth the repair based on your description of the car.
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