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Discussion Starter #1
Just had my head gaskets done last week.

I was looking around the engine last night and noticed that the top radiator hose is all puckered up and flattened. When I opened the radiator cap, I hear this sucking noise and the hose returns to its round shape. The reservoir tank is full (and seems to stay at the same level all the time), but I topped off the radiator with coolant anyway (added maybe half a cup).

Could this be related to the head gasket job? do I need a new hose? or it's the radiator cap maybe?

I don't quite understand how coolant moves from the reservoir back into the radiator.
 

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2014 Impreza Ltd CVT
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Defective radiator cap. Replace it. the center jiggle valve is not opening allowing coolant to return from the overflow. Common problem.
 

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2010 Forester
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Correct! If you can't buy one soon, take the cap off when it's cold and pull the little coin shaped valve free, if possible. It might not stick again but I'd change it asap anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ordered one from the local dealership, but it won't get here until Tuesday. (Why don't they have one in stock??? what if someone came in for a coolant change?)

I'll have to investigate what this coin shaped valve is, I don't recall seeing one.

Now, I'm all paranoid about driving with a defective radiator cap, even though I've probably been doing it for months!

-R.
 

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03X MT
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I don't think it is mandatory to replace with OEM. I've been driving with a Stant for a couple of years no probs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't think it is mandatory to replace with OEM. I've been driving with a Stant for a couple of years no probs.
Yeah, I'm starting to figure this out. I found a good description of how a radiator cap functions:

WikiAnswers - How does a radiator cap work

I used a screwdriver to pry loose the metal valve at the bottom. I didn't know that was supposed to detach. Well, it's pretty rusted on the inside. (Don't they put rust inhibitors in the coolant?) Not sure if it will work before the part comes in. In any case, I don't think this thing has functioned in a long time.

-R.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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2010 Forester
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I don't think it is mandatory to replace with OEM. I've been driving with a Stant for a couple of years no probs.
I agree with the above, but you already ordered one. That dealer is pretty backward not to stock rad caps.
But even if you don't fix it, I doubt you'll have problems. I had one like that on an Infiniti for many weeks and it only gave my hoses a workout.
 

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as you work your way through this make sure the coolant system is/has been flushed etc. and filled with the proper coolant and proper ratio of 50% coolant 50% distilled water.

I'll bet even with new HG's Subaru would still recommend the coolant conditioner.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well you guys were exactly on the mark. After I loosened the metal valve thing, the coolant gets sucked back from the reservoir. I passed by an Advanced Auto Parts today, so I stopped in and they had a Stant that fits. I'll use that until the dealer gets the Subaru cap. Then I'll have a spare.

as you work your way through this make sure the coolant system is/has been flushed etc. and filled with the proper coolant and proper ratio of 50% coolant 50% distilled water.

I'll bet even with new HG's Subaru would still recommend the coolant conditioner.
The HG's were done at a dealership (different one from the one that didn't have the cap in stock). I hope they followed whatever Subaru recommends. BTW, Subaru picked up part of the cost, I only had to pay $250. I didn't even have to ask, the service manager worked out the whole deal before showing me the leaking head gasket (external oil leak).

So, that part was great. They convinced me to do the timing belt at the same time since that would save me money eventually. But, something got mucked up when they put everything back. They ended up keeping my car for an entire week. They had me in a brand new Outback as a loaner, so I wasn't exactly complaining :biggrin:
 

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2003 Forster 2003 2.5x
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heating problem

I noticed this problem as well when trying to figure out why my car is heating up on Idle. Does the cold flattening have to do with the car heating up at idle? I bought a new cap anyways as suggested. Thank you all.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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I see this is your first forum post, so welcome to the forum from Oregon! :biggrin:

The upper radiator hose flattening is due to the radiator cap valve not allowing the coolant to be drawn back into the system from the expansion/overflow tank as the coolant cools.

I don't recall any over heating issues when I had that happen on our '03 X.

Do you see air bubbles in the expansion/overflow tank when the engine is running? :confused:

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 
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