Overheating and my mechanic gave up on me
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This is a discussion on Overheating and my mechanic gave up on me within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I bought my 02 wrx wagon two months ago. just as sonn as I start loving it, i start getting ...

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    Registered User khawajakustoms's Avatar
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    Overheating and my mechanic gave up on me

    I bought my 02 wrx wagon two months ago. just as sonn as I start loving it, i start getting problems. After a lot of research, i'm starting to think that i may have a head gasket problem, but im hoping im wrong.

    cliffnotes version:
    -overheated on a hot afternoon, driving with lots of stoplights, coolant reservoir was empty
    -1 week later: overheated at night, lower speed driving, coolant overflowing from reservoir
    -thermostat replaced
    -next day:driving in heavy traffic, on a hot afternoon, overheated 1mile after 10 minutes of being shut off, coolant overflowing
    -1 week later: mechanic couldnt get it to overheat
    -1 hour later: overheated after 1.5 miles of downhill driving in neutral ,not during the 1.5 miles of uphill speeding, coolant overflowing from reservoir
    -next day: mechanic couldnt make it overheat
    -3 days later: overheated at night after being driven slightly hard temp stable at speeds above 40, coolant overflowing from reservoir. Found that the tube from the filler cap near the turbo was blocked.h


    full version:
    I was driving on a hot afternoon and it overheated. I pulled over and to see that my reservoir was completely dry. Luckily, i was driving to the local auto store. I filled up the reservoir with coolant and drove the 3 miles to home. the temp gauge would rise at low speeds and dip down at higher speeds. I got home, let the car cool off, and filled up using the radiator's cap.

    The second time it overheated was a week later at night. I made it home before the gauge got too hot and saw that coolant had been overflowing from the reservoir. I read the manual( i never do that) and discovered the other filler cap. I filled it to the brim.

    Took it to my friend's shop and he replaced the thermostat.
    It overheated the next evening. I had been driving in stop and go traffic. I turned off the car for 10 minutes and after I drove another mile it overheated. I let it cool off then drove home 15 miles with no problems.

    I decided to call that one time a fluke and kept driving it for a week with no problems. My friend heard about the one time and insisted i bring the car back. They couldn't make it overheat, so i took the car for a speedy run up a mountain.

    When I hit the crest I threw it in neutral and made a gravity-powered speedy run down the hill. It overheated as I coasted to the stoplight at the bottom of the hill. I had to pull over every three blocks for 5 miles with the heater blasting to make it home.I would heat up faster the slower I moved The reservoir was completely full of coolant every time I checked it, but i couldnt open the filler caps because it was too hot. Got home and gave it more coolant after it cooled off.

    Mechanics couldn't make it overheat, so he told me he couldnt help me and gave the car back.

    It drove fine for 3 days, then overheated at night after I did a little hard driving. The temps stayed low at freeway speeds, but anything under 40-45 and it would overheat. the reservoir was overflowing.i stopped at a local tuner night and let the car cool for 45 minutes. they all laughed at me when i started pouring coolant . It wasn't all bad, though, I made a discovery: one of the tubes for my coolant system had been purposely blocked up by a bolt. The small tube that runs from under the fuller cap near the turbo had been closed off with a bolt and a clamp. I'm confident that the tube is for a coolant reservoir, but the other filler cap is attached to the reservoir. Is there any significance to that?

    I don't think that the blocked tube is the issue, but im really hoping that it is because the only other cause I can think of is a blown head gasket. Please help me! my last car gave me trouble, and I really don't want a repeat of that.

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    you may want to try replacing the radiator. my buddy was having a problem with his car overheating. and we replaced thermostat and all the coolant lines with no success and finally replaced his radiator and resolved his overheating issue.

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    Registered User khawajakustoms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drews View Post
    you may want to try replacing the radiator. my buddy was having a problem with his car overheating. and we replaced thermostat and all the coolant lines with no success and finally replaced his radiator and resolved his overheating issue.
    I was thinking about that, but my mechanic told me that my radiator was not stock. The old owner had already replaced it. Why did you guys replace the coolant lines? Are they a common problem?

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    Quote Originally Posted by khawajakustoms View Post
    I was thinking about that, but my mechanic told me that my radiator was not stock. The old owner had already replaced it. Why did you guys replace the coolant lines? Are they a common problem?
    We replaced the coolant lines because it was cheaper and eliminated the possibility of there being any blocked lines or anything. So the next step we took was getting a new radiator. Not sure how much an OEM radiator will run you but if you've replaced the thermostat and you know it's not the lines, that would be my next step. You could also check the fittings on the radiator you have now. It could have very well been installed incorrectly and coolant isn't flowing properly.

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    Registered User khawajakustoms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drews View Post
    You could also check the fittings on the radiator you have now. It could have very well been installed incorrectly and coolant isn't flowing properly.
    How can I check the fittings on the radiator? I assume its more complicated than making sure there aren't any hanging hoses....

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    Quote Originally Posted by khawajakustoms View Post
    How can I check the fittings on the radiator? I assume its more complicated than making sure there aren't any hanging hoses....
    there are fittings that actually screw into the radiator it's just a matter of gettin your hand and a wrench in there. How good are you at pulling front bumper covers off?

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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    The radiators get replaced because the plastic on the stock one cracks. If you need to replace it again, the aftermarket ones are much better and 1/2 the price. I doubt it is the new radiator though.
    "From a little spark may burst a mighty flame." - Dante
    "The stitch is lost unless the thread is knotted." - Italian proverb

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    Quote Originally Posted by mycologist View Post
    The radiators get replaced because the plastic on the stock one cracks. If you need to replace it again, the aftermarket ones are much better and 1/2 the price. I doubt it is the new radiator though.
    It could very well be 8 years old though. But still check for bad lines and what not.

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    Flirty User That's Younger Than the Chunks of Corn in Brian's Crap

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    That's what mine was doing. I replaced the radiator. I get to try it out tonight! We'll see if it works.
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    Registered User stockscooby's Avatar
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    check your fuse for the fan. I heard if your fan fuse goes that your fan will not run and your car will overheat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WRXie View Post
    That's what mine was doing. I replaced the radiator. I get to try it out tonight! We'll see if it works.
    Did you do it yourself?

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    Quote Originally Posted by stockscooby View Post
    check your fuse for the fan. I heard if your fan fuse goes that your fan will not run and your car will overheat.

    Oooooh....good call. I forgot about that. I tend to have the "It can't possibly be easy" outlook when it comes to troubleshooting.

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    Flirty User That's Younger Than the Chunks of Corn in Brian's Crap

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drews View Post
    Did you do it yourself?
    No. I guess I should have clarified my dad changed my radiator.
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    Registered User khawajakustoms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drews View Post
    there are fittings that actually screw into the radiator it's just a matter of gettin your hand and a wrench in there. How good are you at pulling front bumper covers off?
    I've never pulled off my front bumper cover. Anywhere i can to to see a how-to?

    Quote Originally Posted by WRXie View Post
    That's what mine was doing. I replaced the radiator. I get to try it out tonight! We'll see if it works.
    You had all the same symptoms as I do? if you do, then I'd be really interested in your results. Let me know!

    Quote Originally Posted by stockscooby View Post
    check your fuse for the fan. I heard if your fan fuse goes that your fan will not run and your car will overheat.
    I know my that fans run. Just to cover all my bases though, which fuse is for the fans?


    thanks a lot for the help guys, hopefully i can figure this out soon....

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    Flirty User That's Younger Than the Chunks of Corn in Brian's Crap

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    Quote Originally Posted by khawajakustoms View Post
    You had all the same symptoms as I do? if you do, then I'd be really interested in your results. Let me know!
    Not all but most. I just got her back today after changing the radiator and almost a 100 miles later, she still hasn't overheated.
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