Radiator Fun
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This is a discussion on Radiator Fun within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Okay, so since I bought my car I've known of several important issues that needing fixing. The clutch, leaking top ...

  1. #1
    Registered User CmrnDrgn's Avatar
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    Question Radiator Fun

    Okay, so since I bought my car I've known of several important issues that needing fixing. The clutch, leaking top radiator hose, and drive belts that are getting old. The clutch has been replaced, and yesterday I replaced the top and bottom radiator hoses. This was quite the project (for me), and along with the exhaust change, the first work i've done on my wrx.
    So I drained the radiator system and removed both of the hoses, and replaced them making sure there weren't any kinks and the clamps were secured tightly. I then mixed some subaru coolant as a 50/50 mix with some distilled water and topped off the radiator system. Put everything back in it's place and started the car. As the handbook says, let it idle for about 5 minutes around 2 to 3k rpm. Took it out for a short 5 minute drive, then came back parked it and everything seemed fine.
    Drove it to work this morning, and about 5 miles into the drive I noticed the temperature guage had spiked and was maxed out on red. This was alarming, cause of the work I had done on the car the night before! gah. So I pulled over immediately and checked the oil and carefully felt the radiator. The oil was at it's normal level and nothing in the engine bay was unusually hot to the touch. At this point I was about to be late for work, so because the engine didn't seem to actually be overheating , I just limped the next 5 miles to work keeping my eye on the temp guage, which was just below max the whole way there. I checked the engine again once at work, and despite the frightfully high guage, everything seemed normal under the hood I did notice the coolant in the resevoir drop around 2 inches, from above the full line, to right at it. Im thinking there might have been some air in the engine causing the overheating, and that's where the extra coolant disappeared to? None of the hoses were leaking and both radiator caps were not extremely hot. I took one off after about 5 minutes, and some air came whooshing out.
    I feel like the system just needs to get balanced, so I let the engine idle for a few minutes with one of the caps off, then eventually put it back on, I sat in the car and slowly revved it to about 4k a few times, and everytime I did the temp guage climbed almost as fast as the engine rpms did. This is the part that is really confusing to me, is the gauge misreading, or is some kink in the system causing this? Any thoughts at all would be helpful! Thanks

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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    how many miles are on the car? Which cap did you leave off the one on the surge tank or the radiator? Try this..With the cap on the surge tank off make sure the system is full of coolant..start the car and hold it at about 2500 RPM for a few moments, If you start to see the temp gauge rise to around 3/4 and the cooling fans have yet to come on shut the car down and start it back up a few moments later...I bet you have an air pocket (sometimes shutting it down and restarting in a few moments lets the air come to the top of the system)..Also, Sometimes with the surge tank cap off you can kind of give it a shot of the throttle to like 6k RPMs and it will be powerful enough to blow the air pocket out... Make sure the fans cycle and are blowing hot air...

  4. #3
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Either you need to burp the system or you have an obstruction. Most likely though you need to burp the system. Let it cool down completely, remove the cap, let it warm up, wait until you see circulation, and top off at the cap. Keep doing this.

    Count your fingers. Squeeze the top hose very gently, making sure you keep the same number of fingers because the fans and belts are very close. You might notice bubbling at the cap. Keep topping it off. It's boring and tedious but it sounds like you might benefit from this.
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    Registered User CmrnDrgn's Avatar
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    I left the one on the radiator off, and could see fluid circulating down there when I did. Both of the fans are working so that's not a problem. There are only 40k miles on the car I feel like you guys are right about burping the system, I started to do this before work, but didn't have the time to be diligent about it, nor the coolant to add after circulation. Think it's a safe bet drive the car really conservatively on the way home for 10 miles, before I finish purging the air out and adding coolant, as that's only available at home?
    I really really appreciate the help haha i'm sitting at work, all urked about the issue, especially cause of the 5 or 6 hours I spent working on the car yesterday, bahahahaha (cleaning up every little drop of coolant that didn't go in the radiator. . . ocd. I'll post some pics of the black badges and new exhaust a little later on as well.

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    I'd not drive a car that overheats. The volume of an air pocket is usually quite small compared to the total volume of coolant. This implies any volume of distilled water added to displace the volume of a in the absence of a 50:50 coolant mix will also be negligible compared to the total volume of coolant, and can be expected to affect the coolant:water ratio only marginally. If you have access to distilled water then, it's IMO worth a shot rather than driving.
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    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Just watch the temp gauge as you drive it home...you mentioned you left the one on the radiator off? take the cap off the radiator and surge tank..fill from the surge tank until coolant starts to come out of the radiator filler neck..than cap the radiator and continue filling the system until the surge tank is full...I have OCD also dont feel bad..seriously..

  8. #7
    Registered User CmrnDrgn's Avatar
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    Yea, i'm like paranoid to drive it cause of the temperature gauge, and i'de like to avoid any repairs at all costs, hahah. I'll do my best to burp it in the parking lot with a little extra distilled water, before I resort to driving it carefully home. Like I said though, the engine or radiator didn't feel overly hot at all, heh, I guess that temperature gauge is just that exact.

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    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    Also when you "burp" the system make sure you are on level ground. It won't work if the radiator is sitting higher than the coolant/surge tank that is on the passenger side of the manifold.
    Resident Adviser @ WTF Tuning, LLC
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  10. #9
    Registered User CmrnDrgn's Avatar
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    So after a lot of engine idling, and 30 or more minutes of loading coolant, everything is A okay again. I find it weird and annoying though that Subaru hasn't designed the coolant system to be reloaded easier. All time considered it probably took an hour to put in the 7. something liters of coolant required. But im just happy to be running right again, thanks for the help everyone.

  11. #10
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Good to hear.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

  12. #11
    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Good deal! I bought one of these about a year ago..totally worth every penny... Lisle LIS22150 Coolant Funnel w/ Radiator Fill Adapters LIS22150 | Cooling System Service

  13. #12
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    So do the adapters "seal" onto the rad cap opening, meaning any bubbling and burping would be contained? If so, that's really handy.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

  14. #13
    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Yup..Sure does...I use this thing prob 5 times a day...

  15. #14
    Registered User CmrnDrgn's Avatar
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    zoooomg, That looks worth every penny. Definitely going to save my ass, and help avoid any repeats.
    Blobeye Syndicate #888

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