Reoccuring Radiator Leak
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This is a discussion on Reoccuring Radiator Leak within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; So I have a 2002 WRX wagon with 96,000 miles. It has an after market intake and exhaust which was ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Tecolote's Avatar
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    Reoccuring Radiator Leak

    So I have a 2002 WRX wagon with 96,000 miles. It has an after market intake and exhaust which was installed by the previous owner. I don’t believe it has any other modifications.

    I had a slow coolant leak begin around 90,000-92,000 miles. I had the radiator replaced at about 94,000 miles and it leaked again around 96,000. The radiator got replaced under its warranty and once again, no more than 500 miles later, it’s leaking again.

    The thermostat was replaced around 85,000 miles.

    I don’t think it would matter but the replacement radiators have not been OEM. Other than these cooling system headaches, the car is running exceptionally well.

    Any idea what is causing this?

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
    Last edited by Tecolote; 01-05-2010 at 05:10 PM.

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  3. #2
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    The first rad failed because it was OEM. The second one may have failed because it wasn't OEM, although if it were not for your statement that the thermostat was replaced, I'd have suspected an obstruction.

    Look at Koyo OEM-style radiators. They cost no more than other OEM-style radiators but are well made. After two Calsonics I switched to the Koyo and so far, so good. The same firm make an Al "race" rad too but I simply went for their OEM-style instead.

    Change the hoses with authentic Subaru hoses.
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    Registered User Tecolote's Avatar
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    Thanks for your response.

    Kinda pissed about paying for another radiator but, I may have to try the Koyo radiator. Its not fun always having to worry about one's car possibly overheating.

    Is this a common problem?

    The car also has a high pressure cap, if that matters at all.

    Should I replace all of the cooling system hoses soon or once I switch out the radiator?

  5. #4
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tecolote View Post
    Is this a common problem?
    Yes.

    The car also has a high pressure cap, if that matters at all.
    It does. Replace it with the correct cap.

    Should I replace all of the cooling system hoses soon or once I switch out the radiator?
    Pressure test the system as is now, make sure you have only a leaking rad. Then consider replacing the upper and lower hoses if/when you replace the rad.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    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 Tecolote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    It does. Replace it with the correct cap.
    Will do.

    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    Pressure test the system as is now, make sure you have only a leaking rad. Then consider replacing the upper and lower hoses if/when you replace the rad.
    Sounds good. We'll see how it goes.

    Thanks for your help.

  7. #6
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Good luck, stay cool, keep the car cool, and don't forget to burp the system thoroughly.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    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 Tecolote's Avatar
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    After going through 2 radiators I replaced the high pressure cap and haven't had any further issues. This was at 97,000 in January and I'm at 107,000 now.

    Just thought I'd update.

  9. #8
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    That's good news, and thanks for updating -- it makes the thread that much more useful to people in the future.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    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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