coolant...what the heck?!
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This is a discussion on coolant...what the heck?! within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; ok, so my 02 wrx was overheating badly, and the heater was going in and out. searched the forum and ...

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    coolant...what the heck?!

    ok, so my 02 wrx was overheating badly, and the heater was going in and out. searched the forum and found that i needed to burp it. so i did, ran really well worked fine and i 'filled as needed'

    so i drove it for a while today, from north GA down to home and no problems at all. drove thru the mtns like youre supposed to and nothing wrong at all.
    got home and pulled some stuff out of my car and then went back and saw that there was a HUGE puddle of coolant under my car. opened the resivior and it was full to overflowing. let it sit and cool for a bit and with 2 minutes it went all they way back down to just above the empty line. what do i do now? whats causing this? what the heck?!

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    If the car is not overheating, and there is still adequate coolant in the reservoir, do nothing.

    If the car is overheating, burp it again. Then when you think you're done burping it, begin burping it some more.

    If the level of coolant is low in the reservoir, let the car cool down completely. Stone cold. Then just loosen the radiator cap and listen for a whir or gurgle. Did the level of coolant in the reservoir just go up to a normal amount? If so, cap the radiator again and do nothing. If not, cap the radiator again and add a little coolant to the reservoir.
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    what causes the air to get into the system to make it need to be burped?

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    An opening in the system either for maintenance or due to a failure.
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    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 PRE-Erich's Avatar
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    get one of these, makes burping easy and ensures you get ALL the air out of the system.

    Erich Uhlman
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    Quote Originally Posted by PRE-Erich View Post
    get one of these, makes burping easy and ensures you get ALL the air out of the system.

    care to explain what it is, how it works, and where to get one?

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    Registered User PRE-Erich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlowe View Post
    care to explain what it is, how it works, and where to get one?
    hall tools or any specialty tool company should sell them.

    as for what it does, it attaches to the upper radiator cap and elevates the coolant level to allow air bubbles to purge from the system easier. Once all the bubbles purge you put the stopper in, remove the bucket, and replace the cap. If done correctly you will have minimum spillage of coolant.

    If the car continues to overheat or purge coolant out the overflow replace the radiator caps and thermostat and if it continues you may have a headgasket issue which is very common on these cars.
    Erich Uhlman
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    Overheating is a serious issue and should never be taken lightly on a Subaru!

    If you have damaged the headgasket(s) replacing them runs around $1450 done correctly. This includes pulling the engine, replacing both head gaskets with OEM Subaru MLS headgaskets, ARP headstuds (costs less than oem and you cannot reuse Subaru stock headstuds so you might as well upgrade them to prevent any future head gasket failures) and sending the heads out to be surfaced, checked, and cleaned.
    Erich Uhlman
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Since the OP has not reported overheating and overflowing, but rather first overheating, then overflowing, I do not (yet?) suspect a head gasket issue or even a thermostat issue (the trip through the mountains should have given the thermostat ample time to complain).

    I know of one person who did a head gasket with the motor in the car but it didn't look nearly as fun as one might think, and I'm beginning to think removing the motor would actually simplify things too.

    In any case hopefully the OP doesn't need to worry about any of this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    Since the OP has not reported overheating and overflowing, but rather first overheating, then overflowing, I do not (yet?) suspect a head gasket issue or even a thermostat issue (the trip through the mountains should have given the thermostat ample time to complain).

    I know of one person who did a head gasket with the motor in the car but it didn't look nearly as fun as one might think, and I'm beginning to think removing the motor would actually simplify things too.

    In any case hopefully the OP doesn't need to worry about any of this.
    at this point, it isnt even overheating. it just overflowed. it WAS overheating earlier this week but i burped it and its fine now. today was the first time it'd overflowed and then went way below. just put in a bit more coolant and ran it for a bit and it is fine now.
    i wont start worrying about anything like that yet. right now im just trying to figure out why my coolant is freaking out.

  12. #11
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    If you continue having problems, particularly with unexplained overheating, consider having the system pressure tested. You can pay a shop to do this or you can look into renting a pressure tester (a radiator cap with a hose attached to a hand bellows so you can pressurize the cooling system with the motor off, and a manometer to measure max pressure that you will set to whatever pressure the real rad cap is set to open -- you then wait and see if you can measure a drop in pressure and if so, look for leaks).
    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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    If it's not overheating at all but overflowing it's usually a cap issue. Caps are a mechanical device and as such they do fail.

    As for the head gaskets, yes they can be done in the car, no it's not faster. We can pull the motor and replace both gaskets faster than doing one in the car.

    Get that bucket, it could save your car
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    Quote Originally Posted by PRE-Erich;
    If it's not overheating at all but overflowing it's usually a cap issue. Caps are a mechanical device and as such they do fail.

    As for the head gaskets, yes they can be done in the car, no it's not faster. We can pull the motor and replace both gaskets faster than doing one in the car.

    Get that bucket, it could save your car
    I will be replacing the cap in the morning once it's cooled off enough to pull it off. And then I'll burp it for about 30 mins while I paint my rims. Then it should be good. Well see.....

    Thanks for all the help guys

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    ok, replaced the cap, burped it, worked for a day or so. the car doesnt overheat anymore, but sometimes when i drive it and then park it, about a minute after i turn it off and go inside, the coolant tank starts bubbling like mad and spewing out the top of the resivior. it does that until it cools off a bit and then COMPLETELY empties onto the ground.....
    if needed, i have a video of it doing this on my phone, if deisred i can post it.

    its in the shop today getting the clutch replaced and he is going to do a full flush as well to get all the paint that has blistered off of the bottom of the turbo resivor.

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Have you pressure tested?
    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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