2002 WRX Weird Cooling Issue...
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This is a discussion on 2002 WRX Weird Cooling Issue... within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hi all, it has been a while since I have posted. Life has been busy and fixing stuff on my ...

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    Registered User Subaru-Mopar-Luv's Avatar
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    2002 WRX Weird Cooling Issue...

    Hi all, it has been a while since I have posted. Life has been busy and fixing stuff on my WRX has drained my wallet! Now though, a new problem has risen.

    Prior knowledge about my car: Has Forge BPV, Cobb SF Intake, Invidia dp to custom catback, Cobb Stage 2 91 Tune, and I replaced the malfunctioning stock rad with a Mishimoto aluminum one and replaced the rad hoses. The car ran fine and stayed cool after I did the rad job. Also, my AC idler broke and I removed the belt and all and have just been going sans AC all summer as I am poor and it needs a recharge anyways.

    The issue: This summer, I have noticed my car doing weird things. When I drive at steady RPM, whether in town or on the highway, I will often watch my temp gauge start to climb. I monitor coolant temp on my Accessport and it usually is at around 200 Degrees Fahrenheit, and the fans cut in somewhere shortly after 200. It stays cool no matter how hard I drive it until I stay at steady RPM. It climbs to 208 then quickly climbs to around 135-138 then as soon as I downshift or apply throttle, it stays for a couple seconds and goes back down. When the temp does climb, my heater still blows hot air. I also have not noticed coolant or bubbles in my oil and my car hasn't blown white/blue smoke from what I have seen. So I'm not thinking head gasket. It also warms up about the same as it did before which makes me believe it isn't a thermostat. Maybe a water pump issue? My accessport reads the same as my temp gauge so I doubt the gauge is faulty. I am stumped. I burped the system properly when I installed the rad and it worked perfect until now. My girlfriend's father is a seasoned mechanic and said it sounds like it could be head gasket but my heater works when it gets hot so that wouldn't make sense. He also saw that my AC condenser has mostly bent fins and could be blocking air to pass through and the fans aren't pulling enough through but that would not explain why it only overheats at steady RPM even on the highway.

    Sorry for the word fortress, just giving as much info as possible. PLEASE HELP ME!
    Speed never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary, that's what gets you. -Jeremy Clarkson

    Bugeye Mafia Member #419

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    Registered User Subaru-Mopar-Luv's Avatar
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    After seeking advice from the good folks at RSD, I have come to the conclusion that it is likely the water pump impeller being too worn down. When I do my timing belt, I plan to replace the water pump and thermostat and hopefully this fixes the issue. A water pump issue does explain why it only pushes adequate coolant through the engine and radiator under acceleration. Shoutout to RSD for the amazing service!
    Speed never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary, that's what gets you. -Jeremy Clarkson

    Bugeye Mafia Member #419

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Didn't see your post.

    Suspect head gasket, water pump, obstruction in coolant flow, thermostat, or air bubble in order of cost. Can't tell which. Have you verified circulation of coolant?

    See
    Gates Timing Belt Kit - My Impressions
    and I added pump pics just now too.
    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 Subaru-Mopar-Luv's Avatar
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    Coolant levels are the same and I am not losing coolant. Upper and lower rad hoses get hot/cold as they should during normal operation. I am leaning towards the water pump impeller deteriorating as it has never been replaced and my car is getting up there in mileage and is also plagued by salted roads and cold winters. Thermostat seems unlikely as it warms up at the same rate and the overheating is more random than would normally be caused by a thermostat sticking. The water pump also explains why accelerating causes the issue to go away as coolant can flow properly even with a poor impeller when under acceleration. If after my timing belt, water pump, and thermostat are replaced the issue continues, I would guess it's head gasket time. I will update when the issue is fixed.
    Speed never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary, that's what gets you. -Jeremy Clarkson

    Bugeye Mafia Member #419

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    OK good luck.
    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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