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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!
New to the forum but not the brand. Had a 2016 STI back in the day and now have a 2013 WRX Limited with 102k on the clock.
I live in Southern CA, temps have been near the 100's.
As soon as I got the car, I wanted to re-do the cooling system. Koyo radiator, Mishi dual fans (with high and low speed), Gates water pump, OEM thermostat, OEM Super Coolant and a bottle of conditioner, OEM caps (radiator and expansion tank)
Now here is my issue, if its 90+ out, and I'm driving in the city, the car will start creeping up passed the 207 mark.. both fans come one high and if I continue to drive at low speeds, it will keep climbing. It got to 226 before until I turned on the heater and was able to get more constant/faster driving. Which will usually take the temps down to 190 or so.
If the outside temp is below 85 or so, it will stay low. AC on, driving hard up a mountain road, no problem.. hits 207, comes right back down. Then if I'm going downhill or so, it will cool down to even around 178.
The mid-day temps are what scare me because I feel it shouldn't be getting past 210 and especially not 220. My last guess is head gaskets but I don't see any signs that lead to this, no smoke, no water/oil mix, I don't know what's left to check.
Also the needle on the gauge sits a click above the middle normally but has never gone further, even at the 226. I'm reading the temps off the AccessPort.
P.S. I thought maybe it was the coolant temp sensor but being that the fans come on right at 205/207 I feel that its working the way it should. Any help would be much appreciated.
I'm stumped on this thing.
 

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Put the authentic Subaru fans back on. I do not trust imitation parts. The fans are critical and yours are not authentic.

Then try it.

If it still gives you crap keep the authentic fans but in addition burp the system again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Put the authentic Subaru fans back on. I do not trust imitation parts. The fans are critical and yours are not authentic.

Then try it.

If it still gives you crap keep the authentic fans but in addition burp the system again.
You know, this does make sense. I had thought the mishimoto fans were an upgrade and spent the $287 for them plus about $20 in shipping. I threw everything on at once so I have never ran it with this setup with the OEM fans. I learned later that I was having other minor issues that were present when I got the car like an intermittent fan relay (inside was all carbon-ed up and only make contact half the time so the main fan would be off at times) and the coolant caps were swapped. Sadly found that out AFTER getting all the “upgrades”. They were also running some green prestone type coolant in it before so I’m glad to now be on the blue super coolant.
I’ll throw the fans on tomorrow and drive around midday and see what happens. Going to try to get this dual crap out without removing my upper hose so this should be fun ??
I think I can still get my $287 back as it’s only been a week.
 

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Your car is decades newer than mine but on mine the fans come off without needing to remove the rad hose.

If you do remove the rad hose then definitely burp the system.

Caution: you probably have a thicker radiator. Take extreme care to make sure your hose is clear of the fans. Mind the engine moves or shifts a little at high throttle too.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your car is decades newer than mine but on mine the fans come off without needing to remove the rad hose.

If you do remove the rad hose then definitely burp the system.

Caution: you probably have a thicker radiator. Take extreme care to make sure your hose is clear of the fans. Mind the engine moves or shifts a little at high throttle too.

Good luck.
Appreciate the tips! Yes I cut the hose about an inch and a half to avoid just that. I learned about that motor-shift-on-high-rev thing with an old BMW I had. Split right through the hose on a shift change.

Yeah the stock fans come out perfectly with the hoses still attached since they are two pieces but this dual mishimoto setup is all one big piece and I think I’ll have issues sliding it out. Just would be a bummer having to burb it again but nothing that can’t be done ??
 

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If you are feeling generous, humour me and every once in a while have a glance under the water pump and make sure you see no green or white residue. I’ve put a Gates in too and loved it until it got upset (usually it’s something I’ve said...) and started weeping. Mine lasted 60K but I wanted 100 and didn’t get it so I switched to Aisin. That was 60K ago and all is still well. Just a thought.

Also I like to use a paint line to mark the “depth” or level of the rad hoses, that is, how deep they are on the fittings. On the stock Calsonic rad and a Koyo OEM and a three core aluminium rad I use now, the top hose tended to walk out a bit. No idea how or why. In fact I now use a t-clamp on an aluminium fitting and I’m still checking anyway.

My temp needle moved visibly though I never overheated but it was 48C indicated outside (wow!!!!) so I switched to oversize aluminium rad since last summer. It’ll still move a touch or just a hint in stop/go at 40C+ but that’s OK. However I’ve kept the authentic fans.

You may need to do some creative dentistry to get the fan pegs to line up and insert into the rad fittings but my troubles were very minor. Not chewing a rad hose and getting zero leaks with your clamps and burp burp burp and more burp to get all the air out are more important.

Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It’s funny you bring up about the Gates pump and the weeping. When I picked up the car a month ago and it having 100k miles, I knew I wanted to do the timing belt and figured I’d do the cooling as well. Previous owner didn’t know of what all was done when so I wanted to have the peace of mind. Well, when I went to change the belt, I found out it already had a Gates timing belt on it and a Gates water pump. I already had all my new parts ready to be put on and I have the blue “racing” series belt to swap it so I did all that.

Back to the topic, I don’t know when the used Gates pump was put on the car, but it has 100k miles so most likely only 50k or so I’d guess at the most and sure enough, it had been weeping. Nice green sludge on the bottom of it. And when I say that, I figured someone didn’t torque it down correctly but after your reply it kind of scares me about the one I just put on. I will have to really keep an eye on it.

Hopefully my stock fans turn out to help me out on the heat situation. My analog needle lives at the click above middle, but I’ve heard most WRX stay a click BELOW middle. Hoping for the best though ??
 

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OK post back with impressions when you swap the fans. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, got the stock fans in today. Had to remove the top hose and did lose about 3 cups of coolant but refilled back up and burped system for a full heat-up cycle (fans on/off etc)

Right off the bat I can see there is a lot more open air room with the stock fans. The Mishimoto shroud really blocks a lot of the radiator.

Now for the differences:
-when the car hits 203 on the access port, fans come on low and almost instantly take the car down to 195 then turn off.
-I turned on the AC and temps held at 183 (outside temp was 90° F)
-went for a good 30 mile city drive, sometimes hard on the throttle with the AC on and temps only got to 187.
-Midway in my drive I stopped at a Walmart and sat in the parking lot for 5-8 minutes with the AC on (88° outside now) and the car stayed at 187°, let it heat soak while in the store (turned the car off) and came back out to a 192 on the accessport when starting her back up. As soon as I was leaving the parking lot, temps already dropped down to 181.

None of the above have been this cold on a day like this. Really excited that this may of fixed my issue and I was not only getting restricted air through the radiator but also weak aftermarket fans. I want to try driving again tomorrow in 100° weather and see how it does but so far I’m seeing good results.
I appreciate the help and tips very much as I probably wouldn’t of thought of taking my $287 “upgrade” off the car and was ready to tear down for invisible head gasket failure. To everyone this may help in the future, IF you are running MISHIMOTO fans and your car is getting warm in slow driving/traffic on a hot day, I HIGHLY advise you to put stock fans on it.

I will continue to update as some time progresses to see if this was a permanent fix ??
 

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Congrats!

This really does sound like you’ve fixed it!

Thanks for posting back, it’s important for future searches. I think you’ve found the issue. Very happy to hear it!
 

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Your car is decades newer than mine but on mine the fans come off without needing to remove the rad hose.
Just a follow-up on this comment I'd made, regarding my claim that the rad fans come off without needing to remove the rad hose.

I was hallucinating.

Sorry.
 
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