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Discussion Starter #1
so ive been losing coolant as of late and its been running close to H almost every time i drive so i have to stop every 10-15 miles to fill the coolant which is a real PITA. so i really havent been able to figure out what it was. i thought it may have been a sticking thermo (which is a pita by itself) and that didnt really cure it. so today i see a drip by the draincock screw but it wasnt the draincock screw because it looked like it was actually coming right out of the radiator itself. my questoin is what could possibly cause a radiator to fail at only 43k (wife driven) miles? and if its not the radiator what else could cause it?
 

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I've seen a rad fail at only 6,000 wife-driven miles. The seams are faulty on some of them and Subaru would replace them under warranty -- sadly, after 36,000 if you've not gotten an extended service contract you may have to pay out of pocket if this is the case. However, since your drop is really low, you might look more closely at the hoses; maybe it's something simple like that. Try to find white hue somewhere around or above the area where you saw the coolant.

By the way, since the motor is out of your MR2 and we are talking coolant anyway, check the hard lines that carry coolant from the nose to the engine compartment. The welds holding the lines failed resulting in leaks and seeps in our 93 after roughly 150,000 wife-driven miles.
 

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radiators can go bad after a while. i had a 98 civic radiator go bad after about 60k. dunno how, but there was a leak, and i was losing coolant. :confused1 had it fixed under warranty.

the labor to change one isn't much, the part can be several hundred. i say use this opportunity to upgrade to a better-than-oem one. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #4
this is such crappy timing too. well i do have an extended warranty up to 100k so hopefully the radiator will be covered if its not then i would definitely go with a better than OEM model like fluidyne or pwr or one of the like. btw this was on the WRX that this happened and the WRX and MR2 are both stock ride height. when i pulled the rad on the 2 it was so shot that the top half actually came off in my hand when i pulled it out. with this guy im just gonna wait til i can do the 3rd gen 3SGTE swap. i just dont get how it could fail so early in its life. i guess if my shop wont do it under out warranty ill just go get a new cluster with like 32k on it :rotfl:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
but on the topic how tough is it to change a rad on a WRX? it doesnt look tough as far as access goes but are there any b*tch bolts or just weird clamps or lines holding it in place that you may not notice at first glance while trying to remove

i remember when i tried to pull the manifold off my MR2 there was a little bolt underneath the runner that you physcially could not see from above or underneath and could only undo by feel....did not discover this until i posted a question about it on the MR2 board...about 4 hours and a lot of cursing later
 

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The rad on the WRX isn't bad to do. Pull the fans and shrouds, pull the rad bolts, and so on. You may as well switch from the lousy works-style clamps to proper ring clamps if you have to do this yourself.

On the bright side, you have an extended service plan so this is not your problem, it's someone else's problem -- those are the only problems I don't mind too much! Take it in, let them worry about it. A rad should be available within 24 hrs tops and it's a 1 hour job at most. The worst part is actually burping the system. No worries after that.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
yeah seriously what is the deal with filling the cooling system on these damn things? with my MX6 i fill the neck until full cover it and im done. with the WRX i fill the tank till full cover it run it it overheats so i fill it again and run it and it overheats again, i have to do this about 3 times before it runs normal. but the car is here now so all i can hope for is that it will be covered and they wont try to pull some BS with me. but even if it isnt i guess it wouldnt hurt the wallet too bad then if i can do it myself. what do regular replacement rad's go for on these things?
 

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JeremyL said:
yeah seriously what is the deal with filling the cooling system on these damn things? with my MX6 i fill the neck until full cover it and im done. with the WRX i fill the tank till full cover it run it it overheats so i fill it again and run it and it overheats again, i have to do this about 3 times before it runs normal. but the car is here now so all i can hope for is that it will be covered and they wont try to pull some BS with me. but even if it isnt i guess it wouldnt hurt the wallet too bad then if i can do it myself. what do regular replacement rad's go for on these things?
Run a search on "burping" the coolant.
 

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JeremyL said:
yeah seriously what is the deal with filling the cooling system on these damn things? with my MX6 i fill the neck until full cover it and im done. with the WRX i fill the tank till full cover it run it it overheats so i fill it again and run it and it overheats again, i have to do this about 3 times before it runs normal. but the car is here now so all i can hope for is that it will be covered and they wont try to pull some BS with me. but even if it isnt i guess it wouldnt hurt the wallet too bad then if i can do it myself. what do regular replacement rad's go for on these things?

you have air in the system.

properly fill/burp/fill/etc and you ownt have that problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
well the radiator and the main hose is covered so i wont be paying out the butt for that and i get a rental for 3 days which is a gas guzzling dodge dakota. i took the thing home from the dealership which is only 13 miles and i could already start to see the gas gauge move and i didnt even take it over 2500rpm :eek3:
 
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