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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
OK,

I noticed about two weeks ago that my car smelled like coolant when I got out of it, but I didn't think anything of it. I should have, but it is a new car, so I figured that it wasn't my car that was emitting the odor. Upon opening my hood on Saturday, I noticed dried up coolant everywhere. There was only a very small wet spot by the battery, but the dried green stuff was all over. Upon closer inspection, I notice dried coolant all over the edges of the top of the radiator. Now, keep in mind that I run 16.5 psi everyday, drive my car hard on the street, and I race it. Add to this that fact that the temperature went from 45degF to <20degF practically overnight and I can see why the radiator might leak. I only lost maybe a pint of antifreeze, just enough to make a mess, and the leak appears to have stopped. I am rallying in Rochester, NY this Sat (1/12/02) and I don't have time to take the car to the dealership now, so I'm going to watch it and see if it leaks again and take it in as soon as it does.

This is why I hate plastic end tanks on an otherwise "solid" aluminum radiator!

-Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Everyone,

After smelling coolant again, I popped my hood and...

Dried coolant all over again!

Plenty left in the overflow, but I put a lot in because I knew I was losing some.

I was thinking that I might have just been blowing it out of the overflow tank, but is on the front top of the radiator again. This is too weird.

I don't want to be "retired" from the rally to early like our Subie boys in Sweden, so I'll be getting to the dealer ASAP to get this taken care of.

I hope it is nothing major and I saw an aftermarket all aluminum radiator on the net somewhere. If the radiator is the weakest link, I'll make the dealership throw one of those in.

-Jim
 

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Thinking Man's Engine
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If they deduce that running the car at 16.5 psi is the cause of the problem, then consider the warranty repair goodbye.

I would run a poll here to see if people running stock boost are running into this problem, and also people with varying amounts up boost also, including the 16.5 psi.

Because you're running increased boost, you're also running the engine hotter, putting more load onto the cooling system, whether it's causing a pressure increase into the system (to be determined), that pressure may cause the leaking of the plastic radiator ends, and the joints. Though because the leak has been initiated, going back to stock boost may not solve your problem.

One of the scenarios you'll end up with, is getting an aftermarket full aluminum radiator, which would run a risk of causing a warranty problem down the road with related sensors.

It's a consequence of modding and driving it harder.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I just got off the phone with service guy

The service dude at Colonial Subaru seems to think that its the top radiator hose. He says they can seep around the top of the radiator and make it look like the radiator is leaking.

I hope he's right. We'll find out on Thursday morning.

-Jim
 

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Thinking Man's Engine
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Get one of those aluminum radiator hose kit. the reinforced rubber will eventually need replacing anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Penguinking,

I'm giving some though to the Samco Radiator hoses now that I've got a leak. We'll see how things go on Thursday morning!

-Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Service Visit number one, 2/7/02

I just got back from Colonial Subaru on Street Road. It was an excellent experience. I had an 8:00 appt, but I was running late because of the snow and an accident, and also removing my boost controller in the morning instead of the night before. I arrived around 8:30am, (non issue). They took my car at like 9:00 and I was out of there by 10:30. The wait was pleasant because I checked out the1.9L TDI diesel under the hood of the Jetta, and talk to an owner of two Jetta 1.8T's. Tan is getting the 1.9L in his GTI.
I also got the read a little of "The Beauty of Great Press: 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX." Go get this BOOK of magazine articles at the dealer. Really cool and I didn't have to buy all the magazine to get the articles. Automobile compare it to a 911 Carrera 4, this is the article I've been waiting for!!

Any way... When they first brought my car back I got a call the desk. Joseph A. Rippert (Joe) was my mechanic and he wanted to talk to me about my car.
I was thinking, "Here we go with the mod questions." I got a little worried, but it was cool.
First, Joe thought my car was in an accident because of the lack of fender resonator and the black duct tape on my intake funnel.
I laughed and said I removed the resonator and the duct tape was just to aid air flow.
Joe said, "I've got to remove this to look at the radiator."
"I knew that, don't worry about the tape or the residue."

He asked me about my BOV.
I said it was a recirculating type from APS and was a direct replacement for the Subaru part.
"Did you have to cut a hole there to put that in?"
"No, it's a bolt on, the hole is already there."
"I never even notices that valve there," he said.
"Yeah, it's there it's just a lot smaller."

Next I had to explain what a BOV does for the car's performance. His response, "Yeah, these cars are fast from the factory, but you do three things to them and look out!" This made feel really good, but my boost controller won't be going back in until this issue is resolved.

He looked at the coolant pattern and said, "It doesn't look like the hose, but I have to pressure test it."
I said, "I looked it over real good and can't see it being the hose." He nodded.

Bottom line, my baby is getting a new radiator. I'm reminded of idling with a mere 1800 miles on the odo for an hour while I was locked out of my car in WV. This could've been a MAJOR factor in this failure. The coolant temp was up slightly when I reentered the vehicle. We all know that is very rare. It was dissipating the heat to somewhere, but this is just raw abuse for a radiator. I suspect that this warped the gasket between the end tank and the finned section.

Other problems that are to be resolved or were resolved.
Trim bezzle on passenger's front "Oh, crap handle." He fixed it AND ordered the part. It appears to be solidly planted now.

Trim holddown button for the wrap around trim to the left of the dead pedal is missing. The part is order and soon I stop putting up with my shoe getting stuck on the trim from time to time.

THIS ONE IS IMPORTANT:
My clutch pedal was squeaking at the bottom on the pedal travel. This was not a simple lubrication issue as I suspected, but the clutch travel switch that was squeaking. This may serve to explain another strange phenomenon, but that's a different thread. The switch is on order and will be replaced.

Colonial Subaru took care of me right and my mods even got me in the garage with the mechanic.
I'm a happy guy.

-Jim
 

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Jim, looks like you may have found you a keeper (dealer that is)! :cool: Good to hear your experience went so well. I'm impressed with the mechanic's acceptance of your mods. I'm also a little suprised at his lack of knowledge on the BOV. Of course, I suppose being that it's a new model in the US, he probably hasn't seen too many of them.

Anyway, keep us posted on your progress with the replacements.

Rod
 

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***wrx Recall!!!!!!!!!!!

last week i noticed fluid spallatered all over my engine bay, and the top of my radiator had coolant around the top seal. i brought it in to the dealer and the mechanic said this was the first time he's seen this problem the radiator leaked at 140 psi pumped into it. but he said the radiator should never have that pressure in it, but nonetheless its under warranty theyre giving me a new radiator.

it should have been in today so my dad called and he was told that its gonna take a little longer because subaru is recalling the radiators on WRXs.

so has anyoen heard this? or did that guy just not know what he was talking about and its just my car that has a faulty radiator?

BTW: the guy wasn't the mechanic it was some other guy who orders the parts or something.
 

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Are you sure you don't mean 14 psi? 140 psi would blow your hoses clean open!! I haven't had or heard any problems though.
 

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Platinum has a thread talking about this same problem with his radiator. He got a new one, too.
 

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the dealer said they have to wait for the portland warehouse to send the radiator. if they dont have it in stock theyre ordering a JDM radiator! hahahaa and they have no idea how long it will take

so now im here w/ my loaner red impreza. im gonna post pics
 

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Which part of the "radiator" do you mean plat? Do you mean the tank near the turbo or in the front near the hood latch? Also when you refilled your resevoir tank I hoped you stopped way down below because the coolant is never suppose to go anywere near the top. If you look at the plastic resevoir radiator tank you will see to notches near the bottom. That is where the coolant should stay. No more no less.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
BamBooI said:
Which part of the "radiator" do you mean plat? Do you mean the tank near the turbo or in the front near the hood latch? Also when you refilled your resevoir tank I hoped you stopped way down below because the coolant is never suppose to go anywere near the top. If you look at the plastic resevoir radiator tank you will see to notches near the bottom. That is where the coolant should stay. No more no less.
BamBooI,

The black plastic top tank was seperating from the aluminum section of the radiator and leaking all around the perimeter.

-Jim
 

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Widespread problem - EVERYONE check your rad!

I'm in the middle of this right now. The NASIOC thread has many details, and I list my initial symptoms too. Everyone check your radiator top seam and tank, and have a look at the other thread. Also, have a peek under the foam trim covering the seam on the front side of the rad just to be sure you're OK if you don't find another ooze anywhere; the foam can soak up liquid and hide it. I'm calling it in today. (If the URL doesn't come out, search for my post by username).

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=3267870#post3267870
 
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