01 2.5 loses coolant no visible leaks, can't smell anything either - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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01 2.5 loses coolant no visible leaks, can't smell anything either

01 2.5 loses coolant no visible leaks, can't smell anything either. Runs cool as long as it has coolant, but will eventually suck the overflow tank empty. New radiator cap. Does NOT leak on the garage floor at all. Seems to hold pressure after parked.

I read about some special coolant conditioner by Subaru and I ordered some. Is that some kind of block/head sealant?

My only guess is that it is leaking into the intake side of one of the heads while at highway speeds.


Anyone steer me in the right direction? I need it to make about 20-30 more 500 mile round trips.

Thanks,
Jay

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 04:34 PM
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subaru coolant contiioner is mild stuff 1 x 4.4 oz bottle mixed in with the coolant you are putting into the rad neck not into the overflow bottle.

it is not a block sealer or anything nasty and extreme in a large bottle to clog things up.

______

did you purchase a NEW rad cap that is OEM? (there is no sub for a OEM rad cap as it measures in KPA and not PSI)

_______

do you have a new OEM thermostat and stat gasket.

if you can't get one and need one right away you can use a stant Xact Stat, but that is the only known substitute. parts stores will sell you lots of junk though.

________

how old are the head gaskets on this? are there any tabs sticking out from the engine that suggest that someone may have put them on before ?
(sometimes these need to be done again due to shoddy work,..or poorly chosen parts used).

_____

when it is hot you get no stink at all from the tail pipe of coolant?


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 05:52 PM
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My 01 was tricky. Driver side rear bottom corner of the engine right after shut down. This is where the Subaru tsb new HG fix was usually confirmed.

The coolant leak is right over the exhaust so after a few minutes all evidence is gone. But right after shut down, tires cranked right, look under the car from behind the driverside front tire at the rear left botyom corner/head and you'll probably see coolant dripping.

That fix was 100% covered by Subaru in the 2000-2003's due to a gasket mistake. Mine was leaking at 62,000. Fixed and abused up through 180,000 and beyond with zero problems.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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OK. I bought this car last August about 7or8x500miles (beach trips) ago. It now has 193X on the clock. I have NO history on the car other than it had one owner FWIW. It is sharp looking and has a brand new set of Michelins on it.

It had a good many problems that I did not notice on my short test drive. CV joint, oil leaks, dash lights, tail lights, rear brake caliper sticking. All are fixed.

Blue Devil oil stop leak, has stopped the "VAST" majority of my oil leaks after two treatments. It barely leaks anything now. What used to be a puddle is a couple of drops now..

That being said. The thermostat and gasket seem to work fine and don't leak. The radiator cap that was on it seemed to fit loosely so I replaced it with one from Advance auto. No change in the problem and I didn't really expect it to. Nothing is being pushed out, only being pulled in.

I do not smell or see coolant from anywhere. I do know what it smells like even if it never drips anywhere.

I have no idea about the head gaskets or the timing belt for that matter. It's a time bomb and I'm rolling the dice. AAA membership is current.

Where does anyone think the coolant is going, and I will try a band aid solution? Not spending big money here. It did not seem to have this problem when I first got it.

Sorry about that, but I just want to buy time for now. I'm sure a head gasket fix is not cheap.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 08:18 PM
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prescription:

OEM stat, OEM rad cap, 1 little jug subaru coolant conditioner,....and a couple drive cycles to circulate it, wipe off the inside of the rad cap as it likes to collect on that.



then pressure test. plenty of lines can open under specific conditions just like subiesailor suggested.




________

if you want to put blue devil coolant clogger in you might as well just drive it down to the junk heap and leave it there for someone else to fix before you kill it with that.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eagleeye View Post
prescription:

OEM stat, OEM rad cap, 1 little jug subaru coolant conditioner,....and a couple drive cycles to circulate it, wipe off the inside of the rad cap as it likes to collect on that.



then pressure test. plenty of lines can open under specific conditions just like subiesailor suggested.




________

if you want to put blue devil coolant clogger in you might as well just drive it down to the junk heap and leave it there for someone else to fix before you kill it with that.
Not questioning your wisdom, but how would replacing the stat or the radiator cap at this point have anything to do with coolant loss? The temp is fine, and nothing is being pushed out through the cap. The coolant conditioner is on its way.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 09:00 PM
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Not questioning your wisdom, but how would replacing the stat or the radiator cap at this point have anything to do with coolant loss? The temp is fine, and nothing is being pushed out through the cap. The coolant conditioner is on its way.
maintenance, and anything wrong being exacerbated a neglected part.

like I put in my first post OEM rad caps are important. if the cap does not vent at the right pressure in KPA you get hose leaks. (at whatever it finds as being the weakest hose).

and a old stat may not open or close at the right temp,...and if it were a bad one in the first place may not flow at the correct rate. old ones get metal fatigue.

...and any used car I buy gets a new stat and cap right away.

_______

timing belt kit is your next step,...I wonder if they just changed the belts and not a water pump on previous jobs. plenty of threads on what is good to buy. (easy to buy without looking is OEM stuff,...gates is turning to chinese crap)..

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eagleeye View Post

I wonder if they just changed the belts and not a water pump on previous jobs. plenty of threads on what is good to buy. (easy to buy without looking is OEM stuff,...gates is turning to chinese crap)..
I wonder if it's ever had a timing belt? So chances are, if I see nor smell coolant anywhere and the coolant only goes away when I'm driving then it's likely a head gasket issue that has likely never been replaced either.

This is a 3k dollar car at best. Not spending 3k dollars on it. I could just keep pouring water in it. It runs great. Barely leaks any oil anymore.
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Originally Posted by jay3000 View Post
I wonder if it's ever had a timing belt? So chances are, if I see nor smell coolant anywhere and the coolant only goes away when I'm driving then it's likely a head gasket issue that has likely never been replaced either.

This is a 3k dollar car at best. Not spending 3k dollars on it. I could just keep pouring water in it. It runs great. Barely leaks any oil anymore.
I would think a EJ251 would have blown its original timing belt around 120,000 miles as that is like 15,000 miles past the recommended interval.

I would also think you got replacement head gaskets there at some point, the ones that were put on the car at the factory suck. (typically leaking oil,...and not coolant like the earlier EJ25D, ...although with a aluminum engine anything is possible and there are a couple out there that leak coolant. (especially after a half-assed HG job originally).


if the coolant is leaking into the exhaust and getting burned up 100% by the cat. it is ruining a expensive cat every second.

____

that said if you got external head gasket or other external coolant leaks,...plenty of people drive cars with jugs of coolant at the ready to keep filing until they get around to fixing it. (hopefully in a locked in a sealed plastic box to stop kids or dogs from getting at the bottles, or a unintended spill inside the car).

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 09:38 PM
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and here is a maint. schedule to remind you of things, a stat and a pcv are oddly not on it,...but such things are spring loaded and they do wear. (sad subaru did not put them on to actually say: swap at 30,40,50, or 60,000 miles...or months).

if buying plugs / wires: subaru likes NGK. = the biggest plug company in the world.
(rockauto.com / amazon / napa is your friend on those, advance sometimes stops selling them for a year, and then starts again).

Subaru maintenance schedules and new car break-in period- 2000 through 2009, links for 2010, 2011...


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