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2000 Outback 2.5L
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Discussion Starter #1
We just got a used 2000 Outback last week and today we started to overheat. It only got hot when we accelerated but stayed stable when not trying to push it. When we looked at the overflow res. it was boiling. We did not let it get to the red line but it did get pretty hot. There was no white smoke from the exhaust and no water in the oil. What could be the problem and what can I do to fix it?
 

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2000 Outback 2.5L
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Ok so I am burping the air bubbles out. Not sure that there was enough coolant in system. Cannot find leaks around the heads. There is a bit of oil around the oil pan gasket though. Temp holding strong just above the first temp line. No moisture coming from tail pipe.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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14,289 Posts
Replace the thermostat and be sure to burp all the air out by letting the thermostat cycle 2-3 times with the cap off. The thermostat is easy and takes about 10 minutes at the most. Raise the car, drain the radiator remove two screws, change thermostat and seal, reverse order. Use a Subaru T-stat. Burping takes longer.

The temp gauge should reside about midway up once the engine reaches proper temperature with the cap on and the system pressurized.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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something happened before you bought the car, can you ask the previous owner what work was done to it? why was the coolant low, was it changed, work done, etc?

this issue doesn't just randomly happened - you can be sure it was caused or present before you bought the car. be nice to get some background info rather than guess and wonder what unknowns are lurking...particularly given this engines notable headgasket issues.

your engine requires Subaru's coolant conditioner to stave off headgasket issues, it's $2.47 and Subaru has boat loads of it in stock - if you can't verify it's in there I'd be adding a bottle pronto.

thermostat should be dealer or the new EXACTA that's essentially the same part. the others are whimpy and look like my 3 year olds toys.

but - i would hold off and see what happens. your thermostat is not the issue at this point so i wouldn't dive into work that's definitely not needed until we see a pattern or if this issue creeps up again.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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It only got hot when we accelerated but stayed stable when not trying to push it. When we looked at the overflow res. it was boiling. We did not let it get to the red line but it did get pretty hot.
If/when the temperature got to the point that the coolant mix, if there was a proper mix, reached boiling, the pressure would eventually reach the radiator and most likely allow release through the cap. If it didn't have a proper mix, the water would evaporate quickly.

There are a lot of if, but, maybe and what ifs. What is known is it ran hot. If there is not any sign of a leak, the thermostat needs to be replaced based only on overtemp anyway. The condition of the thermostat is most likely the reason it overheated. A new thermostat from Subaru is under $25 and takes no time to replace and will insure a good thermostat will be working going into the winter season.

After replacement of the thermostat, if there is a leak, whether it be a hose, cap, HG - unlikely - or puncture somewhere in the radiator, once the engine temperature is manageable, it can be located.

Don't jump off the deep end without knowing how to swim. Always check the simple items, replace what you know is worn/bad, then recheck everything. Ignoring the thermostat just to wait out spending $50 you are going to end up doing anyway is playing craps with your engine. Kinda like having a bald tire on the car and ignoring it while driving 80 down the turnpike. Just a thought.

Grossgary: It does randomly happen. Just like any other part, it may give you advance warning of a major failure or just quit altogether. I went thousands of miles without an issue on my VDC. Took off one weekend for Padre Island and on the way after I got south of San Antonio, the car started getting hotter than normal. I would slow down under 70, and it would cool off. Speed back up, and the temperature would again rise. I kept it under 70 the remainder of the trip. Replaced the thermostat while I was on Padre. No issue on the way back. No leaks. It was 100F+ daily temp at the time.
 

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2000 Outback 2.5L
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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you both i do appreciate the info. Parts are in hand and i'm just waiting for the weekend. Thankfully the wife only drives a few miles to work so I hope it will hold until then. Will keep you posted on the out come
 

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Just a quick follow up on this post. I had an overheating problem too.
I run Ultragauge for all my "older" cars and I can get accurate temp reading.
I was running consistently a 203F and once got it up to 212F.

I followed this post, replaces radiator cap, thermostat and put new coolant.
I am running 188F up to 197F now.

Thanks all for posting!
 
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