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Discussion Starter #1
my outback started overheating, can't find the problem. here's what we've done: new thermostat, new radiator, water pump 3 years old, both fans are engaging, mechanic says there's no sign of a head gasket leak. can go a couple of weeks w/o it overheating, but when it does, it happens FAST. during the last limp home, sometimes the temp gauge would go back to normal when I let off the gas, then would go back up after driving a few minutes. I know it does new a new cat converter(CE light is on for that). Mechanic is stumped. HELP!!:gasp:
 

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1999 Subaru Legacy Outback 2.5
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What's happening with the overflow tank, is it emptying or filling up? I have a '99 and have experienced the head gasket failure, the version where exhaust gas is forced into the cooling system, and coolant is forced into the overflow reservoir. It behaved as you describe.
My first thought reading your post was minor head gasket leak that takes two weeks of driving to build up an air pocket in the cooling system. If the coolant is not leaking out onto the ground from some point in the system, it's either going out the tailpipe through the head gasket, or it's being forced out into the overflow tank by exhaust gas getting into the cooling system from one of the cylinders.

Get a second opinion.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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what code is causing the CEL? Despite the definitions written for the codes, they often do not point to a bad part - but to a system that is out-of-range.

The cat. conv. may not be bad.

second opinion - further diagnosis is a good idea on the overheating. replacement thermostat should have Subaru-specific. typical aftermarkets will not work and are known problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
the overflow is emptying. Prior to the radiator replacement, it was taking about 6 weeks to overheat. I had a pinhole leak. I'm not sure about the thermostat brand, I'll have to check. And unfortunately, I'm on my 2nd mechanic. Both said no to the head gasket leak. I'll have #2 check the thermostat for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Not sure what the code is, I've had both mechanics tell me it's the cat, which is making an awful lot of noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
now that I think about it, the very 1st time it overheated in Nov., my son was driving it when it overheated, and he said when he pulled over, the overflow had blown fluid everywhere, but every other time since then, the overflow has been bone dry.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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there are 1 or 2 aftermarket types now that are Subaru-specific (like Stant Xacstat). But, they should be 170 degree and larger like the OEM unit pictured.
 

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2003 LL Bean Outback H6 and 2019 Outback Base
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subaru parts ONLY....they are " finicky".....cost a little more but WELL worth it......I would bring to Subaru dealership
 

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Was the system burped properly?
Suby's have a unique way of having to get all the air out.
It is not a fill and forget type of system.

Is the top hose hot and the lower just warm?
Did you get hot or barely warm/cold air when the car was overheating.?
This issue need to be resolved asap, for it will have a negative effect on your bearings.

O.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've asked the new mechanic to check the thermostat, the heater will run you out of the car, and I'm not sure about the hoses. I know the new guy checked them when we first took the car to him, it had been driven about 7 miles or so, he said the seemed fine. it seems to go about 12 or 14 miles before it starts overheating. he's had the car for a while, can't get it to overheat on him. isn't that typical?
 
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