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Discussion Starter #1
Hi I have an automatic 2000 subaru outback with an ej251. It has 146k miles on it. I just bought it in february and it has been fine since then. Yesterday I replaced the spark plugs, wires, and valve cover gaskets as oil was leaking onto the wire tube. It drove fine last night after putting everything back together and letting it idle for 10 minutes without any accessories on.

Today though I was driving it and it started to over heat. I had to turn it off and wait multiple times just to get it to a safe location. When looking at it the coolant resevoir is full and doesn't seem like any coolant is coming out of it. Both fans on the radiator turn on. It also doesnt seem like the hoses are gaining pressure as with the car on i can squeeze them pretty easily (they get hot but thats it). Any ideas on what could be causing this?

Also It threw a code of P0483 at one point. Thank you for any help.
 

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2000 outback limited
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Had the same prob with mine at 135k and it was head gasket. Started with oil in the plug slots then temp guage was going up and down for a month and then all of a sudden bam, antifreeze leaking and overheating. $1500, I had a well known Subaru guy in Northern CT do the job for me. I was gonna do it myself but just don't have the time with 4 kids and 1h45min commute each way to work. I had timing belt and water pump done while it was apart so it was around $1750. Should be good for another 100k and from what I hear its quite common to replace the head gasket on the outbacks with over 125k miles.

I just ripped apart my whole front end and did 2 new axles, wheel bearings, sway bar, rotors and pads. Ball joints were surprisingly fine. Rides like it brand new again.

Easy car to work on for the most part if you have the tools and time. You can also find a lot of parts cheap on craigslist from people parting them out with shot motors.

Good Luck and hopefully you have a different problem than the head.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. Ya I'm hoping it is something other then the head gasket. Is there anyway that you know of to test to make sure its the head gasket?
 

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Is the upper hose hot and the lower just warm?

If so, I'd think you have an air pocket, a failed T stat or water pump on the way out.
Make sure you know how to properly burp the system.
Replace t stat. OEM or Stant #48457.
Early EJ 251 HG generally have external leaks, which Suby's conditioner helps to alleviate.
Check and then report back.


O.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Is the upper hose hot and the lower just warm?

If so, I'd think you have an air pocket, a failed T stat or water pump on the way out.
Make sure you know how to properly burp the system.
Replace t stat. OEM or Stant #48457.
Early EJ 251 HG generally have external leaks, which Suby's conditioner helps to alleviate.
Check and then report back.


O.
That is exactly how it is the top hose gets really hot but the bottom one gets warm but nowhere near as hot. I was kind of hoping and thinking thermostat so I already have one on order.

What is the best way to burp the system? I have heard to run the engine with the cap off for 2 or 3 cyl of the thermostat, is that correct?
 

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00 Outback Wagon...269K 09 Legacy 2.5 Sedan...93k
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Thanks for the reply. Ya I'm hoping it is something other then the head gasket. Is there anyway that you know of to test to make sure its the head gasket?
Get a vacuum gauge and T-fitting and connect it to the vac-port just forward and to the drivers side of the TB. Check the needle. If the needle floats regularly between 5 and 19 inches of mercury it may indicate a head gasket or intake manifold leak at an intake port or a faulty injector.
 

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2002 outback
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That is exactly how it is the top hose gets really hot but the bottom one gets warm but nowhere near as hot. I was kind of hoping and thinking thermostat so I already have one on order.

What is the best way to burp the system? I have heard to run the engine with the cap off for 2 or 3 cyl of the thermostat, is that correct?
the absolute best way to fill the cooling system is the vacuum method. however, for this you need shop air. this is the tool:UView 550000 Airlift Cooling System Leak Checker and Airlock Purge Tool Kit : Amazon.com : Automotive but again, if you dont have access to a compressor, you cant use the tool. however, by this method, you fill the system cold, and it absolutely fills it. it also sucks open the thermostat, so the system gets 100% filled. no need to warmup/burp/cooldown/warmup/burp/yada, yada. once and done. while other methods might work, this one is foolproof
 

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00 Outback Wagon...269K 09 Legacy 2.5 Sedan...93k
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Fill it with the front end on ramps/jackstands/fireant hill...whatever. Start it...let it run, get it hot...shut it down and keep the overflow full.
 

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Fill the block through the upper radiator hose.
Open bleeder screw on radiator and leave cap off.
Fill radiator and let car idle, adding until it won't accept any more.
Close bleeder, and cap.
Make sure reservoir is at cold mark.
As the car cools, if it needs coolant it will siphon it.
Keep eye on level, adding to reservoir if necessary.
Sometimes it takes a while, but if it is the T stat the temp gauge won't go into hot.
If after many attempts and you know the t stat is opening, then it's probably the pump.
Pumps usually leak from the weep hole, unless the bearings freeze up.
Do the simple first.
If the car has overheated a few times, once you've resolved the issue, change the oil again, for its integrity has been compromised.

O.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the replies. Im going to change the thermostat just since I don't know one way or another when it was changed last and ill already have all the coolant out anyway. Then I will follow the steps you have provided for filling it back up. I wish I did have access to a compressor as that tool makes it look foolproof.

Would it be smart to pull the radiator at this time just to inspect for a hard to see leak?

Also if it never got to red (right below it a couple times before I shut the car off to let it cool) would you still suggest the oil change? Just curious as I just changed the oil two weeks ago but it is probably better to be safe then sorry.
 

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Make sure you use a real OEM stat. The generics (even good brands) are a poor fit, known to cause trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I got the thermostat changed out and everything hooked up. The issue i have now is I can't find the bleeder screw / air vent plug. Everywhere i have looked has told me passenger side top but i just cant find anything there.



Maybe I'm blind but i really don't see one there. Thanks again to everyone for the replies.
 

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Your 2000 probably doesn't have it. I believe the vent was used only on the cross-flow radiators (tanks vertical on the sides) and the photo shows a down-flow (tanks across the top and bottom). See the attached diagrams for the difference between the 2000 and the 1999; the latter is cross-flow and has the vent.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I ended up coming to the same conclusion that mine probably didn't have the air vent but luckily I was on ramps so that helped with the air. I changed out the thermostat and now the temperature is staying where it normally does in the center. thanks for all the replies as they really helped. I'm probably going to change the oil just to be safe as I'm not sure at what point it is.actually considered overheated. Mine never got to the red but it got just below the top needle once (I was lucky to notice as it was the first time). The other times once it got to 3/4 full I would shut it down and wait.

Also I think the water pump or one of the pulleys may be going bad as when I started it I heard a squeal and while I tracked the sound it seemed to not be at the belts but more at pulleys or behind the timing cover (passenger side).
 

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Good to hear the overheating is solved.
If you don't know service history, then i'd assume the t belt has never been changed.
T belt, all idlers ,tensioner and water pump.

O.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
There is a sticker on the front saying that the timing belt was changed at 134k but that still doesn't tell me if they did all of it or just the belt. thanks for the heads up. I'll have to find a way to figure out what all was done with the timing belt.
 
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