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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!
I'm new to the group and not a mechanic but here's the problem and what I know so far...

My 4 cylinder turbo Outback has 151,000 miles. It is running very hot at speeds below 50 mph. At highway speeds it runs cool. There is no oil/coolant contamination so it doesn't seem to be a head gasket issue. There does seem to be leakage from the coolant reservoir. I also noticed that when the car is running hot the A/C does not blow cool air. The water pump and thermostat are brand new Subaru parts. Should I replace ALL the hoses on the car in case there's a blockage somewhere? Do I replace the radiator even tho the car runs cool at higher speeds? I'm terrified that if I keep driving the car I'm gonna blow a head gasket. Please help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I just tried to burp the radiator and when I opened the hood I realized that both top and bottom radiator hoses were collapsed!! The second that I took off the radiator cap I heard a big suction noise and both hoses immediately reinflated. What does this mean?
 

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2005 OBXT Ltd Obsidian Black 5MT
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There are TWO radiator caps and you must replace both. One upper on the aux tank by the turbo, and then one on the radiator.

And then, yes, replace the hoses. And you should probably replace the thermostat as well. And SUBARU OEM only on the thermostat. The one from Autozone or whereever is not the same nor comparable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My mechanic kept flushing the coolant system to see why the car was running so hot and the pressure from the flushing released enough particulant that was built up in the hoses that when it reached the radiator it ruined it and now needs to be replaced. Had he replaced all the hoses in the engine like I suggested weeks ago this wouldn't have happened. Should I suggest he replace the radiator free of charge?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So far I have replaced most of the hoses, the water pump and the radiator and caps. Flushed the system multiple times and the car still over heats at low speeds. In addition I've replaced both sway bars and most of the front steering assembly, fixed a bad oil leak and replaced the timing belt. I also replaced some bad bushings and the cabin filter. All of this cost me $3,500. I purchased the car for $6,700. Now my mechanic is telling me that the only other possibility is that there's a cracked cylinder head but they will have to tear down the engine and send the heads to a machine shop. Fiscally speaking is it worth fixing this car? If they fix the cylinder heads and replace the head gasket what else could go wrong? I need advice.
 

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So far I have replaced most of the hoses, the water pump and the radiator and caps. Flushed the system multiple times and the car still over heats at low speeds. In addition I've replaced both sway bars and most of the front steering assembly, fixed a bad oil leak and replaced the timing belt. I also replaced some bad bushings and the cabin filter. All of this cost me $3,500. I purchased the car for $6,700. Now my mechanic is telling me that the only other possibility is that there's a cracked cylinder head but they will have to tear down the engine and send the heads to a machine shop. Fiscally speaking is it worth fixing this car? If they fix the cylinder heads and replace the head gasket what else could go wrong? I need advice.
Head gasket would be very rare on the turbo motor.

Can you get a cheap cable and do some data logging. I have an XT friend that was overheating. It was actually due to a torn MAF o-ring. The car was pinging like crazy and all the added detonation heat was raising the motor temperate.

He car was NOT running poorly OR throwing codes.
 

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2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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problem here:

you got a 2005 turbo car, and a mechanic.

vs. being the mechanic on a car that NEEDS one all the time.

@traildogck how much do the nice built engines go for in these, if this one is terminal?

edit: and @Glennda5id you got a neighbor in LA metro here looking for someone that likes to work on turbo subarus,....got any ideas in your rolodex?
 

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If the car runs fine at speed then it is not a head gasket issue.

Have you checked your fans? When it is overheating are the fans running at high speed?

Was the collapsed hose problem resolved?

I might also suspect a partially clogged radiator or a lazy water pump (maybe some broken fins)

Assuming the fans are working you seem to have some sort of flow problem. At higher RPM's and higher speed the flow of fluid and flow of air across the radiator is sufficient to overcome the issue. This is why I am thinking issue with radiator or water pump.
 

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Almost zero chance of a cracked head. Subarus have lots of quirks and bugs but that isn't one of them.

I agree completely with Glennda5id. There's a flow problem here. You've got a new Subaru pump in there, so I think it's fair to think the radiator is too clogged with mineral deposits, beyond the level that flushing can fix.
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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2 ideas - pull the t'stat and see if it opens smoothly in a pot on the stove

create a loop with the heater core hoses to bypass it, maybe that's the source of the flow problem?
 

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Yep- if it's got a new rad, test the thermostat and verify heater core flow. If the heater core doesn't flow properly the thermostat won't get enough heat to trigger open.

Water flow in the heater core doesn't usually change between high speed and low speed travel, so something doesn't feel right here... but I still think those are next on the list.
 

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How does this car run, you are sure there are no intake or exhaust leaks. Have you checked things like the banjo filter to the turbo oil feed. Have you check those coolant lines to the turbo. they have 90* bends that could be gunked up and even tho flushed (motor) were they flushed? Something is flowing low. It's either due low/variable rpms...or speed

What temps are you hitting anyway...or is it actually boiling over?
 
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