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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2003 Impreza Outback Sport. I had the timing belt and head gasket replaced two years ago at around 90K miles.

Driving the other day around 35MPH, the car began to overheat with smoke coming out from under the hood. The temp gauge was about 1/8" below the black tick mark at the upper end of the gauge for about 30 seconds while I pulled over and turned off the car and then had it towed to a garage. After pulling over, I turned on the key to let the fan run, without starting the car. It ran for a few minutes and stopped. I was able to start it up afterwards briefly to park it at the repair shop's lot.

The repair shop replaced the radiator and hoses and thermostat and a temperature sensor. They said they replaced the temperature sensor twice, the first one leaked. OEM, not aftermarket.

But after "burping" it, they say the temp gauge is showing the car still running super hot, while their own measuring device shows the car running around 200 degrees. They don't know why the sensor is giving this reading.

They've had the car for four days and told me to rent a car on their dime, that they were going to contact a mechanic who used to work there who now works for a Subaru dealership, to get his advice.

Do these symptoms sound familiar to anyone? Is this a known/common problem?
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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14,358 Posts
This is an electrical problem, and there have been a few posts about the same symptom. I can't remember the cure though. If I remember or stumble upon it I'll add to this post.
 

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2008 Outback 2.5
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844 Posts
Sounds like they didn't need to replace the radiator and hoses. If their readings (with a temperature gun or dipping a thermo probe in the coolant) says 200F while the dash gauge shows maxed out, there is a problem with the signal going to the gauge.

Subaru Coolant Gauge Problems | MDH MOTORS

might give you a hint of whether the sensor or gauge is bad, but it's not your thermostat, pump or radiator if it keeps your coolant at 200.

Do a search on "subaru outback temperature sensor problem" and you'll see lots of hits.

You can refine it for yourself by putting in 2003 impreza or outback sport, but the solutions are out there.
 

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2017 Outback 3.6 Touring, which replaced '05 Outback XT
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760 Posts
Maybe the Impreza rejects aftermarket thermostats like the Outback does. It it isn't OEM, have them replace it.
 
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