Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
1996 Legacy Outback 2.5L Automatic
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been having occasional lack of heat in my '96 Outback and sometimes a temp spike that will go right back down after hitting a couple bumps.

Tonight a neighbor needed a ride for a couple errands and while waiting for her at stop #2, the temp started spiking by the time she got back out to the car - heater also blowing cold. A few bumps out of the parking lot and it went back down, but would creep back up while stopped.

We made it back home, but it blew the reservoir cap off 2 blocks from home (was still sitting in the engine bay, didn't lose it!) and had quite a mess by the time we hit the driveway. :eek:?

We can't do much with it tonight, though I did order a thermostat to try to swap in. I don't trust the previous owners to have used recommended parts after seeing the spark plug cables (way short) and the Autolite spark plug (pulled it out a sec to check it, then put it back). I'm willing to try back flushing the heater core while I have the coolant out for the thermostat swap.

I saw a tiny bit of white stuff on the oil dip stick and the coolant in the reservoir isn't clear. ? I have messaged a couple shops in the area. Is it safe to drive it? short distances or just to a shop?
 

·
Registered
03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
Joined
·
17,327 Posts
part of your report sounds like a bad/intermittent radiator fan.

keep an eye on actual coolant level in the radiator while you are sorting this out. While it's important the rad cap is working and the overflow bottle is kept near is recommended level, the o'flow is NOT a good indicator of total coolant volume if there are other problems.
 

·
Registered
2010 2.5 CVT Premium
Joined
·
1,026 Posts
+1. First things first, make sure the coolant level is up to snuff. Low coolant can exhibit those symptoms too. Of course, if it is low, then you investigate why. Could be just a leaky hose.
 

·
Registered
1996 Legacy Outback 2.5L Automatic
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
That's another thing I need to solve. The Sub Fan fuse keeps blowing and I haven't gotten to checking the wiring to that fan yet.

Current radiator coolant level - almost none. The underside of the hood was wearing most of it last night ? Didn't see the point of putting more in until after I do the other things that would have most of the coolant out anyways. New thermostat should arrive Friday and the heater core flush seems simple.

Never had coolant issues on the '69 Bug I used to have! {where's the crotchety old person emoji? lol} Not that that even had heat, but it had no radiator either!

I was a bit freaked out and upset last night with the whole thing. I had just thought I had it running okay, but nope.
 

·
Registered
1996 Legacy Outback 2.5L Automatic
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Fun surprise tonight. Got the hose off to take out the old thermostat and there wasn't a thermostat in there!

The coolant that came out was super murky. ? We just put the bolts back in loosely while I ask The Forums here what to do and will continue tomorrow.

Possible options are:
  • try to flush out more of the whole system and put it back together as-is, then heater core flush
  • flush more old stuff out and install the new thermostat (will need the o-ring gasket, I don't think the new thermostat came with one) then heater core flush
  • put it back together as-is without more system flush and proceed to heater core flush
check for excess debris; grass, leaves, bugs, etc. , between the condenser and the radiator.
We did find a spider egg case where the boot and spark plug meet when we pulled out that spark plug. I wouldn't be surprised to find more bugs in anything at this point!
 

·
On the Super Mod Squad
2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
Joined
·
25,798 Posts
this is the best answer:

and those EJ25D 1996 were the worst, ...with their love of high octane.
 

·
Registered
1996 Legacy Outback 2.5L Automatic
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Decided to save the new thermostat for later.

Tightened up the spot where the thermostat goes, flushed the heater core (seemed fine and not full of crud), changed the cam sensor, and installed the new spark plug wires (fit about perfectly!). Looks like there is a small oil leak thru the oil pressure switch - adding that to the to-do list. I got one of those coolant buckets that fasten on the radiator cap opening to do the fill and air bleed. There were a few minutes it stopped bubbling completely, but started again once the temp gauge was about 1/4 up from cold.

478769


Took it to the dealership today to have the seat belt replacement done. Somebody was handing out doughnuts in the lounge. Drive home went alright as long as I didn't need to stop too long. Engine seemed to struggle a bit while waiting at lights, and it started spitting coolant from the reservoir about 5 min from home. Never got over operating temp, but it was cold out today and that helped.

I guess I'll try not to drive it and baby it when I do need to use it until we have the opportunity to get those gaskets done.

I don't really want to do an engine swap and the $3000-ish estimate to get it fixed is about the same as it would cost to get another old car that probably also needs stuff fixed. I like this car despite the struggles with it & I'd like to keep it.

478770
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top