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'97 Outback, 2.5L Auto; '02 MB E320
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Discussion Starter #1
Today after pulling into garage after a short groceries trip I noticed a thick trace of a liquid along the driveway and coolant literally flowing from driver's side. There was some smoke as I opened the hood and coolant all over the engine compartment. I checked temp gauge and it was in the mid-range, plugged in Torque and it showed 96 C. When I turned the key back to On the fans on the radiator went on, so they are working.

I left it sitting there for a couple of hours and when returned the coolant was at 45C and both upper and lower radiator hoses collapsed. Still some coolant was present in overflow tank. As I started to turn radiator cap, it sucked up all coolant from overflow tank and hoses popped back.

For now I just opened bleeding valve, topped up the coolant (it took 0.6+ gallon) and thinking what to do next. I never had this problem before although I only have this car for 2 months and it had water pump and t-belt replaced recently.

I appreciate any ideas on what might have caused this.
 

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I left it sitting there for a couple of hours and when returned the coolant was at 45C and both upper and lower radiator hoses collapsed
If no leak coolant from the water pump then the radiator cap is bad.
 

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'97 Outback, 2.5L Auto; '02 MB E320
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49 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. I'll get the new cap and see how it goes.
 

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22,835 Posts
Make sure the overflow hose is intact. Ive seen cases where the hose split at the radiator and caused the same issue. Easy fix
 

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96 Legacy OBW, EJ22 swap, 2" suspension lift, 215/75r15, HIDs, 06 WRX interior swap
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335 Posts
Also a stuck thermostat will do exactly that after the engine is shut down and coolant flow stops. Generally you'll hear the block boiling. The temp gauge won't show overheating either. Well at least in the winter. Ha. I recently bought a 93 Lego. Was driving it for a week and about day 7 it puked out of the radiator cap. I replaced the thermostat and all is well.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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Replace the radiator cap and keep a consistent eye on the temp gauge.

Also - be sure to bleed it properly - these engines are notorious for being difficult to bleed and get all the air out of, though usually they overheat if that's the issue.

Do not let it overheat.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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Replace the radiator cap and keep a consistent eye on the temp gauge.

Also - be sure to bleed it properly - these engines are notorious for being difficult to bleed and get all the air out of, though usually they overheat if that's the issue.

Do not let it overheat.
 

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Replace the radiator cap and keep a consistent eye on the temp gauge.

Also - be sure to bleed it properly - these engines are notorious for being difficult to bleed and get all the air out of, though usually they overheat if that's the issue.

Do not let it overheat.
Just keep in mind that the parts store caps have been known to not really work well with the subarus. Seems to be that the cap and the thermostats are one of those things you need to get the real deal from Subaru to avoid any future headaches.

Good luck
 

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'97 Outback, 2.5L Auto; '02 MB E320
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49 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks! I replaced the cap with new OEM part and bled air from radiator thoroughly. Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to see if it helped yet -- today run into a new problem which made it un-drivable for now.

It was raining and I was turning left on T-intersection from the light (so accelerating but not faster than 15 mph) and in the middle of the curve the car pulled to the right, which felt like it was disconnected from the steering wheel. Before I could react I hit the high curb pretty hard (lucky me it wasn't one of these Ferraries people around like to drive). Now I have binded right front transverse link and right wheel looking 3 deg outside and scrapping the arc if turned to the right. I limped back home (less than a mile) and will replace the link as well as bushing (leaks oil) and ball joint. Hopefully there was no damage to other suspension parts. Here are some pics, if you like to see how it looks.

What makes me worry is I don't know what caused this incident in the first place. It was wet but it certainly wasn't skidding. I've driven in the rain before and was fine on turns at much higher speeds. Passenger side steering boot was torn and was replaced recently but I don't think it could have caused problems. It could be just me forgetting how to steer but maybe there is a better explanation.

Update: Right pull mystery solved. I went back to that intersection today and found a pretty deep water filled hole in the pavement near the curb (with weight from my wheel lying next to it). So I guess what happened is I run into that hole, bended suspension and jumped over the curb. Not sure why transverse link could be bended with such ease. Maybe it had some damage from previous vehicle history already.

It's weird that all these things (valve cover gaskets, water pump, radiator fountain, car turning on its own) are happening while I barely driven it for 1000 miles and yet I still love my Outback and want to fix and keep it for as long as it holds. Aren't me crazy?
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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You will need to replace the whole control arm and that Catalytic Converter. The arm is bent and that dent in the CAT means the substrate is damaged.
 

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'97 Outback, 2.5L Auto; '02 MB E320
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Discussion Starter #12
You will need to replace the whole control arm and that Catalytic Converter. The arm is bent and that dent in the CAT means the substrate is damaged.
Yeah, I'm replacing the arm and bushing and ball joint as well, however I didn't really notice a dent in the CAT. Can you see it in the picture?
 

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Hitting a curb can damage lots of stuff - a bad section of road filled with water can easily jerk the car to the right and if your not hanging onto the wheel could jerk the wheel right out of your hand. This is why off road types never drive with their thumbs inside the wheel. Busted thumbs hurt - and yes it happens.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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Yeah, I'm replacing the arm and bushing and ball joint as well, however I didn't really notice a dent in the CAT. Can you see it in the picture?
Yes. It's the picture that shows the bend in the arm. The CAT is next to the arm. Looks like a good size dent that would brake the substrate inside it.
 

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14 ob limited
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320 Posts
Cardoc I think what you are seeing is a shadow and not a dent. See if what you think is a dent is what I have circled in the attached photo.
 

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'97 Outback, 2.5L Auto; '02 MB E320
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49 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
So I've replaced the LCA, ball joint, and rear bushing, went for balance / alignment and back on the road! Luckily the thing on the photo was a shadow, not a dent in the cat.

No problems with the new radiator cap thus far, I've been watching coolant level and temp and it seems fine. But checking overflow reservoir after running the car I can see a bubble or two, so concerned it might be leaking exhaust gases into coolant.
 

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2000 Subaru Legacy Outback 5Speed
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12 Posts
here she is, just put in new rad cap, 108KPA made in japan , hope she holds till I get OEM part, had engine running for 30 min temp gauge stayed in middle no resorvoir tank burps
 

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