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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

Quick question about maintenance; I just had the transmission fluid changed last week and am now thinking about getting all new coolant fluid. Should I pay more and have the system flushed? My car is a '96 and I want to make it last. Along with that, does anybody have a ballpark figure about the additional cost of a system flush? I saw an advertisement in the paper charging $50 for just new coolant, I think that sounds about fair. Right?

Thanks,

andy
 

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I'd say $50 is on the high end of fair...But, $50 at a reputable/reliable shop is worth a lot more than $35 at a questionable one.
And I'm talking about a flush here, $50 to simply drain and refill is a horrible deal...$50 for a *flush* is acceptable.

I paid $60 total about 2 months ago to have my coolant flushed and my rear differential fluid replaced. Looking back I wished I hadn't bothered with the differential and gotten a tranny service instead. The price was a special coupon/combo thing.
Strangely enough, my mileage/mpg has gotten worse since that service. I'm still trying to figure out why.
 

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Andy--

i agree it's not such a good deal for just drain and refill. and yes, absolutely spend $ for flush, esp on a 96, esp if you haven't owned it since new. read other threads on head gasket woes, which kill more Subs than most other maladies. you want your cooling system in as perfect a condition as possible to give head gasket best chance possible to seal (corrosion around water jacket holes in head can be one factor that contributes to a weak place waiting to go). best flush involves actually running engine with flush goop (Nalco Cool-Prep, usu found at big-truck places, or cheaper and more avail Prestone Flush of Doom) for a # of hours and then flushing out with water. if you have this done, be sure they use distilled watere to refill even if you have to provide it. and NEVER put tap water in system, you don't want your cooling system looking like an old faucet inside.

on the decreased-mpg of the snow slingin Gibson toter....

crazed theory: one of the main ways oil deteriorates as it ages is viscosity breakdown...ie, it gets thinner. although this is primarily due to heat, i suspect diff/transaxle oil suffers some of the same breakdown. if old diff oil was replaced with mineral-based (non-synth, which is a safe bet in pkg deal situ) oil of correct viscosity, you effectively haVE thicker oil in there, which in Raachestah in winter could potentially account for a mpg or 2 difference...???? the drag from diff oil does seemto affect mpg, given the # of people who seem to feel it improved after swapping to synth, which is largely immune to cold weather sludgification. esp since there are 2 diffs on car.

i dunno, but you seem to have eliminated all the other possible causes i could think of and it doesn't sound like there's anything wrong with your car (easy there big fella, no offense to Its honor intended....)

babble over, and out
 

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If you can get it done at a Subaru dealer, do it. And they run specials for a flush and fill sometimes down to $39.95 You must use a silicate free coolant, and of course Subaru recommends OE only (well, why wouldn't they?!?) But at this point I would only use genuine Subaru coolant after many tech facts about why and why not. Just FYI. Brian
 

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If you're getting your coolant changed and the system flushed you'll probably want to pick up/install a new radiator cap and thermostat as well.

There's really no reason not to since you're doing all the other work, and the extra parts should only be about $20 or so.

Make sure they check the hoses over good as well... If any of them are looking suspect at all have 'em replaced. No sense in having the coolant drained again in a year to replace a hose if you could have it done while the coolant is being replaced due to the service you want...
 

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yeah, good point. these deteriorate even tho you can't necessarily see it. i'm a big fan of "system" approach....do the entire cooling system at same time, incl stat, cap, hoses, radiator maint up to and incl rodding out (abt $65 last time i had it done if i took em the radiator already out of car, and water pump if at all iffy. draining/refilling is one of the signif labor costs on any cooling sys job.

hoses and stat+gasket are good items to carry in spares kit as well, as hoses can be cut or gouged by sticks etc offroad and stat can fail w/o much warning, which can strand you in exciting places.:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey all,

Thanks for all the input. I think I'll look into the dealer option and definitely consider getting some new parts. Cptoversteer, you're right, I just bought her in August and I want the Sube to last me a long time.

My eyes are open for special deals in the newspaper and hopefully something cheap comes up.

Thanks again for the suggestions and I'll let you know the final figures next week (on my day off) when I get the preventive maintenance done.

later,

andy
 

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Outback Andy said:

My eyes are open for special deals in the newspaper and hopefully something cheap comes up.
Be careful man, you get what you pay for... ask around, make sure the shop's reputable... as are the techs working there.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey everybody,

Thanks again for the input. Cptoversteer, I went with the "system" approach because it was time, but it set me back $170. Too much?
Here's what they did (approx prices):
$14 for new Thermostat/gasket
$36 for both Radiator hoses (upper/lower) + clamps
$40 for the flush and $65 for labor.
I don't know about the $170 total; it's either fair or I got jacked. Either way, it's done and it needed to be done.

Thanks again and ride on!


-andy


1 more thing, I have water entering my cargo/trunk somehow. I think I am missing a notch in the weather stripping along the back passenger side window. Does anybody know what I'm talking about? I am posting a new thread about this.
 

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oops. guess i shd have specifically mentioned heater hoses too, as i usually do them at same time as rad hoses. but these will rarely strand you.

overall total sounds reas, altho if those prices are just for parts, they're a bit excessive unless they used real Sub dlr parts. otherwise, a stat costs <$5.

glad you got it done, look at fotos of Bozza's EJ25 rebuild and you'll see why the head gaskets are a weak point....there;s no virtually flat area to seal between the block and head.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
i'm not too worried about the heater hoses right now. Money is tight so i'm Preventive M'ing a little at a time. I thought the Stat ran me a little high. Not sure what kind of parts they used or how the job looks because I just picked up Lady Sube two hours ago and it's dark. I'll know for sure tomorrow in the daylight.
The next bill will be for that leak. I don't want her rusting from the inside out.
I'll take a look at those photos, are they posted on this site?

-andy
 

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hey all,

hate to beat a dead horse or Mustang (whichever dies first) but my new thermostat only made it two days before it died on me. The mechanic said they used a Stanton (?) thermostat which are now encountering problems also, Beck/Arnley thermostats are trouble prone.
Apparenty the spring mechanism doesn't open (or something like that) and the engine runs hot and the radiator is cold so, in short, don't use these manufacturer's thermostats because they don't work right. Lady Sube was running HOT when i brought her in so i'm hoping the seals and/or engine aren't FUBAR.
I now have a genuine Subaru thermostat and i'm expecting no more problems.

-andy
 

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That stinks man... Let us know how your lady fairs...

FWIW I've always used NAPA thermostats and cooling gear (hoses, water pumps, etc) and have never had a problem... the fact that I can get parts for cost helps too :D
 

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NAPA is a great outfit and always has sold good quality stuff under their house name. best otto partz chain out there, albeit catering more to prof mechanics (ie, they don't have the "friendly" extended hours of Otto Zone etc).

thermostat operates by wax pellets inside capsule expanding as they're heated, which then overcomes the spring tension that is holding the "valve" portion closed. its function is to keep the heated coolant in the engine, not circulating through the radiator, on initial warm-up so it warms up faster. if it never opens, all the heated coolant stays in the engine.

when i first started wrenching on cars back when, my shop teacher told me that failure rate on these was high enough that you shd always boil one on the stove 1st and see if it opens before installing it. not a bad practice if you want to avoid risk of having to open cooling system back up. i may start it again after reading this.
 

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cptoversteer said:


when i first started wrenching on cars back when, my shop teacher told me that failure rate on these was high enough that you shd always boil one on the stove 1st and see if it opens before installing it. not a bad practice if you want to avoid risk of having to open cooling system back up. i may start it again after reading this.
Just make sure you cook the spaghetti before doing this trick :D
 
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