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Discussion Starter #1
I noticed recently my outback has been using coolant. 04 Ej251. it has used like 1/3 a gallon in the reservoir in 2 weeks. I checked around and noticed a few things. I dont think its the head gasket.. it seems to be leaking a little oil and im sure in the coming years i will have to do them but i dont notice any coolant on the back side of the drivers head. The Hose going from the coolant reservoir gets wet on the bottom and drips onto the radiator and looks like the underside of my hood there is a tad green. Lastly i noticed the cap is an 11lb cap (im still learning about what needs to be on subarus) and looked into it and its supposed to be a 16lb cap. What would be the reason of someone using an 11lb cap in the past, or is it just a wrong part? I dont have any overheating issues or anything of the like, and for some reason despite the radiator and upper hose being hot like they are supposed to be after running the car, the 11lb cap is barely warm to the touch, unlike other vehicles ive had where you can barely touch the thing after running the car. I figure i could maybe loose that much coolant from the reservoir tube, but it just seems odd. What do you guys think??
Thanks,
John
 

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install Subaru cap and new hose or clean the hose up so it won't leak.
it's not unheard of for people to run without a thermostat or try different radiator caps to mitigate overheating issues. doesn't much matter - still need to install the right cap and top the fluid off.

these originally leaked externally but replaced gaskets can leak internally which won't show as an external leak at the head.

oil you're seeing could be some other seal, valve covers, some other fluid, or residual oil from past repairs. be sure to investigate.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
install Subaru cap and new hose or clean the hose up so it won't leak.
it's not unheard of for people to run without a thermostat or try different radiator caps to mitigate overheating issues. doesn't much matter - still need to install the right cap and top the fluid off.

these originally leaked externally but replaced gaskets can leak internally which won't show as an external leak at the head.

oil you're seeing could be some other seal, valve covers, some other fluid, or residual oil from past repairs. be sure to investigate.
I will replace the cap with a good one. (although i feel like an idiot because it is a 16lb cap..the number says 1.1 not 11 which is BAR not PSI which 1.1 bar is close to 16lbs) i cleaned the hose up and put a couple tiny zip ties on it tight so it shouldnt leak now. i know it has a thermostat because i changed it when i did my timing belt job.
 

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i know it has a thermostat because i changed it when i did my timing belt job.
oh yeah, i wasn't insinuating yours was like that, just using that as an illustration of the two things people do sometimes to alleviate other issues - hopefully the non-compliant radiator cap wasn't done for those reasons, but it does happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah like I said the cap says it is 1.1 bar on top which is 16 lbs lol I mis read and didn't see the period in between. Im still replacing it. I'm still curious if that reservoir tube could have leaked that much though? Also my oil looks fine and no smell of exhaust on the bottle so I don't think that's an issue either
 

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Also my oil looks fine
On that engine the oil will always look fine as these don't fail in that way. if they do mix oil/coolant you'll have all sorts of other catastrophic signs coming from the car before you pull the dipstick.

you want to check coolant level in the radiator and look for bubbles in the coolant while driving, idling, or sometimes immediately after you turn the car off, and wavering of the temp gauge.
 
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