Subaru Outback Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Outback of the Month Challenge!

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
2004 Outback Wagon
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2003 Outback 4 cyl automatic

New timing belt, water pump etc 1 year ago.
60k miles.
This was my father in laws car and he did not take the best care of it.

The car has been running hot lately.

Coolant levels look spot on and the thermostat is good.
Both electric fans work.

Took it for a 35-40 minute trip today in 20 degree Fahrenheit temp and it ran VERY HOT. Seems the faster you drive (70-80 mph) the hotter it gets.

Slow down to 55mph and eventually the temp guage comes down.

At idle with both fans running it finally came back to a normal range.

Thoughts ? Head gasket going south ?

Looking for some input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
Might as well do the head gaskets since they're going to fail anyway. See if the coolant is clean or murky.

Could be HGs, could also be thermostat. Super easy to change, use a Subaru OEM from the dealer. It's a good starting point and cheap as well.
 

·
Registered
2001 outback 2.5 i
Joined
·
54 Posts
On what you have told us the head gaskets would be a long shot . Firstly it is 2004 mod which has a rare ocurance of head gasket failure .
Some things to check first
Radiator cap
If radiator is clean
If heater core is clean . Try bypassing it and check if the bottom radiator hose is cold when engine is overheating
Let us know the answer to those and we might get closer to a remedy
 

·
Premium Member
'02 Bean H6, AWP & ORP, factory hitch
Joined
·
3,109 Posts
Look in your manual if you have it and check the coolant capacity of the car. Do a flush and then refill and see how it compares with the spec in your book. Check your tailpipe for excessive moisture while running. That is one good way to see if your head gasket has problems. Also you can run a compression check. Bad gasket/lower compression sometimes. Start with the thermostat and water pump first. I'm sure the replies before mine come from knowledgible folks! Good luck!
 

·
Registered
2004 Outback Wagon
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Putting in a new Thermostat this A.M.

Will drive and advise.

Noticed drivers side head gasket has some weeping / oil looking residue on the bottom of the head where it mates with the block. Passenger side cylinder head is clean of any weepage.

Oil pan gasket is leaking as well.

Coolant was very clean when I drained it down last night.
Just have to install the new thermostat after I finish here on the computer.

Wish I had a Subaru tech close by and looking for some side work.

Thanks
Deming
 

·
Registered
2004 Outback Wagon
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
FIXED. It was the original thermostat and apparently goping bad.

I installed a new thermostat and that fixed the issue.

I am sure it will need new head gaskets in 25-30,000 miles, so I can save some $$ and look for a qualified independent mechanic that is knowledgeable with Subarus.

Thanks for all the input. Very helpful !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
Awesome! Nice when it's an easy fix like that.

I wouldn't rule out the head gaskets just because it's an 04. (Says 03 in the first post though?)
 

·
Registered
2003 OBW 2.5L 4EAT
Joined
·
860 Posts
How many miles does your Outback have? I hope my thermostat doesn't go south as well since I still have my original one at 125k miles.
 

·
Registered
2004 Outback Wagon
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah seems to be running pretty well and staying cool.

Drove it most of the day today. So far so good!

It is a 2003 Outback with the 4cyl "SOHC" 2.5 motor and 60,000 miles.

We inherited it the car and it had a tough life.

I know if will need head gaskets down the road.

It was the original thermostat and the new thermostat seems to have fixed our issue.

Happy face on this end! :D
 

·
Registered
03 Outback H6 base
Joined
·
252 Posts
Don't forget to add some Subaru OEM coolant conditioner. I believe they recommend 2 bottles. It's cheap insurance.



.
 

·
Registered
2004 Outback Wagon
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I did not install the Subaru coolant conditioner.

I was really hoping to find a Subaru tech, in the midwest, who was looking for a side job.

Ideally, I want to get the cyl head gaskets, valve cover gaskets and the oil pan gasket replaced. The heads will need the machine shop treatment while they are off the car.

This 2003 Outback only has 60k, but her dad was pretty hard on the car.

PM me if you know of any good Subaru techs / shops in Iowa, Illinois or Grand Rapids.

Thanks
Deming
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top