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2005 Outback 2.5i - 5 speed - 191K
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276 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have not posted for several weeks because all of my repairs have been working. I guess that is a good thing. I am in Philadelphia where the weather has recently been extremely cold. I often spend my entire day in my car and with the cold weather I have left it running for hours on end. I have not experienced any issues because of this. Yesterday I went to check all of my fluids and found that the radiator had lost fluid. I do not know the cause. There do not appear to be any leaks on or around the engine. Today I noticed while parked for over an hour with the engine running that the driver side Muffler had a steady drip of fluid. I also noticed where the driver and passenger side Mufflers split a steady drip of fluid existed too. I have known that a hole exists where the two Mufflers split off but have not purchased a new center section. The fluid coming out of the muffler does not appear to be radiator fluid. I also know that Vehicles will often have water drain from the muffler immediately after the car starts until after it warms up. When I noticed this today the car had been running for approximately 5 hours. Does anybody have any association of this fluid and the possible loss of fluid from the radiator? The radiator itself is brand new. The hoses on the radiator are also brand new.
 

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'17 3.6R Touring Brillant Brown Pearl
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2,425 Posts
Perfectly normal for exhaust condensation to form in extreme cold. Guess where black ice comes from?

As far as the coolant loss, you probably have a slow leak when extremely cold. I have a lower rad hose that does that when starting at -20. As soon as the coolant warms the hose, it stops leaking. You might let the engine get to operating temp, and give the rad hoses a little more tightening.
 

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2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
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3,351 Posts
The typical failure-mode for Subaru radiators is seal-failure. (seal between plastic end-tank and aluminum fins.) This usually happens around 100K miles.

Initially, this seal may leak when engine is cold (winter temperatures) When the engine warms up, it re-seals. This can be frustrating to isolate the leak.

When this happened to me, I could drive all summer with no loss of coolant... but as the ambient temperatures went down, the antifreeze level would go down and I would see droplets around the engine-bay..... the following summer, I would not lose any antifreeze. The next winter, the fluid-loss would happen again.

I ended up replacing radiator (about $80 and 30 minutes of my time).

I have not lost any antifreeze since then.
 

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2007 JDM Outback H6
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8 Posts
You know when I removed my stock mufflers recently to fit aftermarket ones, there was more than a cup of water in each muffler
I managed to shake most of it out but there's a good amount still in there that I can't get out due to the internal baffling
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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14,368 Posts
Well, which part of the car was warmed up?

It's quite possible to operate a car with an engine at 170°F but the tailpipe is still cold. Your car will always produce water vapor as a natural by-product of burning gasoline in air. Most of the time that water is fully vaporized and invisible as it goes out the pipe. Sometimes it leaves as a visible cloud of saturated vapor. Sometimes you get just the right balance of temperatures for the exhaust stream to be free of visible condensation, yet dew still forms on the inner walls of the exhaust pipes and occasionally dribbles out as liquid water.

I live about an hour out of Philadelphia, and it has been about that cold around here lately- you could get a lot of cars to do this in this weather. You're just noticing drips more because you had that radiator issue lately.
 

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2005 Outback R LL Bean 3.0 H6 w/ 5 speed sport shift
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596 Posts
So I'm feeling a little better now....for days now, I've been seeing water dripping from my exhaust and checking my coolant levels!

No coolant loss but I'm gun shy with some of the other problems I've encountered!

I'll be glad when the warmer weather returns so I can dig back into some of the loose ends that are eating at me!
 

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2000 Outback 2.5l 4EAT
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24 Posts
Perfectly normal for exhaust condensation to form in extreme cold. Guess where black ice comes from?
I do not live in an are that gets that cold, but as Zedhead said, it is very common. Look at other cars when you are driving behind them for more than five min. When they step on the throttle to change lanes or take off from a stop light. They send out a puff of steam. It is a normal thermal reaction.

But one thing you could check, after the car is warmed up, have someone rev the motor, while you are standing near the exhaust. Smell the exhaust. What does it smell like?

Once reved up - Is the cloud transparent?
or
- Is the cloud milky white?

Milky white and smelling sweet is an indication of headgasket(s). From my past experience.
 
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