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2001 4cyl. outback wagon
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have to be honest and say I don't know much about cars. My father is a mechanic but recently moved out of state and I'm on my own. My '01 is 3/4 the way up to overheating on the gauge. Once it gets there the a/c starts blowing warm air. I was told to see if both the radiator and condenser fans are blowing but I'm not sure where they are located. I'm going to need some very basic instructions like front left hand corner when looking into the hood. I appreciate your patience and help
Thanks!
 

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2000 outback, 97 impreza
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sounds like the fans are not working. As the car warms up to 200*F the t-stat will open. Then the temp will drop and as it rises to 200* again the fans will kick on. If they don't make sure they are plugged in. Then check fuses and relays. I have never seen a subaru fan fail.
 

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2011 Outback Prm AWP 6MT
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50 Posts
How many miles are on the car? Is it a 2.5L engine? If so, were the head gaskets ever replaced or dont you know?

If you would like to perform the fan check (a good start I guess), then you may try the following. Open the hood, look down, directly in front of the engine. Find the radiator cap and your coolant overflow bottle and thats your radiator. If you look down along the back side of the radiator you will see two electric fans, these are the fans in question.

Turn on the car and wait for it to reach normal operating temperature. Then for good measure turn the A/C on max, vent and full cool. Shortly thereafter you should see both of the fans attached to the back of the radiator turn on and run simultaneously. If they both don't turn on, or neither turns on, that's the source of your problem (obviously).

That should be a good start for diagnosing the problem I think.
 

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Also, check to see if the level of coolant is correct in the overflow reservoir and the radiator.

However, if you're not sure what you're doing under the hood, I'd strongly suggest perhaps asking a friend who is, or take the car to a mechanic. I say this because if the engine radiator fans come on when your in there looking at things, it could be dangerous. Similarly, checking the coolant level in the radiator has to wait until the engine is fully cooled to avoid spraying hot coolant all over.

I'm not doubting that you could do these checks yourself, but if you've never done them, or seen it done, I would take the more cautious and safe route and have someone else do it for you. (And perhaps explain it so that next time you can do it yourself.)
 

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#1 check to make sure there is coolant in the car the 01's had external Head gasket leaks where the coolant would leak out run down to the driver side bottom corner of the engine and then evaporate due to the hot exhaust right there in that location.
Once the coolant level drops the car will over heat.

#2 - Make sure that the fans run
#3 If you have had anyone work on the car before this over heating issue they MUST USE SUBARU thermostat NOT the CHEAP crap sold at the local parts store This is a well known cause of over heated Subarus!
#4 in very hot temps - the 2001 cooling system is actually very limited and you can easily over heat the car simply driving hard up a long climb in very hot temps - or even flat driving in hot temps at high speeds or with head winds. My 2001 would warm up in any of the above situations and I never let it get hot the minute the temp gauge started to move I slowed down turned the AC off etc. Running these engines hot will destroy them quickly.

#5 Very poor oil quality ie being long over due for an oil change will cause the car to run hot and over heat also. If you live in a hot place with lots of hills - switching to Synthetic oil in the 2001 will make a large improvement in the cooling systems ability to keep the car at the right running temps.
 
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