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2001 Outback Wagon VDC 3.0 H6
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
A few Weeks ago I got a 01 Outback wagon H6 VDC with 160k miles on it.

About 4 days after I got the car a short 2" (maybe 3") coolant line broke above the skid plate. I was lucky it broke at a walmart parking lot just as I arrived. I thought no problem dropped the skid plate replaced the line. Went to an near by Advance auto with a piece of the hose, replaced hose, Job done!

Ever since then I been keeping a close eye on the coolant level and Temperature gauge on the dash, I have never seen it go above the middle.

I would drive the car come home at night, the next morning I would check the coolant level, it would take a little bit, not much maybe 3-6 oz. I just figured I didn't get all the air out of the line. But every morning when I went out and removed the radiator cap it was still under a little pressure and I would here a woosh when I remove the radiator cap. I don't know if that is normal or not.

A few days ago I was driving with my son( a 90 min car ride). My son was was setting up torq-pro on my phone while i was driving, and we were watching the coolant temp on my phone. Most of the ride home it was about 170-190 F. While I was explaining to him that water boils at 212 and that I don't know what the correct temp should be. We watched it climb to 230F, then the VDC light came on and the temp gauge on the dash was still in the middle. a few seconds later we lost heat. I figure I better pull over and check it out. 1 more mile to a rest area. We pull into the rest area and find that a Hose broke right behind the power steering pump. It was a little 3 maybe 4" hose with a 90 degree bend to it. WHAT A PAIN IN THE BUTT that was to change!!!! It took us about 3 hrs to change that hose.

I am thinking that maybe both hoses were original to the car and simply rotted out. The main 2 radiator hoses look newish so I am not worried about them. But I am worried about any other smaller hoses that I can't see that should be replaced or maybe for some reason there is too much pressure in my coolant line?

Before I purchased the car I did rent a block tester from autozone and tested the coolant system for any hydrocarbons in the coolant and it tested negative.

Can anyone point out any hidden small hoses that I should inspect/replace so that it doesn't happen again or any other suggestions like other tests I can do?

Thank you
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,391 Posts
You either have - excessive cooling pressure from exhaust gases pushing into the coolant, or just unlucky timing with two leaks.

Overheating after a recent purchase often means the car was sold with impending headgasket issues - seen it countless times and particularly on that engine, they're limited and obscure failure mode without traditional symptoms makes them prime for this underhanded move.

Initial internal headgasket failures will pass the block tester kits in the store. they won't fail that test until later.
1. keep topping off the radiator and monitoring coolant loss like you're doing
2. try to check as often as possible for bubbles in the overflow tank

Onto your questions specifically:

Oil cooler hoses: look at the oil cooler - it's the cylinder that the oil filter screws on top of. There's a small elbow there from the cooler to the engine block. Replace that short curved hose and the oil cooler gasket while it's all apart - those gaskets are prone to leak and probably have been leaking already or replaced already actually it's so common. I'd use an OEM hose on something that short so it
doesn't kink.

Follow the oil cooler lines across the front of the engine. One hose from oil cooler to the pipe going across the front of the engine. Then another hose on the drivers side.

Those three hoses are illustrated in this figure as items 4, 5, and 8:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/SUBARU-OEM...ash=item2a8694a159:g:ADEAAOSwsM1Z4pvn&vxp=mtr

You part numbers may differ since that's a Tribeca, but that's basically the same engine so might be the same as well.

In the first picture in this thread is another coolant hose up front:
http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/110-gen-2-2000-2004/240025-2001-3-0-coolant-leak-fix.html
The one the arrow is almost pointing to is a hose.
The other hose in this picture is one already mentioned above (item #8 in the ebay exploded view).

That large black metal line running front to back in the picture is the most prone to rust out and leak as well.

Two heater core lines at the back of the engine - it's the only two hoses from the back of the engine to the passengers side firewall, very easy to see and find and obvious.

There's probably two coolant lines at the throttle body - but those like never leak because they're not exposed to the under car environment, chemicals, road, air flow, etc.
 

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2001 Outback Wagon VDC 3.0 H6
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Wow Lots of great info, Thank you very much! I will check those lines tomorrow if it stops raining or sunday, and I guess I need to get that funnel that goes on the radiator make sure there are no bubbles. I'll report back what I fined.

I am hoping that I am unlucky that both of those lines went. there is little to no rust on the car which is one of the reasons I got it. it Looks like it was well taken care of mechanically. The interior is kinda beat up. But I got the car cheap so I am still waiting for the sting of the car being so cheap. But from what I understand I can get a JDM motor if I need to for like 800.00 so I felt it was worth the risk.

I just hope I don't need a new engine.

Thank you!
 

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2001 Outback Wagon VDC 3.0 H6
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
When the temp went up to abut 230F the coolant temp gauge on the dash never went above the middle mark. So I would think I might have a bad temp sensor, but the ODBII reader is showing the change in the coolant temperature. Are there two different sensors or could the gauge in the dash be bad that never moves above the middle mark?
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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26,308 Posts
subaru preformed rubber and metal coolant lines are not all that expensive, and they are quality.

if the car is on a lift look for corrosion on the oil and transmission cooler lines for corrosion, some cars may have zero rust on the paint, but some things underneath need attention.

is there any oil / atf in the coolant, or any discoloration ?

you might want a cooling system pressure test looking for the weakest lines.

and if it comes down to it.
plenty of good JDM importers around NJ and Queens make it easy nab a JDM 212hp 99-02 (the years used in japan), for $600-800.
 

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2001 Outback Wagon VDC 3.0 H6
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
No oil or coolant leaks that I know of. I do have coolant in my driveway from me trying to top it off, and its been raining all week here. no leaks of any kind from the engine area the first few days I had it. I was getting water in the rear inside and outside the car when I first got it. The sunroof was leaking inside the car but thanks to the help of the forum and youtube I cleared the drain lines and it seems thats fixed. also the rear windshield wiper washer fluid wasn't working, but I found the line was disconnected near the Jack storage area so I fixed that too. In about 40 min I am getting 4 new tires. General ALTIMAX RT43 H 225/60/16. I do have a concern with my drive train, but that I am going to post in another thread.

Thank you everyone here is so helpful.

Wish I had this kind of support back when I had my brats and justy.
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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5,936 Posts
I also had to replace the steel line that runs just under the drivers side head, from front to back.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,704 Posts
hmmm


OEM rad cap?, even so, could be time to try a replacement.
 
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