Subaru Outback Wagon cooling system leak Engine overheating

Y

yyeessyy

while driving on interstate, my 2001 OutbackWagon radiator suddenly failed
and my engine got overheated. dealer found a leak in the middle of this 3
year old radiator(I couldn't see any obvious hole when they showed me the
dismounted radiator, they said the leak must be between the leaves where
eyes can't see) and said this was the cause of the engine overheat, but
they can't tell me what caused the radiator to leak. my car is only 42k
miles(within 60k power train warranty),but Subaru of America refused to
cover this by their warranty since the damage is caused by radiator ,
which is not covered by warranty any more.

However, Subaru is ensuthiastic in persuading me into purchasing a new
2004 subaru, they said they would assist me with 2,500 dollars. but the
trade-in price my dealer offered for my 2001 outback is only 6,200
dollars.(I paid 25K for my limited outback only three years ago, and it's
also very expensive to maintain this vehicle for 3 years)

Has anybody had any similar experience?
Should I go ahead buy another subbie?
If I buy a new subbie, can I do maintenance at other garages instead of
subaru dealer?

I spent thousands of dollars per year doing services at dealership. But
they act as if they had nothing to do with this radiator failure and the
engine damage is all my fault.

Does anyone know what could possibly caused the radiator to suddenly fail?
I did n't even smell any sweet smell as they said I should have smelled.
(when I told them this, the subaru service manager said he was not with me
when the engine overheated)
 
What kind of damage was done to the engine? You shouldn't need anything more
than just a radiator unless there was some serious damage done. I have had a
few cars overheat without any major damage.
 
Henry Paul said:
What kind of damage was done to the engine? You shouldn't need anything more
than just a radiator unless there was some serious damage done. I have had a
few cars overheat without any major damage.

I drove about 12 miles with the temperature gauge pegged at the top on my
'95 Outback w/ 167,000 miles. That was like 3-4 summers and at least 50,000
miles ago. And unless you count the alternator last year, I haven't done
anything to that car as far as repairs are concerned, only
brakes/tires/shocks.

-Matt
 
but the
trade-in price my dealer offered for my 2001 outback is only 6,200
dollars.(I paid 25K for my limited outback only three years ago

This is a silly trade in amount as long as your car is not beat. You could
sell it privately after you repair it for quite a bit more, almost double that!
also very expensive to maintain this vehicle for 3 years)

My 2001 OBW has not been an inexpensive car to maintain either, unlike my wifes
Accord which except for timing belts has been very inexpensive.

Has anybody had any similar experience?

Are you sure you didn't blow a head gasket? These engines have been blowing
them left and right and there is a recall on them. This involves the same
thing: coolant leaks and overheating.

Should I go ahead buy another subbie?

I will NOT. This is my first and last. It just so happens that my dealer is
OUTSTANDING! But, this OBW is the most trouble prone car I have had out of the
past six cars except perhaps for my Turbo Volvo. (Honda Accord, Merc.
Moutaineer, Nissan Quest, Acura Legend, Chev. Cavalier, Nissan Stanza)
In my three years of ownership (52K), I have had constant steering pulling to
one side or the other, shaking steering wheel not aleviated by replacing
original tires at 40 K, blown headgasket, Premature front brake pad
replacement at 26k, (my other cars last 36-60k for front pads), terrible wind
noise in the front windows, Two recalls, lights dimming with no reason, driving
light flashing off and on with no dealer fix, alternator light flashing on a
few times per hour, but no problem able to be diagnosed. Exhaust resonances at
certain rpm's dealer unable to identify or fix, defective washer pump, and
these are just the things I remember.

For the bad snowy days it's ok.
 
Gee, it sounds like my jeep I had. :)

I have an Impreza built in Asia as I think the whole line is and I haven't
had any problems so far. I am the second owner at 100k and the original
owner had no problems other than routine maintenance.

I have heard comments before about the US built product lines. It looks like
there is some merit to the question of the reliability of the models built
here.

I must agree though that for $6,200 they are not even being close to fair
with you.
 
Henry said:
Gee, it sounds like my jeep I had. :)

I have an Impreza built in Asia as I think the whole line is and I haven't
had any problems so far. I am the second owner at 100k and the original
owner had no problems other than routine maintenance.

I have heard comments before about the US built product lines. It looks like
there is some merit to the question of the reliability of the models built
here.

Without a doubt, the radiator was made
in Japan. Don't be so quick to blame
US workers.
 
I never said anything about American workers, that was your assumption. If
anything it seems American corporations are greedy. Rather than build a
reliable vehicle that will last for years and hundreds of thousands of miles
it seems to be a bigger money maker to build one that will last less than
ten years and costs thousands and thousands in repairs in the process
causing you to turn around and buy another one right after that.
 
Henry said:
So you have an explanation for all of the other failures as well then.

I don't know what the hell you are talking about.

He had a defective radiator. You implied that
it was becasue the vehicle was made in the US.
I pointed out that the *defective* radiator was
made in Japan. We are not talking about any other
failures.

Now, If you want to talk about shoddy US products,
I can tell you an earfull about the two Taruses I
owned. But I'll spare you the details.

I've worked in manufacturing since 1972. I've
worked in a Japanese factory in Tokyo for 6 months,
a privilege few US engineers have enjoyed. I have
my own company that manufactures products here in
the US. I have a pretty good idea of what it takes
to build a quality product:

1. Good engineering. If it's not designed right,
it will never work right. Suburu is good but
not perfect. Oil seals that leak after 80k
miles are an engineering defect. Head gaskets
that blow are an engineering defect. Coolant
additive is not an engineering fix for marginal
head gaskets. To the best of my knowledge, all
the Subaru design engineers are in Japan, not
the US.

2. A driving goal of shipping a quality product.
Closed-loop manufacturing process that identifies
problems and fixes them as soon as possible.
I don't know anything about Subaru's quality
programs or the motivation of their production
workers. All I know is that only defects I've
found (and they are few) in my '99 Legacy, I'd
blame on engineering, not manufacturing.

I've crawled all over my car. I've not seen one
manufacturing defect. Do you suppose I'm just lucky?
I've followed the posts on this group and I've not
heard anything to convince me that Subaru Japan
turns out a better car than Subaru US. You've
not convinced me with your ad hominem criticism
of US workers.

Like I've said before, buy a Japanese-built car
if you like. I don't care. Just try to treat
your fellow Americans fairly.
 
This is what the hell I was talking about:

"I will NOT. This is my first and last. It just so happens that my dealer
is
OUTSTANDING! But, this OBW is the most trouble prone car I have had out of
the
past six cars except perhaps for my Turbo Volvo. (Honda Accord, Merc.
Moutaineer, Nissan Quest, Acura Legend, Chev. Cavalier, Nissan Stanza)
In my three years of ownership (52K), I have had constant steering pulling
to
one side or the other, shaking steering wheel not aleviated by replacing
original tires at 40 K, blown headgasket, Premature front brake pad
replacement at 26k, (my other cars last 36-60k for front pads), terrible
wind
noise in the front windows, Two recalls, lights dimming with no reason,
driving
light flashing off and on with no dealer fix, alternator light flashing on a
few times per hour, but no problem able to be diagnosed. Exhaust resonances
at
certain rpm's dealer unable to identify or fix, defective washer pump, and
these are just the things I remember."

I was replying to a reply. Maybe you are not talking about any other
failures, but the other two people in the thread and I were. Maybe you ought
to learn how to read a thread before you go sticking your foot in your
mouth. Not to mention putting words in mine.

"I have heard comments before about the US built product lines. It looks
like
there is some merit to the question of the reliability of the models built
here."

That was my whole comment right there. Never at all at any time did I imply
that the reason the radiator failed was because the car was built in the US.
That is your own fabrication. I was merely making an observation. The fact
the we are talking about US and Japanese product lines is circumstantial
evidence. I suggest learning how to read before attempting to read between
the lines.

You talk about my Ad Hominiem attack on US workers, and yet you are the one
that attacks the Ford car. I find that interesting. You assume from my
comment that I somehow imply US workers are to blame. I don't even know
where that came from. I find it humorous that in accusing me of using a
fallacy you use a couple of your own.

I also find it humorous that you automatically insist faulty engineering is
to blame since "you" can't find any manufacturing defect. As far as I know,
only assembly is performed in the US from Japanese or wherever made parts,
so how is it exactly that I was attacking US workers never having mentioned
US workers? There are 3 processes that I can see. Engineering is charts on
paper. You have to make the parts and then assemble them. You already stated
the parts are made in Japan from engineering plans also made in Japan, so
where again did I attack US workers?

So, how do you know that leaky oil seals and head gaskets are engineering
defects? The only seals I have had leak are _aftermarket_. Now I guess you
are going to assume I am blaming US workers for shoddy aftermarket parts? I
doubt we make those parts either.

As far as buying a Japanese car, my Subaru is the first foreign car I have
owned _period_. I do my own repair work so I can say that the Impreza
engineers can engineer circles around the Jeep engineers. I can say that
from having worked on both. I can also tell you that a number of our very
own home grown cars are built with Japanese and wherever parts. If you don't
believe me, you should do some homework.
 
What kind of damage was done to the engine? You shouldn't need anything
more
than just a radiator unless there was some serious damage done. I have
had
a
few cars overheat without any major damage.

--
Henry Paul

I don't know exactly. they told me after replacing the radiator they test
drive the vehicle, the temp gauge soar above the red line within 30
seconds.then the exhaust will blow bubbles out of coolant tank.

Shengyi Ye
 
Are you sure you didn't blow a head gasket? These >engines have been
blowing
them left and right and there is a recall on them. This >involves the same
thing: coolant leaks and overheating.

first,thanks for everybody who replied here. before I came here,
everything i knew was what dealer told me. the views from third party are
precious.

I think the head gasket is blown now, cause the exhaust are coming out of
the coolant tank after test drive.
but subaru service center told me it's caused by failure of cooling system
and continue driving after that.

thanks,
Shengyi
 
That's a head gasket. You have exhaust gas leaking into the water jacket.
That will cause it to overheat. You probably have antifreeze leaking into
the engine oil. Check you oil and see if it looks really frothy like a
chocolate mousse.
 
This is a silly trade in amount as long as your car is >not beat. You
could
sell it privately after you repair it for quite a bit >more, almost double
that!
My 2001 OBW has not been an inexpensive car to maintain >either, unlike my
wifes
Accord which except for timing belts has been very >inexpensive.

Can we actually service the car else where other than subaru service
center with out loosing the warranty?
 
This is a silly trade in amount as long as your car is >not beat. You
could
sell it privately after you repair it for quite a bit >more, almost double
that!
My 2001 OBW has not been an inexpensive car to maintain >either, unlike my
wifes
Accord which except for timing belts has been very >inexpensive.

Can we actually service the car else where other than subaru service
center with out loosing the warranty?
 
I see what they are saying now. There is a recall on head gaskets on the
engine, but since the blown radiator caused the head gasket to blow, they
refuse to service it under warranty.

You most certainly do NOT want to continue driving it unless it is a few
blocks to have it serviced. If you are getting exhaust gas into the coolant,
you can get coolant into the engine oil. This will cause serious damage to
the engine beyond what has already happened.

I would get some quotes from around town and see who is willing to do the
job and for the cheapest price. Since you can't get it done under warranty,
I see no reason to give the dealer the money. The choice is yours.
 
For that I am not sure. I would ask another dealer though and not the one
you went to. They are likely to tell you it will void the warranty just to
get you to have the work done there. Ask around and get some opinions first
before you decide.
 
drove about 12 miles with the temperature gauge pegged >at the top on my
'95 Outback w/ 167,000 miles. That was like 3-4 summers >and at least
50,000
miles ago. And unless you count the alternator last >year, I haven't done
anything to that car as far as repairs are concerned, only
brakes/tires/shocks.

-Matt

we were on the insterstate when we noticed the check engine light turned
on. I was on passenger side couldn't see the temp gauge at all. the temp
gauge was way above the red line.

we pulled off the road immediately and opened the hood. the coolant was
boiling, and lid of the coolant reserve blown open with steam coming out
of it. I could see a small amount of coolant at the bottom of tank with
lots of bubbles.

I also saw some splash dots of green coolant on the bottom side of coolant
cover. was it caused by any kind of explosion in the middle of radiator?

dealer told me the knock senser was melted.they needed to replace it
before test drive. do you think the engine could be totally damaged while
there is still coolant left in the radiator(though not much)?

Shengyi
 
drove about 12 miles with the temperature gauge pegged >at the top on my
'95 Outback w/ 167,000 miles. That was like 3-4 summers >and at least
50,000
miles ago. And unless you count the alternator last >year, I haven't done
anything to that car as far as repairs are concerned, only
brakes/tires/shocks.

-Matt

we were on the insterstate when we noticed the check engine light turned
on. I was on passenger side couldn't see the temp gauge at all. the temp
gauge was way above the red line.

we pulled off the road immediately and opened the hood. the coolant was
boiling, and lid of the coolant reserve blown open with steam coming out
of it. I could see a small amount of coolant at the bottom of tank with
lots of bubbles.

I also saw some splash dots of green coolant on the bottom side of coolant
cover. was it caused by any kind of explosion in the middle of radiator?

dealer told me the knock senser was melted.they needed to replace it
before test drive. do you think the engine could be totally damaged while
there is still coolant left in the radiator(though not much)?

Shengyi
 
u r saying it's an internal leak of head gasket?but the dealer insisted
that the coolant was leaked out first and caused the head gasket to leak
as a result. they still won't cover it. I told them the the head gasket
could leak internally first and cause an explosive leak in the radiator.
but they said that kind of explosion will happen first on those rubber
hoses instead of metal radiator itself.
 

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