NFR Subaru Mechanics

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by tythetier, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. tythetier Fish Slayer

    Posts: 1,535
    WASHOUGAL, WA
    Ratings: +40 / 0
    Anybody know of a good one in the north Portland, greater Vancouver area?
    Dont know whats going on with Lindas new car....
    99 Outback wagon, started foaming at the radiator overflow container after I flushed the cooling system Saturday.
    Hard to get a solid answer off the interweb.... Its either catastrophic failure or something stupid that I havent changed yet... I am keeping my fingers crossed it is just some of the flush chemical I put in that didnt make its way out in the three times I rinsed everything after I treated it.
    I put genuine Subaru t-stat, coolant and coolant conditioner in. I flushed it with the prestone flush that comes in the little yellow jug.

    Figure I would post this up here since a lot of guys use them for a fishing rig. I hope this one makes it long enough for me to take it to the Crooked.
  2. Patrick Gould Active Member

    Posts: 2,356
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +688 / 1
    These engines are notorious for head gasket failures. Many owners replace them proactively. That might not the problem in this case, but it's worth a look see since it's so common.
    JesseCFowl likes this.
  3. JS Active Member

    Posts: 857
    Ratings: +45 / 0
    Doubtful that this is a head gasket issue, unless you have seen something that would indicate a blown HG prior to the rad flush (e.g. excessive blue/white smoke in the exaust, coolant in the oil, etc) . Did you burp the radiator after you refilled it?
  4. bigdood fishing hack

    Posts: 340
    PDX, OR
    Ratings: +88 / 1
  5. tythetier Fish Slayer

    Posts: 1,535
    WASHOUGAL, WA
    Ratings: +40 / 0
    Yeah, burped the radiator both when I did it the first time and when I did the tstat. No smoke at all, no coolant in the oil, still pulls like a champ even in 5th gear going slower.
    The last owners did the headgasket with all the guts 30k miles before. A friend tested the coolant system for pressure and it passed. Did the hydrocarbon test and it passed that. It has him stumped and he is a mech. and subaru guy. I took it to him cause I thought I found just a bit of oil in the radiator, but he said they proly didnt flush it well when they did the original hg change, and it hasnt come back since I dumped out the overflow container and cleaned it well.
    Our thing is it is still running good except for the foam that will cause overheating if it gets too much going. I can drive it back n forth to work just fine, but too much farther and it will froth up.
    I will try sucking out the foam tonight, and give it a good drive Wednesday before I drain it.
    My dad thinks I just have too much fluid in the radiator.
  6. tythetier Fish Slayer

    Posts: 1,535
    WASHOUGAL, WA
    Ratings: +40 / 0
    I gave Supirior a call. The guy seemed to think the same thing I am about having a bit of the flush chemical still in the system, and not quite catastrophic failure. He thinks with my week long flushing plan, I should be ok and he told me the trick of filling the block through the upper hose to get the majority of the air out.... Something I never thought of.
    Bigdood, thanks for the recomendation! Its always good to hear what I am wishing is good news! Its a great car, but it just needs to get this issue worked out before I take it on anything over a 2 mile trip.
    Really wanting to take it to Idaho this summer with the wife and kid, but its gotta prove itself first.
  7. bigdood fishing hack

    Posts: 340
    PDX, OR
    Ratings: +88 / 1
    No problem, good luck with the Sooby. I've had an 88 and have an 09 and have never had issues with either of them *knock on wood*. I missed that generation though and have heard of the dreaded head gasket issues others have mentioned (though don't think it was related to coolant the way it was in the watercooled VW busses). Depending on how much you want to invest in it you could pick up a rebuilt engine for pretty cheap and likely get a TON of life out of the vehicle
  8. tythetier Fish Slayer

    Posts: 1,535
    WASHOUGAL, WA
    Ratings: +40 / 0
    Yeah, we used to have a 93 legacy wagon and that thing was bullet proof! I sooo miss that car. We ran it up to 220k miles before one of the computers crapped out on us.
  9. bigdood fishing hack

    Posts: 340
    PDX, OR
    Ratings: +88 / 1
    My 88 had 230k or so when I gave it to my aunt. She took it up to Alaska and who knows what's up with it anymore. Great car.
  10. bigdood fishing hack

    Posts: 340
    PDX, OR
    Ratings: +88 / 1
    Any updates on the scooby?
  11. triploidjunkie Active Member

    Posts: 2,382
    Grand Coulee, WA
    Ratings: +1,332 / 0
    I wasn't a big fan a suburus until I started dating enlightened, but her old Forrester made it to some lakes that impressed me. We just picked up a brand new Crosstrek. That car is pretty cool., and still has all that clearance. The old car made it into places I couldn't get my F150. We'll see about this unproven model.
    Patrick Gould likes this.
  12. sweetlou Member

    Posts: 100
    La Quinta, California
    Ratings: +11 / 0
    Word to the wise. Never use radiator flush in an engine. It will eat your gaskets and you will be making repairs i.e. water pump.
  13. tythetier Fish Slayer

    Posts: 1,535
    WASHOUGAL, WA
    Ratings: +40 / 0
    Welp, it is back at my friends shop to try to diagnose the overheating. I have burped it every way possible, but he thinks I might have a stubborn air pocket near the water pump, keeping it from circulating the fluid around. They are going to try to put some pressure through the system to get it to fart a bit better.

    Triploidjunkie, that is kinda how I found out about them as well. When I first met Linda, she had the base model Legacy wagon with the 2.2. Way more reliable then the 2.5 that they now put in most of the cars.
    We ran it up to 220,000 miles before we got rid of it. That car had some stories..
  14. tythetier Fish Slayer

    Posts: 1,535
    WASHOUGAL, WA
    Ratings: +40 / 0
    Alright, so I just got the car to the shop yesterday night. I just got a call saying the tstat was sticking... It was a brand new Genuine Subaru thermostat!!
    Grrrrrrr....
    I am going to wait for my friend to get back to the shop Monday and have them do a flush before filling it with fluid and maybe another new tstat from Subaru.
    Do you guys think that Subaru will take back the bad one and give me my money back? Its kinda hard for me to exchange it, since the car is about 50 miles (Wilsonville, I am in Washougal) away right now. I was just going to have the shop buy the new one, and I would take the old one back and get a cash refund on it.
    Also, once it has new coolant, I am going to have him drive it around for about a week, just to make sure that this is the problem. I am dying from paying a friend gas money to tow it for me.
  15. Bruce Baker Active Member

    Posts: 551
    Olympia, WA
    Ratings: +49 / 0
    If it was brand new and it has proven defective, I would think that Subaru would stand behind it. It may be a little difficult to replace it because my bet is that they would want to exchange the defective part for a new, but it can't hurt to ask them for a refund. Spell it all out for them and maybe they'll have a sypathetic ear. If they don't, you could try contacting someone higher up the corporate ladder.
  16. tythetier Fish Slayer

    Posts: 1,535
    WASHOUGAL, WA
    Ratings: +40 / 0
    So just a quick update on this...
    So they put the new tstat in it, took it for a drive the next day.. blamo!! overheating again!
    They gimp it back to the shop, get out the hydrocarbon tests again, and sure 'nough'... Headgaskets gone again... He is thinking the reason it didnt show up the first time is that the stop leak that the other owners put in was kinda working.
    The car is apart right now. They are also going to do a clutch for me as well. The old one did not look like it had only been in for a year and a half... If it had been, they really didnt know how to drive it.

    Also, the guy at the machine shop said the heads had no signs of ever being machined before, were within tolerance, but warped pretty good....
    So we are thinking if they actually did have the gasket changed, they put the original designed one in, and didnt have the heads smoothed out....
    You just cant trust anybody these days...
  17. Bruce Baker Active Member

    Posts: 551
    Olympia, WA
    Ratings: +49 / 0
    Thanks for the update. Sorry for all the crap you had to go through to find out what was actually wrong with it. After the current work is completed, I hope you have many trouble-free miles.
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  18. Patrick Gould Active Member

    Posts: 2,356
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +688 / 1
    Yup;)
  19. tythetier Fish Slayer

    Posts: 1,535
    WASHOUGAL, WA
    Ratings: +40 / 0
    Yeah, I knew that getting into the car, but figured we were safe since he had it done already.
    We had $5000 to spend on a new car. When we got this one for so much cheaper, we went ahead and paid bills with what we had left, so then we had to save up again to get the heads done again.
  20. bigdood fishing hack

    Posts: 340
    PDX, OR
    Ratings: +88 / 1

    Sad but true. Hopefully you'll get this all fixed up soon (and cheaply!) and have a reliable AWD vehicle for years to come