I've been having an issue with my 1997 Subaru Legacy Outback, auto tranny, overheating on a pretty regular basis. Just got it back from a shop a couple of months ago, they replaced the fan, thermostat, and computer. It worked well for a couple of weeks, now it's overheating on anything more than a 4 mile trip. Any guesses on what's wrong. I've only had this car for a year and a half and already sunk much more than what I would have paid for a new one into it. Had to replace the motor 2 months after buying it, really hoping this is a cheap fix.
Country: United StatesMake: SubaruModel: Legacy OutbackYear: 1997Engine: 2.5L
Fan, thermostat, and computer replaced
Welcome to JA! I am Carguy1 and I will assist you today.Hi there!It sounds like the dreaded head gasket leak. What happens is the hot exhaust gets into the cooling system and over heats the car before the thermostat can open. This is a very common issue with these.What you can do is get a combustion test kit and check for exhaust in the coolant. The is the most accurate way to tell if the problem is the head gasket. Sometimes you can also remove the thermostat and that will help prevent it from overheating, but not always because the coolant gets so hot so fast.Sorry for the bad news, but hope it helps!Thanks!
I've heard head gaskets can be an issue with these cars. Strangely, it doesn't seem to overheat when the a/c is off. If it is the head gasket, any clue what the financial damage should run?
A rough estimate would be $1500-$1800 to repair.The speed of the overheat is the biggest tip to the possible head gasket issue for me.If it's only happening when the a/c is on, then possible blockage in the cooling fins of the radiator and the a/c condenser. Seems to fast to be this, but it is worth a look. Also, make sure both fans kick on with the compressor.
I just checked and the fans are NOT coming on at all.
Aha, well, when the a/c is on, the fans should both cycle with the compressor. I know this is going to sound stupid, but check and make sure they are plugged in. If they are, then we will need a test light and probably a volt meter to see if we can find out if there is power going to the fans.Let me know.
This is going to sound really dumb, but I have no idea where and how to check if they're plugged in.
No problem at all, but there isn't a diagram so we will wing it!You will have to look at the base of the fans, not the blades, but on the frame of the fans. There are 2 plugs, one on each side at the bottom. You may have to look from under the car. You will see if there is a wire connector just hanging there or not. If it's just hanging then it's not plugged in. If it is, then it won't be hanging and you will see it is connected to the wiring up to the fan motor.Let me know!
They're plugged in and come on with the a/c, but not the engine heat.
Well, that makes no sense, the engine shouldn't overheat with the fans running when the a/c is on. Also, the engine has to get to 205 degrees before the fan will kick on because of heat. So, drive it and get it past half on the gage and see if it comes on.I still am thinking head gasket sorry to say.It's very late here and i have to sign off for the night. Please post what you find and i will get back to you in the morning.