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Mike V.
Mike V., Subaru Technician
Category: Subaru
Satisfied Customers: 25507
Experience:  Certified Subaru Technician, factory trained by Subaru.
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My 97 outback legacy overheats after about 1.5 miles and has

Customer Question

My 97 outback legacy overheats after about 1.5 miles and has a low pitched whine in reverse and lower gears
I replaced radiator 3 yrs ago
im thinking water pump and or thermostat or both
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Subaru
Expert:  Mike V. replied 2 years ago.
Hi there,I am thinking head gasket sorry to say. What happens when the head gasket goes bad in these is it allows hot exhaust into the coolant at a very rapid pace. Faster then the thermostat can open and allow the coolant into the radiator. This causes the overheating in such a short amount of time.Before you try anything, get a combustion test kit and check the coolant for exhaust gases in it. This will save you the time and effort if it is a head gasket issue. If it comes back clean then I would go with the thermostat. I hate to say it, but normally even a bad thermostat will give you more then 1.5 miles before you overheat.As for the water pump, it's possible but unlikely because the fins on these are solid metal. Unless the coolant has never been replaced they rarely go bad, and usually you will see the engine cool off at higher rpms when the pump can push more coolant.Please let me know what more I can do to help from here.Thanks.What happens next:Just Answer will now charge you for the full amount of your question.My goal is to provide you with 5-star service. If you cannot rate me at least 3-5 stars, we will keep working on this.Just Answer does not compensate me for my time and effort; you do with a 3-5 star rating.Follow up questions are included in your question price even after rating.