Thursday, September 22, 2011

1997 Subaru Legacy Outback spilling coolant, overheats, then normal. What's the deal?

Car randomly overheated without warning. I got it towed home and had a friend change the thermostat. Drove it a couple of miles and it overheated, so it was not the thermostat.

I took it to a shop down the road. They had it ALL DAY and told me it is either a blown head gasket or a cracked cylinder head. They wanted to charge me $2300 for a blown head gasket!?!?? I drove the car home (2 miles) and it did not overheat.

My brother turned the car on and reved the engine for about 15 minutes to get warm it up. It did not overheat, gauge stayed in middle.

He decided to take it for a drive to see how it did. He got a few miles down the road and it overheated. He turned it off and let it cool down before driving again. He turned it back on and drove about 10 miles, NO PROBLEM!

When he got home, he looked under the car, and coolant was EVERYWHERE.. The whole underside of the car was soaked in coolant.

The radiator hose under the car is 'squisky' and could probably use replacing.

Does anyone have any idea what this could be?

There is no oil in the coolant and no coolant in the radiator. Also, no white smoke.

ANY ideas would be greatly appreciated!!! $2300 is REDICULOUS!!!1997 Subaru Legacy Outback spilling coolant, overheats, then normal. What%26039;s the deal?
The repair shop is most likely correct. A leaking head gasket or cracked head can cause this. What happens is the gasket/crack leaks compression pressure into the cooling system, rather than coolant into the oil and vice versa.

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