Author Topic: Subaru Forester coolant level  (Read 889 times)

Le Barbu

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Subaru Forester coolant level
« on: May 06, 2018, 10:27:28 AM »
I do pretty much my own car maintenance but now, my 2010 Forester seems to loose coolant but canít find any leak...! I do not find topic about this particular model having issues. How would you investigate?
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v8rx7guy

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Re: Subaru Forester coolant level
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2018, 11:11:24 AM »
I do pretty much my own car maintenance but now, my 2010 Forester seems to loose coolant but canít find any leak...! I do not find topic about this particular model having issues. How would you investigate?

It's probably coming out of your exhast as a white cloud or mixed up in your oil... Subaru's are world famous for head gasket issues, though they are not as common in your generation.  Check under your oil cap, you may see some chocolate milk looking sludge under there which would be a bad sign.

Le Barbu

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Re: Subaru Forester coolant level
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2018, 03:21:36 PM »
Thank you, I just checked and nothing wrong coming from the exhaust neither into the oil cap...

If revelant, performances and fuel consumption remain the same over time. I own this car for 7 years now and drive about 7k miles/year
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Gone Fishing

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Re: Subaru Forester coolant level
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2018, 03:43:38 PM »
How much are we talking here?

Le Barbu

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Re: Subaru Forester coolant level
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2018, 03:57:27 PM »
How much are we talking here?

I did not measured but I would say maybe 1-2 liters over 6 months

Few years ago, the overflow tank was leaking from a small hole because friction from the a/c hose bracket. I was confident to find something similar but nothing obvious...

I think about laying a paper on the driveway where I park the car if I can notice a small drop?
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AlexK

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Re: Subaru Forester coolant level
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2018, 05:40:22 PM »
Sometimes a leaking water pump seal will do that. It will leak when hot but stop when cool so you won't see a puddle. Check for coolant colored crusty stuff near the water pump seal.

Le Barbu

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Re: Subaru Forester coolant level
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2018, 07:16:25 PM »
Sometimes a leaking water pump seal will do that. It will leak when hot but stop when cool so you won't see a puddle. Check for coolant colored crusty stuff near the water pump seal.

I will have a look at this asap
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ncornilsen

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Re: Subaru Forester coolant level
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2018, 10:18:14 AM »
I second the headgasket thing. They can blow between the water jacket and the cylinder, so it doesn't contaminate the oil but disappears.


thurston howell iv

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Re: Subaru Forester coolant level
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2018, 05:24:10 PM »
Check the radiator again. These cars have plastic tanks. They are notorious for seeping leaks that are hard to find. I swapped my leaky one for an all aluminum one from ebay (about $100). No leaks!

magnet18

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Re: Subaru Forester coolant level
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2018, 03:51:53 PM »
This is a tip to all mustachians

Next time you change your oil send a sample to blackstone labs.

$28, and you get a full report written by a real human.  They will tell you if coolant is getting in the oil, signaling a weak head gasket, which even if the engine seemingly runs fine, can ruin things.  They will also tell you a million other things and compare to all the other reports of your same engine.

And if your oil and engine are still in good shape, they will recommend extending oil changes by a few thousand miles (saving $$$!)

https://www.blackstone-labs.com/
https://www.blackstone-labs.com/report-explanation.php


https://jalopnik.com/why-expensive-oil-is-a-waste-of-money-1797241527
https://jalopnik.com/how-a-28-laboratory-test-may-have-just-saved-my-engine-1795355769

austin944

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Re: Subaru Forester coolant level
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2018, 04:31:18 PM »
A pressure tester tool can sometimes find the leak.  They run about $50-$75 and can be found at auto parts stores, and sometimes rented from there.  Attach it to the coolant reservoir filler neck, pump up the pressure, wait overnight, and check for any coolant leaks in the morning.  Also check the pressure cap with the tester; they periodically wear out and need replacement.  They tend to be pretty cheap.

I believe I have an external head gasket leak on my car, since I have noticed dried coolant where the head meets the block.  There was no leak on the garage floor with the pressure tester.




gooki

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Re: Subaru Forester coolant level
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2018, 02:30:54 AM »
Sometimes a leaking water pump seal will do that. It will leak when hot but stop when cool so you won't see a puddle. Check for coolant colored crusty stuff near the water pump seal.

We have the reverse issue with our Subaru Imprezza. Very minor coolant leak around the water pump when cold (near freezing level), no leaks when warm.
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Le Barbu

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Re: Subaru Forester coolant level
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2018, 07:25:15 PM »
Looks like there is a plug leaking under the engine block. The one on the left is quite big and located on a tricky place because of the exhaust manyfold. It takes a 15mm Allen key to remove. How come this become faulty?
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Syonyk

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Re: Subaru Forester coolant level
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2018, 10:26:54 PM »
Corrosion.  Metal thermal cycling.  Bad sealant from the factory.  All sorts of options.  It's a freeze plug, though be sure that the source is actually the plug and not above it.  An external head gasket leak can travel several feet before becoming obvious.
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Car Jack

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Re: Subaru Forester coolant level
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2018, 08:15:42 AM »
An internal head gasket leak (most common) doesn't mix oil and coolant.  It just burns off coolant.  If it's liters per 6 months, just ignore it.  Buy some Subaru coolant conditioner (which is just stop leak) and add it to the coolant tank when it goes down at all.  That can help.  If it doesn't get worse, just keep a good eye on coolant level.  The level should be at the high level in the overflow tank when it's cool.  If not, before driving the car, that's when to add conditioner or coolant or distilled water.

Replacement of the head gaskets is pretty expensive (at least several thousand dollars) so if the Forester is older, it might not be worth it to replace them.