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Go Back   REVscene Automotive Forum > Technical Discussion > Maintenance, Engine & Driveline Tech

Maintenance, Engine & Driveline Tech This forum is brought to you by The Speed Syndicate (TSS) in Burnaby.
Discussion of maintaining your engine, transmission, differentails, rear ends, and mods associated with "driveline" parts..

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Old 12-22-2013, 07:07 PM   #1
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coolant reservoir levels question

stupid noob question (because i can't find my owner's manual right this moment).

weather is cold.
engine is cold.
coolant reservoir is nearly empty.
radiator is full.

is this the norm for cold weather? should i fill the reservoir up?
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Last edited by thumper; 12-22-2013 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:48 PM   #2
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Quote:
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is this the norm for cold weather? should i fill the reservoir up?
I'd fill it to at least 1/2, then check the level when you fill gas, just to see if it goes down again.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:58 PM   #3
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worried that i fill up the reservoir and it might overflow when the engine is warm and circulating coolant into the overflow...
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Old 12-23-2013, 12:03 AM   #4
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It shouldn't be empty, just cause it's cold.
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Old 12-23-2013, 12:30 AM   #5
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u can fill it too the max fill line when its cold and the expansion when its warm should not over flow when it warms up "thats why there is a max fill line"


if u notice it going down after a few days you have a leak or you are burning coolant "headgasket"
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:07 AM   #6
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if it is burning coolant, would it be blowing white smoke from the exhaust? it's sort of hard to tell right now because of the cold weather but i don't see any lingering white smoke or residue on the exhaust tip.
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:57 AM   #7
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if it is burning coolant, would it be blowing white smoke from the exhaust? it's sort of hard to tell in this weather because of the weather but i don't see any lingering white smoke or residue on the exhaust tip.
burning coolant has a distingtive smell, also if you are burning a little bit i doubt you would notice, but if the headgasket was gone.. you would know!



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Old 12-23-2013, 10:31 AM   #8
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omg!

um... nope don't have that.

but after a long hard drive you do get a smell of hot coolant from the engine after it is shut off.
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:35 AM   #9
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That's at it's worst.

It could just be a thermostat, rad, waterpump, reservoir or intake manifold leak.
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:49 AM   #10
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Coolant res will drop over time if you do not have a sealed system.

Top the res up and keep an eye one it.
If you are smelling cooling from under the hood then you most likely have a leak. A coolant smell generally indicates you have overheated and subsequently overflowed the cooling system or you have a leaking hose.

Check your hoses (especially the small ones as people tend to overlook those). Another source of coolant smell under the hood can be a failing water pump.

OP, what do you drive?
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:14 PM   #11
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this is for a subaru
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:16 PM   #12
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if headgasket/headgaskets good luck.. haha just keep an eye on it for a week or 2 and report back
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:23 PM   #13
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Depending on which Subie, HG failure could be very common.

It's always a good idea, when posting in the tech section, to include what vehicle it is.
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:27 PM   #14
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Depending on which Subie, HG failure could be very common.

It's always a good idea, when posting in the tech section, to include what vehicle it is.
its going to be the 2.5 for sure.. no one owns a 3.6 outback or tribeca.. hahah tribeca. what a fail

the reason i say good luck is because that fancy little 2.5 is a flat engine.. and very low mounted and thats an engine pull to do any head work

"i worked at Subaru for a few years" the 2.5 is notorious for headgasket issues..

but lets not jump to conclusions. top it up and keep an eye on it
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Old 12-23-2013, 02:09 PM   #15
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Is it the BRZ?

The twins have a weird rad level

cold its almost at empty and after a long drive it is near full.

have you checked it out when the car is warmed up?
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Old 12-23-2013, 02:09 PM   #16
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yes. 09 ej25 non turbo. parental units' transport.

the reservoir does fill up when it gets hot but barely to the min level.

this is all i got from the manual online:



bottle is nearly empty (ie. a little bit of coolant at the bottom of the reservoir but way under the low mark).

radiator is full. if i fill it from the rad cap it will overflow???

i ran the engine for awhile with the cap off and i don't see bubbles or brown sludge for HG leak?
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Old 12-23-2013, 02:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
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its going to be the 2.5 for sure.. no one owns a 3.6 outback or tribeca.. hahah tribeca. what a fail

the reason i say good luck is because that fancy little 2.5 is a flat engine.. and very low mounted and thats an engine pull to do any head work

"i worked at Subaru for a few years" the 2.5 is notorious for headgasket issues..

but lets not jump to conclusions. top it up and keep an eye on it
do not understand your quotations... are you quoting someone else or did you work for subaru before?

would you know how much $$$ is it to do head gaskets on an ej25?
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Old 12-23-2013, 02:14 PM   #18
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k, fill the over flow bottle to the min line .. dosnt touch the rad cap.. drive the car, check where is it when warm.. keep note of these 2 levels over the next week..
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Old 12-23-2013, 03:46 PM   #19
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Well this thread just went full circle....
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Old 12-23-2013, 06:25 PM   #20
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k, fill the over flow bottle to the min line .. dosnt touch the rad cap.. drive the car, check where is it when warm.. keep note of these 2 levels over the next week..
okay... filled to the min line, drove for most of the day, checked it now and it's above the full line. will watch levels.

can i ask you again if you know how much does it cost to replace the head gaskets? is it usually done in pairs even if only one might be bad?
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Old 12-23-2013, 06:28 PM   #21
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Given the amount of work required to remove 1 head and the fact that if 1 one goes, the other probably isn't far behind, do one, do both.

If they pull the motor to do it and the timing belt is close to due, it would be recommended to replace it and check the pulleys, waterpump and clutch as well.
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Old 12-24-2013, 08:04 AM   #22
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the motor has to be pulled because there is no way the heads of that flat 4 can come off while inside because they are right up against the front frame rails/aprons

someone quoted me $3600 on another board for parts/labor... the indie mechanic i wanted to ask is on holiday. too scared to call the dealer.

timing belt on an ej25 of this vintage is scheduled for replacement at 160k kms i think...
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Old 12-25-2013, 02:46 AM   #23
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$3600 does it include machining and testing the heads? If so, it is not too bad.

DIY isn't not too hard, I did it once, the key is to have a cherry picker and a balancer.. however it comes down to whether it is worth it or not. Gasket set is about $100, belts etc is about $200, water pump is another $200. Do your parents have another mode of transportation?

Why don't you do a leak down test to verify? The reason is evaporated coolant do bad things do the catalytic convertor and they are freaking expensive... especially since it is an OBD2 car which is more picky about the state of that.

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the motor has to be pulled because there is no way the heads of that flat 4 can come off while inside because they are right up against the front frame rails/aprons

someone quoted me $3600 on another board for parts/labor... the indie mechanic i wanted to ask is on holiday. too scared to call the dealer.

timing belt on an ej25 of this vintage is scheduled for replacement at 160k kms i think...
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Old 12-26-2013, 02:11 AM   #24
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Before you spent an absured amount of money. Make sure it is the head gaskets 100%... and not just by any shop. Pref your own mechanic but not everyone has one...

I had the same problem with 2002 WRX. Checked over and over, coolant was acting weird until the rad blew up one day when I was still investigating the situation (not really blew up, but the top of the radiator where the metal and plastic meets seperated and coolant was spewing out from the top).

Put in a new radiator and new fluids good to go. Mind you I did it myself and it cost me under $200 for new rad and fluids with my fathers discount card
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:03 AM   #25
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Before you spent an absured amount of money. Make sure it is the head gaskets 100%... and not just by any shop. Pref your own mechanic but not everyone has one...

I had the same problem with 2002 WRX. Checked over and over, coolant was acting weird until the rad blew up one day when I was still investigating the situation (not really blew up, but the top of the radiator where the metal and plastic meets seperated and coolant was spewing out from the top).

Put in a new radiator and new fluids good to go. Mind you I did it myself and it cost me under $200 for new rad and fluids with my fathers discount card
there's performance radiators in van/coquitlam it was like 120$ with 2 jugs of coolant. the stock fan assembly bolted up perfect.
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