Engine overheating/fans not coming on

Asked by Sep 15, 2016 at 05:10 PM about the 1998 Subaru Forester Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Recently I was stuck in standstill traffic on
a hill for a while and my engine began to
overheat. I turned on the heat full blast for
a bit as I learned to do when one of my
fans died in the past. However this time it
wasn't working. I pulled off the road and
looked at the engine and realized the
cooling fans were not working. However, if
I turn on the AC, they both come on. They
were both changed in the past year. The
temp gauge in the dash seems to work
correctly. Is there a relay or something or a
sensor that might be bad so the computer
isn't telling the fans when to come on
under normal operation (without AC)
perhaps? Thermostat? Any suggestions?
Thank you!

1 Answer

4,330

Fan switch and temp gauge sender are separate. If not acting in consonance it's usually due to percolated combustion gases trapped in the cooling system and migrating to the temp sender area, superheating the sensor...but NOT sending a signal to the ECU for the fans operation. This is the classic indication of high pressure head gasket failure, the repair of which on the 2.5i DOHC motor is usually NOT durable. Sorry. It is UNLIKELY that an OE t-stat has failed (although an aftermarket smaller one COULD cause similar symptom overheating...but fans SHOULD come on, as it's just the coolant that's gotten hot from poor flow...NOT superheated exhaust gas bubbles infiltrating the coolant bath). Likewise an obstructed radiator can cause overheating...but NOT without cooling fan op. So have a good wrench check for PERCOLATION before you start wasting money on a t-stat or radiator. Again, unlike the subsequent 2.5i SOHC motor, the earlier DOHC is prone to internal failure after head gasket replacement. It may be time to move on....

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

Search Subaru Forester Questions

Subaru Forester Experts

#1 Nick Eidemiller
Nick Eidemiller
Reputation 3,670
#2 walth
walth
Reputation 3,010
#3 lifeson34
lifeson34
Reputation 2,520
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Honda CR-V
897 Great Deals out of 61,170 listings starting at $988
Used Toyota RAV4
740 Great Deals out of 71,773 listings starting at $1,895
Used Subaru Impreza
187 Great Deals out of 17,839 listings starting at $1,250
Used Subaru Legacy
200 Great Deals out of 15,858 listings starting at $999
Used Toyota 4Runner
252 Great Deals out of 20,494 listings starting at $1,800
Used Toyota Tacoma
541 Great Deals out of 40,814 listings starting at $2,495

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Subaru Forester For Sale
17 Great Deals out of 20,006 listings starting at $17,472
2016 Subaru Forester For Sale
88 Great Deals out of 1,452 listings starting at $16,995
2015 Subaru Forester For Sale
96 Great Deals out of 2,518 listings starting at $11,995
2014 Subaru Forester For Sale
52 Great Deals out of 1,509 listings starting at $8,995
2013 Subaru Forester For Sale
17 Great Deals out of 366 listings starting at $8,500

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.