Subaru overheating

Sandra Hull

Asked by Jul 12, 2016 at 01:29 AM about the 1998 Subaru Legacy 4 Dr Outback AWD Wagon

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

So we've got a 1999 Subaru Outback. This
weekend the defrost vent started spewing steam
and then it dripped on the floor really hot water. So
we bipased the heater core and reconnected the

But now the car is overheating bad. I've checked
and filled the radiator reservoir. Its full. But about
30 minutes of driving it, there's no water. There's
no smoke. No steam. No puddles. The oil isn't

4 Answers


First off, after blocking off the heater core and refilling coolant, you should bleed the system of air. Second, with the heater core no longer in the loop, you won't need as much coolant, so those hot/cold marks on the reservoir are now useless. If there's trapped air and the coolant gets hot, it will boil and spill out of the overflow tube to the ground.


Always check a Subaru for head gasket problems...INFAMOUS!


Okay.. again A_C.. this is likely air in the system. AGAIN. The first input shouldn't be head gaskets. KenF is right imo. Sandra, you can try filling the top rad hose with coolant and get as much in as possible, then connect, then fill the rad.. then fill the res. You can buy a spill free funnel to help bleed the system of air. Keep us posted. I have this one: Spill-Free-Funnel/dp/B00A6AS6LY/ref=sr_1_1


Walth is right about cheap before big bucks, but the '95-99 DOHC is infamous for internal HG breach of exhaust gases percolating the coolant voilently enough to blow out its contents that we'll probably find that this one too should go to salvage, as age and poor rebuild success rate precludes pricey repair cost $1.5-1.8k). Wish it weren't so, but....

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