I have a2001 outback...My wifewasdriving this morning and the car ran hot...Sheput the heat on high audit cameo normal temps...When she got home and after it cooled down, I opened the. Cap on the radiator and it was full but the over flow was empty...Would the empty over flow cause that to happen???? Please help!!! It's our only transportation ...


Asked by Feb 21, 2015 at 09:02 AM about the 2001 Subaru Outback Base Wagon

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Car running hot but never over heated

14 Answers


No. But your radiator was low on fluid for some reason. When it cooled down, it sucked the fluid from the reserve jug. That's why your reserve jug was empty. Refill reserve jug and keep and eye on it. Pull your oil dipstick and make sure the oil isn't all milky. The fluid went someplace. If you notice it getting hot again, you may want to replace your thermostat. Keep an eye on your exhaust also. If you notice that it's very white and thick, that means you're burning coolant. If your burning coolant or you have milky oil, that means your head gasket is shot.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

^^ditto. You could also look underneath the engine to see if you are leaking coolant, causing an air bubble inside the cooling system, from one of the cylinder heads, water pump, oil cooler (automatic) hoses, etc.


If anything it has to be leaking from somewhere....Had the heads replaced last year with new water pump, timing belt/chain....But with this weather being 2 degrees maybe I have a cracked hose or a hole in my radiator??? It's so hard to notice any leaks when we have a foot of snow on the ground...I'm gonna place a piece of cardboard under my car and fill the over flow then let it run....Maybe, just maybe the water is defective and it ent bad????


If you actually have water in the system, then yes, something probably cracked and broke. You should be running a 50/50 mix of water and anti- freeze. If you were running anti-freeze and water, you may want to buy a cheap tester and sample what's in your radiator. The tester should tell you the freeze temp of your mixture.


I am using a 50/50 prestone antifreeze....Someone said maybe the therosate is sticking causing the over flow to boil over???? Is that a possibility????


If it's the original thermostat, yes, there's a good chance that it's going bad. Sometimes the radiator cap itself goes bad and the coolant leaks from under the cap. Did you narrow down the leak yet?


Not seeing any leak....I will try running the car for a good 20 mins then see it any changes

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I'm sure it's not the original thermostat, the car's almost 15 years old. Possible, but unlikely. Is it the original? How many miles are on your car?


I started the car today, filled the over flow back up, topped off radiator, let it run parked for about 1 hour with the heat off...I wanted to see if when the engine gets hot that the fan kicks on ( and it did )....So then I took it for a long ride and the car never ran hot! We are changing the therosate tomorrow or at least taken it out and checking it to see if it opens and closes....Lets see what happens......The only other thing I could like is there was a block of ice under the front bumper and maybe, just maybe it stopped the fan from turning until it melted.....


you could also try some of the dye stuff you can put in the radiator with a black light and see if there is a leak it is a a great way to spot a leak


Isn't there a way to check the radiator feeling it to see if it hot or cold?????


So far I did everything I thought was the right thing to do....The only other thing I can do is have a mechanic check the pressure in my radiator....I'm a women and I think I pretty much covered everything but that! If I put dye in the radiator it's not as good as doing the pressure check itself....Plus I am changing out the therosate either way....whether it's good or bad


Just change the thermostat and call it good. If the car doesn't over heat again, I wouldn't bother spending money on a pressure test. If you ran it for 20 minutes and you found no leaks, I would stop there. If you bring it in for a pressure test, you may get scammed into spending a ton of money on something you don't need.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I imagine that someone who has knowledge told you your thermostat needed replacement. If so, do that first and see if this remedies your problem. If not, get another opinion from an independent garage, find a reference if you can. A good diagnosis is money well spent before making unnecessary repairs.

Your Answer


Looking for a Used Outback in your area?

CarGurus has 34,490 nationwide Outback listings starting at $199.


Subaru Outback Experts

  • #1
  • #2
  • #3
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Forester
373 Great Deals out of 34,856 listings starting at $1,450
Used Subaru Impreza
204 Great Deals out of 20,336 listings starting at $2,495
Used Subaru Legacy
224 Great Deals out of 15,559 listings starting at $1,700
Used Honda CR-V
752 Great Deals out of 55,441 listings starting at $1,750
Used Toyota RAV4
714 Great Deals out of 44,953 listings starting at $1,600
Used Toyota 4Runner
260 Great Deals out of 22,484 listings starting at $1,750
Used Toyota Highlander
467 Great Deals out of 29,980 listings starting at $1,900
Used Toyota Tacoma
586 Great Deals out of 43,856 listings starting at $2,200
Used Honda Accord
1,040 Great Deals out of 56,909 listings starting at $1,099
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee
844 Great Deals out of 69,994 listings starting at $700
Used Ford Escape
1,032 Great Deals out of 93,152 listings starting at $1,200
Used Toyota Camry
928 Great Deals out of 79,642 listings starting at $750
Used Subaru Impreza WRX
41 Great Deals out of 1,294 listings starting at $3,999

Used Cars For Sale

2018 Subaru Outback For Sale
19,610 listings starting at $23,310
2017 Subaru Outback For Sale
33 Great Deals out of 5,332 listings starting at $20,198
2016 Subaru Outback For Sale
85 Great Deals out of 1,394 listings starting at $17,594
2015 Subaru Outback For Sale
75 Great Deals out of 1,935 listings starting at $9,900
2014 Subaru Outback For Sale
55 Great Deals out of 1,350 listings starting at $7,395

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.