2003 subaru outback overheating


Asked by Feb 17, 2013 at 04:00 PM about the 2003 Subaru Outback Base Wagon

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

changed thermostat still overheats whats wrong

6 Answers

you're getting good flow, because I've seen it to where all the fins off the water pump were corroded off and the thing went round and round and practically no flow came off of it. Just for funzies could grab the shaft and give it a little wiggle up and down round and round to see if it has enough play to warrant replacement

Tom Demyan

Subaru's are notorious at having headgasket issues, that might be your problem.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Does it overheat while driving or idling? If while idling it's an airflow problem. Possibly a blocked a/c condenser or radiator. Sometimes dirt, leaves, etc. can block the front of your radiator and restrict airflow. If your cooling fans are electric do they come on? If not, that could be the culprit. If it overheats while driving you could be low on coolant. Does your heater blow hot? If not you're probably low on coolant. Other causes are your cooling system needs a good cleaning to remove sludge and scale from the internal passages or, as Tom said, it may be a head gasket. A compression test and a cooling system pressure test will reveal a blown head gasket. HTH. -Jim

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Dollar to a donut it's headgasket failure.

Jeff Smith

How much mileage is on the Outback? It's likely the head gasket, but I've also seen radiators become somewhat clogged over time and contribute to overheating. Other head gasket clues include milky oil and coolant that smells like exhaust when they mix. Additionally: If your car does overheat badly once, it can cause the antifreeze to crystallize in the coolant passages of your engine, causing it to overheat even worse all over again.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I had my subaru compression tested and it was fine..I just went through the same thing. Heads done last year, water pump and belt to....I even replaced the water pump and belt again but it's still running hot...Has good compression, no mixing of anti freeze in oil, no what smoke, heat works great, new therosate, etc,, If you fine out why it runs hot, let me know

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • Overheating subaru 15 answers

    I have a 1996 Subaru outback that kept overheating. They checked the radiator and it's perfectly fine. I had the thermostat changed today and it is still over heating. What else could be wrong wit...

    Subaru Outback


    Maintenance & Repair

  • 98 Subaru Overheating 6 answers

    I have a '98 Subaru Legacy outback, a couple of months ago it started overheating randomly once a week or every other week or so. Now, before you all aske like everyone else, I check my fluids once...

    Subaru Outback


    Maintenance & Repair

  • timing belt on a 97 outback 6 answers

    My Subaru mechanic says I need to replace the timing belt, and head gaskets which show minor leakage on my 97 outback, which has only 98k miles, which I know is the right thing to do. But, can I do a ...

    Subaru Outback


    Maintenance & Repair

  • 2001 Outback overheating, again 15 answers

    Hello my outback started over-heating over a year ago. The mechanic replaced the thermostat, the water pump, and head gasket- one year later it is overheating again- different mechanic replaced the r...

    2001 Subaru Outback Limited Wagon


    Maintenance & Repair

  • Multi-layered head gaskets on Subaru vehicles? 13 answers

    What year did this really start for the Subaru Outback?

    2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited




Looking for a Used Outback in your area?

CarGurus has 29,731 nationwide Outback listings starting at $1,295.


Search Subaru Outback Questions

Subaru Outback Experts

#1 Markw1952
Reputation 4,270
#2 FordNut
Reputation 1,470
#3 TheSubaruGuruBoston
Reputation 1,100
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Forester"
339 Great Deals out of 19,347 listings starting at $1,099
Used Subaru Legacy"
235 Great Deals out of 17,827 listings starting at $1,295
Used Subaru Impreza"
223 Great Deals out of 8,153 listings starting at $1,995
Used Honda CR-V"
1,529 Great Deals out of 80,325 listings starting at $1,695
Used Toyota RAV4"
1,171 Great Deals out of 48,694 listings starting at $2,495
Used Toyota 4Runner"
356 Great Deals out of 18,763 listings starting at $2,400
Used Toyota Highlander"
641 Great Deals out of 30,513 listings starting at $1,990
Used Toyota Tacoma"
626 Great Deals out of 30,203 listings starting at $2,850
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee"
1,168 Great Deals out of 73,673 listings starting at $1,500
Used Honda Accord"
1,269 Great Deals out of 77,637 listings starting at $1,395
Used Subaru Impreza WRX"
42 Great Deals out of 1,322 listings starting at $2,500
Used Toyota Camry"
1,585 Great Deals out of 98,102 listings starting at $895
Used Honda Pilot"
558 Great Deals out of 19,320 listings starting at $1,800

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Subaru Outback For Sale
19,569 listings starting at $23,920
2016 Subaru Outback For Sale
21 Great Deals out of 902 listings starting at $23,626
2015 Subaru Outback For Sale
84 Great Deals out of 1,466 listings starting at $16,595
2014 Subaru Outback For Sale
77 Great Deals out of 1,891 listings starting at $10,900
2013 Subaru Outback For Sale
65 Great Deals out of 1,229 listings starting at $9,753