Question about 1997 Subaru Outback

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1997 Subaru Outback with temperarure problems

My 97 outback with 196K miles has started to have fluctuations in engine temperature when driving. Up until about a month ago (11+ years) the temperatrure gage always registered a single temperature after warming up. Occasionally the needle would move a hair up when driving up long hills on very hot summer days. Now, it rarely gets up to the old operating temperature. It randomly reaches it while driving around town and after driving at high speed for long periods of time then bringing the car to slow speeds. The needle is not indicating any sort of overheating...really underheating. MPG have not changed (26-27 MPG highway). It appears that one of the two cooling fans is not running. Is this normal?

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  • whitesubaru Sep 18, 2010

    Talked to a mechanic and read the manual. Facing the engine, the right fan is the condenser fan and the left fan is the cooling fan. There was no problem with the fans. Replaced the thermostat though it was probably okay. The dashboard wiring failed and temp gage continues to register on cold to date. Just something I have to live with at 219K.



1 Answer

Check the coolant level - you may have low coolant, causing the sensor to occasionally read an air pocket. If you don't correct this you will burn out your motor.
We had this problem & eventually replaced both the thermostat and radiator cap, being careful to bleed out any air pockets by running the engine form cold with the heater on hot and the radiator cap off - keep watching & topping up the coolant as the enigine heats & the thermostat opens.
Good luck!

Posted on Oct 30, 2008


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