Question about 1995 Subaru Legacy

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Block liner crack

1999 Forester overheated, mechanic replaced gaskets etc. Overheated again on next trip (less than 100 miles). Replaced radiator, but still not right. Mechanic (without expecting payment from me) replaced heat sensor, water pump, redid gaskets and multiple other things that I don't understand. Said they consulted with some professional organization. Deduced it was a rare and difficult-to-diagnose block liner crack. When runs at running temperature, they explained that the pressure sucks coolant into engine, depletes radiator and causes overheating.

I trust my mechanic, but don't understand why so hard to diagnose. They have paid for all repairs subsequent to 1st repair, so I have no reason to disbelieve them. Can you shed more light on problem? Since I don't want to replace engine on such an old car, I guess I'll donate or sell for parts. Thanks.

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Most cracked blocks will put the coolant into the crankcase and you would see a milky colored oil. Thoough it can also crack and allow the engine to burn the coolant. In this case, at the rate you are saying the overheating is occuring, you should easily be able to see white smoke from the exhaust.

More than likely than not the cylinder is pressuring the radiator causing the overheating, you can verify this by removing the radiator cap with the engine cold and placing the palm of your hand where the cap was. Start the engine, within less than a minute you will likely notice pressure building.

This can be caused by blown head gaskets, cracked heads or cracked block. The way to diagnose a cracked head/block is to disassemble it and send it to a machine shop capable of doing a magnaflux on the part.

It sounds like they stood behind thier repair and did the right thing with the second repair.
So your options are to pay to have a second shop diagnose the problem or believe the first and replace the engine and or car.

Sorry about your misfortune.

Posted on Nov 24, 2008

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