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I recently purchased a 2003 Subaru Legacy with 101,000, automatic transmission. The car had the head gaskets, timing and water pump done around 100,000 miles. I noticed last night that the engine temp gauge was a little past the 3rd line towards but not near the red. I shut the heater off and the temp dropped, but after turning it back on the temperature climbed again. Any suggestions to what's going on? This is my first Subaru, I've heard about the stories and that's why I had everything done before I started driving the car.

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  • Cars & Trucks Master
  • 1,007 Answers

Usually, if you shut the heater off, then the temperature will climb. The interior heater will actually assist in cooling the engine's coolant.
Subaru head gaskets rarely ever fail by the way.
First, pressure test the cooling system and make sure you have no leaks.Also check the radiator cap for condition and fitment.Then check and/or replace the engine thermostat.
Subarus are generally speaking, extremely reliable vehicles and don't often show these types of issues.

Posted on Nov 03, 2012

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: 1996 Subaru Legacy overheating in strange way

Was the water pump brand new or rebuilt? I have seen rebuilts fail on the first test drive.
Before pulling the head, I would take it to a shop and request a CO2 test to check for combustion gasses in the cooling system. Shouldn't cost more than $30 and is a pretty definative test.

Posted on May 18, 2009

morse008
  • 1111 Answers

SOURCE: temperature gauge red lined then dropped back down

yes sounds like a stuck thermostat or the temperature plug if faulty could also you need the radiator fluid tested fro proper mixture

but sounds like thermostat stuck and most likely going bad

Posted on Jan 06, 2010

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