Question about 1998 Subaru Legacy
Car started smelling real bad, then minutes later began to overheat. Immediately pulled over and shut car off. The only visible signs of anything wrong is radiator fluid sprayed all over hoses and hood towards the driver side of engine compartment and radiator fluid leaking on pavement from the back of engine ( furthest from radiator )
There are welsh plugs in the block and head/s at the rear of the motor. They are prone to rusting out . I would say that there was a leak and the coolant under pressure started squirting out causing the overheat. Boiling water escaped under the cap or the hose or tank split . Unfortunately to replace the welsh plugs the motor has to come out as there is no room to work in. So while the motor is out replace all of them as they will all be rusty on the inside. At this point and from your description of immediately shutting down I would not expect and problems with the engine but to be on the safe side it would not hurt to have a compression test done to check head gasket and for cracks.
Posted on Mar 22, 2014
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
SOURCE: 1990 Subaru Liberty Overheats
I had the same problem with my 1993 Liberty LX. Remove the thermostat (located inside bottom radiator hose engine connection - take the connection off and thermostat is inside). Reassemble (minus thermostat), reconnect bottom hose. Slowly (very, very slowly) refill the radiator and remove the bleed plug ( located beside the top hose connection to the radiator - a black square plug with a phillips head cross in the middle). When the radiator is full and clear water (no air bubbles) is coming out of the bleed point, replace the bleed plug and then the radiator cap.
Run the engine for five minutes (approx) or until normal engine temperature is reached. Allow the engine to cool down and recheck the water level - fill if necessary ensuring that the bleed plug is open and clear water is coming out of that point. Replace Bleed plug and then radiator cap. Run engine for five minutes (approx) and then test dive. If the engine overheats keep filling the radiator until there are no air bubbles coming from out of the bleed point.
This fixed my overheating problem. Good luck and safe motoring.
Posted on Sep 21, 2008
Sorry if this might break your heart. I have '98 Outback which is the same 1st generation DOHC 2.5 engine. These are common head gasket problem (I'd say 100% of every engine sooner or later) once you have had your car overheated.
You will not get this comfirmed by just have your mech check the compression on the cylinder because we call it phantom leak (internal leak which can be confirmed with hydrocarbon in coolant). And then you will end up replace every other thing before you could reach the source of problem.
Other signs of this issue are as following: random overheating after freeway or uphills drive, bubbles in coolant overflow tank, oil residue in coolant overflow tank, bubble nioses from the a/c vent.
You're looking at $1000-1500 repair by independent mech as they have to pull engine out to fix the problem. I had mine fixed two weeks ago and now my baby is running like a champ.
google for "Subaru head gasket problem"
Posted on Feb 10, 2009
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