Question about 1997 Subaru Legacy

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1997 subaru outback legacy overheating

I recently bought a 97 subaru outback legacy with 83,ooo miles on it when i went to look at the car it had a check engine light on. the guy said he would have that looked at. when i bought it the light was off. the day after i bought it it started overheating i tried calling the gut back to ask him if he ever had this problem and also to see why the check engine light was on he won't return y calls any ideas?

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  • SANDE28 Nov 04, 2008

    CHECK ENGINE LIGHT ON AND I HAD THE THERMASTANT REPLACED STILL OVER HEATS AND MINE HAS NO HEAT FOR HEATER OR IT THROWS NO WARM AIR ....THANKS STEVE

  • lenman8 Apr 02, 2009

    Dear tlebo111,  I would like more info on this procedure for bleeding the valve at an incline. What is the minimum incline?  We have been having the overheating problem.  Everyone seems to be saying that it is the head gasket, but I noticed too that it only happens at sustained high RPMs. One specialist told me that if you replace the head gasket, it will just leak again.  This motor is prone to this problem.  Thanks for your input.

  • Anonymous Mar 16, 2014

    97 subaru legacy outback have interference engine

  • Anonymous Mar 16, 2014

    2014 Subaru outback brake light blinking , check engine light on

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I've had the same problem all year. I've had four different mechanics look at this car - 97 legacy with 2.5. I've had the coolant seals replaced, the radiator cap, the thermostat, the water pump - all to no avail. I've realized now that it only overheats shortly after running sustained high rpm's. Recently the last mechanic mentioned the bleeder valve (I didn't know it had one and think maybe he didn't know either - not a subaru mechanic). Recently it overheated again (again sustained high rpm's - apparently more prone to produce air in the system), I sat the vehicle on an incline (raising the bleeder valve to be the highest point) and let the car warm up and run for half an hour. Now 300 miles and no overheat. I went through alot with this car to get to this point. Unbelievable.

Posted on Dec 26, 2008

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If the cooling system pressurizes BEFORE the engine even gets hot, you have the head gasket problem.
It is a known issue with this year and 2.5L motors
I am actually pulling a motor right now to replace the haed gaskets, I own two 97 subarus with 2.5L and have had to do both head gaskets now

Posted on Aug 05, 2008

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We had the same problem with my GF 97 Subaru... after replacing the thermostat, radiator, water pump, hoses, head gasket, etc... it was a timing belt that was over worn.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008

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Ok over heating is not good. First check for leaks. do this with the engine running. If no leaks present then check the fans and make sure they run when the engine reaches normal running temp. the next step would be to check the thermostat which is in the housing on the waterpump on the bottom radiater hose. this may be jammed closed. if that checks out ok then then the final check i can think of will be the temperature sender which is located on the underneath the intake manifold on the left side of the engine toward the back. I would suggest getting a mechanic to check and replace this as it really is in the hardest spot to remove without taking off the intake manifold. if the temp sender is the problem then get the mechanic to replace and then put a diagnostic computer on to clear all the codes for you. my guess is the person who sold you the car has disabled something to do with the check engine light.

Hope this helps

Let me know how you got on.

Posted on Jun 11, 2008

  • Tyler Hinston
    Tyler Hinston Oct 26, 2013

    the anti theft system has been somewhat disabled. I have replaced the thermostat, the radiator, the battery, and the pipes to it but the orange button wich i think is my anti theft sytem (next to my fog lights on the left side of steering wheel) is busted could this be affecting it

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Hello, I had similar problem, my '97 Legacy 2.5 , just driving along and the temp guage would jump up to hot , then maybe cool back down. I had to get it fixed. Look for some black oil residue in the coolant reservoir, actually look closely at it under the lid. This was at 140 K miles, the mechanic said, that is usually when the head gaskets go bad, and I had them replaced. It was a bad batch of head gaskets as one person explained.

Posted on Nov 07, 2014

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I hate to tell you this but the guy isn't returning your calls because the head gasket is blown and he probably knew it.
As for the 1990... have you checked the water pump for leaks? (front/ driver's side on the bottom of the engine) My guess is that it's faulty and unfortunately, it's behind the timing belt.
Both of these repairs will be a pretty penny.
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google for "Subaru head gasket problem"

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