My dad has a 1993 Subaru Legacy L 2.2L (no turbo) with a perplexing cooling problem. It overheats, and there doesn't appear to be flow through the cooling system.
The upper radiator hose is extremely hot, the lower radiator hose is cold.
The thermostat has been replaced 3 times now. They have all been put in boiling water, and they all opened.
The car has been parked on an inclined and filled with coolant, been jacked up and filled, we've used the cap to vent, we've used the bleeder to vent.
For a while, he ran without a thermostat, but the seals in the water pump failed.
I just got home from replacing the water pump. The car still overheats. Again, upper hose hot, lower cold. The radiator is cold by the lower hose, then warm in an arc around the cold section, then hot along the top and on the entire passenger half of the radiator. Radiator fluid overflowed the overflow.
I'm at a loss; it seems like there's a no flow condition, but a garden hose in one end of the radiator got water flowing out the other end and the thermostat(s) have all been tested. Is it possible to have coolant flow through the engine blocked?
- I would love it if it were the radiator as it's extremely easy to swap out, but a garden hose on one end passed (clear) water through without backing up on the inlet side. I would think that any flow through the radiator would get the whole thing at least warm and definitely warm up the lower radiator hose. Is there another test we can do to check it?
- This will sound crazy, but neither radiator fan works. HOWEVER, as there is no flow through the radiator (lower radiator hose and bottom driver's quarter of the radiator are COLD), my first concern is getting flow through the radiator and then I'll worry about the radiator fans.
- Everything worked fine with no thermostat (and no radiator fans), but the seal failed in the water pump after maybe 5-10k miles. The car was purchased used and had cooling issues from the start. The garage that sold the car replaced the water pump after the sale, then when that didn't fix anything they said the radiator was clogged and flushed it. Things got a little better, but the car still overheated. This was when the first two thermostats were installed. Eventually Dad removed the thermostat entirely and the car ran fine until the water pump seal failed. When I replaced it yesterday I suggested we install the thermostat, et voila, heat issues return. There is a bypass line before the thermostat, but I don't remember looking at a coolant schematic so I couldn't say where that line goes for sure.
The car overheated on 3 mile test drive and didn't cool off at all despite coasting the second half of that drive at 35mph with a manual transmission.
There is no heat from the car with the heater on and the fan at full speed, but there is also very little air flow from the vents. The no heat situation persists regardless of engine temperature; what little air there is feels the same with the engine cold or fully overheated.