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losing water and constant air in system plz help :(


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hi , i have a 97 imprezza wrx 2.0T jdm . I am losing water from the the expansion tank and also constant air bubbles in header tank when reving , i only seem to lose water when im giving it a bit , it looks like im only losing the coolant in header tank as i only have to top up a litre or so, I have tried draining the cooling system quite a few times and refilled system many different ways.. how can air be getting into the system constantly?? local garage done a sniff test for free and said they dont think its head..... we leaned toward header tank cap(old wone was worn) ... replaced and still have water bubbling in expansion and still losing water maybe slightly better than before though. any help would be much apreciated 

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First steps get it sniff tested, could be the headgasket thats gone and a sniff test will give the yes or no to that.

 

If its only when your driving it and on boost i suspect you'll find the gasket may have gone turbo side and when it comes on boost its push the water out.

 

Get the sniff test done and report back

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oops missed the sniff test was done, start eliminating pipes and also check the side of the rad for any cracks/leaks, looks for staining caused by the coolant leaving residue on it when it boils off

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If you hadn't had a sniff test done already, I would have said the head gaskets.

As you have had that done and it was negative, it's odd. The only way you get coolant out of the overflow on the expansion tank is with pressurised air entering the system. A split rad for example would just leak. It wouldn't let air back in under pressure.

As you got the sniff test done for free, maybe it's worth going somewhere else and paying to have it done again.

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I had a similar problem- after changing nearly all the clips and pipes where necessary it turned out to be the metal pipe across the top of the block, under the inlet manifold... A bit of a sealant cured it pretty quickly.

Also after realising just how much of a pain it was trying to bleed all of the air out of a subaru cooling system I invested in one of those radiator bucket things with an air line and a tap- so air can come out and fluid can go in at the same time. It was about £40 but just makes life so much easier!

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hi everyone thanks for all the reply's .. well since i started this post  ive had it pressure tested and it is the head gasket . would i be right in saying that i have to get bottom end bearings done at same time ?? as this is what im hearing have had a few quotes from 1800-3200 with another quote coming monday . does anyone know a good scooby mechanic that doesnt charge a fortune??

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^ about £1500 for decent job on heads based on engine decent in general & that includes quality gaskets/parts and basic machine work such as skimming & valve work, absolute no to touching bottom end unless you got some hint of other problems & then it a full engine out & rebuild.

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^ about £1500 for decent job on heads based on engine decent in general & that includes quality gaskets/parts and basic machine work such as skimming & valve work, absolute no to touching bottom end unless you got some hint of other problems & then it a full engine out & rebuild.

ok well ive spoke to quite alot of poeple on forums and in general and i have to say you are the first person that has said i dont need the bottom end done ... every place API ,Scooby Clinic, Central Subaru and many more said 9 times out of 10 when the heads only are done very very soon my bottom end would go whether its 1 week or a few months later ........ what are peoples opinions on this matter and has anyone been in this situation ?? 

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I've done quite a few heads on turbos & 2.5 na lumps & never had 1 bottom end issue & some by now done 30K+ after headgasket job. If engine health an issue, oil pressure low etc then it a different scenario.

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i would much prefer to just get head done ... think i need to speak to a few more people before i get it booked in for rebuild ... as car runs fine apart from spitting coolant out expansion.

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Only time I would worry about possible bottom end is if had water in oil & been run like it for some time. When minor leak I tend make an evaluation on engine condition & if passes muster go for just gaskets. I have never had one have big end/main failure after heads done in over 20 years of working on Subarus so the 9 out of 10 statistics is blatant bull.

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