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Car got hot today on the way home (219*), and when I got to my house I popped the hood to find coolant all over the front of the engine behind the cap plus on top of the radiator shroud. I had taken the cap off a few weeks back to refill it after installing my block heater. Then I realized that I should refill it at the upper tank, so we don't need to discuss that.. There's been a few drops of coolant on the fan brackets since then which I thought were coming from the overflow tank hoses because there were no clamps on them. It wasn't leaking before I drained the system to do the heater install. The bad thing is I can't just put a new cap on because no one local has the 1.3 bar cap. They have 16 psi and 20 psi. I was too scared that Id blow then end tanks if I used the 20 psi cap, so I left the parts store empty handed. Afraid to try the dealer since it'll probably be $40 for a damn cap. Is there any way to test the cap? If there was an air pocket in the system could it cause the cap to purge crap everywhere? Is the 20 psi cap too much? I topped the system off with the upper tank, and figured I'd try again tomorrow to see if it was possibly a freak incident.
 

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Is the radiator cracked? My OEM plastic end tank cracked after many years of use. I don't recall what the center portion of the OEM radiator is made of.

I paid 15 and 20 bucks for a reservoir and radiator cap, respectively, from Subaru...consider it an investment and correct for the application. Don't mix up the caps...they are specific.
 

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Must be the radiator. Put a new cap on, and the front was soaked with coolant again when I got home. Damn the luck.
 

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Good excuse to upgrade to a Mishimoto I suppose. It was on the to-do list anyway. Too bad I have to change it in 15* snowy weather.
 

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Blown radiator panic

I ordered a new Mishimoto radiator, but it won't be here until Monday. I'm somewhat in a panic though. What caused the factory radiator to go? Was it just the factory radiator's time to start leaking? It isn't pouring it. When it gets about 200 at a higher than idle RPM it blows coolant everywhere under the hood. I just put a block heater in a month ago. Would having air in the system contribute to it? And the worst thing I can think is a blown head gasket. The overflow tank has some bubbles, but not many. I assume that's from air that's leaking into the radiator. There's no white "smoke", but it is 20* outside so there's the typical condensation puffs. Car runs just fine with no coolant in the oil. Am I freaking out for no reason, or are these legitimate concerns?
 

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I got 121,000 miles on the original radiator. My notes show it was a plastic top tank crack...I don't recall what it looked like exactly.

Modern cars all seem to have gone to the plastic tanks/aluminum fins...for cost. They don't last forever though...I'd chalk it up to old age.
 

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I'm at 87,000 in a state with temp swings from 100 to -40, so hopefully it's just the plastic being 10 years old. I hope.
 

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Did you get this fixed? I'm having the exact same issue on my JDM 04 WRX. Replaced rad, turbo res cap, rad hoses, and thermostat. No oil in the coolant, or coolant in the oil...
 

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Car got hot today on the way home (219*), and when I got to my house I popped the hood to find coolant all over the front of the engine behind the cap plus on top of the radiator shroud. I had taken the cap off a few weeks back to refill it after installing my block heater. Then I realized that I should refill it at the upper tank, so we don't need to discuss that.. There's been a few drops of coolant on the fan brackets since then which I thought were coming from the overflow tank hoses because there were no clamps on them. It wasn't leaking before I drained the system to do the heater install. The bad thing is I can't just put a new cap on because no one local has the 1.3 bar cap. They have 16 psi and 20 psi. I was too scared that Id blow then end tanks if I used the 20 psi cap, so I left the parts store empty handed. Afraid to try the dealer since it'll probably be $40 for a damn cap. Is there any way to test the cap? If there was an air pocket in the system could it cause the cap to purge crap everywhere? Is the 20 psi cap too much? I topped the system off with the upper tank, and figured I'd try again tomorrow to see if it was possibly a freak incident.
I don't know of a cap test.
Radiator caps are like thermostats in one way ,
they have a small spring and soft metal. They do have rubber gaskets. What should happen is when overflows about to do its thing. The cap is designed to expand slightly. Which allows it to raise which allows that little water to flow back and forth in the side which returns to the bucket that you were describing not all cars are made this way. But yes, there are special radiator caps that have that red tab you spend them in pop that red tabe down.
I feel that your problem is you might have over Tighten, And put a small crack in your radiator stem.
Unfortunately You will not see the hairline fracture. Without performing a pressure test or you're getting the bed seal. You can get the regular radiator tester 14 PSI. Pop it on there. That would be my check number one. Look for leaks put the put the pressure test on it. Look for Lakes. Keep it simple. 9 × out of 10 times. That's a fixed mechanic you doing everything right? Something simple
 

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I'm at 87,000 in a state with temp swings from 100 to -40, so hopefully it's just the plastic being 10 years old. I hope.
sorry Bubbles in the Overflow usually only mean one thing. Head gasket on the exhaust side. The only way to be true. Is to do a sniffer test. If you don't know how to perform this this properly you just pay for it and then your peace of mind. Basically the two-part there is a plunger and some chemical you drain a little bit of the coolant out of the radiator top. For some of the liquid in its blue in color turn it upside down. And basically you sniff. 4 exhaust fumes the chemical changes color That's how you know, you have exhaust in your coolant blown head gasket.
 

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Did you get this fixed? I'm having the exact same issue on my JDM 04 WRX. Replaced rad, turbo res cap, rad hoses, and thermostat. No oil in the coolant, or coolant in the oil...
sorry Bubbles in the Overflow usually only mean one thing. Head gasket on the exhaust side. The only way to be true. Is to do a sniffer test. If you don't know how to perform this this properly you just pay for it and then your peace of mind. Basically the two-part there is a plunger and some chemical you drain a little bit of the coolant out of the radiator top. For some of the liquid in its blue in color turn it upside down. And basically you sniff. 4 exhaust fumes the chemical changes color That's how you know, you have exhaust in your coolant blown head gasket.
 
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