Cooling problem after timing belt install - Subaru WRX Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 02-24-2009, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Cooling problem after timing belt install

I replaced the timing belt, idlers, tensioner, and put in a new GMB water pump.

Simply put, the thermostat is sticking when driving. I've tried 2 replacement ones from the auto store and an OEM one from subaru. All seem to stick when driving, it never overheats, always blow hot air, and not losing coolant at all. Idling up to temp it opens like it should and cools fine, driving around it closes and the temp. stays around 194-199* on the road. When you stop and idle after driving the bottom radiator hose is cold and the temp gets up to 205* then turns on the fan which brings it down to 199* very slowly (when normally it will go down to 189*) the fans won't cool it down or turn off until i start driving again, tstat still closed. Sometimes the thermostat opens if you sit for a few minutes (starts opening at around 203*) then it cools fine until you drive again. I've replaced the "radiator cap" and been through 3 tstats. If i drill a hole in the top of them (1/8") they work too well and the oil never gets up to temp and the coolant stays around 150. So i'm very confused and running out of ideas. I've burped the system by filling it up at the coolant tank by the tubo, idling it with the heat on and holding it at about 2000 rpms for a few minutes till its done burping. Im getting ready to try a crucial racing tstat next b/c i can't understand why the tstats would stick like that. Any help?????

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post #2 of 18 Old 02-24-2009, 08:38 PM
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Did the water pump get replaced during the timing belt change?

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post #3 of 18 Old 02-24-2009, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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yes, new GMB water pump. I smell a little burnt coolant smell when i turned the heater on today while sitting at idle too??? Yet this thing never overheats or shows any syptoms of being a head gasket, or could it be?

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post #4 of 18 Old 02-24-2009, 09:17 PM
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if you smell it when you turn the heat on that could be the heater core leaking..doe's it steam up the windshield at all?
that wouldn't solve your problem but it could be another problem that you have or are getting ready to have..

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post #5 of 18 Old 02-24-2009, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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no doesn't steam up and i see no core leaks. This is the first time i noticed this though. I've changed tstats so much in the last week, theres coolant still burning off everything probably too. I'm stumped as to the stuck closed tstat while driving though.!Cry!

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post #6 of 18 Old 02-24-2009, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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update:

Just went outside and looked VERY VERY thoroughly for any leaks and paid attention to the overflow tank and reservoir as well as the exhaust for signs of HG blown, none found at all, car runs just like it did when i bought it, just perfect, boost comes on like normal to 16psi and holds nice, hasn't lost any power and has never overheated. The heater smells fine now too. Idled up to 190* (kinda late for a stocker right?) and the tstat opened up and it worked like it should. If i would've drove it around though i would run into the same problem.


So....... what happens when driving around (even just putsing around staying out of boost) to the cooling system? Something has to change... But im stumped, and i don't want to put on the rest of my mods w/o solving this. 18G, 750ccs and FMIC are waiting !Cry!

Even on the highway it wants to cool down, it sometimes cools down to 190* and climbs up slowly again to 198* which is why i'm still believing its a stuck tstat, but its hard to believe that i've had 3 bad tstats in a row.

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post #7 of 18 Old 02-25-2009, 04:25 AM
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Chances are its not your Tstats. Like you said, three in a row? thats a lil absurd. Would the water pump be causing the problem. After all it all started with the recent maintenence. I dont know how it would be a problem but its the only thing i can think of. Try bleeding your system again...
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post #8 of 18 Old 02-25-2009, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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i don't know b/c when i drilled a 1/8" hole in the top of the tstats they worked too well and cooled just fine. When at idle at operating temp. I noticed today that when the tstat does open i needed to give it a small blip to get the temp to start coming down. Could this be the WP being bad? or air pockets?

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post #9 of 18 Old 02-25-2009, 09:23 PM
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i don't know b/c when i drilled a 1/8" hole in the top of the tstats they worked too well and cooled just fine. When at idle at operating temp. I noticed today that when the tstat does open i needed to give it a small blip to get the temp to start coming down. Could this be the WP being bad? or air pockets?
Air pockets.This is 100% common on 02-03 WRX's when coolant has been flushed/changed.04-05's have 2 caps.One on the reservoir and on on the radiator.Link I posted has info on how to remove the air bubbles and other good info.

Cooling System FAQ: Read if you want coolant information! - NASIOC

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post #10 of 18 Old 02-25-2009, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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thx for the link dumdum, i too still think its air trapped somewhere. What would the symptoms of a bad WP be as i'm thinking that could be the only other cause?

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post #11 of 18 Old 02-25-2009, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dumdum View Post
Air pockets.This is 100% common on 02-03 WRX's when coolant has been flushed/changed.04-05's have 2 caps.One on the reservoir and on on the radiator.Link I posted has info on how to remove the air bubbles and other good info.

Cooling System FAQ: Read if you want coolant information! - NASIOC
Just so you 03 owners are not confused some 03s also have 2 caps. I don't know a specific date but my 03 built in Sept 2002 has 2 caps.
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post #12 of 18 Old 02-26-2009, 12:28 AM
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Coolant top up - air pockets? - NASIOC

this link is off the link that dumdum provided.

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post #13 of 18 Old 02-26-2009, 08:04 AM
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thx for the link dumdum, i too still think its air trapped somewhere. What would the symptoms of a bad WP be as i'm thinking that could be the only other cause?
Thats easy.Take off the cap and start the car.If you see coolant moving as the car gets to operating temp then you know the waterpump is working.I doubt that is your problem but you would kill two birds with one stone as this would also purge the air out of the system (and also overflow slightly)

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post #14 of 18 Old 02-26-2009, 12:28 PM
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Bah who needs a tstat, just take it off and you'll be Fine

But if you still have any doubt in the world that your new tstats are bad you could always test them. completly submerg it in a clear glass of water and put it in the microwave or boil it in a pot of water on your stove.

And if your still worried that it might be sticking closes, you could always get the kind that stay open when they fail.
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post #15 of 18 Old 02-26-2009, 02:50 PM
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Bah who needs a tstat, just take it off and you'll be Fine

But if you still have any doubt in the world that your new tstats are bad you could always test them. completly submerg it in a clear glass of water and put it in the microwave or boil it in a pot of water on your stove.
Pretty sure putting a metal thermostat in the microwave is a bad idea.

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