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BonAppetit 12-09-2010 06:38 PM

Engine Coolant Loss
Has anyone with a 2010 and newer Legacy noticed a drastic drop in their engine coolant level?

After changing the oil in my car, I checked the coolant reservoir and noticed that the liquid level had dropped well below the "low" marker. I let the car sit over night and checked the coolant level again with the engine ice cold. Still, the coolant was reading extremely low.

I dropped the car off at a Subaru dealer who conducted a "pressure test" (I'm assuming that this is similar to a leak decay test). They concluded that the cooling system was tight. Based on the message that they left for me, they felt that some coolant loss to evaporation was "normal." I have an extremely difficult time believing their explanation.

Doesn't antifreeze do 3 things?:

1) Prevent corrosion
2) Lower the freezing point of water
3) Increase the boiling point of water well above the range of normal operating temperatures, thus preventing the water from graduating an energy state into the vapor phase

What gives? I've never owned a new car that lost this much coolant within the first 9 months of ownership. Not withstanding leaks or internal engine problems, you'd think that an 11 year coolant labeled "Super Coolant" wouldn't result in extra maintenance.

Kenpachi 12-09-2010 08:04 PM

I don't buy the evap excuse. If this was common (it isn't), they wouldn't have perfomred a pressure test. It is more likely that the car left the factory with some air trapped in the coolant system that has worked itself out over time.

Keep a close eye on it and see if it persists. If it does, try another dealer or call SOA.

Nacron 12-10-2010 10:43 AM

My coolant level is really close to low, almost to the line. How much do you think came on the car? Half way?

SuBiElOvEr 12-10-2010 02:54 PM

happen to me as well. I just added some in. I dont think its anything to worry about.

nadracer 12-10-2010 03:00 PM

Aren't you guys looking at the overflow reservoir?

Sydtron 02-13-2011 06:31 PM

It's happened to me but the overflow reservoir can vary greatly. Worth keeping an eye on, but too soon to say that something is wrong.

Sydtron 02-13-2011 06:38 PM

that's one reason why I don't think there is a problem -- I don't see white smoke coming out of the exhaust and don't see any signs of a leak. It's hard to say all that can evaporate on its own but it's even harder to say there's a problem.

DeltaSniper 02-13-2011 06:46 PM

From the way the bumper sits it really can evaporate all on its own before you notice anything ....

The rad sits on top of the small ramp behind the bumper and the bumper covers the end of the ramp, so theoretically the coolant could slowly drip down that ramp and go inside the bumper to evaporate there, which could explain why no one sees any leaks.

Sydtron 02-13-2011 06:53 PM

I've checked everywhere around the radiator and there's nothing I can see. No stains on the bumper area or the underbody panel.

DeltaSniper 02-13-2011 07:24 PM

Maybe coolant doesnt leave a stain when it evaporates on the plastic?

Just a hypothesis... dont know the answer to that really.

More accurately, does Subaru Super coolant (blue color) which are used in all the new subies leave a stain when it evaporates on plastic?

Sydtron 02-14-2011 09:44 AM

All the area around the radiator and the panel looked uniform. Even if it didn't leave a stain, it should have made some evidence of the leak.

I think it's probably just evaporation combined with an overflow reservoir that is a bit more active than normal.

Jsmith 02-14-2011 05:08 PM

While filling up my windshield washer fluid tonight, I remembered this thread and took a peek the coolant resovoir and it is atleast an inch below the "Low" line. The car was warm after a 20 minute or so drive. Let me know if you guys find out anymore info about this, or if you get anywhere with Subaru.

seiyafan 02-15-2011 02:17 PM

I don't remember to what level the coolant was filled to in my car when I first picked it up but after 3000 miles it's very close to the LOW marking. What coolant do you guys use?

BonAppetit 02-20-2011 09:40 PM

This problem has resurfaced. My reservoir is reading low.....again. I don't understand what the deal is with this 11 year "super coolant" that Subaru is boasting about in my owners manual.

aigochamaloh 02-21-2011 01:15 AM

The level should sit around low or below when the car is cold. When the car is hot, the coolant will push into the reservoir and should read near the max level. Check the coolant level after a long drive where the thermostat fully opens, add water till it's at the max line.

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