Subaru Coupes/Sedans/Wagons 1985-1996 Repair Guide

Cooling System

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See Figures 1 and 2

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Fig. Fig. 1: Read all warning labels on the radiator ...



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Fig. Fig. 2: ... and radiator cap

A complete cooling system check should be performed and the antifreeze replaced at 30,000 mile (48,300 km) intervals.

FLUID RECOMMENDATION



See Figure 3

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Fig. Fig. 3: Testing the coolant concentration with an antifreeze tester

A 50/50 mixture of an anti-corrosive ethylene glycol coolant or other type antifreeze and water is recommended. Since the Subaru crankcase is aluminum, the antifreeze should contain an anti-rust agent.

Inexpensive antifreeze testers are available to measure the degree of protection provided by the cooling system.

LEVEL CHECK



See Figures 4 and 5



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Fig. Fig. 4: Many radiator caps have warnings written on them; read and observe them for safety's sake



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Fig. Fig. 5: An example of a coolant reservoir-Justy shown

The coolant level should be checked at regular intervals or if the temperature gauge registers HOT (H). The coolant level should not fall below the FULL mark on the side of the reserve tank.


CAUTION
NEVER remove a radiator cap when the vehicle is hot or has been driven for an extended period of time. The coolant temperature and pressure could cause serious injury.

DRAIN AND REFILL



See Figures 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10



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Fig. Fig. 6: Loosen the radiator drain plug and tube



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Fig. Fig. 7: Engine drain plug-2.2L, 2.5L and 3.3L engines



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Fig. Fig. 8: Engine coolant drain plugs-1.6L and 1.8L engines



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Fig. Fig. 9: Fill the radiator with fresh coolant and water-2.5L engine shown



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Fig. Fig. 10: Also add coolant to the reservoir, if equipped

  1. Pull out the end of the drain tube to the underside of the body from between the undercover and skirt.
  2.  
  3. Place a container of adequate capacity beneath the drain plug and open the plug.
  4.  
  5. Loosen the radiator cap or overflow tank to drain the coolant.
  6.  
  7. Remove and drain the coolant from the reserve tank, if equipped.
  8.  
  9. On all models except Justy, remove the drain plugs on the side of the engine near the oil filter and drain the coolant from the engine block.
  10.  
  11. Install and securely tighten the engine drain plugs. Tighten the radiator drain plug.
  12.  

Some vehicles are equipped with an air vent plug on the radiator. This plug must be removed while filling the system to allow trapped air to escape the system.

  1. Slowly pour a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water into the radiator until it is filled. Install the radiator cap.
  2.  
  3. Fill the coolant recovery tank to the FULL mark.
  4.  
  5. Start the engine and allow it to reach operating temperature.
  6.  
  7. Stop the engine and allow it to cool.
  8.  
  9. Open the radiator cap and fill the radiator with antifreeze. Wait until the engine cools further, then fill the recovery tank to the FULL mark.
  10.  
  11. Start the engine and allow it to reach operating temperature. Check the level in the recovery tank and add antifreeze as necessary.
  12.  

FLUSHING AND CLEANING THE SYSTEM



See Figures 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10

The cooling system should be drained, thoroughly flushed and refilled at least every 30,000 miles (48,300 km). This operation should be done with the engine cold.

  1. Pull out the end of the drain tube to the underside of the body from between the undercover and skirt.
  2.  
  3. Place a container of adequate capacity beneath the drain plug and open the plug.
  4.  
  5. Loosen the radiator cap to drain the coolant.
  6.  
  7. Remove and drain the coolant from the reserve tank.
  8.  
  9. On all models except Justy, remove the drain plugs on the side of the engine near the oil filter and drain the coolant from the engine block.
  10.  
  11. Install and securely tighten the engine drain plugs. Tighten the radiator drain plug.
  12.  
  13. Slowly pour water into the radiator until the system is full. Repeat the draining and filling process several times, until the liquid is nearly colorless.
  14.  

Some vehicles are equipped with an air vent plug on the radiator. This plug must be removed while filling the system to allow trapped air to escape the system.

  1. After the last draining, slowly pour a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water into the radiator until it is filled. Install the radiator cap.
  2.  
  3. Fill the coolant recovery tank to the FULL mark.
  4.  
  5. Start the engine and allow it to reach operating temperature.
  6.  
  7. Stop the engine and allow it to cool.
  8.  
  9. Open the radiator cap and fill the radiator with antifreeze. Wait until the engine cools further, then fill the recovery tank to the FULL mark.
  10.  
  11. Start the engine and allow it to reach operating temperature. Check the level in the recovery tank and add antifreeze as necessary.
  12.  

 
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