overheating on 1997 Subaru Legacy

Just bought a 1997 Legacy wagon that overheats. The radiator hose, the lower return does not get hot. Is this a bad water pump(where is it located anyways?) or just a plugged radiator? Best way to determine which it is?

by in Auburn, NY on August 27, 2010
2 answers
ANSWER by on August 27, 2010
shame you bought it. there could be internal engine damage from the overheating. take it to a shop and have them do a hydrocarbon test on the cooling system to see if it has a bad head gasket. then you can proceed from there to find the failure the water pump is under the timing belt cover driven by the timing belt. Roy
ANSWER by on August 27, 2010
Roy is spot on. Thermostat on that engine is at housing at the bottom of engine that lower radiator hose attaches to. (secured by two 12mm nuts). These engines blow head gaskets.The most accurate way to test for a blown head gasket on a gasoline engine is to test for the presence of carbon monoxide in the cooling system. Snap-On, Matco (part # CO 2000), and Napa sell a tool to check to carry out this test. Another link to a supplier of this tool is http://www.etoolcart.com/combustion-leak-detector-lis75500.aspx. Carbon Monoxide is only present if there is a blown head gasket or cracked cylinder head. http://www.arrowheadradiator.com/head_gasket_or_combustion_leak_test.htm I think the napa part number 700-1006. http://www.blockchek.com/instructions.htm . Signs of a blown head gasket are coolant loss (frequently have to top up the coolant level of the engine without seeing an obvious leak), experiencing over heating or rough engine running or the presence of white sweet smelling steam from the exhaust. A badly blown head gasket may allow engine coolant and oil to mix.
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