seems to be over heating on 1997 Subaru Legacy Outback

My 97 seems to heat up rather quickly. The temperature gauge will sit around three quarters to the too hot mark. it doesn't appear to be overheating, But the gauge wants to tell me otherwise. the coolant is full the fans work. and the oil appears to be fine. i don't know if it is a head gasket issue or a cooling system issue. any recommendations?

by in Salt Lake City, UT on December 12, 2010
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2 answers
ANSWER by , December 12, 2010
I like to check temperatures with a remote infrared thermometer or a cooking thermometer in the radiator if possible. Does it run mormal range idling but gets hot on the road or vice versa? This is good information. It's possible that thermostat is failing or the gauge or the coolant temp sensor is inaccurate. That's why I like to use a real thermometer or a scientific temperature measuring instrument. One other thing to think of: is the exhaust gettiing plugged? That'll get a motor too hot in a hurry. Listen at the exhaust to hear if it sounds hissy and plugged up or clear and normal when someone revs the engine up. Or see a Subie specialist. Here's a directory link for you:
ANSWER by , March 18, 2011
we replaced the thermostat but it had to come from the dealer. others did not work we tried 3 off brands and it still got hot.