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losing coolant / overheating
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Old 16 Jul 2016, 06:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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losing coolant / overheating

I have a 2006 Impreza WRX STI. Live in central Scotland and just back from holiday in Scarborough, 250 miles each way. On the trip down, I started getting overheating problem. The temperature gauge, which normally sits rock steady just below the horizontal (4 o'clock position), started rising to the 2 o'clock position before coming back down. It then continued to fluctuate up and down, presumably as the electric fan kicked in.
At my next stop I topped up with water, and it took 5 litres ( I think it is an 8 litre system), and I could see it leaking.
Got to my destination, didn't use the car while I was there, then came the homeward journey. I stopped regularly, topping up with 4-5 litres of water each time. Every time I started off the temperature gauge would rise before coming back down again and fluctuating as before. After each top up, the gauge would rise closer and closer to the maximum before dropping down.
My question is - how accurate is the temperature gauge. Is the reading dropping because the water level is dropping and the gauge isn't getting a true reading, and does that mean I have been driving with a very hot engine the whole way?
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Old 17 Jul 2016, 12:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: losing coolant / overheating

My classic did the exact same thing when the radiator was leaking, water on it's own is not very good for keeping the engine cool and since there will be some hot water still in the system it will be getting mixed with the cold as its pumped through this will cause it to fluctuate, another cause of fluctuation is air passing through the radiator whilst driving that will help cool it down but when you slow down or come to a stop the temp will raise to max again.

If you are only using plain water try not to use the car until you are taking it to be fixed as it damages the engine.
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Old 23 Mar 2017, 08:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: losing coolant / overheating

Using coolant is a lot better than water. If there's a leak, I would have it checked immediately.
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