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2000 Subaru Forester overheating

Yesterday, my engine started overheating, so I went to a local shop, who added extra coolant. They told me to keep an eye on the gauge, as there might be some kind of other problem. Within, 20 miles, the temp gauge started climbing again. I got it home, but now am afraid to drive it very far at all.

New radiator installed in July, so that’s not the problem. Also had new O2 sensor put in less than a month ago. What are the odds that I have something simple like a water pump or a thermostat? Versus the blown head gasket issue I’ve seen discussed on here? And what is it about the car demons that these things always happen on the weekends? Like starting late on Saturday afternoon???

Thanks for any input you can give me.

[i] I got it home, but now am afraid to drive it very far at all.[/i]  

A good idea. Try to not drive it until you know what the problem is.  It is possible that driving it could cause expensive damage. 

 [i] New radiator installed in July, so that's not the problem[/i]  

Why was the radiator replaced?  How it failed could point towards the real problem.  

 My guess is a head gasket, but it needs to be checked not just replaced.

Well, I have just turned 200,000 miles on the odometer, and the previous radiator (after-market) was about 40,000 or 50,000 miles old, so that didn’t seem too indicative of more serious problems, but maybe it was. I bought the car at about 56,000 miles, and this is my second radiator. The day I lost the old radiator, I was about 100 miles from home & stuck in Tulsa traffic in 102 degree heat. I had just had the oil changed a few hours earlier, before I left on my trip & was very annoyed that no one mentioned low fluids. But from July till yesterday, no overheating. I have noticed a couple of times in the last week or so that at idle, the heater was blowing cold air, but once I started driving again, the warm air resumed.

We bought our 2000 Forester in 2003, and have had a lot of expensive repairs related to overheating. I discovered recently that there’s a recall on our make and model. Call your local Subaru dealer with your VIN to find out whether you’re eligible for some help in solving your problem… That’s what I plan to do this week. It’s good for any current owner, not just the original one.

You have the 2.5 engine in that car and those are prone to a head gasket failure. Consumer Reports continued to recommend those cars despite the well known head gasket issue on the phase 1 2.5 engine. Subaru knew about this problem as well. I had 2 Subies, but they were the 2.2 liter engines which were great. I almost bought a Subie with the phase 1 2.5 but the research scared me away. Here is a really good Subaru Message board I used to use, “The Ultimate Subaru Message Board”

Thanks dubois & scottishmom. I no longer have the car, but sold it to someone more mechanically inclined & able to repair it more economically than I. But I will let him know about the recall.

Thank you for letting us know what has happened. Many don’t seem to bother.

You’re quite welcome. I appreciate the feedback!