2006 Subaru Impreza OVERHEATING

New post because i didn’t fully explain what had happened. car began overheating one day. fixed a few things right off the bat and replaced the radiator and thermostat. coolant isn’t leaking anywhere and no white/milky foam in the oil (from blown head gasket) everything seems fine & the car will start perfectly fine just says it’s over heating. i’ve read about the “burping” that helps with getting air out of the radiator system. would that cause the overheating if it just needed to be burping

check for combustion products in the coolant with a chemical test

2006 engine is when engines would have head gasket blown in the way where gasses enter cooling system, thus overheating, it was no oil leakage into the coolant

2 posts for the same problem but one says 2002 and this one says 2006 . 2 different cars or one is a typo .

type on the first one it’s a 2006

Overheating in city driving, highway, or both?
Are the cooling fans operating correctly?

Assuming you lack the tools for checking things you might try this rough backyard assessment as to a head gasket fault.

With a cold engine loosen the radiator cap and then retighten it. Start the engine and allow it to idle for a minute. Now quickly loosen the radiator cap. If you hear a hiss sound then checking for a head gasket fault needs to go further.

There is no reason to panic over a HG problem just yet. Some may remember the recent post about the 5800 dollar head gasket repair that a Subaru allegedly needed and the actual cause was a burnt wiring connector at the radiator cooling fan.

Have you done a pressure test on the cooling system?



Check first for a faulty radiator cap or engine cooling fans.

yesterday on the way to work my car began over heating and smoking. pulled over and radiator obviously had blown. completely replaced my radiator and thermostat but the car still is overheating. any idea what else i need to check for? possibly head gasket blown?

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Check first for a faulty radiator cap or engine cooling fans. Next step is to check the cooling system holds pressure.


awesome thank you. the car starts but just will over heating after a few minutes, just hoping for not a blown head gasket

There should be a sign over the entrance to every Subaru dealership “Abandon hope all who enter here”


How fast are you loosing coolant? If the coolant loss is less than a cup a week, you could try the Subaru Cooling System Conditioner. It’s only about $8 at the dealer, a little less on Amazon. It can work if the head gasket isn’t blown too badly. It works best if used before there is a problem.

The fact that it overheats that quickly tells me that it probably won’t work in your situation, but it’s only $8. Get a quote from the dealership for head gaskets, they do so many that they can sometimes be the cheapest place to get it done. Also if your model has a timing belt and the belt is over 4 years old (good for 7), it would be worth adding that as all the labor that goes into the belt is already covered by the head gasket.

If the overheating is not occurring when you’re at highway speed, I would second the recommendations to check the cooling fan. On my 2006 Outback the main fan simply died and the engine would overheat if I wasn’t on the interstate. It’s a relatively cheap and easy fix to replace the fan. If the main fan isn’t working when you turn on the AC, then it is likely the culprit.

@cdaquila Carolyn would you combine both of this persons threads ? The one that reads 2006 is what he actually has.