'96 Subaru Legacy water leak question


I have a '96 Subaru Legacy with 128,000 miles. A couple months ago the anitfreeze began to leak without any visibility (it overheated and I had it towed). The shop replaced the water pump, which showed a tad of leakage. Then the same thing happened (overheat, towed, loss of antifreeze discovered). Now, two water pumps and a radiator replacement later, it’s still leaking. Does anybody know of anything in the engine behind the water heater that might be leaking instead of the water pump? HELP!


Quote: “began to leak without any visibility”

I assume that you are telling us that you have not observed any antifreeze on the ground or on the surface of the engine or the radiator, which leads me to believe that you have a bad head gasket (or two), since that type of leakage occurs inside the engine. This vintage Subaru does have a known problem with leaking head gaskets, which makes me wonder about the competence of your mechanic.

Of course, it is also possible that a bad water pump led to overheating, and that overheating led to warped heads. But, no matter what the cause/effect scenario may have been, if your engine has overheated on two occasions, it is very possible that it has suffered major damage.

I would suggest that you ask friends/neighbors/relatives for recommendations for either a good foreign car repair shop, or perhaps for the name of a Subaru dealership that has a good reputation. Your current mechanic is apparently just throwing parts at a problem that he does not understand and this will only cause you to continue to spend money with no resolution to the problem. Note however, that resolution of the problem at this late stage may involve spending more money than you wish to invest in an 11 year-old car.


Is your Subaru a GT or LSi? If so it has the 2.5L which is renowned for failing head gaskets.

Hopefully you have a 2.2L engine which rarely has this failure.