Josefa from Anchorage – let’s swap 1992 Subie engine stories. Don’t give up on Phoebe yet. I live just east of Anchorage – had my 1992 engine replaced and my Subie is on 369,000 miles and going strong.
Could someone explain why a flushing noise in the dash and the heater not working points to a fatal cylinder problem? My 1999 outback with 143K has EXACTLY the same symptoms, along with an thermometer that points to maximum hot, while the engine itself seems cool and operating normally. My mechanic has taken the approach of pressure testing the radiator, flushing it and replacing the radiator cap (to be fair to him, I didn’t mention the flushing, since I thought it might be in my head:> and the heater was working when the first overheating event happened).
I think it points to a head gasket failure that would cause an air bubble in the cooling system so you wouldn’t get heat. They need to do a combustion gas test on the antifreeze to confirm a head gasket leak.