My 1998 Subaru Legacy L is running around 8-10º hotter than normal. I see this on my ODBC app on my iPhone. What is odd is that it is running hotter at higher speeds on the Interstate. The temperatures are well within what is acceptable for the Subaru, but run-on around 198-200º on the highway and tops at 205º.
An acquaintance who is a master mechanic didn’t want to alarm me but he thought I should check out head gasket leakage. I had already brought it into my mechanic this morning since I was having an unrelated problem (needed new battery) and he checked the coolant system. Didn’t find any problems but didn’t think of head gasket leakage.
My acquaintance recommended a cylinder compression test and to test the coolant for hydrocarbons. I had the head gasket replaced around 20,000 miles ago.
I noticed that my hood was not always properly down after a few drives. Could it being up a little affect aerodynamics and make the engine run harder? I didn’t mention the hood to my mechanic but he noticed and greased a cable that was making it harder to properly close the hood.
If I need a new gasket or take care of leakage I will probably buy a new car. Doesn’t make sense to sink another $1,500 to replace the gasket. I just put $700 into the car in the past month so it will pain me to do it.
One complication is that I need to drive around 12-13 hours at the end of next week to pick up my son from school. The drive is normally 4 hours each way but I was planning on visiting my father-in-law on the way back which adds 4 hours. I am wondering if it is not safe to drive this car for this long a journey. I don’t have any other car. I might be able to borrow a friend’s Toyota SUV for the trip.
Tomorrow I’ll look into testing for hydrocarbons and a compression test. Any idea how much that might cost?