Subaru’s have history with head gaskets, but if it was any other car, the first thing I would do is replace the radiator cap. A bad radiator cap causes this exact condition. In your case, I’d ignore that it is a Subaru and replace the cap.
that’s actually a good idea.
one of my older Subies had a hose explode due to stuck cap and pressure buildup - my wife drove it for a mile from the “explosion point” to the office, then asked me to check “why did it puffed a cloud of steam?” - car survived that and ran for another few years actually
Those temperatures don’t seem out of line to me. Seem like normal full-warm operating temperatures. But you have more experience with your own car. If it is running a little too hot, check the coolant level. If that’s ok, ask your shop to bleed all the air out of the cooling system. Still running hot? Ask your shop to do a cooling system pressure test. Everything still testing ok, but it overheats? Then the head gasket tests (hydrocarbon in the coolant, etc) are next. A diy’er might look at the top of the radiator and check for any bubbles coming up, which would indicate a possible head gasket problem.
Mystery solved. Although the car has been driving well the right rear brake caliper was frozen. This is the same wheel that I had repairs done on a month ago related to a hit and run from 2 years ago.
On a 4 hour drive (I am on I81 while truck guys are fixing it) suggenly I hear a terrible noise and driving is odd. I thought a flat but didn’t see one after pulling off. At gas station/truck stop I had someone take a quick look and he said the the problem. Smoke was coming out of the wheel well at this point. So good news is that the car didn’t catch on fire.
Funny thing, while driving the noise stopped an the engine temps dropped down to normal. I guess as it was failing it was no longer gripping enough to stop the wheel from rotating.
Thanks for getting back here. Mystery solved! Best wishes.
Unfortunately the axel was damaged. Too expensive for me to fix. I sold the car to a mechanic and buying an Impreza within the week.
Something that might be helpful to others. This didn’t occur to me until today. I now remember that for over a month the Subaru wasn’t as smooth on the road as before. I had a repair a month ago that was related to this wheel. I should have taken that as a sign (well I did, as a sign to replace the car). I wish I mentioned that to the repair shop when I mentioned that it was running a little hot. But I’m not sure. It would be like “the 20 year old car is running fine but not as smooth as in the past. Oh no, its not shaking or making noise, just not as nice as before.”