Q: My 1990 Subaru Legacy wagon is overheating, coolant is full though. Some slight smoke coming out of the end of the radiator hose.

asked by on December 14, 2016

I just had about 600$ worth of work on my car. An oil change, coolant Chang, and two hoses were changed. My vehicle was driving smooth for about a month and a half, then I noticed one day my temperature gauge hit the redline, checked the coolant and the coolant reservoir was empty. I then went to a gas station to fill it up with some pretty cheap coolant, things were fine again. And now here I am, 3 weeks later and I'm overheating again, this time with a small amount of smoke coming out of the (what I think) is the end of the radiator hose. Very concerned seeing as how things were just running fine after driving it for a couple weeks.

My car has 150000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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Hello, thank you for writing in. If the coolant is full this time, and no loss of coolant has taken place, then you are likely experiencing a lack of coolant flow. When the coolant is not circulated through the system, the hot coolant stays next to the engine and overheating occurs. The steam coming from the hose may be a small leak that is dripping onto something hot, or it may be steam building up inside the system and finding a place to escape. The main concern should be with the fact you lost all coolant at one point, and the vehicle is not holding coolant but not circulating it. You need to find the cause of the stagnant coolant and repair it. In the process of doing so, you need to do a thorough search for any leaks. Pressure testing the system is also a good idea. Make sure to find the issues as soon as possible as overheating is an easy way to ruin the engine.

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