Subaru blue coolant question...

Messages
41
Location
TX
So I just bought an 09 Impreza Outback with blue coolant in it. The radiator is seeping (not spraying out) a little bit all along the crimp joints, and is a little bit low on fluid. Radiator will be replaced alongside timing belt service ASAP. First though, I have to drive it 200+ miles to get it home. The question is: Is it safe to use the Subaru brand (Holts Radweld) Coolant Conditioner (normally used on the older standard green coolant cars) and top off with some Zerex Asian blue or Pentafrost fluid, to safely get it home?

Thanks.
 

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Avoid the conditioner, it's not worth it and may not even stop that kind of leak. You should consider just replacing the radiator wherever the car is, it's not that hard. As a fellow Suby owner, a big tip on doing this job is remove the radiator fans before attempting to remove the radiator itself. In other words, don't try to pull the whole thing out together (radiator with fans still attached). Same deal with installing - install the radiator itself first, then install each fan onto the radiator in the engine bay. You'll find for the install, you'll need to tilt the top of the radiator towards the engine to get the two mounting prongs on the bottom to go into their holes and also for the radiator bottom to clear the A/C condenser. This is much harder to do with the fans installed, making the whole assembly too thick to tilt enough.

Another tip - despite what you'll hear from others, these Subys work fine on cheap universal AMAM coolant. I've been using Supertech or Napa 1EXT in my Subys for well over a decade. Coolant passages, water pump, etc. all in pristine condition.
 

Jarpin

Thread starter
Messages
41
Location
TX
Avoid the conditioner, it's not worth it and may not even stop that kind of leak. You should consider just replacing the radiator wherever the car is, it's not that hard. As a fellow Suby owner, a big tip on doing this job is remove the radiator fans before attempting to remove the radiator itself. In other words, don't try to pull the whole thing out together (radiator with fans still attached). Same deal with installing - install the radiator itself first, then install each fan onto the radiator in the engine bay. You'll find for the install, you'll need to tilt the top of the radiator towards the engine to get the two mounting prongs on the bottom to go into their holes and also for the radiator bottom to clear the A/C condenser. This is much harder to do with the fans installed, making the whole assembly too thick to tilt enough.

Another tip - despite what you'll hear from others, these Subys work fine on cheap universal AMAM coolant. I've been using Supertech or Napa 1EXT in my Subys for well over a decade. Coolant passages, water pump, etc. all in pristine condition.
Thanks, I already have a 2001 forester and have replaced a radiator in it. So I think if this is the original radiator, It will have spring clamps on the hoses, so I'll need a wrench or angled pliers to take them off, and I'll replace with automotive grade snail clamps. What else? Just a 10mm/8mm metric socket set for the bolts, right? I think Subaru went to the blue coolant because it's reacts less to battery acid fumes when excess gets sucked back in from the overflow reservoir, and prolongs the life of head gaskets, so I'm going to stick with blue or a compatible Asian brand equivalent.
 
Messages
2,259
Location
Paradise of Florida
Any Asian equivalent coolant is fine, color irrelevant.
Don't care to mix AMAM(dexcool) with Asian tech.....either all one or the other. But, Peak Global(non 2eha) is a good amam that, around here, is sold in drug stores and supermarkets too.

Being that its winter, and weather unknown in your location, I also don't top off with water. Always use 50:50.

Most autoparts stores and walmart have a blueish Asian equivalent. Any can be used and no need for dealer sourced antifreeze, and color is just a dye since most are similar for interval/performance.

Here are some:

Even Prestone sells their AMAM with a dye for the psychological coloring book crowd. Great marketing, eh?
 

Jarpin

Thread starter
Messages
41
Location
TX
I might just use bottle of conditioner with the rest as blue coolant since it only has to make it 200 miles and then everything is being drained and replaced anyway along with the timing belt. I mean, could the passageways in the heater core and leaking radiator get SO clogged up that the car is inoperable over a manufacturer recommended additive One single trip???
 

Jarpin

Thread starter
Messages
41
Location
TX
Avoid the conditioner, it's not worth it and may not even stop that kind of leak. You should consider just replacing the radiator wherever the car is, it's not that hard. As a fellow Suby owner, a big tip on doing this job is remove the radiator fans before attempting to remove the radiator itself. In other words, don't try to pull the whole thing out together (radiator with fans still attached). Same deal with installing - install the radiator itself first, then install each fan onto the radiator in the engine bay. You'll find for the install, you'll need to tilt the top of the radiator towards the engine to get the two mounting prongs on the bottom to go into their holes and also for the radiator bottom to clear the A/C condenser. This is much harder to do with the fans installed, making the whole assembly too thick to tilt enough.

Another tip - despite what you'll hear from others, these Subys work fine on cheap universal AMAM coolant. I've been using Supertech or Napa 1EXT in my Subys for well over a decade. Coolant passages, water pump, etc. all in pristine condition.
UPDATE: I just got home...I carried a spare radiator with me just in case. Did not use it. I added the conditioner and about 350ml of blue for the reservoir. The radiator DID leak a little bit around the crimp edges in the first 10-15 miles of highway driving, but stopped after that. I also picked up a gallon of the PEAK blue antifreeze just in case. Didn't end up using that either. The level of coolant in the overflow tank did not change despite stopping a four different stops along the road every 50 miles. Around the top of the radiator and undercarriage was bone dry. BOTTOM LINE: Don't rule out the conditioner around VERY MINOR drip leakages involving the plastic parts of a radiator.
 
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