I don’t know about you but whenever I buy a new car it comes home on the back of a flatbed truck. Such was the case with my latest purchase, an ’04 Subaru Legacy sedan. This is probably Suby number nine or ten for me, I don’t know because I have lost track. In any case, the guy was selling because it had a blown head gasket. Upon inspection, it did indeed look like there was a problem on the passenger side of the engine with all kinds of oil and coolant pooling on top of the head. I hired my buddy with a large fifth wheel trailer and truck to haul the unit to my place from Kasson. It was an easy jaunt and a nice day last Friday for the move. On Saturday, I had a closer look at the car and decided to fill the radiator, take it for a short drive to see how long it would take to overheat. Normally, if the head gaskets are blown a Suby will overheat in as little as two or three blocks. I drove to the neighbors place and back with no overheating, a distance of at least a mile. Upon my return, I popped the hood and had a look. There it was. A leaking upper radiator hose, dripping coolant on top of the engine, making quite a stink and smoke show. A trip to Napa for an $11.00 dollar hose and some premixed coolant was made. Installing the hose and refilling the radiator took all of twenty minutes. A brief test drive confirmed the obvious: the head gasket was not blown after all, only the radiator hose. Yes! A deal like this makes up for all those bad ones a guy gets over the years.
So I have been driving the “new” car to work for three or four days. Runs just fine and does not overheat. The brakes, however, need a little more work as they are a bit spongy. There’s probably some air in the system that needs bleeding out. This can be a good Saturday morning project sometime soon.
I had bought the car thinking it would be a good summer project that I could get back on the road by winter driving season, after I put the bike away for the season. Turns out that I will not have that opportunity after all. Darn! I was kinda looking forward to pulling the engine on another Suby. Guess I’ll just have to drive it instead.