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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a used (salvage title...I know, hold your judgment) 2019 Impreza, base model; it had ~11k miles on it. We test drove it twice, it drove great both times. I asked my brother (he works with cars) and my dad to look at it for me to make sure it’s okay to buy. They both suggested I should buy it because it didn’t look like the damage it had would affect anything long-term. So I did, and we drove it around that day a little (short drives), but then when I had to drive it home (~25 min drive by freeway), the red coolant light came on and was flashing. I didn’t know what that meant at the time, so I stupidly didn’t pull over. I think I drove about 10-15 mins like that on the freeway, but then once I got off the freeway it turned off. When I parked it and got out, I saw steam coming from under the hood and then splatters of coolant on the back.
When my dad looked at it the next day, he found that one of the radiator valves at the bottom wasn’t clamped down tight enough, and came loose and that’s why it splattered coolant everywhere. He attached it back on, and we added coolant and water to it. We also found out that the coolant that was there wasn't the right one (it was pink), but we couldn’t do a coolant flush on the spot, so we just added more of the pink one for now. We talked to the seller about it and he said he’s the one who put it back together after the accident; my brother thinks he didn’t let the air out when he put that stuff back on, so it probably also has air in the system. What are your thoughts from this information? Do you think this car is basically irredeemable at this point? Do you think there is long-term engine damage?
 

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Depends. You can either do a pressure test and see if you have bleed down or bubbles in your coolant reservoir. Or you can just top it off properly and see if it over heats again. Hope you got a smoking deal on the car because all your warranties are void.
 

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I wouldn't hit the panic switch yet... if it truly is the incorrect coolant, i'd get it flushed asap and go from there.
If you have a shop you can trust, i'd bring it to them and give them the whole story.
Probably get a bill for an inspection as well but it will give you some peace of mind, and if anything is found you will have that new knowledge.

Did they provide any context as to why it was a salvage?
 

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I wouldn't hit the panic switch yet... if it truly is the incorrect coolant, i'd get it flushed asap and go from there.
If you have a shop you can trust, i'd bring it to them and give them the whole story.
Probably get a bill for an inspection as well but it will give you some peace of mind, and if anything is found you will have that new knowledge.

Did they provide any context as to why it was a salvage?
I mean driving for 15 minutes with an over heating engine is absolutely horrible but yes get the correct coolant in there and pray.
 

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I mean driving for 15 minutes with an over heating engine is absolutely horrible but yes get the correct coolant in there and pray.
I ain't saying that didn't do anything bad but there also isn't anything that could be done at this point to rectify the situation short of what I suggested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies, all! I did read them at the time, but everything was too crazy to reply back. We ended up burping the engine and then taking it to a trusted shop and doing an inspection. They told me they didn't see any immediate problems and everything seemed to be fine, and just to do another check-in in ~1,000 miles. So I waited...it actually never overheated again. And seems to be driving fine now...I guess I just got really lucky?
 

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Should be just fine. Run a coolant flush and add the proper coolant and be on your merry way.
 

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Whew! Glad it seems to have all turned out well for you!
 
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