How to Change the Thermostat on a 2001 Subaru Outback

If you’re experiencing issues with your 2001 Subaru Outback’s engine overheating, the culprit could be a faulty thermostat. Fortunately, replacing the thermostat is a relatively simple process that can be done at home with a few basic tools. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of changing the thermostat on your 2001 Subaru Outback.

Key Takeaways

  • A faulty thermostat can cause your car’s engine to overheat and should be replaced immediately
  • The thermostat is located in the engine block and can be accessed by removing the thermostat housing
  • You will need a few basic tools, including a socket wrench set, pliers, and a scraper
  • Always ensure the engine is cool before attempting any repairs
  • Make sure to properly dispose of the old thermostat and gasket

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Socket wrench set
  • Pliers
  • Scraper
  • New thermostat
  • New gasket
  • Coolant
  • Funnel
  • Drain pan

Steps to Change the Thermostat on a 2001 Subaru Outback

  1. Ensure the engine is cool before you begin

  2. Locate the thermostat housing by following the upper radiator hose to the engine block. The thermostat housing is typically attached to the engine block near the cylinder head.

  3. Use pliers to loosen the hose clamp and detach the upper radiator hose from the thermostat housing. Be sure to have a drain pan underneath to catch any coolant that may leak out.

  4. Use a socket wrench to remove the bolts that secure the thermostat housing to the engine block.

  5. Carefully remove the housing and take out the old thermostat.

  6. Use a scraper to remove any remaining gasket material from the thermostat housing and engine block.

  7. Install the new thermostat with the spring facing the engine block.

  8. Place the new gasket on the thermostat housing and align it with the mounting holes on the engine block.

  9. Reattach the thermostat housing to the engine block with the bolts you removed earlier.

  10. Reattach the upper radiator hose to the thermostat housing and tighten the hose clamp with pliers.

  11. Refill the coolant system with the recommended coolant using a funnel. Be sure to dispose of the old coolant properly.

  12. Start the engine and let it run until it reaches operating temperature. Check for any leaks, and top off the coolant as needed.

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Congratulations! You have successfully changed the thermostat on your 2001 Subaru Outback.


What is a thermostat?

A thermostat is a device that regulates the flow of coolant through your car’s engine. It opens and closes depending on the temperature of the engine, allowing coolant to flow through the engine block when needed and preventing it from overheating.

How do I know if my thermostat needs to be replaced?

If your engine is overheating, the thermostat is a likely culprit. Other signs of a faulty thermostat include a temperature gauge that is reading high or low, poor fuel economy, and cold air coming from the heater.

Can I replace the thermostat myself?

Yes, changing the thermostat on a 2001 Subaru Outback is a simple process that can be done at home with a few basic tools. However, if you are not confident in your abilities or do not have the necessary tools, it is recommended that you take your car to a professional mechanic.

How often should I change my thermostat?

Thermostats typically last for several years, but it is recommended that you replace your thermostat every 50,000 to 100,000 miles as a preventative measure.

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Billy Covington

With a passion for all things automotive, Billy is our go-to expert on Subaru performance upgrades and modifications. He's been featured in several car magazines and blogs, and his extensive knowledge and expertise make him a valuable member of our team. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys playing guitar and writing music.

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