So, the Subaru story when we left it:
On the way home from the Peru Hamfest, Bobbi drove most of the way, and after one long highway stretch noticed she'd been running the car in third for the whole stretch. (Understandable, since her Hyundai has no tach and announces that it's time to shift by making the sounds of thrashing mechanical carnage, whereas the Subie is humming happily at 4500 rpm.) When we got back to Broad Ripple, I noticed the temp gauge was in the red, but the car wasn't acting like it was overheated and it is a high-mileage car that has some known electrical quirks, including occasionally dancing gauge needles...
The car sat for about a week, other than a trip to Fresh Market, which isn't even enough to nudge the temp gauge.
The next weekend I drove it to get gas and run some errands, and it wasn't even halfway to the gas station before the temp gauge was in the red and I was nursing it to a halt to the glycol smell of a violently overheated engine.
Going off the surging temp needle and some searching around on Subaru forums for symptoms of that known Achilles' heel of the Subie's boxer four, the head gasket, I came to the tentative conclusion that mine had finally succumbed.
With this as an impetus to get the Z3 fixed, I left the Forester parked for the summer, its dying battery finally going flat, and a promise to myself and my roommate to look into it before winter rolled around again.
The other day, I thought to myself "But what would it have looked like if it had merely boiled out most of its coolant on that long freeway drive, and then you drove it to the gas station with hardly any coolant in it at all?" So I bought a fresh battery and last night we put it in the car, started it up, let it idle for a while until operating temperature was reached, and then drove it once around the block, cautiously blipping the throttle with no further movement from the needle.
Today I'll drive it around the neighborhood some. We'll see. It'd be nice if this didn't require a new motor.