NFR Subaru Head Gaskets

scottybs

Active Member
#1
Well my ‘07 Impreza with 87,000 miles went into the shop for an estimate on a leaking valve and a 90k service. Well they found a leaking head gasket too. Not too happy, I’ve read Subie’s are notorious for developing a head gasket leak. I’ve been told writing Subaru of N.A. that they may offer some compensation? Anyone have luck with this? Coming from a 95 Accord this car has been a disappointment from a maintenance standpoint.
 

ffb

Active Member
#3
Ditto above. Do the timing belt, tensioner, idler pulleys, and water pump at the same time as it will really only add parts cost to the bill and you're close to being due for that maintenance anyways. Most Subarus it's not a matter of if but when on a head gasket job, and you're right about the point where they seem to go. My 01 Outback went at 120k, and the handful of head gasket jobs I did when I was a tech were in that same mileage range too. Have seen dropped valve guides on the higher mileage ones, easy to see when the heads are off.
 

Lymitliss

Active Member
#4
87k is a little soon, but not unreasonable. Especially for those cars, it's just a bad design. I work for Honda, not Subaru, but we have a "Goodwill" program, where corporate will occasionally cover part of the bill IF you have been a loyal customer to the dealership. It might be worth looking into, but I wouldn't expect any help with an 11 year old car.
 

scottybs

Active Member
#6
87k is a little soon, but not unreasonable. Especially for those cars, it's just a bad design. I work for Honda, not Subaru, but we have a "Goodwill" program, where corporate will occasionally cover part of the bill IF you have been a loyal customer to the dealership. It might be worth looking into, but I wouldn't expect any help with an 11 year old car.
Thanks for the responses guys, just amazed having to pull a motor with less than 100k. Hell my old Accord, is still being driven by my cousin at 270k. I know its out of warrant but the issue is common and it’s not a lot of miles on the car, we’ll see how SNA responds, it’ll influence my purchasing decisions for years to come.
 

Old Man

Just an Old Man
#9
I had a '92 Subaru and the only thing that was wrong was the tranny. It gave up the ghost. But no problem with the head gasket. But when I traded it off on my current wreck. It was really runny badly.
 

FinLuver

Active Member
#10
This is an inherent problem with the boxer engine and occurred when they changed over from asbestos type gaskets to a metal and rubber combination gaskets. The combination of the new gasket materials and the tiny space between the water and oil jackets, the radiator fluid eats away at the rubber. (Note: on new off the floor purchased cars, immediately get rid of the factory installed fluid, which speeds along the corrosive process. I believe it is either an orange-ish color or blue; blue may be the color it turns when they add the pill to help mitigate the process. The pill was Subaru's come-back fix.) The leak starts on the drivers side, back cylinder (nearest driver) and starts appearing around 50,000 miles. This was supposedly fixed starting with the 2008 models. I own two Subarus - an '01 (with 346+K miles) and an '08 (with 166+K miles) - the "08 started showing symptoms around 55K mile. Also, make sure your battery cables are corrosive free (keep 'em clean), this corrosion travels to the engine block and furthers the internal corrosive processes.

Subarus are a great car, except for this one "little" engine design issue.

PS...a few years back, there was a 2 Part extensive write up on the subject floating around the internet.
 

kmudgn

Active Member
#11
I had an '02 Forester which had a head gasket issue at about 90k. At the suggestion of my local mechanic (NOT the dealer) I put in a bottle of K-Seal head gasket repair. It was a gamble, but only about $ 15. The fix worked and had no problems with the rest of my ownership through 150k. I don't know if it is still made, but worth a try.
 

Lymitliss

Active Member
#12
I had an '02 Forester which had a head gasket issue at about 90k. At the suggestion of my local mechanic (NOT the dealer) I put in a bottle of K-Seal head gasket repair. It was a gamble, but only about $ 15. The fix worked and had no problems with the rest of my ownership through 150k. I don't know if it is still made, but worth a try.
With all due respect, hearing that makes the seasoned technician in me cringe. I don't doubt at all the K-Seal worked, but it's a last resort option as far as I'm concerned.

To the OP- If it were me, and I really loved the car, I would go ahead and do the repairs and if it happens again within the next 50k miles, THEN I would ditch the car.
 
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Bjorn

Active Member
#13
I have never had a problem like that with our Subies; but I did complain to Toyota once about an out of warranty issue that would have cost 000's. They had the dealer fix it for free. So complaining to the manufacturer is not a waste of time especially if the dealer recommends it.
 

FinLuver

Active Member
#14
I had an '02 Forester which had a head gasket issue at about 90k. At the suggestion of my local mechanic (NOT the dealer) I put in a bottle of K-Seal head gasket repair. It was a gamble, but only about $ 15. The fix worked and had no problems with the rest of my ownership through 150k. I don't know if it is still made, but worth a try.
Additives and cleaners can sometimes clog unintentionally and/or jar something loose, thereby clogging something else.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#15
Hope it's fixed on the newer models; I'm driving a 2014 Outback now. Head gasket went in my 2000 Outback, I'm not sure when, but I still drove it for 200,000 otherwise trouble free miles. Oh, except when the transmission locked up one time; that was unexpected and spendy.
 

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