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Subaru Mechanic

Dec. 2, 2016, 12:45 p.m.
Posts: 1283
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

This is a known issue with the Subaru boxer engines, worse on some years/models than others. They generally last longer if the maintenance has been done by the book, but this is one of the only engines where a head gasket is considered a maintenance issue.

Bikesnale, may I suggest selling it and cutting your losses? Not much point in dumping $3-4K into a nearly 10 year old vehicle in order to sell it for $8K.

My 2002 Legacy is still doing well in the head gasket department at 195K, but it's getting to be time for me to sell it…

Yes it's a big expense. Unfortunately cars are a gamble. It's get it fixed, drive it for another 100K hopefully will be problem free. Or dump it for cheap and buy another car. Either way one has to throw down. The old catch 22, hope it works out.

BTW I drove mine for a year before doing the heads. The leak was super minor, just that it leaks right onto the exhaust manifold and the smell drove me crazy.

One last thing DO NOT try the stop leak stuff in a bottle. Will screw your car up big time.

People always ask me what's the phenomenon
Yo what's up? Yo what's goin' on- Adam Yauch

Dec. 2, 2016, 2:21 p.m.
Posts: 33195
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

This is a known issue with the Subaru boxer engines, worse on some years/models than others. They generally last longer if the maintenance has been done by the book, but this is one of the only engines where a head gasket is considered a maintenance issue.

These vehicles all have cylinder head gasket related issues:
- Impreza 1999 to 2011
- Forester 1999 to 2010
- Legacy 2000 to 2009
- Outback 2000 to 2009
- Baja 2003 to 2006

It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.
- Josiah Stamp

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.
- H.G. Wells

Dec. 2, 2016, 2:26 p.m.
Posts: 3597
Joined: Sept. 27, 2004

This is a known issue with the Subaru boxer engines, worse on some years/models than others. They generally last longer if the maintenance has been done by the book, but this is one of the only engines where a head gasket is considered a maintenance issue.

Bikesnale, may I suggest selling it and cutting your losses? Not much point in dumping $3-4K into a nearly 10 year old vehicle in order to sell it for $8K.

My 2002 Legacy is still doing well in the head gasket department at 195K, but it's getting to be time for me to sell it…

Just to clear this up. I understand Subaru motors ( used to own one) I understand the head gasket issues and normally this is a water into oil, or combustion pressures into coolant. But a head gasket leak, that drips oil onto the ground and doesn't show any other signs would be new to me. I would look else where before blaming the head gasket…

"X is for x-ray. If you've been bikin' and you haven't had an x-ray, you ain't goin' hard enough." - Bob Roll

Dec. 2, 2016, 4:32 p.m.
Posts: 15441
Joined: May 29, 2004

Just to clear this up. I understand Subaru motors ( used to own one) I understand the head gasket issues and normally this is a water into oil, or combustion pressures into coolant. But a head gasket leak, that drips oil onto the ground and doesn't show any other signs would be new to me. I would look else where before blaming the head gasket…

My sentiment exactly..Scooba boxer head gasket issues have always been coolant related

Dec. 2, 2016, 7:04 p.m.
Posts: 3597
Joined: Sept. 27, 2004

My sentiment exactly..Scooba boxer head gasket issues have always been coolant related

Well you're just a heavy duty mechanic, what do you know! HA!

"X is for x-ray. If you've been bikin' and you haven't had an x-ray, you ain't goin' hard enough." - Bob Roll

Dec. 2, 2016, 11:33 p.m.
Posts: 8830
Joined: Dec. 17, 2004

You can prolong your Subaru by changing your coolant regularly so it doesn't become corrosive. Adding better grounds to your heater core and rad. Run a cooler thermostat for the water pump and the electric fan. Overheating those alluminum heads will cause them to warp slightly, don't overheat your subaru.

Retorqing the heads would probably fix 90% of headgasket issues before they happen aswell. Remember the toyota 7m motors, they were notorious for blowing headgaskets. They were factory torqued about 30lbs too low.

Dec. 3, 2016, 8:13 a.m.
Posts: 14413
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

I ran water in my 83 after blowing a water pump out on the road and while it never caused any problems with the engine the heater core would plug up with white goop and quit pumping heat, so take it to the rad shop for a 25$ flush and it was good again, I had to do that twice

those 1800's in the 83 were bullit proof and easy to work on, the auto wrecker told me those were the most relible Subies and then they made them complicated so they broke more often

only 4 gears kind sucked tho …huge jump between 3rd [HTML_REMOVED] 4th

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