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Yet another Forester head gasket failure: Seeking quick advice


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15 replies to this topic

#1 MarkS1

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 04:23 PM

I've skimmed through about 100 posts about Forester head gasket failures and I get the feeling this is a stale, boring topic. :horse: My 2006 Forester (only 67,500 miles) is dripping a few drops per day from the passenger-side HG and the driver side shows a stain forming. I'm out in Colorado where labor rates are pretty reasonable. Questions:
  • If I have the head gaskets replaced with "good" quality parts, how many miles can I expect to go before I have leaky gaskets again? Best guess?
  • The leak is minor for now. Does it make any sense to wait for the leak to get worse before servicing?

Thanks -- really enjoy this forum.
Mark

#2 987687

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 04:37 PM

You can let it go a while as long as you keep the fluids topped up.
If the job is done CORRECTLY with the STi gaskets, it shouldn't blow again. If the shop does a bad job it will blow again. Simple as that.

#3 MilesFox

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:40 PM

any new hg for that model supercedes the original one and therefore should be a permanent fix.

#4 3Pin

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:41 PM

I would hit up the dealer and see if they will do them. I complained on behalf of one of my friends in the Milwaukee are at the same year and mileage on her Forester and bithced a bit to the local subaur manuf rep adn they gave her a great deal. I think she paid $400 of the $2700 bill.

#5 MarkS1

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:54 PM

Thanks for your replies, folks.

987- Helpful and interesting tip about using the STI HG. One of the independent Subie shops here in Denver had never thought of that option.

3Pin- The local dealer where I bought my car new simply blew me off when I asked about some leniency on the repair bill. In fact, the service guy at the dealer said that I can expect a repaired HG to last only about 60K miles. :mad: Guess they don't want any return business.

#6 987687

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:58 PM

The STi head gasket part number: 11044AA642 is a MLS gasket that makes it so the 2.5 doesn't blow headgaskets anymore.

#7 Fairtax4me

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:01 PM

You may be able to buy some time with a bottle of the Subaru coolant conditioner. But ultimately they will need to be replaced. For the time being, make sure the coolant stays full to avoid overheating and more serious damage.

#8 grossgary

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:01 PM

1. if it's coolant leaking, the first step is to add a bottle of Subaru coolant conditioner. Sometimes you can even add two. Often alleviates the external leaks very quickly. The stuff is sold by Subaru and required for all 2000+ EJ25's (and some 1999's).

2. there is nothing imminent about it. just keep the coolant (or oil, that year can leak both) topped off. it's not urgent, i've seen them go 100,000 miles with externally leaking headgaskets. though your year does tend to get worse quicker...but still, you've got lots of time.

3. use the turbo headgaskets as it looks like was already mentioned. do not reinstall the same 67,000 mile subpar stuff that was in there. crack smokers.

#9 MarkS1

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:12 AM

Fairtax & Grossgary- Thanks for the tip about using coolant conditioner. It looks like I'm leaking 100% oil, but I haven't been checking the coolant level. Learned a lot on this forum. Thanks to all.

#10 ivans imports

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:50 AM

done two thiss week 01 legacy and a 99 outback make shure you have the heads planed the 01 came out to 1646.60 including the timing belt waterpump coged idler valve cover gaskets intakes headsurfacing ect. i glue every gasket with avinoic form a gasket and they dont fail agian have some with over 250000kms since headjob and still 0 leaks

#11 The Dude

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:51 AM

It possible that your dealer is trying to brush you off because Subaru of America (SOA) might ask him to contribute financially if your car is fixed under "customer accommodation". Let's say the retail price to fix your head gaskets under "customer accommodation" is $1800. SOA says that you, the owner, will pay $600, and they, SOA, will pick up $600, and the dealer will kick in the remaining $600. Well, maybe the dealer doesn't feel like kicking in anything to make you happy. Obviously, this is just speculation on my part.

Anyway why not contact SOA directly? Ask to meet with a district SOA representative. You car is just past the warranty mileage, and head gasket leaks are known to be a problem with 2.5 L engine. You have nothing to lose.

#12 ivans imports

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:53 AM

subaru coolant conditioner is bad news have seen no good come from thiss just mess and pluged rads and heater cores. And a false sense you can leave it longer than you should.

#13 ShawnW

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:58 PM

Doing an Outback Sedan today, same engine as yours. This one has 167 and OIL everywhere. Probably has had them done in the past but hard to speculate as its not an original owner car. Give me a call if you want a quote I am in North Denver near I 76/I 25 and US36 interchange and am happy to use the STI gaskets for the job. Estimate of $1400 with the timing belt components.

#14 The Dude

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:59 PM

One other thing, the OP reported a head gasket OIL LEAK. Subaru "coolant conditioner" is VERY unlikely to help with an oil leak. If the head gasket was seeping coolant, then the conditioner might help.

Edited by The Dude, 19 January 2013 - 09:43 PM.


#15 Fairtax4me

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:11 PM

On other thing, the OP reported a head gasket OIL LEAK. Subaru "coolant conditioner" is VERY unlikely to help with an oil leak. If the head gasket was seeping coolant, then the conditioner might help.


No mention of oil in the first post. But you are correct, coolant conditioner doesn't do jack for an oil leak. Nothing really helps oil leaks except thicker oil, and that has ill-consequences of its own.

#16 ivans imports

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:03 PM

what you cant see is the problem coolant leaks past the head bolt and into the oil and out the bottom of head if you can see coolant leaking on the outside its geting in the oil. I had one thiss week that was pushing coolant out the exhaust first one iv'e seen do thiss. The oil had coolant contamination i think most just evaporates off unnoticed




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