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Blue Devil opinions?


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20 replies to this topic

#1 tbolt1003

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 07:55 PM

My daughter's 99 Forester developed the dreaded head gasket issue last fall. The repair shop we use for things I can't fix told her the head gasket blew and needed replaced. They quoted her $1300. She is a college student and needs her car daily. As a temporary fix, the shop suggested the Blue Devil gasket maker. It has lasted 6 months, however, her engine has started to use coolant again and I can see the bubbles in the overflow bottle.

 

Is it safe to use the Blue Devil one more time until we can afford to have the head gaskets replaced? I've heard both good and bad about the product, some stories saying it completely sealed the radiator passages and engines have overheated due to lack of coolant circulation.

 

Thanks ahead of time for everyone's input and thoughts.



#2 Rooster2

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 08:24 PM

Bubbles in the over flow is a dead give away that a head gasket is blown. When my 99 Outback over heated, that is the first thing I looked at. Yep, bubbles were blowing in my over flow, like their was a home fish aquarium aerator. The bubbles are actually exhaust gas that enters the cooling system from the exhaust system, through the bad head gasket. It is the hot exhaust gas that causes the over heating problem. Please don't continue to drive with the motor over heating, or you will "cook," and destroy the motor for sure.

 

I am not familiar with Blue Devil. However, like all additives it is a band-aid. I am surprised you got the band-aid to last for 6 months. I agree with your thinking.......adding any more additive will plug up the radiator, and heater unit.

 

Replacing the head gasket, or replacing the motor with a 2.2 wrecking yard are really the only viable fixes. Lots in the archives on this forum on this subject. If your mechanic says he will replace the head gaskets for $1300, then that is not a bad price. It is important to use Subaru OEM replacement head gaskets. They are the only ones that hold up well.



#3 MilesFox

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 08:35 PM

The 6 months would have been the time to schedule a repair. You might be successful with it again, but be prepared to replace the radiator or water pump when the job is finally done. Compare your labor rate withthe book value of the car and see if the cost is worth it vs buying another car and selling this one as-is)

 

anything within $1500 is within reason. This also depends on how many replacement parts, seals, timing belt, etc. It's best to do all of this as routine anyway, having been done buys you another 100,000 mi.

 

It would cost as much for a low mile salvage angine plus labor to evventually fail in the same manner. generally, based ont he skill of the mechanic, new hg's are a permanent fix. The head gasket issue is a known pattern failure. What happens is there becomes an external leak, which causes a low volume of coolant, which causes an overheat, which causes a bad head gasket. Infrequent cooling system maintenance is a contributing factor to hg failure as well, especially tanything that goes beyond 100,000 mi without at least a coolant exchange(usually done with timing belt and water pump) if the car sees 150,000 mi on its original coolant



#4 tbolt1003

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 08:47 PM

The car was maintained very well, bought from the original elderly owner with 30,000 miles in 2004. All records came with the car and I've been very meticulous in ensuring it is maintained, as are the other (2) Subaru's in the household. I'm really not feeling good about trying the Blue Devil a second time either. Thanks for the reassurance it's just not the route to take this time around.

#5 Fairtax4me

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 09:16 PM

6 months is probably the best you can hope for with a sealer in a bottle treatment. Blue-devil is probably the most successful type that I've seen, but its certainly not to be used more than once. For $10 a month you bought a decent chunk of time.

#6 grossgary

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 03:52 AM

Not recommended - also because the overheating episodes are also compromising oil and possibly lower end bearings.  Rod or main bearing failure rendering the engine useless are common enough when headgaskets are left to fester.

 

Would have been nice to know the first time around.  99 Foresters have a Phase II EJ25 SOHC engine which responds remarkably well to Subaru coolant conditioner when the headgasket leak is the typical/common external coolant leak.  An oil or internal leak like you now have can't be touched by it though.

 

That conditioner is actually required for that engine so if it's repaired be sure to use Subaru, Six Star, of Fel Pro headgakets, resurface the heads, and use a bottle of Subaru's COolant Conditioner.



#7 tbolt1003

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 06:27 AM

Thanks for the replies everyone. Definitely helps me make the right decision here. The car runs and rides great, so I think it is worth repairing. Of course, she wants a new 2014 Forester now. I said, sure, you get a new Forester, mom gets a new Impreza and dad gets a leftover 2014 WRX. She just smiled.....

#8 86BRATMAN

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 08:36 AM

Subaru's coolant conditioner was another band aid measure, it was employed by subaru when they realized the ej251 had head gaskets that weren't going to make it through the warranty period. The problem with this engine is the gasket itself, it is a single layer metal gasket, it should be replaced with a multi layer steel gasket. With the right gaskets, proper preparation (heads resurfaced, block absolutely clean, decked if need be) there is no reason the head gaskets should fail again.

#9 Rooster2

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 09:56 AM

Subaru's coolant conditioner was another band aid measure, it was employed by subaru when they realized the ej251 had head gaskets that weren't going to make it through the warranty period. The problem with this engine is the gasket itself, it is a single layer metal gasket, it should be replaced with a multi layer steel gasket. With the right gaskets, proper preparation (heads resurfaced, block absolutely clean, decked if need be) there is no reason the head gaskets should fail again.

So you are saying Subaru realized the problem, but didn't "man up" to the problem with a proper recall to fix the problem they created. That doesn't speak well of Subaru management to do the right thing for their car owners.



#10 86BRATMAN

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 12:16 PM

They knew there was a problem with the head gaskets leaking, and it's a problem they never actually fixed, gasket redesigns over the years of the ej251/3 still end up leaking. It is a well documented issue all the way up to 09/10 whenever they discontinued the use of ej for the na platform. Subaru coolant conditioner is a relabled British stop leak called RadWeld, and it is a band-aid. They issued a tsb stating that customers should use the "conditioner" post at every coolant change or the warranty would be void for head gasket failures. Documentation of this is all over nasioc and other subaru forums.

#11 tbolt1003

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 05:00 PM

Ok, we've decided to fix my daughter's Forester. She loves the car too much to let it go.

 

I've seen the Subaru coolant conditioner mentioned. Wife has a 2001 Forester 2.5 with the 5-speed which we bought last July. I love driving that car. It had been maintained its entire life by a Subaru dealership and currently has 134,000 miles on it. The car is running beautifully and has no issues. Seeing that this year 2.5 is in that "concern" range, I should add the conditioner when I do the coolant change shortly, correct? I don't want to have to go through this with her car, although I know anything is possible.

 

Is the conditioner only recommended for the 2.5? My '95 Impreza has the 2.2 with 122,000 miles.



#12 heartless

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 07:21 PM

your 95 impreza does not need the conditioner - none of the 90's EJ22 family does. your 95 should easily get another 100,000 with routine maintenance.

I have a 95 Legacy wagon with the EJ22 that has a little over 211,000 right now and going strong.



#13 tbolt1003

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 09:09 AM

Thanks. Yeah, I've heard the 2.2s are bulletproof. Looking forward to hitting the 200k mark.

As for the head gaskets for my daughter's Forester. I'm sure the Subaru dealership will know which part number I need. Is there only one part number for the Six Star and Fel-Pro gaskets? I'm buying the gaskets for the job and giving them to the shop.

#14 ThosL

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 03:42 PM

I bought my Subaru after the original owner got the head gasket, etc. diagnosis from his mechanic, so a couple of Joses from Bport picked it up and my guess used the Blue Devil treatment and flipped the car for a huge profit, $1200 to $3000!  So the car with the 2.5 ran well for a while until it was overstressed, then started overheating.  I tried Blue Devil, which by the way is not the thick "Block Seal" stuff made from ground up sea shells.  There are a bunch of leak seal products out there Blue Devil is the only one with a real guarantee.  Only when I tried it Advance Auto said they would not refund my money and Blue Devil said they needed more information to give me my money back.  So I reported them to the CT attorney general with documentation.  They cried "uncle" and called me up saying they were sending the refund.  

 

I ended up having the head gasket job done by J and J; only problem was with the increased compression the crankshaft problem emerged with a knocking noise.  So I ended up having a 2.2 engine put in to the tune of another $1500.  Always make sure the engine you are going to fix is worth fixing.



#15 heartless

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 07:57 AM

Thanks. Yeah, I've heard the 2.2s are bulletproof. Looking forward to hitting the 200k mark.

 

I am hoping at least 300K out of this one! LOL

my 90 has between 265-270k on it - still runs great, but rust has taken over and there are other issues starting...



#16 tbolt1003

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 11:19 AM

I'm trying to order the correct head gaskets for the car, but not sure which ones I need. I can get the Fel-Pro set through work, but they list many for the 2.5, some of which seem to overlap in years. I think I need the 26167PT, PermaTorque MLS with LaserWeld. Can anyone confirm this for me, please? Thanks!!

Edited by tbolt1003, 24 April 2014 - 11:21 AM.


#17 86BRATMAN

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 01:05 PM

Those are for the ej25d, yours is ej251. The felpro number for your motor is 26415PT.

#18 grossgary

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 01:10 PM

I'm trying to order the correct head gaskets for the car, but not sure which ones I need. I can get the Fel-Pro set through work, but they list many for the 2.5, some of which seem to overlap in years. I think I need the 26167PT, PermaTorque MLS with LaserWeld. Can anyone confirm this for me, please? Thanks!!

 

No, that's the wrong gasket.

A true 1999 Forester is the later model EJ25 which would be for 2000+ EJ25's  (and 99 Foresters and 99 Impreza RS's).  Some places may not correctly list it since it's an oddball change in 1999 where different models used different headgaskets for the same EJ25 engine (though they are different EJ25 2.5 liters). 
Basically you're looking for a 2000-2004 EJ25 headgasket - just ignore that 1999 year and try to search using a 2000 Forester.

 

If yours is actually a 1998 Forester then it would use that gasket you listed above.



#19 tbolt1003

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 01:56 PM

Thanks, Bratman and Gary. The 415PT's are the other model listed in our books. Kinda confusing because both the 167 and the 415 show for model year 1999. Thank you for clearing up the confusion. Now I can finally get her car fixed.

#20 grossgary

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 02:19 PM

Thanks, Bratman and Gary. The 415PT's are the other model listed in our books. Kinda confusing because both the 167 and the 415 show for model year 1999.

 

yep, like i said 99 Legacy and Outback kept the older EJ25 1996-1998 version.

99 Forester and Impreza RS get the new EJ25 - 2000-2004 version.

so 1999 has two different EJ25's available.

you'd be better off looking for "2000 Forester" parts in the future for plugs, wires, valve covers, spark plug tube gaskets, timing kits, etc.  99 will continue to be confusing for anything maintenance related.


Edited by grossgary, 24 April 2014 - 02:20 PM.


#21 tbolt1003

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 05:27 PM

yep, like i said 99 Legacy and Outback kept the older EJ25 1996-1998 version.

99 Forester and Impreza RS get the new EJ25 - 2000-2004 version.

so 1999 has two different EJ25's available.

you'd be better off looking for "2000 Forester" parts in the future for plugs, wires, valve covers, spark plug tube gaskets, timing kits, etc.  99 will continue to be confusing for anything maintenance related.

Will do. Thanks for the info!!






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