Jump to content


Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, my lurker friend!

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, an unparalleled Subaru community full of the greatest Subaru gurus and modders on the planet! We offer technical information and discussion about all things Subaru, the best and most popular all wheel drive vehicles ever created.

We offer all this information for free to everyone, even lurkers like you! All we ask in return is that you sign up and give back some of what you get out - without our awesome registered users none of this would be possible! Plus, you get way more great stuff as a member! Lurk to lose, participate to WIN*!
  • Say hello and join the conversation
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Get your own profile and make new friends
  • Classifieds with all sorts of Subaru goodies
  • Photo hosting in our gallery
  • Meet other cool people with cool cars
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Make your life more fulfilling and join today! You and your Subaru won't regret it, we guarantee** it.

* The joy of participation and being generally awesome constitutes winning
** Not an actual guarantee, but seriously, you probably won't regret it!

Serving the Subaru Community since May 18th, 1998!

Guest Message by DevFuse
 

Photo
- - - - -

overheating, head gasket issues, What next? the transmission?


  • Please log in to reply
25 replies to this topic

#1 murmur13

murmur13

    New User

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • Harrisburg

Posted 17 September 2004 - 07:26 PM

My '99 Legacy Gt Wagon seems to be self destructing. The 02 sensor went bad already, the speedometer works intermittently, started overheating, now the check engine light is back on. At 140,000 miles I didn't think Subarus were supposed to be this bad... We replaced the thermostat for the overheating problem after troubleshooting from the info in this site. Was still cranky, so we took the advice here and flushed the coolant again and replaced it the sube mechanic way by raising the front and putting the coolant in through the top hose as recommended here from a prior post. Seemed to be working better but now the check engine light is on even though the car is not overheating. Would a bad head gasket signal the check engine light? Please help or the car may have its last drive into the front door of Subaru Headquarters!

Should I fix this car or junk it? What are the chances of something else happening? I can't afford a money pit.
Frustrated to no end.
murmur13

#2 lmdew

lmdew

    _______

  • Members
  • 3,043 posts
  • Colorado Springs

Posted 17 September 2004 - 07:50 PM

Get the codes checked and see what is bringing on the check engine light. I think Autozone is still doing this for free.

Then go from there.

Look in the coolant overflow tank for any oil, this is one sign of a HG failure. Also check the radiator when its cool, is the fluid to the top. Again if the HG is bad the coolant may not be pulled back into the system.

Let us know what the codes are!

#3 Setright

Setright

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 3,176 posts
  • Denmark

Posted 18 September 2004 - 01:25 AM

Maybe you should consider selling/junking it.

However, any car is a money pit..

#4 lmdew

lmdew

    _______

  • Members
  • 3,043 posts
  • Colorado Springs

Posted 18 September 2004 - 07:04 AM

If you are going to sell, let me know. I'm looking for a 97-99 in need of a motor, which I have. Lmdew@hotmail.com

#5 murmur13

murmur13

    New User

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • Harrisburg

Posted 18 September 2004 - 09:16 AM

Just an update, Yes it is a headgasket with a $2000 plus repair cost if anyone has this same issue check out Skips Subaru repair page with a list of 2.5 cars with blown head gaskets some with less than 22,000 miles that have had this issue
My famly has driven Subarus from 1980 on up we purchased our 1999 2.5 GT Subaru becuase of the implied reliability and owner loyalty. NEVER AGAIN!! This is the type of issue that will destroy a company's reputation and it has with us.

:banghead:

I miss my Brat


#6 Ranger83

Ranger83

    Subaru Nut

  • Members
  • 740 posts
  • Northeast

Posted 18 September 2004 - 09:58 AM

I'd check around. I had my headgaskets replaced as a precaution at 140K and with some other work it was $1,250.

O2 sensors, which are sourced by a few different companies, and if you've only replaced one at 140K you're doing remarkably well. I've had them replaced after as little as 60K, and gas mileage usually improves.

Funny thing, I learned about the head gasket problem and had it fixed before it damaged the rest of the engine, which turned out to be in remarkably good shape. Other people come to this site, read about the potential for head gasket problems at 90K plus miles, do nothing about it, don't sell the car, and then whine when it happens!

#7 rweddy

rweddy

    1000+ Super USER!

  • Members
  • 1,408 posts
  • Castle Rock, CO

Posted 18 September 2004 - 10:12 AM

I'd check around. I had my headgaskets replaced as a precaution at 140K and with some other work it was $1,250.

O2 sensors, which are sourced by a few different companies, and if you've only replaced one at 140K you're doing remarkably well. I've had them replaced after as little as 60K, and gas mileage usually improves.

Funny thing, I learned about the head gasket problem and had it fixed before it damaged the rest of the engine, which turned out to be in remarkably good shape. Other people come to this site, read about the potential for head gasket problems at 90K plus miles, do nothing about it, don't sell the car, and then whine when it happens!

I agree. I am not saying the 2.5 HQ Issue is not a problem. But if you take into account all the good things about the 96-99, it is not that bad. Want another manufactures AWD Wagon?? VW/Audi/Volvo are the only other choices. And you would be paying lot more than $2k for any issues. My neighbor has a V70 AWD 98 Wagon, they have a know issue with Heater cores. 3k for the replacement, and has done it every 2 years. This is a major flaw and Volvo has done nothing about it. All things being equal 2.5 Subaru’s are still very reliable vehicles that are in-expense to run and maintain.

JMO

#8 Subaru X

Subaru X

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 121 posts
  • Northglenn

Posted 18 September 2004 - 02:37 PM

If you are going to replace the head gaskets yourself make sure to buy the gasket from the dealership. Not some felpro gasket. Subaru has updated their 2.5 head gaskets to apparently prevent this from happening again. I guess I will find out. I am picking up my 2.5 from the dealer on monday. I had them recore the radiator, flush the system, drop in another thermostat, replace the head gaskets, replace the timming belt, mill the cylinder heads and block, and then fixed all my recals. Only cost me 1,587.93 Not bad considering the amount of work involved and they were able to do it in 2 days time. So shop around a bit. I did find some shops that would do it for 1,180.00 But I feel a little better taking it to mechanics that I already know. An extra $400.00 to sleep better at night isnt bad.

#9 Dr.Outback

Dr.Outback

    Eat, Live, Breath Subaru

  • Members
  • 289 posts
  • Pennsylvania

Posted 18 September 2004 - 02:52 PM

From working in a Subaru parts shop, I can tell you that Subaru is constantly improving their parts. The headgaskets do seem to fail on Phase 1 2.5's more then 2.2 and Phase 2 2.5's engines, (yours is a Phase 1) but I wouldn't call it a common problem. Any open deck aluminum engine is prone to blowing a head gasket. At 140K I wouldn't worry to much about any design flaw causing you HG to fail, that's a lot of miles. The most common problem on Phase 1 2.5's seems to be oil leaks. Esspecially at the rear seperator plate, but Subaru recognized the problem and fixed the part. Ford or GM would just ramp up production on the defective part. :drunk:

#10 Cougar

Cougar

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 6,340 posts
  • Anchorage

Posted 18 September 2004 - 03:10 PM

Sorry to hear the bad news on the head gaskets. The O2 sensors can be damaged with the coolant getting to them so you may have to replace them also. I would also check to see if there is any updated versions of the head you may want to get. I agree with the advice about using only the latest version of Subaru head gaskets and sealent. Using others may mean early failure.

While it's true that these newer models have had more than normal problems with the gaskets and heads you did get 140k miles of service before a major problem. How many cars have a better record than that?

#11 Setright

Setright

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 3,176 posts
  • Denmark

Posted 19 September 2004 - 01:20 AM

Murmur, did you buy it brand new, or "pre-owned"?

#12 murmur13

murmur13

    New User

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • Harrisburg

Posted 19 September 2004 - 07:53 AM

Murmur, did you buy it brand new, or "pre-owned"?


Bought it brand new in Oct '98 and purchased the extended warranty.

#13 Setright

Setright

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 3,176 posts
  • Denmark

Posted 19 September 2004 - 09:58 AM

Okay, I was wondering what sort of life the car has had. How much "stick" it gets, or if it gets lugged. Pulls trailers..

I know that my kind of driving style - low gears, high revs - would expose a weak head design!

And what sort of maintenance it has had over the years?

#14 murmur13

murmur13

    New User

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • Harrisburg

Posted 19 September 2004 - 11:43 AM

Okay, I was wondering what sort of life the car has had. How much "stick" it gets, or if it gets lugged. Pulls trailers..

I know that my kind of driving style - low gears, high revs - would expose a weak head design!

And what sort of maintenance it has had over the years?


The car from new has been fully maintained as per Subaru specs oil and other fluids changed religiously.

No pulling of anything with only small cargo loads well below specs for the car

90% of the mileage is highway miles I do sometimes have a lead foot ? But this is one of the reasons for purchasing a GT

The more we discuss the issue the more I feel the need to repair and run the car for another 140k or till the next HG goes south, Maybe?????

#15 Commuter

Commuter

    Subaru Master

  • Members
  • 1,857 posts
  • Niagara area, Ont Canada

Posted 19 September 2004 - 06:36 PM

I feel your pain. I have 97 OB. I changed the headgaskets only to find out that a conrod bearing was failing. Then I had to change the block. Other than that, it's been a pretty good car. I now have 410,000 km on it. I just had to do the center diff clutch plates. I believe that Subaru dealt with some weakness in this area in the 98/99 models from what I've heard. But... that could be the next big thing to expect with your car and milage.

Otherwise, I've had a couple of wheel bearings go. One tiny, but expensive sensor, and I've changed the O2 sensor. I just recently changed the rear struts; the fronts are still going (surprisingly to me). Other than that, it's been pretty much routine maintenance.

I have 150,000 km now on the new block and new head gaskets (2.5 years).

Commuter

#16 later, Peter

later, Peter

    USMB is life!

  • Members
  • 218 posts
  • Pacific North West

Posted 19 September 2004 - 08:53 PM

Gotta say that this thread has renewed some of my Subaru faith. I bought a '99 before finding this site... all I seemed to find here was phase1 2.5 bashing... it was depressing. I was driving while one eye was watching the temp guage.
I spoke with other '99 OBW owners that have more than TWICE the mileage of mine (60k) to find that they have had virtually NO problems.
(I heard Click & Clack talk about a flaw in a Toyota engine where the oil ports are too small to let the oil pass freely... so either a new engine or nothing on that defect... much more expensive than HG).
During my paranoia, I spoke with a local mechanic (Subs only) to find that this is common in about (his opinion) 5% or so of these vehicles that he sees (BTW $900 to do the HG job). & spoke with a dealer in the nearest "big" city (PDX) to hear again, it is not uncommon but in the 2-3% range of all the ones that this Subaru dealer workers on...
So, I am trying to enjoy the ride (& the stereo) & keep the Mobil1 changed regularly & I avoid this site more than visit.

#17 Setright

Setright

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 3,176 posts
  • Denmark

Posted 20 September 2004 - 01:11 AM

Peter! DOn't forget your coolant - and the hoses!

#18 Ranger83

Ranger83

    Subaru Nut

  • Members
  • 740 posts
  • Northeast

Posted 20 September 2004 - 05:06 AM

Gotta say that this thread has renewed some of my Subaru faith. I bought a '99 before finding this site... all I seemed to find here was phase1 2.5 bashing... it was depressing. I was driving while one eye was watching the temp guage.
I spoke with other '99 OBW owners that have more than TWICE the mileage of mine (60k) to find that they have had virtually NO problems.

Yes, it got out of hand. Some of these folks need to sell their Subarus, declare victory, and move on. I may have done my pre-emptive head gasket change for nothing, but I want to keep the car for 200K miles. My sister-in-law already has 202K on her '97.

So, with tongue in cheek, I changed my signature....

#19 rweddy

rweddy

    1000+ Super USER!

  • Members
  • 1,408 posts
  • Castle Rock, CO

Posted 20 September 2004 - 07:47 AM

Yes, it got out of hand. Some of these folks need to sell their Subarus, declare victory, and move on. I may have done my pre-emptive head gasket change for nothing, but I want to keep the car for 200K miles. My sister-in-law already has 202K on her '97.

So, with tongue in cheek, I changed my signature....


I agree! I love people who buy a car then do research after the fact.
Besides the HQ issue, subaru's are very reliable vehicles and they are very inexpensive to repair. Most shops charge under 1k for new HQ.

PS I love you new signature!! :lol:

#20 JohnnyB

JohnnyB

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 85 posts
  • Phila

Posted 20 September 2004 - 11:01 AM

I'd just like to chime in also with my experience with a 96 Legacy GT Auto. It was my first new car and in the 8 and a half years of ownership (almost 91k), it has only failed to get me where I needed to go once. That was when the original battery died after 6 years and nine months. The only real problems I have had with this car was the oil pump seal leaking (fixed by dealership even though out of warranty period) and just recently, a CEL for the Knock Sensor. It was doing a google search for the Knock Sensor that I found this board and read about all the HG problems. I feel for the people that have had it and who knows, I may be one someday. I just wanted to give my story with the infamous Phase I 2.5.

#21 Cougar

Cougar

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 6,340 posts
  • Anchorage

Posted 20 September 2004 - 11:59 AM

Welcome to the forum JohnnyB. Good to hear your car is doing well. Too bad though your original battery couldn't make it to 7 years of service.

#22 JohnnyB

JohnnyB

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 85 posts
  • Phila

Posted 20 September 2004 - 12:27 PM

Welcome to the forum JohnnyB. Good to hear your car is doing well. Too bad though your original battery couldn't make it to 7 years of service.


Thanks for the welcome Cougar, it is a great site. Helped me do the Knock Sensor myself and I even tried the headlight sanding to take the yellow away to better match the new one thanks to hitting a small doe.

#23 murmur13

murmur13

    New User

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • Harrisburg

Posted 20 September 2004 - 02:36 PM

Ok, we are going to keep the GT invest in a new HG from Subaru Does anyone have the New and improved HG Part # ?

Now the big question can this car be driven about 6 city blocks with stop lights to the shop. oil is new, new antifreeze

#24 Sconnyite

Sconnyite

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 49 posts
  • Wisconsin, USA

Posted 20 September 2004 - 04:23 PM

BS to anyone who believes the Headgasket issue is a reality that should be accepted, and lived with. I suffered this same headgasket FLAW in my 97 DOHC Ouback earlier this spring, and only learned about this website after the fact. I didn't have much a a prayer of being informed about the issue, and the primary reason was that SUBARU did not fess up to the problem and issue a recall or a notice to inform their customers so they could do somethign before it was too late. Typical car company.

I rather like your idea of the last drive of your 99 OB being to the front of Subaru's headquarters. In fact, I think a proper protest of subaru's handling of this issue would be to have every 2.5 engine with a failed headgasket parked on the lawn of their headquarters. Maybe pull the batteries and wheels, and just let them sit. It'll be a nice little Subaru owner gathering. "Lack of appreciation" day.

#25 rweddy

rweddy

    1000+ Super USER!

  • Members
  • 1,408 posts
  • Castle Rock, CO

Posted 20 September 2004 - 08:11 PM

I didn't have much a a prayer of being informed about the issue, and the primary reason was that SUBARU did not fess up to the problem and issue a recall or a notice to inform their customers so they could do somethign before it was too late. Typical car company.

What do you mean you did not have a prayer of being informed?

You cannot do research yourself? You bought a vehicle expecting the manufacture to publish all the issues they have with their vehicles?

You did not do outside researcher yourself before buying?


When I went to purchase and outback I talked to multiple Subaru shops, surfed web pages, etc. I knew about the 2.5 issue well before I started shopping.

Do not be mad a car company for not disclosing a issue, be mad at yourself for not doing proper research before purchasing the vehicle.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users