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Internal vs. External head gasket leak


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4 replies to this topic

#1 Martinjmpr

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Posted 10 June 2005 - 12:27 PM

Hi, folks. Been away for a while, riding my motorcycle since the weather is nice now. Anyway, my '99 OBW is at the shop for it's 90k service, and the service manager called and said there was a small internal HG leak on the engine. He is putting the additive into the coolant (coolant flush/fill was part of the 90k service.)

My question is this: Is the internal leak worse than the external? I can't remember which one does more damage. So far I've never had any overheating problems in my Subaru, even when stuck in heavy traffic and running the air conditioner.

Second, realistically speaking, how long do I have before I'm going to have to do something about this? The service manager quoted me a price of $2650 to do the HG replacement, timing belt, etc, and I told him I wouldn't do it now, but I'd keep it in mind. The car is paid for, and I just graduated school, expect to find a decent job some time this Summer, so if I'm going to sink $2600 into something, most likely it'll be into a new car, not into fixing up this one (as much as I like it.)

For those who have been in this situation, can I expect to get 10k miles out of this car before it needs serious attention?

Thanks for any help.

#2 tomson1355

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Posted 10 June 2005 - 12:46 PM

Hm. Why is he putting additive in for an internal leak? The typical internal leak on the 2.5DOHC is a leak from the combustion chamber into the coolant, for which the stop leak will do nothing. Did he say how he diagnosed the leak?

#3 NOMAD327

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Posted 10 June 2005 - 01:14 PM

Tomson is correct about the additive being only for the external type leaks the SOHC engines tend to have. It will not help the internal leaks found on the DOHC engine of the type you have. If you are not overheating, there may not be any leak. If there is, there is lots of time to shop around for a better price. There are a lot of independent mechanics with Subaru experience. I should think even with all genuine Subaru parts including water pump and timing belt, a price close to $1000 would be possible.

#4 outback_97

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Posted 10 June 2005 - 01:20 PM

Some reading material for you:

http://users.sisna.c...headgasket.html

This talks about the differences in internal / external and DOHC / SOHC a bit.

Steve

#5 Martinjmpr

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Posted 10 June 2005 - 10:48 PM

Thanks for all the info. I'm not going to worry about it until/unless it starts to manifest itself in some way. Fortunately, there are a number of independent Subaru service shops around here, and quite a few dealers, too, so I'll have ample opportunity to shop around. Come to think of it, $1200-$1500 is a relatively small price to pay if the car is in good condition otherwise, and so far it certainly seems to be. I haven't had a spot of trouble with it in 2 years/50,000 miles, and that includes two hard winters in Laramie, Wyoming.




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