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100k and still going strong...


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8 replies to this topic

#1 Martinjmpr

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 04:09 PM

Hi, folks. Been off the boards for a while (we had a great summer and I have a motorcycle, so I don't think much about the Subaru when it's warm.) Just idly curious about something:

Some of you may remember that back in June I had my 90k service done at a local Subaru dealer. At that time, he said I had the dreaded HG leak, and offered to do the replacement work for a "mere" $2800 or so. After getting some recommendations from the board here, I called around and found a place that could do it for around $1400. But, since the leak hadn't started "manifesting" itself in any way, I thought I'd just wait until I had some noticeable problems before I spent all that money.

Well, now it's 5 months and more than 10,000 miles later. My OBW rolled over 100k last month, and it's still running strong: No steam rising from the engine, no milky oil, none of the traditional signs of HG failure.

So here's my question: Without (obviously) being able to look at the engine, does it sound like the dealer was FOS about my HG leak? I mean, if there had been a small leak at 90k, wouldn't it have manifested itself by now? It's not like I baby the car: Over the Summer there were plenty of 95+ degree days where I was running the AC at full strength, driving in stop-and-go city traffic and I've taken very few trips, meaning most of my driving has been around town, which is supposedly harder on the engine.

Understand, I'm not complaining (although I sure am glad I didn't drop all that $$$ back in the Summer!) I'm just wondering if a misdiagnosed HG failure is common to Subaru dealers. I mean, the dealer never did say (and I neglected to ask) just how they came to the conclusion that the HG had a leak in it.

So is there anything I should be watching out for? I'm going to do the timing belt with the next oil change (about 103k), but other than that, is there anything I need to worry about? What are the symptoms of HG failure? I keep an eye on the temp gauge but it's always in the normal range.

#2 tunered

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 06:06 PM

first off i dont think they are bad yet,some of the signs are ,overheating,bubbles in the recovery tank,water in oil,dead cyclinder,steam out the back.im sure theres some more that i missed,but wait till the fat lady sings,i like to know what im paying for.

#3 grossgary

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 11:21 AM

sounds like your HG's are fine. you would definitely have experienced some kind of coolant loss by now if you had a leak. if you're not adding coolant weekly you're fine. headgaskets don't leak and then stop.

#4 Gnuman

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 11:42 AM

I'm with the rest of them, if you are not overheating, or loosing coolant, then do not go dumping money into it yet. If the HG's start to give you trouble, then is the time to swap them out. That is unless you are doing your own work and like taking your engine apart for fun. . . :rolleyes:

#5 charm

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 12:36 PM

Hi, folks. Been off the boards for a while (we had a great summer and I have a motorcycle, so I don't think much about the Subaru when it's warm.) Just idly curious about something:

Some of you may remember that back in June I had my 90k service done at a local Subaru dealer. At that time, he said I had the dreaded HG leak, and offered to do the replacement work for a "mere" $2800 or so. After getting some recommendations from the board here, I called around and found a place that could do it for around $1400. But, since the leak hadn't started "manifesting" itself in any way, I thought I'd just wait until I had some noticeable problems before I spent all that money.

Well, now it's 5 months and more than 10,000 miles later. My OBW rolled over 100k last month, and it's still running strong: No steam rising from the engine, no milky oil, none of the traditional signs of HG failure.

So here's my question: Without (obviously) being able to look at the engine, does it sound like the dealer was FOS about my HG leak? I mean, if there had been a small leak at 90k, wouldn't it have manifested itself by now? It's not like I baby the car: Over the Summer there were plenty of 95+ degree days where I was running the AC at full strength, driving in stop-and-go city traffic and I've taken very few trips, meaning most of my driving has been around town, which is supposedly harder on the engine.

Understand, I'm not complaining (although I sure am glad I didn't drop all that $$$ back in the Summer!) I'm just wondering if a misdiagnosed HG failure is common to Subaru dealers. I mean, the dealer never did say (and I neglected to ask) just how they came to the conclusion that the HG had a leak in it.

So is there anything I should be watching out for? I'm going to do the timing belt with the next oil change (about 103k), but other than that, is there anything I need to worry about? What are the symptoms of HG failure? I keep an eye on the temp gauge but it's always in the normal range.


Just a funny related story. My dad, in 1980, bought a brand new Datusn 280ZX. At 31,000 miles, just after the warranty ran out, he was told by the dealer that he had a cracked block. He decided to drive on it until it went. After another 250,000 miles of changing the oil every 15,000 miles, need it or not, he got rid of the car...never seeing a sign of the cracked block. Granted, the crack may have been clogged by the gunk resulting from his, um, regular oil change interval. My point is, somebody may just be blowing smoke, drive it until you KNOW there's a HG problem...it may be a few (hundred) thousand miles before it's realized.

#6 Ranger83

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 10:48 PM

I changed HG on my 97 OBW at 140K, before I had much in the way of symptoms.

Only after driving hard on the highway for 20 minutes or so would I get bubbles in the coolant overflow tank. That was the first indicator, so popping the hood now and again after such a drive might pay off.


PS
Q. If your Primary malfunctions, how long do you have to pull your Reserve?
A. The rest of your life.....

#7 Gnuman

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 10:57 PM

PS
Q. If your Primary malfunctions, how long do you have to pull your Reserve?
A. The rest of your life.....


If at first you do not suceed, skydiving is not your sport. . .

#8 beezer

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 12:46 PM

Maybe do a compression test, it might tell you something.

I haven't had much luck with this, but, try crossing your fingers, might help.



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#9 nipper

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 08:32 PM

Some of you may remember that back in June I had my 90k service done at a local Subaru dealer. At that time, he said I had the dreaded HG leak, and offered to do the replacement work for a "mere" $2800 or so. After getting some recommendations from the board here, I called around and found a place that could do it for around $1400. But, since the leak hadn't started "manifesting" itself in any way, I thought I'd just wait until I had some noticeable problems before I spent all that money.

*snip*



Understand, I'm not complaining (although I sure am glad I didn't drop all that $$$ back in the Summer!) I'm just wondering if a misdiagnosed HG failure is common to Subaru dealers. I mean, the dealer never did say (and I neglected to ask) just how they came to the conclusion that the HG had a leak in it.

So is there anything I should be watching out for? I'm going to do the timing belt with the next oil change (about 103k), but other than that, is there anything I need to worry about? What are the symptoms of HG failure? I keep an eye on the temp gauge but it's always in the normal range.



i would question how he determined the HG leak, did you bring up the subject, or did he say you had a bad HG. i would question (meaning prove it to me as im not taking your word) anyone who said my car needed a major repair if i wasnt complaining about it. The one way to tell is a exhaust gas test at the radiator cap. little bubbles can sometime be seen when the thermostat first opens, and they may have miss diagnosed that as bad head gasket (fools).
For the amount of money they wanted for the reapir (assumiong US$) you can get a new engine for that price. They may not have been trying to rip you off, but they sure sound incompetant.
Now as to your next question, bank say 1400.00 US if your really worried about the HG, do your maint, and a few sugestions. Change the waterpump and thermostat. Change the antifreeze and use subaru antifreeze and the additive they use, and deminerilized water. Inspect the cam seals and main seal, replace if they even look the least but suspicous. i replace them wether they need it or not while im there, thats up to you, but its almost 90% guarentee they will leak in the next 100K (assuming they never been changed). Do change your coolant at 30k? (i think thats the interval). i have my own personal suspisions about a connection to old coolant and headgaskets (not just in subarus). i wish i knew what the design fault was with the HG.
Otherwise watch your temp gauge, and enjoy the car.




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