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This overheat/head gasket business...


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11 replies to this topic

#1 MLJ

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 02:25 PM

I am dealing with overheat issues on my 99 RS, and have been mining all the messages on this board for information.

One things stands out bar-none: THIS HAPPENS A LOT!!!

Is it just me or is this a major recurring problem with Subarus?

Is there a FAQ on this subject? If not there should be.

#2 grossgary

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 02:50 PM

One things stands out bar-none: THIS HAPPENS A LOT!!!

Is it just me or is this a major recurring problem with Subarus?


don't be too surprised, this is an open and easily accessible forum and will tend to funnel issues. the thousands of owners without issues won't ever search for info/sites like this. you'll see concentrations of people with issues, that's to be expected on any forum. but "alot" is relative, percentages are still small and isolated to one motor, not "subaru". the 2.5 only (and not all of them, only certain years).

even if there was a FAQ, i think this issue would get pounded on about 14 times a week, noone wants to deal with this and i don't blame them.

be sure to check thermostat, coolant levels and water pump before assuming the worst. i figure you already have, but just making sure.

lots of info here to make the best decision you can given the situation.

#3 MLJ

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 04:38 PM

Thanks!

Yes. It ended up being the water pump. But after reading all of the information here, I am concerned and will probably be moving on to a used WRX lest I be saddled with a head gasket repair or worse in the future.

Should I avoid any particular year or model?

#4 grossgary

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 07:46 AM

i think after 2001 the headgasket issues were corrected from the factory so if you're looking at 2.5's look for later models. it's 2001 or 2002, i'm not sure the date. later is better.

it's not a catastrophic failure and certainly only a small percentage. it'll very slowly creep up on you, so i'd say keep driving the car until you experience issues as you'll still have time to look for another car if issues ever come to pass.

#5 Starkapopolis

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 08:02 AM

i think after 2001 the headgasket issues were corrected from the factory so if you're looking at 2.5's look for later models. it's 2001 or 2002, i'm not sure the date. later is better.

it's not a catastrophic failure and certainly only a small percentage. it'll very slowly creep up on you, so i'd say keep driving the car until you experience issues as you'll still have time to look for another car if issues ever come to pass.


I just posted the same question at the same time, so I guess this IS a common problem with these engines. Now the question is: if the heads have already blown and been fixed, will they blow again?

#6 ferret

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 08:33 AM

Just FYI and more information. I'm a neighborhood mechanic, and since we moved into our current home (10 yrs now), I've only done 1 subaru headgasket. Remember I'm in a small town and neighborhood, but have a good cross section of vehicles.

The MOST I've done have been 6 mopar 4 cylinders (2.2 and 2.5), 2 GM V6's, 2 Fords and 3 Honda's. The WORST were those Fords. Too much SHRAPNEL on the engine to remove before getting to the motor itself.
So I don't have figures from Subaru, but in my small patch, there are other manufacturers out there with a much higher rate of failure. Seems aluminium heads and rates of expansion have lent themselves to need a gasket more capable of 'stretching' with the head / block relationship. The latest MLS (multi-layer-steel) gaskets look like they have stepped up to that challange.

Also I have been a loyal Subau owner for 28 yrs, starting with my 78 DL FWD, and they have not been without their other problems. MY85 with dual cam belt problems, stretching w/o an automatic tensioner, carb problems( $450 carb net cost back in 86 ), duty solenoids on those carbs to control air mixture, Electro-pneumatic suspensions, etc. So Subaru has had their fill of other problems. But for me, they have satisfied my needs for 28 yrs, even with their own 'nits'.

End of MY $.02

#7 grossgary

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 08:39 AM

I just posted the same question at the same time, so I guess this IS a common problem with these engines. Now the question is: if the heads have already blown and been fixed, will they blow again?


it's not "common" on these engines so much as it is common "here" because people come here with problems. few people have a couple year old car and think "hey let's find an internet forum to post how we've driven the car without any problems". people come looking for answers/solutions when things go bad. high percentage of problems here doesn't mean high percentage of problems with the engine. the 2.5 (certain early years) does have more issue than other subaru motors, but still not a high percentage of overall motors.

the new headgasket is not prone to the same leakages and will fix the problem for good given proper installation. i can't recall anyone blowing a replaced headgasket, though im' sure it's happened once. the turbo guys probably blow them all the time, but you're not looking to race.

#8 grossgary

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 08:41 AM

The MOST I've done have been 6 mopar 4 cylinders (2.2 and 2.5), 2 GM V6's, 2 Fords and 3 Honda's.

what?? no dodge neons on the list? they blow almost at a predicatble rate! i'm not even a mechanic and i've replaced them (don't make friends with neon owners)

#9 ferret

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 09:02 AM

No Neons/PT Cruisers that I service. BUT our immediate neighbor had a 97 2.4L Caravan. That engine was Replaced 2 times in the 4 years they owned it. All under warrenty. Needless to say, they since replaced that van. That left a real bad impression on me for that engine.

I have read about those 2.4L failures on Mopar BB's, but I offer information from my experiences.

#10 rweddy

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 01:52 PM

Also I have been a loyal Subau owner for 28 yrs, starting with my 78 DL FWD, and they have not been without their other problems. MY85 with dual cam belt problems, stretching w/o an automatic tensioner, carb problems( $450 carb net cost back in 86 ), duty solenoids on those carbs to control air mixture, Electro-pneumatic suspensions, etc. So Subaru has had their fill of other problems. But for me, they have satisfied my needs for 28 yrs, even with their own 'nits'.

End of MY $.02


What all the old subars went forever with no issues? The Timing belts on 1.8 were super easy to change, never leaked oil from the oil pump, and the 1.8t never cracked heads when the HG blew!

I agree with you totally, their a few quirks, but these are awesome cars and far superior in reliably to most on the road.

End of my $.01

#11 color-blind

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 02:43 PM

I am dealing with overheat issues on my 99 RS, and have been mining all the messages on this board for information.

One things stands out bar-none: THIS HAPPENS A LOT!!!

Is it just me or is this a major recurring problem with Subarus?

Is there a FAQ on this subject? If not there should be.


Don't lose sleep over the head gaskets. When it happens deal with it. For now make sure your car is caught up. Basically you don't want your car to need a lot of work and head gaskets. So be sure to have the following inspected; cv boots, brakes, oil leaks, wheel bearings, and if you have a check engine light on fix it-black tape is not allowed, LOL. Good luck.

#12 outback_97

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 02:46 PM

Is there a FAQ on this subject? If not there should be.


Not a FAQ per se, but I put this page (linked below) together a long time ago and have posted it plenty of times on the USMB because the subject does come up ad nauseum:

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

Note that even though Skip's "blown gasket guestbook" has hundreds of entries, there were many many thousands of these engines sold in the latter half of the nineties.

Steve




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