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What are the bad years for the 2.5L engine?


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22 replies to this topic

#1 jaebeam

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 12:53 PM

I'm shopping for a used subaru, and from browsing these boards have learned that the 2.2L engine has a good reputation.

The 2.5L has Head Gasket issues, but only for certain years.

I found a really nice 2001 Legacy, manual transmission, 2.5L engine. Are the 2001 version of the 2.5 fine?

#2 TheYeti

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 01:12 PM

That should be a SOHC 2.5. They are typically more "reliable" than the older phase I and II DOHC 2.5s.

#3 Zefy

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 01:55 PM

my parents own that very car with 100k miles on the clock...

its kinda got the feeling of HG problems... but the subaru fix is the coolant addative that fills in cracks... so it doesn't burn coolant... however it did for a short period... its been running fine except for that...

also you might just wanna replace the HG right out depending on how my miles its got... the issue is the HG and not the engine itself... they put some of the newer style HG's on it and it'll be as reliable as one of the newer engines...:)



#4 fnlyfnd

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 02:03 PM

I'm not sure on the differences in DOHC and SOHC in the 2.5L...but phase I is the HG problems and I belive they ranged from 96-00/01

#5 fastwgn286

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 03:37 PM

the 2001 (anywhere in the world) legacy/outback 2.5 L is the phase II SOHC. they are the ones fixed with the coolant additive. the phase I motors are the DOHC commonly found in the 1996-1999 (1998 legacy/outback in austrailia, japan, and possibly europe) are the ones with big hg problems. you shouldn't avoid them by any means, but buy one that has already had the hg replaced.

but your 2001 should be fine. just pop open the hood and count the cams. there should be two....

#6 steve2005

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Posted 03 June 2006 - 02:04 PM

I'm not sure on the differences in DOHC and SOHC in the 2.5L...but phase I is the HG problems and I belive they ranged from 96-00/01


okay so i have the 1999 phase ll dohc. so are my chances better that i won't have the head gasket problem? also should i use the coolant conditioner in this engine? i was told once it would be an internal leaker if it ever does and its (conditioner) for the phase ll sohc engines. :confused:

#7 fastwgn286

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Posted 03 June 2006 - 04:23 PM

okay so i have the 1999 phase ll dohc. so are my chances better that i won't have the head gasket problem? also should i use the coolant conditioner in this engine? i was told once it would be an internal leaker if it ever does and its (conditioner) for the phase ll sohc engines. :confused:


dude, chill out with the posting of your problem on many threads. not trying to lay into you, but its a little annoying.

as i stated in your original thread, i think your head gasket issues (if any) would be internal leaks. the DOHC gaskets were not redesigned by the 99 model year, and so my money is on inside. no conditioner, check the coolant overflow tank every time you check your oil level, and don't worry about it until you see something that doesn't look like coolant in there

#8 Ranger83

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Posted 03 June 2006 - 06:21 PM

Why don't you just factor in the cost of head gaskets and buy or not based on that? I know people with Toyotas and Mazdas (at around 100K) that have replaced head gaskets as well and they're not ready to commit Hari Kari. The 96-99 Phase I DOHC engines seemed to have the most problems, but also have the most miles accumulated and the heaviest load to pull.

I was a skeptic about the reported head gasket problem. But once it seemed well enough documented to me, I went ahead and did a preemptive head gasket replacement at 140,000 miles. That vehicle is now owned by a relative and has over 175,000 miles on it - 3.5 cents per mile thus far. It cost $1,200 with some other work at the same time. I have little sympathy for people who read this forum, don't sell the car or replace the head gaskets, then wring their hands and say, "Oh, woe is me, the head gaskets failed and I need a new short block."

WARNING: IF YOU DRIVE A SUBARU 2.5, HEAD GASKETS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED A ROUTINE MAINTENANCE ITEM AT 100,000 MILES. IF YOU AREN'T WILLING TO DO THAT - DON'T BUY ONE!





#9 steve2005

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Posted 03 June 2006 - 06:22 PM

dude, chill out with the posting of your problem on many threads. not trying to lay into you, but its a little annoying.

as i stated in your original thread, i think your head gasket issues (if any) would be internal leaks. the DOHC gaskets were not redesigned by the 99 model year, and so my money is on inside. no conditioner, check the coolant overflow tank every time you check your oil level, and don't worry about it until you see something that doesn't look like coolant in there


well sorry if you think i am annoying but i'm on a fact finding mission and have still not found an answer to my question about the phase l block and the phase ll block in regards to the head gasket issue and the dohc heads in the 1999 transition year for the outback blocks. are the phase l blocks with the dohc heads more prone to leak than the phase ll blocks with the dohc heads? as i understand it, which phase block has something to do with this (or maybe it doesn't). that's all i want to know.--sorry

#10 Ranger83

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Posted 03 June 2006 - 06:28 PM

well sorry if you think i am annoying but i'm on a fact finding mission and have still not found an answer to my question about the phase l block and the phase ll block in regards to the head gasket issue and the dohc heads in the 1999 transition year for the outback blocks. are the phase l blocks with the dohc heads more prone to leak than the phase ll blocks with the dohc heads? as i understand it, which phase block has something to do with this (or maybe it doesn't). that's all i want to know.--sorry

You [i]are[//i] annoying. There's no definitive answer to your question since the accumulated mileage of the newer engines is not as hig - duh.

Flip a coin, or treat head gaskets as a routine maintenance item and plan accordingly. Or buy new.

#11 ballitch

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Posted 03 June 2006 - 06:33 PM

listen very closely. all motor wear out, some faster than others. but like the other guy said, if you cant deal with replacing head gaskets at 50,000-60,000 mile intervals(basically non-existent on the phase II motors) then ride a damn bicycle to work. this is not a big deal, the ONLY bad years were from 1996-1998, and parts of 99' if you are beyond that range, you are fine. and as far as the interference thing goes, you can get plastic cam gears that break apart instead of slamming your valves against each other. you should not be looking on just this site if you are trully trying to find an answer. look on nasioc.com, or legacycentral.org. me personally, i can deal with replacing HG's every 3-4 years.........think about that.....3-4 YEARS people, come the FORK ON! you might not even own the car 3-4 years. dont think of this as a time-bomb waiting to blow up in your face and leave you stranded w/o a car. there are warning signs, you just have to pay attention to what your car is doing while you drive it.



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#12 fastwgn286

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Posted 03 June 2006 - 07:44 PM

yeah, as stated by people much smarter than i (aka, nipper and cookie, numerous times) head gaskets can wear out on ANY car from 100k on. my buddy's toyota got head gaskets replaced at 140k-ish. i got mine done a few weeks ago at 121k. my ford lost a head gasket somewhere around 100k or so. it is major maintainence, it can happen with any car, and it does. sorry if i stepped on your toes, but its a thin piece of material subjected to very hot temps and the duty of keeping water, exhaust, and oil separate. and they break. if you can't deal with it, buy a new car or take the bus. just because it says subaru doesn't mean they are maintainence free

besides, it does not matter which phase block is bolted onto which head to determine whether your head gaskets will have problems. its all about the head gasket design. AA610 is four layers, and will keep the juices flowing in the right spots for many miles to come. if you are too timid to check the signs for hg failure, preemptive maintainence them and deal with it now

#13 jaebeam

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Posted 03 June 2006 - 10:59 PM

Why don't you just factor in the cost of head gaskets and buy or not based on that? ...

/snip

...WARNING: IF YOU DRIVE A SUBARU 2.5, HEAD GASKETS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED A ROUTINE MAINTENANCE ITEM AT 100,000 MILES. IF YOU AREN'T WILLING TO DO THAT - DON'T BUY ONE!




No worries. I'm trying to find the break off point for the *known* 2.5L engine issues, so I CAN factor in that cost. Sorry I haven't the experience you have. . . ergo . . . the point of this message board?

So. What is the ball park cost of replacing the HG, so I can factor in the cost properly? $1k seems close from others posts. Sorry Ranger83, haven't paid for the repair in the past, so I'm trying to ask others that may have had the experience.

#14 fastwgn286

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Posted 03 June 2006 - 11:22 PM

they can fail on any subaru at any time. most people cite the 2.5 dohc as having a fatal hg, but it really isn't. some cars had a faulty one that blew way early, which is why everyone cities that magical 15% number. everyone else is just seeing normal wearing out of a component. heck, i'm seeing some stories on here of the phase II 2.5s having hgs replaced for internal leaks.

the cost of such a repair is dependant upon where you are and how many subarus are in your area. in my neck of the woods, i got quoted 1500 and taken for a ride when they charged 1800 for it. the kicker is i actually worked for the place that repaired the headgasket :banghead: :banghead: :horse: :dead:

#15 nipper

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Posted 03 June 2006 - 11:27 PM

sigh
only 15% of the 2.5L are affected. older ones do it internally, newer ones do it externally (which is prefered if you had to pick one)
any aluminum engine is more likely to blow a HG the older it gets
any engine with over 100k on it can blow a hg at any time.
Good news is once it is fixed on a sooby it is fixed.

nipper

#16 RedRum

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 07:46 AM

I have a 1997 legacy 2.5 GT. It had 196,000 miles on it and was still running OK when tree fell on it. I had planed to do the head gasket and second timing belt change very soon. I know those are supposed to be the ones with head gasket issues but I was probably just lucky.

#17 Spacinjason

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 08:06 AM

:headbang: Okay, so I have an '06 Baja Turbo. 2.5L DOHC intercooled turbo. Is that an 'improved' engine? This is my first Subaru, but I have dealt with HG problems before. failed HG on a '89 Mazda pickup (86k), and had a free replacement of HG on a '94 Toyota 3.0L V6 at 30k (recall for HG, those engines were prone to HG failure.). I know my Baja is a new car and should provide years of trouble free service, but I was just wondering. Thanks in advance for any response.
Spacinjason:burnout:


#18 fastwgn286

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 08:47 AM

those are pretty much brand new. subaru probably uses the four layer on the newer engines, so you should be fine.

but the point is that head gaskets fail on vehicles. some early, some never. considering this is a subaru, it would be one of the only major maintainence issues you should deal with. save a dollar a day (or 50 cents or something) for the next few years and IF the head gasket goes, you will be sound.

#19 DerFahrer

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 08:58 AM

they can fail on any subaru at any time.


This is the most accurate thing that's been said in this whole thread.

NO Subaru is completely immune from a headgasket failure. Yes the 96-99 DOHC 2.5's were especially susceptible to it, but guess what? So were EA82's in the late 80's Subarus. I know of several people who have had blown headgaskets in their EJ22's which has been considered to be Subaru's best engine, and I know of several Phase II 2.5 engines that have blown headgaskets.

The fact of the matter is, a Subaru is a machine, just like any other. And some machines have problems that other like machines don't.

I personally hate Fords, with a passion. The ones I've had experience with have been complete and total ************piles. But some people have had their Fords for 250k miles with nothing more than routine fluid changes.

In closing, yes your Subaru, no matter which kind it is, has the possibility of blowing a headgasket, ESPECIALLY if it overheats for any reason. If that happens, it's up to you whether you want to fix it or pay to have it fixed. But just because it happens to you doesn't mean that Subarus are junk.

#20 nipper

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 11:04 AM

I have a 1997 legacy 2.5 GT. It had 196,000 miles on it and was still running OK when tree fell on it. I had planed to do the head gasket and second timing belt change very soon. I know those are supposed to be the ones with head gasket issues but I was probably just lucky.


SEE all subarus are bad because they have this mysterious ability to attract trees. SInce yours did they all must do it :brow: .

nipper

PS 184,000 now on my 2.5l and no HG issues :). i think it has partially to do with coolant changes and weather tap water was used or deminerilized water is used in them.

#21 fastwgn286

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 11:10 AM

SEE all subarus are bad because they have this mysterious ability to attract trees. SInce yours did they all must do it :brow:


thats right. they also attract garage doors. all of them....

#22 nipper

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 11:12 AM

thats right. they also attract garage doors. all of them....


im afraid to ask..
It just means your garage likes to chew its food instead of gulping it down heheheheh:banana:

nipper

#23 fastwgn286

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 11:16 AM

i brought mine with a garage door incident. my former wagon (ford taurus) was fond of running into the garage door a few times. that and destroying its transmission every 75k.

be glad its just a head gasket and not a tranny (all you complainers out there)




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