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2003 Outback Limited EJ25, built for Canada in May of 2002. 165,000 miles.

I cleaned and flushed the cooling system in March 2016. Then drained the block, radiator, heater core, etc. and removed the freeze plugs, all hoses, thermostat, temperature sender, etc. to dry the system out. Now ready to install new hoses and Evans coolant plus dozens of other preventative maintenance items.  

Was at the dealer last week and overheard someone say that it's hard on the head gaskets to let them dry out like that. Do not even think of putting it back together. Replace the head gaskets, guaranteed to have an issue with the head gaskets. I wish I had a chance to engage in the conversation.

The head gaskets were replace in April, 2011 around 110,000 miles. It appears they are the Subaru brand. All other parts are Subaru. Have not found any aftermarket parts, including filters on the Outback.

Is this a myth, a rumor, or a fact that I should continue deeper into the engine and replace the head gaskets? 





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I'd put it in and see what happens.  But to me swapping an engine isn't a big deal, so if it developed a problem, no big deal, I just lost some time.  I've had engines I pulled sit around for years, and then put them in and run them.  I didn't drain them of coolant though, just whatever was left was left, and then evaporation likely happened.  I never head of any trouble from sitting dry.

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Head gaskets are metal. Metal doesn't dry out.


Valve cover gaskets or other o-ring type or rubber gaskets can be said to be "dry" when they get old and harden and crack due to volatile vapor exposure. But head gaskets aren't affected by petroleum.


Plenty of reasons that can cause head gaskets to go bad, sitting around with no coolant in the block isn't one of them.

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