Skip's Head Gasket Failure Guestbook

Entries 301-400

Ben P Reidsville, NC 1997 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT 2.5L 154,900 My block cracked a long time ago because of the owner before me, but there's a way around it. Poke a hole through the thermostat, break the water pump so the water flows freely, then let the car do its own thing. The only downfall is that you won't have any heat for the heater in the car, but other than that, the car will run as good as dandy.
Lucy Ayers Berlin, MA 1997 Subaru Legacy SUS 2.5 118000 Overheating, blowing coolant, diagnosed with blown head gasket
Colette Colvich Salt Lake City, UT 97 Outback Wagon 2.5L 140,000 I am reading the same symptoms I had!! Although I replaced a head gasket, a year later I ended up replacing the engine! I had it diagnosed a few times...first it was the thermostat--replaced it; next it was the radiator--didn't replace it (my trusted mechanic said my radiator was fine); then it was a hose--replaced some; then it was my thermostat again...or the water pump...or the coolant level...take your was finally just a head gasket--replaced it. Not more than a year later it suddenly overheated but it didn't register too hot. It was too late...I had a crack in my engine or cylinder wall or whatever. Now, that I have the same 2.5L in it, I am getting rid of my car because I am worried that it will just happen again.
Rob Avsharian Denton, TX 98 Legacy GT wagon 2.5L 135,000 Blew a cylinder recently after a couple of years of subtle mis-firings and spark plug replacements...My check engine light would periodically come on, but after I felt the car idle like a jackhammer, I knew something was seriously wrong. Thankfully I have a mechanic friend who was very reasonable with the repair charges-I see people have spent well into the thousands to have this fixed. I was lucky and managed to spend only $900 that included a clutch replacement(since he had already pulled the engine and it was starting go get mushy). This has been the only major problem besides replacing the starter at around 110K.
TK Danbury, Ct. 2001 Outback Limited Wagon 2.5 Liter 47,000 Unbelievable........I thought I would do some web surfing, as a buddy of mine, (along with myself), own 2001 Outback Wagons, and have had 'nothing' but car is in the shop more than it isn' head gasket just blew, (yes, its getting covered under warranty), but why at 48,000 miles!! buddies went at 51,000 miles, and since it was changed, he's had nothing but further problems......and to boot, at 62,000 miles, his transmission went......I used to think this is a car that I wanted for both longevity and reliability, and with what I've experienced, and what I'm reading on your site......that couldn't be any further from the truth.......I know its my last Subaru I own......
Mace New Fairfield Ct 2001 Outback 2.5L 72,000 Head Gasket went at 51,000 Miles.. 2 Fuel Injectors w/in 60,000 Miles... Several visits to the dealer in Danbury Ct..AND to TOP IT ALL OFF my transmission went at 70,000 Miles...... I intended on having the CAR (By the way my second Outback.....Who's the FOOL?)for 200,000 miles plus w/ just day-to-day maintenance and NOW... It is my LAST SUBARU and every friend I see will hear my stories........If I could I would sell the Outback tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DISAPPOINTED IN NEW FAIRFIELD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kevin Mackan Guelph, On 1996 legacy outback 2.5 137,000 KM Headgasket failure to the tune of $1,900 on Christmas eve. Timing belt & cam seals in Sept for $491.00, alternator replaced in June for $619.00, Ouch!
Candice Choker Vicksburg MI 1999 Forester 2.5 90000 Leaking head gasket. I purchased used. Car came from Canada, SOA will not touch it since it doesn't show up when they do a vin check. Screwed!
J. Liccese Westfield, NJ 1999 Outback Wagon 2.5L 91,000 Head gasket blew after a coolant replacement. Cost will be $2,000 to $3,000. I thought I really liked this Subaru. But now, it seems they are rolling timebombs. Never had a problem with my Honda's!
chad dubois burlington, VT 97 GT wagon 2.5L 104,000 Usual started to overheat and, when checked, the coolant tank was full of 'sludge'. End result was that both head gaskets needed to be replaced. I've loved my subaru since I bought it in '98 and was planning to buy a new Outback XT within the next 2 years... After this oddessy, however, there's not a chance in hell I'll be owning another one. When the time comes, I'll look at the A4 & other AWD wagons. (Especially since the price of a new Subaru now approaches the price of a new AWD european wagon.)
Jennifer Pastrick Chugiak Alaska 2000 legacy britain 2.5L 66,230 Drove to the post office less than two miles away, it dumped all the coolant. Smoking scared me as this had never happened to me before. Thankfully I had coolant stored in the back. Filled up the overflow and limped to my repair guy. Head gasket blown on the driver's side, pushing up and out rather than back. 66 thousand miles. This is my first subaru. Bought it because of its great reputation for reliability. Will be contacting the dealer from which I bought it in the A.M., hopefully we can work something out. I live in Alaska and was depending on this car to 200 thousand miles. Always took good care of this car -- oil, transmission, routine maintenance -- just don't understand. thanks Jennifer
R. M Halifax 2001 legacy GT Ltd 2.5 118000 km Leaking coolant, overheating. Dealers answer $2800 Head Gaskets
John Pramik Sykesville, MD 2001 Forester 2.5 102,000 Gasket just blew. Subaru is junk will never buy one again and I will send this website to all my friends. Car was never driven hard and always maintained.
Steve Heuer Hermosa Beach, CA '99 Outback Limited 2.5L 91,117 I had just paid approx. $450 for the major 90,000 mile dealer service and they told me my vehicle is in great shape. I've maintained it religiously. I had an extended warranty of 6 years/100,000 miles that just ended Sep. '04. I just drove it up to the mountains and 90 miles from my destination, with the car driving perfectly, I noticed the temp. gauge was spiked. Ultimately it turned out that the head gasket went. I spoke to numerous garages in Mammoth Lakes and they see this problem on a DAILY basis. Doing research on the Internet, you will find thousands and thousands of people with the same issue. I was told by one of the mechanics that all of the double overhead cam 4 cylinder Subaru engines blow head gaskets at some point after approx. 80,000 miles and that this engine has since been discontinued. I also have come to find out that the "phase 2" version was "recalled" and they will fix that one, but the "phase 1" engine that I, and thousands of others, have they won't do a damn thing about. What kind of company is this? It ain't rocket science... they put out a defective product and all they will do is stick it to the consumer. This company needs to be held accountable for their glaring and obvious screw up. How can they get away with this? This is my second and now probably last Subaru, if this is how they handle their customers.
Mack Nolen Clarksville, TN 1998 Outback 2.5 90K Dealer wants minimum $2,500 to repair, but "might be more when we get inside the motor".
Byron Fry Mammoth Lakes, CA '97 Outback phase l 2.5 97k Mammoth is a small town of only 7,000 yet between 2 local mechanics, they've replaced 14 phase l head gaskets just since Oct. of '04 (It's currently mid-Feb '05)! I Talked to Subaru of America, and they're coughing up their sleeves. They've evidently re-designed these gaskets 6 times...neither local mechaninc is a dealer, and neither trusts the Subaru gasket, although the machine shop suspects the gasket may be failing because of a bad mechanical design. Fel-Pro would be the top choice for a replacement, but they've been unavailable for 4 months. Word is that I can expect this thing to blow again, and this is gonna cost me $2000.00 just for now. A single working dad in a town this expensive can't afford this kind of nonsense. PLEASE, LET'S GET A CLASS ACTION!! Come on, Subaru, you HAD a good reputation; don't you care? A LITTLE help here could really save your market. WAKE UP. The word's getting out.
Roberta Martinson Central City, Ia 1997 Outback 2.5 L 133,000 Temperature spiking, slight oil in overflow reservoir, coolant all over the engine compartment. Tried replacing thermostat, but didn't help. Radiator repair shop thought it might be a blown Head gasket. Sure enough 3 week later an $1700 lighter it had a slight nick in one of the heads, heads reground, new head gaskets, timing belt, and a new water pump. Problem seems fixed for now.
Rich Pauls   98 Outback 2.5L 125,000 Thanks to the wealth of documentation on these fourms, I was able to diagnose my strange overheating problem and fix the head gaskets myself in my garage. I was inspired by all the comments here. I followed Skips step-by-step description with pictures (along with the Subaru downloaded shop manuals too). It took me 22 hours. It was quite easy to pull the engine with a chain hoist. And it is SO easy to work on this little engine once its out of the car and sitting in your kids wagon! Heads were still flat and in generally great shape. Runs like a charm now!
John Melligh Aloha, OR 1999 Forrester 2.5L 75,200 When I took our Forrester in for it's 60,000 mile service, the service tech told us that there was a small oil leak coming from the oil pump. He said he wasn't too worried, and that if it didn't get worse, I could probably ride it out for a while, then save money on replacing the gasket and doing the timing belt at the same time. At 72,000 miles the leak suddenly got a lot bigger, so had the work done. After it was repaired I was still seeing oil drops on the garage floor. At first I figured it was still dripping from the oil that had leaked and splattered the under-carriage. Well, at 75,500 miles I am still getting drops of oil on the floor. Take it back in to see if the oil pump was still leaking and find out that the left side head gasket is leaking oil. Service tech recommended repairing both sides and quoted a price of $1600-1700. I remember getting the service bulletin about having the conditioner added to the coolant, had it don at 61000, and that extended the head gasket warranty to 8 years/100K miles. Unfortunatley that is only for coolant leaks. My wife found your website and others pointing out this glaring defect with the head gaskets. The final bill came to about $1750, but after my wife talked to the service tech and pointed out info from this site and others, the tech was able to get our bill lowered to $1284. Still alot, but better thatn $1750! We have really enjoyed our Forrester, and would probably buy again, but we would be more diligent at having them check the head gaskets while the car is still under warranty.
Bob Bach Toronto, ON Canada 1999 Outback Ltd. 2.5L 136000 Head gasket started leaking on LH side for no apparent reason in October, 2004. Replaced both head gaskets. Car has been fine since.
Julie Hall New Bloomfield, PA 1998 outback 2.5L 108000 Just been reading through your guestbook. Sounds like the same story here. Overheating, sludge in the overflow tank. Water pump replaced a year ago. Thermostat, and hoses 3 mos. ago. Flushed entire system and pressure leaks. Going to replace thermostat again, but I am sure I know the answer.
H. Morris Wooster, Ohio 2002 Outback Sport 2.2 36,000 Schedule an appointment with a Subaru dealer 30 miles from me for a noise coming from the radiator. After getting it into the shop at 0800 and hour later was called out to be shown the problem of the upper radiator hose had drouped down and the electric fan was hitting the hose nearly cutting it in two. He also pointed out a blown driver side head gasket which was covered under the warranty car has 36,000 miles on it. After a lenthy discussion with Head Meister of the Shop I had to pay over 100.00 dollars for the hose replacement, anti freeze replacement and labor. I was in the waiting room from 0800 until 1200 noon...seem kind of long to replace a hose and anti freeze from when I would replace my hoses in years past. Sir Meister informed me the head gasket would be under warranty...I asked about a loaner car...was told Subaru doesn't lend out vehicles but would rent one to me for 30 dollars a day which if I had to leave the car on Friday they wouldn't start work on it the following Monday which would mean I wouldn't get it until Tuesday sometime. So I had to find other means to get the car back to the dealer before Monday. I went to the Cleveland Auto Show that week-end and talked to a Regional Distict Manager about my problem and the story. He assured me that I should have gotten a car from the dealer in which I would have been reimbursed from Subaru if I would rent out the car. Mr. Meister didn't fill me in on that part as he and his manager boss where playing head games with me. As I was talking with the Regional Manager of Ohio about the blown gasket he said that our car was a rarity of having a blown head gasket and that we where of a small group to have such a problem and that he would take it to Subaru to look into the if all these people in this site has blown head gaskets I would think Mr. Regional Manager of Ohio would have known the problem or is off on some adventure and not doing his job and perhaps he should be replaced if he's B.S.n' the Subaru problems. As for me their advertisement for a good product is not what it is and I'm going to get rid of the Outback and go back to a Chevy or Ford...screw Mitsubishi...they mada a damn good Zero
J. Ryan Carmel, NY 1998 Outback 2.5 L 58,000 After exiting the highway, my 1998 Subaru Outback (58,000)died. After being towed, I was just told that the head gasket is blown and the engine is fried. I need a rebuilt engine that will cost between $5,500 and $7,000. While the car is under the limited mileage warranty (60,000) it is over the 5 year limit.Why warranty a part for 60,000 and limit the time frame in which it can fail? I'm between a rock and a hard place.Sign me up!!!!
Matt Hayes Wilmington, NC 99 Forester 2.5 100,001 I thought Subaru was a good vehicle, but the way the Subaru America HQ has dealt with this problem rubs me the wrong way. I'll never buy another Subaru... It might be in the companies interest to deal with this problem instead of adding the "coolant conditioner" and letting the customer deal with the problem down the road. Makes me HOT
Craig Horne Sunnyvale, CA 97 Legacy GT sedan 2.5L 115,000 It began with a loss of coolant. I am disappointed that I had to pay $1,500 for major engine repair at this mileage. It definitely buts a tarnish on my image of Subaru reliability.
Gary B Columbus, OH 1999 Outback 2.5L 103,000 Blown head gasket. $1650 to repair. My next car will be a Toytota.
Z Milltown, NJ 1998 Outback 2.5L 115000 BHG around 90k miles, living with it. Will try block sealer before throwing good money at bad. Most likely will trade it in. No more Subaru.
P Schmelzer Minneapolis MN '99 Forester 2.5L 112,000 Leaking head gasket, diagnosed after five trips to two non-dealer mechanics; estimated replacement $1850. I love the car, but I'll never buy a Subaru from Morrie's in Minneapolis after all the troubles I've had with this one, which I bought used from them (undisclosed leaking CV joints and struts, scores of heating and cooling problems, and now this).
Ron Kudasik Chambersburg Pa 1998 Legacy GT 2.5 143,000 Although I have owned many Subarus in the past,including a 1979 4X4 wagon with 300,000 miles and turned my family, including both brothers and my father, on to owning these I quit buying them when they still ran 250+K trouble free miles... although the bodies fell apart due to rust long before the mechanicals quit. I am writing this because yesterday one of my brothers (both of which STILL own them...father too)called asking if I knew anything about why after replacing one headgasket the car still overheats. I'm the brother that is perceived as having the most car knowledge and I do love cars. I called a local ex-Subaru tech. who had opened his own busness specializing in Subies and has been at it for nearly 30 years. After explaining the circumstances the short answer was "the 2.5 engine between 1996-98 is junk" further, replacing one with either a junkyard part or even a SOA short-block was asking for trouble again sooner or later because there was/is a design flaw perpetuated to this day on those engines. Also, according to him his "fix" (at about $3200.00) for owners wanting to salvage their investment in those cars affected is the short-block although headgasket/cracked cylinder bores and block problems will reoccur. This guy lives and breathes Subarus so for him to outright tell me the 2.5's in those years, and maybe other newer cars are flat out junk tells me something...I don't think I'll be going back to Subarus anytime soon. Can someone here tell me( in subsequent posts) what comes first headgasket failure with its overheating or the cracked block??
Jennie Rawski Boxborough, MA 2002 Forester 2.5L 70,000 currently I purchased this vehicle new and within the first year of purchase, around 10,000 mi. the head gasket failed and needed to be replaced. I continue to have numerous problems with this car and wish that I would have traded it in for a Toyota just after the head gasket failed. It is not the quality purchase that I hoped it would be. I will buy a Toyota next time.
Anthony Coleman St. Paul, MN 1999 2.5RS 2.5L EJ25 85000 Mine blew last year. It turned out that the engine's coolant system had leaked out and it was bone dry. Thing is, the engine never overheated so I didn't think to look. As great as it was that the engine held up with no coolant, it still caused the gasket to blow.
Robert Simpson West Bloomfield, MI 1998 Legacy GT 2.5 135,000 Head gaskets replaced at 80,000 miles. The dealer was not happy to replace them under extended warranty claiming that a gasket is not an "internal part". Replaced the clutch while the engine was out for $1200. Now, after much misfiring recently and the familiar smell of coolant, it looks like they may need to be replaced again, soon.
nick philadelphia, pa 2000 outback 2.5 103K Just detected external leak in right head gasket (confirmed by local subaru dealer).. SOA told my local dealer they would warranty the work on BOTH heads for $100... that's not so bad.
Lovell Cueto Chicago, IL 99 Impreza RS 2.5L 93,000 Water pump started to leak and overheated. I personally replaced it with timingbelt. Drove home, then the next day, drove to work and it overheated. I found the coolant coming out the coolant reservior. My car's been modified, and I'm not to sure if the Subaru dealer would be willing to warranty the head gaskets. So I plan on rebuilding the motor totally with a new block and so on.
Ben San Diego, CA 1998 Forrester 2.5L 156000 Bought it six weeks ago. Blown the head gasket. Wish I had found this website earlier. No more Subaru's for me.
Marvin Morris North Wales, PA 1997 Outback Wagon EJ25 2.5L 165000 Wife drove 5 miles to pick up son at high school choir practice. Pulled into school parking lot (she is not one to watch the guages)and the car quites. She tries to restart and no-go. She waits a few minutes, but while she is waiting she notices that the Temp guage needle is pegged at H and I mean the BIG H. She has no clue how long the car was running hot. (Please help me here- how long does it take to stop a Subaru 2.5L in its tracks?). She waits a bit and the car restarts. Takes the kid to dinner and the car cools down. Drives home and tells me what happened. It's the coldest night in Philadelphia this year and I am out refilling the radiator with coolant. We drive into work together in the AM, so I watch the needle and all is fine until we get to the end of a short highway portion of our 20 mile trip. The needle is climbing to heaven quickly. I drive the last two blocks to the school where she teaches and leave the car at the mechanic across the street. He changes the thermostat and refills the coolant, but does not notice the ring of black in the overflow bottle ($150.oo). She drives home but does not watch the gauges. Later that night she picks me up at the train station. I check the gaguge when I get in the car and it's normal until we drive TWO more blocks and there she blows, the needle flies straight to the H. (does this stand for Heaven or Hell). Saturday morning trip to A & T Subaru. The service writers hears this tail of woe and whispers "Head Gasket" and 1200 dollars. Plus since the engine quit on the first occurance she believes that the heads are probably warped and a new engine is in order if both are warped. What do you do? Put $3000.00 in a 8 year old car or trade it in to some unsuspecting dealership and buy something else? The decision time is here. Any feedback would be apprieciated.
Eric Gordon White Plains, NY 1998 Outback 2.5L 88,900 Just had the head gaskets fixed for about $1,850. (I had one dealer that wanted to charge me $2,700). It really is ridiculous that they recalled 1999-2001, but not 1998s that have the same engine. Hope this helps.
Chris Pickhardt Minnepolis, MN 99 Legacy Ouback Limited 2.5L 127K Add me to the list of another blown head gasket owner at the price of $2300.
Keith Nelson, B.C. 1998 Impreza RS 2.5L 150000kms Engine overheated January 2002, middle of a Canadian winter, on a trip home from Vancouver. Kelowna dealer, Anthony's Suzuki Subaru replaced thermostat and checked for coolant combustion. Finding no evidence of coolant being consumed they sent me on my way home. No problems until next trip to Vancouver, first mountain pass, on the decent, engine overheated. Pulled Thermostat in Kristina Lake and made my way to Van. All, good until next trip to Van. Over heated on way up first pass, limped home. Still discovered no evidence of coolant being consumed until i drove 10 min up Salmo pass with no signs of overheating and returned to the mechanic for a second inspection. Turns out that my heads, both or one, not sure, were warping when driven under load. Replaced head gaskets and replaned the heads. Driven 40 000 kms since, no problems.
Chris Cliver woodstock GA 1998 Forester 2.5L 80,000 Same story I've read here several times. Started running at very high temp. $2200 and new head gasket later it's fixed.
Mike Webb Cincinnati, OH 99 Legacy GT Wagon 2.5L 133k Head gasket was blown for a while I think. But when it started over heating I new it was done. Took it to a mechanic who tore into it and had trouble getting the cam bolts out. (a lot of trouble). When the heads were off I did not like the scoring in the cylinders. You could hardly feel it but i did not want to pore good money after bad. Started doing research and found a replacement from a yard was going to run me over$2000. (and maybe need the head gasket replaced) Decided to get a new short block and rebuilt heads. It took 3 blocks before i got one with less than .010in end play in the crank. The dealer said they put these in all the time like that. I have yet to find a dealer I would trust any further than I could throw them. I now have over 2000 miles on the motor and I am happy with the way it runs. One thing the dealer recommended is using a coolant system sealer/conditioner in the anti freeze. Guess that keep the head gasket demons away. Also they have made improvements in the gasket design. I hope it all works. Best of luck to you.
Aaron Bee Fairfax, VA 01 Outback 2.5L 50k Leaking coolant from driver's side head gasket after 50k. I used to think Subarus were reliable. I don't have problems like this with my Volvo!
Joel Heuschele Eau Claire, WI 97 Outback Ltd 2.5L 104k One of my head gaskets blew, apparently destroyed the engine, I contacted Subaru for assistance with the repair, either financially, or by providing parts for free to a dealer(As I am of the opinion head gaskets should not blow at 104K miles) for the repair, and I was told politely to shove it. Subaru could write the manual on how to lose a life long customer.
Frank Thomas Jacksonville, Fl 98 Legacy Outback 2.5L 147,609 Dealer determined that one of the head gaskets was blown on 8/16/2004 with 147,609 miles. Both heads were removed and sent to "Dover Cylinder" for testing - No cracks found in heads or block. valves were resurfaced and heads reinstalled. also replaced water pump and timing belt and had 150,000 Mile Service Performed. I plan to keep the 98 Outback until it gives up the ghost and was planning on purchasing another Subaru but after headgasket failure with no help from Subaru to repair, I am now looking at Infiniti G35X -All wheel drive sedan.
Scott Russell Lewiston, Maine 97 Legacy Outback Wagon 2.5L   head gaskets, cam seals and timing belt (bent valves) god i hate interference engines!!!!!
S. Cannon Bosie Area, Idaho 98 Legacy Outback 2.5L 122K I bought my Subaru for reliability and I really like the car for off-road ramblings and for slick winter roads. I was utterly astounded to discover the overheating problem was a blown head gasket. I called my dealership to ask about a head gasket problem and I was assured that my car ('98 Outback) was NOT a model that was experiencing that problem. Good enough, I decided, since Subaru didn't think my car had a problem that was the result of their poor design, I would not give them my money for repairs. I took the car to an independent who said he had replaced plenty of head gaskets on Subarus. He showed me the replacement gasket he uses and explained how it wouldn't blow like the bad one on the car. That was a year ago. I am so mad at Subaru and I DO NOT trust them. They have a great product that just suits my life-style, but I will NOT buy another Subaru for a long time, maybe ever.
Bud Birmingham, Al 98 Forester 2.5L 148,000 HG blown blowing exhaust into cooling system
Rob Garofalo Sterling, VA 99 Forester 2.5L 74,654 radiator replaced, smell of coolant in vent
Bill Newman Reston, VA 2000 Outback 2.5L 113,000 Head gasket. $1400. Great. Out of "warranty".
Britt Wisdom Santa Cruz, CA 99 Legacy Outback 2.5L 97,000  
Lucille Stock Laguna Beach, CA 98 Outback 2.5L 88,000 cracked engine block at 30k.. repeat at 88k
Chris Schattie Petaluma, CA 2000 Outback Sedan LTD 2.5L 110,000  
John Wheeler Weston, WV 1998 Outback 2.5L 117,000  
Andy Trepanier Essex, VT 98 Rally Sport Impreza 2.5L 72,000 the cost ??????
Mary R. Moore Asheville, NC 98 Forester 2.5L 73,000 Blown headgaskets.
Paul Avery Fort Collins, CO 2001 Outback Wagon 2.5L 18,500 Stranded 500 miles from home over holiday weekend
Brent Martin Bloomsburg, PA 99 Legacy Outback Wagon 2.5L 58,700 Head gasket blew Dec 2003, under 50k miles
Chris Frese Ravena, NY 1997 Outback Wagon 2.5L 163,000 2nd head gasket failure
Mary Farrant San Francisco, CA 1998 Legacy Outback 2.5L 72,000 blown HG, possibly 2
Paul Thurston-Hicks Canon City, CO 1998 Outback 2.5L 136,000  
Carolyn Stillman Thornton, CO 1996 Outback 2.5L 151,000 replaced hg after replaceing thermostat and radiator $$
Marty Stanton Kinnelon, NJ 1998 Legacy Outback Wagon 2.5L 76,000  
Jim Papanastasiou Richmond Hill, ON, Canada 1998 Legacy 2.5GT wagon 2.5L 142,000 kms head gaskets replaced - $2065 CAD (~$1600 USD)
Carl Vanvoer Clintwood, VA 1997 legacy outback wagon 2.5L 154,000 still having problems
Rafael Wood Denver, CO 1997 outback legacy wagon 2.5L 138,000 shoulda bought a toyota
Martin Brazeau Gatineau (Quebec) 2001 Outback 2.5L 117,000 kms Won't cover because more 100K. Sad for a 35K car.
Kirk R. Cameron Glendale, CA 1998 Forester 2.5L 96,200 I had absolutely no indication that my gasket was "broken" until I went to the dealership for some other work. No temp problems. No fluid on the ground. No white smoke. No shuddering. Just the dealership telling me that it would cost about $3000 and that I should just sell the car.
Glenn Maple Grove, MN 2002 Outback Sport 2.5L 40,000 2 blown head gaskets in 3 years
michael houston durham, NC 1998 outback 2.5L 122,000  
Bill Paulson Naperville, IL 1999 Outback 2.5L 82,000  
Tim Bergquist Bountiful, UT 1997 Legacy OB Wagon 2.5L 155,000 Head gasket replacement fixed overheating problems
Roy B Flagstaff, AZ 1997 Outback Wagon 2.5L 83,000 Thanks so much for putting this page together.
Jim Susang Bosie, ID 2001 Outback 2.5L 67,000 mechanic told me that head gaskets were leaking and that dealer would fix under warrenty so I had it towed to the dealer who is now trying to tell me there is no problem; that there is a radiator or thermostat problem. I don't know who to believe.
Gabriel Fernandes Pawtucket, RI 2000 Impreza 2.5RS 2.5L 103,000  
bruce dorr Littleton, CO 98 Outback Legacy 2.5L 128,000 Constant overheating, mechanic says needs new gaskets, water pump, radiator etc. qouted $3000 for repairs. Thanks Subaru.
Glen Covey Nova Scotia 1998 Outback 2.5L 220,000  
Tom McGuire Albany, CA 1998 Legacy Outback 2.5L 120,000 Severly disappointed that my "trusty and faithful" Subaru Outback blew the head gasget at only 120,000--but there was evidence of problems as early as 85,000 miles. Sucks. I am going to write Subaru, Inc. and cc everybody I can imagine--congresspeople, consumer reports, columnists, dealerships, etc. It's unbelievable they are ignoring it. I must have been one of the lucky ones, too, to get $3700 from a private buyer.
Dan Lamson Chester, VT 1998 Forrester 2.5L 186,000 I ran the car without hardly a problem for 8 years, hoping to get a few more when, POOF! Out came the steam, spike went the temperature gauge. We limped it to a garage to fill the radiator and sure enough there was oil in the reservoir. Brought it my local garage and they changed the thermostat and the coolant. 40 miles later same symptoms. Brought it to a Subaru dealer and they said the best route was a new engine...
Quinton Miller Palmerston North, New Zealand 1995 Legacy 250T 2.5L 167,000 i cant believe im not the only person that got cought like this,even tho im young doesnt mean im reckless,and thanx to a good faithed person i now am proving my innocence,thanx very much,by the way it cost me $4000 nz dollars,to put in a transplant OF A TRANSPLANT in my wagon and is now using heaps of water,thanx guys,keep up the good site...
Craig Paterson Thames, New Zealand 1998 Outback Ltd 2.5L 137,000 km Thank you so much for this site !!!! I was on the point of purchasing this one owner Outback wagon ...when I read your Guestbook as part of my pre-purchase research! You have undoubtedly saved me thousands of dollars of grief and disappointment. THANK YOU ! :-)
Brad Edwards Douglasville, GA 1998 Impreza RS 2.5L 153,000 I blown 2 head gaskets both at the end of the summer 2003 and 2004!
Ron Najman Tuxdeo, NY 2001 Outback wagon 2.5L 126,000 Same symptoms, same story, as just about everyone else here. But does anyone know if the gasket problem was fixed for the newly redesigned 2005 models?
Jo Ann Beastley Albany, NY 2002 Outback Sport 2.5L 32,900  
Mim Mirsky Boulder, CO 1998 Forrester 2.5L 111,527 My car was a graduation present from college from my parents and grandparents. I planned on driving it until it had 250,000 miles and take care of it (regular oil changes and other services). In fact, I had just brought the car in to get radiator fluid flushed, fuel/air induction system cleaned and other services -- totaling close to $400. Then, the overheating problem happened. After a month of bringing it into the shop once a week, I learned that it is suffering from a leaky head gasket and needs a new engine short-block, which will cost $4500 (with additional engine adjustments). I don't have the money for this repair, so I think I need to get rid of my 7 year old car. I am soo sad. :(
Ray DiSandro Sr. Audubon, PA 2000 Forrester 2.5L 113,000 Just got the call from the dealer. That "smell" was leaking head gasket $1400. This was after I dutifully responded to their recall regarding leak-stop when I got the notice.
E. Williams South San Francisco, CA 1999 Forester S 2.5L 32,000 Purchased this vehicle used with 28,000 miles. 1 year later vehicle began overheating. I took it to the dealer and the service manager immediatley diagnoised the problem as a blown head gasket. Repairswere made under warranty with no cost to me. Thank you Bob who is no longer with Ron Price Subaru.
James Conuel Shoreline, WA 1998 Legacy Outback 2.5L 70,000 Have been informed that head casket is not blown but that tiny amounts of exhaust are detected in the coolant.
Ronald San Antonio, TX 2002 Legacy L 2.5L 31,000 We chose Subaru as at the time we were having our second child and wanted something safe yet fun to drive. The first head gasket blew on a Texas-Cali trip with the family packed in and is going in for it's second head gasket today. I am bummed...
sidikhan england 1998 legacy 2.5L 85,000 twice in a year the head gasket blew and both the gaskets were replaced the first time the thermo changed and the cooling system checked.I my opinion i think the genuine metal head gaskets are to blame,the quality is not upto standered.
Matthew Fenske Spokane, WA 1997 Legacy Outback 2.5L 115,000 Gasket blew at 85000 miles. I changed them myself. The parts counter acknowledged that this was a problem and sold me a "modified" head gasket kit. Said there was no recall. I will not buy another Subaru because of this problem and a few others.
mike albany, ny 2001 Legacy GT 2.5L 80,000 & 106,000 Head gasket went at 80K in November of 2003. Gasket replaced to the tune of $1100. Wrote Subaru to complain and was reimbursed. In November 2004 with 106000 miles, gaskets started leaking again. Was told that it wasn't too bad a leak and flush and sealer was recommended and performed for $165. Drove the car 35 miles and it overheated. (Bear in mind that the car never overheated before this service.) Car was towed into dealer. They could not figure out why it suddenly overheated but went on a parts replacement frenzy. Suddenly, the head gaskets DID need to be replaced along with a new water pump, and radiator. Gaskets were considered a warranty item. They did not charge me labor for the water pump but the radiator ran $700. I was told the water pump was not leaking but had a slightly worn bearing. I was told that the radiators on these cars often get clogged after about 80K. For each of these two repairs, the car was at the dealer for 10 days, mind you. Finally, 30 days after the second set of gaskets, the car overheated again while idling in my neighbor's driveway. Bear in mind that this was December 30 and the outside temperature was about 20 degrees. The car was towed to the dealer and they could find nothing wrong. I was charged for the tow and an hour of diagnostic time. Having taken more than enough abuse from the Subaru dealer, I traded the car in for a Chevy Truck shortly afterward. Based on my experience with the car and local dealer, I'll never buy another Subaru. Nice car to drive, but it turned out to have horrible problems with the engine.
chris tedrowe somers, ny 1999 forester 2.5L 113,000 Subaru has declined to help. Even though the car had the 100k miles ext warraty. Since it was over 110k when i brought it in they refused to help.
Kreta Johnson Moscow, ID 198 Forester 2.5L 75,000 Blown head gasket, wish I had my Honda back!
Lisa Chadek Camas, WA 1998 Forester L 2.5L 133,000 Had.03% Carbon Monoxide and 600+ PPM Hydro Carbons in cooling system sample (radiator).
Melinda Roberts Port Perry, Ontario, Canada 1997 Outback 2.5L 225,000 diagnosed as cracked engine block. A friend of mine with the same model same year had the same problem
Bruce Rowe Vassalboro, Maine 1998 Legacy Outback Wagon 2.5L 95k Bought this car less than a year ago after wife totaled her Saab, Dealer S&T motors sold it as pristine 88k miles. One day coolant pouring out. Head gaskets $1534.74 and its using a lot of oil. I've taken a beating. S&T has checked oil problem can't find a thing wrong told me its normal for car to consume between 1 and 1 1/2 quarts per thousand miles.
Laurie Austin, TX 1997 Outback Limited 2.5L 140k  
John Wojtusiak Newton, NJ 1999 Forester S 2.5L 113,000 Did not have a overheating problem, but now I have the usual - rough idle, misfire on number 4 cylinder, oil in water and a nasty knocking sound from the crank area. Yes, I know...I've already started pricing a new motor. This was one of many Jap. cars that I've owned, but my first/last Subaru.
Karen Britton Norwich, NY 2002 Forester 2.5L 90,700 just after my extended warranty to 80,000(at 80,200) the head gasket blew. I was one of the lucky ones that had it covered under warranty. This was due to the fact that I had the special additive put in my car's cooling system. Obviously they know that this is an issue.
Sharon Maitland Denver, CO 1999 Outback 2.5L 68,000 Overheating, replaced thermostat, radiator cover, brought it in, suggested it was the head gasket. Researched found this site. Confirmed it was the problem, but not on the VIN list. Extended warrenty will cover it, minus the deductable. I will be sending that bill to subaru along with a phone call.


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