Last post on Jul 23, 2013 at 1:03 PM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Wagon
#8436 of 8657 Re: 2001 Outback catalytic converter and head gasket [Mr_Shiftright]
Feb 14, 2011 (9:16 pm)
re my catalytic converter and head gasket problem on my 2001 Outback.
1. I called Subaru, they said I had the special coolant done some years ago.
2. Mr. Shiftright, you are correct, Subaru wouldn't do anything for me on repairs. They did offer to rebate to me $500 after any purchase of a new Subaru, after I send them the paperwork.
3. I take my Subaru regularly to Lancer Automotive, the shop owned by Leon Kaplan aka the Motorman from 790 KABC Radio.
4. Can I drive the car with the leaking head gaskets, assuming I am only burning a quart every 4 or 5K miles. I heard Leon Kaplan on the radio tell another car owner who was burning oil to use a heavy weight oil 30 or 40 weight oil together with hyperlube oil, will that help?
5. Now for the 64K question, what will it generally cost to replace a CA catalytic converter and to replace the head gaskets, what am I looking at? If I do both jobs at once, can I bargain with the repair shop?
#8437 of 8657 Re: 2001 Outback catalytic converter and head gasket [Mr_Shiftright]
Feb 15, 2011 (3:18 am)
4.A. I have had a slightly leaking head gasket for about 4 years and so far so good.
5.A. I was quoted about $1000 for the Cat and I have to imagine it would be at least $1500 for the head gasket which is why I opted to just run it into the ground. Eventually my engine light went out (though it's still operative) and the car has always passed inspection.
Cat does have a separate emissions warranty that runs up to 100k, depending on your state.
#8438 of 8657 Re: 2001 Outback catalytic converter and head gasket [mtnsun]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Feb 15, 2011 (7:30 am)
I think ponytrekker gave you good advice (see above).
As for driving with the leaking head gasket, that really depends on how much it leaks and whether or not coolant is also leaking into the engine oil. Coolant in the engine oil will (not may, but WILL) destroy the engine. But if the head gasket is merely dripping oil externally, and not losing coolant externally or internally, then yeah, you could drive it---but it could bust out at any time, and if this happens on the highway, and you dump LOTS of oil, you may not react in time to save the engine.
Sure, it's expensive to fix, but if the rest of the car is in top shape, think of it this way: what piece of junk can you buy for $2000? Better the devil you know than the one you don't.
#8439 of 8657 Re: 2001 Outback catalytic converter and head gasket [ponytrekker]
Feb 15, 2011 (7:31 pm)
Thanks ponytrekker for you response. I called the repair shop today and asked them how much would it cost to fix both the cat and head gaskets. I intend to bargain--beg--do both at once, give me a discount, pretty please. Hopefully they will call me back tomorrow. The Cat is about 600 on the web, so add the labor and 1K sounds about right. The head gasket kits on the web are not that expensive, but the labor (to pull the engine) is expensive, but according to some sites should not exceed 10 hours. I think this all sucks, but I love my Subaru. I may still buy a new car, but I want to fix this one if not too expensive. For those of you who don't have a manual tranny Subaru, you are missing out on how fun it is to drive. But I understand from looking at the inventories on this website and from comments some make, that manual trannys are going out of style. Mtnsun.
#8440 of 8657 More from Mtnsun, my check engine light
Feb 16, 2011 (8:05 pm)
went out or turned off after about an hour drive, from LA to Orange County. I was told previously by the repair shop (see my other posts) that I need a new cat converter, and that my CEL would stay on, but now it has turned off. My 2001 Outback has 115K miles. I am assuming that the CEL will come back on tomorrow or soon. What does this mean, that my CEL was on for a solid week, then turned off for a day, then turned on again, anything?
#8441 of 8657 Re: More from Mtnsun, my check engine light [mtnsun]
Feb 16, 2011 (11:54 pm)
It is going to do that quite a bit! The problem is likely not the catalytic converter, but the oxygen sensors - if the code that is posting in the system is P0420. I had this code periodically pop up (sometimes daily, sometimes it would be off for weeks!) for several years on my '96 Outback and also on my '98 Escort. The tailpipe emissions were always good, so I have to surmise that the oxygen sensors are just getting old.
I picked up a cheap handheld code reader in order to check the codes and reset the light.
#8442 of 8657 Re: More from Mtnsun, my check engine light [mtnsun]
Feb 17, 2011 (6:33 am)
The way that the modern OBD2 works, from my understanding, is that there are a bunch of categories of codes.
Some of these, when they detect an error, will send a "pending" error code, to rule out 'flukes' with emissions, etc. I had this problem first-hand when I had a lean mixture issue that later turned out to be a faulty MAF sensor which I replaced myself.
Anyway, even if the engine light comes out, if you DRIVE enough, it will reset the code itself. The code can also be reset by disconnecting the battery so there's no power going through the car, but of course, this is more extreme and you'll lose your radio presets and, if equipped, your seat memory prefs.
So, it sounds like the code you're mentioning above is coming and going based on either the driving conditions at the time, or potentially a faulty component. You can usually bring your car into a national chain like AutoZone or Advance Auto and they'll extinguish the light for free - but as wes says below - you may find it more convenient to just buy yourself a cheap OBD2 reader and do it yourself.
#8443 of 8657 Re: More from Mtnsun, my check engine light [mtnsun]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Feb 17, 2011 (8:31 am)
The 2.5L engines like to eat 02 sensors. You'd best attend to it/investigate it because eventually the catalytic could become so stressed that you *will* need a new one. This is not a code I would ignore.
#8444 of 8657 Rear window washer fluid
Mar 30, 2011 (5:09 pm)
In a 2002 Outback, is there a separate resevior for the rear window washer fluid? It was working, now I can hear the motor but no fluid. The front washer fluid is fine.
#8445 of 8657 Rear window washer fluid.
Mar 30, 2011 (7:37 pm)
In my 2000 Legacy, both the front and rear washers come from the same tank under the hood. I had a motor go out for the rear and it was very easy to replace. I suggest taking the battery out for easier access to the tank. Pull the hoses from the bottom of both motors and have someone run both the front and rear washers so you can look to see if there is any fluid coming out of the motors. If there is, then your problem is in the hose line or even at the nozzle end above your wiper. Try to take a small wire or needle to push into the nozzle to try and free any debris that has collected at the end. You might have to just follow the hose from your tank to see it there is any leaks somewhere. Good Luck.