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Subaru Forester, Engine, Wagon
#104 of 439 2001 Forester S - Head Gasket
Aug 08, 2007 (10:20 am)
We bought a used 2001 Forester S that was supposed to be in "mint" condition a few weeks ago. It drove great for about 2 hours until the engine temp gauge began rising. Long story short, mechanic said it was a head gasket problem.
I read the early posts on this thread about this issue with inferior head gaskets on some on the 1999-2001 (or 2002) Foresters, but I wanted to know of someone had detailed info on what it was that the dealers added to the coolant to "fix" this problem.
Was it some sort of "stop leak" stuff? Was it aluminum pellets?
Does anyone know if this was just a way for Subaru to get the car past the "extended" warranty period without having to shell out big bucks for lots of engine rebuilds?
By the way, this same "mint" Forester needed a new rear wheel bearing - $450! It also needed an alignment (toe was WAY off), new tires and moonroof has mechanical problems (sticks, won't open). Sigh!
#105 of 439 Re: 2001 Forester S - Head Gasket [compensate]
Aug 08, 2007 (10:32 am)
Go back to the seller. Who dumped it on you in that sort of condition? Sheesh.
#106 of 439 Re: 2001 Forester S - Head Gasket [ateixeira]
Aug 08, 2007 (11:42 am)
Yes. The seller is a long story, too. Nowhere to be found now. Phone number disconnected, etc.
#107 of 439 Re: 2001 Forester S - Head Gasket [compensate]
Aug 08, 2007 (1:27 pm)
But I don't think that transfers the responsbility over to Subaru, clearly this vehicle was neglected.
#108 of 439 Re: 2001 Forester S - Head Gasket [ateixeira]
Aug 08, 2007 (8:44 pm)
Sounds like a car from New Orleans.....
#109 of 439 Re: 2001 Forester S - Head Gasket [ateixeira]
Aug 09, 2007 (11:34 am)
Yes, this vehicle was obviously neglected.
I am not blaming Subaru. I have always wanted to own a Subaru for some time now. I just need an expert to tell me what the stuff was that Subaru corporate had dealers add to the cooling system. There was a service bulletin issued from Subaru for Foresters in 2000, 2001, and 2002 about this head gasket issue. The "fix" was to have dealers add something to the coolant. If it was a "stop leak" type of compound, that would be sad.
This will help me determine whether I should try that route again to save big bucks, or drop $1200 on a rebuild ($1200 I will have to take out a personal loan to acquire).
#110 of 439 Re: 2001 Forester S - Head Gasket [compensate]
Aug 09, 2007 (12:13 pm)
Prepare to be sad, because I think it was basically Stop Leak.
Did you see the MythBusters episode where cracked pepper successfully sealed a leaky radiator?
#111 of 439 Re: 2001 Forester S - Head Gasket [ateixeira]
Aug 10, 2007 (6:53 am)
Yes, I saw that Myth Busters episode. That's a cool show.
I figured it was a stop leak type of substance. So, I assume Subaru saved big bucks on having to rebuild mass quantities of engines by using a temporary fix that would obviously not permanently resolve the issue. That is not good to hear - always had respect for Subaru for a company that would do the right thing - this jades my perception a bit.
Oh well. On to the next issue:
Any suggestions on whether I should (1) have the head gasket replaced or (2) get a used engine from a 2003 Forester? My fear about the head gasket replacement (the cheaper option) is that they could find some cracks in the engine block and/or head once they get the engine disassembled. If that happens, I will be out the cost for the labot to take the engine apart and still have to pay for a used engine.
Any experiences about Foresters having cracked block problems because of overheating issues? Aluminum blocks to have a tendency to develop small cracks more than cast iron.
#112 of 439 Re: 2001 Forester S - Head Gasket [compensate]
Aug 10, 2007 (11:52 am)
If it has an overheat issue due to the gasket leaks, which it sounds like it does, then warping or cracks are a definite possibility. If I knew the history of the car, I would say go for the gasket replacement, but it sounds like this car may have suffered several rounds, and possibly prolonged, of overheating. The safest bet may be a different engine. Either way is still just a bet, though!
#113 of 439 Re: 2001 Forester S - Head Gasket [compensate]
Aug 13, 2007 (11:52 am)
An 03 or later engine should resolve the problem.
Coincidentally, the JD Power results are out for vehicle dependability and Subaru showed a significant improvement for MY2004, probably because the new Forester had better wheel bearings and the head gasket issue was resolved by then.