Last post on Aug 25, 2012 at 1:58 PM
You are in the Subaru Forester Maintenance & Repair
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Subaru Forester, Engine, Wagon
#109 of 439 Re: 2001 Forester S - Head Gasket [ateixeira]
Aug 09, 2007 (10:34 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 (11:13 am)
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 (5:53 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 (10:52 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 (10:52 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.
#114 of 439 Re: 2001 Forester S - Head Gasket [ateixeira]
Aug 13, 2007 (12:21 pm)
I would swap it with an engine of the same year. I've done direct swaps that one would think would be direct bolt-ins varing by 1 or 2 years and the connections are completely different sometimes.
#115 of 439 2002 engine will not run smoothly after complete tune-up.
Aug 14, 2007 (4:01 pm)
Took our 2002 in for a complete tune-up at 103,000 miles. Replaced belts, spark plugs, oil & filter, flushed the radiator, changed transmission oil and gear oil, air and fuel filters replaced, replaced spark plug wires, replaced water pump and now engine is rough. After two days, engine check light came on and did not have enough power to continue to drive. Had dealer tow and they are not able to diagnose the problem.
#116 of 439 Re: 2002 engine will not run smoothly after complete tune-up. [gediehl4]
Aug 14, 2007 (4:11 pm)
Well, first off, it is the dealer's problem to fix! But, sounds to me like the timing is off. Maybe multiple problems, like a loose plug wire, to complicate the matter.
I would request them give me a loaner (no cost to me) until they get it straightened out. That will give them incentive to do it quickly and do it right.
#117 of 439 Re: 2002 engine will not run smoothly after complete tune-up. [gediehl4]
Aug 15, 2007 (8:20 am)
Sorry to hear that. You bring in a perfectly good engine and it comes out worse than before.
I'm sure they accepted your money, though!
Call 800-SUBARU3 and express your displeasure. Be polite, but I agree with the suggestion above that you ask for a loaner.
#118 of 439 Re: 2002 engine will not run smoothly after complete tune-up. [ateixeira]
Aug 15, 2007 (3:30 pm)
Since you didn't mention them doing the timing belt on it, I would say it's a bad set of wires or plugs or something along those lines causing the issue.