Last post on Feb 08, 2012 at 12:19 PM
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Subaru Forester, Subaru
#102 of 150 Re: 2005 Subaru Forester Head Gasket problem [goldengal]
Dec 07, 2009 (6:22 pm)
Yes, apparently this is a design issue - a poor design -so it does extend beyond the 03 models. I will try getting in touch with Subaru of Ameica. I originally put the car in the dealer for a recall issue and they were the ones who told me I needed head gaskets. Do you think I should still have it confirmed somewhere else? I don't have any signs of a problem.
#103 of 150 Re: 2005 Subaru Forester Head Gasket problem [krispychick]
Dec 07, 2009 (6:45 pm)
Our symptoms for the HG issue was leaking coolant, a sweet smell like maple syrup, and some smoke from the hood after driving -Yikes! We went online to search for great reviews of the best independent Subaru mechanic in the Twin Cities and found a honest mechanic who did the oil/coolant test to confirm (along with other checks).
I think he charged 40.00 to go over the entire car. There is an oil test you can order online and do yourself (read this forum) for less. We will only go to the dealership if SOA is going to help pay or a recall from now on. For example: We had a rattle sound under the hood and the dealership said it was our heat shield or something $$$$. Then we took it to the independent shop and the mechanic found that one of our deer whistles had broken off and was rattling around somewhere in the grill area. Save tons on that visit.
Not all independent mechanics are honest but with a little research (click and clack) -you might find one in your town. Hope this helps
#104 of 150 Re: HG leak on 06 Forester w/43k on the odo [erikwi]
Dec 08, 2009 (7:28 am)
"... I'm back from the dealer... They've also suggested that my using pure synthetic oil may have caused the leak which I don't buy. Tech told me Subaru doesn't recommend the use of synthetic oil in the engine until it has at least 75k on it. If this is the case, why does it not say "No synthetic oil" in the owner's manual?.."
Because Subaru says it is perfectly alright to use synthetic oil. The following is taken from an issue of EndWrench (http://endwrench.com/), a Subaru publication for professional repair technicians in Subaru dealers:
"The Use of Synthetic Engine Oil.
Subaru of America, Inc. allows the use of synthetic oil that meets the same requirements for conventional engine oil. When using synthetic oil, you must use oil of the same classification, viscosity and grade specified for the vehicle, and you must follow the oil and filter changing intervals shown in the specified mainte- nance schedule."
You say your Owners Manual does not say "No Synthetic Oil"? On the contrary, my Owners Manual goes so far as to specifically allow it. Page 11-11 says:
You can use synthetic engine oil that
meets the same requirements given for
conventional engine oil. When using
synthetic oil, you must use oil of the same
classification, viscosity and grade shown
in this Owner’s Manual, and must follow
the oil and filter changing intervals shown
in the maintenance schedule."
#105 of 150 Re: HG leak on 06 Forester w/43k on the odo [aatherton]
Dec 08, 2009 (9:58 am)
No, I said the dealer told me that Subaru doesn't recommend the use of synthetic oil even though the owner's manual clearly states it is acceptable provided it meets the same standards as regular oil. That was when I had it over there to have the HG replaced. The service manager said "That synthetic oil you use is probably why you have a head gasket leak at 43k miles."
#106 of 150 Re: HG leak on 06 Forester w/43k on the odo [erikwi]
Dec 08, 2009 (11:47 am)
No, Subaru says it does not matter what type of oil you use as long as it meets specs and is changed at the proper interval.
And head gaskets have no physical connection to oil like bearings and seals, so it matters even less the type of oil used.
#107 of 150 Re: HG leak on 06 Forester w/43k on the odo [aatherton]
Dec 08, 2009 (3:11 pm)
You're missing the quote from the service manager. He's the one that told me face to face synthetic wasn't recommended. I quoted the owners' manual to him when he made the comment about my use of synthetic oil. I know oil has nothing to do with a head gasket leak. I'm not blaming the oil here I'm blaming a flaw in either the head gasket itself or their engine assembly process.
#109 of 150 Re: HG leak on 06 Forester w/43k on the odo [aatherton]
Dec 13, 2009 (12:53 pm)
Aaahhh, now I see what you're saying. I saw the block design pics on the other forum so I'm familiar with them. What year did they switch to the full open deck block? I'm wondering how many other 2006's are going to start having problems. If what you're saying is the cause, then there should be lots of cars with head gasket leaks showing up in the near future. Wonder what SOA will do to solve the problem?
BTW, do you know whether or not they're bringing the diesel to the US?
#110 of 150 Re: HG leak on 06 Forester w/43k on the odo [erikwi]
Dec 14, 2009 (11:25 am)
I think the 2.5 engine has always been open deck. I think the head gasket failures changed from generalized to rare after 2003. I think that happened because the coolant formula was changed, a stop-leak additive was added at the factory, and is required to be added whenever the coolant was replaced. Head gasket leaks nowadays may be due to things like use of wrong coolant, not adding the additive, poor quality replacement gaskets, and not pulling the head off onto a workbench and thoroughly cleaning both the surfaces when a head gasket is replaced.
There are no published plans to bring the Subaru Diesel here, though that is probably the eventual intent. I think they are waiting on certain issues like further testing in other markets and reformulation of US diesel to avoid a urea additive injection pump.
#111 of 150 Re: HG leak on 06 Forester w/43k on the odo [aatherton]
Dec 14, 2009 (4:10 pm)
Mine was actually leaking oil and a tiny amount of coolant. The stop leak they added at the 30k ended my having to continually add coolant to the tank every couple of months but didn't stop the HG leak since it was mainly oil. I've seen that oil additive that claims to stop oil leaks but am a little leary of it. Don't want any passages plugged up and then get oil starvation to a main bearing or rod bearing, you know.
Rats on the diesel! It would've caused me to trade now instead of waiting a few years. I like the idea of 48mpg and AWD.