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#45 of 150 "01 Forester with Head Gasket Leak
Mar 15, 2008 (8:03 pm)
We have an '01 Forester L with 99,640 miles, and during a recent trip to our local mechanic, we discovered that there was a coolant leak from the head gasket. This car was serviced during the recall for the head gasket (WWP-99) back in 2004, and followed the maintenance schedule faithfully since which was required under the extended warranty for the head gasket coolant leak to 100,000 miles or 8 years from the initial date of service.
Since when this was discovered, I only had less than 400 miles to go before this warranty was going to run, so I immediately took the Forester to a local Subaru dealer. However, later, the dealership reported that it was oil that was leaking, not coolant, and so this extended warranty for the head gasket did not apply. I naturally contested it (my mechanic said it was coolant), and in the end, Subaru USA agreed to pay half the cost of the head gasket repair. I did not want to agree to this, but I just could not risk having the warranty run out during the dispute process and needing to pay for the whole thing in case they turned out to be right about the coolant leak. If I had had several thousand miles left, I would have pushed the issue back to Subaru and insisted on a second opinion to decide whether it was oil or coolant leaking.
I am now wondering whether it is some kind of a standard response by Subaru to pay half for the repair of the recalled head gasket claiming an oil leak versus coolant's in the hope that an owner would just accept it as I did. Has anyone had this kind of experience?
#46 of 150 Re: "01 Forester with Head Gasket Leak [jacksan1]
Mar 17, 2008 (9:53 pm)
I believe that when your head gasket is leaking, BOTH oil and coolant get mixed together and cycle around in your engine. Your mechanic probably did a compression test and found the head gasket was leaking. I had oil globs in my coolant overflow tank. I think your dealer was trying to get you to go past your warranty mileage which is very, very unethical.
Just the fact Subaru USA agreed to pay half means you were in the right and they were trying to get you to settle. Also very, very unethical.
I have no idea what recourse you have -- perhaps registering a consumer complaint with your state Attorney General or suing the dealer and/or Subaru USA in Small Claims court for the other half. Depends on how upset you are. And don't buy another Subaru if you can't get resolution from them.
Big companies count on you folding. I've had problems with Verizon Wireless and CIGNA Healthcare and had to spend many hours writing letters and talking to customer service reps (who should be called customer DIS-service reps). They simply ignore you unless you persist, persist, persist. It's not the money, it's the principle.
When I first got the bad news about my car, I found a site dedicated to the Subaru head gasket leak with many disappointed and angry owners. Maybe there is a suggestion on there that will help you figure out a course of action. Leaves a bad taste, doesn't it?
#47 of 150 Re: "01 Forester with Head Gasket Leak [jacksan1]
Nov 16, 2008 (6:07 am)
I have an 02 Forrester that developed head gasket leaks. I took it to the dealer and they didn't mention the recall or that it may still have warranty on it, just want a couple of thousand dollars. I took it to a repair shop and in the process of starting to repair it, they found the recall and called me. I verified with them that there was only coolant leaking and took it back to the dealer. The dealer then called and said one was only leaking coolant, but the other was also leaking oil and the warranty wouldn't cover it. I told them I had had it checked by someone else and had verified there was no oil leaking. I finally told them to only fix the one, because at this point I didn't trust them at all! I haven't called Subaru yet, but plan on it.
#49 of 150 Re: "01 Forester with Head Gasket Leak [vlh2]
Nov 18, 2008 (1:38 pm)
Some 02s were covered, others were not. They had a running change during that model year, supposedly.
That's what I heard, anyway.
#50 of 150 I got Subaru to pay half
Nov 20, 2008 (9:38 pm)
2003 2.5X Forester, 110,000 miles. Was told by dealer oil leaking from head gasket. Called Subaru, they offered either to pay half or $1,000 off a new Forester.
I had the head gasket work done, wound up costing me around $600.
#51 of 150 How to check for recall
Nov 21, 2008 (5:02 pm)
My son has an '02 Forester which was bought used (off lease) in '05 from a Subaru dealer. He now has about 75k, but I don't think the recall for head gaskets was done. He did have the 60k service at a Subaru dealer, but I don't remember reading anything about a recall, or special additive to the coolant change.
How would I check for him to see about the heaqd gasket recall?
Nov 24, 2008 (1:14 pm)
You should get the VIN and call 800-SUBARU3. They should have the info.
If you have an acct on My.Subaru.com it may also have it. I know it did for my old 98 Forester, but...I was the original owner. Not sure if it will catch data from a previous owner.
#53 of 150 Re: Recall [ateixeira]
Nov 29, 2008 (7:04 pm)
I believe the "recall" is only that they extend the warranty to 100k IF you use the coolant conditioner (provided by a Subaru Dealer for free).
Subaru Guru and Track Instructor
#54 of 150 Re: Subaru Coolant 'Conditioner' [xwesx]
Nov 30, 2008 (6:02 pm)
The owners manual for my 06 Forester says the same thing. Always add genuine Subaru Cooling system conditioner to the cooling system whenever the coolant is changed. Don't know the exact page number, just remember seeing it.