Last post on Jul 20, 2010 at 9:20 AM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Subaru, Auto Repair, Wagon
#4 of 37 Re: Review of Subaru Head Gasket Problems [ths258]
Feb 11, 2010 (6:53 am)
Look at Consumer Reports.
Some Subarus show dramatic improvements for 2003, others for 2004/5. By '05 all are rated highly.
Our family has been lucky, I guess. Dad has an '01 Outback, sis has an '03 Forester, bro has an '04 Legacy. Cousin had a 99 Outback for a while. We had a 98 Forester for 9 years, and an 02 Legacy for 7 years, plus our new 09 Forester.
None of us have had any gasket issues at all.
#5 of 37 head gasket problem
Feb 11, 2010 (8:59 pm)
My 2005 Subaru outback sedan 3.0R H6 is in the shop right now for this exact reason. I had a leak, so i took it to several places before i ever thought of taking it to the dealership. i took it to the dealership, they did not charge me to look at it. They told me i had a head gasket leak. I was told the dealership would pay for it, all but $200 of it. Which i was fine with, but now i am being told that my CV boot is bad, my serpentine belt is bad and my radiator cap is bad. Does anyone know if these are a problem as well on these cars? I only have 60k miles, Not sure i believe that. I feel like they are trying to rip me off.
#6 of 37 Re: Review of Subaru Head Gasket Problems [fibber2]
Feb 11, 2010 (9:15 pm)
Thank you for your insightful and sympathetic response. I did call corporate back and nicely asked for more consideration. However, they would not budge. They said my Outback was manufactured in March 2003 and it falls outside the extended warranty period for this problem. No further explanation. Some 2003 Outbacks are apparently covered.
I love the car, but I feel mislead. I don't think I would buy another.
I plan on following your advise for replacing the timing belts, water pump and oil seals. A friend of mine recommended the same to me.
#7 of 37 Re: Review of Subaru Head Gasket Problems [srobin]
Feb 12, 2010 (9:31 am)
I appreciate your comments, and wish that you didn't have to face this dilemma. The only thing I can add is that I have yet to hear of a car line that didn't have some form of achilles heal. Given these rough economic times, any corporation that is willing to meet you half way on a 7 year old car that suffers a non-safety related failure is a standout. Not perfect, but well better than average.
#8 of 37 Re: head gasket problem [tdeno]
Feb 12, 2010 (9:41 am)
You have to remove the accessory belts to do the HG repair, so putting on a new one just makes sense. It's cheap insurance. I believe that the H6 uses a timing chain rather than a belt, so at least you won't have to replace that as well.
Radiator caps today are pretty bulletproof, but seals can get damaged. Again, maybe $15-20?
A boot can get torn. Just drive over any loose debris on the road and it can happen. You'll likely see some ejected grease around it. Ask them to walk you into the shop for a look.
#9 of 37 Re: Review of Subaru Head Gasket Problems [fibber2]
Feb 12, 2010 (12:14 pm)
Subaru has been better than most manufacturers with a warranty extension for some model years and partial reimbursement of the cost of HG repair for others. BUT, they don't appear to have yet found a fix for the problem.
Since HG failure is not safety-related, they know they aren't going to have NHTSA on their backs. And since they are selling almost all the cars they can produce, they have less incentive to explicitly acknowledge a design/manufacturing defect and extend the warranty to all years.
We've hedged our exposure by purchasing 7/100 extended warranties on our two newest Subarus. And I hope Subaru isn't taking the position that it is less expensive for them to pay for some HG repairs than to fix the problem.
This is the first H-6 I've heard of with HG failure. I had thought they were exempt from the problem.
#10 of 37 Re: Review of Subaru Head Gasket Problems [snowbelter]
Feb 12, 2010 (12:16 pm)
I agree, H6 gasket problems are very rare, that stinks.
Feb 18, 2010 (8:49 pm)
I was speaking with a friend today who had owned a 1998 Outback that required a HG. She traded it in for a 2008 outback. She also thought that the problem ended with the 2003 model. Her ex owns a 2005 that now requires a new HG. I told her my story of the 2003 needing a HG. She is now throwing in the towel on the 2008 and will be selling it. I did not encourage her decision, but the history is there. When will Subaru admit to this problem by providing 100% support.
#12 of 37 2003 Baja Head Gasket issues
Feb 20, 2010 (9:44 pm)
I purchased my 2003 Baja new, with the 100K extended warranty. At 37K, the first Head Gasket repair too place, under warranty. I didn't realize that they only replace the bad side. At 102,000 miles, right outside of warranty or course, it needed head gaskets again. I called Subaru and they offered $500 on the $1700 repair. I wanted to drive the Baja until the wheels fall off, so I assume I will be down this road again. I was able to use a 15% Labor discount coupon, $200 in Subaru bucks, from the Subaru credit card rewards. While they were at it, I had them replace the timing belt, water pump (which was leaking anyway), and reseal the oil pump. Although it looked perfectly fine, I had them do it anyway. I suppose that I got off easy and tons of maintenance work done, but it is still disturbing. From my research, this is a common Subaru problem. I was wondering if other Subaru's on the road with a few hunderd thousand miles have been through this more that once. Thanks.
#13 of 37 Re: 2003 Baja Head Gasket issues [gman88]
Feb 22, 2010 (12:29 pm)
I lucked out with my '96 and did not need to replace head gaskets until 192,000 miles. I put another 28,000 on it with no further problems, but fate had other plans for that old car and I was never able to see just how long the new gaskets were to hold out.