Last post on Jul 20, 2010 at 8:20 AM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Subaru, Auto Repair, Wagon
#8 of 37 Re: head gasket problem [tdeno]
Feb 12, 2010 (8:41 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 (11:14 am)
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 (11:16 am)
I agree, H6 gasket problems are very rare, that stinks.
Feb 18, 2010 (7:49 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 (8:44 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 (11:29 am)
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.
#14 of 37 Final Word
Feb 23, 2010 (7:46 pm)
Subaru completed HG repair on my 2003 Outback with 53,000 miles today. The Invoice states the cause as: "Improper Seating".
Split for 50/50 labor and parts for HG only. Timing belt, water pump, thermostat were not covered.
Total cost to me for Subaru's improper seating was $976.06 and three days loss of vehicle.
My advise is have your Outback checked before the warranty expires or consider this additional cost when you buy or consider another vehicle.
#15 of 37 Re: Final Word [srobin]
Feb 25, 2010 (7:43 am)
Did the $976 out of pocket include the accessory & timing belt, pump and thermostat? If so, it reduces the sting a little bit. While your miles are low, at the 7 year mark there is good sense in considering this service anyhow. They also did an oil change and a coolant change as part of the procedure. I'd estimate all this to ring in at around $500 or so if you paid for it as a conventional service visit.
I agree that none of this should have happened to you, but at least you got something tangible out of it. Hopefully, you will get many more years of good service from the car. I know how much I enjoyed driving mine in to work thru the snow this morning!
#16 of 37 Re: Final Word [fibber2]
Feb 26, 2010 (7:45 am)
I had all that done on my Miata and it cost me a whopping $1100. That plus some cooling system work.
No head gaskets, though.
#17 of 37 Re: Final Word [srobin]
Mar 25, 2010 (6:11 pm)
Timing belts are good for 105k miles, so you don't need to replace it until you hit 158k miles. If a dealer tells you to replace it at 105k, let him know it was already done at 53k.
I'll hit 210k pretty soon and need my second timing belt replacement.