Last week my 02 WRX started to overheat. I pulled over, checked coolant and oil. Oil was fine. Coolant was a little low, but certainly not dangerously low. I topped it off, cooled it down and limped it home. I could drive about half a mile where the temperature would stay nice and even, and then it would start to rise pretty quickly. Pull, over, cool down, rinse, repeat until I finally got it into the driveway.
A mechanic friend of a friend who specializes in Subaru's looked at it and said it needs a waterpump and a head gasket. He quoted me $280 for parts and $300 labor.
I called the Subaru dealership to get an estimate on the same parts and work. They said it was completely unlikely that the head gasket was cracked, and that their "best tech" their had only seen their first HG crack on an 02 WRX last week. They more or less told me that it was impossible. When I finally coaxed an estimate out of them for the parts/work, they quoted $2800+.
So what's the more likely scenario here? I'm seeing things on this forum and others saying that a HG crack on an 02 is pretty common.