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Old 08-07-2012, 06:46 AM   #1
Charlton
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Default Leaky Head Gasket: Something to Live With?

I've got a 2002 Forester S and I believe has a phase II SOHC engine. The head gaskets are leaking at 152000 but this is simply a utility vehicle that I will only use occasionally.

If the head gasket is leaking externally, is it a simply a matter of keeping the fluids topped off to keep the vehicle running?
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:18 AM   #2
dub81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlton View Post
I've got a 2002 Forester S and I believe has a phase II SOHC engine. The head gaskets are leaking at 152000 but this is simply a utility vehicle that I will only use occasionally.

If the head gasket is leaking externally, is it a simply a matter of keeping the fluids topped off to keep the vehicle running?
Correct sir, you dont want to allow your engine to have oil starvation. No oil + metal on metal wearing without no lubricant between the metals is a bad thing. Just topping it off and monitoring your oil levels is a good practice until you have the time and/or funds to pull the motor and swap the HG's.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:01 AM   #3
KOJAK-02-WRX
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As long as it is in fact only an external leak, should keep an eye on your oil and antifreeze colors to make sure they are not mixing.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:00 AM   #4
Charlton
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Thank you folks. I am getting the timing belt replace today. I couldn't find any history of this getting done by the previous owner. Timing belt and rear wheel bearing is going to be $1300 at local dealer. That's not too bad IMO.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:31 PM   #5
Counterfit
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That sounds pretty steep to me.
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:59 PM   #6
kayetealynn
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Agreed ^^

Unless it's both rear wheel bearings, but even then that's still kind of expensive.

Honestly if you are going to keep the car you should do the timing belt with the headgaskets - due to the overlapping labor you would only end up paying for the belt if you repaired the headgaskets and replaced the timing belt at the same time.

But everyone is right - you can go quite awhile with a leaking headgasket as long as you don't experience overheating problems and make sure your fluids are clean/topped off.
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:19 PM   #7
Matt Monson
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Drive that car for a while with a blown head gasket and it will only get worse. Eventually it will blow fully and the car will overheat any time you drive it. As mentioned above, do the head gasket at the same time as the timing belt. It would be silly to go that far in and leave the leaking gasket. It's just a timebomb.

As for the price, wheel bearings are freaking expensive to get done and it's one of the few things I only trust the dealer or a Subaru specialist to do. Anyone who tells you they can do wheel bearings on a Subaru without the special tool are setting you up to be back in there a year later replacing the wheel bearing they messed up on installation.
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:33 PM   #8
mod maniac
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Subaru makes a coolant additive that is for external water leaks and it works. I have used it on many customers cars with no problems. I would use that before you hurt something.
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:49 PM   #9
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^^^^^^^Yeah...chevys got some oem stop leak crap as well.they actually had a recall a few years back that pertained to the coolant smellling like a dead rat. You had to remove the factory coolant/stop leak..and replace it with new coolant and these little "pellets" (stop leak additive) because of the overwhelming stench.
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:02 PM   #10
Matt Monson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mod maniac View Post
Subaru makes a coolant additive that is for external water leaks and it works. I have used it on many customers cars with no problems. I would use that before you hurt something.
I suggest you do some searching here before you too aggressively encourage people to use the additive instead of actually fixing the real problem. That was Subaru's fix before they were willing to admit they had an actual head gasket problem on these engines.

There were a lot of clogged up radiators and cars that overheated from that stuff and needed a lot more work than just a head gasket job. That stuff is junk.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:16 PM   #11
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Plus that stuff won't do **** for an external oil leak at the gasket.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:16 PM   #12
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Actually the Subaru additive does work WHEN USED PROPERLY. If you mix it with the wrong coolant, yes it will gunk up and cause problems. I myself have WITNESSED the additive work on a external coolant leak from a head gasket.

They WILL NOT correct an INTERNALLY LEAKING head gasket. This is the misconception that many have. These are two separate problems cause by two separate issues.

Subaru has taken responsibility for both issues. But bear in mind, how many car companies are going to cover a head gasket at 100,000 miles, your out of your mind.

My 2003 Baja's HG didnt go out until over 180,000 miles and I have had the coolant additive in my engine since the day they released it to thepublic. I have NEVER had an external leak.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Counterfit View Post
Plus that stuff won't do **** for an external oil leak at the gasket.

That is correct it won't fix a oil leak but it will fix a water leak. I own a shop and see alot of subaru's and I have yet to see it plug a radiator
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:51 AM   #14
D.R. Hornberger
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Default Lower End

My mechanic that i want too redue the blown head gaskits on my 1998 2.5 D.O.C.Told me they will not warrant for that some have locked up the bottom end after being replaced has any one heard of this ????? Dale Oh P.S. 150,000 miles on it.
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:53 AM   #15
SYO
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Just change it. It will only lead to more problems.
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