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Old 10-01-2007, 10:07 PM   #1
paulkrueger
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 136506
Join Date: Jan 2007
Default Bad Head Gasket on '03 Subaru Legacy?

We have a 2003 Legacy Wagon with 74,000 miles. It sometimes has a smell of burned or leaking oil. You can smell it inside the car while driving, and outside the car after we turn off the engine.
We smell it every couple of days, or even every week or longer. Sometimes, on the same trip, it will smell for a while, and then the smell will go away.
I took the car to my tire and alignment shop a few days ago, and asked them to check for oil or transaxle leaks while the car was on the rack.
The owner told me it looks like the leak is coming from a head gasket.
We have taken excellent care of the car, and had it serviced and changed the oil at the required intervals or earlier.
We live in Southern California, drive almost exclusively on freeways, and treat the car gently. We are the original owners.
This is the first Subaru I've owned, but have never experienced a problem like this on any of my cars (mostly Japanese imports, and a few BMW's), which I take good care of, and almost always drive in excess of 150K miles before selling.
Thanks much in advance for your help.
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Old 10-01-2007, 10:15 PM   #2
RexyGirl
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Member#: 63616
Join Date: Jun 2004
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Mastro Subaru, Sanford FL
Vehicle:
1996 Volvo 850 Turbo
with mods :)

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What does it smell like? Coolant or burning oil?

I really doubt that it is the head gasket, but rather a leak from the valve cover gaskets, which is not too major.

I would take the car to someone, like the dealer, that knows Subarus. Most people at the tire places don't know cars very well, and guess at what the problem may be.

You definately have some kind of fluid leak, either oil or grease. The reason why you only smell it sometimes is because it all depends on how much is dripping and how hot the exhaust is. Whatever is leaking is leaking on the exhaust.

After you have it looked at, come back and let us know what it is.

I really don't think it is the head gaskets.
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Old 10-01-2007, 10:15 PM   #3
aross
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Member#: 831
Join Date: Jan 2000
Chapter/Region: E. Canada
Location: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Vehicle:
11 Blurple WRX
03 BH MBP

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Yup, see the dealer, warranty has been extended if you have the coolant conditioner added, which you would have if you had had dealer service.
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Old 10-01-2007, 10:18 PM   #4
RexyGirl
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Member#: 63616
Join Date: Jun 2004
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Mastro Subaru, Sanford FL
Vehicle:
1996 Volvo 850 Turbo
with mods :)

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by aross View Post
Yup, see the dealer, warranty has been extended if you have the coolant conditioner added, which you would have if you had had dealer service.
The warranty was only extended on certain cars, covered by the cooling system recall. His car was not part of the recall...only 1999-2002 vehicles
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