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Old 03-28-2008, 11:33 PM   #1
makofoto
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Default Subaru Head Gasket Problems?

Over on the Car & Driver message board an "ASE Master Technician" claims one should avoid Subarus because:

7: Subaru: Head gasket failures( I can pull the engine out in under a 1/2 hour REALLY) I have done LOTS of
head gaskets on these, oil leaks, exhaust rattles, some sensor and ignition faults

In all of my time submerged in the Suby World ... I've never heard of Head Gasket problems. Did I miss something ...

C&D Thread: http://forums.caranddriver.com/auto/...&thread.id=548
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:36 PM   #2
makofoto
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Moderator ... please change the Subject line to: Subaru Head Gasket Problems?

Thanks ...

Last edited by makofoto; 03-31-2008 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:36 PM   #3
Tony_Montana87
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im interested.... more info?
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:53 PM   #4
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I thought this was more of an issue with the older 2.5L NA engines?
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Old 03-30-2008, 06:03 PM   #5
Kansai Subaru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feign View Post
I thought this was more of an issue with the older 2.5L NA engines?
That's exactly what I heard too. The EJ22 is pretty much rock solid. Mine has 200,000+ miles and my first real problem: Oil pump seal leak.
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Old 03-30-2008, 06:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feign View Post
I thought this was more of an issue with the older 2.5L NA engines?
Yep. WWP-99 Service Campaign - Cooling System Conditioner

Of course there are always exceptions, but not on a large scale, IMO.

-Dennis
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Old 03-30-2008, 06:22 PM   #7
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Unforunately it is somewhat true, headgaskets are definitely a weak link in our system. These motors just pop way more than their fair share of them (in my experience with them and what I've seen in the subie community).
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Old 03-30-2008, 08:04 PM   #8
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quite a few of the older engines (98 to 2001 or so) had issues...

just something interesting:

google search results:
+subaru +"blown head gasket" - 11,200 results
+ford +"blown head gasket" - 65,500 results
+honda +"blown head gasket" - 48,500 results
+toyota +"blown head gasket" - 47,000 results
+dodge +"blown head gasket" - 43,600 results
+bmw +"blown head gasket" - 36,200 results
+kia +"blown head gasket" - 15,600 results
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Old 03-30-2008, 08:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feign View Post
I thought this was more of an issue with the older 2.5L NA engines?
mostly phase I 2.5's

and it would seem that there are 2 kinds
those that have been fixed and those that will be
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Old 03-30-2008, 10:21 PM   #10
kaos200
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Default crappy logic/math

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkramer View Post
quite a few of the older engines (98 to 2001 or so) had issues...

just something interesting:

google search results:
+subaru +"blown head gasket" - 11,200 results
+ford +"blown head gasket" - 65,500 results
+honda +"blown head gasket" - 48,500 results
+toyota +"blown head gasket" - 47,000 results
+dodge +"blown head gasket" - 43,600 results
+bmw +"blown head gasket" - 36,200 results
+kia +"blown head gasket" - 15,600 results

yes and how popular are subarus compared to those vehicles? (save possibly the kia, but it's a pos anyhow).

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Old 03-30-2008, 11:00 PM   #11
gerrymuccioli
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Default Head Gasket problems are true to a degree

I've had Subaru's for 20 years now and have had 1 1/2 problems with the head gaskets. The first one went and the engine was a complete loss. The second car had early stages of a blown gasket. I never decided if the dealer what just trying to get me to drop another $1,000 - never replaced the gasket and we are still driving the car.
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Old 03-30-2008, 11:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaos200 View Post
yes and how popular are subarus compared to those vehicles? (save possibly the kia, but it's a pos anyhow).


exactly... use the numbers as a percent reference. ford has roughly 6x as many hits on blown head gaskets. There are about 12x as many fords sold as subaru, making subaru head gasket issues potentially twice as common percentage wise. kia has roughly double the sales of subaru, but doesn't have anywhere close to double the # of head gasket hits in google.


(disclaimer,
<-- has a '99 kia sportage, it has been great and is also built like a tank. not many mini-suv's have a heavy duty ladder frame, the frame on that is heavier than most full size trucks. Also, kia engines are made by mazda.

Last edited by rkramer; 03-30-2008 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 03-30-2008, 11:23 PM   #13
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The ASE Master tech gets no money when the owner fixes it himself!

I LOVE WORKING ON MY SUBARU - It hardly gives me the chance, but when it does, the thing goes together like Legos.

Bill in SD
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Old 03-31-2008, 12:08 AM   #14
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I popped a head gasket back in August. Car had over 100,000 and 80+hp over stock. Besides that, never had a problem with the car.
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:11 AM   #15
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Last month I got about 3 sets of 2.5L Dohc heads.
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Old 03-31-2008, 12:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arctic Penguin View Post
mostly phase I 2.5's

and it would seem that there are 2 kinds
those that have been fixed and those that will be
Yah, and the reason for Subaru's coolant "conditioner" you buy from the dealer when you have to change your coolant. I guess it "conditions" the gaskets or seals up any fissures that begin (I just know it exists and was discussed before).

3rd line down, claims for every suby:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=504002
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:59 PM   #17
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It was the Phase 1 EJ25's that had head gasket problems 96-99. The gasket goes bad and they pressurize the cooling system and overheat. I do lots of them, I can also get the engine out in about an hour if I work fast. The early phase II EJ25 leaked externally. The subaru coolant conditioner helps with the external leak.
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:38 PM   #18
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I blew my 2.5l head gaskets 4 times before swapping out to the wrx. After decking the head the last time to be sure it was square we came to the conclussion that the block had warped. A subaru tech at a local dealer told me that was prolly the case.
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Old 04-05-2008, 02:54 AM   #19
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Subaru's coolant conditioner is really a Leak Stop goo... External leaks suck.
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Old 06-04-2008, 07:38 AM   #20
martz
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I have a 98 forester, and believe I am having headgasket issues as well. This may be the 2nd time around, as previous owner also had the problem at aroung 85k. I am now at 125k. Question: when doing the HG change , is the HG only to be replaced? Do these 2.5 heads warp easily?
In others can I just do HG and pressume that head is still good.
Or should and full inspection be warranted?

Thanks
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Old 06-05-2008, 09:43 AM   #21
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I know pretty much nothing about head gaskets, but isn't the JDM gasket tougher since it is more metal-based or something compared to our USDM gaskets?
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:34 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnum2066 View Post
I know pretty much nothing about head gaskets, but isn't the JDM gasket tougher since it is more metal-based or something compared to our USDM gaskets?
no

------
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:35 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnum2066 View Post
I know pretty much nothing about head gaskets, but isn't the JDM gasket tougher since it is more metal-based or something compared to our USDM gaskets?
no

jdm gasket
------
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:36 PM   #24
magnum2066
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I brought up the conversation again, and you guys are right of course lol. The topic was the years that had gasket problems not about which gasket was tougher.

Yea, that one went waaaay over my head.

Open mouth, insert hands and feet.
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Old 11-13-2008, 09:12 AM   #25
kerberos824
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Default General Question

I realize that this thread is really, really old, but I'm hoping that someone will stumble across it one more time. I just bought a 98 Forester, and I think I'm having the dreaded head gasket issue. What I'm curious is if people think it's worth doing, or should I just dump the car for whatever I can get for it? Is there anyone on this forum in the North East (I live in the Hudson Valley area of NY) that will do the head gasket repair? The dealer wants 1900!!! Any info would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
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