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Old 12-24-2008, 06:31 PM   #1
surowrxa
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Member#: 102895
Join Date: Dec 2005
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Pittsburgh
Vehicle:
'12 Forester
'08 Legacy

Default Head gasket veterans, need some advice...

The Forester (125K miles) may be out of commission. Checked the oil level, slightly low (it was a little low a few weeks ago also, added maybe .2 quarts). It is near 3000 miles on the current oil, Pennzoil Platinum 5w30.

Took off the filler cap to add a little, and I see some bright rusty looking sludge inside the oil filler opening. There was a little around the cap too. From what I've read creamy sludge is a sure sign of head gasket failure, when moisture meets oil.

No overheating problems. Use Subaru coolant conditioner. The radiator is full to the top, the overflow is empty (cold). Coolant looks bright green with no floating oil. I'm changing the oil right now, it doesn't look like chocolate milk, but it is dirty and kind of more orange looking than usual.

edit: Just did the 120K service @ 119K miles, no signs of anything wrong. Could any other problem cause this sludge? Besides the overflow being low, there are no other signs (smells, excessive smoke from tailpipe/residue). I'm going to top off the overflow with water. Any other checks/actions to do?
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Last edited by surowrxa; 12-24-2008 at 08:38 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 12-26-2008, 12:55 PM   #2
surowrxa
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'08 Legacy

Default

Wife drove the car 60 miles yesterday. Overflow tank was maybe an inch lower than where I filled it, half inch shy of full mark.

I don't remember looking at the coolant level at the time of the last oil change. I usually keep good track of the coolant level in the Forester, which has been steady, but of course...

Could the build-up in the filler pipe be sludge that is being cleaned by the synthetic? Subarus don't have bad sludge problems in general, just throwin' it out there. I also eased in to synthetic with cocktails of conventional for many oil changes, no problems. I'd say this current fill is the third full synthetic change.
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Old 12-26-2008, 01:21 PM   #3
sidewayz
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its winter..... its moisture... its normal....

adding .2 qts of oil is nothing... esp on a 99 Forester.

But never rule out that thing needing HG's.. it will happen on it some day
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Old 12-26-2008, 01:40 PM   #4
surowrxa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidewayz View Post
its winter..... its moisture... its normal....

adding .2 qts of oil is nothing... esp on a 99 Forester.

But never rule out that thing needing HG's.. it will happen on it some day
Thanks, normal sounds good , it just never happened before, through many winters. Also, there was alot of gunk. I should have taken a pic.

Probably a half qt. low total. The car is usually full from the time I change it to the next. Doesn't burn any, and one very slow oil pan leak.

Phase II SOHC has a good chance of a HG failure, that's why I'm freaked. Bad time for the inevitable.

Tonight checked cold overflow: level is good. Oil level is good. I'm just going to keep a close eye on everything and hope for the best.

Last edited by surowrxa; 12-29-2008 at 10:38 AM. Reason: correction
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:39 AM   #5
Sudafed
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make sure you are checking the overflow tank when the car is at the same temp each time
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Old 12-28-2008, 06:49 PM   #6
surowrxa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudafed View Post
make sure you are checking the overflow tank when the car is at the same temp each time
Thanks, and yep, I check it when it's completely cold. It was good this morning too after driving it yesterday. Also no air bubbles in overflow after driving and heat blows hot. All good stuff.

I've just never seen any sludge in the filler cap area before, so when I saw a good bit it freaked me out. Hopefully Sidewayz is right, it's just moisture. It could have been the severe cold temps we had followed by unseasonable warmth...I hope.

Last edited by surowrxa; 12-28-2008 at 11:03 PM. Reason: Reason for Editing:
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