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Old 03-04-2009, 09:19 AM   #51
JeanGrey
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Have a Nice Day?

Quote:
Originally Posted by surowrxa View Post
Coolant changes follow the regular maint. schedule, just add conditioner.



I understand you are upset. It is a flaw that is common. I would still recommend you go through the motions with SOA. Reason is, you don't know how much they will do for you until you try. Mention that you have an independent that is cheaper (maybe even with "goodwill" involved), see what they say. Just ignore the sales pitches, they are inevitably intertwined with the dealership experience. If they fail to get your business, you (and they) know you tried to work it out.

Your 2003 (what model?) is almost certainly externally leaking. It may not have a puddle of coolant (as many others have not either) because the antifreeze is hitting the exhaust and burning off. If your oil looks like chocolate milk, I stand corrected, but it is very rare to the usual failure.

No, I don't work for Subaru. Just trying to stay positive in life.
Yup, you're right. Thanks for the good post. I'll see what I can come up with and I'll show them that I'm informed and smart. Time to learn about head gaskets. Why do you have to machine the heads with replacement? To make sure it's a tight fit? New gaskets are a different thickness or something?
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Old 03-05-2009, 12:56 AM   #52
thedivascloset
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Talking Head gasket question..AGAIN!

Hey Team Subaru...Quick question. AFTER getting the 2003 Baja HG replaced, should I put the coolant additive in? If it blocks small leaks, it can block bigger things like the heater coil, right? What would you all recommend? The Baja is getting fixed at a local mechanic that we trust, I will hopefully get it back Monday when I get home from work (I am traveling for work..woo-hoo!). So I will see what the real "damage is". At least $2200-to maybe $2500 (as I am getting my new tires, and the extra maint. and timing belt, too). Sigh. Anyone know what the right thing to do in tis case?
Summary: 03 baja with new hg's. To coolant or not to coolant? That is the question! THANKS!!! It sounds like yes?

Last edited by thedivascloset; 03-05-2009 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:13 AM   #53
Marnix
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In my opinion, the problem is not the gaskets failing, but the aluminum block. Due to the thin cylinder walls on thee 2.5L there's movement of the block in up-down direction between the liners. This causes the block to rub the head gasket, and since the head gasket is steel, it wins. Eventually, the block deck wears out to the point where there's not enough tension between block and gasket and the 'gasket fails'. When replacing the gaskets, you will also have to deck the block to prevent it from happening again within reasonable time.
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Old 03-05-2009, 11:29 AM   #54
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Well mine just totally failed at 131k. It actually started to go at 126k when I purchased it but used the GM coolant sealer tabs and got another 5k out of it. Did the head gaskets at my shop and the newer head gaskets are 1000 times better than the old ones. Much beefier and appear to have much more durability. Purchased the cam holding tool here - http://www.denlorstools.com/home/dt1...ool_alt_k.html

I've only really worked on GM vehicles and I must say it wasn't that hard of a job for my first time. Biggest PIA was getting the timing belt back on correctly with all the notches aligned.
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:06 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedivascloset View Post
Hey Team Subaru...Quick question. AFTER getting the 2003 Baja HG replaced, should I put the coolant additive in? If it blocks small leaks, it can block bigger things like the heater coil, right? What would you all recommend? The Baja is getting fixed at a local mechanic that we trust, I will hopefully get it back Monday when I get home from work (I am traveling for work..woo-hoo!). So I will see what the real "damage is". At least $2200-to maybe $2500 (as I am getting my new tires, and the extra maint. and timing belt, too). Sigh. Anyone know what the right thing to do in tis case?
Summary: 03 baja with new hg's. To coolant or not to coolant? That is the question! THANKS!!! It sounds like yes?
Yes, but make sure you start the car while cool, pop off the cap carefully, let it warm up, SHAKE EXTREMELY WELL, Pour in slowly AND LET THE CAR RUN FOR 20 mins, cap it and take it for a drive.

DO NOT let it run any less than that, or yes, you will goop up everything.
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:05 PM   #56
thedivascloset
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Thanks...Im still just so sad this happened. And disappointed.
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:12 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedivascloset View Post
Thanks...Im still just so sad this happened. And disappointed.
It stinks, but my theory has been proving right. Change your coolant every 30,000-40,000 in a horizontally opposed engine and you will not have this issue.

104K and no issues. Having had over 17 Subarus, most 2.5 N/A in my family, I noticed a trend.
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:03 AM   #58
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I noticed a leak earlier this week on the driveway. Took the car in yesterday for an oil changed at the dealership and asked the guys to take a look at it while it was up. Head gasket on the driver-side is leaking. Quoted me a rough estimate of 1600 plus taxes to do both gaskets. I figured while the engine was out I’d get them to do the timing-belt as well. The car has 117,000kms( 72,700miles), which I know is early for this repair. I bought the car 16 months ago with 93,000kms on it. The previous owner had it maintained at the same dealership. This is a tough one to take, I really hope nothing else goes on the car. I have really enjoyed it over the last year and a bit. But, this works out to cost me an extra hundred dollars a month that I have owned it. Thanks “denskil” for posting the feedback from SOA, I’m going to write them today.

On the bright side, they lent me an 09 Impreza with the sport package, I really wished it was snowing here this week instead of this balmy 8 degree weather.
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:53 AM   #59
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Just curious, I always have a slight smell of anti-freeze under the hood.

I have a 07 2.5i wagon, with 17K on it, is there a way I can check for possible leaks, would it or could it be related to a HG?
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:08 PM   #60
thedivascloset
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OMGHi2U

Thanks Brys- should I still add the coolant each time? I get the baja back sunday night when I get home (woo-hoo!).
I do have a question tho, if you or anyone has a second. I never had to deal with this before..so was this a good deal?
It was $2700 to 1) Change the gaskets, 2) timing belt, 3) water pump-someone recommended this since they were in there anyway, 4)new tires, 5) scheduled 100,000 main. What does all this usually cost? No dealerships around me, it was done at the mechanics that has actually saved me thousands at one point. Any idea? I'm tired of whining about how much it was, I just wonder if I got hosed, or if this is good. Comments? Questions? Rude remarks?
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:12 PM   #61
BrysImpreza
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedivascloset View Post
Thanks Brys- should I still add the coolant each time? I get the baja back sunday night when I get home (woo-hoo!).
I do have a question tho, if you or anyone has a second. I never had to deal with this before..so was this a good deal?
It was $2700 to 1) Change the gaskets, 2) timing belt, 3) water pump-someone recommended this since they were in there anyway, 4)new tires, 5) scheduled 100,000 main. What does all this usually cost? No dealerships around me, it was done at the mechanics that has actually saved me thousands at one point. Any idea? I'm tired of whining about how much it was, I just wonder if I got hosed, or if this is good. Comments? Questions? Rude remarks?
That is good to average for that service.

And no, add it once, it will seat into any weak spots (hopefully none), then do a coolant flush every 30-40K, sounds excessive, but it doesn't give it a chance to start becoming acidic, react with the metals and eat the gaskets.
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Old 03-07-2009, 09:25 AM   #62
thedivascloset
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OMGHi2U Thank you!!

Awesome...Mr Subie Guru. That makes sense to drain every so often...Looking forward to getting my little red beast back.
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:45 AM   #63
JeanGrey
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So - add the coolant conditioner, then change the coolant every 30k - 40k. Does that mean add the conditioner again each time you change the coolant?
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:09 AM   #64
BrysImpreza
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrysImpreza View Post
That is good to average for that service.

And no, add it once, it will seat into any weak spots (hopefully none), then do a coolant flush every 30-40K, sounds excessive, but it doesn't give it a chance to start becoming acidic, react with the metals and eat the gaskets.
re-read please.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:08 PM   #65
JeanGrey
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Ok thanks, I missed that post. I just don't understand what the conditioner actually does. Thought it was to be mixed with coolant and that's how it's effective.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:09 PM   #66
JeanGrey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedivascloset View Post
Thanks Brys- should I still add the coolant each time? I get the baja back sunday night when I get home (woo-hoo!).
I do have a question tho, if you or anyone has a second. I never had to deal with this before..so was this a good deal?
It was $2700 to 1) Change the gaskets, 2) timing belt, 3) water pump-someone recommended this since they were in there anyway, 4)new tires, 5) scheduled 100,000 main. What does all this usually cost? No dealerships around me, it was done at the mechanics that has actually saved me thousands at one point. Any idea? I'm tired of whining about how much it was, I just wonder if I got hosed, or if this is good. Comments? Questions? Rude remarks?
LOL.... this forum has been quite tame and a lot of nice helpful people compared to most of them out there.
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Old 03-15-2009, 06:21 PM   #67
Baja_2003
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Default 03 baja 37k miles - left head gasket leaking

I'm original owner, always treated it with love and respect.

Started getting a coolant smell a whole back, brought it in to Subaru for oil change, they saw nothing. Now a year later, and out of warranty, it has progressed to a faster leak; brought it in, they confirmed HG leaking, added conditioner to coolant. They said if that works, great; if not, $900 to change out HG on driver's side. (I only drive maybe twice a week, about 30 miles total)

I called SOA Friday, will have it back to dealer tomorrow, will let you know what happens.

It's frustrating, as there's just no way for this to be acceptable.

I've seen mixed info on whether 2003's are affected and / or covered. Thoughts ?
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:21 AM   #68
thedivascloset
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Default Oh No..I feel your pain!

There's not alot of 2003 from what I have been told/ or seen. But! Read all these posts, many are 2003's. I think the problem will be consistent. I worked yesterday and talked to 2 subie techs, and they all say that we/they will see alot of 03's soon, as they are just getting up to the mileage that we will see the leaking, etc. All told, I spent a bit on mine, complained to Subaru (but nicely). I am at 72,000 miles, and 6 years old as well...but they sent me a one time "goodwill" of $500 to help. I had 2 techs tell me that if I had taken it to a dealership, they might have covered the whole thing...it's a faulty design/bad gasket that they use even to replace, I've heard...I am NO EXPERT! Just know what all these great folks know, from what they have said! But I agree the subie tech I talked to that there will be more 03's with this issue, even though they claim it's not covered. Anyone else have any thoughts?? STILL LOVE MY CAR, and LOVE that Subaru gave me money, even though they didn't have to. Go Subaru.
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:30 PM   #69
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Here’s my update hopefully it helps out- The dealership charged $1750 to replace the gaskets on both sides. I’ve been back and forth with Subaru Canada the last couple of weeks and they won’t cover the cost of parts or “goodwill” money for this. This is because service records for the maintenance of the vehicle could not be provided to them.

I understand Subaru’s view on this and I can’t blame them because the coolant has never been changed or conditioned. I’m still a little peeved off because I purchased this car used on the pretense that it was dealer maintained and serviced (the Subaru Dealer’s Service Manager confirmed this). When Subaru went looking into the maintenance records none of the major service milestones were done, only regular engine tune-ups, oil changes and warranty issues. So lesson learned, get the records of all maintenance done and don’t assume “dealer serviced” means the Subaru Maintenance Guide has been followed.
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:48 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baja_2003 View Post
I've seen mixed info on whether 2003's are affected and / or covered. Thoughts ?
my 03 OBS...external leak. covered at 83k...
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Old 03-21-2009, 03:50 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanGrey View Post
Has anyone else has success getting money from Subaru when the car wasn't under warranty?

The dealership will charge me $50 to diagnose the problem. Then, Subaru will tell me if they'll give me any "goodwill assistance." However the dealer told me it can run over $2000 if they do the timing belt at the same time. My mechanic (who is very good) said he'd probably charge $800. Not to mention the fact that when I made the appt. the dealership service guy was like "oh, and you know you'll be here, so you can get some information, and sometimes they do deals on trade-ins." F*$# you scumbag. I really just want to cancel and have my mechanic bang it all out for $800, as I doubt Subaru will cover even close to the difference, and they are looking for external leaks on a 2003 apparently, and won't deal with internal leaks which is what all symptoms point to. I figure the timing belt will cost a few hundred anyway.
id ask your mechanic to replace any other leaking seals when he's in there to do the timing belt and HGs. i have an oil leak on mine as well as HGs externally and im sure the oil is coming from A. cam seals 2. front crank seal C. oil pump seal. also do the water pump while he's in there, heck do everything in there so you dont have to pay double on the labor when he goes back in there a second time to replace a seal/gasket. i say do it all once and forget it for a long time. its just like if you are paying someone to do your brakes and you have a bad bearing, do the bearing when the braks are done to save on labor (if the shop is honest like that)
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Old 03-21-2009, 09:39 PM   #72
subaru shopper
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Default 2001 Legacy L Wagon with 66000 miles

looking at this vehicle tomorrow morning and am wondering if anyone here has any input. It is at a vw dealership and they are asking $8488. I'm not terribly car savvy, but have researched this head gasket thing pretty well and am wondering if I should avoid all subaru's with this type of engine/problem. Any input/recommendations/experiences would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 03-23-2009, 12:07 PM   #73
thedivascloset
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Just wanted everyone to know I got a check for $500 from Subaru (I think I got it Saturday, just didn't check the mail!)
GO ME!! $$$$$$$$
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:57 AM   #74
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Got a legacy 2.5L 1999. Replaced the HG at 110 000 km.
Now it's at 260 000 km, and I'm getting a lot of symtoms of another bad HG. So it seems like it lasted a little more the second time, but the HG problem is still not fixed (was replaced in 2003). I'll try the coolant conditioner, but I'm afraid it's too late already.
Now I'm faced with the decision of whether or not I want to invest more money in my car or just dump it.
The car is amazing when it drives good, but it's been a money pit for me. HG as mentioned, transmission failed too and lots of things here and there.
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:43 AM   #75
moogoob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moogoob View Post
me... 198k so far no HG problems.
I take that back

looks like a small external leak on the driver side. Will be replacing shortly.

Only way I could see it was to reach up from under with a camera on macro.
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