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Old 10-01-2012, 08:54 AM   #1
friction
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Default 02 WRX Overheating - Does this make sense?

Last week my 02 WRX started to overheat. I pulled over, checked coolant and oil. Oil was fine. Coolant was a little low, but certainly not dangerously low. I topped it off, cooled it down and limped it home. I could drive about half a mile where the temperature would stay nice and even, and then it would start to rise pretty quickly. Pull, over, cool down, rinse, repeat until I finally got it into the driveway.

A mechanic friend of a friend who specializes in Subaru's looked at it and said it needs a waterpump and a head gasket. He quoted me $280 for parts and $300 labor.

I called the Subaru dealership to get an estimate on the same parts and work. They said it was completely unlikely that the head gasket was cracked, and that their "best tech" their had only seen their first HG crack on an 02 WRX last week. They more or less told me that it was impossible. When I finally coaxed an estimate out of them for the parts/work, they quoted $2800+.

So what's the more likely scenario here? I'm seeing things on this forum and others saying that a HG crack on an 02 is pretty common.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:06 AM   #2
Fir3Fighter
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How many miles? Whens the last you flushed your coolant? Have you looked anywhere under the hood to see if you have any loose hoses? Do you smell any kind of smells, like a sweet smell?
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:26 AM   #3
devilmademedoit
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Head gaskets and water pump. If your friend wants to do it for that price, I'd take it. I did them on a 2.5 legacy and it sucked bad. I had same symptoms. I think dealer wanted over 2k for the job too.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:37 AM   #4
friction
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fir3Fighter View Post
How many miles? Whens the last you flushed your coolant? Have you looked anywhere under the hood to see if you have any loose hoses? Do you smell any kind of smells, like a sweet smell?
115k, coolant flushed last year, no loose hoses, can't smell coolant.

But what I'm really looking for is an opinion on the whole "your head gaskets should never crack" thing and their quote of $2800.

Either my guy or the dealership is way off base, and right now I'm thinking it's probably the dealership.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:58 AM   #5
tebriel
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Your guy is quoting extremely cheap for those two replacements. Like unrealistically low.

Did you have your timing belt done yet?

You can do a leakdown test to see if coolant is leaking internally - but you should be seeing white smoke. If it's leaking externally check for drops under your car. A common symptom of headgasket failure is overheating when you're on the highway, and then temps coming down when you're coming to a stop.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:59 AM   #6
tebriel
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Also 1. your guy is off with his price
2. The dealership is right on their price for a stealership, but off on the fact about headgaskets. Headgaskets go on these cars all the time.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:40 AM   #7
friction
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tebriel View Post
Your guy is quoting extremely cheap for those two replacements. Like unrealistically low.

Did you have your timing belt done yet?

You can do a leakdown test to see if coolant is leaking internally - but you should be seeing white smoke. If it's leaking externally check for drops under your car. A common symptom of headgasket failure is overheating when you're on the highway, and then temps coming down when you're coming to a stop.
Yes, timing belt was done following the maintenance schedule. Can you elaborate on what you think a realistic price should be? I was able to find the parts online for close to the $280 he's quoting. Is the $300 service the unrealistic part?

I'll look into the leakdown test, but I'm not seeing any smoke. In fact, the only evidence of a problem I'm seeing at all is the temperature gauge skyrocketing, and it does not come down at a stop. No drops of coolant under the car.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:15 AM   #8
JLAudioWRX
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Definitely do a leak down test. you can pick up an el cheapo leak down tester at harbor freight for about 40ish. Also check your oil to see if there is any coolant in it. Once you establish those 2 things you will have a much better idea if its actually the HG.

300 for labor is ridiculous. To do a HG you have to pull the motor, remove all the accessories on the front, pull the timing cover, pull the belt off while immobilizing the timing gears so you don't bend the valves, remove the cams and buckets, (keeping them all separate and labeled) just to get access to the bolts you need to remove to pull the head. And that's just the big things I can think of, there's a bunch of misc steps in between those that need to be done.

So for 300 labor: you friend is either a master subie mechanic and is hooking you up, or he has no idea what hes about to get himself into.

Just my .02
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:34 PM   #9
classicaddict
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLAudioWRX
Definitely do a leak down test. you can pick up an el cheapo leak down tester at harbor freight for about 40ish. Also check your oil to see if there is any coolant in it. Once you establish those 2 things you will have a much better idea if its actually the HG.

300 for labor is ridiculous. To do a HG you have to pull the motor, remove all the accessories on the front, pull the timing cover, pull the belt off while immobilizing the timing gears so you don't bend the valves, remove the cams and buckets, (keeping them all separate and labeled) just to get access to the bolts you need to remove to pull the head. And that's just the big things I can think of, there's a bunch of misc steps in between those that need to be done.

So for 300 labor: you friend is either a master subie mechanic and is hooking you up, or he has no idea what hes about to get himself into.

Just my .02
$300 for labor totally in pocket is pretty spot on for a side job. If your hg is cracked you would be burning coolant. The metal turbo gaskets very seldomly go out in all honesty.
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:26 AM   #10
pebelz
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Maybe Thermostat?
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:36 AM   #11
tebriel
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yeah $300 for a side job I guess. But that stuff makes me worried, if it's a side job it doesn't have the same priority of getting done.

anyway, there's still no evidence of it being the head gaskets. Could be other things too, air in the lines, bad t-state, etc. Heck even a bad temp sensor.
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