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Old 08-06-2013, 03:44 AM   #1
seafajr.
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Question Have the head gasket problems been resolved in the later model Imprezas?

My parents are going to be in the market for a new car soon, and I have suggested a Forester, or Impreza. My mom doesn't care for Subarus after she bought my sister an new 86 GL for college. Because of that, she thinks they are gutless, which I proved to her with mine that the newer ones are not. It also had more mechanical problems in the 4 years we owned it, than the 94 Camry that she's had for 19 years which has never had any except for an ABS sensor, and O2 sensor. Neither of them were ever good about regular scheduled maintenance.
Fortunately, my 06 Baja has been trouble free so they are being open minded.
Some of the previous model years have been prone to head gasket failure, but Subaru says it's been taken care of. Have any of you with newer model Imprezas had any problems with the head gasket failing, or anything else? My mom prefers Toyota, and I'm very aware that any make can have head gaskets go out at any time. The problem is that if she buys a Subaru because I suggested it, and it has a head gasket failure, or some other mechanical failure, I will NEVER hear the end of it.
Like I said, I know that it can happen to any make, but I want to know what your experiences have been. Thanks!
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:59 AM   #2
Guzzi 1
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I traded an '03 WRX last October. It was 100% trouble free for the entire 10 years of ownership. I replaced it with the new Impreza. I was ready for something I could put regular into. My new Impreza is no rocket like the WRX is, but it does ok and I'm satisfied with it.

John
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:52 AM   #3
hemophilic
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She sounds like my MIL who doesn't want anything to change or be exciting. Looks like another Camry is in order.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:09 AM   #4
sgoldste01
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Show your parents this graphic from Consumer Reports, and then suggest that they test drive the cars they're interested in:



I would think they should test drive the Camry, Legacy, Mazda6, and Honda Accord, giving the Subaru some brownie points if the weather where they live gets nasty, or if they have an active lifestyle that would benefit from AWD.

From a reliability perspective, all of these cars should be excellent (although blowing off preventive maintenance tasks is never a good idea). A lot has changed in the auto industry since they bought their last Subaru 27 years ago.

Last edited by sgoldste01; 08-06-2013 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:42 AM   #5
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I would hope a car company would have fixed an issue from 15 years ago sometime in the last 15 years. But then there is GM and Chrysler...
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:56 AM   #6
sgoldste01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foghelmut View Post
I would hope a car company would have fixed an issue from 15 years ago sometime in the last 15 years. But then there is GM and Chrysler...
...and VW.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:37 AM   #7
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The current generation Imprezas haven't really been around long enough to get a feel for their long-term durability. Here are the issues I've heard of, though:

-Some burn oil. I don't think it's that common of an issue, just a very vocal minority on this board. My car burns a bit, at a rate of around 1 quart/7500 miles. Some burn more. Most don't burn a noticeable amount.

-Squeaky front seats: There's a service bulletin about this, and the dealership will take care of it for free. There's also an easy DIY fix posted in this forum that seems to be more effective than the dealership fix.

-Passenger airbag sensor is buggy. They may have fixed this by now. If it gives you any trouble, dealership will replace it and you should be good to go.

-Some folks aren't satisfied with their fuel economy. Complaints seem to mostly be coming from people with the CVT. Maybe that's just because the CVT people are more likely to care about fuel economy? Probably just depends on driving style. This isn't a reliability issue, of course, but just something to be aware of.

-Road noise makes quite a racket, especially at highway speed. Once again not a reliability issue, just something to be aware of.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:49 AM   #8
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What is the fuel economy being reported as being low? Being an AWD car, it should be lower than a 2wd car just as a baseline because of the added drag. I actually just bought a Crosstrek, partly because of the GOOD mpgs being reported.

It does sound like your mom should buy a Camry/Corolla. If she's like my mom/MIL/wife, if there's 1mm of snow outside, they panic and refuse to go out the door. Regardless, the crosstrek will be my wife's car and I'm using the alloys/snows that were previously on her outback.
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:37 PM   #9
79letour
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My mom hates driving my Subaru. Shes used to her Avalon.
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack View Post
What is the fuel economy being reported as being low? Being an AWD car, it should be lower than a 2wd car just as a baseline because of the added drag. I actually just bought a Crosstrek, partly because of the GOOD mpgs being reported.
In a nutshell. This car is rated 27/30/36. It really takes a hit in the city. Most people trading from older Subaru's think that the impreza makes great mpg for an AWD. Folks moving from FWD econ boxes that are used to seeing no lower than 28 mpgs even with harsh driving, expected this car to come a bit closer to the advertised 30 even with avg everyday driving that they wouldn't really consider "city" lol.

I avg 24-26 with regular suburban driving (yes good for an AWD car, but still a bit low IMO) not one to gripe too much either way. It's Equal or better mileage to my 02 corolla per tank though. However you go from no car note, to 300+ a month and end up spending equal or more on gas and you cans see where some folks are miffed.

3-4 mpg's can really set some folks off.
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:29 PM   #11
lymphomaniac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack View Post
What is the fuel economy being reported as being low? Being an AWD car, it should be lower than a 2wd car just as a baseline because of the added drag. I actually just bought a Crosstrek, partly because of the GOOD mpgs being reported.
There are a few threads about this in this sub-forum. You can't really miss them.

I think the biggest issue that those who complain about the fuel consumption is that those individuals cannot always achieve (or have expectations to always meet) the EPA figures for highway and mixed. A lot of it is driving style / terrain / traffic patterns, and I wouldn't doubt that ethanol content in the fuel is a contributing factor.

I've yet to consistently break 30 MPG on my car (now at just over 22,000 km, or slightly over 13,680 miles for you folks down south); this is with lower ethanol content fuel. However, I'm cognizant of the fact that traffic here sucks ass, my daily commute doesn't involve highway speeds, and a lot of my driving is of the "short trip" variety.

Considering the fuel consumption is on par (or marginally better) than my previous car ('01 Integra base model), I'm satisfied.
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Old 08-06-2013, 04:17 PM   #12
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I get better city in this car than I did highway on my last car, that's more than enough for me.
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Old 08-06-2013, 04:46 PM   #13
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Sounds just like my mom situation. I am just worried about the FB20 and the FB25 burns oil.
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:39 PM   #14
sgoldste01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ans2k View Post
Sounds just like my mom situation. I am just worried about the FB20 and the FB25 burns oil.
Very low odds of this happening. I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:50 PM   #15
seafajr.
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Thanks everyone. Mom wants an AWD this time, so the Camry wouldn't be an option. It's been a great car, and if it came in AWD she would probably just go with that. She is also considering a RAV4, or CRV.
I'm glad to see that the newer Subarus don't seem to be having major issues. I figured that gas mileage would be worse than what is advertized but that's not much of a concern. My Baja averages 16-18 mpg because I do mostly city driving, far from what Subaru claimed it would get.
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgoldste01 View Post
Very low odds of this happening. I wouldn't worry about it.
man, i have been following the forester/outback forums. kinda saw this coming since the first FB in the outbacks. plenty of people would argue "low odds"
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:52 PM   #17
79letour
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foghelmut View Post
I get better city in this car than I did highway on my last car, that's more than enough for me.
I get better mpg's in the 35 mph commute to work in light traffic than I do on the highway in my new Sube. Same with the 2012. I guess my "city" driving is perfect for the car. I rarely ever drive in 55+mph zones. Once or twice a month.
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:56 PM   #18
79letour
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seafajr. View Post
Thanks everyone. Mom wants an AWD this time, so the Camry wouldn't be an option. It's been a great car, and if it came in AWD she would probably just go with that. She is also considering a RAV4, or CRV.
I'm glad to see that the newer Subarus don't seem to be having major issues. I figured that gas mileage would be worse than what is advertized but that's not much of a concern. My Baja averages 16-18 mpg because I do mostly city driving, far from what Subaru claimed it would get.
Sounds like she should at least test drive a new Legacy. The 2.5 in them seems to almost magically get very comparable mpg's to the Impreza, from what I've heard.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:56 PM   #19
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I had two of my Toyota trucks recalled for head gaskets on the V6. You can show her that. It's documented Toyota had head gasket issues for years.
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