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Old 07-07-2018, 04:21 PM   #1
GJ5dr
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Member#: 488047
Join Date: Jul 2018
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: San Jose
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Default new guy with bad luck!

Hi all, I recently bought a 2013 impreza 5-door with 41k miles from a subie dealership. I wanted the FB20 engine as it didn't seem to have any headgasket issues that plagued the EJ motors (based on my internet searches). Car came with service records of regular oil changes and all maintenance items done at dealers. I checked the fluids in the engine bay and they all looked like a proper color, so I didn't think I needed to do a pre-purchase inspection, and I (stupidly) didn't think I needed an extended warranty.

All that came to bite me in the butt.

I had the car inspected after I bought it just in case something needed attention, and found out that bank 2 headgasket had a minor leak. I took it to Auto Headquarter for a second opinion, and got the same confirmation from Kevin.

So now, it's going to cost north of 3k to have the headgaskets replaced, along with possible resurfacing. I asked the service person if this happens on FB20s often. He said it's infrequent, but when it does it's because the oil wasn't changed frequently enough.

The previous owner had changed the oil every 7,500 miles, per book recommendations.

Dealer suggested 5k for oil changes.

TL,DR; do a pre-purchase inspection, and change your Subie's oil at 5k people (and sooner if you flog it hard). Your wallet will thank you.

Apologies if this seems like common info for the FB engine. I am subie n00b.
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Last edited by GJ5dr; 07-07-2018 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 07-07-2018, 04:30 PM   #2
Charlie-III
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If leaking to the ground, watch oil level every second gas fill. Top as needed. Go maybe 50K or more before an issue.
No worries.......
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Old 07-07-2018, 07:38 PM   #3
Jack
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Don't you have a warranty from the dealer?

This is literally the first head gasket I've heard of on any FA or FB of any type.
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Old 07-07-2018, 08:31 PM   #4
GJ5dr
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Charlie-III: Thanks for the advice, I will keep that in mind if the car does this again. Is the oil getting into your coolant reservoir as well? I'm just not a fan of seeing oil mixing in with the coolant.

Jack: The car was sold in December of 2012, so it passed basic warranty a long time ago, and the 5 yr/60k powertrain warranty was up by last year. I didn't find FB20 headgasket issues while searching for info online, so I thought I was safe with this engine and decided not to opt for the extended warranty. I decided to post my experience online to let people know that while rare, the FB20 may need a headgasket check. Kevin from Auto Headquarter was changing another FB20's headgaskets when he diagnosed the issue with my car.

Or I could just have the worst luck.
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:19 AM   #5
Elbert Bass
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Yep, I have yet to see an FB or FA with head gasket leak. In fact I have yet to see one with any head warpage and the limit is 0.02 mm (0.0008") Yes, 8 ten-thousandths of an inch.

Now for the first few years FA/FB had oil leaks due to inadequate sealing from: timing covers at the front cam carrier and caps, front cam caps themselves, valve covers, rear cam caps, and cam carriers. Timing cover most common, cam carrier least common.

If there's a big mess under there they may be guessing based on EJ experience. What I recommend in cases like that is clean everything real good with brake clean (spotless and dry) and use Magnaflux SKD-S2 Developer spray to find the source of the leak.
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:37 PM   #6
GJ5dr
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Appreciate the advice Elbert. The car is currently at another dealership, and they'll take another look themselves. I'll ask the service advisor if they checked at the spots you mentioned too.
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Old 07-13-2018, 02:24 PM   #7
GJ5dr
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Just wanted to give an update:

The other dealership inspected the car, but didn't find any leak around the head gasket. However, they did find some kind of oil seepage likely from the timing cover area.

Crisis averted.
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