15th Nov 2004, 15:46

I also have a 1999 Forester with similar oil leak problems. A year ago I had to have the right rear wheel bearing and axle replaced.

Today I found out that either the transmission or 4WD needs to be replaced. I am very disappointed with Subaru.

21st Apr 2005, 20:19

I was running a '94 Impreza WRX I picked last year for 145,000 yen ($1,450) at auction in Tokyo. It had done 100,000 km admittedly. One of the minor problem was a slow oil leak. To avoid oil marks on the ground rather than buy a litre of oil once every two months, I got some of this "Stop Leak" magic stuff. Worked like a charm. If the leak's not too serious, this sort of product will address it, assuming the owner's can open the hood and find the oil filler cap. With an increasing number of men as ignorant as women when it comes to car mechanics, they only have themselves to blame when they pay through the nose for minor, unnecessary work.

25th Jan 2007, 16:09

Just got the bad news from the Suby shop on my '99 Forester. I turns out I have an oil leak from the head gasket. Car has less than 65000 miles. I have one of those bad 2.5L engines with the coolant recall. The recall and warranty extension Subaru offers only applies if the problem is a coolant. From everything I read the problem is a bad original equipment head gasket and that it failed. Denying my warranty is just splitting hairs.

7th Jul 2007, 08:58

I have a turbo model 2000 forester 2L and it does nothing, but perform.

I have modified the vehicle with suspension mods, engine/turbo mods and braking mods, and it's the best vehicle I have owned!

Like all cars, there are lemons, but if you are having issues you should consider the type of maintenance you offer your vehicle as well as calling the manufacturer to task.

4th May 2008, 03:06

Of the about six other brand of cars I have used in eight years, my Subaru Forester has been most fantastic... Besides routine oil change, the 1999 model road goddess still performs at optimal capacity even in very harsh usage & handling. At 98000 mileage, I have little to worry, even when embarking on long, sudden journey. I plan getting a newer model and I hope it would be this reliable. Indeed, for me, it's Subaru or nothing, except...

13th Jan 2009, 21:53

Bought a used Forester with 65,000 miles on it in October, 2008. Started bubbling in the back-up reservoir then overheating. Replaced hoses, thermostat, temperature sensor, water pump only to find out that the head gasket is cracked and there is severe internal damage. In addition, oil pan gasket leaked and had it replaced as well. In less than 3 months, I put $1000 of repairs into a vehicle that is not even worth the tires it's sitting on. Also, digital clock stopped working, reverse lights stopped as well, and clutch is starting to make noises. Worst car I've ever owned in my life.

9th Feb 2009, 18:09

I've been shopping for a used Subaru for my daughter, her second Legacy. I've owned 3 Subarus, all great cars. A 1981 GL wagon with lever 4-wheel drive, a 1987 GL turbo wagon with a push button in the stick, and a 1990 Legacy full-time. All were solid, reliable vehicles.

However, from Subaru junk yard guys to independent mechanics, all tell me that after 100,000 miles on the older 2.5 engines, you are on borrowed time in regards to head gaskets. As an example, I looked at a 2001 Legacy L today. I thought the Legacy L always had a 2.2 engine, but no, this one had a 2.5 with 145,000 miles on it. How did I notice the discrepancy? When I saw the coolant showing at the head gaskets, I realized it was a 2.5, not a 2.2. Stick with the older 2.2 if possible.

9th Jul 2009, 05:47

I just bought a 1999 Subaru Forester, and the first day I drove it off the lot, I realized the car itself accelerates. Since I just bought the car, I could just return it and get a Volkswagen, Honda, Toyota, but not Subaru. This site helped me figure out whether to keep my newly bought used Forester and keep on fixing the head gasket and other engine problems later, or just simply buy a better car. Thanks for having this great website.

15th Dec 2009, 22:32

The thing that bothers me most is how everyone is ranting about their Subaru's. Like any car, they break. Subaru has a known issue with the head gasket from 1996 to 1999 model years, specifically with the 2.5L engine. Once the head gasket has been replaced with an after market gasket, it usually fixes the problem. If you take it to a dealer, you will get a genuine Subaru part. If you buy the gasket at Autozone, you will get a gasket made by someone else. This is your best bet. Buy a gasket made by another company, not Subaru. The gasket made by other companies does not have the design flaw or the faulty materials in it.

Be aware that you should be ready to have the rear main seal replaced when the head gasket is done, because mine blew the rear main seal. The mechanic put oil in the engine and was running it checking for leaks, and then bam. Blew the rear main, and oil was blowing everywhere.

8th Sep 2010, 20:05

A Subaru head gasket leak is NOT all that serious, and it is never a matter of oil dripping on the ground. How shops get away telling people this is beyond me. Oil leaks on these Subi's are valve cover gaskets (or, if from the front, or the center-rear, they are oil seal leaks.) Oil dripping from either side is NEVER the head gasket. It is always just a very inexpensive valve cover gasket.