2000 Subaru Outback from North America
Good car, useful for hauling
Head gasket replaced twice. Small pinhole leaks oil, none on ground, but gets on the engine and can be smelled, especially when the A/C is on. Engine would need to be taken out to fix; something to do with a plate that is now made with different material.
Front seats uncomfortable. Heated seats often get turned on by mistake, and get too hot.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 8th July, 2010
1st Oct 2011, 17:06
I will never understand how shops get away with telling people a Subaru engine must be removed to replace the head gaskets. I've had at least 7 Subaru's, and I've had to do head gaskets on most of them. I keep buying Subarus for their snow "worthiness" and their great reliability. The head gasket issue is real, no matter what improvements have been made by the factory, the H-Gs seem to go bad eventually, but once replaced I've never had a problem, and I keep all my cars until they hit 250 to 300k miles, and they are still running fine and still pass Calif smog test when they go to the next owner. 170k miles is about where all of mine have needed the head gaskets replaced. And never have I had to remove the engine to do so.
After the 1st one (that took more than 8 hours before I understood how easy it is to do), it became a very simple and quick job. Never more than 4 hours total (except for the time it takes to take the heads in to be machined (not rebuilt, just resurfaced). Subaru's have proven to be great cars, as good or better than any Jeep I've ever owned. Great reliability, cheap to fix (about 200 dollars to do the whole H-G job, including resurfacing at a machine shop, and this includes a new water pump too. My point is that the "dreaded" head gasket job on the SOHC Subaru engine is not a hard job at all, in fact it is kind of a fun 4 hour job that can be easily done with the engine still in the car.
8th Mar 2012, 04:15
If you can describe how a normal person without a workshop of mechanics tools can do a gasket head replacement at home, please say! I have been to 3 mechanics who say the exact same thing, the engine needs to come out to do the cylinder head gasket! Because it's a twin cam design east/west engine, it's got to be taken out. Period!!!
There are thousands of 2.5 EFI Subi owners world wide with the exact same problem! Many angry and unhappy owners.
20th Nov 2023, 13:12
The 2000 and onwards Subarus use a single overhead cam design, except for some turbo models. They still can be a bit difficult to access, but I think you could do a head gasket replacement in a home shop without removing the engine. Of course, you'd be doing it again really soon, because you can't mill the mating surfaces of the head and block in the engine bay.