29th Dec 2006, 14:55

Subaru Legacy sedan.

At74000K miles engine light goes on. Take to mechanic. Head gasket leaking. What is my next step, here? Do I now add the coolent "protector" stuff and hope for the best? Is there any warranty provided to me?


10th Jan 2007, 07:14

Overall my 2000 Subaru Outback has suited our needs quite well with minimal maintenance. Although I would echo a lot of what is said about regarding head gasket, shuddering, and road noise.

My car is currently at the dealer having the head gasket replacement (covered by Subaru/Dealer). I had the coolant additive from the recall back a few years ago. I had been smelling coolant (sweet syrupy smell) for a few months. The dealership called this morning to indicate the clutch really needed replacement, possibly the flywheel. He said if we didn't do the flywheel there would likely be shuddering between gears. It already does this (mainly out of first). As a previous writer indicated, I assumed it was me doing a bad job shifting although I learned on manual and had never had such a problem before. There seems to be a lot of road noise at highway speeds to me as well.

22nd Jan 2007, 10:50

2001 4 Cyl outback with 117,000 miles. I love the car, hate the dealer since I am convinced that I paid for the new show room they opened this fall...

NOTE: Subaru extended the warranty for the leaking head gasket to 100,000 miles or 8 years (might be 10 years). Mine started leaking at about 90,000 and dealer did not tell me about the warranty. At 101,000 miles I read a forum about the extended warranty, called Subaru, and after pestering them for two weeks they agreed to pay for the repairs (note that I had the "additive" added when told by Subaru).

If you smell a sweet, yet awful smell, when engine is hot and idling, it most likely is a leaking head gasket. If under warranty, dealer will only replace the gasket that is broken (Subaru has two gaskets due to 'boxer" engine). Ask them to replace both, or offer to pay for the replacement of the second one while they have the engine off the mounts. This will be a difference of less than $100 vs. $2000 when the second one fails and the car is out of warranty.

Note 2: catalytic converter warranty was extended to 80,000 miles. The dealer will not admit this (I believe because they can double bill: first you and then Subaru), same as they didn't admit the leaking head gasket at 91,000. Now car is in the shop getting a new catalytic converter, third one so far. Another $1,100 for the show room.

Other issues:

1. road noise comes from the seal between the window and the rear view mirror, nothing to do with roof rack cross bars. Had the seals change four times under warranty, the change was only good for about 10,000 miles. Now I just crank the radio up.

2. brakes seem to constantly vibrate due to warped rotors

3. chattering of clutch when car is cold. I've been driving sticks since I was 14, so I know it wasn't my clumsiness. So far still with original clutch.

4. O2 sensors - give me a break! No pun intended...

I love the car. This is my third Subaru, eighth in my family. They are comfortable, great in wet, muddy, dirt, ice and snow covered roads. Great safety rating (co-worker had a head on collision with an 18-wheeler, car was destroyed, but he walked away). But now I have to admit that they don't build them like they used to (current was assembled in Indiana, all others in Japan). The price is right since it is hard to find a comfortable car at $25K. And it is impossible to find a four wheel drive with manual transmission!!!

But, am I willing to drop $1,500 every two years so that the car passes emissions? Still cheaper than payments on a new car. I need to really discuss this situation with my pillow.

Any questions, feel free to contact me at aldg@comcast.net.

24th Jan 2007, 11:54

I have had similar issues with my 2000 outback. My check engine light came on 1 year ago regarding the Catalytic converter and the knock sensor. I am now looking to sell (130K) and am appalled by the costs of repairs just to shut off the check engine light.

Has anyone out there continued to drive their car beyond this mileage without issue? If it just keeps going I might try to sell as is.

Please contact (jwalker1723@yahoo.com) or post comment.


24th Jan 2007, 14:56

I recently bought a 1996 Legacy Outback that began leaking antifreeze, the temp. gauge was pegged at H, and there was no hot air coming from the vents when the heater was on. When I took it into the dealer, they told me that they believed I had a cracked head gasket, and that the $900 extended warranty I purchased would not cover it. The cost estimate was nearly $2,000 to fix it. So we took it to someone who fixes cars on the side and when he removed both gaskets, he told me they both looked fine! If it's not the head gaskets, does anyone have an idea as to what else could be wrong? ttclem@juno.com

25th Jan 2007, 17:49

My Subaru Legacy 2000 was in today for an oil change and I was told by my mechanic that it was "leaking antifreeze at a pretty good clip".

It only has about 75000 miles on it, but they are saying to remove engine and replace both gaskets (they suggested doing both since if one is gone, can the other be far behind?)

Estimate at $1200-1600 if nothing else is wrong or eaten away by the coolant Mechanic who is knowledgeable and good says this is a weak point of these particular cars and not unusual-just that my mileage is a bit low for this.

(Had coolant system recall work completed in March of 2004) Mechanic suggests being sure to do coolant flushes in a timely manner to help counteract effects of antifreeze.

What is this about an extended warranty-was this something that came with the car or had to be purchased separately? (I bought mine privately used about 4.5 years ago).


8th Feb 2007, 15:30

I have a 2001 Legacy Outback with exactly 80,009 miles on it; it is my 3rd Subaru. I purchased it from a local used car dealer 2 years ago. I have already replaced the clutch (which I blamed on my teenage son who was learning to drive - didn't know about all the other people who have had this problem). It has smelled "hot" for months, but no other problems (yes, road noise, but I thought that was just me) and now steam/smoke is coming out from under the hood after driving it even a short distance. I was told by a local mechanic that it has a head gasket problem and to take it to the dealer. Is there a warranty or recall for this? Any help would be appreciated!

19th Feb 2007, 10:21

I have a 2001 Outback with 65,000 miles and about a month ago my wife noticed the smell of gas inside the cabin. We took the car to the dealer and they made an adjustment on a fuel line clamp and sent the car home. The smell of gas returned about two weeks after we got the car back. Took the car to the dealer again and they did not find anything wrong with the fuel line, but said the head gasket needed to be replaced. They told me that the smell I smelled was antifreeze; I don't buy it. Got the car back two days ago and it smells of gas again. Has anyone experienced this issue? Please help!