29th May 2007, 11:38

OK, I'm in. Car overheated and steaming coming into work one morning. Thought is was the big hose top left of radiator. Wrapped it with duct tape :) and got it to the car shop with needle banging on hot (I probably did more damage).

They put on new hose and flushed the cooling system. Took it home and after 10 minutes, the needle went to hot, coolant spilling out. Brought it back (on hot again!) and guy replaced radiator cap, said that was the problem. Took it home, after 15 minutes, it got hot and started spewing coolant again.

I was thinking thermostat, new cap, etc. but now it seems I am joining this list of head gasket woes.

Just my experience in case others experience the same.

7th Jun 2007, 14:40

Head gasket problems on a 2002 Outback with 121,000 miles. I had the mechanic change the timing belt, idlers, water pump, tensioner, etc. in addition to the head gaskets. Over $2500 in parts and labor. I was once a very proud owner of a Subaru - now I steer everyone I can clear of buying one.

If everyone who owns a Subaru and has had problems with the head gaskets like we have, tells all of their friends/relatives (and strangers, too!) not to buy a Subaru vehicle, we can be very effective in reducing Subaru's bottom line...

Shame on Subaru for not owning up to their design flaws, and extending the warranty mileage coverage on the engines in their vehicles! Engines in today's vehicles should last much longer without major repairs!

15th Jun 2007, 18:55

I own a 1998 Subaru outback limited edition and just had to replace the engine at 70,000 miles. This was supposed to be a good car, but after 4,375.00 for this car! I will never buy a Subaru again. I have all records of all services advised from Subaru! At 70,000 miles a engine should keep running, but not in this case! Just remember this, the Subaru dealership will not even care about the buyer or support of the cars they make!

20th Jun 2007, 13:12

Just to balance out all these comments, I suffered the head gasket problem on my old 97 legacy, but just bought a new 07 impreza wagon. Remember, the design problems were from 1996-2002 models. Another thing to remember, most of the cars commented here are over 100K miles. While today's engine should last well over 100K, once you reach that mileage/age, it's anything goes.

Subaru had a design flaw and they should have owed up to it. But it seems at least they have fixed the flaw in the newer models.

22nd Jun 2007, 19:26

I can't believe you guys and girls are complaining! I have a 2002 dodge with 83,000 miles and have did more work in the three years that I have owned it than any of you guys can think about. 10 YEARS, I can't even dream of my truck lasting that long. Now if I want to get one of these things, used of course since they last so long, which ones should I avoid?

26th Jun 2007, 08:48

I believe the design flaw was from 1997-2002 models. But you are right, most people complaining about the head gasket failures have 100K+ on their Subarus, granted there are a good number with less than 100K miles with problems also.

2nd Jul 2007, 14:21

I have read all your comments and can certainly relate. I own a 2004 Forester XT with only 70,000 miles and just found out today that I need a new head gasket. I am out of warranty and fall beyond the recall. Dealer is saying it'll cost $3200 to fix. What recourse do I have? This should just not happen. I have loved my Subaru up until this point. Was even contemplating getting another one this fall. No way now, not ever.

13th Jul 2007, 22:19

We have a very pampered 2000 Outback in the shop right now with the blown head gasket nightmare and it only has 30,000 odd miles on it!..and we did the coolant additive bit too! Supposedly the leaks took out the injectors and plugs which now need to be replaced, and now the timing chain needs to be yanked and replaced with a total estimate of $4,000! Now after reading this we don't know what to do with this thing... wait for the head gasket on the other side to blow out? I can't see sticking four grand in a car then immediately going out and getting another car for fear that it is going to happen again, but after reading all of these posting we are completely frustrated... our income is limited and times are tight with one of us on disability. Subaru's used to be bullet proof and good for hundreds of thousands of miles. Apparently no longer. This just stinks since the expectation in getting this car when it was NEW was it would be around for a long long time...ugh. Subaru of America will be hearing from us, but that may just be an exercise in frustration.

20th Jul 2007, 09:58

For the last two years I've been the "proud owner" of a 98 Subaru Impreza wagon--bought it with just 45K on it. It's been a great little car--lots of room for hauling stuff, great handling, fun to drive.

About four months ago, random overheating caused a radiator replacement. A month back, suddenly my coolant resevoir was empty, and I've been driving around with jugs of antifreeze ever since: it has to be refilled at least every other day.

At my last oil change they found coolant leaking down past the oil pan, and when I took it in, the first thing the mechanic said was: "Hope it's not a head gasket."

Now reading this makes me feel better and worse--better to know it's a common problem, and worse to know what the problem may be. Waiting for call back from mechanic now. Wish me luck!

24th Jul 2007, 03:29

Thanks for all the info on Subaru head gasket problems. Add another 1998 Legacy Outback to the list (85K miles).

I just searched the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) web site, and don't see very many of these reported to the Feds, and on the very public domain.

Remember the TREAD Act? Firestone tires and all that? This is your chance to record the facts so the stats DO add up. Go to the NHTSA web site and enter the component of ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING.


This is a secure web site, and you can keep your information private.

25th Jul 2007, 10:22

I just purchased a used 2007 Forester (2.5L) with 6200 miles on it. It had been a rental for 6 months. After I got it home I saw oil pooling on top of the driver side engine block. I took it back and the dealer diagnosed a blown head gasket. The entire service dept staff seemed very surprised to find this problem on a 2007. It is being repaired under warranty, and the dealer gave me a free loaner. Still a pain in the neck though and it kind of makes me wonder about Subaru's reported reliability.

8th Aug 2007, 23:02

I own a 1998 Legacy Outback. I have had it since 90k miles, it now has 145k. I have loved the way this car has performed. However, after spending $1100 to have the timing belt and 90k maintenance done, I have had the following issues:

Leaking oil seals all over the engine with smoking ($700)

Blown spindle on the left front wheel ($500)

Blown thermostat ($200)

Blown bearings and hub on left front wheel ($500)

^^^ problem reoccurred six months later in SAME wheel, haven't fixed it yet and thank God, because:

Just today, I get the random overheating problem while I'm in the middle of f'n nowhere. Towed 40 miles to a shop, they think its the head gasket. Anyone want a subie for parts, cheap?

I was a Toyota man before, and never again will I stray from the path. Now that I read all the posts in this forum all I can say is "Up yours, Subaru!"

These cash cows are as bad as VW's.