Originally Posted by Mazaev
Just spoke to their Subaru tech and they said that the left gasket was replaced, along with the timing belt at 62k, in 2010. Car recently had its 75k service. The replacement gasket was the OEM part and was only done one the left side.
I'm conflicted here because normally, I wouldn't even have access to this info. According to the dealer, the car has been properly maintained its whole life and records are available. On the other hand, that OEM part, along with the right side are likely to go again. And, there's a cheaper Matrix being sold as well but without any such info...
Not necessarily. Subaru redesigned the gasket, and the the new one is supposedly a lot better. It's a shame that they only did one side. Because the engine has to be dropped to do the job, getting the other gasket would have been pretty easy. That's like doing the timing belt and not replacing the water pump.
That said, if the engine is not showing any signs of trouble, they sell what they call 'gasket conditioner'. ($5 per bottle) You need to pour it straight into the radiator, not the reservoir. If you start using it early enough, the gaskets will last quite a bit longer.
Mrs. Dave had the passenger side gasket start to weep at 125K mi. Car was worth $3k at the time, and the repair was $2k.
So, we traded it in on a TDI.
Edit: You might also want to check Subaru's recall on the gasket. They recalled certain years/models, and had then gaskets replaced on Subaru's dime, even though the car is out of warranty. Unfortunately, the '03 Forester didn't fall under that.