Used Subarus and the head gasket thing...

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Mazaev, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. RockyRaccoon

    RockyRaccoon Found:Gideon's Bible

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    I have a 2007 Impreza with a 2.5 engine. It had to have the head gaskets changed at 150,000 miles

    The catalytic converter had to be replaced at 168,000

    At 70,000 it need an output shaft bearing in the manual transmission, which was fortunately covered by the extended warranty
    #21
  2. discochris

    discochris Long timer

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    I had a 2002 Impreza Outback Sport Wagon.

    I loved that car, but it ATE rear wheel bearings. I had them replaced at 60k and 100k, and it was about a $1200 job both times from an independent shop I trusted. Don't even want to know what the dealer cost would be. We traded the car with 120k on it, and the head gaskets had started to weep a little, but it was other nickel and dime stuff that bugged me - AC compressor was a big one.

    Of course we traded it on a 2008 Forester - same motor. It now has close to 90k on it, with (knock on wood) very few problems - mostly fit and finish rattle stuff, and a broken washer fluid hose. We hope to keep it for another year or two since it's paid off, and we moved a lot closer to work, so we're not putting as many miles on our cars. My guess is that when it comes time to get rid of it, we'll end up with an Outback to replace it. My wife really likes the Subaru's, and the AWD is still the best of any car I've ever driven - that thing will go through anything.

    I had a co-worker come in late to a meeting last week because his car died (transmission failed). It was a 2002 Forester. It had 230,000 miles on it, and he'd had no issues up to that point, so yeah, they make some good cars. I think the main issue with the head gaskets is that with the boxer there are two of them and so the job is pretty spendy.
    #22
  3. green hell

    green hell yawning or snarling

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    ouch. for the impreza the legacy bearings were a different part number, a perfect fit and somehow a better part.

    holy shit, normally it was about $300 for parts and labor for one side.
    #23
  4. ultane

    ultane sqeezin the bag

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    Subaru has changed the design of their head gaskets three times since 2008. They also have a specially formulated coolant for their boxer engines. If you use another coolant, you can kiss your gaskets good bye.


    I might be wrong... Just ask my X...

    If a man speaks, and there is no woman present to hear him,... Is he still wrong?


    Sent from my party line rotary dial iPhone using Tapatalk
    #24
  5. Mazaev

    Mazaev Been here awhile

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    Seems like the WRXs don't have the gasket issue, and are more fun to drive. If only their resale value wasn't so damn high.

    But yeah.. I'll be keeping an eye out for an unmolested WRX wagon or a 9-2x.
    #25
  6. slackmeyer

    slackmeyer Don't mean sheeit. .

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    This seems to be true, I haven't heard of the turbo engines having HG problems (at least not more than any car out there). Sometimes you can find a legacy GT turbo for a good deal, they're a bit more under the radar than the WRX.
    #26
  7. RockyRaccoon

    RockyRaccoon Found:Gideon's Bible

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    #27
  8. seuadr

    seuadr Wee-stromer

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    i haven't had head gaskets replaced, nor do i use any special coolant. i've got nearly 150k miles on mine and has not used a drop of coolant thus far. previous owner didn't replace head-gaskets either. far from empirical data, of course, but there you have it.
    #28
  9. 06ltd

    06ltd Been here awhile

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    I have an 06 WRX. It's got 107k miles and has been gently molested its entire life. Stage 2 at 26k, stage 3 opensource at 60k and stage 3 protuned at 72k (300/325 :)). Not a single problem, stock clutch and tranny, been running Napa 50/50 and Mobil 1 synthetic since new. I plan to do a compression test when I change the plugs next, but the butt dyno says all is well. Maybe I'm just lucky.
    #29
  10. Meter Man

    Meter Man Living on a prayer

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    I've owned 2 Subarus, My brother has owned 2 Subies as well.

    Parents have had several.

    My brother had issues with head gaskets. My parents got one of their own fixed gratis by Subaru.

    Subarus are generally good vehicles, but they tend to have a lot of semi major issues.

    The headgasket debacle is the big one, they also have frequent suspension issues. Most models also have issues with axle warping.

    I won't buy another.
    #30
  11. ddavidv

    ddavidv Thrifty not cheap

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    The turbo models are 2.0 vs the 2.5 of the n/a cars. I think the bore diameter difference is why the turbo cars don't poof HG's as readily. The sealing surface between the cylinder and the water/oil passages on a 2.5 is incredibly small.

    My local independent Subaru guru uses a HG supplied by, I think, Stars (whoever that is). His view is the OEM gaskets, despite the several revisions, are no assurance of sealing success. He is adamant that he has not had any of his return after he reseals them.

    I've heard endless stories about the wheel bearings on Subarus but I've never replaced a single one. :huh Axle warping? Never heard of that one. Suspension problems? Nil. I have replaced cam/crank sensors (intermittent no-start problems), a/c compressors (noisy or failing clutches), ignition switch (wore it out), endless broken cup holders...that's about it. I've heard of a lot of coils that develop cracks but never had one.
    #31
  12. brewer90

    brewer90 Been here awhile

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    My 08 Outback XT has a 2.5L and a turbo. No HG issues either.
    #32
  13. papalobster

    papalobster With Gusto!

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    FWIW the turbo 2.0 and 2.5 are different blocks than the N/A ones. They don't just slap a turbo on a naturallly aspirated block:deal
    #33
  14. Rogue_Ryder

    Rogue_Ryder 速 Flat Biller 速

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    NA 2.5L Subaru's pretty much all have had or will have head gasket issues.
    http://allwheeldriveauto.com/subaru-head-gasket-problems-explained/
    ^ All encompassing article

    They also make THE gasket set to solve the problem
    http://allwheeldriveauto.com/subaru-parts/

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Y0klKOuezm0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    A very good indy subaru mechanic I know in W. Mass also uses them, 2 years ago my buddy bought an 01 Forester off of him that he uses as his winter service vehicle (IT technician) and only paid $4K for the car with 125K on it.

    I don't think Subarus are an avoid at all costs vehicle because of this "issue", their snow performance is unmatched by anything out there and even an Audi of similar mileage and age will probably encounter more frequent break downs and repairs of higher costs.

    Also if you were to buy one new and change the coolant ever 30K and/or 3 years you'd probably never encounter a head gasket failure.
    #34
  15. seuadr

    seuadr Wee-stromer

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    i don't know that i would call that all encompassing.. they didn't mention any years beyond 2002. 2006+ engines were also altered so head gasket issues are not nearly as common with them. late generation ej motors are the only ones to have really had this problem on a large scale.. i don't think it is fair to say "if you own a subaru, you ARE going to have problems.
    #35
  16. Meter Man

    Meter Man Living on a prayer

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    Every Subaru I've owned and all Subies owned by the family have had to have parts of the suspension replaced before 100,000 miles and a few other items after 100,000. Ball Joints in 3 cases.:huh

    I sold my 97 after disclosing the shake at speed (after spending hours trying to rack it down). I sold it at a discount because of the problem. Her mechanic found the problem(warped axle) after 3 other mechanics (one a dealer) couldn't diagnose it correctly. Her mechanic told me that he replaced 30some each year.

    The big positive for Subarus, at least new, is the very reasonable price for a full size vehicle and AWD. That being said I've fallen out of love with them and can't look beyond the warts anymore.
    #36
  17. Meter Man

    Meter Man Living on a prayer

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    I should also mention that I have a 2002 that has a very noticeable hesitation off idle.

    4 mechanics have looked at it, and 2 have replaced sensors with "Known good units" without success. They've all said I could start replacing bigger ticket items or have the fuel injectors replaced/cleaned, but can't gaurantee a result.

    Nobody can diagnose it. I just accept it and drive "around" it.
    #37
  18. FXRocket

    FXRocket Phoneticide Squad

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    Well, this thread may have saved me some hassle. I was considering a used Subaru , but not now.:eek1
    #38
  19. seuadr

    seuadr Wee-stromer

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    i've talked to a lot more people that were perfectly happy and didn't have to put all the work outlined in these into them than i have otherwise. i frequent several subaru forums and i haven't seen much mention of .. well, basically any of the issues, minus the head gasket thing. i would do more research before deciding completely against one.

    YMMV of course.
    #39
  20. FLYING EYEBALL

    FLYING EYEBALL out of step

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    I'm looking at 94-2002 Subes right now.

    If the hg's, timimg belts and wp's have been done...what else should I look out for?

    Looking to spend less than 4K if I can.
    #40