The head gasket has a high failure rate due to cooling system problems. Subaru is aware of the problem and has extended the warranty to 8 years/100k miles on many vehicles.
Resources for the Repair and Maintenance of your 1998 Subaru Forester
1998 Subaru Forester
1998 Subaru Forester Problems
The Check Engine Light may illuminate because of a failed knock sensor. Although the sensor often tests okay, it can fail intermittently, while the vehicle is being driven.
Sometimes the Check Engine Light illuminates because the computer detects misfires. Subaru released an improved spark plug wire set to solve the problem. The ignition coil should also be inspected for carbon tracks or short circuits between the contacts
Front engine oil leaks can develop from the camshaft seal and the crankshaft front seal. If one or more seals require replacement, it may be wise to consider replacing the timing belt as well. These seals are commonly inspected and replaced as needed as part of a timing belt service.
There have been reports of "clutch chatter," particularly when driving the vehicle from a cold start. If the issue was reported by the owner while the vehicle was still under warranty, the dealer may replace the clutch with improved parts.
1998 Subaru Forester Recalls (Recent)
Summary: VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: PASSENGER AND SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH ANTI-LOCK BRAKING SYSTEM (ABS). (THE 1999 2.2 LITER LEGACY VEHICLES ARE EXCLUDED). IN EXTREMELY COLD WEATHER, THE BRAKE PEDAL GOES TO THE FLOOR AND THE VEHICLE STOPPING DISTANCE IS INCREASED.Learn more »
1998 Subaru Forester Questions and Answers
On 1-20-09 I purchased a 1998 Subaru Forester (97K miles) from a local Subaru dealership. Prior to purchase, they replaced the water pump and timing belt. On 4-6 the tensioner broke apart causing...
Had the Subaru checked out about a year ago, and they informed me that they had found coolant in the oil. I opted not to have the service done, as the dealer began the estimate around $1200+.
I have a suburu forester that started stalling for no apparent reason, mainly at stop lights. ALTemp light was flashing. Brought it to mechanic and code came up as mass air flow sensor. The MAFS ...
Thanks Matte. I should clarify that it is the At oil temp light. It is not always on it will come on flashing when the car is in the stalling mode. I just read that there is a little hose going ...
1998 Subaru Forester Reviews
I bought my "98" forster 2 years ago with almost 100,000 miles on it. It has been a really good car. now I have 180.000 miles on it and I have to change the head gaskets, that will cost about 1200.oo. But I really think it's worth it