Subaru Outback Problem Report

Subaru Outback Cooling System Problems Cause Head Gasket Failure

(52 reports)

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.

car overheated , replaced water pump , radiator , sensors ,hoses ,head gasget -
head gasket caused oil leaks and replaced, along with thermostat and coolant flush, total cost more than $2600. -
Coolant level drops, sweet smell when engine stops -
Noticed oily smell when getting out of car. Went to dealer for repair of wheel hubs and while there they told me the head gasket had blown - $2500 repair (including new plugs, and wires. -
Leaking head gasket. -
The coolant idiot light came on and we pulled over to read the manual. It said when the engine cools and the light goes out, keep driving. If the light stays on, DO NOT DRIVE. The light went out and it never came back on again. When checking under the hood, the reservoir cap was blown and there was coolant all over the engine and the underside of the hood. I took it to the Subaru dealer and they said 'blown head gasket'. Fortunately, it was still under warranty. It had been serviced less than 2 weeks before so I know it was a problem with radiator hose or something. I saw the recall on the 2010s but the Service Dept said not for my VIN. I am skeptical. -
Car began overheating. Mechanic replaced thermostat and radiator cap. Problem continued. Mechanic then diagnosed blown head gasket and used chemical treatment to seal the gaps and correct the problem. However, car is continuing to overheat under stress (highway, a/c running, high outside temp). Considering next step. -
Head gasket leak -
Using oil and coolant to the max. Head gasket problem. $2400 replace. Back to work! -
This month I just pad off my Subaru. Yay, no more expenses or so I thought. Engine overheat light coming on. Took it to local dealer who said the radiator cap had sprung and was on wrong, did pressure test. Headed out on 2000 road trip, 500 miles in the middle of nowhere and engine overheat light comes on, replaced fluids, pressure test on radiator. 600 more miles down the road, engine overheat light. This time I was near Tucson Subaru. They said I needed a system flush, and to replace thermostat to the tune of $600. Headed back home, 500 miles into the trip home (you get the picture, engine overheat light...) Finally got a Subaru repairman who knew what he was doing. They said the radiator ($500) needed replacing because it was improperly cooling. Next day they call and say my head gaskets needed to be replaced (another $1000) while they are in there might as well do the timing belt. SO I am looking at around ($4000) for my 2010 Outback which I bought based on it's longevity. Not sure any 2010 Outbacks will get to be featured in the high mileage club! Soon to contact Subaru to address the issue! -
Head gasket seals replaced, $2200 to fix. -
Noticed a burning coolant smell coming from the engine compartment. Check engine light came on with Cat inefficiency code. Never overheated or even showed high temp. Running a little sluggish but nothing too concerning. No oil in coolant and no coolant in the oil. Ended up back pressuring the radiator and blowing a hole in it, along with a cracked head gasket. Local repair shop replaced the radiator, hoses and head gaskets with aftermarket. few months later the burning coolant smell is back. Taking it back to repair shop as it is still under warranty. -
I'm having that problem with the blinking coolant light (blinking red/blue or just red) as well as the check engine/cruise/brake lights. I don't have a solution yet. I'm VERY frustrated because my car is barely 3 years old and only has 41,000 mile. -
Overheating out of the blue, went to dealer they changed out thermostat, 2 weeks later same over heating problem, now its a head gasket. $2000 bucks ouch!!!!! Mind you only 80K miles on car. Its a nice car, but COME ON MAN!!!! -
Had my Radiator replaced in my 2012 Outback a month ago and started noticing problems with the car overheating. My dashboard would light up, like a Christmas tree. My Electric temp indicator would flash red and blue and then my cruise control indicator would flash as the brake and check engine light. So the car went back to the shop to be worked on and it happened again. This would the third time, and now the car will be going to the dealership to be fixed. -
Head Gasket Leakage -
seriously reconsidering purchasing another subaru at this point. -
I had my 2008 Outback in for my 90000 mile servicing and was informed by my dealer (Koenig Chevrolet/Subaru) that I had a coolant leak at the head gaskets. Repair cost $1500.00. We haven't gotten it fixed yet, we're still trying to get over the shock and checking out our options. This is when my wife is looking to replace her 2004 Mazda 6, which has been an excellent car. Having second thoughts about the new Legacy! -
Both side head gaskets. Replaced them, both side valve cover gaskets, spark plugs, intake gasket, exhaust gasket, timing belt, front crank seal, water pump and gaskets, thermostat and gaskets, flush coolant, drive belts, idler pulley. $2,934.21 -
I have a 2007 Outback with 66,500 miles on it. Dealer says both headgaskets leaking onto exhaust parts. -
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