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Subaru Outback Cooling System Problems Cause Head Gasket Failure

 
Subaru Outback Problem
33 Reports
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Model Years Affected: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010

Engines Affected: 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 3.0L 6 Cylinder

Average Mileage: 95,070 mi (22,000 mi - 169,000 mi)

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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.

  • jimr24, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 147,000 mi
     Enthusiast

    car overheated , replaced water pump , radiator , sensors ,hoses ,head gasget

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  • Visitor, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 65,000 mi

    Coolant level drops, sweet smell when engine stops

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  • sdjrs, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 75,000 mi
     Rookie

    head gasket caused oil leaks and replaced, along with thermostat and coolant flush, total cost more than $2600.

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  • Visitor, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 125,000 mi

    Head gasket leak

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  • Visitor, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 95,400 mi

    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

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  • Visitor, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 65,000 mi

    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.

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  • Visitor, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 81,000 mi

    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.

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  • scorpio3217, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 66,500 mi
     Rookie

    I have a 2007 Outback with 66,500 miles on it. Dealer says both headgaskets leaking onto exhaust parts.

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  • KatyJ, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 64,300 mi
     Rookie

    Approximately 3 weeks after being serviced, my 2010 Outback blew head gaskets. The heat indicator light started blinking red while driving. We pulled over and read the owner's manual for counsel. It said if it is blinking red, pull over. If it stops blinking, no worries. If it stays red, do not continue driving. The indicator light went out altogether so we continued home. It turns out, the reservoir had blown it's lid spewing all over the engine and the radiator was nearly empty. We put enough H20 in it to make it to the Subaru dealer. Today they informed me "I blew head gaskets". They made me feel like we were idiots for driving it. At no time did we notice any fluid on the ground, see smoke or smell coolant. It is baffling, especially since the fluids had recently been topped off. Routine oil changes, and scheduled maintenance all in order. We noticed that there is a recall (#83732)for a radiator hose problem but the dealer said it does't pertain to my car (per VIN). Fortunately, we bought the extended service warranty and this repair will only cost the $100 deductible. I can't help but wonder how thorough a job will be performed. I may sell and buy something else. (My 1998 Outback had HG issues afer 120 k miles - - that is more understandable!)

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  • Visitor, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 97,000 mi

    Oil leaking from Head Gasket (Both sides). Told by Mechanic to monitor fluid levels. Car Serviced twice a year as we don't put enough miles on it to follow that schedule.

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