Car Problem Reports

Subaru Outback Cooling System Problems Cause Head Gasket Failure

Subaru Outback Problem
27 Reports
Me Too

Model Years Affected: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2010

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

Average Mileage: 97,834 mi (22,000 mi - 169,000 mi)


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.

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

    Head gasket leak

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

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

    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

    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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  • Visitor, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 93,216 mi

    Engine light on. Heats up when a/c is on. Started hesitation on acceleration just after having major front end work completed with a AAA approved Subaru Repair garage costing $1800.00+.
    Had been seen by Subaru dealer for recalls in 2003 & 2004

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  • Visitor, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 85,000 mi

    Head gasket started leaking one month after the 90,000 mile maintenance, which I did early. Frustrating, but I still love my Subi! Replaced head gasket.

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  • Visitor, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 120,000 mi

    Head gasket leaks and car overheats. Talked with an executive at Subaru and they told me I was sol. Felt blown off as soon as they heard over 100,000 miles. Original owner here and will pay the $2100 bill to fix but probably will sell ASAP just to recoup the cost. Wife loves that car but they knew the heads were bad and we never received a recall.

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  • Visitor, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 93,500 mi

    check engine light. replaced wires,plugs,coil. light still came on. dealer said i needed a head gasket

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