Car Problem Reports

Subaru Legacy Cooling System Problems Cause Head Gasket Failure

Subaru Legacy Problem
15 Reports
Me Too

Model Years Affected: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003

Engine Affected: 2.5L 4 Cylinder

Average Mileage: 120,118 mi (85,000 mi - 171,000 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, 99,995 mi

    I saw small amounts of oil on driveway. Took it to the dealership, got an estimate of 2000 oe so to fix. Called Subaru Customer Service , a week later I got a call that it was covered. Subaru covered the entire cost of replacing both head gaskets. Made me happy.

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  • Visitor, , 128,000 mi

    Second blown head gasket.

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  • Visitor, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 105,000 mi

    Seems 2003's aren't covered by Subaru for this problem so had to fork over the $2100 to repair both head gaskets myself. As it is a known problem, I would have thought they would help in the cost.

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  • rkochinsky, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 139,835 mi

    Head gaskets began to leak at 139,835 miles...have had issues with the cooling systemsince the head gasket recall.

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

    The local Subaru dealer- Spurr in Brockport NY- the head gasket was leaking and my repair costs would by $1000 plus so I took it to a local mechanic who researched the issue and told me Subaru had issued a large number of repair bulletins on this issue and although they did not do a recall often fixed it at no cost. He suggested I call the Subaru regional rep and I did. Twenty minutes later I got a call from Spurr offering to fix it and no cost, which they did.

    I will buy my next car from Van Bortel Subarun in Victor.

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  • Visitor, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 171,000 mi

    leaking head gasket the thermostate was pulled to stop leak temp fix

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  • Visitor, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 112,000 mi

    Followed the protocol of adding the special conditioner. However, head gaskets failed at 70,000 miles. Was covered by the warranty still & had them replaced. Head gasket failure again at 112,000 miles. No longer under warranty. Had replaced. Cylinder heads were also warped. Had machined down. Big repair. $1500 total for parts/labor. This time it better last...

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