Car Problem Reports

Subaru Baja Cooling System Problems Cause Head Gasket Failure

Subaru Baja Problem
21 Reports
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Model Years Affected: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006

Engines Affected: 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 2.5L 4 Cylinder Turbo

Average Mileage: 99,658 mi (46,000 mi - 175,000 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, 103,000 mi

    I just spent $2500.00 to replace head gaskets, timing belt(required maintenance), water pump, idler pulleys and belts and hoses while they were in there......even 8yr/100K should have been extended because my vehicle has passed the 8 year limit...Subaru KNEW there was a problem and the only solution they gave was to put a "conditioner" in the coolant when you changed the antifreeze...I DID that also...this "conditioner" was nothing more than stop-leak sold in any parts engine was leaking oil from the head gaskets but the leak got so bad, I could smell burning oil while I was driving and there was a spot on the floor after each drive....I know Subaru would say, just get a new vehicle after so many years on a vehicle but that is not the point of this discussion...besides, Subaru doesn't make anything that resembles a Baja anymore and the outback and forester or Crosstrek cannot compare to what I would have cost Subaru a small fortune to replace all the bad head gaskets out there BUT that is there mistake not the consumer's fault.....with all the problems at all the other manufacturers, you would have thought that Subaru would have stepped up a little bit more than they did...I know my car is good for another 100K engine wise because I got GOOD head gaskets but who is going to replace the $2500 bill???? for poor quality????

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  • Visitor, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 80,000 mi

    Bought a used 2004 Baja. had been jury rigged for sale, but engine was bad due to blown head gasket. Had to replace engine.

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  • Visitor, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 68,800 mi

    Told about the head gasket leakage at my last oil change this week and the 72000 check up.

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  • Visitor, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 100,000 mi

    loss of coolant. smoke coming from crankcase,vehical o2 sensor bad also. engine beginning to run rough. Nothing repaired yet but suspect cooling system problems and head gasket failure.

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  • VickieT, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 175,000 mi

    While driving my Baja I noticed the temperature gauge seemed a little higher than normal last spring. Then this last Summer started noticing a hot oil smell coming through the vents and around the engine after driving. After seein oil spots on ground, I had engine bottom completely clean to see where the oil leak was coming from. It has been diagnosed as a failing head gasket. Mechanic is putting together an estimate.

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  • Visitor, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 118,000 mi

    not yet fixed, weekend project to pull engine and replace headgaskets.

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  • bsmith2323, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 97,500 mi

    Head gasket leak found while having timing belt replaced. Guessing I don't benefit from the warranty extension being the second owner. Have to look into cooling system fixes to prevent recurrence. Anyone done this yet???

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  • Visitor, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 58,630 mi

    I was driving with the a/c on when the temp guage rose to the "hot" area on the dashboard and the a/c turned warm. I turned the heat on high until I could reach a service station. After adding coolant the problem seemed fixed. I asked around about it and was told to have the collant flushed and replaced which I did. Now I've noticed my driveway is wet under the car. Not a puddle just wet. I also have to add coolant from time to time to replace what is leaking. What should I do?

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  • foofer, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder Turbo, 156,000 mi

    Head gasket replaced at approx. 100,000 miles. About three weeks ago, the gasket started leaking. Since the cooling system problems have not been addressed this problem may surface again.

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  • Visitor, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 92,293 mi

    Intermittent overheating
    Coolant looked like Yoohoo.
    $3000 repair at Midas

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