Car Problem Reports

Subaru Outback Cooling System Problems Cause Head Gasket Failure

Subaru Outback Problem
22 Reports
Me Too

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

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

Average Mileage: 102,718 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

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

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

    Flag This
  • 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.

    Flag This
  • 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.

    Flag This
  • 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

    Flag This
  • Visitor, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 22,000 mi

    Found a leak in my driveway just after oil ch. Back to Firest- they checked - said it was head gasket.Subaru dealer from wh I bought car,replaced it. Happened during 1st 3 yrs of ownership.

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

    Coolant level drops, sweet smell when engine stops

    Flag This
  • Visitor, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 119,000 mi

    Vehicle is overheating and loosing collant, intermittently. Cylinder head gasket at the rear of the left side cylinder head failed. Did not repair.

    Flag This
  • Visitor, , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 111,000 mi

    complete loss of all coolant within 3 weeks of topping up. Pressure test revealed a leaking left head gasket, which was replaced with new head gaskets (for the turbo charged engine, even though we don't have that kind). We were told that these other gaskets were more "robust". Also changed the water pump and timing belt. Total cost was $1900.

    Flag This
  •  Rookie

    Car was overheating, right after purchased ,replaced thermastat, then flushed radiator, still over heated, now they say a cracked head

    Flag This
Ask a Question