Cooling System Problems Cause Head Gasket Failure on Subaru Legacy

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.

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Average mileage: 112,035 (36,000–183,000)
Engines affected: 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 2.5L 4 Cylinder Turbo, 3.0L 6 Cylinder, 3.6L 6 Cylinder
9 model years affected: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, more2002, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2011
37 people reported this problem
18 people shared problem details
2003 Subaru Legacy- 2.5L 4 Cylinder
First time, it was a slow oil leak. The second time, the A/C went out while driving and, 10 min later, the check engine light went on. The tow truck guy found a large puddle of liquid under the car when he picked it up. The mechanic that did the work the first time couldn't believe it happened again since he thought Subaru fixed the issue. It is mind blowing to me that, regardless of who does the repair or how many miles are on the, that they won't stand behind their product on a known issue. They are happy to help me buy a new car (of course). I have been a loyal Subaru owner since 1984. My solution will probably be to not buy another Subaru, not because they aren't good cars (most of the time) but because they aren't the company they used to be. Customer service, to me, can right any wrong.
2011 Subaru Legacy- 2.5L 4 Cylinder95,000
Subaru told me that the warranty is only for 60,000 and it has not been extended for the 2011 legacy.... Less than 4 years only and the repair cost about 3000...
2011 Subaru Legacy- 2.5L 4 Cylinder80,000
coolant pressure blows off res. cap and shoots coolant all over engine. does it spuratically.
2001 Subaru Legacy- 2.5L 4 Cylinder99,995
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.
2001 Subaru Legacy- 2.5L 4 Cylinder139,835
Head gaskets began to leak at 139,835 miles...have had issues with the cooling systemsince the head gasket recall.
2001 Subaru Legacy- 2.5L 4 Cylinder85,000
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.
2011 Subaru Legacy- 2.5L 4 Cylinder60,000
Overheats in weather over 90 degrees after highway driving. Usually 5 to 10 minutes after getting off hwy.
2006 Subaru Legacy- 2.5L 4 Cylinder70,000
Had to replace head gaskets on my Outback,I complained about something smelling hot around 20,000 miles. Will never buy another Subaru. Something always neeeds to be fixed.
2011 Subaru Legacy- 2.5L 4 Cylinder100,562
I had the same issue with the car leaking oil and found that you cant use aftermarket oil filters. Everyone that i tried would leak. I ended up taking my car into a subaru dealership to have an oil change and i havent had a leak since.
2001 Subaru Legacy- 2.5L 4 Cylinder110,000
I had to pay to have it repaired. I will never buy another Subaru
2008 Subaru Legacy- 2.5L 4 Cylinder142,000
I have not been able to fix the problem, as the repairs and labor for the head gasket situation are out of my budget.
2000 Subaru Legacy- 2.5L 4 Cylinder125,000
overheat, $2500 fix, new timing chain, tune up, oil change etc.
2008 Subaru Legacy- 2.5L 4 Cylinder94,000
Head Gasket failure, contacted Subaru dealer would not cover cost of repair. AAA repair facility out of pocket cost $1600.
2002 Subaru Legacy- 2.5L 4 Cylinder163,000
I had bad radiator (small leaking) and I just realize when the engined overheated, it happen several times. I change the radiator but then antifreeze leaks and go into my engine which I can smell "burning stuff" after I turn off the engine. I check it to auto repair and it definitely caused by head gasket failure.
1999 Subaru Legacy128,000
Second blown head gasket.
2003 Subaru Legacy- 2.5L 4 Cylinder105,000
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.
1998 Subaru Legacy- 2.5L 4 Cylinder171,000
leaking head gasket the thermostate was pulled to stop leak temp fix
2000 Subaru Legacy- 2.5L 4 Cylinder112,000
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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