Car Problem Reports

Subaru Legacy Cooling System Problems Cause Head Gasket Failure

Subaru Legacy Problem
28 Reports
Me Too

Model Years Affected: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2011

Engines Affected: 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 3.6L 6 Cylinder

Average Mileage: 116,018 mi (36,000 mi - 183,000 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.

  • , , 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.

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  • , , 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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  • , , 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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  • , , 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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  • , , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 100,562 mi

    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.

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  • , , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 110,000 mi

    I had to pay to have it repaired. I will never buy another Subaru

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  • , , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 95,000 mi

    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...

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  • , , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 142,000 mi

    I have not been able to fix the problem, as the repairs and labor for the head gasket situation are out of my budget.

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  • , , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 125,000 mi

    overheat, $2500 fix, new timing chain, tune up, oil change etc.

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  • , , 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 94,000 mi

    Head Gasket failure, contacted Subaru dealer would not cover cost of repair. AAA repair facility out of pocket cost $1600.

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