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06 Forester, 02 Tacoma
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92 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Plan to look at an 02 XS 2.5 non turbo, automatic. About 113,000 miles. Timing belt has not been done yet (it seems) and the heads seem dry and is said not to need coolant or overheat.

I realize the timing belt is overdue (due at 90k ?).

This may be a "duh" question, but, how likely is it that the head gaskets will need replacement at some point and are they prone to "sudden" failure at that mileage?

Any other sore points?
 

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2004 Fxt mt, 2005 Fxt mt, 2005 fxt Mt project,2008 sports mt
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23 Posts

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,201 Posts
When you do the TB do the idlers, tensioner, and water pump.
 

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2007 Forester XT Manual
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317 Posts
Subaru sells a lot.

you can also purchase if you do do yourself tools from company23. You’ll need the crank pulley holder and the cam sprocket holder so it doesn’t slip on you.
 

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06 Forester, 02 Tacoma
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92 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
https://allwheeldriveauto.com/subaru-head-gasket-problems-explained/ .

Get some subie coolant conditioner aka rad weld. Unlikely to fail suddenly

Once in a while I get a wiff of coolant. Not noticing any leaks and level in tank has not gone down noticeably.

Would this be a good idea in general? Would it also affect heater core leaks, or lead to a clog there?
 

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15,348 Posts
Don't put that gunk in your radiator unless it's an emergency!

Have you checked around the header tank of the radiator for any seepage - it may look like a green crusty build up.
 

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2001 Forester
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1,605 Posts
Timing belt is 8 years or 105,0000 miles. Head gaskets if they go, usually start as a very slow leak, either oil or coolant will mix and/or oil/coolant leaking underneath. In the case of my 2001, it was primarily losing coolant as I was refilling every 3-6 months. Oil level stayed the same. However I annually sent oil samples of to Blackstone labs and they started noticing a steady climb in coolant found in the oil over time.

Good luck.
 

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2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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18,828 Posts
That is one lucky Forester to have survived so long on the original timing belt. Rubber wears out over time, especially in hot surroundings. Yes, do the whole job, as recommended by @adc above.

As for head gasket, folklore here is that if it hasn't yet gone, it's pretty darn solid and might last forever. My 2003 was still on the original one when I said goodbye to it at about 225k miles.
 
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