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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! I’m new to this forum, but on my 2009 forester 2.5i with 100,000 miles i noticed an oil leak under the right and left head gasket. i know these cars are notorious for external head gasket leaks around this mileage, and was just wondering what y’all thought? should i be concerned and replace the gaskets soon? the top picture is under the left side gasket and the bottom is under the right!
49DD68CC-E4C6-4D07-B9DE-C785A522962E.png 997A2E5E-9E04-4948-ABE0-F257EC579389.png
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,701 Posts
Even if there is one drop of COOLANT you would need to change. I don't see any. Just keep your eye on antifreeze levels.
Welcome
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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4,906 Posts
The joint does not look dry to me -- I see seepage. Not coolant which would drip green before it spread, but oil which spreads before it can drip.

I had my head gaskets pre-emptively replaced with 6-Star MLS five years ago at 50,000 miles, and I look up at them with an LED flashlight at every oil change. Last week the joints were still bone dry and clean.

Head gaskets can seep coolant out, while oil can seep both in and out. And combustion gas is the driving force.

Now that you are aware so early, you can go a long time like this if you watch the coolant for level, bubbles and oil, and watch the oil for level and coolant contamination.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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1,305 Posts
Just change your oil and coolant in a timely manner. Many HGs fail because of bad maintenance. If you change the HGs, use only Subaru oem mls gaskets. All other gaskets use a coating, not MLS. The coating is what wears away and causes failure. FelPro, SixStar, all use coatings. The old Subaru HG uses a coating.
 

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2010 2.5X Manual
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302 Posts
On mine the head gaskets were changed by the dealer under warranty at 40k? 50k? miles.

I think they used the same crappy ones that failed in the first place, and they just went ahead and leaked.
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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... If you change the HGs, use only Subaru oem mls gaskets. All other gaskets use a coating, not MLS. The coating is what wears away and causes failure. FelPro, SixStar, all use coatings. The old Subaru HG uses a coating.
The OE HG for the NA is a single layer composite material. The OE HG for the XT is multi-layer steel, as are Six-Star and FelPro.

However, when I asked my dealer about using the XT gasket in my NA, he said Subaru would only warrant the proper parts for my car. For the dealer 12-month warranty, the paperwork had to show that the head gasket kit for the NA was used. The dealer said they could put in any head gasket that I wanted, but could only warrant the NA head gasket kit.

Regarding coatings, you say multi-layer steel gaskets do not use coatings, but then you say FelPro and Six-Star do use coatings. Those are both multi-layer steel.
 

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2001 Forester
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Check coolant level often. Send oil samples in once a year to see if coolant is getting into the oil. Keep driving it. I drove my 2001 like that for nearly 40,000 miles. Then I had turbo XT MLS gaskets installed and it's been fine.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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I would not use any HG but Subaru oem MLS for XTs. Properly installed and maintained, they will not fail like all others.

 
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