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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

Pretty sure this is my first post. I own a 2010 ( bought new) Forester with 145k miles. No serious issues in 10 years. I’ve luckily not had to replace the head gaskets yet.

I’m curious if anyone here has more miles than mine with the original HGs. I’d like to take this thing to 200k if I can.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@AskMeLater If it ain't broke why worry? If you are not losing coolant or oil. And there are no leak stains underneath, who cares. Just keeping driving the thing until something happens.
Very zen approach but I’m curious. If I hear about the 2010 Forester that reached 200K without a HG change I’d feel all warm and fuzzy.
 

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2001 Forester
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655 Posts
@AskMeLater The HG issue is very very hit and miss. The fact that you have a 2010 does help. But it is entirely based on luck and maintenance. There have been concerns historically with the quality of the HG used straight from factory. There are also concerns as well regarding overheating, has you vehicle overheated? There is also the issue of letting acid build up on the battery, as there have been discussions that the battery acid potentially could enter your coolant and that in turn eats away at the head gasket. This list goes on...Basically there is no way to predict when and if the HG will go or not.
 

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2010 Forester Automatic 4sp
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37 Posts
@AskMeLater Same here. 2010 Forester , original owner, no major issues at 156k
Normal maintanace, changed timing belt at 105k
Drain and fill both dogs and transmission last month at 150k.
Nothing else. Plan to upgrade next year for 2020 model. But that time should hit about 170k.
 

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2018 SJ Forester 2.5i Ltd CVT
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1,571 Posts
If I hear about the 2010 Forester that reached 200K without a HG change I’d feel all warm and fuzzy.
My 2010 with 217k miles still has the original head gasket and there are no signs of an external or internal leak. No internal leak last confirmed by Blackstone Lab oil analysis at 190k miles. BTW, whenever I changed the coolant I used Subaru Super Coolant AND the Super Coolant Conditioner.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My 2010 with 217k miles still has the original head gasket and there are no signs of an external or internal leak. No internal leak last confirmed by Blackstone Lab oil analysis at 190k miles. BTW, whenever I changed the coolant I used Subaru Super Coolant AND the Super Coolant Conditioner.
Now that’s nice to hear. I’ve never used that coolant and conditioner but I’ll look into it next time.
 

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2010 Forester Premium X AT
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988 Posts
My 2010 has 217,000mi, original headgaskets and I never used the conditioner at the 100k or 200k timing belt changes. Transmission is starting to take a dump though, and that repair would be more expensive than a HG replacement.

My previous 2002 forester blew its headgaskets at 105,000mi, so I know what to look for!
 

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09 forester
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My 08 Outback started to show external leaks at 150K, its since been traded.

09 Forester had an external oil leak, very very minor at 80K, the dealer did the complete head gasket service under the extended warranty. 180K now and still looks leak tight. It had the the catalytic converter replaced at around 110 under the recall, just did the timing belt at 180, my goal is to have it take my daughter through her last year and half of college to Spring 2021.

The more I read this forum and other subie forums, 10 years / ~180K seems to be the real turning point for the average Subaru. They are nice cars but they are not Corrollas or Civics that go 250k+ routinely. I try and make it point to look for older (pre-2015) Subarus when I drive. I find more old Foresters than Outbacks are still on the road, perhaps because Foresters are assembled in Japan and parts are Japan sourced, and this means better quality parts and components. I don't think it matters where the car is assembled, but the parts make the difference. Ive never had to replace a part because it wasnt installed right, but my 08 Outback had more items fail over the 10 years I owned it than the Forester has.

Some of the other Subaru forums have stickys for head gasket life if you want to look at data.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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As far as HG. Carefully look at the gasket areas. (Remove the plastic diaper). If you see even one drop of collant its a problem. Obviously it it uses coolant or overheats it "could" be a problem. Otherwise..be happy.
 

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2002 Forester automatic
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24 Posts
Hello all,

Pretty sure this is my first post. I own a 2010 ( bought new) Forester with 145k miles. No serious issues in 10 years. I’ve luckily not had to replace the head gaskets yet.

I’m curious if anyone here has more miles than mine with the original HGs. I’d like to take this thing to 200k if I can.
Mine died at 147. Traded it in for a Toyota RAV4. I received $100 for my forester Three Subaru’s all had major problems. Never again. They are junk
 

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2005 Legacy GT
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My 08 Outback started to show external leaks at 150K, its since been traded.

09 Forester had an external oil leak, very very minor at 80K, the dealer did the complete head gasket service under the extended warranty. 180K now and still looks leak tight. It had the the catalytic converter replaced at around 110 under the recall, just did the timing belt at 180, my goal is to have it take my daughter through her last year and half of college to Spring 2021.

The more I read this forum and other subie forums, 10 years / ~180K seems to be the real turning point for the average Subaru. They are nice cars but they are not Corrollas or Civics that go 250k+ routinely. I try and make it point to look for older (pre-2015) Subarus when I drive. I find more old Foresters than Outbacks are still on the road, perhaps because Foresters are assembled in Japan and parts are Japan sourced, and this means better quality parts and components. I don't think it matters where the car is assembled, but the parts make the difference. Ive never had to replace a part because it wasnt installed right, but my 08 Outback had more items fail over the 10 years I owned it than the Forester has.

Some of the other Subaru forums have stickys for head gasket life if you want to look at data.
FWIW, I'm from one of the other forums (OBXT/Legacy GT), a member here because I may eventually buy a 2011-2013 Forester XT to replace my '05 Legacy GT Turbo with original HGs and turbo at 188K with Stage 2 tune since 136K! A friend has a Legacy GT turbo at 225K with original HGs and turbo too!
I hope the FXTs last just as long!
 

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@AskMeLater The HG issue is very very hit and miss. The fact that you have a 2010 does help. But it is entirely based on luck and maintenance. There have been concerns historically with the quality of the HG used straight from factory. There are also concerns as well regarding overheating, has you vehicle overheated? There is also the issue of letting acid build up on the battery, as there have been discussions that the battery acid potentially could enter your coolant and that in turn eats away at the head gasket. This list goes on...Basically there is no way to predict when and if the HG will go or not.
Whaaaaaaaat? Acid build up on the battery?? Perhaps you mean corrosion build up on the battery cables? Even if there was some corrosion, how would battery acid get into the cooling system??
But, in general, I agree that if there is no evidence of the head gasket leaking, leave it alone!
 

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2001 Forester
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655 Posts
Whaaaaaaaat? Acid build up on the battery?? Perhaps you mean corrosion build up on the battery cables? Even if there was some corrosion, how would battery acid get into the cooling system??
But, in general, I agree that if there is no evidence of the head gasket leaking, leave it alone!
Copied from website: http://allwheeldriveauto.com/subaru-head-gasket-problems-explained/

Most Subaru owners drive their vehicles with all of the accessories on. Sometimes at idle the alternator can’t keep up with the entire electrical load put on it and some power is drained from the battery. The process of the battery being discharged and charged is ultimately what causes the acid to vent out of the battery. How does a battery effect head gaskets you ask? Without getting to far into the scientific end of it, the battery is located very close to the radiator. The electrical system in the car is grounded to the engine block on the left side of the engine, as the ground circuit resistance increases (from corroded battery cables), the voltage found in the cooling system will also increase, this is what causes electrolysis. Coolant can become very corrosive as a result. This is nothing new to cars but it has gone overlooked by today’s era technicians, I know that checking voltage in the cooling system is nothing that is typically done at the dealer level during a service nor do most independent shops perform this either. There is a good chance that most don’t even know how to check for it.
 

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2019 Forester Premium CVT
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37 Posts
I had a 2010 Forester that my
Mechanic husband noticed at 80K last year was leaking at the head gasket, the catalytic converter went bad, and when we decided to trade it in, the dealer found another leak that we hadn’t caught at the last oil change.

That was a great vehicle, but even with my husband doing most of the work, the cost would have been pretty significant... enough that we decided trade in was our best option! (I may or may not have been jonesing for the EyeSight and to finally have an audio system that my phone was compatible with!)

But I was very surprised that the HG had gone at only 80K! We kept the vehicle in great condition and other than regular maintenance, never had to do anything else.

I’m a bit nervous with the 2019 we got and hope that it treats us as well as our 2010 did!
 

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2009 Forester 2.5 Premium Crappy 4EAT
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I had an '05, only owner for 12 years and about 180K on the odo. No leakage anywhere, no gaskets replaced.. Granted, when I traded it in for the wifes new CRV, I had a great sense of relief.
Now the '09 I have owned since new is a different story. Still no HG's yet, but it has it's fair share of leaks. But no indication that the HG is ready. I am hoping to unload it this summer. It's about about 155K on it (I think)
 

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02 Forester
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my 02 forster at 300k was leaking like crazy no coolent, but oil i was resealing the parking lot at work. Got the HG soon after that but i did not notice a crack in the rad so i cooked the engine.

She is still out there with a newer engine, guy from work bought the car mostly for parts but decided to store it till a good engine came around. He found one the donor body was trash but engine was in good shape.
 
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