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Resident Ninja
2011 2.5X Premium Auto
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959 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So.....

Had a bunch of Subaru bucks left over so figured I would drop off the car and have them do my tranny and diffs.

Just got a call saying my HG is leaking oil and burning off on the exhaust and needs to be replaced. ***! 72k on the odometer on a 2007x, and the funny thing is I had it in a month ago for a oil change and a comprehensive inspection when they were doing the fuel tank TSB and never said a thing. I called them on that today and rep said well when its this cold it can happen very rapidly, if thats true Im not sure.

Either way ridiculously annoyed right now.

/rant
 

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Registered
04 Forester X, MT
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1,051 Posts
I got 86k on an '04 I got last year with about 75k. I paid about $500-$800 more than I really wanted to and the Toyota dealer I bought it from wouldn't drop their self-insured major insurance policy to 100kmi. Now I'm starting to see oil residue at the head and thinking maybe that was the best thing that could have happened to me. If it wasn't the exact color and year I wanted I probably would have passed it up.

They already reimbursed me for rear wheel bearings!

I think Subaru gasket and/or head design is sub-par. Better care and attention is required for a long-lasting repair than with other vehicles. But I still really like my Subaru and view it as something to just plan for sooner than with other cars.

I believe the 03+ is more likely to have external oil leaks than previous that were more likely to have coolant leaks. Subaru extended warranty I believe only covered coolant leaks and you had to use their goop (coolant conditioner). I think they stopped this well before 07?! Questions are always free, so it never hurts to ask every dealer within reasonable reach if they can help cover the cost and then contact Subaru of America too yourself if you're not satisfied. Be sure and emphasize you otherwise like your car and would consider getting another one if they can keep you satisfied.

I nicely complained to SOA in a letter after my 2nd 2000 got the P0420 code about sub-par design. I didn't get a free converter, but got a good credit to use at any dealership however I saw fit. It was enough to at least cover the majority of cost of an aftermarket converter and I then used the credit for parts for 100k service (timing belt, etc.).

I am starting to look around for a good independent shop specializing in Subarus to do my HG under this warranty. I generally have a dim view of dealerships, especially for more serious repairs like HGs.
 

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Resident Ninja
2011 2.5X Premium Auto
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959 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yea already contacted SOA and they and in contact with the dealer. Hoping to get a call back shortly to see if they are willing to pay for a good chunk of the repair especially since the dealer wants $1,700 which is laughable.

I have done all the work for the most part on the car myself so I am a bit worried about trying to prove to them that the 30k and 60k were actually done. The SOA lady already asked about it, so we will see what happens I guess.
 

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Premium Member
2008 XS 4EAT
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9,878 Posts
Might be a good idea to stop by unannounced and do an inspection with them, that way they can point out and explain how they determined that. If they say it is leaking onto your exhaust, it is also likely a few drops have hit the ground. Do an inspection of where you park the car. Take a hand held or extendable mirror and do the inspection yourself (when the engine is cold, a flashlight shined into the mirror helps). With all the air movement in an engine compartment I find it hard to believe that it is all burning off on your exhaust and not showing up any where else in the engine compartment.
We all know that head gaskets are an issue and we become complacent in the fact that we may have this problem and need to replace at some time.
Any warranty left? If not I'd still contact Subaru yourself (even though the dealer might say they will) and see what they can do, explaining you are aware of the history of problems Foresters have had with head gaskets. To have the Subaru bucks (N/A in Canada) you've obviously had it in to the dealer for servicing, so that will help your cause with Subaru if records are needed.
The ex-girlfriends 99 Forester (mine originally) had the head gaskets done three times, twice under warranty and most recently last month, but keep in mind the car now has over 340,000 Kilometres. Each time drops were noticed on the driveway
I'm not saying your dealer is trying to generate work, but better to be safe and confirm the problem, than pay for unnecessary repairs

Good Luck and keep us posted.
 

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Resident Ninja
2011 2.5X Premium Auto
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959 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
^^

That was pretty much my plan! I already stopped by the dealer and had them show me what they were seeing and it is definitely the HG leaking and not the valve covers. I check the oil level while I was there and it is down a bit so I'm pretty confident that it is indeed the HG.

I know the 2.5 has HG issues, but at 72k I was not expecting this at all. Especially with it being a 2007 and the issue supposedly address after what 2005??

Now comes down to what SOA will do for me, a case is already opened and just waiting to hear back. If they want to give me a heavy credit towards the repair I will have the dealer do it. Otherwise may try and see if I cant enlist some help from other Foz owners in MN and try and do it myself.
 

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136 Posts
Keep us posted on the what SOA does for you. There are lots of us in the same boat:icon_rolleyes: The O/B people are also fuming about H/G issues. If enough letters are written and phone calls are made, SOA might make a serious positive response to the problem.

Motoretro
 

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Registered
NA No more! :(
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8,529 Posts
Should we start a group of NA owners to write a huge package of letters to the CEO RE: Headgaskets?

I'm concerned too because I'm @ 65k and my HGs just started to weep within the last 6k miles.
 

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Premium Member
2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,073 Posts
I think the biggest impact would be a single group letter from forum members broken down with year/mileage/member(real name/screen name and thread if they started one)

If done thoroughly it could be used to show that the issue was not corrected in 2003 and that issues still exist....... I also would send it some where other then customer service, CEO,CFO.....

It may raise attention to a issue that higher ups may have thought was taken care of.
 

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2006 Forester X Premium
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164 Posts
Which dealer did you brought it to? If SOA wouldn't help out I would go to MNSubaru and post to see if anybody are willing to help you with the repair.

GL
 

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2014 Forester CVT
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96 Posts
2004 Forester X Head Gastket as well

Had my car in this week to have the viscous coupling changed, and the mechanic told me that my head gasket's are leaking as well.
I have an extended warranty thank goodness.
2004 2.5 Naturally Aspirated 170000K
Thought I was past worrying about it, but seems it will happen on any year / mileage.
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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28 Posts
To the best of my knowledge, none of us who have the 2009 MY or latter Forester have any reason to believe that our 2.5 NA engine is any less susceptible to head gasket failure than previous model years. We have the new blue coolant but I do not believe that is going to solve any problems. There is not evidence anything was done to the head, block or gasket. To the best of my knowledge we have the same head gaskets, block, and head as MY 2005 and latter. It is just a matter of miles before we start to have head gasket failures and I believe anyone who feels otherwise is in denial. Unbelievable Subaru could be producing an engine now for 10 years and can't seem to get this problem fixed. It has been one half mediocre ineffective coolant stop leak, gasket change fix after another. I no longer like to talk with friends and family about the Subaru anymore. If anyone asks me about the Forester I tell them why I chose it over the RAV-4 and CRV, but then explain the head gasket issue and not recommend the vehicle. I enjoyed driving the Forester and it has been great on ski trips but the head gasket problem always sits in the back of my mind now when I am behind the wheel and really takes away from Subaru ownership experience.
 

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Resident Ninja
2011 2.5X Premium Auto
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959 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Forester is currently at Morrie's Subaru in Minnetonka. If Subaru gives me any sort of credit towards repair I am just going to have the dealer do it as I don't have the time or a space to complete the work in.

I would be more then willing to get something going to send to Subaru in regards to this. Never know maybe if you made enough noise get Subaru to do something about the issue.
 

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Premium Member
2008 2008 2.5i-2018 XT
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13,267 Posts
To the best of my knowledge, none of us who have the 2009 MY or latter Forester have any reason to believe that our 2.5 NA engine is any less susceptible to head gasket failure than previous model years. I believe anyone who feels otherwise is in denial. Unbelievable Subaru could be producing an engine now for 10 years and can't seem to get this problem fixed. It has been one half mediocre ineffective coolant stop leak, gasket change fix after another.
I can't pull it out here but I recall something here on what was done. I do know that the HG design and material was changed, and the improved coolant was introduced. Hopefully someone will be able to pull it up.

The subaru will have HG issues at twice the rate of other cars b c it has two of them (just my opinion).
 

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Registered
2014 CVT
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826 Posts
To the best of my knowledge, none of us who have the 2009 MY or latter Forester have any reason to believe that our 2.5 NA engine is any less susceptible to head gasket failure than previous model years. We have the new blue coolant but I do not believe that is going to solve any problems. There is not evidence anything was done to the head, block or gasket. To the best of my knowledge we have the same head gaskets, block, and head as MY 2005 and latter. It is just a matter of miles before we start to have head gasket failures and I believe anyone who feels otherwise is in denial. Unbelievable Subaru could be producing an engine now for 10 years and can't seem to get this problem fixed. It has been one half mediocre ineffective coolant stop leak, gasket change fix after another. I no longer like to talk with friends and family about the Subaru anymore. If anyone asks me about the Forester I tell them why I chose it over the RAV-4 and CRV, but then explain the head gasket issue and not recommend the vehicle. I enjoyed driving the Forester and it has been great on ski trips but the head gasket problem always sits in the back of my mind now when I am behind the wheel and really takes away from Subaru ownership experience.
i wold love to see th data that you have showing that they have done nothing, and i believe its MY06 and later, MY04 and MY05 had the same engine, then it changed
 

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Resident Ninja
2011 2.5X Premium Auto
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959 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I can't pull it out here but I recall something here on what was done. I do know that the HG design and material was changed, and the improved coolant was introduced. Hopefully someone will be able to pull it up.

The subaru will have HG issues at twice the rate of other cars b c it has two of them (just my opinion).
Out of curiosity is the improved coolant specific to the 09+ or is it designed to work in the 05-08s as well?
 

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04 Forester X, MT
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1,051 Posts
Out of curiosity is the improved coolant specific to the 09+ or is it designed to work in the 05-08s as well?
I was wondering the same thing ...

When I flush I use the extra "tee" in the heater hose. Another thing I have found very helpful is to take the thermostat housing loose, remove the thermostat, and lower the hose to let out everything. Because of the design, it lets out most of the coolant in the block/heads and what remains in the bottom of the radiator/hose.

When refilling I have also found it helpful to leave the "tee" cap off and fill slowly with heater control full hot. Then, when coolant is seen put the cap on and fill up the rest of the way. The first time I did a Subaru I didn't do this and it momentarily overheated, I think because it had some air trapped.

So I would be confident going to some extended service interval if the new coolant was compatible with all seals etc. I still would probably change it at least every 4 years regardless of the coolant claims, though.
 

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2014 CVT
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826 Posts
check out the scoobymods link i posted, it says they cant be mixed, and as i said even with a flush your not going to get traces out of the system(ok if you did 3 or 4 flushs, ya)
 

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04 Forester X, MT
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seems not http://www.scoobymods.com/tsb-09-50-07-t9162.html?
even with a full system flush your going to have some old coolant left over
That is interesting they are only offering "full strength" in quart bottles.

If you properly flush and have 100% water in there you really need "full strength" to get the final concentration at the right level. If you flush using a tee and add 50/50 premix, then you probably won't get but maybe about 25% antifreeze in your system.

imho ... I decided some time ago that getting everything out via flushing tee and a drive cycle with water only was the best way to clean things out versus several cycles of fill/drain and sticking to distilled water. I wouldn't normally use any chemical "flush" products either, unless I thought the car had extra deposits from lack of maintenance and neglected prior coolant changes that should have been done.

edit:
I wish I remember where I read it but I thought I also saw some statement that newer cars would have it implemented gradually in production and might contain old, new, or some mix of the 2 coolants!
 
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