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2003 Forester X 5MT
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60 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All,

I have a 2003 Forester X.

At 105,XXX Miles I had the Head Gasket replaced.

At 173,XXX I had Annapolis Subaru change my oil, they said it need to be changed again, that they "noticed some oil leaking"

First, I have found that Annapolis Subaru is pretty notorious for saying people need work when they don't, or sooner than it really needs it. I get the whole, preventive maintenance deal. But really, 70K on them? They've wanted me to replace some small suspension stuff, but I won't do it, because my small local shop said, sure they're starting to wear, but you've got a lot of time left on them.

What is your take? I'm having new plugs and wires installed soon, so when it's in the air I'm going to take a look and try to get a picture.

Thanks
 

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Premium Member
2014 2.0XT Limited CVT
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416 Posts
Oil leaking can mean a lot of things - bad oil pressure switch, valve cover, loose oil filter or plug, etc. Get a second opinion before spending that kind of money.
 

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Premium Member
2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,064 Posts
Honestly there is no way for us hear to be able to tell you if they need to be done or not. We can't see how bad it is or do any testing.

That being said, some of these engines will leak oil from the bottom side of the heads for many years before before they get bad enough to need to be done. However once they start leaking there is a progression to failure. How fast that progression goes depends on each individual engine. Some will have the HG completely fail quickly and others go years. We can't predict how it will go.

There are a few things when it comes to HG repairs.

- much of it comes down to the mechanic that did the repair. Cleanliness is huge. This is a unknown unless you are the one who is doing the work and know what it takes for a quality repair.

- The HG themselves have been updated in 2010 from Subaru and 3rd party manufactures have other versions MLS versions with a full viton rubber coating on the outer two layers.

- Subaru says the head bolts are not torque to yield and are reusable. Most 3rd party HG manufactures suggest or require new head bolts be used.

- Along with cleanliness the mating surfaces need to be flat. Where the heads machined when they were done last and was the block checked for warpage?

There are many things that play a role in HG life and these are just a few. I would say Annapolis Subaru is doing their job letting you know what needs to be done, it's up to you on if you want to do it at this point in time. I often look at it this way: Dealers give you recommendations of repairs to get the vehicle back in factory spec, Independents give you recommendations of repairs required to keep you on the road safely.

With any recommended repair always get a second or third opinion and quotes.
 
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