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Good Morning from Maine Our son's 2004 Forester had the head gasket replaced Aug 2017. By our beloved mechanic of over 20 years. We trust him and he is honest. No issues till no heat yesterday . He took it to his roommates mechanic because it was local and saved a 30 mile drive. Thought thermostat or heater core. Nope they did a pressure test and the gasket is leaking. This is going to be an uncomfortable conversation with our beloved mechanic Monday morning. Any advise and what is the life span of the H/G? If you need snow we got plenty Spillline
 

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before you have a conversation with your beloved mech, ask is there warranty on his work? did he send the heads out to be resurfaced ? that is a must for durability, did he use ONLY mls[ multi layered steel alloy gaskets?' that is also a must for durability, block surface needs also to be checked ror true and head bolts replaced not reused, correct torque sequence? very touchy about that? correct coolant? it is not all the same for all years? and cannot be mixed it can be a cracked head or block , was your son zooming around at redline a lot? oil changed often? run hot? running too lean can cause failure too. o2 sensors> the early 2000s were the most troublesome , engines , mostly the 2.5 size series, and unless done perfectly, by an experienced with early subarus mech, this can and does happen to many, , so i suggest that you ask him
 

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The job was not done right..bottom line.

We have 2 subaru specialists in the area. Both of them have done hundreds and hundreds of Subaruy head gaskets over the years. Probably well over a thousand (at least). There is something to be said for using a subaru specialist.

If your tech is as honest as you say he should do the job over and right this time.

I had my HG's done 70,000 miles ago and they are as dry as a bone.
 

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Thank You, Believe it or not son drives like old lady. Not being car savvy. Wow H/G are a big deal. Thank you for the Info.
 

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The job was not done right..bottom line.
Yep. If done right, with the correct gaskets, cleaning and checking the heads, correct torque (in sequence and supposedly impossible to do without pulling the engine) they won't fail that soon, if ever again.

Good luck. If you have a good relationship with your mechanic, he should at the very least cover a large part of this for you. This may be a test of how honest he is.
 

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Any advise and what is the life span of the H/G?
Good advice from all the posters above.

A Subaru HG repair, if completed correctly, should last the life of the engine. So there is no randomly created time and / or mileage criteria.

The 4 main factors that go together to formulate the term 'correcty'l, in order of most occurring errors, are -

* Cylinder heads (and / or, less commonly, the cylinder block) warped from the HG failure and not brought back to Subaru tolerance by machining. Virtually all heads need to be made true again to varying degrees.

* Poor block / head surface preparation and cleaning.

* Incorrect torque sequence used on cylinder head bolts.

* Incorect gasket used for repair. Only an MLS (Multi Layer Steel) gasket will effect a permanent repair. MLS gaskets are available from several manufacturers.

Assuming you have the head gasket repaired - what's the mileage on the car? Timing belts needs replacing every 105k miles or 105 months, whichever comes first. Doing HGs is a perfect time to replace timing belts and their related accessories. And, don't forget, you don't have to wait 'til the mileage or time criteria are met; you can replace timing belts anytime before they would be due. You would then simply reset the next replacement time interval.
 
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