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2000 Forester L
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello, I have a 2000 Forester L with 151k automatic.
I overheated(in the red for about 2 minutes tops) recently to find the my coolant level had gone down about a half gallon over a two day period.
I added coolant and drove it home with no problems.
Checking over the engine when I got home I found there is coolant in oil.
There is white smoke from the tailpipe but it is not excessive.
Engine still starts and idles fine with no new noise or pinging.
The rest of the car is in decent shape but is definitely has a lot of OE on it still and it has spent its life outside in New England.

I have basic mechanically skills and the head gasket replacement does not look to hard. Pulling the engine and rebuilding seems a bit intimidating though.

I am a bit stuck on what to do with this car. I have been offered 1k for it as is.
Am I giving it away at this price? With the oil in the coolant, if I just do the head gaskets am I wasting my time? Is one of these engines worth rebuilding with 151k on it?

My Subaru Guy is out of the country atm and any input would be great.

Thanks a bunch!

*Car had just passed inspection 2 weeks ago and was running mint before this*
 

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Super Moderator
2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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17,902 Posts
Those are all classic head gasket symptoms, and the pre-2003 Foresters were sadly susceptible. It's abouit a $1k job to have somebody replace them. Once replaced they tend to be pretty stable.

Subaru, the official car of New England!
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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4,909 Posts
... 2000 Forester L with 151k... I overheated (in the red for about 2 minutes tops)... I have basic mechanically skills and the head gasket replacement does not look to hard. Pulling the engine and rebuilding seems a bit intimidating though....
A proper head gasket replacement should have careful cleaning of the mating surfaces, which requires removal of the heads to the bench.
Since the engine overheated, the mating surfaces of the block and heads should be checked for warpage, which requires removal of the heads and the block to a machine shop for measurement and possible milling.
And there are a half-dozen other items that should be replaced while the engine is this far apart.
This goes beyond basic mechanical skills.
 

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05 FXT 5MT
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255 Posts
If the rest of the car is in good shape, I would keep it. 151k miles is alot for a domestic car....not a Subaru!

As mentioned, expect a shop to charge upwards of $1000 to do the job, and hope that they do everything that should be done for that price. I charge half that but still check for flatness and make sure things are clean before reassembling. If I lived closer, I'd offer to repair them for you, but Ohio is a pretty long tow. :)
 

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2000 Forester L
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the replies and if I lived closer to Ohio I would take you up on the offer Jay.
I've decided to do the work w/ help. This is my 4th Subi and the 1st to need head gaskets so I guess I have had a bit of luck.
 

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2001 Forester
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41 Posts
Looks like i'm almost in the same situation minus the overheating (2001 Forester S w/132,000). Coolant completely leaked out and Head gasket needs replacing. Plus my power steering system is shot as well so i'm looking at some pretty costly repairs.......Any suggestions for a good mechanic in the Cape Cod area?
 
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