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2007 Forester manual
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all!!

My 2006 has a head gasket issue. The non-Subaru mechanic is worried that when he opens it up he'll potentially find all kinds of troubles up to and including a cracked block! How common would that be? Anyone with thoughts on this, please let me know what you think!!

Thanks

Fleurdewheat
 

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2005 Forester 2.5X RWD JDM 6mt
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454 Posts
Head gasket issues are a very common problem.
The other issues beyond that are not really, unless the head gasket problem is really bad, been driven on to massive overheating, lots of fluid mixing, etc.
Usually with just the drips and weeping of oil and coolant, there are no other major issues going on inside the engine.
Sounds like your non-Subaru mechanic either doesn't want to do the job, or wants to charge $$$ for it. I would take it to a Subaru specific workshop, as this is a common issue and they would be well versed in it. There are a lot of funky/specific things when doing this on a Subaru. That's why I would only take it to a "specialist"

Search around here on the site. Hours and hours of reading and info on this topic.
 

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2002 Forester automatic
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24 Posts
Besides the head gasket, you will also need to send the head to a shop for machining, as well as probably replace the water pump, oil pump, and of course timing belt and tensioners. Its a big project but not terribly complex. Costs to have this done would range from $2,000 to over $4,000. Go to someone who does a ton of them. Some shops specialize in jsut doing these as they are so prevalent to most years of Subaru.
 

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2001 Forester
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1,610 Posts
+1 on taking it to a Subaru specific shop. Or a shop that has done these before. I just had it done for the 2nd time on my 2001 Forester, it was dripping/weeping oil and coolant, but no over heating. First time done by the dealer and of course they used the "paper" gasket and not the MLS, leading to the 2nd time. The specialty shop I took it do, handles at least 2-4 of these every week, that is how common the issue is. In my case, I paid extra to have the heads done as well.

I ended up paying $2800 for the HG job, heads at machine shop, including timing belt/water pump job since the engine was out and apart.
 

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2007 Forester manual
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks very much everyone!! I feel better informed for sure.

Any thoughts on after market parts such as the water pump, or is this pinching pennies for poor results?
 

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2001 Forester
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1,610 Posts
Thanks very much everyone!! I feel better informed for sure.

Any thoughts on after market parts such as the water pump, or is this pinching pennies for poor results?
I would not pinch pennies on water pump. The labour costs to get at the water pump is higher than pinching pennies on the cost of the pump itself. If it was a 15-30 minute job to replace the water pump, then yes pinch pennies, but since you need to pull off the front end of the engine, ie timing cover, timing belt, etc....Not worth the savings.
 

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2012 XT Touring 4EAT
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3,751 Posts
Any thoughts on after market parts such as the water pump, or is this pinching pennies for poor results?
Best bets on the water pump is OEM or Aisin. Both are made in Japan - both should fit and work just fine. Aisin is the OEM supplier to Toyota. I would avoid Chinese water pumps as well as water pumps with no brand name.

When doing a timing belt job, best practice is to replace ALL the rotating parts on the front of the engine - idlers, tensioner, water pump etc. Just because the "feel okay" is no guarantee they will last another 100k miles. Any mechanic who says he can predict a part's remaining life is pulling your leg. Most of these parts will be included in a good timing belt kit. Kits with all-Japanese parts are your best bet.

For a 2007 vehicle, the engine seals are good quality - front crankshaft, camshaft seals. If they're not leaking, leave them alone. If leaking, then get OEM replacements from your dealer.
 

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2005 Forester Automatic
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495 Posts
@sleepstate Beware. That kit is not right for automatic transmission. I don't know why, but it seems the only way to get a true high quality water pump for an automatic tranny in this era, is to buy from Subaru. Online retailers are cheaper, but no where close to the Chinese. Aisin probably makes the AT version too, but for the life of me, I never could find it.
 

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2010 Forester
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My 2010 is currently in the shop for this...

Purchased in Dec 2018. Runs supremely and doesn't leak ANYTHING! Started last week having a radiator light flash red when I slowed down in traffic. Speed up, no blinking, goes out. Added Anti-freeze and it went from over full to fill over about 50 miles in two days. Took to shop just to be safe. They could not duplicate the issue, but when they put 16# of pressure on her overnight, she leaked. Thank God the dealer includes a really good extended warranty so replacing the head gasket is covered.
 

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2005 Forester 2.5X RWD JDM 6mt
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454 Posts
@sleepstate Beware. That kit is not right for automatic transmission. I don't know why, but it seems the only way to get a true high quality water pump for an automatic tranny in this era, is to buy from Subaru. Online retailers are cheaper, but no where close to the Chinese. Aisin probably makes the AT version too, but for the life of me, I never could find it.
Nice looking out, that never crossed my mind. Since I am MT and so is the OP.

I have no idea why the MT and AT water pump would be different

**edit**
Did some digging and the MT and AT water pumps are indeed very different.

MT Water pump 21111AA007 MSRP $105
https://www.subarupartsandaccessories.com/p/Subaru_2005_Forester-25L-MANUAL-X/WATER-PUMP-COMPLETE/49230971/21111AA007.html

AT Water Pump 21111AA230 MSRP $150
https://www.subarupartsandaccessories.com/p/Subaru_2005_Forester-25L-AT-X/WATER-PUMP-COMPLETE/49230978/21111AA230.html

Although both OEM genuine parts can be found for much cheaper than MSRP if you look.
 
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