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2004 Forester XT
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
After 128K, my check engine light started to flash. The Subaru dealer said I dropped a valve guide. Looks like they want to replace the head! Anyone out there seen anything similiar? I've been quoted about 2 grand, ouch!
 

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Premium Member
2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,073 Posts
Dropping a valve guide does not happen often at all but it does happen. A new head is around $450-500 plus the labor to basically do head gaskets typically runs about $1200 at a dealer.

In most cases you should be able to save your self a couple of hundred bucks if the head is savable. The old guide can be taken out and a good machine shop can either press in a guide with a larger out side diameter or they can weld in the hole for the guide and mill a new one of the correct size.

You should be able to find a better labor rate then the dealer, try seeing if any of the Maryland area members have any suggestions as to quality shops. Depending on the mileage you may want to have other stuff done at the same time. Head gasket on the other side, timing belt, T-belt idlers, T-belt tensioner as it will be apart any way.
 

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2004 Forester XT
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I kept it at the dealer and paid the price. They replaced the head, all new valves, etc. It runs great! Also, the idle lopping I had at start up (only last 2-4 minutes, then would go away) is gone and my gas mileage has improved! This is the first repair in 128K, besides maintenance.
 

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2014 328i xDrive Wagon 8 spd Auto
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2,039 Posts
I kept it at the dealer and paid the price. They replaced the head, all new valves, etc. It runs great! Also, the idle lopping I had at start up (only last 2-4 minutes, then would go away) is gone and my gas mileage has improved! This is the first repair in 128K, besides maintenance.
If you don't mind my asking, what was the total damage? I know when I had a head replaced under warranty, also due to a dropped guide, it was about 2k (I saw the warranty charges when I was signing the paperwork).

That was for an entire new head assy (or remanufactured, not sure which).
 

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2004 Forester XT
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Luckily, I know the service manager and got a great deal! That figure is in the ball park.
 
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