A couple months ago at 75K miles on my '03 Subaru Forester my local independent mechanic found that the driver's side head gasket was leaking and suggested I give Subaru a call even though the car was out of warranty. After a couple calls to SOA and a couple weeks of weighing the pros and cons, I finally decided to take the car in for the mandatory Subaru dealer inspection, at a risk of about $100, to confirm whether or not the vehicle had a bad head gasket. Not surprisingly, they confirmed that the driver's side head gasket was leaking and the other side was just starting to leak. I had taken my service records in to the dealer and demonstrated that the vehicle had received all of its maintenance at or exceeding the Subaru guidelines. Much to my surprise, though, my dealer worked out with SOA to cover the entire cost of replacing both head gaskets and I agreed to paying for the cost of a new timing belt as long as they were doing the procedure. Despite what I have read on this forum, I was very impressed that SOA stepped up to this problem for me and they resolved it in a straightforward manner and without hassle. They converted me into a future buyer, which I wasn't going to be given this head gasket issue. I suggest trying to work with SOA, first, before jumping to the conclusion that you have to do the head gasket repair alone.