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1999 Forester S
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This past summer I got on here to find out information on replacing my cracked radiator and came across the news of just how bad these things blow head gaskets. I bought the '99 Forester with 89,000 on it and was at 140,000. I started to kind of panic thinking this thing was a ticking time bomb given that many of the head gaskets that had blown normally didn't last that long. Even called a shop to find out the cost. Well, coming up $1,500.00 for a preventative measure didn't seem like a possible thing so I eventually just stopped worrying and just kept a close eye on the fluids. Couple of months ago the check engine light came on and the car hesitated a bit. Had a friend hook it up to a diagnostic and it was a oxygen sensor, didn't really think anything of it and kept driving it. Then this past Thursday we had to go up to Pittsburgh for a funeral. We were 3 hours into the drive when the engine hesitated a bit. Didn't think anything of it, just thought it was the oxygen sensor causing problems. Cleared up and kept going. 30 minutes later it did it again and cleared up. 20 minutes later it hesitated and was worse. :confused: Started to then get my attention when the check engine light started to flash. I then started to look for the nearest exit. Pulled over and saw the overflow tank was full and was spilling coolant. Then pulled the dip stick and nothing on the stick. :icon_mad: I know what it had to be. Got up under the car and oil was present. Limped next door to a hotel and stayed the night. Called the next day towed it to a local Subaru shop, diagnosed it, two blown head gaskets, said $2,000.00 to fix it, great.
 

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2005 Forester X
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225 Posts
With subarus that have head gaskets replaced are they just as likely to fail again?
My mechanic assured me that the new gaskets are a superior design and should last me well over 100k miles. I hope he's right, because I'm sick of HG failures...bought the Foz 2 months ago when the HGs blew on my '98 OBW.
 

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2002 S
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71 Posts
So what are the signs that the headgaskets are going? Oil in the coolant? External leaks?
 

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1999 Forester S
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the reply, too bad they have this problem because I really do like the car other wise. Great design and very useful. Maybe they should just weld the heads to the block. :crazy:
 

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1999 Forester S
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
So what are the signs that the headgaskets are going? Oil in the coolant? External leaks?

Didn't see any until they just went. If they were leaking it may have been internal but from observation the oil didn't seem to have coolant in it. The car had been using some oil but not at alarming rate. I was posting about that this past summer. I pretty much concluded that with as high a miles it has that burning some oil was common. Thursday night it was a complete blow up, oil and coolant covered the splash pan and could see it on the block where the head attached above the oil filter. I just hope I didn't get it very hot. I never noticed the temp gauge getting hot, I was too preoccupied with the flashing check engine light and getting of the highway. I am curious as to why if the engine was dumping oil the oil light didn't come on???
 

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02 Forester L (sold) Manual
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1,220 Posts
The oil light responds to pressure, not quantity. So even if there is only a quart left in the pan, provided that's enough to create pressure in the oiling system the light will stay off. Once the light comes on, it's usually too late unless you are really, really quick in shutting it off.
 

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2007 2.5X 5mt
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943 Posts
For the tune of 2,000 dollars I would just yank the motor and figure out how to do it myself.
 

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1999 Forester S
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
For the tune of 2,000 dollars I would just yank the motor and figure out how to do it myself.
Wish I could but I am in a real predicament. The car is 4 hours from home and I need it to get to work. Most other places said it would be 2 to 3 weeks before they could get to it. This shop said it should be done on Monday. The price also includes transaxle boots, both were busted open which I knew. I am hoping, no praying is more like it, that they do not find more items to fix.
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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3,091 Posts
Make sure they check the heads and have them resurfaced if needed, or else the repairs not going to last long. And also try to get a written guarantee on the work.
 
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