Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions

1932933935937938959

Comments

  • colin_lcolin_l Posts: 591
    we have about 5 Subies in the family from that era and none had the gasket issue.

    Utterly amazing... statistically unlikely... but obviously possible. :surprise:
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    There is more to the failure rate variation than just the block design, although that is certainly the underlying cause.

    From some discussions with a local resident and former regional mgr, there were several running changes in head gasket design intended to better cope with the difference in coefficient of expansion between the material stack. There may have also been some changes in the flatness specification and surface finishing (machining) of the sealing surfaces along the way. When SOA extended the warranty, there were some VIN number exclusions within the 2000-2003 period and a hard cutoff after a certain point based on the belief that they had a handle on the situation.

    Unfortunately, neither the use of the conditioner or new gaskets at 15k miles on my '02 prevented a second failure at 62k miles. The kicker for me was that my VIN supposedly fell into the 'fixed by redesign' category, and I was technically not eligible for the extended HG warranty! Fortunately SOA heard my pleas and felt my pain, and was kind enough to do a courtesy repair with the car some 18 months beyond the normal powertrain warranty.

    Three of the guys in my department bought OBW's based on my recommendations. Two of them (both 2003) have had HG failures within the past year. So far, the 2004 is OK. Time will tell...
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    Phil, I had a 2,200-mile drive ahead of me when I purchased my '10 Forester, which definitely made the thought of not using the CC daunting. For the first day or so I owned it, I was between Seattle and Prince George with good highways and many hills, so I was not very tempted to use the cruise. That ate up about 550 miles. After that, though, I used the cruise extensively save for a few stretches of fun country, including most of the Cassiar Highway.

    I changed the oil about a week after arriving home, with 2,500 miles on the car, and used 0-30 synthetic. So far, with 23,000 miles on the car now, it still doesn't use any noticeable amount. My first oil change, which saw about 11,500 miles on the oil, there was no discernible difference on the dipstick between start and finish. On this oil change (about 9,000 on it now), I can't say for sure because I had an oil filter come loose, which resulted in significant oil loss (about 1.5 quarts) and required make-up oil. However, I did not see any dipstick change before that and haven't seen any change since then.

    In short, be conscious about it, but don't fret over it. It's tough having a new car again, isn't it?! :P
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    Everyone should have this problem of a new car {smile}.

    My 91' Sentra (229,000) and the 00' Forester (206,000) were great on the highway. Service tech's made notice of that.

    After my first free oil change, should I switch to synthetic?
  • colin_lcolin_l Posts: 591
    After my first free oil change, should I switch to synthetic?

    Absolutely. Never look back.

    I advocate the use of premium filters such as a Purolator Pure 1, and full synthetic like Mobil1 or Syntec. However I don't see any value in the ultra-premium synthetics like AMSOil or Royal Purple. I do not dispute their technical superiority over Mobil1, but I dispute whether they add any meaningful value, considering how good Mobil1 already is and that your oil changes are driven by filter life, not synthetic oil life.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited February 2011
    I had the 98 Forester, which supposedly had the internal leaks. Sold it after 9 years sans any serious issues.

    My brother just totaled his 2004 Legacy. 123k miles trouble-free!

    Sis still has her 03 Forester. Only problem? A damaged tire sidewall.

    Dad's got his 01 Outback. My brother is driving that now that he's without any car, while he shops.

    Wifey's 09 Forester is also trouble-free for 2 years. That and my old Forester were both v1.0, too.

    Knock on wood!

    Edit: forgot our 2002 Legacy, and here's the funny part - I just got call from the guy who bought it from us last week. Uh-oh, gaskets, I thought. Nope - he wanted to know which shop installed the aftermarket moonroof (Adler & Mandell). So that's 9+ years old now.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,971
    I always dread reading these stories, but my '97 Outback seems ok.

    I think it's because I use dead dino and Fram filters in it. :P

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    How often do you change the oil using a synthetic? I heard with Amsoil it is 25K?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They don't even give them the best care, basically following the if-it-ain't-broke rule.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    edited February 2011
    Well, it depends on driving, etc., but even with Amsoil (yes, they have an oil - Signature Series - that they claim to go up to 35,000 or one year and their filter claims 25,000), I wouldn't generally go that long. I changed out my oil last year with just shy of 12,000 miles on it. I also had two oil analyses done (one at 7500 which is the mfg recommended interval and one at 11,930 when I changed it). At the first analysis, it was high on break-in metals and TBN was at 4. After the second analysis, the break-in metals remained nearly unchanged with the TBN dropping to 3. Even though it still has sufficient acid buffering, I felt it was a good time to change it to get those break-in metals out of there. I need to do another analysis, but I just haven't taken the time to pull the sample yet. If okay, I'll do another when I change this summer, then annually thereafter with the oil change.

    Unless you do an oil analysis to verify the oil's integrity, I don't recommend an interval longer than 10,000 on the initial synthetic fill and 15,000 thereafter.

    Depending, of course, on the oil you use! If you go with something like Mobil1 Extended, Amsoil Signature, or similar, the above would apply.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,971
    The problem is that I can change my own oil for less than what an analysis costs. About $15. Last I checked, the mail order analysis was running $22 or so. Plus postage.

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • colin_lcolin_l Posts: 591
    With most cars it is not feasible to do an oil filter change without draining all the oil (or making a huge mess), so that's why the change interval has to be around 10k with a premium spin-on, or maybe 15k with a large-volume cartridge filter.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    Very true, Steve - it all depends on how much you drive it!

    I put 15,000+ a year on my car. If I ran 3,000 or 3,500 mile changes five times a year, it would cost me more for the basic stuff. Plus, I'm not wasting the resources and I am not changing oil at -30F on the snow pack in my driveway!

    The mail-order analysis is up to $25. :(

    If I drove fewer miles, I would go with the most appropriate oil for that usage.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,971
    edited February 2011
    If I was using that Amsoil stuff, my '97 would be on its third oil change. :D

    There's only two roads out of town where I live too - I really don't know how you manage to mile them up so much. Of course, I actually hit a highway intersection in 20 or 30 miles. :shades:

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    How often do you change the oil using a synthetic? I heard with Amsoil it is 25K?

    We are an Amsoil dealer and carry Motul, Redline, Rotella, and Subaru. We have had several customers who used Mobil 1 in their subies and the UOA (Used Oil Analysis) on them have come back poor at best in Subies at least.

    As for 25k changes, we suggest that if you have a non-turbo subie and use Amsoil, with the Amsoil Filter, you can safely go 10k miles on a change, however make sure to check the oil every 1500 miles to make sure you haven't consumed any.

    On turbo cars we don't suggest going over 7500 miles with Amsoil & Amsoil Filter.

    Here is a link if you'd like to order AmsoilAmsoil as well as the application guide Application Guide

    -mike
    Subaru Guru and Track Instructor
  • joe_in_pajoe_in_pa Posts: 7
    edited February 2011
    I am the original owner of the car. I had transmission service done at the the dealer. The rest I can do myself. I used Mobil 1 and Pur-one filters and changed oil every 5000 miles. I have done this with every toyota and subaru vehicle I owned without any problems, until this one. I run my cars well into the 150K mile range before I even consider buying another car. If Subaru wants me to have the car serviced by the dealer to keep up the warranty or stand behind known problems later on down the line, they should state so when you buy it. I just cannot see spending money to have someone else do something I can do myself.
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    edited February 2011
    "... From some discussions with a local resident and former regional mgr, there were several running changes in head gasket design intended to better cope with the difference in coefficient of expansion between the material stack. There may have also been some changes in the flatness specification and surface finishing (machining) of the sealing surfaces along the way..."

    There was this change to the NA head gasket in 2010, says it can't be retrofitted to previous year engines, and is not applicable to the different new 2011 engine.
    http://allwheeldriveauto.com/subaru-changed-there-head-gasket-for-the-2010-25l/

    Larger gasket photo at:
    http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f66/head-gasket-design-changed-2010-n-mo- - dels-69170/#post766275

    Discussion of why the redesigned gasket only fits 2010:
    http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f66/head-gasket-design-changed-2010-n-mo- dels-69170/#post766541
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,643
    edited February 2011
    So... Amsoil recommends 7500 or 10K changes with full-synthetic?

    Wow... :surprise:

    That's the manufacturer-recommended service interval for most cars, using dino oil..

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Perfect! You just verified what I had been told back in 2004 about the revised HG:

    It is a single piece of steel with a gasket material bonded to it. This is the updated gasket used to correct the vehicles that fell under the WWP-99 campaign and is the gasket used in production of all of the N/A 2.5l EJ 2.5l from 2003 until 2007.

    Unfortunately, while those engines have held up better with the revised gasket, they still seem to be subject to a higher than expected failure rate.

    The cooling hole changes reminds me of a situation I faced back in the late 1970's with my old Mercury's 302 cid V8. Ford made running gasket changes, with different size and distribution of cooling holes. They were biased in size from one end to the other in an attempt to force more flow to one end to address a known hot spot issue. I used a punch to modify a non-conforming set. If that is all it would take to make the new 2010 multi-layer sandwich set work on the older cars, I'd say go for it.
  • colin_lcolin_l Posts: 591
    Most cars with a spin-on filter aren't more than 7500 for standard duty or 5000 for severe usage.

    My Evo is 3750 miles severe and 5000 standard. I do 7500 and add about a half quart at the halfway point. 98k and not the slightest hint of a problem, running 21.5 psi. :)
Sign In or Register to comment.