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2007 Outback 2.5 xt limited
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Discussion Starter #1
The car has 215,000 miles on it, but the engine was replaced by dealership at 80,000 (for a blown turbo) so the new engine has 135,000. I have replaced the turbo twice in the new engine. last one was 8months ago with a new intake hose this time which was not caught on the previous turbo change and maybe have allowed dust in and been the culprit , and then about a year before that was the first turbo replacement on this engine),
I have replaced timing belt, water pump, radiator, thermostat, crank seal, a/c belt.

Took it to a new shop this time thinking the turbo blew for the third time and was just told the head gasket it blown. Would the head gasket going bad cause the turbo to blow? I am thinking this may have been the source of most of my problems.

At this point I'd love opinions as to if I should fix head gasket for 2300 and risk that being the source of all the drama or give up and scrap her or try to find a buyer? Wondering if I fix the HG do I have a great car here or is it likely a lemon/ are head gasket and turbo issues related?
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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5,407 Posts
Are you sure it's the head gasket? What were the symptoms that made you take it in for service?

Head gasket failures are rare on the XT, because Subaru used a multi-layer gasket on this engine. It was unique for this engine only; those of us with the H4 2.5i NA engine have single layer gaskets that long ago failed and had to be replaced.

I would get another opinion before you spend anything or scrap the car.

And if it really does have a HG issue, it's likely unrelated to past turbo failures, unless the oil was run too low because of leakage.
 

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2007 Outback 2.5 xt limited
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Discussion Starter #3
Are you sure it's the head gasket? What were the symptoms that made you take it in for service?

Head gasket failures are rare on the XT, because Subaru used a multi-layer gasket on this engine. It was unique for this engine only; those of us with the H4 2.5i NA engine have single layer gaskets that long ago failed and had to be replaced.

I would get another opinion before you spend anything or scrap the car.

And if it really does have a HG issue, it's likely unrelated to past turbo failures, unless the oil was run too low because of leakage.
I brought it in thinking it was the turbo again. The engine had a loss of power but not a complete shut down. Couldn't get it over 30 or so with any incline on the road and couldn't get it over 2000 rpm. It produces a get engine whine that comes on when accelerating and fades when you take your foot off the gas. The whine is not the sound of the turbo but very similar and more vacuum like. When I went to drive it to the shop it started smoking or steaming from the passenger side of the engine so I had it towed.

The mechanic said there is coolant in the oil and it is an obvious blown head gasket. He only recommended fixing it if I love the car and said he would give me 600 for it, he says its drivable and to look into a trade in value or sell it since its a slightly rare car, there may be someone happy to flip it.

As I have looked into the turbo issue it seems they are likely not related unless the oil pressure (low) was a common factor. It did always burn oil quickly but never "seemed" to be an issue. Its hard to know if the car will run another 3 years or more if the HG is replaced or if that's a costly risk. Thank you for talking it through with me, trying to be wise as its a tough financial time for most of us right now.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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OK, you've given us more to go on here.

Coolant in the oil is a pretty sure sign of HG failure, but it's kind of unusual for Subarus to get this kind of failure - most of them as I stated are with the single layer gasket on the NA version of this engine, and among those, most leak oil externally, not coolant, and not internally.

The potential up side here: It may not be the turbo, and if so, that eliminates a potential expense that you already know from experience is pretty pricey. It might just be a matter of new head gaskets, and nothing else.

The potential down side: Even if it isn't the turbo, I've had coolant in the oil before - not on a Subaru - and if it's been going on for very long, it can tear up crankshaft main bearings, crank journals, etc. pretty badly. That would pretty much trash the bottom end of the engine.

But in any case: Yes, this vehicle is rare, and even in its present state, it's probably worth much more than the $600 that the repair shop offered you. I see you're in Bend; I have use a Subaru specialist in Portland, Superior Import, for years They are pretty skilled at keeping older ones running, such as my 2008 H4 2.5i NA. They also have a turbo specialist there, although I've not had personal experience with that part of it as I don't have a turbo. They might be more motivated to do just the appropriate repairs on this vehicle and nothing else, and since they have parts cars on site and also have lines on a lot of used parts, they could give you a "worst case" number for a bottom end as well. I would call them up just to know where you are with this, understanding that you would have to get this car to Portland, probably on a flatbed.

Good luck.
 
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