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2008 Outback 2.5i, 2009 Forrester 2.5 sohc
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Discussion Starter #1
I was looking over my 2008 , 2.5SOHC. The number 1 intake gasket looks a lot different than the other three. Its not bad, but its a darker color, I'm assuming from oil saturation, and black film around the interface between the manifold and head. The other three look like new.

I'm still under the extended warranty, I hope the dealer will honor and replace, and not say normal wear.

Is this a sign of head gasket problems or just isolated to the intake gasket?
 

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Given that it's at the intake manifold, there's not much to leak outwards at the manifold-to-block gasket interface. The manifold inside is normally at a lower pressure than outside, and so any liquid inside (which is very unlikely) would not tend to seep out.

I'm thinking it's more likely from something external, either above or to the side. The power steering pump is not too far, as well as the coolant pipe going to the upper radiator fitting. It could be something that was "spilled" there some time ago and what you're seeing is the remaining stains. Is it actually wet, or just dry, darker, surfaces?

On my 07, there's a "spacer" or "extension" where the injectors are fitted between the main, four-branched intake manifold and the top of the head . (See attached.) It doesn't look the same in your photo, but it's not covering a large enough area. Perhaps there is something else in the area on the 08 that could be leaking. (Fuel line?)
 

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