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2000 Outback
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, thanks for reading.

I have a 2000 outback that had overheated back in August and had thermostat radiator, water pump, timing belt, and head gaskets replaced. The gaskets were replaced again in october under warranty because there was a fault in them, so after 2 months they were bad. About 3 months later they began to fail again starting with the bubbling in the overflow, followed by coolant in the oil as of the.past week. The shop called me and told me that he hasnt done anything with it yet [hasnt touched it to look at anything] but is certain that the block is cracked because the heads were pressure tested in october. I think hes trying to talk me into a new engine, and my reasoning is that if it were a cracked block, wouldnt the symptoms have continued immediately instead of waiting a few months and a few thousand miles to resurface? The reason im asking if this is sound reasoning, is that i cant spend much more on the car, and am not sure of how much a new engine is, let alone a new block. Should i tell him he should just perform the warranty and not worry about something he cant physically tell yet or what? Thanks in advance for reading and any advice.you can give, it is much appreciated. Also its a 2.5 not sure if that.makes a difference or not
 

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Overheating the engine the first time could have caused major damage only takes one good over heat to wreck an engine. Also keep in mind that the hands that do the actual work need to have some skill to do a proper HG job that lasts and is no longer a problem.

No telling if the quality of the work caused the second and third failure but over heating the engine can damage internal parts causing failed bearings later down the road or possibly crack the block etc.

At this point the only way to know for sure is to tear down the engine or replace it.
 

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2000 Outback
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the quick reply, this last failure i have been sincerely careful, if it started to become hot, i stopped and waited for it to cool. This guy has been dodgy about the whole thing always wanting to replace the engine. Thats why i wanted to see mainly what everyones opinion is on what my thought is: if it were a head or a block cracked, wouldnt the symptoms continue right after a HG replacement?
 

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2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
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Changing Subie head gaskets is not quite like changing them on most other motors. It is quite possible that the shop screwed up the cleaning/resurfacing of the heads, or used inferior gaskets. There is much information about which gaskets work long term, and which don't, on this site. Ask him what he used, and then tell him what he needs to use.

It is extremely unlikely that a cracked block would not rear its ugly head immediately after an HG change. He is blowing smoke.
 

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Cracked head might be the case by the third time. Sounds to me like he didn't do a very good job on the HG. However you could have a cracked something by now.

Personally I would ask for my money back and have the car towed to the local dealer for an inspection and to get a different story. When it comes to jobs like this were there are very brand specific things the mechanic needs to know to do a proper job the dealer is almost always cheaper in the long run. Not to mention had this happened with a dealer you would have your car right now with it fixed properly at no cost to you. And would have had a loaner car.
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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We all mean well here, but short of actually examining your engine I couldn't tell you how or what really happened or needed to be fixed. Since it has been long enough for another failure to occur it is difficult to know where to place the blame or on "who's watch" it occurred.

I've said it before, if a doctor wanted to do major surgery on me I'd get a second opinion. Replacing an engine is "major surgery" for your car. Shop around and get a second opinion. subiesailor has the right idea to bring it to a dealership so certified and trained mechanics can verify or dispute a diagnosis.

What do you call a doctor who finished last in his class? Answer: Doctor. Not all mechanics are the same.
 

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2000 Outback
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32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I understand, im more looking for.other opinions now. Subaru has seen it before and they say the signs are indicitave of a head gasket/shoddy HG or head work. Because i do know the basics of how engines work, this is a mechanical thought to me, if the.HG was replaced and that was the issue problem solved, HG replaced poorly, problem temporaraly solved, cracked head/block, HG wouldnt stop the bubbles. So since the bubbles stopped, it seems to me they were temporaraly fixed. I dont think he has special powers to tell him a block is cracked lol
 

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I understand, im more looking for.other opinions now. Subaru has seen it before and they say the signs are indicitave of a head gasket/shoddy HG or head work. Because i do know the basics of how engines work, this is a mechanical thought to me, if the.HG was replaced and that was the issue problem solved, HG replaced poorly, problem temporaraly solved, cracked head/block, HG wouldnt stop the bubbles. So since the bubbles stopped, it seems to me they were temporaraly fixed. I dont think he has special powers to tell him a block is cracked lol
Your call only way to know if a block is cracked is with a close inspection they do have a couple of methods used to do this. The block on the subaru flat four is so compact and strong its pretty rare to see this happen. Same goes for the heads subaru heads are nearly impossible to mess up. However its not hard to screw up a HG job and have it fail soon after doing it.
 

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2000 Outback
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well found out earlier hes not gonna honor the warranty because he thinks its a crack in the block thats causing the overheating. So i kindly left the call after a 6 minute fight, and am working with a arbitrairy party to resolve this. I do appreciate all the help given!
 

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2000 Outback
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So more updates, shop refuses to work on it again because I wont just get a new engine. Picked it up today and it is now billowing white smoke II the exhaust and now has a cylinder misfire on #3. So the Guy messed with it and now I might have to pay more because of his hatred for my vehicle. May be cheaper to get another engine now
 

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1993 Legacy LSi with still functioning Air Suspension, 1999 Outback 2.5L 5MT lab Rat
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Tow the car to a qualified repair Facility. Start 1st with a leakdown test it will tell you a bit, but not all. Leakdown at TDC would isolate the Headgasket, as most of the blocks I have seen crack happens about 25mm from the top of the cylinder. Another consideration is that teh block is Aluminum, with a Steel cylinder liner which to have crack owuld have been defective from nearly the beginning or overheated to the point of Melting the Aluminum.
I doubt that the block is cracked, I would suspect that the 1st headgasket job wasn't done right. Maybe the heads were leak checked but how about checked for straightness? Also if it was overheated, was the block checked for straightness? Its very rare but I have seen a couple of blocks warp. Another consideration is the Cyl head Torque/Angle if this isn't done correctly the head gaskets will fail about on par with what your seeing. Quality workmanship is nothing without quality parts.
 
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