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Discussion Starter #1
I dropped off my recently purchased Outback at the dealership for a used vehicle inspection, they told me the engine is "fine" but the head gasket is leaking, the oil lines are leaking, and the coolant is leaking. They told me they would have to do a full head gasket repair and it would cost at least $5200 (cdn), they also said that as long as I continue to keep fluids at proper levels it should be okay "indefinitely". I only paid 2 grand for the car so Im sure as **** not putting $5200 into it, I also dont intend to keep it for more then a year or two. From my own research it seems like I could get it done cheaper through other mechanics besides the dealership if I decide to get it done. Overall my question is should I even bother getting the work done or just drive it until it dies?
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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A HG job on the 3.0 is never gonna be cost effective unless you do the work yourself. Order of magnitude more involved than the EJ25 little brother. A used JDM engine is far cheaper to drop in.

That said, keep it filled up and it'll be fine.
 

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Outback 2011 3.6R Premium
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Probably a slight oil “weep” past the head gaskets which may never cause you any problems.

I doubt that the coolant is leaking at the head gasket. Coolant leaks at hose connections should be fixed as a low coolant level will result in overheating.

Seagrass
 

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Discussion Starter #4
A HG job on the 3.0 is never gonna be cost effective unless you do the work yourself. Order of magnitude more involved than the EJ25 little brother. A used JDM engine is far cheaper to drop in.

That said, keep it filled up and it'll be fine.
How intense of a job is it to do yourself? A weekend or a week? I have access to a shop and tools if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Probably a slight oil “weep” past the head gaskets which may never cause you any problems.

I doubt that the coolant is leaking at the head gasket. Coolant leaks at hose connections should be fixed as a low coolant level will resulting in overheating.

Seagrass
I figure I can get the oil and coolant lines fixed at pretty much any mechanic or do it myself, in the mean time ill keep the fluids topped up. The dealership was really pushing to get me to do a full head gasket repair but I figure thats just the dealership trying to make a buck, im going to look for a good independent suburu mechanic and see of he can give me a more reasonable quote.
 

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The H6 engine is quite technical and replacing head gaskets requires the removal of many items including the front engine cover (58 bolts) two camchains and their associated guides and tensioners as well as many other items.

Very few people choose to do the job due to the cost of parts and the time taken. The most popular option is the installation of a JDM engine which can be purchased for around $1,500 to $2,000.

If the oil leak is only a “weep” (most of them are) I would locate and fix the coolant leaks and then monitor the oil weep to see if it gets any worse.

Seagrass
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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It's a DIY week kinda job especially if rust is a thing that may exist or sleep is an actual need. My Mal is leaking both oil and coolant, but it the oil coller gasket and the thermostat housing...so I just keep him topped up. Neither are difficult jobs, just more time and mess than making sure the levels are correct.
 

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Outbacks, SVXs, XT6, 4Runner, Celica, Brat, E150s
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The SOP H6 head gasket failure is to blow between the coolant passage and combustion chamber, this will cause overheating and eventually engine damage. I wonder if a Service Adviser got in the habit of the 4-cyl Head Gasket talk...

The H6s are somewhat common for valve cover gasket external leaks.

An external coolant leak, I would definitely fix, as that will cause problems.

Oil lines? If it's the transmission cooler lines, those are just rubber hose, easy fix.


Basically, that list is far too vague. I suspect there are several things worth fixing. Definitely make a habit of checking fluids.
 

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2003 Outback Wagon 2.5L 5MT
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How is the head gasket leaking? Is coolant going into the combustion chamber? Is coolant mixing with the oil? Is oil leaking between the head and the valve cover (aka valve cover gasket, NOT head gasket)? I'd get under the vehicle and take some pictures and post them here. You could do something as simple as getting some of those radiator tablets and drop them in there to see if it helps. Or radiator stop leak with the aluminum flakes. These are NOT 100% safe to use and if there is already blockage in the coolant passages, then you can cause overheating issues, so use them at your own risk. If it's oil leaking, try some oil stop leak but use it slowly over time. Just my thoughts on the matter.

Also, just have to throw it in there... Dealerships are in the repair industry. They rely on customers fixing their cars. They're not just out to make a quick buck, they're trying to provide food on the tables for their families. Their labor rates are high because they are THE experts in their vehicle's repair processes. Their parts prices are high because they're THE original equipment. Don't hate on them just because their prices are high :)
 

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Have to respectfully disagree there. If a dealership mechanic makes $22 an hour and they charge you $150 an hour.....well that’s greed folks. A pretty shocking example too. Plain and simple.
 

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Have to respectfully disagree there. If a dealership mechanic makes $22 an hour and they charge you $150 an hour.....well that’s greed folks. A pretty shocking example too. Plain and simple.
Not that simple. The Mechanic's wage is not the only overhead to have a manufacturer-certified repair shop.
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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The Gen 2 H6 headgaskets sometimes weep. Mine did for years and years and miles beyond miles. The coolant additive seems to control it.

If they aren't leaking into the cylinders and it isn't burning coolant or pressurizing the cooling system, DON'T TOUCH IT!
 
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