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2007 outback 2.5 basic automatic
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello

I bought a 07 outback about 4 months ago. I wasn't to sure if the head gaskets were replaced yet. I got a letter in the mail for the air bags the other day. So I take the outback to the dealership to get it done. The service advisor prints me out all the repairs that were done on the vehicle. I guess the head gaskets were replaced around 68k. My question is how long does the head gasket last? There is about 170k miles on it now.

Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The dealership would have used the single layer OEM gaskets. So any time now if they aren't leaking yet.
Is there a way you can see if it's a single or a multi layer gasket? Can I go look under the engine to see?
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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Very good question. Yes. If you look down at the edge of the HG next to the bottom of the intake manifold where head meets block, some of the gasket protrudes the block/head edges. If you see curling material with a metal sheet between the curlings, it's SLS. With MLS all you see is metal. Depending on the manufacturer of the MLS gasket, you may also see a rivet holding the layers together at the corner of the gasket protruding from the seam where head meets block.

I know for certainty that the dealerships will not install a MLS head gasket on a SOHC engine on a customer car. They install the OEM gaskets and thus far Subaru has not put out a service bulletin to replace the SLS with MLS. The parts guy at one of the Subaru dealerships here thought I had gone loopy when I gave him a VIN number to order parts for an engine and when it came to the head gasket I told him the part number (11044AA770) I wanted. He was confused. No one had ever asked for MLS for a SOHC 2.5.
 

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Very good question. Yes. If you look down at the edge of the HG next to the bottom of the intake manifold where head meets block, some of the gasket protrudes the block/head edges. If you see curling material with a metal sheet between the curlings, it's SLS. With MLS all you see is metal. Depending on the manufacturer of the MLS gasket, you may also see a rivet holding the layers together at the corner of the gasket protruding from the seam where head meets block.

I know for certainty that the dealerships will not install a MLS head gasket on a SOHC engine on a customer car. They install the OEM gaskets and thus far Subaru has not put out a service bulletin to replace the SLS with MLS. The parts guy at one of the Subaru dealerships here thought I had gone loopy when I gave him a VIN number to order parts for an engine and when it came to the head gasket I told him the part number (11044AA770) I wanted. He was confused. No one had ever asked for MLS for a SOHC 2.5.
I have this one picture i took awhile back and I do see a piece of copper metal sticking out between the head and the block. You kinda have to zoom in to see the piece that is sticking out
 

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Huh, they used copper spray gasket. Someone was taught wrong.

Can't tell for sure from that pic. Topside the gasket sticks up a bit more...
 

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Huh, they used copper spray gasket. Someone was taught wrong.

Can't tell for sure from that pic. Topside the gasket sticks up a bit more...
Is the copper spray gasket a bad thing?
 

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Thank you cardoc for your helpful information. I am still debating of if should replace the head gaskets soon or later. There is no leaks the car runs find. It burns a little bit of oil
 

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I wouldn't worry about it then. If you are considering a budget for it, plan on about $600-800 in parts if you do it yourself, or up to $2000ish if you have a shop do it depending on their labor rate. It would be a full scale job - gaskets, seals, plugs, therm, timing components, maybe ignition cables, oil, filter and coolant.
 

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I wouldn't worry about it then. If you are considering a budget for it, plan on about $600-800 in parts if you do it yourself, or up to $2000ish if you have a shop do it depending on their labor rate. It would be a full scale job - gaskets, seals, plugs, therm, timing components, maybe ignition cables, oil, filter and coolant.
I called a local shop around my area they quoted me 2300 with racing brand multi layer gasket, seals, timing belt, water pump, timing components, thermostat, and they will machine the heads as well.
 

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That's about right. I'd be more concerned about getting the timing belt replaced by now. You have 102k on them which is close to the lifetime of a timing belt and the pulleys. A head gasket failure on Gen3 engines is usually just a slow weep of oil that can go on for a long time before requiring replacement so long as you keep an eye on the oil level. On the other hand, a broken timing belt is a big problem.
 

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I know for certainty that the dealerships will not install a MLS head gasket on a SOHC engine on a customer car. They install the OEM gaskets and thus far Subaru has not put out a service bulletin to replace the SLS with MLS. The parts guy at one of the Subaru dealerships here thought I had gone loopy when I gave him a VIN number to order parts for an engine and when it came to the head gasket I told him the part number (11044AA770) I wanted. He was confused. No one had ever asked for MLS for a SOHC 2.5.
I've heard this as well, and I attribute it to some dogmatic policy of always replacing with like part numbers - which is in general a good policy to adhere to, unless you know otherwise. If there's a problem, corporate is supposed to step in with an upgraded revision on the part, and announce it in a service bulletin - which as you point out has never happened.

But I find it hard to believe that parts and service people are expressing surprised at this. Some of them have to know; they are seeing these vehicles every day, and must be talking to customers coming in for their second or third round of head gaskets.

At the end of the day, I suppose it's a business plan. But not a very smart one.
 

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That's about right. I'd be more concerned about getting the timing belt replaced by now. You have 102k on them which is close to the lifetime of a timing belt and the pulleys. A head gasket failure on Gen3 engines is usually just a slow weep of oil that can go on for a long time before requiring replacement so long as you keep an eye on the oil level. On the other hand, a broken timing belt is a big problem.

I called the same shop quoted me 1300 for the water pump timing belt timing components seals and new thermostat and flush. Need to save some up money. My hours at work has been reduced due to covid
 

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I called the same shop quoted me 1300 for the water pump timing belt timing components seals and new thermostat and flush. Need to save some up money. My hours at work has been reduced due to covid
That is way too much money for that work.

The parts are probably around $300 to $400 and it should take less than four hours to do the work. I would estimate $1,000 maximum and if it is a workshop that works on Subaru’s all the time it should be less as a they cN do the work in less time.

Seagrass
 

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@seagrass I agree the $1300 is high for belt and water pump.

Shop labor rates across the country vary. Some low around $90/hr, others as high as $135/hr. Quotes are based on published labor times on AllData or Mitchell systems. Honest shops don't stack labor, like taking timing belt and pulley labor and the adding water pump standard labor.

For the car in question, timing belt labor is 2.2 hrs. No "additional labor" is listed for pulleys, tensioner and water pump. But the labor for the tensioner is also 2.2 hrs. So we assume that the labor time for the belt includes replacing all the pulleys and tensioner with the belt. Water pump calls for 3 hrs. You have to remove the belt to change the water pump, so an honest shop would take the water pump labor at 3 and disregard the 2.2.

Timing kit with water pump, using an AISIN/Mitsuboshi kit would have a cost of around $300. Then there's the thermostat and coolant. Therm from Subaru is about $27 average, and coolant in the Asian blue variety is about $20-25/gallon. The car takes 1.5 gallons total.

Add it up - using $100/hr rate, it comes to $675ish. Higher labor rate means higher cost. Then add taxes for the state/city.
 
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