Took a long trip and after returning the next morning the temp gauge was maxing out anytime I went into 3rd gear. Sometimes only cold air would blow from cabin heating system. Mechanics did a few tests but the air bubble test appeared to be the clincher that there was an HG problem.
Model: Outback sedan
(1) 45,500 mi. - replaced under bumper-to-bumper (warranty)
(2) 105,000 mi. - replacee entire short block due to improperly torqued headbolts from dealership, water pump, timing belt (~$3k)
(3) 145,000 mi. - not gonna do it a 3rd time...but was only quoted $2200 from dealer for full package HG replacement.
Cost - HIGH
Brought my car into the dealer for routine oil change. Wen to the counter to pay and the guy says "we need to take your engine out" I was like dumbfounded at first and thought he was joking. But nope...one head had oil seeping out. All under warranty but it doesn't make you feel good.
Coolant moves into overflow bottle after engine running (rad quantity drops)
Black Sooty residue on bottom of rad cap
No bubbles in overflow tank
No overheat or loss of heat in car
Overflow tank not dirty/fluid looks normal
Am going to check water pump for leaks to see if its the water pump (saw small coolant drip on timing cover) but highly suspect HGs. Next step after water pump is to check rad for exhaust gases while running to confirm.
Been having more issues with coolant overflow bottle filling up, dropping rad quantity. Does not suck it back in when cool. Did the exhaust gas check for combustion gases (chemical) turned yellow so guess I'm in the club for sure.
Gonna have to wait for tax refund to get it done. Will check local non-dealer Subaru shop for price. Dealer will likely do the on car repair and that won't be a quality job so going to go elsewhere. I don't have access to a shop to do the work myself so gonna have to bite the bullet and pay someone else!
Bubbles in overflow, Coolant changed colors to yellow/brown, oil residue in overflow.
Slow coolant displacement over time, random minor overheats.
Ive been living with it for the last 3-4k miles (I had the same issue on my 98 Forester, and I babied it for 6 months before it became worse), until I had a more severe overheat over the last weekend.
Brought it to a local shop yesterday, waiting to hear the final price either later today or tomorrow, estimated around $1600 for the job and all the "while you are in there" parts, assuming that the head(s) do not need planing. They figure another $100 per head if that is needed.
Good thing I got my tax refund back yesterday..
EDIT: Grand total: $1640 and change after taxes. Should be picking her up in the morning.
Car is done. Dealer rejected warranty as it was past the 5yrs. I contacted Subaru Customer care and requested warranty coverage as car mileage is low and always maintained according to book. End result dealer lowered bill by 200 and Subaru covered 50% of remainder. Cost to me $576
2001 gt legacy 5spd
slight external leak spotted at 70K
Only had the standard 35K warranty
Talked to subaru - they agreed it shouldn't do that had the car back the next evening fixed.
160K on it now no issues and buying another Subaru!
Side note - It had chevron synthetic in it since the 20K mark
120K timing belt replacement confirmed the oilpump looked nearly new and had no leaks. Shop tech asked if I ran synthetic. He said every car he does that runs synthetic nearly 100% of the time has a clean no leak oil pump.