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Discussion Starter #1
I am new to the forum so I have not read through all the HG posts. Is this head gasket issue fixed permanently when you have them replaced once they start leaking or is this something that will keep coming back again later. Just trying to figure out if the problem was the original gasket material used from the factory and now they have better designed replacement gaskets or the temps the subaru engines run at keep causing the failure.

Thanks
 

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1993 Legacy LSi with still functioning Air Suspension, 1999 Outback 2.5L 5MT lab Rat
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The factory has made changes to the gaskets to deal with the early failure issues. Most people in the aftermarket are having great results with Multi-layer steel replacements which are primarily designed for turbo engines. Whether this is a good long term plan is a push in my opinion, as the MLS gaskets are designed for 7.5/1 nominal compression and the Normally aspirated cars are 10/1. In my experience nothing replaces good maintenance and care. Sure even with good care some things are going to break, but it happens a lot less. The early failures were centered around externally leaking coolant which the factory added a sealant by recall to add, and extended the Powertrain warranty on the headgaskets from 60K to 100K.
Most of the failures I see now are external oil leaks from the bottom, but rarely a "blown" headgasket, And seldom on cars with regular maintenance(Coolant and Oil Changes).
On the maintenace issue most vehicle owners don't know that electrolysis damages coolant and when the electrolysis is high enough it causes corrosion, and can damage headgaskets/heads. For more information on this look up Volkswagen Headgasket issues on the Boxer "wasserboxer" Vanagons. The same issue exists with motor oil, as blowby from the engine adds unburned fuel/acids as well as soot, which degrades the oil. This is especially bad on vehicles that do alot of stop and go driving or many short trips. The PCV system does reduce this effect, but extending the oil change intervals or ignoring them completely can cause damage. The next time I replace a headgasket I will try and post pictures so that everyone can see what extended Oil Change intervals can do to The Headgasket Surface.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,385 Posts
You should ask more specific questions - it depends which EJ25 you're talking about.

In short if you have the newer EJ25 SOHC engine - install the Turbo headgasket and you're golden if it's done properly.

At length:

The earlier 1996-1999 (excluding 99 Forester and Impreza RS) EJ25's, known as EJ25D DOHC engines - are far more prone to issues. Subaru's latest and greatest headgasket for those is nice but seeing them fail a second time isn't rare. It would be unfair to say it's a near %100 success rate to not have a repeat failure on this engine.

The later 2000+ (and 99 Forester/RS) EJ25 SOHC's are different. Your highest percentage success rate will be with EJ25 TURBO headgaskets. The OEM Subaru gasket offered is decent too, but repeat failures are not unheard of for those.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info, I did not get specific because I am fairly new to this whole head gasket issue. Ive got a 2002 outback 2.5 with about 74000 miles on it and so far I have not had an issue. I have already had the valve cover gaskets replaced due to leaking oil but thats about it. I looked back at the two 30K checks ive had done at the dealer and both inspections they never billed me for the coolant conditioner when they changed out the coolant leading me to believe they did not put it in. I got a bottle from the dealer and just put it in myself.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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Good job, yes get that conditioner in there. Good job having the coolant changed.

Well reread my post but if you ever have to entertain HG replacement - make certain you get the Turbo EJ25 gaskets no matter what. The turbo engines have zero headgasket issues.

00-02 EJ25's were subject to an extended 100,000 mile headgasket warranty - but you're past the time limit. have you owned it since new?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Gary, I was a little ticked the dealer had not put it in there all this time but I was uneducated until recently. I got the service manual on CD so I plan on handling my own MX now aside from real major stuff. Ive owned the car since new and keep it it new condition with OEM parts. They only issues ive had with it so far have been the valve cover gasket leaks, pax cv axel boot fail due to exhust heat, just did the discharge hose on the a/c and an idle soloniod causing a rough idle and check engine light. I did the timing belt due to age last year just in case even though I had not hit 10000 miles yet.
 
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