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Hello folks

New poster, long time lurker. Unfortunately I got some bad news today. This weekend my 2002 Outback started overheating. It redlined the temp gauge before I could pull over safely. Once I stopped much steam and coolant blew from the radiator and from overflow reservoir...also smelling gas faintly...strongly of coolant. Let the car cool down and drove it home. Next morning drove it to service station...began heating up again. Guy looks at it and tells me I blew a head gasket and need a new engine! First he tells me 9500 I almost cried because that's how much I paid for the car. I look up a new engine on ebay and found one for 2700 then miraculously he says he can do it for 6500.

Anyway I found a more mom and pop shop quote me an engine rebuild for 2600. They haven't seen the car. Should I just do a head gasket replacement? The car has 130k and the guy at the shop advised against that.

I'm also considered getting a rebuilt engine from engine.us and having the guys at the local high school drop it in. Anyone have experience with engine.us?

Anyway what route should I go? The guy at the first place quoting me 6500 for a new engine really got me scared but other people told me just to do the head gaskets. Or should I have my existing engine rebuilt for the 2600 or buy a rebuilt engine and have it installed somewhere? My husband it deployed overseas usually he takes care of all this but he hasn't been home for 9 months (Afghanistan). I feel the guy quoting me 9500 then 6500 was trying to take advantage of me but maybe it really is that much to replace an engine.

Thanks
Jackie
 

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Wow.

What would you do if you went to buy a car that had no price on it and they said $9500, when questioned they said $6500? What was the justification for the $3000 discount? If that shop thinks doing that is ethical, do you really trust that the car even needs a new engine?
:runaway::hide:
I spent 3 years in a High School auto program. I would only recommend doing that if you don't care about the car. The high school kids I was with could care less if the car they were working on drove or not when they were done. Sometimes they would sabotage their friends project... just cause. My projects were all fine because I was the first person there and the last to leave. I got to work on my teachers friends cars which was a real treat.
I would take it to another shop and get a second or third opinion. Ask around, someone you know... knows a good shop.

If the head gasket is blown a rebuild is fine, but at 130K the timing belt should have been done already. You might be best just getting a used engine that has had the timing belt done already.
 

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Service station, mom and pop garage, high school auto mechanics, some would say that Subaru cars are not mainstream (meaning that not all repair shops have the detailed knowledge needed to repair them properly). Are you convinced the head gasket is the correct (and only) problem? Use caution choosing a repair shop. You certainly don’t want your Subaru to be the car that these shops learn how to fix head gaskets on.

 

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post your city and maybe someone can recommend a good shop for you.

you may indeed be best with a used/JDM or other different/'new' engine. But you still need a good diagnosis and a 'real' ,preferably written, estimate.
 

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Check Yelp too for local Subaru shops to you. See what reviewers have said about those shops in your area. If it comes to a second hand engine, there's a well known Subaru engine refurbisher called Colorado Component Rebuilders (CCR). You'll have to make up your own mind about reviews of them. Some have had great experiences, some not so much.

And that first mechanic with the astronomical price quote sounds shady.
 

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sometimes high quotes on something really means "we don't want to mess with that and wish you would go elsewhere, but don't' want to tell you that directly"
 

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You probably don't need an entirely new engine unless you did major damage driving it after it started overheating.

The very first step you should take now, as others have said, is find a new shop to get second opinion. Second step is to make yourself promise to never, ever return to the first shop for any reason.
 
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