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My mom has proudly owned her outback from new. SHe wanted a car that would last her well into retirement. Something to get her safely through bad weather every time. 100k miles and she has had great experiences.

Ive performed the recommened maintenence although sometimes a little late. SInce i moved she had to take it into the dealer to get the TB done at which time they told her what no subaru owner wants to hear: head gaskets are seeping :gasp:

On top of that her cats are needing to be replaced at the tune of $1300!!! Normally it wouldnt matter to much but she lives out in the sticks and hates not having cruise control.

I have read stories of SOA covering the HG work but it seems very hit or miss. Whats the best way to go about getting them to step up and take care of this.
AND yes i used Subaru's super awesome cooling system condition with they're liquid gold coolant...didnt seem to help.:28:
 

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My mom is a car stress case. Cats no! dealer is looking for an easy mark. Even if she has a engine light error 99.99% of the time it is a O2 sensor. Cheap easy fix.

Leaking HG first tell her not to stress! Tell her to keep a close eye on coolant level in the overflow bottle. Also make sure she knows how to check oil level. Be sure to tell her to check it in the same parking spot. Her usual gas station or! Better the garage at home. Tell her that any leak will show a change in fluid levels. A leaky hg is not a huge deal with subarus. It is a big deal on other cars.

The cat comment makes me think the dealer needs a new corvete and is selling excessive repair jobs
 

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If you do have a hg leak you need to file a ticket online with subaru directly. Vin # details and dealer. Mother subaru seems to have a major impact on dealers looking for an easy mark. They will contact you and check in on what the issues are original owners are very much liked and subaru seems to really step up to the plate. So keep a cool head and 100% get subaru involved. The dealer if they were really good would have contacted subaru for her. Go to the subaru website and contact them with the details
 

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CB, post your city and maybe someone can suggest a good place for a second opinion.

if the car has a good history of maintenance and hasn't been running overly rich or abused - as subiesalior says - someone is trying to make a boat payment and your Mom is the funding source. I've learned from reading here that Soob cat convs are very tough.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input. I will have her contact SOA asap. She lives about 2 hours from san antonio and the dealer she went to last is i believe the only subie one in town...north park.
 

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Thanks for the input. I will have her contact SOA asap. She lives about 2 hours from san antonio and the dealer she went to last is i believe the only subie one in town...north park.
If they did a tailpipe and propane injection test on the cats, that's one thing. But there is the possibility they are either padding the repair or throwing parts at the problem

pm user cardoc here and see if he can suggest a shop. he's in Austin.
 

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I do more head gaskets at roughly 100k miles on most of the SOHC 2.5s which usually I do in conjunction with the timing belt and water pump. Not uncommon but I have seen dealer replaced head gaskets and it can be scary, especially if the dealer is paying for it. Instead of prepping the block and heads with sand paper, they usually use a scotch brite pad on a air grinder and go until its clean, then put new head gasket on and bolt the head down. They only last to get the car out of warranty and not much longer.

And the dealer gaskets suck. They will start leaking again (even if done properly) within the life of the vehicle. The shop I work for uses nothing but the 6 Star head gaskets and we have multiple customers with over 100k since the repair and no issues. Every once and awhile I have to redo a set but that's mostly from something else happening (cracked radiator, run out of oil, etc.)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wow caboobaroo thats very comforting lol.

Whats the reason subaru head gaskets cant withstand more than a 100k miles on pretty much any h4 they have produced?
 

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Instead of prepping the block and heads with sand paper, they usually use a scotch brite pad on a air grinder and go until its clean, then put new head gasket on and bolt the head down.
Would it be appropriate to clean the surfaces initially with a Scotchbrite pad, followed by sanding? (with an appropriately large sanding block, of course)
 

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Would it be appropriate to clean the surfaces initially with a Scotchbrite pad, followed by sanding? (with an appropriately large sanding block, of course)
The problem with using a scotchbrite or similar pad is it has a very small surface area and doesn't remain completely flat against the head surface, every time you pass over an opening in the head it slightly dips into the opening and rounds off the corners, a head gasket needs a perfectly flat surface in order to seal.
 

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Really, I was under the impression that Scotchbrite had a lower hardness than the aluminium, therefore it wouldn't harm the surface at all. I'm glad I asked before buying a ton of Scotchbrite pads. Guess i'll stick to elbow grease and carb cleaner.
 
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