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Discussion Starter #1
Checked the car on Sunday (I always check all fluids etc before and after long trips) and found I was low on oil. Hmmm, added a quart as I am due for an oil change anyway. Then I checked the coolant.

Not very good. I found where some of the oil went to. Looks like I will be doing head gaskets soon. The car ran geat all the way back. Normal temps and normal gas mileage.:(
 

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No kidding. That's too bad. However, where are you after the trip, 150,000 now? That's not that bad. So after doing more checking, how did the oil look. How did the coolant look. Which fluid looked more contaminated? Brian
 

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Don't forget about the coolant additative that SOA just came out with WWP-99. I also have a small coolant leak. I plan on getting the dealer to add the additative, which will extend my warranty to 100k miles for the cylinder head gaskets, I've heard both. If that doesn't stop the leak then hopefully they'll replace the gaskets under warranty.

1 Lucky Texan said:
git this from -ahem- 'another forum'. FYI

from the dealership:

WWP-99 Service Campaign - Cooling System Conditioner

Subaru has determined that certain 1999 through 2002 model year 2.5L equipped Subaru vehicles may experience an external coolant leak from the cylinder head gaskets. This is the result of normal relative thermal expansion and contraction variations of engine parts. As a precautionary measure, SOA is recommending that a special conditioner be added to the engine cooling system to prevent leaks from occurring or to correct existing leaks.

Only early Phase II 2.5 liter engines are affected by this campaign. Phase I 2.5 liter engines (some 1999 model year and prior years) are not affected. Countermeasures applied to the manufacturing process for those 2002 and later VINS not affected by this campaign have eliminated the need for this campaign to be performed on those vehicles.

In the future, it will be necessary to add Genuine Subaru Cooling System Conditioner to the SUBARU vehicle cooling system whenever the engine coolant is replaced. The updated recommended service procedure as well as intervals for coolant replacement will be added to all applicable service manuals. As a reminder, we will include an update page in the owner notification letters that should be added to the Owner’s Manual and Warranty and Maintenance Booklet. We ask you to keep in mind that replacement of fluids (including Subaru Cooling System Conditioner) during inspection and maintenance services are not covered under warranty.

If the vehicle owner has this Service Program repair performed promptly, Subaru will extend coverage under the Subaru Limited Warranty on the vehicle for cylinder head gasket external coolant leaks to a period of 8 years or 100,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Warranty coverage begins on the date the vehicle was delivered to the first retail purchaser. If the vehicle was used as a demonstrator or company vehicle before being sold at retail, warranty coverage begins on the date the vehicle was first placed in such service. As a further condition for this extended warranty coverage to apply, the vehicle owner must have Genuine Subaru Cooling System Conditioner added to the vehicle at any subsequent cooling system services at the interval specified in the Warranty and Maintenance Booklet under the heading “Schedule of Inspection and Maintenance Services”.

Dealers will automatically be sent an initial quantity of Genuine Subaru Cooling System Conditioner. Dealer bulletins and affected VIN lists will be mailed to dealers in early February 2004. Owner notification letters are scheduled for mailing in stages.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So far the oil is not showing any signs of water contamination, just the coolant. The overflow resevoir is a nice gunky black inside.

Since the car has 140K already, there is no way this will be covered under warranty, even if the previous owner had the Subaru Coolant conditioner added.
 

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Well, I thought it would be worth my trouble to try the cheap fix first. I picked up some of the coolant additive on Friday and will be flushing the radiator today. Once the new coolant is in, I hope the additive works and gives me some breathing room on replacing the head gaskets.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So far, so good. No trace of oil in the coolant or vice versa yet.
 

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leaks shouldn't be considered normal

Subaru is covering up poor head gasket design. The right fix is a new head gasket, not additives. Subaru dealship mechanic told me that there is an updated head gasket and that the original head gaskets are prone to leaks. If you get the head gasket replaced, make sure your not getting the new design.

WWP-99 Service Campaign - Cooling System Conditioner

Subaru has determined that certain 1999 through 2002 model year 2.5L equipped Subaru vehicles may experience an external coolant leak from the cylinder head gaskets. This is the result of normal relative thermal expansion and contraction variations of engine parts. As a precautionary measure, SOA is recommending that a special conditioner be added to the engine cooling system to prevent leaks from occurring or to correct existing leaks.
 

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I'm confused. You say that the right fix is the newer updated head gasket, but you don't recommend getting it, even though the old ones are prone to leaks. The other option is the conditioner which you don't recommend either. ??? Typo???
 

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the right fix

I didn't recommend conditioner because it is a bandaid. You need to use it to keep the warranty but a head gasket recall is the answer not a bandaid. I said "if you get it replaced" because it is a very expensive replacement if they stick you with it. The updated head gasket is the right fix but you shouldn't have to pay for it. Subaru knew there were problems but instead of a recall they are adding conditioner hoping you will make it past 80K miles. The conditioner is to get you past 80K so the problem is yours not theirs. I don't recommend paying for it. Subaru should pay for it not you. If your head gasket leaks and it's in warranty, you shoud get a new head gasket free not sealer.

If it's out of warranty, sealer may work but a new head gasket is still the right fix. Subaru should still fix it as a recall item. There are old style head gaskets still on the market so beware of getting the old style if fixed at an independent shop.

I hope this clears up any confusion.
 
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