02 6cyl subie headgasket


#1

i heard 4cyl subarus had issues with headgaskets. i found a 02 6cyl that needs headgaskets. i know any car can fail but is it very common for a 6 cyl subie of this era to fail for that reason?


#2

What model?


#3

Says online only 1 model had the 6. The outback. 3.0 did they add the3.6 as a mid year change?


#4

Very few complaints about head gasket failure in the 2002 Outback, mostly 4 cylinder engines.
I have never heard of a 3.6 in the Outback.


#5

Far fewer Subarus had the 6 cylinder as compared to the 4 cylinder so there will fewer complaints registered.

Odds are the percentage of failure is the same.


#6

This certainly wouldn’t qualify as a scientific study, but here is my personal experience:

1997 Outback (4-cylinder) needed head gasket replacement at ~120k miles.
2002 Outback (3 liter six-cylinder) no head gasket replacement–or any other repairs–needed up through 2010/120k miles when I traded it in.
2011 Outback (3.6 liter six-cylinder) no head gasket problems, with current mileage ~90k. The sole repair was the replacement of the WW fluid reservoir, under warranty.


#7

my stats:

1996 Legacy with 2.2L engine: traded ~156K miles, no headgasket issue
2003 Outback with 2.5L SOHC 4-cylinder: sold at ~95K miles, no issues
2004 Outback with 2.5L SOHC 4-cylinder: sold ~85K miles, no issues
2007 Impreza with 2.5L SOHC 4-cylinder: sold ~88K miles, no issues
2007 Outback with 2.5L SOHC 4-cylinder: sold ~102K miles, no issues

these were all commuters, I never allowed cars to get past 100K miles if my job depends on them other that the first Subie I owned, but my finances did not allow for better car at the moment


#8

VDCdriver, my comment was not meant to be too scientific. Over the years I’ve replaced head gaskets on the 6 cylinder 4 or 5 times. They were not blown; just leaking or weeping.
One lady did not want to spend money on HGs so I said that I would try retightening the head bolts and see what happens. Tightened the head bolts, cleaned the leaky area off, and on a recheck a month later all was good.

My thinking was that if I did 6 jobs some guy in the next city may have done 6 also. Another guy may have done 2; or 2 dozen. There is no way of knowing.

The only definitive way (impossible…) would be if one knew how many 6 cylinder head gaskets SOA provided to their dealers; in sum total.
About 15 years ago I could probably have gotten that info as a co-worker became a regional parts rep. At one point he was offered a position at SOA in New Jersey. He had no desire to go to NJ (especially after a week there and pricing housing) but with SOA if they offer you a step up and you don’t take it then you’re stuck where you’re at forever.
I lost touch with him after he left OK.


#9

So many more 4s than 6s, hard to tell if the 6 has as many problems.


#10

On a similar note . . .

Our fleet recently hired a guy who hasn’t been in California but a few years

He is shocked at the high prices for houses and is seriously considering moving out of state

he just got married . . . and may want to have kids, but I didn’t ask . . . and he just doesn’t know how he’s going to buy a house in the state