02 6cyl subie headgasket

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?

What model?

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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