'05 Subaru Forester-headgasket,water pump, timing kit repair

I bought a 2005 subaru forester xt a cohple months ago and then the CEL went on and the cruise control started blinking. The car also shook horribly. Long story short, and $2,300 later, i got the "head gasket set, water pump, timing kit, oil&filter change, " etc… Fixed. Question is, I am driving to Colorado from Maine in about two weeks. How long do subarus last after such repairs? Think ill get a few years out of it? Or should I sell it and buy a more reliable car before the trip out there. Thanks

We have no idea how many miles are on this car, but normally repairs like this allow you to reach that 200,000 mile mark…if the vehicle was serviced on a regular basis through it’s life.


170,000! Sorry about that

If all the regular service was done (Oil changes, air filter, etc) on a regular basis the car may go another 70,000+ miles.
It sounds like you got many of the major work done. All you can hope for is that the bearings and rings will go another 70,000 miles.
Oil and filter changes are the most important thing from now on.
It may not hurt to have a filter and trans fluid change done before the trip. Many people forget about that, it should be done about every 30,000 miles.


Thank you! Very helpful. Im not sure how well the last person took care of the car. After doing some research today, I have learned my lesson and now know how to be smart about purchasing a car. Hopefully they took good care of it. Im going to bring it in before I leave for my trip to get the filter and trans fluid change done. My receipt of what I paid for last week says oul & filter change was done so that should be ok I assume. Thanks again for your help.

Agreed with a trans fluid change and my vote would be to keep the car.

Granted, I do not know the exact symptoms that existed and what kind of diagnostics were used in determining the rough running and head gasket diagnosis but I sincerely hope that diagnosis was correct. Hopefully those symptoms you mentioned were not caused by something intermittent and minor in nature.

The only way a failed head gasket should cause a poor running problem would be if there was a breach into one or more combustion chambers.

Are you driving to Maine just for a short visit? If so, consider to rent a car for the trip. Your Subbie will likely do ok, but why rack up all those miles on a 170K vehicle, when you can rent an almost new car for a couple weeks w/unlimited miles for $400 or $500, maybe less.

@GeorgeSanJose‌ I am moving from Maine to Colorado and am driving out there and will be living out there for a while., which is why im not sure if i should buy a more reliable car before i go out because i’d be screwed if it broke on the way out or soon after i got there

If the vehicle is operating fine now just go to Colorado. A replacement vehicle could also break down on the way there. You might get a AAA membership before you go.

Just so folks know, the ‘regular’ AAA membership only cover you for tows up to 7 miles (for AAA Texas). More expensive versions cover longer tows. Just make sure you know what you’re paying for.

Moving to Colorado? Ok, understand better now. Me, I’m the frugal type, so I’d be inclined to keep the Subie and take it with me to Colorado, since you’ve got it all fixed up now. And it will be a good, rugged car to have for Colorado winter snow driving, and car camping in the summer. This assumes it is in reasonably good shape, no structural rust, and has received its routine maintenance more or less according to Subie’s schedule in the user’s manual. Some cosmetic damage? No problem.

The biggest downside to keeping it is the number of miles on the clock. Just by the law of physics, on average it won’t ever be as reliable as a car with 15,000 miles. If you need that extra reliability of a lower mileage vehicle, then sell it. But be sure to replace it with a low mileage newer vehicle, not a used, 10 year old replacement with 150K.

Best of luck w/ your new life in Colorado!

Looking at some other sites with a similair issue it is apparently normal for the cruise control light to come on when the CEl light turns on.