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06' Subaru Forester Head and Gasket Issues (PLease HElp)

I have a 2006 Subaru Forester and a man in my life who is somewhat of a mechanic…
I have paid for a new Drivers side head gasket and had the head shaved down. Now that its been replaced he is thinking it is passenger side head since the car is still overheating…
I know for a fact that the engine fan is not functioning properly. I may be in a position where I am being strung along and dooped by this person.
So I want to make sure I have done everything that I can and have a correct estimate before I go towing the car in to a shop to get the second head worked on and gasket replaced.
Could this all be just because of the fan?
Is it really going to cost me 2000 dollars to fix the other head?
When you turn the car on it overheats, especially while idling.
I bought this car used and it has 186k on it.
I’m sure he replaced the thermostat but I’m not sure he replaced the cooling hoses or whatnot, but why would he go through all that trouble without ? Right?

How long have u had this car?

Sorry About This. You Will Be Throwing Good Money After Bad If You Don’t Have A Competent Technician Properly Diagnose And Repair This Vehicle. I’m Afraid That’s Possibly Going To Be Costly.

With 186,000 miles on a vehicle one has to question how much money should be put into it. Will it be on the road long enough to recover the benefit of the expenditure?

Sometimes 2 wrongs (purchase and subsequent repairs) don’t make a right.

If the engine fan is not running when the car is idling, it will overheat. There is no cooling air going over the radiator when stopped and the electric fan provides this. This is BASIC stuff. If that “man in your life” didn’t check and fix that first, stop allowing him to work on your car. Drive it or have it towed to a shop that can actually diagnose and fix the problem. Your “man” can’t diagnose. He can change parts but he is just guessing.

Take it to a dealer, the Subaru dealers are very well versed in the head gasket and overheating issues with this engine and often can do the job for less than an independent mechanic. You might as well have both headgaskets replaced with the newer design headgasket and have the timing belt and water pump done at the same time. The timing belt should only be parts only and the water pump should have very little labor when the head gaskets are done at the same time.

Go to this forum, these guys know their Subaru’s.

She already had one side done and now thinks there’s a problem with the other side. Why would one only do one side?

Yes, why only do one side, as you have to remove the engine to get access ???
I hope he didn’t charge you for this hack job?

12:45PM Take it to a dealer, the Subaru dealers are very well versed in the head gasket and overheating issues with this engine and often can do the job for less than an independent mechanic.

There are a couple independent mechanics around here who specialize in Subaru’s…and they are far more qualified to do head gasket repairs then most (if not all) the Subaru dealers. One guy I know of was head mechanic at a Subaru dealer for over 20 years. And real tough problems…the dealer calls him to help solve.

Mike, where in NH? (just for reference for future use, I have a forester)

Up near Manchester. I knew him when I lived up there.

He does a lot of customization too.


“She already had one side done and now thinks there’s a problem with the other side. Why would one only do one side?”

That was a fairly clear indication that her “mechanic” didn’t really know what he was doing.

Since you know the radiator fan isn’t working correctly, suggest you have that repaired first. It might well solve the current overheating problem. If it doesn’t, then you’re in no worse position than you are now. Plus you’ll have the fan working, which it needs to be anyway, otherwise you’d risk re-damaging the recently renewed head gaskets.

Ok so I don’t know why he hasn’t fixed the fan first and foremost and it would be a miracle if that were the only problem but I have my doubts.
The reason he only fixed the one head was due to money issues , I couldn’t afford both at the time when he pulled the engine out.
Part of me is starting to think though that he is lying and trying to make me not mobile or not able to use this car for other reasons. ( it is complicated). This car I bought about a year and a half ago, it is still being financed. I still owe 3k on it and it is under his name. So there are allot of weird aspects to this whole "problem"
the nearest Subaru dealership is about 100 miles. And the car is not drivable so that’s a long tow to avoid independent mechanic.
Part of me was hoping that all of this was not really the issue and that its merely a fan and water pump issue and he has been “doing” this to keep me from driving it.

Does anyone have a rough estimate about how much it would cost to get the one head shaved and gasket replaced?

I strongly suspect that the overheating issue had nothing to do with head gaskets. It’s quite common for many people to assume an overheating issue is caused by a failed head gasket and that quite often is not the case at all.
An inoperative cooling fan can certainly cause overheating.

The fact this guy only changed one head gasket and ignored the other tells me that associating the word “mechanic” with him is like mixing oil and water.

Sounds like there is more to this story than we are seeing here. I suspect that much of what is going on here may be influenced by circumstances that the OP is not providing to us.

This Is Beginning To Sound More Like A “Car” Problem For Judge Judy Or Dr. Phil.

However, if it does end up being diagnosed and or repaired I would add one suggestion. Engines don’t take kindly to overheating. Other things can suffer beyond head gaskets. It’s hard to say at this point if the fans are working or if this engine really overheated or overheated how many times and to what extent.

An evaluation of the entire engine (actually the whole car) in order to ascertain its health status should be done before starting to fix things one after another only to find out that it’s got bigger problems.

Again, it needs a competent mechanic to accomplish this.

Somewhat of a mechanics are frequently responsible for wasting time and money and occasionally irreparable damage. Replacing a head gasket if there were telltale signs it was bad is acceptable. If the only symptom was overheating at idle and the electric cooling fan was/is faulty and not repaired/replaced. I am at a loss for words concerning that behavior.