2001 Legacy Head Gasket Problem



I recently had to have my head gasket replaced (along with the clutch etc) The mechanic said the gaskets Subaru used were bad. Of course I was just passed the warranty date, so I had to pay for it myself. Does anyone know if Subaru admitting to their gaskets being faulty?


Subaru of America frequently goes “halfsies” on head gasket replacement for an out-of-warranty car if the car has been maintained strictly according to the Subaru maintenance schedule. If the car has been maintained at the dealership, this helps a lot in terms of receiving assistance with this repair. That is a fairly tacit admission of problems on their part.

Truthfully, I believe that your mechanic should have directed you to first check with the local dealership, and perhaps even with Subaru of America before you contracted with him to do this repair. Unfortunately, that advice is no longer timely.

By the way, I hope that your timing belt has been replaced as per the Subaru Maintenance Schedule.


scroll through this web site…there may be an extension to the warranty…


Subaru, like many others, will admit to nothing except in the type of language spoken by a politician.

They’ve had head gasket problems for decades and somewhere in my stash of junk I’ve got a service bulletin they issued way back when about covering head gaskets. While not a direct quote, it basically states “if the customer insists strongly”. Unfortunately, their policy has firmed up since that bulletin was issued.

Just my opinion, but I don’t think it’s bad head gaskets at all. I think it’s a combination of aluminum head/block, cutting down the number of head bolts used, lack of a sealing coat on the gasket, and what could be called the “relaxing” of the head bolts and gaskets after a number of heating and cooling cycles.

As an analogy, think of the old cork type gaskets used on valve covers, oil pans, etc. (not so much anymore)
Install a cover or pan with a cork gasket, snug the bolts up, and odds are the bolts will be loose in a few thousand miles. Same principle except in this case the cork is simply being crushed down and losing it’s cushion so to speak.