2001 Subaru Forester: Repair? Replace? Second Opinion?

Hi Everyone,

I searched the archives and read through a few other Subaru repair/replace discussions but wound up with more questions than answers. So here I am asking.

I have a 2001 Subaru Forester. I purchased it used in 2003, it was well maintained and has run well for me for the past 6 years.

It currently has 152,000 miles on it and at the last oil change I was quoted the following issues and prices:

R cylinder head gasket leaking - $1385

PCV plate leaking - $925

Oil cooler line leaking - $175

My current thinking is that, if I do the repairs I can get another 4 years/50K miles out of it (my driving habits are about 12K miles/yr mostly city, some highway) by which time I am hoping to be living/working somewhere that I need a car less (or perhaps more flush with cash and ready to purchase another car)

I’ve already repaired/replaced expensive charmers like the water pump,the timing belt and the cats.

Are the repairs worth it?

Are they pressing (the mechanic did not sell them that way), should I get them done immediately?

What’s the priority list if I can not get them done all at once?

Should I get a second opinion on the repairs and prices?

Should I replace the car?

Thanks for all the opinions and information

If the car is otherwise in good shape, then I would repair. Head gasket is probably most important, oil cooler repair second (or tied w/head gasket); PCV plate less important.

For $2200 you can’t buy much of a used car…

A leaking head gasket should be fixed immediately. I don’t know what a “PCV PLATE” is, but it appears less urgent than the head gasket. The cost also sounds excessive.

The oil cooler line should also be fixed right way; it could cause futher damage if let unfixed. The figure seems high.

Having said all this, I think you should get a second opinion and quote on these, since they look like dealer estimates.

A Subaru with 152,00 miles on it has a lot of life left in it, especially if well maintained. I would defintiely fix it and keep taking care of it.

When it comes to Subarus and head gaskets it is not proper practice to replace one head gasket only; both should be changed.
A proper repair also means that both heads should be inspected to see if they need to be surfaced (and most do need surfacing although many shops don’t even check them) and at 156k miles a full valve job should be performed along with valve seal replacement.

Anything less is short-cutting the repair and anything more than what you were quoted will be pricier. It’s up to the customer as to whether they want the cheaper shortcut or the more expensive proper job.

Tough call. It would be hard for me to justify at least several grand on a 156k miles Subaru without more information as to just how solid the engine lower end is, any body rust issues, whether there are any lurking drivetrain issues, etc.