2010 Subaru Outback - Emissions concern

2010 Subaru Outback is testing positive for hydrocarbons.

How do I… Prolong the life of my car until I am able to sell it/trade it in?

What is the best way to sell/trade in my vehicle and maximize my payout/trade in?

I am shopping for a new Subaru car, but don’t want the same issue.

I’ve heard that 2013 + they started making Subaru’s that typically do no have a headgasket issue like the older models. I’ve looked into their used hybrids, like the 2014 Subaru Crosstrek, which would be wonderful (if it’s recommended) to help with the spike in gas prices, but I am not sure what model and years are the best and still under about $20,000k with lower miles on it.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

So you have told us nothing about you car except that it is a 2010 Subie blowing high HC. No mileage info, no check engine light on or off, no error codes, or how you came to know your car has high HC.

That said, this is general info. High HC means your engine is not completely and efficiently burning the gas you paid for. And it can be caused by high oil consumption from a very worn engine. The fix for these is very different and may not be worth doing depending on the condition of the car.

Depending on what state you live in, you may not be able to privately sell it if it won’t pass an emissions test. And that is the way to get the best money. A trade in on a newer car will not get you the best money but you won’t have to spend any more to repair it.


Are you saying there are hydrocarbons being detected in the coolant, indicating a likely head gasket problem?

Having engine trouble when it turns 12?
You may want to consider one of the other Asian brands that don’t use the oddball boxer engine.

I’m going to assume with the head gasket comment on later models that this hydrocarbon test you mention was testing the radiator coolant on your 2010?

If there is a breach into the combustion chamber you could try some glass seal product as a crutch. Personally, I am not a fan of Miracles In A Can but to each their own.

As for maximizing trade all I can say is have it detailed first. Clean helps.
And this brings up an ethics issue. Are you going to allow the dealer to remain ignorant of this potential head gasket issue, resell the car, and let the next owner be the one to suffer while blaming the dealer for it all?

Yes, I realize that you are under no obligation to tell the dealer a single thing.

Subaru sells a “Cooling System Conditioner”. You can also get it at Amazon. If you haven’t overheated and the amount of coolant loss is low, like less than a cup a week, then you should get it ASAP, it really works and it is not expensive. I even used it in my Silverado when it was loosing about a half gallon of coolant per month and it stopped the loss for three years so far. $5.46 on Amazon.

Edit: BTW, they started using this in the factory fill around 2013.