Head Gasket Replacement '05 Subaru Impreza

Try this one… tell the 2000 shop that most estimates are in the 1500 range… Tell them you will do it for 2000 if they do the T belt service (water pump inclusive) while they are in there… It’d be silly not to do the T belt criminal actually


@Honda_Blackbird What if the $1500 bid includes the timing belt and water pump replacement? It should. 90% of the labor will already be done when they take it apart. They have to put A timing belt on it. It may as well be new. So should the idlers.

Well, I have decided against even buying the car. It seems the problems that could follow are not worth the value of the car. I appreciate everyone’s input. The head gasket appears to be an issue when the cars are run at higher RPM’s. And then they are notorious for other failures because of this as @rocketman and @andrewRA mentioned. Again. Thank you to everyone for your valuable input.

I don’t think that higher RPMs is the reason for Subaru head gasket failures unless someone is whaling on the car and keeping the turbocharger in high boost most of the time.

My personal opinion is that head gasket failures are due to a number of other factors. That would include the severity of heating and cooling cycles the engine goes through, the relaxing of the head gaskets with no followup head bolt retightening after X number of miles, and dropping the number of heads bolts per head from 10 or 8 as the case may be down to 6 per head.

Headgasket failure is mostly due to poor design(flimsy open deck) of the EJ25 block. At its core design it has an issue. The block was originally designed smaller EJ18, EJ20, EJ22 which all were incredibly reliable engines. The EJ25 came latter by about 5 years latter after the EJ18(1.8L) thru EJ22(2.2L) blocks.

The reason the related EJ255 block(turbo) one is devoid of ANY significant head gasket issues is it uses a more rigid deck that is semi closed.

I have to respectfully disagree that block design is the cause for the most part for several reasons.
One is that not all of them fail. If the block was the cause they would all fail.

Two is what sane mechanic would replace head gaskets on an open deck design knowing the design would cause them to give up again. The only option would be a by the book complete engine rebuild with a small fortune being spent at the machine shop to modify the block.

Three is that if done properly the head gaskets are good for the duration on the same open block.

Again and I say this in a respectful sense, I think the block is the scapegoat. Back in the Subaru early days of wet sleeve engines open block took on a whole new meaning; as in wide screaming barn door open. Deviating from factory recommendations about how the head gasket repairs were done could lead to a long service life with no problems.
Following the factory service manual could mean a short life.