My 2002 outback with 115000 had a blown head gasket. Is this worth fixing? Should I also replace the timing belt (has never been done)as well. How much should this cost?
Subaru has come up with improved headgaskets. Make sure the shop uses the improved gaskets. Very common problem: labor about 12 hrs, including R&R engine. Yes do the
timing belt; it should be discounted for the belt has to come off to do the heads.
Do the cam seals and front crank seal.
If done correctly, you should get years of fun,reliable driving.
Yes it would be worth fixing assuming the rest of the car isn’t trashed. A head gasket and timing belt should run more than $1000 but less than $2000. Properly cared for you can reasonably expect to get another 100-150000 miles out of this car.
Head gasket $1000-$2000 dependent where you are.
Timing belt alone without above repair is $400. It may be less with head gasket repair but parts run about $200+.
Worth it to fix if keep driving or sell it.
You must do the timing belt. The head gasket issue will make many people trade a car in. If you seek a good independent shop the cost could be up to 2000. Check around and tell them thats what you need. Look at the rest of the car. This is a time to see if the other stuff is worth it. Usually around 150k you are not going to want the car anymore. If it really is perfect mechanically then another 80 K is possible depending on where you live.
The timing belt parts are that high as the idlers and tensioner need to be replaced along with the belt. Autozone sells a complete kit much cheaper than the dealer.
If by the word “blown” you mean the car severely overheated, the engine was not shut off and you continued to drive it, and/or if this blown gasket led to coolant diluting the engine oil then it’s possible the head gasket repair is not worth doing as diluted engine oil will take out the crankshaft bearings, cam lobes, etc.
Continued operation of a severely overheated engine will take out piston rings, cylinder walls, and valve seals. This can lead to severe oil consumption.