Help: new steering rack and headgasket replacement?

subaru
steering
outback

#1

We purchased a used car with 106K miles from a dealer. Then had it inspected by local mechanic. The mechanis found the following issues:

1. Power Steering Rack, left side boot ripped open and fluid leak (leak is not dripping by rack appears to be wet). Suggesting entire rack replacement, there is no current steering issue. Is this needed and will this need to be replaced in 1-2 years anyway?

2. Oil seeping from the headgasket on the bottom near the oil filter. It is not leaking anti-freeze. Does this need to be replaced? Will the headgasket need to be replaced in 1-2 years anyway?


#2

Since the rack is leaking it will need to be replaced as repair is not cost effective or really even feasible. Keep fluid in it and drive it for a while if it’s not too bad.

Head gasket leaks are common with Subarus. Since this is an oil weepage problem rather than a case of the gaskets being outright blown what I would suggest is having the head bolts retorqued.
In theory this is not necessary nor should it be done. In practice it can be quite necessary and can be done. This may stop the leak, and potential future leaks, without having to replace anything.

(I’m also aware that a mechanic may tell you that retightening head bolts is not necessary, can’t be done, should not be done, etc.)