Long drive with bad subaru head gasket?

i have two vehicles: '02 Sube Outback Sport and '98 Corolla. I’m about to do a “road trip” of about a 1k miles round trip. I want to take the Sube because it has cruise control, more room etc.

But in Jan. of this year it was diagnosed with the dreaded headgasket death sentence. Decided not to fix b/c repair exceeded value of car. But its still going strong and hasn’t leaked much oil. I have had one oil change since, and am do for another in another 1k miles. Thinking if I get another oil change right before trip, prob be ok. Am I begging for a breakdown? Mechanic friend had told me back in Jan. not to take long trips but otherwise should be ok.

You don’t take the Sube on a long trip. You drive it to the nearest mechanic, and hope it makes it.


Mechanic"friend"? He says no long trips. U like him. U don’t know any of us. But you are asking us?

Most Subaru head gasket leaks are not about OIL! They are about combustion gasses leaking into the cooling system and making the car overheat and destroying the engine.

You need a cooling system pressure test done as well and an engine compression and leak down test.

As others say, don’t go on a trip with this vehicle until it’s fixed.

the OP has decided not to fix the head gasket because the repair costs more than the car is worth. So, this is a drive it into the ground situation for the Subaru. In that case, take the Subaru and be prepared to get a bus home if it dies during the trip. 1K doesn’t seem like a big deal, and an oil change before the trip won’t really make any difference.

I would take the other car, but if having cruise control is more important than getting stranded somewhere that is the OP’s choice.

A friend of mine drove his '99 Civic for 2 years and about 15k with a bad head gasket. He had the GASKET ONLY replaced this Summer (along with the timing belt and water pump), never checked the head, and it runs great. His luck,not mine. I never seem to get lucky and suggest to you that your luck might go one way, might go another. Do you really want to deal with a bunch of crap with the Sube 500 miles from home? Take the Tojo and fix your Sube if you feel the $$ is right. Rocketman

yeah my mechanic friend just hadn’t gotten back to me yet. I knew the answer really was the corolla and am going with the safe and obvious choice. Just needed some reassurnace and backup ammo for my taveling companion. I’m just surprised the sube’s made it this far and wanted to see if this was a unique situation. Thanks to all.

You made the right choice. I was going to recommend that if you take the Subi, pack all your stuff in a backpack, it will be easier to carry as you hike to the nearest town to catch a bus, train and/or airplane back home.

My vote would be for taking the Toyota but if the Subaru problem is nothing more than an oil weepage problem from the head gasket(s) you might see if you can find someone willing to take a stab at retightening the head bolts.
A head gasket oil weepage fault is not always a death sentence.