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Oil Leak after Head Gasket Repair

I recently had an issue with my head gasket. It was repaired but then learned the real issue was that I had diesel gas in my engine. (Long story, fuel hauler put wrong gas in tank and service station sold the gas to us unsuspecting drivers.) After head gasket was fixed, tried to leave service shop but car still had issues - turned around and went back. O2 sensor and other fuel trim numbers were off. But couldn’t diagnose problem completely so told me to drive home (30 miles) and come back next day. That’s when I found out about the diesel gas issue. My car got drained of bad gas and cleaned. Got car back but now is leaking oil. My husband thinks it is either from the valve covers or from head gasket. Can diesel gas in your engine damage the head gasket? Could I have done more damage by driving the 30 miles home with the bad gas? Or did the shop just do a bad head gasket repair? I only bought this car 6 months ago - used. It now has 88K miles. Is this car going to turn into a lemon?

Model-Year ?
Certain Model-Years Of Subarus Are Known For Head Gasket Problems. Depending On The Model-Year This Car May Already Be Citric.


I really can’t speak to the issue of the head gasket, but what is done is done. Now the issue is the oil leak. Is that the only issue, is the car running OK otherwise? what is the rate of oil loss?

You, or your mechanic, needs to determine exactly where the oil leak is occurring first. If the leak is related to the head gasket work, then the mechanics should repair that for you for free, with one small exception. If it is a valve cover gasket and they had reused the valve cover gaskets instead of replacing them, then they would be justified in charging you for the gasket set, but not the labor, because you would have had to pay for the gaskets the first time had they replaced them then.

Keith, are Subaru valve cover gaskets reusable?!

If they aren’t why would anyone reuse them, especially if they’re doing a head gasket job?

Wouldn’t that be saving money in the wrong places?

I didn’t work on this car so I don’t have your answers. You can reuse the valve cover gaskets if they are in good shape and still pliable, but if I were doing head gaskets, I would replace the valve cover gaskets.

I wouldn’t reuse any gasket that’d been compressed for 88,000 miles. Gaskets are cheap. Compare the thickness of a gasket with that mileage on it to a new gasket and you’ll be amazed at how much compression has thinned it out. And the ability to be compressed is what enables them to seal properly.

If the issue really was related to the fuel company then you need to present your gas receipt and bill of sale for the car and tell them they can fix or replace the car TODAY. Do not spend your money on this. If you have all your facts in line go to small claims pay the fee, file against the company. Then get a rental that they will pay for until your car is fixed or replaced. That said be aware of the small claims limits vs your cars value when you bought it and the cost of the rental. Likely they will talk settlement right away. You can settle out of small claims for any number they are willing to give. This car is not for you to fix. The gas station owns this bill.