Strong maple smell for months

I’ve got a 2000 Subaru Outback which has approx.180,000 miles on it. for months now I’ve been smelling maple and it’s getting much stronger and occassionally I see smoke/steam like substance coming from under the hood.

I took it to a foreign car shop and they tell me that my car has a cracked head gasket and that my car’s leaking antifreeze. I have been adding antifreeze (and it’s leaking faster now… not on driveway, but while car’s moving apparently).

The price I got to fix was very high and I don’t have the money to pay for it. Should I scrap my great car or is it worth fixing. Also, and perhaps more important… am I poisoning myself by breathing in this stuff? The fumes are worse outside, but I do smell it inside of the car as well.


read this web site… cost benefit ratio …is it worth it to fix or replace? did you shop around for a second opinion?

Is there water in the oil (look like cream in coffee)? There is a leak somewhere, and it should be located. Try another shop, and see if they have the same opinion. BTW, head gaskets are not the end of your engine, not by a long shot. But it is a rather expensive repair. Only you can decide if it is worth it.

To put it simply, yes, you’re poisoning yourself. Breathing antifreeze fumes is very unhealthy.

The antifreeze is not leaking out of the engine, which is why you don’t see any on the driveway. Antifreeze is leaking into the cylinders and being expelled through the tailpipe as steam. This is a classic symptom of failed head gaskets, and Subarus are well known for this.

New head gaskets (there are two) will cost a LOT of money, and there may be other damage if the car has been driven this way for some time. You say you’ve been smelling antifreeze for months, so I assume the head gaskets have been leaking that long.

Without knowing the overall condition of your car it’s difficult to say whether or not the repair is worth it. You’re the only one who can decide that. Expensive as the repair may be, it’s less than the cost of another car, and if your Subaru is in otherwise good condition it may be worth fixing it and continuing to use the car.

If the car is not in such good shape it may be time to consider replacing it. Is anything else wrong with the car?

This could be a two-fer-one. The timing belt is due change at about the 100,000 mile mark. This is about a $700 repair. If you have the cylinder(s) head repaired, the timing belt has to come off, anyway. A new timing belt would cost for parts, only.

If you get new head gaskets and replace the timing belt, what will the cost be? Get at lest 3 estimates for the work from good, independent mechanics. Then ask yourself if you can replace the car for that amount of money. You probably can’t.