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Subaru Forrester headgaskets

A listener recently (May 17)called in with a headgasket problem on a 2001 Subaru Forrester. I had the same problem with my 2002 Forrester and found there’s actually been a Subaru service advisory issued on this (Service Program WWP-99) and Subaru will reimburse for the headgasket repairs if certain conditions have been met (also note the maufacturer warranty for headgasket repairs was extended to 100K miles in this same repair program). Subaru’s are great cars, I’ve owned a few–this is the first issue ever.

I own a 2001 Subaru Outback, which also has a headgasket recall. I found out about it when I received a notice to make sure that the dealer puts in a special fluid whenever the radiator fluids are replaced. I did and thought nothing of it. Then 1.5 years a go while on vacation the check engine light came on (another long story is how the check engine light ALWAYS comes on for insignificant or no problems). I lingered a couple of weeks before checking it out since the engine light had been coming on for months and I always have it checked finding nothing significantly wrong. Then the car began acting weird. I rolled into the dealer and they declared that I was lucky I did not blow the engine, the headgasket was a gonner and it would be costing me $3000. I cried. I called all my friends, several who have had Subaru headgasket issues, and my mechanic. I was stuck. I called Subauru as well. They opened a case investigation. They found that the recall was for a certain kind of headgasket leak and my car had a different kind of headgasket leak…here is where I began to get angry. Excuse me, how nit picky do you need to be? As nit picky as they can get away with so they do not have to pay for all the failed headgaskets out there. I spent much time on the phone with them over a couple of days. They finally offered me $500, told me I have one week to choose to take it or not, and refused to send me anything in writing confirming their results and offer. I was left a very dissatisfied and disillusioned customer. I chose to take the $500 because I knew I did not have the $$$ or wear-with-all to take on such a monstrous company. The dealership were not customer service oriented either, but I was stuck 5 hours from home on vacation. I write because all I have is my story to tell. I hope someone else can fair better than I in a similar situation. Cartalk was right when they suggested that you try and talk with the area representative. That may help. But do not expect Subaru to support you even when their workmanship fails.

May I ask what code was present? What code does a failed headgasket generate? I would expect a engine missfire code. I wouldnt expect to see a code that translated directly into “failed headgasket cyl whatever”. But I could be suprised Are we still using OBD2 in 2008? Is this set for a update? I seem to remember it being around since 1995.I know the OPs car is a 2002.