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Subaru head gaskets 2003 and newer

My 2003 Outback has just 77,000 miles and I was just told the head gasket is leaking. I too was told about $2200 to fix it (at dealer), who also said maybe if I called Subaru and complained about this happening at relatively low mileage they’d chip in. Questions: (1) has anyone had success getting Subaru to help pay for this, and if so, who do you call and what do you say? (2) If I do have it done, what are the chances of it happening again–i.e. is there a structural problem in the engine block or anything? (3) Does anyone know if newer cars (2007 and later) also have, or are likely to have same problem? This is my 4th Subaru, and I love the Outback, and was just considering getting a new one anyway, but geesh, I sure don’t want to have this happen!

Complain to Subaru and do not threaten but explain your ownership of fourth one. Some 2003’s were covered by an extended warranty.

If you cannot get Subaru to cover most of it, walk away from the dealer and have a good local guy do it. It’ll probably be cheap enough to match the dealer with Subaru’s help :slight_smile:

You’re in luck! I think. I work for a Subaru dealer and can honestly tell you that your Outback is in the right mileage range to have head gaskets leaking. We deal with this on a DAILY basis! One of the things Subaru is good for is pitching in on this problem. They know they had problems, they fixed the problem in 2005 (supposedly). We rarely ever have a problem with cars 2005 and newer. I would highly not recommend buying a used Subaru from a dealer. They are overpriced, under maintained, and often aren’t worth the money they ask. If you want to sink some money into yours, call Subaru yourself and tell them your situation. I belive the number for subaru is 1-800-Subaru-1. Most likely they will help you. If not, go to your dealer and find out what they can do for you. And to answer your question, the chances of it happening again are slim to none because the new gaskets will be a slightly different material than the old gaskets. Subaru got smart and did this so that they dont have to keep pitching in on repairs. Good luck and let us know how you make out!

Maybe the reason there’s not a rash of '05 and newer head gssket failures is because not enough time has gone by for the problems to start occurring.

Give it a couple of years and see what happens. This has always been the trend in the past and since Subaru has a 30+ year record of head gasket problems, gasket changes, tech solutions, etc…