Question about Subaru Forester

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This car has been a bad nightmare that i am going to wake up from soon it has been leaking oil and smoking out the exhaust (blue smoke)and losing a qt. of oil a tank of gas.i am sure it is coming from the head gasket a common problem from what i have read.i was considering doing the job myself but i have not done this style of engine and was wondering if anyone had a detailed procedure for this and if i do one maybe i should do both any advice from an expert is appreciated

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  • glennandj315 Jul 26, 2009

    thanks for your quick response,i found a local mechanic who has experience with this problem i don't believe the car was ever overheated but, i don't know for sure. the engine sounds fine and runs ok it has averaged around 28 mi per gallon not great but i guess it is exceptable ihave kept a close eye on the coolant level and temp gauge it hasn't given any sign of losing coolant just the oil issue


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First, you need to figure out what caused the problem in the first place, because just replacing parts won't prevent the problem from returning later. Do you know which of the two heads is the problem? Buy a Haynes manual from a local auto parts store and get busy!!! There is probably a lot of room under the hood of your Forester to work with. Start with a good shampooing of the engine compartment at a do-it-yourself car wash. Has your engine ever been overheated?? Usually an overheat will cause a head gasket to go bad because of a faulty fan switch or temp sensor. There is a product at most of the large chain auto parts stores that can reseal a leaking head gasket without removing the head. You should be using only Subaru anti-freeze in this car, as the regular "green" stuff used in most American cars is too caustic to aluminum parts and may be the cause of your leaking head gasket. I've seen Japanese heads that look like Swiss cheese because the owner used improper coolant. I wouldn't change the head gasket unless you were totally sure that nothing else would help, but you can do it yourself if you are determined enough but you are going to have to pull the engine to get the head gasket replaced and you should just change both since you will have it out anyway. The reason it is such a pain to and you have to do this is because it is a boxer engine and the heads are up almost against the wheel wells. Again, the haynes manual will save you if you decide to do this as it will have full instructions with pictures on how to do this. You are going to need a lot of tools that you probably don't have that could run you up to $1000, so it is your choice how you want to proceed. A Subaru properly maintained should last for 250,000 miles or more, with proper attention but then again this car is known to have its problems. Let me know how this turns out.


Posted on Jul 25, 2009

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