Question about 1995 Subaru Legacy

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Dealer says we need new head gasket on 2001 Subaru 4cyl.

States he sees evidence of coolant leak, ergo new gasket needed(??)

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  • eyoungstrom Dec 12, 2009

    Would a leaky head-gasket affect compression?

  • eyoungstrom Dec 12, 2009

    Would a "leaky" head-gasket affect compression?

  • blamo57
    blamo57 Apr 01, 2012

    subaru gaskets usually leak externally... some coolant leakage is normal.. subaru has a coolant conditioner that a couple bottles of that will stop coolant leaking.. if they are leaking oil its probably a good idea to replace them.. but externally leaking gaskets can still be driven, if you mind your fluids.. usually doesnt affect compression



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Evidence of a leaking head gasket would be coolant in the oil, oil in the coolant, or a rough starting, rough running motor.
The head gasket is the "weak link" between the cylinder head and the engine block. Not that it's ineffective, it seals the connection, but also provides a sort of safety valve to protect the head and block from worse damage.
The head has cooling channels as well as oil channels to provide oiling to the valve valvetrain parts in the head and to keep it from overheating.
So I would pull the oil dipstick and check for foaminess in the oil (water or coolant can cause this.
I would also check in the coolant reservoir to see if there's any oily build up.
If it starts hard, it could have coolant in one of the cylinders (fuel compresses, but water/coolant won't compress) So if when you're starting, if it doesn't turn over smoothly, that could be water in the cylinder...
If it's just leaking coolant it's possibly the head gasket too. But it could be a freeze plug on the side of the engine block. Freeze plugs are round metal friction-fit and there's a few in the engine block of most engines. These can leak as well.

Posted on Dec 12, 2009

    KEN LaPOINT Dec 12, 2009

    A leaky head gasket can most definitely affect compression. It all depends on where that head gasket fails... if it's close to the cylinder, it can leak compression and put coolant into the cylinder..



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Ifull the tank in the radiator but it will disaper but no leaking in the hose what would i do

If you are losing coolant then you have either an external or internal leak.
If you can find no indication of an external leak from the radiator, the radiator overflow tank, any of the hoses on the system or around the water pump fitting then you may well have an internal leak. Check the radiator overflow tank carefully and the hoses to it for any signs of external leakage.

An internal leak of coolant can be via a failed cylinder head gasket or a crack in the cylinder head or both. Coolant can then leak under pressure into the cylinders or into the engine's lubrication system and will then mix with the oil. Check the condition and colour of your oil for evidence of coolant contamination. Check your exhaust for a constant flow of white exhaust emissions which is evidence of coolant entering the combustion chamber.

If you have run the vehicle with the engine overheating this will generally cause failure of the cylinder head gasket and possibly a crack in the cylinder head.

Feb 18, 2016 | 2001 Ford Escape

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My audi A3 FSI 2004 Model is leaking coolant. I have to keep filling it up with water daily, as the coolant low warning sign keeps coming up evrytime i start the car. This car had a new water pump and head...

You're going to need to visually inspect for leaks and if no external leaks are evident I suspect your head gaskets are leaking again - check oil for coolant in oil - it will look milky

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Coolant leaking but no visible signs of where to..!?

Is it in a puddle on the floor? Can you see where it is dripping from? You don't want to look for smoke, you want to look for steam. A head gasket wouldn't leak coolant outside the engine without you hearing it or seeing it. It would get sucked into the cylinder and burnt off as steam. A radiator shop can run a compression check and tell exactly what is wrong. Keep an eye on the temp gauge just in case. We had a subaru here with a blown head gasket and it ran fine, then it would overheat, then be fine again,then over heat, then it finally blew, some 1500 miles later. We found it easier and cheaper to replace the engine that the heads. Hope this helps.

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Some things to look at: Is the coolant circulating through the block? Is the thermostat stuck closed? is the heater core blocked? Is it losing antifreeze?

Run the car to temperature and check the hoses to see if coolant is circulating. The top and bottom should be firm and hot. If the bottom is not firm then the coolant is not going through the block. Is there any evidence of coolant in the oil? If there is evidence of coolant in the oil (a milky appearance) then you know the heads/gasket were not done properly and are still leaking coolant. Does the heater work? If the heater does not work then you're getting a blockage or failure of the heater core.

Is there any evidence that the coolant tanks are leaking while under pressure? Have you checked the radiator to see if it's blocked or if the outside is obstructed in any way? Report back and we'll see where we are.

Dec 05, 2009 | Subaru Impreza Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

2001 grand cherokee - brand new radiator starts smoking every week - must refill coolant every week but no leaks anywhere. Help!

There is a leak. the coolant is going somewhare. where does it smoke from? thats where to start looking. if it smokes out the tail pipe, it could be coolant and may need a head gasket or head? A shop can tell you if theres a head gasket problem.

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I have a subaru forrestor and the coolant keeps getting used up very fast. I dont see anything leaking down but need to top up the coolant every week

one of your head gaskets is leakin crawl under and look towards the rear of the engine it will probably bea damp or have reidue on it

Aug 06, 2009 | 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee

1 Answer

I have 2001 suburu forrester..have had 2 problems in the last month(has88,000 miles) 1. leaking valve gaskets..oil everywhere, replaced all for 449.00! 2. in shop now for Cv joint(boot,shaft...

usually the valve cover gaskets are not the cause,the headgsket most of the time are either leaking coolant,oil or both! A Subaru dealer may possibly will be able to identify it properly considering this is a very common problem,usually the drivers side headgasket is the first the first to leak,if this is the case a call to subaru wouldn't hurt they may assist you in the repair, good luck!

Jul 10, 2009 | 2001 Subaru Forester

1 Answer

2001 subaru legacy leaking coolant from head gasket......

Your mechanic is ok with saying that...however you should replace both head gaskets. This can get costly if you take it to have it done somewhere, but if you use a manual from your local library or buy one from your local auto parts store, its a much more cost effective way of fixing it. You are ok to drive it, be sure to check your fluid before you do. I would look into getting these changed within the next few weeks.

Thanks for using Fixya!



Jan 06, 2009 | 2002 Subaru Legacy

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