Overheating sporadically? Water backing up into the engine creating pressure?

Asked by May 13, 2013 at 02:44 PM about the 1999 Subaru Forester Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2001 Outback which had to get an engine rebuild 3 years ago at miles 124K due to water backing up into the engine and coming out the pistons - symptoms were car overheating and stalling.  Now I'm told my 99 Forester has the same problem at miles 138K.  I was also told that this is a problem with that era Subaru engine.  True? Anyway to fix besides a complete rebuild?

6 Answers


Replace the headgaskets with some more durable headgaskets.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Nick, how extensive is the headgasket replacement job?


well with as many miles as you have if you havn't done a timing belt, oil and water pump recently do them as well since you'll be taking the timing belt off and retiming the motor when you reassemble but aside from that it's loosening your motor mounts, jack the motor up a bit, remove the valve covers and heads, remove the old gaskets, and assembly is reverse, that's the basics of it.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Had timing belt, had water pump replaced already - somehow all this sounds complicated and expensive since I will be paying someone to do it. thanks.


I wanna say to have the head gaskets could run you between 600-800 bucks, get layered "cosmetic" gaskets for the replacements and you'll be golden for a long time.

thanks - I guess I need a new mechanic since I'm being quoted $1700. Of course I'm in California where all this stuff is more expensive. I think I have to use this as an excuse to get a new car. thanks.

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