Is a weeping head gasket a sign of imminent head gasket failure?


Asked by Jun 05, 2016 at 01:42 AM about the 2005 Subaru Outback 2.5 i Wagon

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I recently bought a 2005 Subaru Outback 2.5I with a MA reconstructed title.  
It has power steering leak a little over 79000 miles and weeping head gasket.
I got it for $4450 with 2 warranties dealer 60 days or 2500 miles and a
C.A.R.S. warranty for 3 months or 4500 miles. Dealer seems to be paying
games about his warranty. He wants me to wait until June 26th. I believe he
thinks he wrote warranty for 30 days which is allowed by MA warranty law if
over 6years old and over 80,000 miles then he would not have to fix for
$100.My questions are actually 2. His mechanic says some bearing? Is failing
in rack and pinion.  I have not had car long enough to see if leak is severe. I
have not even put 200 miles on her yet. His other mechanic believes that
passenger side HG is weeping. Are these considered drivability issues?
Dealer  MA warranty ONLY has to cover drivability issues. C.A.R.S warranty
does not cover oil leaks only combustion,coolant issues which 2005 2.5 don't
have. They also can use crappy a ss USED PARTS and customer has to pay
for diagnosis and teardown so they might pay if they feel like it.  Car runs
excellent looks decent other than bumper cover,1 headlight,taillight looks
older than other,drivers seat has 4" rear on seam. Oil is overcooked by
thumbs width. I'm  changing oil this week. AT a little overkill but not much is
still red. I don't know about front and rear diffs. Coolant is nice and green as it
should be. Dealer states timing belt but water pump not  changed more b.s.
on his part. Is checking timing belt hard? Should I have transmission
flushed,cleaned serviced? Car does not seem to like 30MPH 25 ok 35ok
unless you use cruise control. Is this a concern or normal for Outbacks of this

6 Answers

Tom Demyan

Ugh, sounds like you bought someone else problem. Not sure on the law in MA, but most dealers will give you a 30 day drivetrain warranty, that is if the engine, trans or differentials fail. The other used car warranties are provided by 3rd party companies and they usually don't cover small things and if there is a major issue will try to skirt the issues and put off the problem. Is this a used car dealer? Yes they will play games and wait it out, they don't want to spend anymore money on a car they only make a few thousand on. If they do decide to take it back and fix it, they will do enough and cheap enough to pacify you. Chalk it up to a learning experience and see if you can fix things yourself. If you plan on keeping it use a good local mechanic to diagnose and fix it correctly.


Yeah, like Tom said, that's a lot of money to spend on an old Subaru with problems- why would you do that? the world is full of cars-

Bob Beaman

Buying any 11 year old vehicle is risky. Buying one with a rebuilt title adds to that risk. Buying an 11 year old Subaru should be done with a head gasket replacement in mind if they haven't been recently replaced. Subaru has lots of issues with head gaskets. Regarding may be worth your time to spend $100 at a lawyer's office having him review the warranty documentation you have been given.


Subaru, HEAD GASKET, DOHC ENGINE FAILURE KING unfortunate.. The cost of tuition in any case, If they do anything to correct issues... rid yourself of that thing ( as quickly as possibly) a novelty vehicle at best. Be thankful you didn't spend more money one a newer one!


Did you purchase this from a "used car dealership"? And,. if you did, do yourself a favor and make sure that you please purchase your next vehicle from a "new car dealership" the next time. It's harder to find older models than 5 or 6 years from a new car dealership,. but, occasionally they have older models and are a safer bet.


Any updates? You get rid of it / aka - take it back? Is fluid low in the power steering res? or is it oil from the head gasket? Overfilled oil isn't a good scenario for boxer engines iirc...

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