Are Subaru Foresters prone to leaking oil from Head Gasgets?

Asked by Dec 27, 2013 at 04:26 PM about the 2010 Subaru Forester 2.5 X Limited

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

This is my 2nd Forester.  My first was a 98 (1st year they came out) and at 150K I was told by Subie Dealer my H Gaskets were leaking badly and I would need serious repairs like a new engine!!  I was amazed since I thought Subies lasted forever!  
I got rid of the car.  Now I own a 2010 Forester with only 70K and the dealer says the H Gaskets are leaking!  They intend to contact Subaru to see if Subaru will help pay for the repairs.   But after reading what others have gone through, it looks like I may not get any help!   I am fed up with Subaru.  I need a 4 wheel drive vehicle but I also need it to last!   Any Suggestions??

Angry in New Jersey!

14 Answers

5,985

Foresters specifically are not prone to head gaskets, the 2.5L engines from about 98-05 or 06 were prone to head gasket issues, the one you have now is newer than the time frame when they were having that big problem. I say have the head gaskets done but when they are replaced make sure the shop replaces them with a multi layer steel (MLS) head gasket, they are reuseable so wont have to be replaced if the heads ever need to come off and you really wouldn't have to worry about them ever again. The only reason manufactures don't us them is instead of being say $200 for a pair of the composite gaskets the company uses they are $3-400 for a pair but again rarely ever need replaced, unfortunately the mind set of any car company is that once it's past the warranty which your car made it past, it's no longer their problem and if you go back to them for repairs it's just more money for them. Find a privately owned shop that you trust and the repair wont cost as much as at a dealer either.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
61,165

Chevy Trackers are good little 4 wheel drive vehicles. Dependable and long lasting. BTW my supervisor has an '03 Subaru Forester. Same deal. He had to have his head gasket done about 2 years ago. HTH. -Jim

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
5,985

Head gaskets are a maintenance item on all vehicles and they are recomended to be done at the same time as your timing chain or belt. on a subaru that should be every 120K miles reguardless, these gaskets failed early and sometimes that just happens. My 98 Forester has 170K with orrigional headgaskets, my 02 forester has 140k with orrigional head gaskets, my 93 Legacy has 190K with orrigional head gaskets.

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.
47,095

What Nick said about head gaskets. My research indicates the 5 Star brand head gaskets are the best. To do the job right the engine really needs to be pulled and the head and block surfaces carefully prepared. I would consider installing new head bolts while you are at it and make sure they are torqued according to the proper procedure. That said your car should have gone a LOT longer than 70,000 miles. My 2002 Forester has 197,000 on the original gaskets and still runs good. There are steps you can take to extend the life of your head gaskets - use a good grade gas and if you car pings use a better grade gas. Maintain your battery connections, radiator coolant and use the Subaru anti-leak in the radiator. Alumaseal also works well.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
70

Hi, It happened to my Subaru Forrester 2010 on my way back from North Carolina to Montreal. Leaking head gasket and side gasket. It cost me a new timing belt set and time....1377$. That's not supposed to happen for quality cars. JP from Montreal.

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
47,095

A big part of the problem with Subaru's is the open block design on the engine. If Subaru would go with a closed block system the head gasket problem would be a thing of the past. I have to disagree with Nick a bit and say that head gaskets while sometimes needing replacement are not a maintenance item replaced on a schedule like timing belts at least not for any car I have ever heard of.

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.
60

I have a 2009 with a leaking head gasket, I am surprised I did expect expect. My son has a 2014 Impressa with the oil consumption problem 1 quart every 1000 miles. My new car is a 2016 Honda CRV, no more Subaru's.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
20

my 2010 outback was just diagnosed with a HG failure at 93K miles Subaru should stop spending their money advertising how reliable their vehicles are and start actually improving known issues. Bye Bye 4 cylinder subie

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Was looking at getting a 05 Subaru outback for cheap but I came across this forum luckily. No way. Anyway, driving a 99 Mazda Protege with the 1.6 and have 351kms and running smooth. Ac stopped working but great car.

20

I have just found out my 2010 forester is leaking oil as well. What is the result after you contacting the Subaru or the dealership? Please let everybody know. Is there an existing lawsuit on issue?

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
25

I had a head gasket leak on my 2010 Forester at only 120k miles. I was furious, the dealer wanted $2000 to repair. I called Subaru Of America and they gave me $500 towards the repair. I am thankful and its better than nothing but it shouldn't have happened in the first place.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
10

yup 01 forester same issue and with other leaks. Big mistake to purchase any model with this engine. The money they put into a quality sound system should have been used instead for more reliable engine/////////parts design. But then again they did have a nuclear power plant blow up as well that all humanity will suffer from the radiation. So not just the few of us idiots who chose a subaru.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
20

I have a 2010 Subaru Forester with 140,000 miles and was just told my head gaskets are shot. Subaru will contribute $500 toward the replacement.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I purchased a used 2010 Forester with 20K in 2014 but the dealer was nice enough to supply and extended warranty as part of the sale. Lucky me because at 50K Leaking head gaskets! Repair covered by Subaru and they even supplied a loaner car! I also opted to have Timing belt, tensioner, Water pump and some other minor maintenance items addressed which ended up costing me about $800+ I still plan on keeping this car for my college student son. Really satisfied after all was done. I figured I saved a bunch on labor for the timing belt replacement albeit a bit early.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

Forester

Looking for a Used Forester in your area?

CarGurus has 22,781 nationwide Forester listings starting at $1,499.

ZIP:

Search Subaru Forester Questions

Subaru Forester Experts

#1 Nick Eidemiller
Nick Eidemiller
Reputation 3,520
#2 walth
walth
Reputation 2,840
#3 lifeson34
lifeson34
Reputation 2,460
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Outback
300 Great Deals out of 29,744 listings starting at $1,200
Used Honda CR-V
811 Great Deals out of 59,372 listings starting at $1,200
Used Toyota RAV4
642 Great Deals out of 61,987 listings starting at $2,450
Used Subaru Impreza
176 Great Deals out of 13,341 listings starting at $1,817
Used Subaru Legacy
208 Great Deals out of 16,088 listings starting at $1,300
Used Subaru Impreza WRX
37 Great Deals out of 1,139 listings starting at $1,500
Used Toyota 4Runner
315 Great Deals out of 20,549 listings starting at $2,295
Used Toyota Highlander
475 Great Deals out of 25,073 listings starting at $1,500
Used Ford Escape
1,116 Great Deals out of 90,856 listings starting at $1,295
Used Nissan Rogue
561 Great Deals out of 75,583 listings starting at $3,495
Used Toyota Tacoma
619 Great Deals out of 35,127 listings starting at $2,155
Used Subaru Impreza WRX STi
29 Great Deals out of 584 listings starting at $9,000

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Subaru Forester For Sale
14,634 listings starting at $20,970
2016 Subaru Forester For Sale
46 Great Deals out of 1,322 listings starting at $16,999
2015 Subaru Forester For Sale
64 Great Deals out of 1,738 listings starting at $12,491
2014 Subaru Forester For Sale
47 Great Deals out of 1,506 listings starting at $7,900
2013 Subaru Forester For Sale
11 Great Deals out of 352 listings starting at $8,821