Head gaskets question for 2010 and up models...... only.

21,795

Asked by Oct 16, 2016 at 08:30 PM about the 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

Question type: General

This question is aimed at those who have a 2010 Subaru Outback or later.
Has anyone experienced a head  gasket failure?   And, what was your total
miles when this occurred??    

Subaru re-engineered the old head gaskets design and the problems of the
2000s and prior really diminished...

By the way, if you don't actually own a Subaru, please skip answering this
question...

Thank you for your input.

32 Answers

6,855

Your report has been submitted. Thank you!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
5,570

Starting your own database, Grasshopper? Your sampling universe is (and will be) too small to have any validity. Regardless, you already learned that the 2000-2009 era HGs were replaced by a more robust design, but that the problem with the prior era 2.5i was with its fragile DOHC design. Some 2010-2011 Imp/For 2.5i still may be suspect, however, depending. What (and why?) are you trying to learn here?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
25

Most late model subarus experience this problem around 140000kms and up.This is the forth generation subaru and it all started in1996 with the introduction of the 2.5 litre engine

21,795

Ernie, you've got a problem with being informed??

5,570

Not at all. But my early training in sampling statistics AND knowledge of the facts suggest your polling will be powerless, and thus meaningless.

5,570

See? Petrney's remark is an uninformed, simplistic, incorrect conclusion of the underlying facts and data. Where ya gonna put it, Mark?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
21,795

Ernie,. I'm thinking that head gaskets might last long enough for me to sell my car around the 11 to 12 years range without any problems. And, get into another younger model?? I'll see later when I get closer to this milestone. It's always good to get feedback from others owning this particular vintage 2010 to 2014 or later.. if I can dodge this bullet, I'd rather do that... I'm pretty conservative with my cars - how else did you think that I got almost 20 years service from my 1995 Honda Accord? Besides, cars really last longer in SoCal...

6,855

Is the outback your retirement mark?

5,570

Hi Mark, Walt, et al. I wouldn't worry about the HGs in the 2010+ 2.5i...and since salt- free but hot climates have different issues, I'f perhaps focus more on dry-rot issues with rubber parts than metal corrosion. So start checking your t-belt annually for cracks after the 8 yr mark, and watch those hoses and brake lines, etc. Rubber hates ozone too! Aside from this easy stuff I fear that you'll be forced to a probably rude decision point when the CVT acts up. After all, it IS Subaru's big guinea pig of the 2010-2012 era; even the Phase 2 (2013+) are failing alarmingly....

5,570

Walt, I thought your query was aimed at ME! Ha. But yes, I doubt that I'll be around once the best-handling 2013-2014 OBs age out, as it looks like Toyaburu won't make a good-sized fine handling 5 door until after the next redesign...probably 2020...if history serves correctly. It'll have been an interesting four decades for me, eh?

21,795

Ernie, YES, I understand about the heat issues.... That is why I've thought about replacing the timing belt in the eighth or ninth year, just to be safe.. About the CVT....I had the transmission fluid changed by the Subaru dealership and it's running fine at 81,000 miles... I'll keep an eye on this.. you know, you can buy a new car even for $5,000 , SO, even if I were to have a costly repair, it would probably be something I would NOT have to revisit for a very long time... still, would rather not have to do this. There's no car out there without issues... This will not be my last car and depending on how the overall service is on my car, I'll decide whether or not to continue with Subaru... Funny thing on how you mentioned the 2020 model, I was thinking about one of these later on.... we'll see.... This is NOT Subaru's first CVT...that would date back to the Justy from 1989... And, CVTs are not at all new by any means, they've been around a long time... As for failing everywhere...sure, all the samples you see are failing, you're in this business, but, the question is what's the overall percentage...do you actually know... And, at what mileage?? I'm thinking around 125,000 to 150,000 average.... http://www.curbsideclassic.com/curbside-classics-asian/curbside- classic-extra-justification-four-door-subaru-justy/

5,570

Asking "the overall percentage" is the wrong question, as it's a moving population curve. Interestingly I checked out about a dozen CVTs last week; three (a 2010 and two2013s were too- buzzy or whiney. The bearing-noise failure may be correlated with use, but not consistently. The torque-converter failures seem more random across years and mileage. We're all afraid that lack of robust construction will be Subie's "new head gasket-like-crisis" era...but now Toyaburu's getting a bit too big to hide in the shadows and dodge bullets....

76,935

The issue with CVT's is that they are new technology as far as automobiles are concerned. Sure snow mobiles have them but all the automobile CVT's up till now have been a disaster. Maybe Subaru's is good and they seem to be the best but the rest are complete crap. Replacement costs for CVT's are astronomical meaning a lot of perfectly fine cars are going to be scrapped rather than pay more than the car is worth for a new CVT. My research has indicated that no one rebuilds CVT's and quite frankly I would be very skeptical of anyone that claims they can rebuild them. CVT's might save you a mpg of gas but the cost on the back end will wipe out all those savings and then some. This is Subaru trying to please the MPG fascists in the government and passing the costs back on to the customer.

76,935

The only way I would buy a CVT car would be with an extended warranty with a plan to sell the car before the warranty runs out.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
21,795

Full_of_Regrets, please see this information below from Wikipedia, here's an excerpt from this page, again, CVTs are NOT new.... they are newer in domestic cars but, they have been tweaked . Older versions used rubber belts, Subaru uses a metal band or belt that is much more robust, And, sorry Ernie, but, overall numbers DO count, so, when you can show actual evidence of two or three of EVERY CVT transmission failure at under 100,000 to 125,000 miles, then and only then will I take your comments seriously. Yeah, there are lots of people who ABUSE their cars and cause their own problems... I don't think you're really talking about those people? Finally, if you are really expecting the Subaru CVT transmission to fail so prematurely, how can you justify selling a late model Subaru Outback as you do with advanced mileage?? Remember the person who went 300,000.... He just periodically had the transmission fluid changed. Normal maintenance and normal driving,. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuously_variable_transmission CVTs have been used in aircraft electrical power generating systems since the 1950s and in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Formula 500 race cars since the early 1970s. CVTs were banned from Formula 1 in 1994 because of concerns that the best-funded teams would dominate if they managed to create a viable F1 CVT.[3] More recently,[when?] CVT systems have been developed for go-karts and have proven to increase performance and engine life expectancy. The Tomcar range of off-road vehicles also utilizes the CVT system.

5,570

So much useless noise again, Mark. The steel belts in Subie's iteration are not the problem; the BEARINGS (simple tech) and torque converter are. Dop you realize that your "two or three of EVERY CVT transmission failure" is nonsensical? Maybe a typo....

21,795

Ernie, look, my simple point is this.... you're in the auto shop repair business, of course you're going to see the problem cars! You can't just make wide sweeping assumptions about an entire class of vehicles on the small sample size you see coming to your shop or even your friends in the business. That's all...

6,855

ummm no. for someone who "used to buy and sell used cars" MARK, you should know better. He doesn't seek out bum cars to fix them.. he inspects cars with the intent to buy/sell cars that don't seem to have issues. blah, blah, blah mark.. give it up

5,570

Thanks, Walt. Mark simply doesn't understand sampling theory...or much statistical science at all. It's okay, except he continues to act the poseur....

21,795

Walt/Ernie- must be nice living in a fact free bubble, see this thread and comment from an engineer. So, you guys know more than a real engineer?? No,. I'm not an analyst, but, apparently you are? I'd like to just take your myopic view, but, NO, I'm going to have to put more emphasis on what an engineer says and I've had personal conversations with other engineers who have told me similar things about how good CVTs are. Sorry...... www.subaruoutback.org/forums/138-gen-5-2015-present/184610- cvt-reliability-vs-standard-automatic.html I've read about 4 specific CVT catastrophic failures reported on this site. That's out of ~450,000 CVT outbacks sold 2010-2014. As an engineer, early in my personal new-car search I had concerns about the long-term reliability of Subaru CVTs ... even though they have been building them in one form or another for more than 30 years. So far I have been impressed by the relative lack of defect or failure reports on the Internet and elsewhere. The Subaru defect/failure rate seems to be immensely lower than that for the GM and Chrysler conventional automatic transmissions I'm more familiar with. (My wife's current daily driver is a '98 Dodge Caravan with 284,000+ miles on the original 3.3 liter V6 engine and "fragile" A604/41TE transmission.)

76,935

Mark a few outliers are not statistically meaningful. The fact that a CVT costs double or triple that of an automatic is meaningful. The fact is that NO ONE has had a successful CVT in a car. NO ONE. MAYBE Subaru will pull it off but the jury is out still. Engineer largely deal in theory Mark and not enough time has elapsed to make a case for Subaru's CVT.

76,935

Mark, if a Subaru CVT craps out at 150,000 miles would you spend 7 to 9 grand to fix it?

6,855

mork, click^^best answer

5,570

Mark: again: huh? A "real engineer"! WTF do you think I did for 8 years in biochemical lab equipment design, manufacturing engineering and publication of my work as ASTM and ISO standards BEFORE taking on a secoind career as Boston's SubaruGuru? Sometimes you can be a REALLY insulting little shit...talk about myopia....

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
76,935

I only supervise engineers in the construction industry. Some are good, some are clueless.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
21,795

Apologies to you both, but, I'm sure you are hoping that the CVT transmission by Subaru is better than we all think....

76,935

Hope springs eternal.

5,570

It's interesting that following the failure of a VERY high number of wheel bearing hub assemblies on Legs/Obs to 2009 and Imps to 2007, Subie replaced with a longer, supposedly more robust part. I've needed one for an '09 Imp and now for a '12 also...which is HALF of the Imps I've bought in the past two years! Makes me wonder if the "refreshed" 2013 CVT is using changed "better" bearings in this app too; but i doubt it as I've found a pair of '13 and a '15 bad CVTs with noisy internal bearings. The HEART of the CVT is okay...it's the brain and the legs that are under-engineered.

6,855

Is there any interchange in knuckles between L/O and Imp/Foz.. I see people take complete knuckles all the time. I'm thankful I haven't had issues with any bearings yet but I don't get it.. do people run the bearing so hot that it welds the race to the knuckle?

5,570

CVTs seem to vary willy-nilly across all apps: some L/OB have a CVT with a TC BELOW the body, whereas some (like maybe all Imps w/ 2.0) have a TB on top of the body (making replacement harder). Since the bearings aren't separately replaceable I don't the part number app matrix. Subie's been known to vary parts seemingly randomly over the years.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
10

MArk I have a 2010 outback that is currently in the shop having the head gaskets changed. I have 113300 miles on it. However the head gaskets were done at 68000 miles. I am not a happy subaru owner right now. I was thinking of looking at a new outback with the 6 cylinder engine but may consider other options first since they have oil leakage issues with these engines. Other than these issues I love the car.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
21,795

fjk799- I see, are you the original owner of this car? 68,000 miles is pretty early to have this failure. Did your car overheat and cause this to occur? And, what happened at 113,000 miles? Do you have the CVT transmission? And, if you do, is this working fine for you? I have 83,000 miles on my 2010.... No problems with overheating or head gaskets... I hope you had them replace the head gaskets with the multi layered reinforced gaskets. See this link below, http://www.felpro-only.com/blog/sealing-subaru-2-5l-engines/ https://allwheeldriveauto.com/six-star-subaru-head-gasket-kits/

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