2003 Subaru Forester



April, 5, 2010 AT 3:00 PM

Engine Mechanical problem
2003 Subaru Forester 4 cyl All Wheel Drive Automatic 63000 miles

Near 58K mileage, a Subaru dealer did the left side gasket repair under warranty. I paid $700 for right side gasket, water pump and timing belt. I discovered they did not change the oil or oil filter when the work was performed. Regardless of make/model, is changing oil and checking for contaminants considered a critical step when changing head gaskets or when the work was done as stated above?

I'll post as a free question, then come back to the experts.


3 Answers



April, 7, 2010 AT 2:27 PM

Hi rrbowden,

Thank you for the donation.

First thing is why was warranty provided for one side and not the other sde?

What was the reason for replacing the gaskets? Overheating or leaking?

When head jobs are performed, it would be best to replace the engine oil as contaminants can get into the oil pan while performing the job.

However being a flat engine, it is possible to do the job without any contaminants getting into the oil pan so it is possible to do the job without replacing the oil.

Personally I do not replace the engine oil for every engine that I do for the jobs described. It would depend on the condition of the oil and situation.

If the problem was due to a blown head gasket, then yes, I would recommend replacing the oil.

If itis de to oil leages, it would be on a case by case.



April, 7, 2010 AT 3:31 PM

Subaru dealer indicated they would only replace the failed side, and would not do the other side, until it failed. I decided to be proactive and pay for the work to be done with it.

I never experienced overheating, and there were no oil leaks. I noticed the reservior bottle was low and small drops of coolant on ground.

Unfortunately for me, at 63K, the engine blew a rod, and I'm " working" w/Subaru America to discover if their dealer work was the root cause. I had a perfect service record, other than the fact the oil wasn't changed at the time of the warranty work.



April, 9, 2010 AT 2:09 PM

If contaminants clogged the oil passages and caused lubrication problems resulting in the blown rod, then it can be contributed to the job. For this to occur, it has got to be a lot of contaminants, enough to block the oil strainer.

However if it is due to mechanical failure due to parts failure, then it should not be the cause and I believe this is the more likely cause.

Without any physical examination of the failed parts and conditions, we are not in the position to advise of the cause.

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