1998 Subaru Outback

Tiny
FSHENAVE
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 SUBARU
I've heard that Subaru had a problem when they first introduced the 2.5 liter engine (especially in the 1998 model). The car would overheat and blow the head gasket within the first 50K miles. Even when the owners fixed the problem it would reoccur after 20-30K miles of being fixed.

Can you comment on this issue and how to fix the problem so you can avoid overheating & blown head gaskets?
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Monday, March 5th, 2007 AT 12:44 AM

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Tiny
SCUBARU
  • MEMBER
The first generation 2.5l has had some head gasket issues but there is an updated headgasket available from subaru. The problems are mainly from 97 to 99 and from what I can tell the updated gaskets last much longer. But all that said its all about the maintenence habits and the driving conditions. On a Subaru if the oil and coolant arent changed lots and often you will always have head gasket issues. Its all about the design of a horizontaly opposed engine and the fact that the fluids are always in contact with the head gaskets. If the oil is old and contaminated with fuel (which is what happens to oil over time) or the coolant is old and has high electrolysis levels the head gaskets are going to suffer. On an engine that is a inline or v design the fluids will generally drain down below the headgasket
level, And as a result they arent as sensitive to old oil and coolant. But in my opinion the positives of the boxer engine allowing for increased ground clearance and superior allwheeldrive function far outway the headgasket issue. So the most important aspect of the head gasket repair is the quality or completeness of the repair and the followup maintenence after the repairs
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Monday, March 5th, 2007 AT 11:16 PM

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