Do you notice oil leaking or the engine of your Subaru heating up? This unfortunate problem seems to be a recurrent complaint among Subaru owners, especially those with more than 100,000 miles on their cars.
Your Subaru’s problem may very well be in the head gasket, which is a part of the engine that separates the oil from the coolant. When it breaks, it can cause multiple problems that lead to engine overheating.
If you’re wondering how much Subaru head gasket replacement costs, keep reading!
The Cost of Replacing Gaskets for Different Styles of Subaru
When you go to a car dealership or an independent workshop to ask for a head gasket replacement, you’ll be given a wide range of quotes.
This depends on several factors, including the model, year, and mileage of your Subaru, as well as labor costs in the area you live in.
However, we have a narrowed-down estimate so you can have an idea before going to the shop. These costs are for the 2.5L models.
The cost of head gasket replacement for the Outback is anywhere from $1500–$1800.
The cost of head gasket replacement for the Legacy is $1500–$2000
The cost of head gasket replacement for the Forester is about $1000–$1200
The cost of head gasket replacement for the BRZ is about $1500
The cost of head gasket replacement for the WRX is between $1000–$1400
The cost of head gasket replacement for the Ascent is less than $1500
The cost of head gasket replacement for the Crosstrek is about $1400–$1700
Are There Any Other Costs?
If your mechanic takes a look and decides the timing belt, clutch, spark plugs, water pump, and/or other parts need to be changed, it might cost you an additional $700–$800 in parts.
Since the engine needs to be removed to change the head gasket, you might as well save on the labor cost and change these parts as well. You’ll have your car ready for at least 100,000 more miles.
When Do You Need to Replace the Gasket?
- If you notice oil pooling from the engine, this means your head gasket is broken.
- If your car runs out of coolant since the gasket is what helps the coolant flow and cover the cylinders. You’ll know when you notice the heat gauge on your dashboard is going up.
- If the oil and coolant intermix since the head gasket is what separates their compartments.
- If there’s white smoke coming out of the tailpipe as it indicates coolant inside the combustion chamber.
- If your car heater doesn’t work since the coolant is what transfers the heat from the engine to the car’s heating system. When it leaks out, you won’t have enough to warm up the cabin.
Ignoring the signs indicating that you need to replace your head gasket can have some unfortunate results. When the coolant escapes and reaches the oil compartment, it reduces the oil’s ability to lubricate.
Lack of lubrication can cause more friction between the moving parts, which generates heat. Without adequate cooling, this can lead to engine failure.
The Process of Replacement
Some people with enough experience servicing their own cars might be comfortable doing this as a DIY job.
This requires you to have a basic mechanic set, as well as more advanced equipment like an engine crane, an engine stand, a sprocket tool, and a torque wrench.
The gasket kit comes with other pieces than the head gasket. You also get gaskets in the set that are fitted to the valve cover, the oil pan, the throttle body, and the spark plug tubes.
As for the process, it’s fairly straightforward:
- Start by draining the coolant and reserving it for reuse.
- Disconnect the battery.
- Disconnect and remove the spark plugs, timing belt covers, and the first two catalytic converters.
- Use the sprocket tool to remove the belt camshaft sprockets.
- Remove anything blocking access to the engine’s sides.
- Remove the engine cover by loosening the bolts in reverse order, the heads will come off.
- At this point, you can get the heads serviced at a workshop where they clean them and check for the correct pressure. An optional but recommended step.
- Remove the old gasket.
- Clean the studs very well to make sure no coating residue is still intact.
- Put in the new gasket set.
- Lubricate with engine oil.
- Use the torque wrench to tighten them to the specified torque in the correct order, so the head doesn’t warp.
How Much Time Does It Take to Replace?
Head gasket replacement usually takes 2–3 days. Some dealerships and workshops offer car rental services for the duration of the repair.
How Long Will the Replacement Gasket Last?
If you get good-quality gaskets, they usually last for 100,000 to 160,000 miles before you need to replace them.
How to Maintain Your Head Gasket Normally?
In order to avoid the costly ordeal of head gasket replacement, make sure you’re checking up on the condition of your cooling system regularly.
In normal circumstances, this means a full flush of the cooling system every two years. However, you can do it more often if you suspect the coolant level is getting too low.
It’s also important to look for signs of damage elsewhere in the system. Worn-out belts and hoses can cause problems and will need to be replaced regularly as well.
Subaru head gasket replacement can be an expensive repair, but it’s essential for the well-being of your car’s engine.
If your car has a history of heating up, white smoke coming out of the tailpipe, or intermixing between the oil and coolant, you need to check on the status of your head gasket immediately.
Ignoring this repair can put your engine at risk of failure since overheating can damage the moving parts.
Just check with your local dealership or workshop, and hopefully, you’ll get your Subaru as good as new.