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-   -   Do my head gaskets need replacing? (

Altair 04-28-2013 10:29 PM

Do my head gaskets need replacing?
Hey everyone.

i currently have an issue with oily brown residue in my coolant overflow tank, although i have no leaks, no overheating engine, no visible signs that there is a genuine head gasket problem. besides the oil residue in my coolant all is well. what can i do? what should i do?

thank you in advance.

(subaru liberty 1999, 185,000km, no check engine, automatic, 2.5L 4cyl, ej251)

Mothali 04-29-2013 05:42 PM

Brown gunk in coolant, I would say you likely need gaskets. I'm surprised you haven't done it sooner, the 251 is notorious for head gaskets, so don't skimp on the gaskets... buy Subaru turbo gaskets....

Altair 04-29-2013 08:35 PM

thank you for the reply,
ill get the changed as soon as possible. any specific turbo gaskets? or any model liberty turbo gaskets?

drew1531 04-29-2013 08:40 PM

I would sugguest 6-star gaskets. I don't know how factory turbo gaskets are but 2.5, 1995-1999, and 2000-2004 , are constantly need changing.

Altair 04-29-2013 09:13 PM

do you know any good brand? im situated in australia and they charge insane amounts for the smallest of parts so i dont want any regrets too early down the road.

Edit: i just realised 6 star is the brand, sorry :/

4doors4hp 04-30-2013 08:04 AM

honestly, just get the multi layer steel gaskets from subaru. they come off a subaru wrx sti year 2006. they end in 610 i believe. i used them on my car a month ago, and its still running like a charm. they are about .1mm thinner, so you gain 1hp maybe. woot. either way, cant go wrrong with sti gaskets

tajturner 05-01-2013 08:16 PM

I was just told by my local indie six star shop that I need my head gaskets replaced in my 2004 legacy gt. They told me that all it will do right now it leak oil and antifreeze externally. They said i could go on just topping off the fluids.

How much should this cost?

monkeyposeur 05-01-2013 09:29 PM

You can get your heads decked, HGs replaced and fluids replaced in the states anywhere from $1200-2300 depending on where you go. This isn't a hard and fast rule. Do it yourself and save a some $$$.

Watch your temp gauge and check your fluid religiously and you might be able to get by for quite a while, although this isn't a recommendation. ;)

As far as the shop saying you will only leak externally think about this; you are getting oil/hydrocarbons in your coolant overflow tank. Doesn't sound right to me.

Altair 05-02-2013 01:32 AM

It still drives well for now, although they charged me well up to $2500 which insane amount especially for a person that studies and doesnt make enough working night shift as a janitor to pay that kind of price :(

smithr 05-02-2013 11:17 AM

I'm going to look at a 2004 Outback 2.5L this weekend. Is there any quick and easy way to tell if it probably needs head gaskets other than brown gunk in the rad overflow tank? I've seen other 2.5L Legacy/Outbacks that have had some fresh oil sitting in spots on the top of the right hand (passenger) side of the engine. Is this also a sign of HG problems?

sirstinky 05-03-2013 01:17 AM

Looking for HG gasket leaks on the later EJ's (2000-2004), can be a little tricky as they are mostly external leaks and not the internal leaks of the earlier 2.5's. The internal leaks are pretty easy to spot...gas/exhaust smell in the overflow, ruddy, brown and cloudy coolant in the radiator, obvious visible leaks of antifreeze and/or oil, white smoke out the exhaust, and overheating. External leaks take some snooping to find. Like you mentioned, visible leaks of oil or coolant are the obvious indications. Look under the car at the bottom of the engine and look around the passenger (right) cylinder/block joint. Look for seepage, oil, or crusty white deposits around the gasket area. Obviously, don't mistake it for oil spilled during an oil change as the filter is close to that area, but those could be signs of a slow "weeping" leak. An external leak is "better" than an internal leak (which will almost always cause overheating and slow engine death), and you can still drive the car just fine for a while, but a good idea to have them changed eventually.

Mothali 05-04-2013 06:24 AM

There are test strips one can purchase to check for internal leaks. Dip the strip in coolant, strip will turn a colour indicated on instructions if exhaust gases are present. To check for external leaks you really need to clean the engine up, run the car and look for fresh leaks.

sirstinky 05-05-2013 10:34 AM

Yep. There is also a tool that you can fill with an indicator fluid. The tool fits ver the radiator fill hole and with the car running, you put the rubber end over the opening and watch for the color of the fluid to change. If it changes, there are combustion gases leaking into the cooling system which means failed gaskets.

Caboobaroo 05-05-2013 10:57 AM

If the coolant has brown gunk, it can also be the Subaru coolant conditioner, or stop leak in a Subaru bottle. If you have the head gaskets replaced with a multi layer steel instead of the single layer coated OEM gaskets, no need for the coolant conditioner as it'll eventually plug up your radiator and blow the head gaskets internally.

Seen a few cars that this has happened to.

4doors4hp 05-06-2013 11:44 AM

it is common to see it on the top right area of the motor, simply do it yourself, save the money, and enjoy the build. after doing it once, i could do it again in 2 days.

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