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Head gasket on way out. my 03XT

head gasket leak water

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7 replies to this topic

#1 curryracer


Posted 29 September 2015 - 06:38 PM

Help! I think one of my head gaskets has gone.
I had a loss of coolant this morning from a split in the 3 month old rad.
The mechanic who stripped the rad out today suggested that one of the hg may be allowing the combustion to pressurise the cooling system causing the rad to split.
Has anyone else heard of these symptoms before?
Ballpark figure to change one. And how to work out WHICH one?

#2 BansteadStig


Posted 29 September 2015 - 08:24 PM

You won't need to worry about finding out which one. If you have a head gasket problem then you'll need to do the lot.

It's a heads off, engine out job, which is why it is costly. You'd be mad not to sort the lot. There may be some machining needed.

However, before worrying about that you need a proper diagnosis. Probably a compression test is your best bet.

Is the mechanic a Subaru Specialist?

#3 curryracer


Posted 29 September 2015 - 08:55 PM

Bugger. Thought that was the case, but hoped otherwise.

Getting rad changed then will get him to do comp test and the "combustion gas in coolant" one.

He's not a Subaru socialist - one of his staff had to ask me where the spark plugs where ffs!

#4 BansteadStig


Posted 30 September 2015 - 06:54 AM

The compression test should show which cylinder is the problem, so technically that'll identify the culprit.

However, as I say, you'll need the lot done and it'd make no sense not to do a full job.

I'd strongly recommend finding a specialist to do the work.

Whereabouts are you? If you're in Surrey I can recommend someone.

#5 curryracer


Posted 30 September 2015 - 07:13 AM

Thanks for that but I am on the other side of London on the Herts/Essex/London border.

Would definitely use a specialist if there was one within a reasonable distance. I will check the rest of the forum and other Subaru ones to see who recommends where.

Thanks again.

#6 BansteadStig


Posted 30 September 2015 - 09:21 PM

There's a sticky on subaruforester.org in the European section that would be worth a look.

I don't know that area well I'm afraid.

#7 curryracer


Posted 10 October 2015 - 03:03 PM

Cheers. Finally had time to go through all the posts and found one (Subaru forester parts) about 4 miles from home. Happy days!

Also good news is that looks like I only had a slightly dodgy rad. It lasted 3 months before leaking from the join between tanks and core. Pressure test was OK as was hydrocarbon in water test.

Now I can start looking at upgrading the suspension with all that cash I've saved. Bring on the opinions!!

#8 BansteadStig


Posted 10 October 2015 - 07:05 PM

Great news!

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