Overheating 3.0 Outback has a head gasket leak--Should I be leery oflong-term problems upon repair?

Discussion in 'Subaru Outback' started by Tim, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. Tim

    Tim Guest

    Hi there: I posted about a month ago about temperature spiking issues
    I am having with a 2006 Outback 3.0 with 35,000 miles on it, and
    received several helpful responses on this list. Now I am in search of
    some additional help with new details about the problem.

    After having the dealer fail to reproduce the problem (or perform any
    service) in July, the vehicle was returned to me and was said to be
    “fine.” Yet the overheating problems continued intermittently over the
    past six weeks and spiked severely earlier this week during a 500+
    mile trip.

    The engine temp. spikes close to red zone after prolonged (1+ hours)
    highway driving—but ONLY when slowing into stop-and-go traffic or when
    stopping off an exit ramp. The temp. gradually drops back to normal
    range if you resume driving at highway speeds (i.e. greater than 3,000
    RPM). If car slows/stops after that, the temp. will again spike

    Dealer now says they have detected coolant at the right front spark
    plug and suspect a “tiny” head gasket leak. The vehicle will undergo a
    pressurized lock-down test tonight with the hope of pinpointing the

    So now my question is: What, if anything should I expect in the
    aftermath of this problem?

    Is it possible this has caused any serious long-term damage?

    Is there anything I should specifically be aware of for future

    Anything I should specifically ask the dealer to do (or get them to
    put in writing) once the vehicle has been returned to me so that I
    don’t run into problems down the line?

    Thanks in advance!

    Tim, Aug 14, 2008
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  2. Your symptoms seem consistent with a broken/intermittent radiator fan.
    Possibly it has a poor ground or chafing wiring harness or???

    That is why it cools when the car is moving, plenty of air flow.

    I suppose some issue with the water pump is possible. maybe it isn't
    moving the coolant well at lower RPMs? Nect time this happens, see if
    CAREFULLY; selecting neutral when stopped and the temp is high, rev the
    engine up to about 2500 RPM. If the temp begins coming down, I suspect
    some issue with coolant flow. Alternately, also get out, open the hood
    (again, with due caution) and see if the fan is turning.

    Carl 1 Lucky Texan, Aug 14, 2008
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