Most all modern aluminum motors are suffering with some form of head gasket failure. Many different manufactures have experienced some form of head gasket issue. There are lots of questions and not nearly as many answers. We at Suburb Service have questioned Subaru with little success, we have questioned different gasket manufactures and they have provided us with many different opinions but no real cast in stone answers.
Now I don’t even want to have anyone think that I am an engineer or a designer because I’m not. I will offer a few of my observations based on over 40 years in the automotive repair field. These observations of course are my thoughts and ideas and coupled with 15 cents won’t buy you a cup of coffee at mickey d’s.
Reason for Subaru Head Gasket Failure
In my opinion the head gasket failure issue developed about the same time our Federal Government decided that asbestos was no longer a product that was safe to use both for the environment and humans. Once this heat dissipating material was removed we began to see an uptick of issues with the following automotive products that contained asbestos. The major automotive products were clutch linings, brake shoes and pads, and of course head gaskets.
Asbestos is a heat dissipating material that resists heat and acts as a high temperature sealer. Once asbestos was taken off the market the automotive repair industry has seen a marked increase in head gasket failure. Going back to the Subaru as late as 1990 through 1995(+ -) Subaru was using a fibrous gasket with asbestos. This gasket material had sealing qualities and when the heads were torqued the gasket actually squished and crushed between the head and the bock making a near perfect seal. We used these gaskets on all 2.2 Subaru motors with minimal head gasket failure. Once these asbestos impregnated gaskets were removed from the market place we then saw an upsurge in 2.2 head gasket problems.
We have attached for you an information page on head gasket failure and cylinder-head bolts from one of the oldest and largest gasket manufacturers in the world Victor Reintz. This information will help you understand why your head gaskets may fail in your Subaru. This information will also give you insight into the issues we see daily as a Subaru Service Center. Please take the time to read this latest information so you can be better informed and make better decisions regarding the maintenance and repair of your Subaru. Together we can keep your Subaru running longer and at less repair costs for you.