Blown Head Gasket '02 (STOCK) WRX need some advice - Page 2
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This is a discussion on Blown Head Gasket '02 (STOCK) WRX need some advice within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Surely they would've put the right radiator in it anyway. When I first talked to the mechanic, he said putting ...

  1. #16
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    Surely they would've put the right radiator in it anyway. When I first talked to the mechanic, he said putting the new radiator in it was what caused the gasket to blow. I'm not really sure what he meant by this, maybe that there was damage to the haed gasket that we didn't know about initially and by putting a new radiator in it, it finally made the gasket fail. I don't know, yet. I'm going to talk to them tomorrow, so I'll have more information as to exactly what caused this to happen.

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  3. #17
    Registered User teflon_jones's Avatar
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    Yeah you need more information. It doesn't make any sense that a new radiator would cause the head gasket to blow, unless something was somehow installed incorrectly. But I'm struggling to think of what they could do as part of a radiator install that would cause a head gasket to blow...
    Scott
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    Since the problem here is the head gasket and most likely something else that caused the gasket to go, I'm really leaning towards trying to find a good used motor to put in it and replacing all the cooling system parts with new ones. Since the car has such high miles, just replacing the gasket seems like it could be a waist of time. I feel that more should be updated than just the gasket and I don't know if I should do this myself and risk having something go wrong. I'll be finding more out tomorrow as to what all went wrong here and hopefully that will lead me more towards my decision. Can somebody tell me what you would want to know about a used engine before buying one?

  5. #19
    Registered User Bugeye5's Avatar
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    @ mainframe. U wouldn't happen to still have that motor would u? I'm in desperate need of 1. My number is 432-209-1772 text,or call anytime
    Last edited by Bugeye5; 02-28-2012 at 04:15 PM. Reason: Forgot to add contact info

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    So listen to this...After letting my car set in my shop for about three months trying to decide what I was going to do with it, since Reliable Imports/Subaru in Springfield, MO diagnosed it with a blown head gasket, it is back on the road and I didn't really do a damn thing to it. After putting in a new radiator when the old one went, I blew a hose and it got a little hot. I immediately took it back to Reliable Subaru, they charged me for a diagnostic to tell me the HG was blown and said 7 grand to put a used engine in it. They wouldn't let me talk to the mechanic and the rep told me that misfire codes were the only thing they based the diagnosis on, which he assumed must have been from all cylinders. I had a existing cylinder 3 mis and occasionally 1, common, so I was skeptical about this $95 diagnostic being based on returned misfire codes. But, I took they're word for it as it did get pretty hot once and started mentally prepping to pull the engine and repair it myself. When it came time to pull the trigger on the project, I thought I should just first put a new radiator outlet hose on it and change the coolant just to be sure that wasn't the only problem. Did that, drove it a bit, appeared to be pushing coolant still. Smoking a lot from burning off coolant that was leaking onto the exhaust, but it was holding normal operating temp. I let it set for a few more weeks thinking that it indeed had a blown head gasket. Went back to give it another test drive and no smoke or overheating even under boost. Still wasn't convinced that it was fine, let it set for a few more weeks. Nearly three months passed with this thing setting in the shop and me not wanting to pull the engine. One day I thought, maybe the radiator hose was all that was wrong with it and all that smoking was just from excess coolant that got onto the exhaust and took a long time to burn off. So I went and took it on an extensive drive and no problems. Now I'm back driving it everyday and life is good once again. 8)
    I know not all mechanics or shops have your best interest in mind 100% of the time, but for them to tell me that I'm screwed and need a new engine just makes them look like dumb asses. So, the lesson to be learned here is strictly on Reliable Imports and RV in Springfield, MO which is pretty self explanatory....GET A SECOND OPINION if you ever end up having to deal with them, or just pull the cars error codes and base all possible terminal problems on that alone.....BBBBSHHHHHTTTT. F'n bush leaguers.
    I couldn't be happier now, I missed my scoob. Now just to replace the back hatch glass that some jealous prick thought should be shattered. He already made me put in a new windshield and drivers side window....There are some amazing people in this world aren't there!!

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    I am having some of the same issues as 02Waggoner posted in 2011, my son ran the car hot, we towed it and were told it was going to need head gaskets, the have never called me back, it's been 3 weeks so I called today and am told his motor is blown, that it was caused from the head gaskets being blown. There is only 68,000 miles on the car and it's a 2006 model. Please advise if this is even possible?

  8. #22
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valerie View Post
    I am having some of the same issues as 02Waggoner posted in 2011, my son ran the car hot, we towed it and were told it was going to need head gaskets, the have never called me back, it's been 3 weeks so I called today and am told his motor is blown, that it was caused from the head gaskets being blown. There is only 68,000 miles on the car and it's a 2006 model. Please advise if this is even possible?
    It's not impossible.

    It's also not professional. There was no reason to not call you for three weeks. Strongly consider your options in terms of other shops and other estimates.
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    Hello, you responded to my previous post and I continue to have issues with this shop. It has now been 3 months, we still don't have the car and I have been on the phone with these folks once a week for the past 2 months, I went there today and I was told he
    had the heads back on and was getting ready to drop the motor back in the car, but now he says there is a "burn" on the piston which will keep it from holding compression which was brought on by the car getting hot, but he never ever told me about this when
    it was all broken down and I could have looked at it. He said getting a new motor is the same as getting pistons, which I told him I may be female, but I don't think I'm that stupid, I think you can get a piston without getting a whole motor, but he says it's cheaper
    to buy a whole motor than 1 piston, especially if you have to break the motor down to repair the piston, to which my reply was "The motor was already broken down...... why wasn't I called to look at it and why wasn't I given an option to replace it", he says the car is not drivable as it is, Can anyone comment on this? This is so above my head, I'm drowning here....

  10. #24
    Registered User Obeisance's Avatar
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    What is the car worth, and how much will your bill be in the end?

    If they've put the engine back together after replacing the headgaskets, then presumably they're doing a compression test to tell that the piston rings or valves (or the head gasket) are not properly sealing. Have they told you what numbers they've measured? I suppose I would probably not have been able to tell that a piston was a problem upon removing the heads, unless there was significant cylinder scoring, so I won't fault them for this (you're all strangers to me, after all, so you get the benefit of the doubt).

    I think that in order to replace a piston, the engine has to be pulled from the car, and the two halves must be split. That is a big job for a shop trying to be fast and cheap in order to save/make money (although, three months to change a head gasket seems like they're stringing you along). Thus, as a parts cost, the piston is much cheaper, but the labor is the balance of cost in the comparison.
    David - '05 WRX

  11. #25
    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    Unfortunately tearing down a complete boxer motor is labor intensive. The mechanic does not need to completely tear down the motor to in order to inspect the piston caps. To replace a single piston he does. I do agree that several months is ridiculous as far as turn around time but sometimes it is lesson learned (as in find another mechanic,especially one who specializes in Subarus). I f you are unhappy with the way things are going then explain to him your concern and advise you have no problems sharing your experience with their shop with the BBB.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obeisance View Post
    What is the car worth, and how much will your bill be in the end?

    If they've put the engine back together after replacing the headgaskets, then presumably they're doing a compression test to tell that the piston rings or valves (or the head gasket) are not properly sealing. Have they told you what numbers they've measured? I suppose I would probably not have been able to tell that a piston was a problem upon removing the heads, unless there was significant cylinder scoring, so I won't fault them for this (you're all strangers to me, after all, so you get the benefit of the doubt).

    I think that in order to replace a piston, the engine has to be pulled from the car, and the two halves must be split. That is a big job for a shop trying to be fast and cheap in order to save/make money (although, three months to change a head gasket seems like they're stringing you along). Thus, as a parts cost, the piston is much cheaper, but the labor is the balance of cost in the comparison.

    The car value differs depending on whether you are trading or selling it yourself, but the kelly blue book values it at around $20,000 (without engine issues of course). The mechanic didn't mention compression tests to me, he simply said he saw
    the "burn mark" on the piston. I googled simply that and I got a quite different response in that this could happen and would happen in a turbo charged engine that has too much boost pressure and not enough fuel. The car is turbocharged. there were many things listed on this google search to check for to see if this was the problem, none of which he (the mechanic) has done. He quoted me $2590.00 for replacing the head gaskets, and repairing the car, He told me that there was no evidence of the aluminum block being damaged, it were not warped. I don't understand why he would see this piston issue and not call me to advise before putting the car back together? He's had it long enough to rebuild the motor from scratch for
    goodness sake!

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    I have always used this shop for my Dodge Durango, although I have had very few problems with my car, so I took the Subaru to him and he didn't have any issues with it until he had the car about 6 weeks, then he called and told me he didn't know how to "put it back together" and was going to call a friend in from Subaru to do so, and I never heard back from him so I had to call again and it was still not back together. If he had the engine out and broken down enough to view this "burn" on the piston, isn't the engine broken down
    enough to repair it as well?

  14. #28
    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valerie View Post
    If he had the engine out and broken down enough to view this "burn" on the piston, isn't the engine broken down
    enough to repair it as well?
    No. Just the heads have to come off to view the piston. On tradition motors (V configuration and inline) the crankshaft can be accessed by removing the oil pan. From there you can remove the piston rod cap and remove and replace a single piston quite easily. On a boxer motor the engine case/block is in two pieces and needs to be "split" in order to access the piston rod caps.Then the fact that this guys is not experienced working with Subaru's just adds to the complexity.


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