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Old 02-02-2021, 08:35 PM   #1
BLA1R
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Unhappy Head gasket replacement... I need advice

2009 Impreza 2.5i with 115k miles.

The local Subaru dealership wants $2900 to replace the head gaskets (because of a leak). I'm not sure what to do. Less than two years ago I replaced the timing belt. The car has new wheels/tires, nice soundsystem and nice tints. I feel financially invested in this thing ($20k+) so i'm sort of leaning towards just paying it.

Is that price high? I saw another thread where the person's dealership was doing it for around $1500.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated and thanks in advance.
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Old 02-02-2021, 09:44 PM   #2
md00150028
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Where are you located? Any reputable Subaru shops in the area? I'd much prefer one of them do it over the dealer, regardless of the price.
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Old 02-02-2021, 11:28 PM   #3
BLA1R
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Chicago
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Old 02-03-2021, 07:51 AM   #4
md00150028
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Maybe someone will jump on here who lives in the area to give you a recommendation of a shop.

If we are talking $1500, I think it is worth it to just fix it if you really like the car. It looks like it Blue Books on the high end at $5,000, and it you could probably get that for it, especially if you have the documentation that the head gaskets have been fixed. At $2,900, I don't know what I would do. I hated my 2011 Impreza Outback Sport, so I'd probably want to get rid of it, but unless they are giving you $2,000 for a trade, you are technically "losing" money. I think it just comes down to how much you like the car. Sigh. This situation sucks.

Again, I'd say try to find a shop that will do it for less. There's got to be someone on here who lives in your area. I'm basically only replying to bump this to the top.
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Old 02-03-2021, 09:19 AM   #5
Samurai Jack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLA1R View Post
2009 Impreza 2.5i with 115k miles.

The local Subaru dealership wants $2900 to replace the head gaskets (because of a leak). I'm not sure what to do.

Is that price high? I saw another thread where the person's dealership was doing it for around $1500.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated and thanks in advance.
Head Gasket at 115K seems far too soon.
Ever use this Dealership before or did you just go to them at random?

Price for services, whether at a Dealership or any other garage / tuner shop, is based on the area you live in and what that area will bear for pricing.

In Chicago, that may be the norm.
Dealership procedures for this include pulling the engine for easier access to the heads. It's been said elsewhere that this can be done with the engine in the car, but there would be a lot more frustration with the task.

Suggest you search your local forum for shop suggestions in your area.
Consider getting a 2nd opinion before committing.

Have you asked this Dealership to show you exactly where the leak is and are they sure it is a head gasket leak and not something else?
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Old 02-03-2021, 09:29 PM   #6
MafiaFrost
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Have you considered doing it yourself? It's definitely not something everyone can do but if you have the time and the resources it would save you a big chunk of money. Do you know how they diagnosed a leaky head gasket? As someone else said, it seems a little early for that.
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Old 02-08-2021, 09:42 PM   #7
quick16g
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Make sure to find out if they send the heads out to a machine shop. I work at a Honda dealership and one of the guys did head gaskets on a forester a few months ago and we always send the heads out. Not sure how much the total bill was though. Just consider that when pricing. Getting the heads sent to a machine shop is important in my opinion.
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Old 02-09-2021, 07:34 AM   #8
md00150028
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Forgot about this. My Subaru guy charges $2,000 for head gaskets, along with the timing belt, oil pump, etc. (all in one package). He also sends the heads out to a machine shop. Agreed with the sending the heads out.
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Old 02-09-2021, 11:00 PM   #9
AliBenn
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For example
Dealerships charge $180 an hr
Some shops charge $100 an hr

Find a reputable shop that is familiar with Subarus
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Old 02-14-2021, 05:40 PM   #10
Jubbsta
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Hey, seems like typical dealer price especially for a metropolitan area. My biggest questions are what did you bring the car into the shop for? Was it an issue related to the head gaskets or was it an oil change and the tech noticed they were going out? Also how many hours did they quote you? I agree, small indie shops will do things for a fraction of the price - just make sure it's a shop that's familiar with these engines. I don't recommend trying the repair yourself if you haven't done much more than a brake job in the past. These engines aren't very easy to work on.
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Old 02-14-2021, 10:29 PM   #11
CosmoTheCat
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I've done warranty head gaskets at under 40k miles before. Stuff happens.
$2900 seems really high, but the shop rate in your area could well be quite a bit higher.

SOHC heads are often done in-car. If they're just doing heads, and not resealing other things, it's faster.
Personally, I pull the engine and reseal everything when I'm doing side work.
Last dealership charged 12 hours for a head gasket job. That's reusing everything but the gaskets, drop exhaust, pull intake off, engine mounts loose, valve covers off, heads off.

I'd want to know how bad they're leaking. Do you smell burning oil? They almost always leak oil for a long while before they *need* to be done.
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Old 02-27-2021, 09:35 PM   #12
SubiSIR07
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Most dealers in my local area never send the heads out or even attempt to verify everything is flat. It's all about how fast they can get the car in and out of the shop. Many people are suggesting finding a private shop that specializes in Subaru and I agree. The dealership is the last place you want doing major engine work. I'm not saying all dealers are the same but I've worked at multiple and every time it was always more about how fast you can get it done/sell and less about actually doing the job correctly and making sure it's correct.
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