When Did Subaru Outback Fix Head Gasket Issue: A Comprehensive Explanation

If you are a Subaru Outback owner, you may have heard about head gasket issues with the car’s engine. While this problem caused concerns for customers, Subaru was quick to address and improve the issue. In this article, we will discuss the history of the head gasket issue with the Subaru Outback, its resolution, and how it has evolved over the years.

What is a head gasket issue in the Subaru Outback?

The head gasket in a car engine is responsible for creating a secure seal between the engine’s cylinder head and the engine block. This seal keeps the engine oil and coolant separate and allows the combustion process to occur. However, when the head gasket fails, it can cause engine oil and coolant to mix, leading to overheating and engine failure.

In the case of the Subaru Outback, some models had an issue with the head gasket leaking oil and coolant, leading to a higher risk of engine overheating and failure.

When did the Subaru Outback first experience head gasket problems?

The head gasket issue with the Subaru Outback began in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The 1999 model was the first model year to experience the issue, and it persisted throughout the 2000s. Many customers reported failures of the head gasket at around 80,000 to 100,000 miles.

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What year did Subaru Outback fix head gasket issue?

Subaru Outback resolved the head gasket issue by the 2010 model year. They made substantial changes to the engine design that resolved the problem. Since then, the head gasket issue has been non-existent in newer Subaru Outback models.

Did all Subaru Outback models have head gasket issues?

Not all Subaru Outback models had head gasket issues. The failure rate of head gaskets was higher in turbocharged models like the Subaru Outback XT and the Subaru Legacy GT. However, some non-turbo models also experienced head gasket problems.

How can you prevent head gasket problems in the Subaru Outback?

There are a few things you can do to avoid head gasket failure in your Subaru Outback. These include regular maintenance checks such as checking for oil and coolant leaks, ensuring that the engine is not overheating, and using the recommended coolant for your engine. It is also imperative to address and fix any issues immediately after you notice them before they worsen.


In conclusion, Subaru Outback resolved head gasket issues by the 2010 model year. The head gasket fault was not exclusive to all models, and it was most commonly experienced in turbocharged models. The brand has since been committed to engine reliability, and the longevity of newer Outback models has remained unmatched. Remember to maintain your Subaru Outback to avoid engine problems and seek repairs immediately if you notice any issues.


Q: What are the common signs of head gasket failure in a Subaru Outback?
A: The most common sign of head gasket failure in a Subaru Outback is engine overheating. Other possible signs include coolant or oil leaks, white smoke coming out of the tailpipe, and a milky substance in the engine oil.

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Q: Do all Subaru Outbacks have head gasket issues?
A: No, the head gasket issue was not experienced in all Subaru Outback models. It was more common in turbocharged models.

Q: How much does it cost to fix a head gasket on a Subaru Outback?
A: The cost to repair a head gasket on a Subaru Outback can vary depending on the extent of the damage, but it can range from $1200 to $3000.

Q: What is the lifespan of a Subaru Outback engine?
A: With proper maintenance, a Subaru Outback engine can last up to 200,000 miles or more.

Q: Are newer Subaru Outback models reliable?
A: Yes, newer Subaru Outback models are reliable and known for their longevity. The brand is committed to producing engines with a reputation for reliability.

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Billy Covington

With a passion for all things automotive, Billy is our go-to expert on Subaru performance upgrades and modifications. He's been featured in several car magazines and blogs, and his extensive knowledge and expertise make him a valuable member of our team. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys playing guitar and writing music.

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