How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Head Gasket on a Subaru?

Subaru cars are known for their durability and reliability, but even the most well-maintained vehicles can experience issues with their head gaskets. A head gasket is an essential component of a car’s engine, and it’s responsible for sealing the combustion process and maintaining proper pressure. When a head gasket fails, it can lead to overheating, engine damage, and other costly repairs. In this article, we’ll dive into the cost of replacing a head gasket on a Subaru, including parts and labor, as well as tips for maintaining your head gasket to prevent future issues.

What is a Head Gasket?

A head gasket is a thin layer of material that sits between the engine block and the cylinder head, sealing the combustion process and allowing coolant to flow through the engine. It’s a vital component of any engine, and if it fails, it can lead to significant damage and costly repairs.

Common Signs of a Faulty Head Gasket

If you suspect that your Subaru’s head gasket is faulty, there are a few common signs to look out for. These include:

  • White smoke coming from the exhaust
  • Overheating or constantly low coolant levels
  • Loss of engine power or acceleration
  • Bubbles in the coolant reservoir
  • Sweet-smelling exhaust fumes
  • Milky oil on the dipstick

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s essential to get your car to a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.

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The Cost of Replacing a Head Gasket on a Subaru

The cost of replacing a head gasket on your Subaru will vary depending on several factors, including your location, the age of your car, and the specific repair shop you choose. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,200 to $2,000 for parts and labor.

It’s important to note that this is a significant repair, and it’s not something you should attempt to do yourself unless you’re a qualified mechanic.

Factors That Affect the Cost

Several factors can affect the cost of head gasket replacement on your Subaru, including:

  • The severity of the damage
  • The age and mileage of the car
  • Your location and the cost of labor
  • The specific repair shop or dealership you choose
  • Whether or not you choose to replace other parts while the head gasket is being replaced

To get the most accurate estimate of the cost to replace your Subaru’s head gasket, it’s best to get a quote from a qualified mechanic.

Comparison of Prices at Different Repair Shops or Dealerships

To ensure you’re getting the best price for head gasket replacement on your Subaru, it’s recommended that you shop around and compare prices at different repair shops or dealerships. Keep in mind that the lowest price isn’t always the best option. You’ll want to choose a reputable mechanic who uses quality parts and has experience working on Subarus.

Tips for Maintaining Your Head Gasket

To prevent future issues with your head gasket and save on costly repairs, it’s essential to maintain your Subaru’s engine properly. Here are a few tips:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule
  • Check your coolant levels regularly
  • Avoid overheating your engine
  • Use high-quality oil and oil filters
  • Have your car inspected by a qualified mechanic at least once a year
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By following these maintenance tips, you can keep your Subaru’s head gasket in good condition and avoid costly repairs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does it take to replace a head gasket on a Subaru?
A: The time it takes to replace a head gasket on a Subaru varies depending on the severity of the damage. On average, it can take anywhere from 6 to 10 hours.

Q: Will insurance cover the cost of head gasket replacement on my Subaru?
A: It depends on your insurance policy and the specific circumstances surrounding the damage. Some policies may cover the cost of head gasket replacement, while others may not.

Q: Can I drive my Subaru with a faulty head gasket?
A: It’s not recommended to drive your Subaru with a faulty head gasket, as it can cause significant damage to your engine and lead to costly repairs.


Head gasket failure is a significant issue that can impact the performance and longevity of your Subaru. While the cost of replacement may vary, it’s essential to seek out a qualified mechanic and choose quality parts to ensure the repair is done correctly. By properly maintaining your head gasket and following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, you can avoid costly repairs and keep your Subaru running smoothly for years to come.

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Peter Banks

With years of experience as a professional mechanic and Subaru specialist, Peter is one of the most respected members of our team. He's written several articles on Subaru maintenance and repair, and his advice and tips are always practical and helpful. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes.

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