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#1 2017-03-05 11:31:02

Scalawag
Member
Registered: 2015-01-09
User Number: 27224
Posts: 9

Head Gasket Blew on the Saabaru - Advice Needed / Philly Shops

Hey y'all,

I'm in desperate need for some input from the community on this one.

Bought a black 2006 Saab 9-2x 2.5i (non-turbo) about 2 years ago with 80K on the clock. Figured I'd end up dealing with a timing belt issue but before that even came into play, I blew a head gasket at 105K miles. Car is in otherwise fantastic shape with a 1" lift, bigger tires, new brakes/rotors, plugs/wires, roof-rack/aero bars, dialed in stereo, super clean interior, leather, heated seats, etc.

I've been without a car for the entirety of February while dealing with this and having to ride my motorcycle which in the dead of winter hasn't been the funnest. So far I've gotten two shops to take a look at it, both of which declined to do the work without doing an engine swap. (Citing that it would be more cost effective to do this vs. repair.) Even with a swap, we're looking at 3 - 4K. I can get a whole new car for that cost.

I see stories of people getting head gasket repair jobs done for sub-2K. WHERE IS THIS POSSIBLE? I live in Philadelphia and can barely get anyone to even call me back.

Should I just suck it up and sell the car as-is? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

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#2 2017-03-05 13:15:55

Saaba05
Member
From: Vancouver Washington
Registered: 2013-08-16
User Number: 10185
Posts: 84

Re: Head Gasket Blew on the Saabaru - Advice Needed / Philly Shops

Repair shops are covering their asses because if they do a tear-down and find other things broken that needs fixing, it can easily snowball in cost and get you and the shop hostile.

I've heard of used car dealerships tell me they have in-house shops that can do head gasket swap for sub $500 but that's complete bull.  Your best bet is to find a performance shop that is itching for business and see if they'll do it for the sub 2k.  Otherwise, it's a can of worms because you can't really tell how bad it is until the tear down and that's too far committed already to back out.

Good luck.


05' Saab 92x - Stage1 DP & Flash.  Dynamometer Dyno: 201.7HP 210TQ
02' Outback Sport - Hybrid Swap.

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#3 2017-03-05 16:33:33

Scalawag
Member
Registered: 2015-01-09
User Number: 27224
Posts: 9

Re: Head Gasket Blew on the Saabaru - Advice Needed / Philly Shops

Right - and honestly I understand where they are coming from, but since I got the CEL for a misfire, the car hasn't been driven. It's been towed everywhere. There is no way it has overheated since this occurred in January and it hasn't been driven in temps above 35 degrees at all. Point being I doubt the heads are warped or anything crazy because it was running perfectly until it started misfiring and leaking oil. I guess I am just at a loss about where to turn. At this point it still makes more financial sense to repair it than take a huge loss on an otherwise good car. I still have dreams of extending the lift and upgrading the suspension for full rally mode. Sigh. Thanks for the input anyway! I really appreciate it.

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#4 2017-03-05 17:17:32

snowphun
Member
From: Central CT
Registered: 2005-11-09
User Number: 890
Posts: 226

Re: Head Gasket Blew on the Saabaru - Advice Needed / Philly Shops

You could have been driving the car with leaking head gaskets for a long time, so it is likelyyou had oil and coolant mixing, and you can certainly overheat an engine even if it's cold out. You'd be nuts to pull the engine and not have the heads decked.

EJ25 Subarus have been blowing head gaskets since the 90s, this is dime a dozen repair work. Find a local Subaru repair shop and accept that you may be in for more than head gaskets once they pull it apart. Would be a good time to change the clutch, timing related bits, make sure the valve cover gaskets are solid... It won't be cheap but you'll have a setup that should be good for a long time.

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#5 2017-03-05 18:27:47

Scalawag
Member
Registered: 2015-01-09
User Number: 27224
Posts: 9

Re: Head Gasket Blew on the Saabaru - Advice Needed / Philly Shops

snowphun wrote:

You could have been driving the car with leaking head gaskets for a long time, so it is likelyyou had oil and coolant mixing, and you can certainly overheat an engine even if it's cold out. You'd be nuts to pull the engine and not have the heads decked.

EJ25 Subarus have been blowing head gaskets since the 90s, this is dime a dozen repair work. Find a local Subaru repair shop and accept that you may be in for more than head gaskets once they pull it apart. Would be a good time to change the clutch, timing related bits, make sure the valve cover gaskets are solid... It won't be cheap but you'll have a setup that should be good for a long time.

I guess at this point the problem is I can't even find a Subaru shop that will deal with it, and the one that did wanted $4K for an engine swap and refused to repair it. I, like you, figured it was a fairly common problem but it's been a month of daily phone calls and I can't get anywhere. I even had one shop tell me, "I'll only do it if I am desperate for work, which I probably won't be - anyway, I have your number."  unamused

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#6 2017-03-08 21:21:15

stanjk3
Member
From: West Chester, PA
Registered: 2015-11-15
User Number: 34296
Posts: 35

Re: Head Gasket Blew on the Saabaru - Advice Needed / Philly Shops

Are you in/near the city or the suburbs? I use FAST in West Chester for my LGT. http://www.fastofwestchester.com/index.html


2006 9-2X 2.5i
2005 Legacy 2.5GT limited wagon

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#7 2017-03-12 22:23:14

Scalawag
Member
Registered: 2015-01-09
User Number: 27224
Posts: 9

Re: Head Gasket Blew on the Saabaru - Advice Needed / Philly Shops

stanjk3 wrote:

Are you in/near the city or the suburbs? I use FAST in West Chester for my LGT. http://www.fastofwestchester.com/index.html

Wouldn't you know it... This is EXACTLY where my car is right now. Bunch of the Subaru guys in the area recommended them and they gave me a great price. (Sub-$2K) Another less reputable shop quoted me similarly but I decided to go with the guys that everyone trusts.

Now that the car is getting fixed, I am finishing up the suspension work I started last year because now this is my car for awhile. tongue

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#8 2017-03-15 23:44:35

tooalmazing
Member
Registered: 2016-08-04
User Number: 37561
Posts: 71

Re: Head Gasket Blew on the Saabaru - Advice Needed / Philly Shops

@Scalawag

I'm sorry to hear bout your car. I have the exact same car as you and am curious about the cause of the blown head gasket. Did you experience any tell tale signs before the head gasket blew up? Did you check your coolant regularly and found that it was low? Was your oil constantly low? If so, did you refill as soon as the fluid levels went low? Thank you for your help.

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