Independent Subaru Service

Welcome to A&A, The Shop, your dealership alternative for auto maintenance, diagnsotic, and repair solutions.

Head Gaskets

Subaru makes one of the best engineered automobile engines in the world. But, A&A the Shop has seen an increasing number of Subaru cars with failing head gaskets. This generally happens around the 100,000 mile mark and needs to be repaired quickly, before even more extensive damage occurs to your car's engine. While Subaru is aware of the problem, they only offered to extend the manufacturer's guarantee on certain 2003 models; it was extended to 8 years or 100,000.

The Subaru Head Gasket Problem

A number of Subaru models are affected, including the 2.5 Liter engine used in the Legacy Outback (1996-1999), Legacy GT (1996-1999) and the 1998 Impreza RS appear as the models most often afflicted with failing head gaskets. Also afflicted with failing head gaskets is the Forester 2.5l SOHC (1999 – 2011) Legacy 2.5l SOHC (2000-2009) and Impreza (2005 and newer)

Signs and symptoms of engine head gasket failure include:

  • Engine overheating
  • Unexplained loss of engine coolant without an obvious sign of leakage
  • Coolant with an odor of engine exhaust or oil
  • Discolored coolant in the coolant recovery container (sooty of black color)

Call A&A The Shop

A&A the Shop is Anchorage's alternative to high priced Subaru dealership repairs. Our service technicians are experienced Subaru mechanics and we always use parts that meet or exceed OEM specifications. Call us at 907-562-3919 to answer any questions you have about your Subaru and its head gaskets or bring your car in for an estimate. We are located at 4617 Old Seward Hwy Anchorage, AK (map). You can email us too!

Replace the Head Gaskets Not the Car

Even though replacing the head gaskets on a Subaru is an expensive repair, the good news is that we at A&A the Shop have been dedicated to getting a design which is much better than original equipment. Subaru has changed the design of the head gasket on some models and our replacement gaskets do the job extremely well. Subaru brand cars are renown for their durability and most Subaru cars can give you more reliable miles following head gasket replacement.

Replacing the head gaskets gives us the opportunity to make other important parts changes while we have your motor disassembled. Seals and gaskets that are subject to wear will be changed out during the replacement of your head gaskets. In addition, the water pump, timing belt and timing belt tensioner pulley can be replaced for far less than normal while the engine is open.

But, A&A does a thorough inspection of your car before asking you to authorize the work so that any other potential and costly issues are found. Certainly, you would be a bit put out to discover after a major engine repair that you also need a new exhaust system!


There is no known way of preventing your head gaskets from failing on your Subaru. However, following proper maintenance schedules and using genuine Subaru parts and fluids can prolong the time of failure. A&A wants you to know that not all cars will fail. That is why when we do your oil change we physically inspect the seal made by the head gaskets to see any early warning signs of failure. The local oil and lube place does not provide this service.

Early detection of failed head gaskets is important to prevent other damage to your engine. While replacing head gaskets on your Subaru you can take advantage of the situation by replacing key items such as the timing belt or timing tension pulleys for far less than as a routine service. Trust your Subaru to A&A the Shop and get the most professional and affordable Subaru head gasket replacement in Anchorage. Call us now at 907-562-3919.

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A&A, The Shop is an independently owned and operated facility and is not affiliated with Subaru of America, Inc., Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd., or Toyota Motor Corporation
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