We have a 2009 Subaru Forester with just 49,000 miles on it. We have been told it is leaking oil, transmission fluid and coolant. Seems from reading these questions that the oil leak is common but what about coolant and transmission. I'm furious as we expect this repair to cost money.

Asked by Feb 12, 2017 at 04:23 PM about the 2009 Subaru Forester

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

20 Answers


It's gonna be expensive!


How long have you owned this car?

We bought it new but don't usually pay for the extra coverage on repairs. That probably was a mistake.


49k is very early for so many problems. Did you neglect the car?

We always follow the scheduled maintenance plan. We bought it for safety and a couple of other Subaru models are made in town. If indeed we are in for big expense we are considering a Ford Escape. Thoughts?


My son has a 2013 Escape AWD 2.0 Eco-boost. Although there have been recalls to get some design flaws fixed it has been 100% trouble free. An Escape may not get the same MPG as your Subaru, but they have been a very popular and reliable vehicle.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Thank you for your comment - it was appreciated.


The Escapes are not well regarded in snow county because their AWD is part time and does not work as well as the Subaru full time AWD.


I live in snow country and it rare to see an Escape, RAV4 or CR-V. You do see a lot of Subaru's though.

Not really in real snow country in Indiana but can have some snow. Any thoughts on a smaller SUV as a new purchase? Consumer Reports rates the Subaru as good but that does not match our experience with the 2009 model.


The new Subaru's may have oil consumption issues. If AWD is important look for full time AWD. The Mazda AWD system has been getting good reviews. Try reading this report on AWD cars ---- http://www.consumerreports.org/cars-best-all-wheel-drive-cars-suvs/

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Thanks. I stumbled on this site and really appreciate the help.


First, the '09 Subies do NOT have oil consumption issues. But they DO have head gasket failure,which initially manifests as a coolant leak from the #4 cylinder corner, followed sometimes by oil leakage from the opposite (right) head as age progresses. Simply get a competent HG replacement done ($1500-1800) and continue use for several more winters if you wish. If you want a NEW equivalent chase a new CX-5 for cheap or a new OB Limited w/ 18" wheels for a luxury equivalent.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I have the same problem with 2009 Forester that I loved and no extra money. Dealer quoted me 2700.00 to replace Head Gasket. A reputable mechanic said 2300.00 but he would not do it if it were him. Said a new engine would be smarter at 4000.00! I have body damage from a deer and need a new windshield soon. I need help knowing what to do. All advice appreciated.

I guess price must depend on where you live. Dealer said $2000 for head gasket and $200 for coolant fix. Reputable mechanic was approx $500 cheaper for fixing both. We are still debating - oil leak is not bad so mechanic said could wait for a bit.


Yes - they said I could get by for a little while putting lots of oil and coolant in. Wish I could find a reputable mechanic! Thank you for chiming in. This is a huge ordeal for me.


You folks may not be understanding that the oil AND coolant leaks emanate from the same culprit: leaking head gaskets. Here's the actual poop: 8 hrs labor (experienced mechanic)+ $200 outside machine shop work +$200 HG gasket job full "kit" equals $1200- 1600 depending upon where you live and whether an inexperienced but careful mechanic wants an extra 2 hours because of lack of familiarity.

I did have a mechanic explain that to me - I did not realize that orginally.


Thank you! Yes I understand that too after the diagnosis. The estimate I was given is not even close to your cost so I have no idea what to do. Dealer said 16 hrs at $139 plus parts. 2700.00 Mechanic who did not recommend I keep the car said 2300.00 and suggested, if I was attached to the car, a new engine instead- because who knows what might go wrong with the engine next. I just had new spark plugs and wires put in with new covers 6 months ago and got a new battery and brakes...


These wrenches are either simply not adept at this repair in efficient frequency or looking to gouge. Keep looking. $1600 is the going retail rate around New England cities, dropping to lower teens wholesale or friendly indies. Good luck. If a guy wants 12 hours ($1100-1200) be sure to NOT omit the outside machine- shop head-work ($160-ish) as that's critical. SOA used to pay their dealers $900 for warranty version but they obviously weren't happy about it, some just slapping on gaskets and hoping the heads were ok. We're just off-peak with this scenario as the '09's ripen.

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