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Discussion Starter #1
I have general car question, not for my Versa, but for my sons car. My son has a 2001 Subaru Outback that appears to have a bad head gasket. He loses coolant and his engine oil is brownish color, milky-ish. (We recently replaced his radiator) From what I read online it seems to be the same symptoms as a bad head gasket. There is no white smoke from his exhaust. He got the car for free and it is basically a beater just to get around and to get back and forth to work.

My questions are: How long can he get away driving it this way? Is there a way to prolong the engine without replacing the head gasket? Has anyone used head gasket sealers like Blue Devil? His goal is basically to keep the car going until he can buy a newer more reliable one.

I apologize for a anti Versa question, but everyone I have dealt with on the forum in the past have been so helpful and knowledgeable I figure I may as well ask.
Thank you.
 

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My daughter drove a Sentra for most of her last year in college with the same problem. With 250k on it and having hit a deer and been sideswiped by a truck I told her to just drive it till it died. I drove it to the junk yard.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you Alan. With her problem did she also have the milky oil? Did you guys do anything specific to keep it going for a whole year?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Does anyone think changing the engine oil more frequently will help prolong the engine life with a bad head gasket?
 

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I would say yes, more oil changes.

Question, what's the game plan here? I'll assume that you don't want to pay for the cost of a head gasket based on the age of the car.
Are you just going to try and limp the car along for a bit until it blows up?

I would recommend more oil changes, more frequently, and with cheap oil. And give that blue devil stuff a try.
Regardless, without a head gasket replacement, you are on borrowed time.
 

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Is the body in good shape? If it is, it may be worth putting a head gasket on and drive it until it dies. Subarus can run forever.
Besides more frequent oil changes, you may want to change the coolant more frequently as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Keith and ScareCrow. The goal is to keep it running until my son saves enough to get a newer car, say another 6 months or so. The body is pretty beat up as well. He got the car for free and it was in an accident prior to him getting it. Who knows if the frame is bent, etc? It is used for him to get to work and to his girlfriend's house. We don't want to invest too much into it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ah yes. I didn't even think of the bad oil/anitfreeze mix. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
How often do you guys recommend changing the oil? Once a moth, every two months?
 

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All that talk about changing oil with coolant in it early is a waste of time. Oil with coolant mixed in it loses about 90% of its' load carrying ability and you are quickly tearing up engine bearings as they will go first. The leak producing the coolant in oil will likely get much worse too. I used to sell Blue Devil and it was a garbage product sold as a scam, I never saw anyone buying it get their money back even with the guarantee of such, and I never saw it fix one engine from leaking either. $85/bottle back then and the biggest ripoff ever. On some cars the product pushed the engine over the edge and ruined it when enough leaked into combustion chamber or engine bearing to lock the motor up.

It is impossible to say how long it will last, if overheated to make the problem to begin with then not fixing the overheating may kill it tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I haven’t heard anything good about Blue Devil either AMC49. The car doesn’t overheat and it is barely losing coolant. The radiator was recently replaced and we solved that leak. The oil looks slightly discolored, time for an oil change for sure. No white smoke either when it runs or starts.
 

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The amount of coolant disappearing will tell you how bad the leak is. If not much it may go for a while. White smoke coming from pipe says leak into combustion chamber, a leak into oil will not smoke until huge, but goes after bearings faster.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you SlickVersa and AMC. So far, knock on wood, we haven't seen any smoke and the loss of coolant is minimal.
 

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This sealer seems to have some good reviews. https://www.titansealers.com/ It's a bit expensive but if it worked it would well be worth the money. I've never had a blown head gasket where the oil/coolant mixed but I wouldn't expect an engine to last long in that condition.
 

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This sealer seems to have some good reviews. https://www.titansealers.com/ It's a bit expensive but if it worked it would well be worth the money. I've never had a blown head gasket where the oil/coolant mixed but I wouldn't expect an engine to last long in that condition.
 
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