Auto repairs are rarely fun, but no one wants to replace a cylinder head gasket. For those who are not keen on engines, the cylinder head gasket is a thin gasket generally made of steel which is sandwiched between the cylinder block and the cylinder head. It is difficult to reach at best, and if you cannot manage the repair yourself, it can easily cost more than $ 2,000 in a store.
Head gaskets are generally intended to last the life of the engine, but some models certainly have a reputation for spitting them out early and often. Consumer reports did a study based on data from its annual auto survey to identify the worst offenders, and if you’re a Subaru fan, you probably already know it won’t be pretty. The same goes for the BMW team, and in fact, the BMW and Subaru models almost represent the all list in the Consumer reports study.
The biggest offender is the 2006-2007 BMW 3 Series, with possible cylinder head gasket failures between 90,000 and 138,000 miles. From there, it’s a Subarus parade with the Impreza 2006-2008, the Outback 2001-2009 and the Forester 2001-2009. To be fair, these vehicles use the same engine, but cylinder head gasket failures starting around 95,000 miles are uncomfortably common.
The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze interrupts the Subaru slide, but its head gasket problems can begin as early as 62,000 miles. Another Subie – this time the Baja – enters the list, followed by the BMW 2008-2010 Mini. The Mazda MX-5 2000 is distinguished, the BMW X5 2013 and Infiniti M 2013 completing the list.
A bad head gasket is not a problem you can skimp on either. If you are very Fortunately, you will have a small external leak which will give off smoke. Often the leak will cause the engine to overheat when air enters the cooling system. You will also lose power and there is a very good chance that the engine coolant will be found in the oil. If the engine does not expire due to overheating, the damaged oil will certainly kill it faster.