*Base price is for the pair of head gaskets. Select 1 add-on to qualify for pricing and free install guide.
If you are here then you may already know about the headaches regarding Subaru head gaskets. We feel you, and want to offer the best possible replacement parts so that this is a job that only needs to be done once for the remainder of the long life of your beloved Subaru.
Subaru head gaskets have been trouble since the mid-90s and despite numerous efforts to make changes and improve the gaskets being used, we would still see repeat failures even after repairs were done properly. Being an independent Subaru-only repair facility, we sought to find a better alternative.
Six Star head gaskets are the best gaskets you can get for your Subaru. Period. Six Star has taken the “updated” version of Subaru’s factory multi-layer steel gaskets and improved them by beefing up the compression sealing surfaces and adding a high strength Viton coating on all surfaces. The combination of these features make these far more resistant to sudden temperature changes and any stretching or movement of the aluminum engine components, both factors that we believe contribute to factory head gasket failures.
As an engine warms up, aluminum will expand slightly. Since Subaru engines use two aluminum heads and an aluminum block in the middle, there is a lot of room for shifting and strain to occur during this time. Repeat this warm-up several thousand times over the course of many miles and eventually the gaskets that sit in between these components will fracture and leak. This is why we will see gasket failures as early as 40-60k miles in cases where cars are mainly driven short distances (and engines are just constantly being warmed up and cooled down). In cars that see mainly highway miles and long distance driving, we may see gaskets last until 150-200k miles.
Since switching over to Six Star at our repair facility about 10 years ago, we have never looked back. There is no longer a need to use that pesky Subaru Coolant Conditioner, no special copper spray coating required either. Just follow the proper installation procedures and proper head torque sequence (included with gasket purchase) and you’ll never have to do this again.
At Smart Service (and Smart Quality Parts), we have been carrying and using the Six Star brand in our repair facility for over 15 years. Since the majority of our in-house technicians are Subaru factory trained we understand the benefit and need for correctly fitting and functioning replacement parts. The benefit of being an independent facility is that we are not required to use the Genuine Subaru stamped parts but unlike other independents, we didn't want to use aftermarket parts just to cut costs and increase our margins.
We found Six Star in that search for the perfect balance between OEM quality and a more affordable price by cutting Subaru out as a middleman. We supplement with the Genuine Subaru parts where we feel that is needed or required if Six Star doesn't manufacture a certain part, but we mostly use Six Star because more often than not the part is identical to what you would buy at the dealer.
The description below outlines the color and sticker system on the parts you may receive. Please know that 90%+ of the Six Star parts we carry are the Gold Star OEM designation and the Red Star options are just as good in our opinion (see our replacement oil filter for example, you can see it cut open next to a Genuine Subaru filter there is no difference at all).
We offer our own private Six Star label parts that identifies OEM parts with a gold star:
and alternative source parts with a red star:
- Genuine = Exact part you would purchase at your Subaru dealer.
- OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer. The part was made by the exact same manufacturer that made the original part for your car. For example if you open a genuine Subaru wheel bearing you will find that the bearing is an NSK bearing. If you buy that same bearing OEM you're getting the same part.
- Alternative Source = These are parts that are manufactured by an indepedent aftermarket parts facility. Our alternative source parts are put through the rigors at Smart Service before we offer them online.