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I'm looking to buy this 2013 Subaru Outback, 2.5L DOHC. The car has 60K, is in immaculate condition, has lived its whole life in the Southwest, and has records of regular maintenance. The undercarriage is very clean, except for some dirt around the head gaskets, which I worry indicates a leaking oil or coolant. Please take a look and let me know what you think. First two are right head, second is left.

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I'm not seeing any issues here ... at all. It looks absolutely immaculate considering it is going on eight years old. Remember, no gasket or seal does its job completely. You might get a little bit of seepage from them, especially after they get a little bit old. Head gaskets, as long as you don't overheat the engine or disturb the seal will continue to do their job without issue. Other gaskets like valve cover gaskets tend to have issues after many years of use. The images you show look like there's a little bit of gunk, but really nothing to worry about. I'm not seeing any liquid based film (like oil) anywhere. Again, nothing to worry about ... move along.

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Subaru moved to the MLS (Multi-layered Steel) gaskets on the Outback in 2010, so there are a lot fewer gasket issues now (it's a Subaru... I won't say Never, but yours looks OK...)

More important, check the maintenance (if any) and the recalls on the CVT transmission. On middle-aged Subarus, that's the weak spot. Check the warranty extension program (https://www.carcomplaints.com/news/2017/subaru-transmission-warranty-extension.shtml, or call a Subaru dealer) to see if this car has it; it extends CVT warranty to 10 years/100,000 miles, but there are restrictions on qualification.

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