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97 Outback Issues

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So I was about to spend a lot of money on a new camera, but my car is acting unusual and I want to make sure its ready for winter before I don't have any money left.


Its doing two different things that I want to ask about;


1) Twice in the past week the handbrake light has come on in the mornings. It goes away after 10-15 minutes of driving. The manual said this could be caused by cold weather (its been down to 45-55 degrees here). Think this is just the result of cold weather and low fluid level?


2) I bought my car in late december with 78k miles on it and a promise that the head gasket had already been replaced (by a dealer). There have been two times now that my check engine light came on and it turned out the oil level was low (so twice in 9 months and its had three oil changes in the same amount of time). There is no visible oil leaks and its not burning oil (I had an 88 jeep cherokee for 4 years so I know the smell). The car does smell hot once every so often. Are these warning signs of an impending head gasket issue? Oh and before anyone asks, no I haven't noticed any power loss.

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1. Your ebrake is a cable. Sounds like your cable needs adjustment.


2. Your headgaskets will not throw a code. If you have no leaks anywhere, and there are a million places for oil to leak on this car, then your rings might be bad. Check you oil, if it is milky looking or if your coolant has oil in it then your headgaskets are most likly blown. Also if your car hasnt overheated then I wouldnt worry about them blowing. If you don't think its burning oil then you have to have a leak somewhere because It looks like an oil bomb blew under my car and I use less than 1/2 qt every 3k using full synthetic 5w30.

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