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Old 11-19-2012, 10:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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After taking great care of my 06 xt, the dealership recently notified me that I have low compression, worn rings and cylinder...basically my engine is shot after 136,790 miles!(check engine light was on) I was really planning on putting over 200k on this car. I spoke with Subaru of America and they are willing to give me $500 towards a new car...I was hoping for a little more. The dealership is only going to give me 2k for my car. The car is running fine....right now. Not sure if I'm going to stay loyal to Subaru after this. I really like the new Outback and test drove the 2.5i Limited and I like the MPG's but I'm used the power (having the XT). I want to test a new 3.6R to feel the difference(I tested the 3.6R in the Tribeca, but it's a bit heavier). Has anyone had this problem with worn rings and cylinders? Also, anyone had any bad luck with the 3.6R?
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Get another opinion. I can't see a Subaru having bad rings prior to 200k if you have been keeping oil in it and replaced regularly without overheating.

What code was retrieved?

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Old 11-19-2012, 10:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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misfire #301, this make sense? they "found low compression in #1, worn rings and cylinder". In September, while on vacation in NH, I took it to the local dealership because of the chk engine/flashing cruise. They said it was a misfire #1-#4 cylinders, and replaced spark plugs, light went on again, went back and they replaced 3 coils. My local dealership said they may have never checked for compression which is something "they would've done". Subaru of America said this didn't matter, engine was gone anyways. I always took it the local dealership up to about 80K, then found a mechanic that specializes in Subaru's (a lot cheaper). He mentioned to take it to a dealership this time because the parts will be under warranty if the NH dealership screwed up....
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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does the car run rich? maybe fuel is washing down the cylinder wall.

is there a way to do a 'wet' compression test on a horizontal cylinder?

anyway, seems like bad news.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The piston rings are typically not a problem in Subarus, or any horizontal engines, for that matter. Was a leakdown test done? I have seen little bits of carbon hold a valve open enough to cause low compression. I'm not a Seafoam guy, but maybe some through the intake, why not?
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I would take it back to your independent mechanic and have him give his opinion. It could just be a defective ignition coil, or spark plug, or other things.

I wouldn't give up on your car if it still has decent power and still runs good. Even if it burns oil, a quart of oil every now and again is still cheaper then a new car.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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This whole rings are shot doesn't add up.

Try an induction cleaning with Sea Foam to dissolve carbon in the intake and from the valves. If there is enough built up on the seat of the valve it will lodge open allowing for compression to leak down. It's more probable that the valve seals are allowing oil to seep into the compression chamber coating the valves or the crankcase ventilation system has loaded up he induction system with oil particulates that have built up enough to allow for a gap in the valve seating.

There have been plenty of higher mileage Subaru engines torn down to find that many of the internals hardly wore at all and appeared that the internals would go even higher mileage.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1 Lucky Texan View Post
does the car run rich? maybe fuel is washing down the cylinder wall.

is there a way to do a 'wet' compression test on a horizontal cylinder?

anyway, seems like bad news.
In the old air cooled VW days, we would do this by adding lube/wetting agent of choice via spark hole, then cranking the starter for a bit with the coil disconnected to let it get swished around. A few minutes of settling and then it would be ready for retest. Usually as long as it took to reseat the comp tester in the plug hole. In those engines ring wear was readily apparent from a good wet test score coming after low normal test. I've yet to try it on a Subaru.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Sleep guy- I would definitely be careful... Clean XTs are in demand these days. I don't like suggesting that any given dealer is up to no good, but I'd hate to find out that they're just trying to get your car for cheap only to resell it for top dollar tomorrow.

Another thing to consider- valve adjustment. I have heard some conflicting opinions on this, but one side of it was that lash adjustments were occasionally required for this engine. I know it isn't a small job, requiring engine removal to accomplish.

I'd say it is worth getting to the bottom of the compression loss first- valves or rings?
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Seems strange to me too...

Valves or rings, the compression needs to be sorted out. Get another opinion from an independent mechanic who can properly source the problem with leak test.

Last edited by bryankloos; 11-20-2012 at 09:43 AM. Reason: apparently I cant spell today...
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