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2013 Outback 2.5i CVT in White, Codename: Ditto.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I was driving home this evening my 2000 Outback just died. One second I was driving along, the next second I had no response from the gas pedal.

No check engine light, no funny noises. Battery is fine and besides I tried to jump start it with no luck. All the electronics work inside the car.

When you turn the key it acts totally normal, except it doesn't turn over.

The security light seems to be blinking more than usual (2 blinks, then off a second, continuously). Because of that I thought it might be an issue with the security system, so I tried disconnecting the battery and reconnecting with no luck.

Any ideas? I'm literally days away from trading the car in on a new Outback...it would really suck if this was an expensive fix. :(
 

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2005 OBW 2.5L, 1989 Subaru Justy, RIP Blu
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How many miles on the car

Which Transmission.

What EXACTLY were you doing when it died.

What Maint has been done on it (tune ups, timing belt, etc).
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i CVT in White, Codename: Ditto.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How many miles on the car

Which Transmission.

What EXACTLY were you doing when it died.

What Maint has been done on it (tune ups, timing belt, etc).
Automatic transmission; 153726 miles. Timing belt was done at around 120k I think...I don't have my records handy. It recently had it's 150k check up and oil change (2 weeks ago).

I was driving. That's it. Started the car in my office parking lot, drove about quarter of a mile, under 35mph, flat road, dry conditions and the motor just turned off.
 

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2005 OBW 2.5L, 1989 Subaru Justy, RIP Blu
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Were you accelerating, cruising, or did you lift your foot.

120K is awfully late for a TB change, was due at 106K. What other parts were replaced with the timing belt?

Do you have spark?
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i CVT in White, Codename: Ditto.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Were you accelerating, cruising, or did you lift your foot.

120K is awfully late for a TB change, was due at 106K. What other parts were replaced with the timing belt?

Do you have spark?
All the pulleys and gears were replaced with the belt. If the timing belt went while I was driving, wouldn't that make a loud noise?

Didn't check spark.

I was coasting in traffic, in a straight line. When I noted I was slowing too much I went for gas and had nuttin'. Pulled over pronto.
 

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2005 OBW 2.5L, 1989 Subaru Justy, RIP Blu
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No a jumped timing belt does not make noise.

Coasting makes me suspect a jumped timing belt, as that is usually when timing drives (chains belts gears etc) fail, when you take your foot off the gas and the engine is unloaded.

Can you double check what was replaced. After that I would look for something electronic, like a bad crank or cam sensor. Not too many things would stop a subaru engine instantly like that.

Silly question .. how is the engine oil?
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i CVT in White, Codename: Ditto.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No a jumped timing belt does not make noise.

Coasting makes me suspect a jumped timing belt, as that is usually when timing drives (chains belts gears etc) fail, when you take your foot off the gas and the engine is unloaded.

Can you double check what was replaced. After that I would look for something electronic, like a bad crank or cam sensor. Not too many things would stop a subaru engine instantly like that.

Silly question .. how is the engine oil?
Funny you ask about the oil...knowing it was just changed made me wonder that too. It'll be the first thing I check in the morning when I'm back at the car.

Double checking what was replaced on the TB is easy...I did it myself. Every part was changed, including the water pump while I was in there. Since then it had the head gasket replaced (by an actual trained mechanic, I had no time). The TB might have been done earlier than 120k, like I said, I need to check my records.
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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Well, per the mechanic, the motor is seized. It has oil in it, so it didn't run out of oil.

Thank heavens I bought a 2013 on Monday...but I wanted to have 2 Outbacks.


Putting it up for sale http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/67-classifieds/51415-2000-outback-limited-sale.html#post494413
NO Way!!! It just up and locked up without any knocking noise? Had oil in it? Just said I quit without any warning?

Something is not right here.

Did the car turn over and not start or just not turn over.
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i CVT in White, Codename: Ditto.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, way. Sadly.

Has oil in it too.

It doesn't turn over now, no. Everything comes on like it's gonna start and it just...doesn't.

The car gave me no indication anything was wrong. I thought it was a security system thing...like maybe some button combination was pressed in my jacket pocket to put it into a lock down mode...but apparently not.

For all I know my mechanic may not know what the **** is wrong and is just guessing it's seized. There's no real reason for it to have seized. I've always taken good care of the car, and it just had an oil change. If there's oil in it...which my mechanic says yes...than it's really baffling.

And it's not like my mechanic is lying to cover a mistake...the mechanic the car is with right now is not the same one that changed the oil 2 weeks ago. I have one mechanic near my office and one near my home.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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did he pull plugs? maybe it's hydrolocked with fuel or coolant.

very weird
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i CVT in White, Codename: Ditto.
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
did he pull plugs? maybe it's hydrolocked with fuel or coolant.

very weird
I'm not sure what he did. I didn't speak to the mechanic directly. Hopefully I can stop by tomorrow.

The more I think about the condition of the car, the more I think it's more likely this guy doesn't know WTF he's talking about than that it's actually seized.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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I'm not sure what he did. I didn't speak to the mechanic directly. Hopefully I can stop by tomorrow.

The more I think about the condition of the car, the more I think it's more likely this guy doesn't know WTF he's talking about than that it's actually seized.

maybe someone can suggest a good soob mechanic in NJ you could have it towed to.

anyway, hope it isn't really seized.
 

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When you turn the key it acts totally normal, except it doesn't turn over.
It doesn't turn over now, no. Everything comes on like it's gonna start and it just...doesn't.
I might be slow here, but I'm still not clear on what's happening. Does this mean:

the starter turns the engine but the engine doesn't fire and run on its own;

the starter seems to engage (solenoid click, battery voltage drops) but it can't turn (rotate) the engine (engine mechanically "seized"); or

the starter itself isn't working (no solenoid click, no sign of current drain on the battery, no sign of the starter motor working)?​

Double checking what was replaced on the TB is easy...I did it myself. Every part was changed, including the water pump while I was in there. Since then it had the head gasket replaced (by an actual trained mechanic, I had no time). The TB might have been done earlier than 120k, like I said, I need to check my records.
So the head gasket was changed after the timing belt service, which meant the timing belt had to be removed and re-installed. Is the mechanic who did the head gasket the same one now saying the engine is seized?
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i CVT in White, Codename: Ditto.
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I might be slow here, but I'm still not clear on what's happening. Does this mean:

the starter seems to engage (solenoid click, battery voltage drops) but it can't turn (rotate) the engine (engine mechanically "seized"); or
Ding ding ding.

The motor is mechanically seized.

The owner of the shop was away until last night. His subordinate mechanic is the one that diagnosed the engine; I spoke to the owner about 15 minutes ago and he confirms that the motor is mechanically seized. They've tried to manually turn it over and it doesn't budge.


So the head gasket was changed after the timing belt service, which meant the timing belt had to be removed and re-installed. Is the mechanic who did the head gasket the same one now saying the engine is seized?
This particular mechanic never worked on my Outback. He worked on my Sentra a few times. He is the go-to mechanic in the town where I was the Town Engineer (until last Friday). I trust him. Didn't much trust his subordinate, but I trust him.
 

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The mechanical seizure seems unusual in terms of there being no signs/warnings (clatter, noise, etc) and no loss of oil.

I guess you've given up on finding out exactly what failed, especially as you have the new one coming and have posted the 2000 for sale or donation. But if you change your mind, and end up knowing, post it here; perhaps others might be able to learn from it.

Enjoy the new Outback.
 

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This is about as screwy as Pete's XT issue.

Since the engine did not make any noise prior to shut down, and we all have heard 2.0, 2.2 and 2.5 engines run, and run a long time, with rods knocking so loud you could hear it a block away, and no seizure, this is strange.

I find it hard to believe the engine is seized. Really, I do. I have been repairing cars for going on 26 years. Grew up around auto repair as my dad was a Master Tech over 40 years. Never had a car shut down while running smooth without noise and end up being seized.

If you combine the engine shut down with a failure in the timing belt or parts, say a seized bearing on the idler gear, the engine won't turn. I would be pulling the front cover and looking at it. Wouldn't take more than 20 minutes to get the front torn down.
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i CVT in White, Codename: Ditto.
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The mechanical seizure seems unusual in terms of there being no signs/warnings (clatter, noise, etc) and no loss of oil.

I guess you've given up on finding out exactly what failed, especially as you have the new one coming and have posted the 2000 for sale or donation. But if you change your mind, and end up knowing, post it here; perhaps others might be able to learn from it.

Enjoy the new Outback.
I totally agree. I believe it's a simple problem, but I would have to tear into the motor to find it and I haven't the time.

Right now I'm hoping someone on these forums will offer him a good home. I can't bear the thought of just selling him for parts. But if I have to...

I picked up my new Outback tonight...which I've named Ditto...and he's awesome. :D
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i CVT in White, Codename: Ditto.
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
This is about as screwy as Pete's XT issue.

Since the engine did not make any noise prior to shut down, and we all have heard 2.0, 2.2 and 2.5 engines run, and run a long time, with rods knocking so loud you could hear it a block away, and no seizure, this is strange.

I find it hard to believe the engine is seized. Really, I do. I have been repairing cars for going on 26 years. Grew up around auto repair as my dad was a Master Tech over 40 years. Never had a car shut down while running smooth without noise and end up being seized.

If you combine the engine shut down with a failure in the timing belt or parts, say a seized bearing on the idler gear, the engine won't turn. I would be pulling the front cover and looking at it. Wouldn't take more than 20 minutes to get the front torn down.

My mechanic indicated he did that and didn't see anything wrong there. He put a wrench to the crank shaft and something inside is stopping it from turning.

But I agree that it is really, really hard to believe that it's seized. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around that.

Frankly, assuming someone buys the car and learns that the problem is not as major as it seems, I would be happy that person got a good deal and that my car was still out there living la vida muddy. Obviously it would be worth more $$$ to me if I sold it in a working condition...but Bubu getting a good home is worth more to me.

How do I upload video? I took a video of me trying to start the car this evening. You can hear that nothing is abnormal..aside form it just not starting.
 
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