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2008 2.5i
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone! Been a long time lurker/reader on these forums and have found them really helpful. I've enjoyed my Outback and have been hoping to keep it for a long time. Unfortunately I have had more than my share of troubles with it and it might be time for me to part with it.

I got the car new in 2008 and didn't put a whole lot of miles on it due to living close to work. I had only about 50k miles on it last year when it went in for the airbag recall. The tech at the dealer pointed out that there was oil leaking from the head gaskets, so they did them along with what they called a "Full engine reseal" which reads on the receipt from the dealer "REAR MAIN SEAL FRONT SEALS CAM SEALS TIMING BELT AND TENSIONER OIL PAN FUJI BOND VALVE COVER GASKETS AND OTHER SEALS AND O RINGS INSIDE THE ENGINE" I was assured that this would keep my car on the road for a long time. I have been driving more recently and am up around 65000 miles. I have been doing oil changes with synthetic oil about every 5000-6000 miles. I was about to do an oil and filter change (was at about 5500 miles since last change) when I had a sudden issue with the car.

This past month I was driving and suddenly lost power right after pulling off the highway and heard what sounded like a misfire. The check engine light came on and I tried to limp the car home (wasnt that far away). I got the codes and they showed p0026 and p0028 which I understand indicates low oil pressure. Unfortunately the car stalled and was not able to restart not too far from home. When I checked under the hood there was no oil on the dipstick and the coolant reservoir was really low, so I'm assuming I had some kind of huge failure with the engine.

I got the car towed to the same dealer who did the head gaskets and they are saying that the engine will need to be replaced and they want to charge me $1000 just to pull the engine to diagnose what happened. They seem to be dismissive of the idea that this was related to the engine seal job that they did last year. The car isn't under warranty anymore so they are saying it will be $7000 to replace/rebuild the engine. I have contacted Subaru of America to see if they will help me out as I have heard other people's success stories, but they haven't gotten back to me yet.

I had been hoping to keep this car for a long time especially since it was low mileage, but with this cost to repair I might have to just move on. I'm quite frustrated with this happening a year after the engine had so much work done on it. I guess my other option is to see if I can get an engine and have an independent shop put it in, which I'm sure would be much less than the cost at the dealer.

Thanks for reading this whole story. I'd love to hear any advice you all might be able to give me.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,120 Posts
No oil pressure and no oil is bad, especially if there have been no oil leaks. My 2005 leaves a golf ball size spot over every night. I will be low on oil at 2500 miles.

When was the last time you check the oil, before this incident? The failure could most certainly be related to the HG work. However, low/no-oil points the finger back at you. (playing devils advocate here, but the shop will also)

As far as the motor, it's toast. Block, heads. No need to pay someone a grand to tell you that. Were are you located? Maybe folks can recommend a decent indie shop.
 

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No oil pressure and no oil is bad, especially if there have been no oil leaks. My 2005 leaves a golf ball size spot over every night. I will be low on oil at 2500 miles.

When was the last time you check the oil, before this incident? The failure could most certainly be related to the HG work. However, low/no-oil points the figure back at you. (playing devils advocate here, but the shop will also)

As far as the motor, it's toast. Block, heads. No need to pay someone a grand to tell you that. Were are you located? Maybe folks can recommend a decent indie shop.
My first question as well, when was the last time owner checked under the hood?

Would also agree the engine is most likely toast. Find an independent Jasper dealer to install a reman.
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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14,366 Posts
Keep in mind that "re-sealing" an engine is going to involve replacing all the seals, gaskets and glue that are normally used to leak-proof various unions and mating surfaces throughout the engine.

It doesn't do anything to address oil consumption.

If the engine was burning the oil and sending it out the tailpipe, you could very easily run critically low on oil without ever finding a drop on the garage floor, and the condition would not have been improved (or hurt or be disturbed at all) by the re-seal procedures. And that's assuming the current problem existed before the previous repair was done. You'll never know now, and it isn't worth paying $1000 to find out it was a piston ring or a valve guide because the whole engine is a boat anchor now.

I agree that this problem is best solved somewhere other than Subaru. The dealers can only get their parts and supplies from Subaru, and Subaru can't get you a good used engine at all. An independent shop can re-engine the car for a lot less money than Subaru can.
 

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2008 2.5i
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I will admit that I have not been checking the oil level frequently. I haven't noticed any spots on the driveway or smelled any oil burning. If I had known about the oil consumption issues on this engine I would have been checking it more often.

I'm located in Dallas TX if anyone can recommend a good independent shop.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,120 Posts
With the age of the car, a stuck PCV could be using oil and you might never know it without checking the dipstick.

I didn't know that my 2005 was a leaker or a user. (bought in winter and parked in many spots vs just 1) 3 weeks into ownership, (I know I checked the oil in my test drive) I was barely showing oil and was shocked. Replacing the PCV too care of the using. But if I would have cone another 2 weeks, I would be possibly writing Cherry's obituary.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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call around for the cheapest flat bed tow and consider taking it to Auto Engine Maintenance & Repair, Performance Car Build: Flower Mound, TX .

they rebuilt my 5spd a coupla years ago and are a capable shop - my situation took longer than I'd have wished so, if you need the car back quickly, be sure to ask about the time frame.


but nowadays, there could be other shops around but, it was hard to find one when I needed an indie shop.
 

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2008 Outback 2.5
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954 Posts
You can call this a hands on tutorial to check your oil at every fillup that cost you $3000 (or fill in the blank) for the lesson. Your car is worth way more than that and if you can get a reman engine put in at a reasonable cost. You won't be able to find a used car equal to what you would put into an independent shop engine install on your present car.

Learn how to do your own maintenance or at least know how to check for things that need checking and your remanufactured engine new/old car should last you another 100,000 miles or 10 years (or more).

My 86 4Runner lost an engine when the oil pump died and the oil pressure light was burned out. I spent $3k into a reman engine job and the SUV lasted me another 10 years and 150,000 miles when we finally had to dump it for a mini van (growing family).
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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I will admit that I have not been checking the oil level frequently. I haven't noticed any spots on the driveway or smelled any oil burning. If I had known about the oil consumption issues on this engine I would have been checking it more often.

I'm located in Dallas TX if anyone can recommend a good independent shop.
Not all engines consume oil. Some change their status along the way.

Every car is different, and with any new one I acquire I check the dipstick a lot at first and then ease back to a much less frequent schedule once I've established whether there's any consumption worth caring about.

Synthetic oil can slip past seals more easily than conventional oil. Sometimes a car that leaks or burns synthetic won't consume conventional oil. If the car's warranty and operating conditions do not require synthetic, I usually skip it.

If the car burnt the oil gradually and your exhaust system is in good shape, there wouldn't have been anything for you to smell. All reduced down in the catalytic converters. Mind you they are working hard to pull that off, they can't do it indefinitely.
 

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2008 2.5i
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I had switched to synthetic oil this most recent oil change thinking it would be better. I'm still surprised that it would have been consuming so much. I never had any warning lights come on either. In hindsight I should have been keeping a closer eye on the oil level. Is it possible that the oil that was in the engine spilled out when the failure occurred?

What's the best way to source a remanufactured engine?
 

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Outback 2009 2.5i Ltd 4EAT NAV
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260 Posts
I have seen posts on Dallas' Craigslist for JDM engines from these vendors for a while:

JDM Engine Corp
1315 Exchange Drive
Richardson TX 75081
Tel: (972) (234) (2500)

DALLAS JDM MOTORS
630 112TH ST.
Arlington, TX 76011
Toll Free: 817-652-0300
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,120 Posts
I had switched to synthetic oil this most recent oil change thinking it would be better. I'm still surprised that it would have been consuming so much. ?
Synth will disappear quicker, since it doesn't sludge. especially a thinner grade.

I run 10W40 in both in Cherry. Shell T6 and Liquid Moly. They seem to use the least over time. The 30K miles motor in Frank just loves the Penzoil Synth, but doesn't use a drop.
 
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