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2008 Subaru Outback 2.5XT, DDM HID 5000K, K&N, Yokohama Avid TRZ, Curt Hitch, Subaru All Weather Mats, Sirius
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys,

I currently have my 2008 Subaru Outback XT with 80k miles at the shop for repair following a catostrphic engine failure on the highway.

After researching I found 2 similar issues on 2008 and 2009 outback XT's and I thought I would try to merge them incase this becomes a common issue as these two models age.

First is a link to a near identical sounding problem with the same year/model outback. Although the title indicates turbo it was identified later to be an issue with the timing belt idler, water pump and belt
http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/41477-suspected-blown-turbo-44k.html

Here is another similar issue with a 2009 Outback XT where the water pump seized causing issues but the timing belt did not appear to be broken.
http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...ce/46224-overheated-broken-belts-pulleys.html

Edit: Adding some info about my car:
2008 Subaru Outback XT bought certified used with Gold Warranty at 32k
5EAT
Regular oil changes at 3750 w/ fully synthetic
No performance mods - only skidplates, and rallitek rear springs
Only use premium gas
Coolant changed at 59K with Genuine Subaru and Conditioner

Now the background on my issue.

I was completeing the last leg of a 9000+ mile cross country trip and was about 100 miles from home. During the trip I had all of my oil changes done and did not have any issues with the car leading up to this point. While driving on the highway my temperature went from normal to overheating in a very short time. I have a scangauge hooked up to my car at all times so I am constantly monitoring my boost, temperature, timing, and voltage. Up to this point my temperature was in the normal 188-200F range and showed no signs of increasing tempature leading up to this. I pulled to the right lane and headed for the next exit which was only 1/4 to 1/2 a mile. As i exited the highway and made my way towards the gas station I heard a pop followed by chattering. The engine immediately died while most of the light on the dashboard flashed or remained on. I managed to steer the car into a hotel parking lot before it came to a complete stop.

I attempted to re-start the car but it would not start and the starter sounded different almost like it was spinning with less load then normal. I opened the hood and took a check around. I could see some coolant sprayed out but it looked like most of it was from the overflow bottle which was now emply. At the previous gas station only an hour or so earlier I had confirmed it was still above the low mark. I couldn't identify any other cut or leaks which could have caused the coolant loss. I did notice a bit of smoke or steam from where the timing belt cover was located but at that time had no idea of the cause.

The car was towed to Jubilee Subaru in Waco where it is being worked on while I contacted family to help unload my car and transport me back to Austin.

The subaru delaership took several days to look into it and are still doing so. The current theory is that the Idler Pully on the timing belt failed was destroyed. The breaking idler likely casued the belt to slip on the water pump effectivly stopping the flow of water and causing the near immediate overheat. Next the remaining pieces shreded the timing belt until it slipped across the crank and camshafts. The effectivly killed the engine. At this point there are 3 bent intake and 6 bent exhaust valves. I'm still awaiting if there is any other additional damage.

Attached are the photos I have showing the failed idler and shredded belt.


I have been lucky that I purchased and extended Gold warrenty with the car and so far it sounds like everything will be covered.

This is the first (and hopefully last) time I have had to deal with such extensive engine damage and repairs. Are there any additional things I should ask to have checked or replaced as part of this process? At the moment I plan to request all of the idlers and water pump be replaced since this is due to the issue. It also sounds like the values will be replaced. Anything else to ask for check or fixes?

Finally my reason for writing this is to let some other folks know about these failures which appear, atleast on teh surface, related. I'm not saying all cars have some inherit defect but it is odd to see this type of failue on 3 relativly new (2008+) cars with all under 100k miles. I don't know if there is any issue with the idlers or bearings in use or if the turbo engine on this model has some heat generation or some other issue that is causing bearing to degrade early. I wonder if its possible more failures will pop up as the 2008+ XT's start to age and in the 60K+ mile range.
 

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2008 Subaru Outback 2.5XT, DDM HID 5000K, K&N, Yokohama Avid TRZ, Curt Hitch, Subaru All Weather Mats, Sirius
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68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Bump....
Hey guys,

Any feedback on what else I should be looking to have checked or replaced with this type of failure?
 

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05 OBXT 5eat stg1.2
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This does look pretty straight forward. An idler pulley failing would definitely cause exactly what happened. They need to replace everything timing belt related. So all pulleys, waterpump, tensioner, and thermostat. Might as well do it all.

This issue doesn't appear to be common, however my car had a whine that was directly rpm dependent. It had it at 80k and it continued until I changed my timing belt. One of the idler pulleys had leaked all of it's grease and was on it's way out. I thought my engine was just whiny. I had no idea there was anything wrong because it was a sound that was always there. Fortunately, I dodged a very expensive repair!

Did you by any chance have an rpm dependent whine? Any strange noises or symptoms leading up to it?
 

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2008 Subaru Outback 2.5XT, DDM HID 5000K, K&N, Yokohama Avid TRZ, Curt Hitch, Subaru All Weather Mats, Sirius
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't recall a whine of any kind but this came at the end of 40+ days of travel and 9k miles so I might have just had my radio higher :) . My only 'notice' was the water pump stopping and temperature spiking. I suspect when this first happened it was due to grease leaking from the bearing onto the belt causing the slippage.
 

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05 OBXT 5eat stg1.2
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It was probably the pulley seizing up that caused the problems. Even if you drenched the belt in grease, it shouldn't slip since it's toothed and under lots of tension. Crazy! I'm just glad it's under warranty.
 

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2008 Subaru Outback 2.5XT, DDM HID 5000K, K&N, Yokohama Avid TRZ, Curt Hitch, Subaru All Weather Mats, Sirius
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh is the water pump toothed? I was under the impression the water pump was a smooth pulley and was turned by the underside (non-toothed) side of the belt. Hence why I though it would have slipped if there was grease.

I haven't actually looked at everything up close so I could be wrong.
 

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2008 Subaru Outback 2.5XT, DDM HID 5000K, K&N, Yokohama Avid TRZ, Curt Hitch, Subaru All Weather Mats, Sirius
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh is the water pump toothed? I was under the impression the water pump was a smooth pulley and was turned by the underside (non-toothed) side of the belt. Hence why I though it would have slipped if there was grease.

I haven't actually looked at everything up close so I could be wrong.
 

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The water pump is smooth, but from looking at those pics, an idler pulley failed. Looks like the only single bearing one. The black ones are single bearing while the ones with orange are double bearing.
 

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2008 Subaru Outback 2.5XT, DDM HID 5000K, K&N, Yokohama Avid TRZ, Curt Hitch, Subaru All Weather Mats, Sirius
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
*UPDATE*

Ok guys, I know it has been a while but I didn't feel like posting a daily saga as a wait for the car to be fixed.

They finally finished the car and I was able to pick it up nearly 3 weeks after it died on me.

They updated the cause of failure as Water Pump Seized along with Idler pulley. Once again it sounds very similar to the other posts.

Here is the work they did to fix everything. I don't have the sheet in front of me but I'll try to put down everything I can remember.

Replaced:
Timing Belt
3 pulleys
TB Tensioner
Water Pump
Gaskets
Exhaust Cam and Bolt for 1 cam
Timing Belt Cover
8 Exhaust Vales
3 Intake Valves
Radiator

This was all covered under my Gold Plan Warranty

Also had them replace spark plugs while the engine was out.


So far the car is running well with one small exception. When the car first starts I get a rough idle in the 600rpm range which was lower than previously. The car also threw a random misfire code before I left the dealership but they indicated it was likely some carbon deposits moving around due to the new valves.

Does this make much sense? I would have figured there would be fewer carbon deposits if I just had a number of new valves. It also doesn't account for the roughness at idle.

Any idea what else to check? I assume the plugs are fine since they were replaced. I wondered if the valves needed some final adjustment or would a problem with valves be apparent at all engine speeds?

Other than the roughness the engine feels fine at speed and through the rpm range. I'll update if I find any other issues
 

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Catastrophic timing belt failure 2008 outback only 45k miles

Just had catastrophic timing belt failure after 45k miles on our 2008 outback. Warranty expired 4 months ago. Has anyone else had similar problems? Mechanic said it may have been caused by failure of timing belt pulleys.
 

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Identical problem at 45k miles, two months out of warranty

Had identical problem on our 2008 Outback XT

Ok guys, I know it has been a while but I didn't feel like posting a daily saga as a wait for the car to be fixed.

They finally finished the car and I was able to pick it up nearly 3 weeks after it died on me.

They updated the cause of failure as Water Pump Seized along with Idler pulley. Once again it sounds very similar to the other posts.

Here is the work they did to fix everything. I don't have the sheet in front of me but I'll try to put down everything I can remember.

Replaced:
Timing Belt
3 pulleys
TB Tensioner
Water Pump
Gaskets
Exhaust Cam and Bolt for 1 cam
Timing Belt Cover
8 Exhaust Vales
3 Intake Valves
Radiator

This was all covered under my Gold Plan Warranty

Also had them replace spark plugs while the engine was out.


So far the car is running well with one small exception. When the car first starts I get a rough idle in the 600rpm range which was lower than previously. The car also threw a random misfire code before I left the dealership but they indicated it was likely some carbon deposits moving around due to the new valves.

Does this make much sense? I would have figured there would be fewer carbon deposits if I just had a number of new valves. It also doesn't account for the roughness at idle.

Any idea what else to check? I assume the plugs are fine since they were replaced. I wondered if the valves needed some final adjustment or would a problem with valves be apparent at all engine speeds?

Other than the roughness the engine feels fine at speed and through the rpm range. I'll update if I find any other issues[/QUOTE]
 
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