Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've had a 2008 Turbo Outback for a year. Was on an hour long drive when the car lost 50% of the power and I barely made it home. Next day, major smoke from engine the instant I started it. Had it towed to a shop and was told the turbo module, mainly the propeller, imploded and ripped up the entire engine and they will have to replace most of the engine to salvage the car. Basically I just lost 75% of the value of my car overnight.

My question is this, for myself and for a friend who has a similar turbo outback..........How often do this generation of turbo outbacks experience catastrophic engine failure?

Would appreciate any insight from forum members.
 

·
Registered
2015 3.6 Premium
Joined
·
1,196 Posts
All turbos will eventually fail if something else does not fail first. Unfortunately when they go they spew bits of metal inside your engine and as you have found out it lunchboxes it's self. The joys of owning a turbo. Fun to drive but the maintenance and repair costs are high. And yes it is common. Good luck with your repairs and sorry to hear of your woes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bheinen74

·
Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
Joined
·
16,144 Posts
Pretty Much well known in this world.

Prior maintenance schedules, banjo bolt, oil type...

It sux, but there are dozens of XT carcasses out there for $1000 due to same event.
 

·
Registered
Lawn ornament XT
Joined
·
14,366 Posts
Yeah XTs really, really do not like to be limped home. If something goes wrong, abort travel.

So the answer to your question is in two parts...

How often do they have catastrophic engine failure? Not very often.

...unless you try to make it the rest of the way home without diagnosing a significant issue.

Then the probability of catastrophic damage rises to nearly 100%.
 

·
On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
Joined
·
26,308 Posts

·
Registered
2005 OBXT Limited, VF37, STI intake, 5MT
Joined
·
1,567 Posts
Usually, the warning signs of impending failure are obvious: screeching, rattling, oil loss/consumption, loss of power, loss of fuel economy.

If the turbo actually mechanically broke (which I've seen), it's after the bearings have been starved SO much, the shaft binds in the housing.

But generally, and with higher mileage, the turbo does need rebuilt or replaced. But the engine doesn't typically require replacement during a turbo replacement.

It sucks, but 100% preventable.
 

·
Registered
OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
Joined
·
12,391 Posts
How often do this generation of turbo outbacks experience catastrophic engine failure?

Would appreciate any insight from forum members.
1. It's an artifact of physics, not brand or "outbacks" or "subaru's". Rather it's turbo's or forced induction engines, particularly decade old turbo's, and more particularly decade old turbo motors with multiple owners, and they aren't forgiving - the engine can hose the turbo and the turbo can hose the engine.

By design a turbo extracts exhaust energy (including !%()*% loads of heat), generating more heat - and dumping it right back into the oil and coolant and bearings, and there are far more parts and failure modes, and these work in conjunction - when one fails it can take out other stuff with it quickly.

for long term reliability and lessening catastrophic circumstances to levels more similar to normally aspirated engines:

2. frequent synthetic oil changes, upgrade platform specific oil components (screens, etc). increased attention to oil if you're gonna beat on it.

3. replace the turbo at some predetermined mileage - like 100-150k.

4. address oil leaks, overheating, and noises instantaneously.
limping home and trying to start a turbo engine is premeditated turbo motor murder.

Can turbo engines last 20 years without issues - of course - just like I can catch a flying knife.
 

·
Registered
05 Outback XT, 04 Mazda Speed Miata 07 Suburban.
Joined
·
205 Posts
Is there any idea of what percentage of the Turbos have failed by 150k miles. Mine runs fine, but I am starting to worry about the likelihood of turbo failure. I gather if both the turbo and engine are damaged, the repair is quite a bit more than the car is worth.
 

·
On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
Joined
·
26,308 Posts
Is there any idea of what percentage of the Turbos have failed by 150k miles. Mine runs fine, but I am starting to worry about the likelihood of turbo failure. I gather if both the turbo and engine are damaged, the repair is quite a bit more than the car is worth.
keep up with your maint. and read threads and ask here what needs to be done to stave off such catastrophic problems.



@rasterman made a old thread about the subject. and has not reported a explosion yet.

edit: here it is

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...t-paranoia-supplementary-instrumentation.html

plenty of 2005-2006 XTs on craigsilst going for $1500 as the no longer run though.,.. @traildogck has had a few along the way, but never gave up a XT bodied car yet....and only bought a 2nd one.
 

·
Registered
Lawn ornament XT
Joined
·
14,366 Posts
Is there any idea of what percentage of the Turbos have failed by 150k miles. Mine runs fine, but I am starting to worry about the likelihood of turbo failure. I gather if both the turbo and engine are damaged, the repair is quite a bit more than the car is worth.
In a nutshell, no. No single entity has enough data to make predictions that carry any more weight than a tossed coin.

I can tell you that 100% of the Subaru turbos I've owned made it past 150k. So that's one down, 23,000 more owners to track down.

You are correct regarding the costs of recovering from catastrophic engine failure. The value of the car naturally depreciates, but the value of the replacement parts and the labor to put them in has gone up. A car with a more expensive engine will enjoy a shorter window before it is uneconomical to repair, and most XTs are old/worn enough to have already passed through it.

There are still a handful of 1980s Subaru turbos still whizzing along, spreading hope and cheer one rumbly BRAAAAAAP at a time...
 

·
Registered
Lawn ornament XT
Joined
·
14,366 Posts
That's a good reminder, Lucky.

If playing the stats against the herd isn't going anywhere, might as well make a closer study of the actual turbo in the actual car that you have an interest in. Shaft play, measured by temporarily dismounting the downpipe for access, has been a pretty good register of the turbo's overall health.

I value that data much more than an actuarial table that says my engine melted last month.
 

·
I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
Joined
·
12,306 Posts
Barring the statistical outliers, I'd say more turbo issues are due to incorrect or lack of servicing than anything else.

Try running conventional 5W30 for 7500 miles and 87 octane, see how well things end up...
 
  • Like
Reactions: RoughDiamond

·
Registered
03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
Joined
·
17,704 Posts
Barring the statistical outliers, I'd say more turbo issues are due to incorrect or lack of servicing than anything else.

Try running conventional 5W30 for 7500 miles and 87 octane, see how well things end up...

yep - makes buying all cars that have gone thru multiple owners risky - then X 10 for a turbo!

87 octane - {{{*shudder*}}}
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top