Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Took my 2009 OWB 2.5i to the dealer for an oil change. 64k on the clock. Dealer said he hears a knock which means it's going to need "short block" engine work to the tune of $3k.

Full disclosure:

- I do hear a slight knocking noise.
- It did run low on oil such that the oil light came on last winter. I didn't realize the Subie eats oil as fast as gas. I immediately filled it up and have been on top of it ever since. I think the oil consumption is out of whack but don't see any obvious leaks.
- My oil changes were not religiously on time, but within 3k-5k. The first bunch of oil changes were all at 3k.

What are my options? The dealer provided me with my service history printout and the customer service number to try to work out what to do with regard to warranty work. Any help, second opinions are welcome. Powertrain warranty ran out at 60k but it's within 5 years.
 

·
Registered
2007 Outback XT Ltd
Joined
·
847 Posts
Your first "option" is to take the car to another shop and get a second opinion.

If you ran the car low on oil and didn't strictly follow the service recommendations, (oil change intervals) then you are most likely SOL in terms of warranty, since it has "officially" expired!

But you should always give it a try, remaining polite but firm with the regional service rep. Maybe at the least they can give you a serious discount on the parts and labor.

Keep in mind that there may be nothing seriously wrong. Get that second opinion ASAP!

Good luck.

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
 

·
Registered
'06 LOB, '03 Taco, '97 MX-5
Joined
·
785 Posts
For reference, I change at 4K, and usually add 1q halfway between.
How much oil is it using? If it's economically acceptable, and there are no performance symptoms, it may be best to just leave it, at least until the 90-100k major service.

But yes, get another opinion, although $3K installed isn't bad if the short block is actually needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Okay...

Subaru Customer Service offers no assistance.

Talked to my mechanic (not affiliated with the dealer), he informed me that the 2.5 engines have an issue with the oil pump system. When they replace the short-block, they use a block that has been upgraded.

If I had known that my Subaru, the awesome AWD car made of love with the great boxer engine was going to eat oil like we're going across the country on a tractor in the 1940's with Tom Joad, I would have filled the oil every 100 feet like I was apparently supposed to.
 

·
Registered
OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
Joined
·
12,391 Posts
Took my 2009 OWB 2.5i to the dealer for an oil change. 64k on the clock.
Subaru has often offered warranty assistance beyond the warranty mileage. Try again, write a letter...etc.

Dealer said he hears a knock
make sure it's not timing belt tensioner - they flop around and it sounds like knocking. Drivers side. Listen up front with a mechanics stethoscope or pull the timing cover and start it up and watch it.

also make sure it's not piston slap - classic signs are the sound lessens as the car warms up. common in older subaru's, not sure about newer ones, they're probably revised at some point so this likely isn't it.

rod knock will get progressively worse.

I didn't realize the Subie eats oil as fast as gas. I immediately filled it up and have been on top of it ever since. I think the oil consumption is out of whack
it does sound abnormal, that should have been addressed under warranty, why did you wait or not do anything about it?

My oil changes were not religiously on time, but within 3k-5k. The first bunch of oil changes were all at 3k.
actually if 3k-5k is true - you were well within the owners manual i believe. they say 7,500 miles or 7 months for oil changes.
http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/104-gen-4-2010-present/45579-oil-change-intervals.html

What are my options?
I would pursue the warranty claim a little further, Subaru has made good many times on something so close like this. Sometimes they'll cover 50% or something like that.

If you get no bites from Subaru, install a used short block or long block. 05-09 short blocks work and I think 00-04 do as well.

Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market

You should be able to come out with $1,000 block and install EJ25 TURBO headgaskets, then you'll have better headgaskets, install a new timing belt, and be good to go for another 100,000 miles at least.
 

·
Registered
Lawn ornament XT
Joined
·
14,366 Posts
No fun. I say keep on top of the oil situation and keep driving it until it throws the rod, then replace the engine or the whole car.

That can be anywhere from 30 feet to 30k miles down the road from now, so think about a AAA subscription.

First I've heard of this oil pump thing your 2nd mechanic relates. Some Subarus consume oil, and if/when the PCV valve clogs any engine will consume a lot in a hurry.

When the light comes on in a 2009 that's a full-on emergency, shut down immediately & walk. 2010 & newer (I think, corrections welcome) have a second sensor for low oil level, which should trip before oil quantity is so low that it causes a low pressure warning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Subaru has often offered warranty assistance beyond the warranty mileage. Try again, write a letter...etc.

make sure it's not timing belt tensioner - they flop around and it sounds like knocking. Drivers side. Listen up front with a mechanics stethoscope or pull the timing cover and start it up and watch it.

also make sure it's not piston slap - classic signs are the sound lessens as the car warms up. common in older subaru's, not sure about newer ones, they're probably revised at some point so this likely isn't it.

rod knock will get progressively worse.

it does sound abnormal, that should have been addressed under warranty, why did you wait or not do anything about it?

actually if 3k-5k is true - you were well within the owners manual i believe. they say 7,500 miles or 7 months for oil changes.
http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/104-gen-4-2010-present/45579-oil-change-intervals.html

I would pursue the warranty claim a little further, Subaru has made good many times on something so close like this. Sometimes they'll cover 50% or something like that.

If you get no bites from Subaru, install a used short block or long block. 05-09 short blocks work and I think 00-04 do as well.

Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market

You should be able to come out with $1,000 block and install EJ25 TURBO headgaskets, then you'll have better headgaskets, install a new timing belt, and be good to go for another 100,000 miles at least.
Thanks for all the great info Gary, I really appreciate it. We heard from the customer service people today, no dice on "Good Will" repair assistance, but we're not done yet. Called service manager, general manager. Letters are also going out.

Honestly, until the service manager brought it up, I wasn't aware there was a powertrain warranty that ran out at 60k. I thought the 3/36 was it. Ignorange on my part or selective information on the dealer's part. I would have pursued it on the short side of 60k if I thought it was something that could have been addressed under warranty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
^ There have been plenty of Subaru owners that drive for 100k+ with a knock. How severe is the knock?
Hey Cardoc,

Knocks a couple times at cold start up then quiets down, some valve noise at idle. If I blip the throttle while it's sitting it will make the rattley noise. Under acceleration I hear it inside the car. At cruising speed on flat ground it sounds fine. When I took it to my mechanic, he used a mechanical stethescope to check the cylinders and did indentify some noise. I don't hear any whines and I don't perceive any loss of power. It still feels like it goes like the day I bought it.

... and my AAA is up to date thanks. :)

Oh, my mechanic recommeneded using Lucas oil additive to limit oil consumption and wear and keep the valve noise down for the time being. I didn't want to use it until I was completely sure the dealer wouldn't work on it in case that became a deal breaker. What do you guys think of that stuff?
 

·
I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
Joined
·
12,306 Posts
All it is is a thickener. Don't bother.
 

·
I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
Joined
·
12,306 Posts
Going from 5w30 to 10w30 is not increasing viscosity. They are the same at operating temps, as 30 weight oils.

How much oil are you losing? Miles and time.
Is it burning/consuming or leaking?
 

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
14,317 Posts
Hey Cardoc,

Knocks a couple times at cold start up then quiets down, some valve noise at idle. If I blip the throttle while it's sitting it will make the rattley noise. Under acceleration I hear it inside the car. At cruising speed on flat ground it sounds fine. When I took it to my mechanic, he used a mechanical stethescope to check the cylinders and did indentify some noise. I don't hear any whines and I don't perceive any loss of power. It still feels like it goes like the day I bought it.

... and my AAA is up to date thanks. :)

Oh, my mechanic recommeneded using Lucas oil additive to limit oil consumption and wear and keep the valve noise down for the time being. I didn't want to use it until I was completely sure the dealer wouldn't work on it in case that became a deal breaker. What do you guys think of that stuff?
Was the noise in the block or closer to the heads?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Was the noise in the block or closer to the heads?
As I recall, my mechanic was putting the stethescope about mid-cylinder and heard something on the one side, driver's side front cylinder. They were going back and forth putting it all over and listening.
 

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
14,317 Posts
As I recall, my mechanic was putting the stethescope about mid-cylinder and heard something on the one side, driver's side front cylinder. They were going back and forth putting it all over and listening.
See if you can follow me here.

If a rod bearing is the problem, the noise will be near center, or just off center, of the engine block since the rods connect to the crankshaft and a loose rod bearing would knock at TDC & BDC. A crank bearing would be consistently at the center. If the noise was heard near the driver front corner, then that would be a piston, valve noise or even the possiblity of pre ignition due to carbon build up, depending on the type of knock and the temperature of the engine when the knock occurs. (I am generalizing, so bear with me)

So, without tearing an engine out for replacement or to break it down to find the issue, the location of the noise could determine whether it needs an overhaul or just head work.

Some repair shops will be quick to sell an engine. It's either because they can't find the issue, miss the issue; or they just don't care to and want your wallet. Sometimes engine replacement is lower in cost compared to an overhaul, but partial repair, such as a cylinder head, is rather inexpensive.

Getting back to your engine, knowing the location and severity of the knock may save you some cash in the long run.

And for engines that need to be replaced: LKQ has engines available with a 3 year warranty. Flat. Unlimited mileage. The engine has to be installed by a professional at a license shop though. No home installation. I've installed 7 engines and 1 transmission from them and have had zero issues. And its cheaper than a rebuild by the time you compare a parts list and machine work to pulling one off a pallet with all new internals.
 

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
14,317 Posts
^ I've only installed one Subaru engine from them, SOHC for a forester that was way gone to a massive oil loss real quick. Replacement vs rebuild was calculated and the owner opted for replacement. A few thousand miles in and it purrs smoothly. So as long as his daughter keeps up with the schedule, it should last her through college and beyond.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
See if you can follow me here.

If a rod bearing is the problem, the noise will be near center, or just off center, of the engine block since the rods connect to the crankshaft and a loose rod bearing would knock at TDC & BDC. A crank bearing would be consistently at the center. If the noise was heard near the driver front corner, then that would be a piston, valve noise or even the possiblity of pre ignition due to carbon build up, depending on the type of knock and the temperature of the engine when the knock occurs. (I am generalizing, so bear with me)

So, without tearing an engine out for replacement or to break it down to find the issue, the location of the noise could determine whether it needs an overhaul or just head work.

Some repair shops will be quick to sell an engine. It's either because they can't find the issue, miss the issue; or they just don't care to and want your wallet. Sometimes engine replacement is lower in cost compared to an overhaul, but partial repair, such as a cylinder head, is rather inexpensive.

Getting back to your engine, knowing the location and severity of the knock may save you some cash in the long run.

And for engines that need to be replaced: LKQ has engines available with a 3 year warranty. Flat. Unlimited mileage. The engine has to be installed by a professional at a license shop though. No home installation. I've installed 7 engines and 1 transmission from them and have had zero issues. And its cheaper than a rebuild by the time you compare a parts list and machine work to pulling one off a pallet with all new internals.
^ I've only installed one Subaru engine from them, SOHC for a forester that was way gone to a massive oil loss real quick. Replacement vs rebuild was calculated and the owner opted for replacement. A few thousand miles in and it purrs smoothly. So as long as his daughter keeps up with the schedule, it should last her through college and beyond.
Good to know, thanks for all your info. I'm following you with rod bearing vs crank bearing vs head/valve noise. Maybe I can take a quick video with sound and post it.
 

·
Registered
2006 Outback 2.5i Limited 5MT, 1984 Porsche 944
Joined
·
277 Posts
In the past I've used a metronome to differentiate valve vs. crank/piston noise. A valve noise will only occur once every two revolutions. Crank/piston noise will be every revolution generally. (sometimes rod bearings will only knock on detonation, which is once every two revolutions).

This is important to know because noises can be miss leading. They can travel far from the original source.
 

·
Registered
2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
Joined
·
1,698 Posts
Hey Cardoc,

Knocks a couple times at cold start up then quiets down, some valve noise at idle. If I blip the throttle while it's sitting it will make the rattley noise. Under acceleration I hear it inside the car. At cruising speed on flat ground it sounds fine. When I took it to my mechanic, he used a mechanical stethescope to check the cylinders and did indentify some noise. I don't hear any whines and I don't perceive any loss of power. It still feels like it goes like the day I bought it.

... and my AAA is up to date thanks. :)

Oh, my mechanic recommeneded using Lucas oil additive to limit oil consumption and wear and keep the valve noise down for the time being. I didn't want to use it until I was completely sure the dealer wouldn't work on it in case that became a deal breaker. What do you guys think of that stuff?
This really sounds like piston slap. I would suggest you take it to a independent Subaru shop (Not a dealer) for a second opinion. Don't tell them what the dealer told you.......Just ask them for an opinion on the noise. If it is a piston slap, it could last another 150k......As long as you keep oil in it, that is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Called some shops in the area for estimates. One guy said he wasn't interested, but recommended a place that did work like that. He checked it out, sat behind the wheel, revved it a few times and we could hear the knock. From idle, it was faint, but a rev and you head the rattley rod noise.

He's supposed to be getting back to me today with a price on a used motor. Anything to be wary of? I asked him "How do you know it doesn't have a problem?" and he said they come with a warranty. He said they don't use reman engines.

As always, I appreciate everyone's input.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top