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My wife and I bought a 2012 Outback brand new at the end of April 2012. about 3 weeks ago, we were headed out to breakfast when we heard a noise that sounded like gravel, nothing metallic, just like a light gravel or dragging sound and the engine quit 1/8 mile out of our driveway. We coasted to a stop and the motor locked up without warning! I ran synthetic oil and good filters, either Pure One or Napa filters since 748 miles. The last oil change, which had 1600 miles, was with Pennzoil synthetic 5w30 (I usually use Mobil 1 5w30 and Purolator filters). I pulled the dipstick, and it had plenty of oil and no signs of coolant. Had it towed, using roadside, 60 miles to the dealer... we live literally in the middle of nowhere too. This past week I stopped in and they said the motor was trashed. They drained the oil and some blue coolant came out with the oil. No idea what happened, but they are replacing it under warranty. It should be finished this week. I asked if they needed receipts for the oil changes as I keep very detailed records and receipts. They said nope, don't need em. They had the motor out and were putting in a brand new one from Subaru, and the reason it was taking so long was that it took a while to get the engine.

The Outback is a 2.5i with a 6 speed manual.

We're going to trade it in around 30-35K and get a 2013. My wife drives roughly, at this time, 40K a year. She wants a different color and some other options as well.

Will update when I have more details on this mishap...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nope. She and I both do 100% highway driving. Most is rural highway. She drives up to 950 miles a week. I do all maintenance on it, and yes, I check the oil regularly. I changed the air filter at 15K when I changed the oil. I take pretty good care of it. I think it was a fluke since nobody else has heard of this before.
 

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I mis-read your statement when you wrote "my wife drives roughly, at this time, 40,000 miles a year"

I read it as "my wife drives roughly, at this time," "40,000 miles a year!"
 

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I would think Subaru would want the best technicians to take that original engine all apart to find what actually happened to such a new engine! That thing was just about broken-in, not much past that!
 

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Luck of the draw.....Just be happy it did not wait another 20k miles. It would be interesting to know what broke, but obviously, something just failed, catastrophically. Since it seized, and had coolant in the crankcase, I am betting a rod failure that broke the block.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Luck of the draw.....Just be happy it did not wait another 20k miles. It would be interesting to know what broke, but obviously, something just failed, catastrophically. Since it seized, and had coolant in the crankcase, I am betting a rod failure that broke the block.
Didn't sound like a rod at all. The dealer said the same thing, Subaru will likely want to see what happened and will probably take it apart. I'd be curious to know what happened myself. And no, she does not drive it "rough", I meant, it as a roundabout number for mileage, not in terms of how she drives...
 

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Gravel sound? like a timimg chain? The 2012 has the chain, right? Water pump failure in some strange way could have cracked the block. That pump is chain driven and anything failing with the chain would give a gravel sound.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Gravel sound? like a timimg chain? The 2012 has the chain, right? Water pump failure in some strange way could have cracked the block. That pump is chain driven and anything failing with the chain would give a gravel sound.
Nope, the '12 has a belt, the '13 got a chain. Part of the reason we want a '13 is the chain... should, in theory, be less trouble, haha.
 

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Also eager to see the autopsy report...

Mrausch82, We're glad it didn't cause an accident for you and also very eager to hear what the root cause was on this one. I'm eager to see if the dealer or SOA actually clue you in on the cause or just do their investigation without giving details... After the boxer head gasket issues of yore on this forum, SOA may be sensitive to such situations...

But if you do get a full root cause report, that's really encouraging that the new Subaru/Toyota cultures are working together to make the brand better... I recall Mr. Toyoda's apologies during the "sudden acceleration" fiasca at Toyota for example... That was a tough pill to swallow, but the company has improved for the experience.
 

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Mrausch82, We're glad it didn't cause an accident for you and also very eager to hear what the root cause was on this one. I'm eager to see if the dealer or SOA actually clue you in on the cause or just do their investigation without giving details... After the boxer head gasket issues of yore on this forum, SOA may be sensitive to such situations...

But if you do get a full root cause report, that's really encouraging that the new Subaru/Toyota cultures are working together to make the brand better... I recall Mr. Toyoda's apologies during the "sudden acceleration" fiasca at Toyota for example... That was a tough pill to swallow, but the company has improved for the experience.
Yeah, I am glad nothing else happened, i.e. and accident. I just pressed in the clutch and coasted. I am thinking maybe a head gasket failed or something cracked, and it hydrolocked. I will try to get more info this week from the dealer, who as of now, has been very helpful.
 

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I am guessing the engine was a Friday afternoon, end of shift build.
 

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My wife and I bought a 2012 Outback brand new at the end of April 2012. about 3 weeks ago, we were headed out to breakfast when we heard a noise that sounded like gravel, nothing metallic, just like a light gravel or dragging sound and the engine quit 1/8 mile out of our driveway. We coasted to a stop and the motor locked up without warning! I ran synthetic oil and good filters, either Pure One or Napa filters since 748 miles. The last oil change, which had 1600 miles, was with Pennzoil synthetic 5w30 (I usually use Mobil 1 5w30 and Purolator filters). I pulled the dipstick, and it had plenty of oil and no signs of coolant. Had it towed, using roadside, 60 miles to the dealer... we live literally in the middle of nowhere too. This past week I stopped in and they said the motor was trashed. They drained the oil and some blue coolant came out with the oil. No idea what happened, but they are replacing it under warranty. It should be finished this week. I asked if they needed receipts for the oil changes as I keep very detailed records and receipts. They said nope, don't need em. They had the motor out and were putting in a brand new one from Subaru, and the reason it was taking so long was that it took a while to get the engine.

The Outback is a 2.5i with a 6 speed manual.

We're going to trade it in around 30-35K and get a 2013. My wife drives roughly, at this time, 40K a year. She wants a different color and some other options as well.

Will update when I have more details on this mishap...

It happens hence why auto makers offer a standard warranty that comes with the car when you purchase it. My co-workers 911S decided to eat some major engine parts at 1500 miles as he was pulling into the parking lot at work. Porsche replaced the engine and his dealer told him that they see this about once a year just a flawed part or housing etc that lets go and bang you have a fancy paperweight for an engine.
 

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I had two engines replaced within 24,000miles on my then new 1997 Dodge Intrepid. 600 miles it developed a rod knock and at 24,000 miles a timing belt/chain (forget which) let go which bent the valves.
After the second repair, I immediately bought a Honda Accord. Shyt happens.
 

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Mass production parts will always have imperfections. It's not like they are bentlys that are hand built (well may be not so much any more). But There is always tolerances (aka imperfections) that will happen and there is an engeenering person, board, review, etc... that says that a certin amount of tolerance is acceptible risk. Hence the warranty. If they were able to make every part regardless to 0 tolerance and every person drove their car the same way (how boring would that be) then no warranty would be needed. It is just laws of averages and engineering tolerances.
The OP must have gotten a part that passed inspections and were with in tolerance, but just with in it.
 

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Mass production parts will always have imperfections.
Yes, but far fewer imperfections than parts hand-crafted
by elves in the Black Forest -- or especially, by trolls in
Trollhättan.

...87.3% of elves and trolls are drunken slackers,

Looby
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Never got a real answer for what happened except for "we've never seen that before." Apparently there was coolant when they drained the oil, although I checked the oil the day before since it was changed shortly before the incident. It looked fine. Number 4 piston came apart, and it threw a rod. They could not get a long block from Subaru, so they had to get a short block (new), new heads, but had to buy the valves, etc. separately. I was upset that they re-used the timing belt and SOME valves/parts in the valve train, but put a new intake manifold, radiator, oil pump, etc. due to "metal pieces in the system." They did a good job, however, and were really nice about it. My guess is that it was the call of SOA to go that route, I mean, reuse some stuff, and replace other stuff.

That said, we got a 2013 Outback yesterday, from the same dealer. Got a **** of a deal. Its a green premium 6 speed... what the wife wanted the first time, so she is super happy. We pick it up on Sat. :29:
 

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Never got a real answer for what happened except for "we've never seen that before." Apparently there was coolant when they drained the oil, although I checked the oil the day before since it was changed shortly before the incident. It looked fine. Number 4 piston came apart, and it threw a rod. They could not get a long block from Subaru, so they had to get a short block (new), new heads, but had to buy the valves, etc. separately. I was upset that they re-used the timing belt and SOME valves/parts in the valve train, but put a new intake manifold, radiator, oil pump, etc. due to "metal pieces in the system." They did a good job, however, and were really nice about it. My guess is that it was the call of SOA to go that route, I mean, reuse some stuff, and replace other stuff.

That said, we got a 2013 Outback yesterday, from the same dealer. Got a **** of a deal. Its a green premium 6 speed... what the wife wanted the first time, so she is super happy. We pick it up on Sat. :29:
All is well that ends well.
A comment on the mode of failure........Almost all rod failures start with the small end, wrist pin seizing in the piston and/or rod. This can make the piston come apart, or it can exert enough leverage to break the rod near the big end. The exception is the failure of a rod bolt, which is usually from improper torquing or fatigue from being torqued more cycles than intended in the design. Then, the rod doesn't necessarily break, but the bearing cap comes off, with catastrophic consequences.

The most likely cause of your particular failure was a failure of the oil supply to the wrist pin, and it was probably as a consequence of missed machining or bad assembly. Less likely is the piston was just defective, and broke up, allowing the small end to bust the cylinder walls.
An expert on failure modes could figure it out, from the broken pieces......But it really doesn't matter to anyone, at this point.
 
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