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Discussion Starter #1
We just got my wife's Forester ('13 2.5) back from our indie import repair shop with the pleasant news of a bad rod bearing. It was making an awful sound before taking it in. I knew it was going to be catastrophic. Anyway, they are trying to figure out whats best for us going forward but I wanted to get some advice here. We're still paying on the car and she doesn't want to get rid of it. Only just 106xxx miles on it. Should I try to source a used motor/short block, get SOA involved, get rid of it?We were quoted between 3-5k to repair. Thanks for any help.
 

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In my world, it would be gone.........
 

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We just got my wife's Forester ('13 2.5) back from our indie import repair shop with the pleasant news of a bad rod bearing. It was making an awful sound before taking it in. I knew it was going to be catastrophic. Anyway, they are trying to figure out whats best for us going forward but I wanted to get some advice here. We're still paying on the car and she doesn't want to get rid of it. Only just 106xxx miles on it. Should I try to source a used motor/short block, get SOA involved, get rid of it?We were quoted between 3-5k to repair. Thanks for any help.
Did it run low on oil? Some of those had extended 100,000 mile oil consumption warranties.

New Subaru short block $2,000 + $3,000 labor. Then you get 3yr/36,000 mile warranty instead of 1 year or less used/shop warranty on an unknown engine with unknown oil control rings and oil consumption possibilities.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Did it run low on oil? Some of those had extended 100,000 mile oil consumption warranties.

New Subaru short block $2,000 + $3,000 labor. Then you get 3yr/36,000 mile warranty instead of 1 year or less used/shop warranty on an unknown engine with unknown oil control rings and oil consumption possibilities.

No. The oil was always changed on time and never ran low. When we got the bad news the mechanic said the oil level was fine. Yeah I found a used short block on ebay with unknown miles, 6 month warranty for less than $1k shipped. It's a gamble.
 

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No. The oil was always changed on time and never ran low. When we got the bad news the mechanic said the oil level was fine. Yeah I found a used short block on ebay with unknown miles, 6 month warranty for less than $1k shipped. It's a gamble.
I wouldn't want a used short block for a 13 Forester. That approach is a great option for some Subaru platforms, and I've done it plenty of times. but if someone were paying me to do that engine you have, I wouldn't even think about it without a really compelling reason.

I would consider a used engine or long block, with some caveats, but not a short block. But with oil consumption issues you end up in the Ford Exploder transmission boat of needing to pay a lot of money for a questionable part. So I don't really like that option either for a 2013 FB25.

In this case, the new Subaru block with warranty has some advantages and isn't atrocious if the vehicle has been well maintained and is in good condition.

If you just ditch it now it's a complete loss and all but worthless. Fix it for $5k, drive it 1-3 years under engine warranty and sell it to recoupe your $5k and buy you time to make a good purchase decision in the future rather than being forced that hand now.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I wouldn't want a used short block for a 13 Forester. That approach is a great option for some Subaru platforms, and I've done it plenty of times. but if someone were paying me to do that engine you have, I wouldn't even think about it without a really compelling reason.

I would consider a used engine or long block, with some caveats, but not a short block. But with oil consumption issues you end up in the Ford Exploder transmission boat of needing to pay a lot of money for a questionable part. So I don't really like that option either for a 2013 FB25.

In this case, the new Subaru block with warranty has some advantages and isn't atrocious if the vehicle has been well maintained and is in good condition.

If you just ditch it now it's a complete loss and all but worthless. Fix it for $5k, drive it 1-3 years under engine warranty and sell it to recoupe your $5k and buy you time to make a good purchase decision in the future rather than being forced that hand now.
Thank you. I appreciate the honest reply and advice.
 

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Honestly, the reason they are so expensive used is due to the specificity of the 11-13 Foresters and the FB engine.

I would float the idea to your mechanic about using a 14+ Legacy engine. With some minor labor and part transfers, it's been proven to be a successful sway. Plus, most major recyclers (LKQ, for example) are retailing these near $500 with a 6 month warranty. There are a few written guides/articles about it, and it should save you the labor and parts of a short block swap.

Food for thought.
 

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If you have a full service history of the vehicle I would get SOA involved as, in my opinion, you should not have a failing conrod/big end bearing at 106,000 miles on a properly serviced vehicle and I think SOA would agree.

Installing a new short block from Subaru with the financial support of SOA would be a best case scenario if it were my vehicle and that is what I would be trying first.

Seagrass
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If you have a full service history of the vehicle I would get SOA involved as, in my opinion, you should not have a failing conrod/big end bearing at 106,000 miles on a properly serviced vehicle and I think SOA would agree.

Installing a new short block from Subaru with the financial support of SOA would be a best case scenario if it were my vehicle and that is what I would be trying first.

Seagrass
This is our plan of action. We just dropped it off at the dealership last night. Thanks for the input.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
UPDATE: Subaru dealer says it's not a bad rod bearing but a worn drive belt. Could this be the case? I don't believe their diagnosis but why would they turn down a $5k repair?
 

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Anything is possible BUT how one shop diagnoses a bad rod bearing and another a worn drive belt is a bit of a mystery.

Maybe they are each reporting on a different noise.

Seagrass
 

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UPDATE: Subaru dealer says it's not a bad rod bearing but a worn drive belt. Could this be the case? I don't believe their diagnosis but why would they turn down a $5k repair?
I could see the belt tensioner jumping could make a similar noise, but could be localized pretty easily and diag'd. Either the dealer is grossly incompetent, the indy didn't want to deal with it, or someone is not on the same page.
 

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Do you get the warranty if you buy the part or only if you have Subaru do the work?
Yes - if a certified ASE trained shop installs it - you get the warranty. You can ask Subaru about it.

I'm not sure what they would do if someone who isn't a shop installed it. I'd imagine your chances are better if you have a good relationship with your dealer parts manager and lesser if not.
 

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UPDATE: Subaru dealer says it's not a bad rod bearing but a worn drive belt. Could this be the case? I don't believe their diagnosis but why would they turn down a $5k repair?
That's odd. But it's easy and cheap to test. Remove the belt - does the noise go away? I would verify that in about 6 minutes.

This doesn't really seem likely to confuse the two and these two things are not what I would expect in your situation/engine but....

The drive belts can start to shred and BAM BAM BAM every time the loose strand(s) hit something. Small shreds and it'll sound like light rustling, if the shredded part is big enough it'll be loud...but usually it sounds really busy as it's hitting lots of things not very very distinct like a rod bearing. More like a lot of whirring and whizzing.

I've seen tensioners fail and bang too - watch them and they exhibit an inordinate amount of movement and play and within that play there are parts knocking together making noises.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you for all the input. We just got it back from the dealer and it's never run better. We went ahead and let them replace the drive belt and the "knocking" sound is gone its running as smooth as ever. They even replaced her rear pads/rotors at no cost ($450 job) after a miscommunication. Fingers crossed about the motor.
 

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That's quite the extreme in differences in diagnosis. At least it was in your favor; you didn't go in for a bad drive belt to be told that you had a failing rod bearing. I found it odd that you would have a failing bearing at 106K on a properly serviced engine, but there are odd issues out there that surface in any type of manufacturing.
 

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I found it odd that you would have a failing bearing at 106K on a properly serviced engine, but there are odd issues out there that surface in any type of manufacturing.
Assuming you meant a bearing in the timing belt system (not sure), it has happened here and been documented - although the jury is still out on exactly what the cause was:
 

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No, I was commenting on the difference between the initial diagnosis the OP mentioned, the rod bearing, and what it actually turned out to be. I could have been more specific in my post.
 
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