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Discussion Starter #1
Hey All,

I feel sick to my stomach today.

So, to make a long story short, I got a call from my local Subaru dealer's service department today. I was told that my 2006 2.5XT Limited w/ 78K miles has a blown turbo and there are metal fragments in the engine. I was a few hundred miles late for an oil change, but they said the blown turbo would eat the oil anyway so there's no way of telling if it's my fault or not at this point.

The dealer said they will definitely have to replace the turbo and short block for roughly $8,000 and there's a "possibility" that the gaskets are blown, too, which gets the repair up above $12,000. It also needs some suspension work, so I am looking at about $13k in work . . . which is greater than the value of the car (I live in Boston and it has lots of cosmetic city-living dings).

The best estimate I could get was $8-$9 to drop a rebuilt engine into it. This was from a wonderful shop outside the city and the mechanic I spoke to was informative, cool, and gave me lots of his time just because I called. He said to do the work at this price, I'd then end up with a salvage title which would probably negatively impact the resale value of the car. He also said that he's seen this before with the 2.5XTs. Oh, and the last time he saw someone junk a car this happened to it was an '05 Legacy and they got $550.

(The non-automotive side of the story is that I am a graduate student finishing my PhD. I have no real ability to lease or finance right now. I am looking at borrowing repair, or replace, money from my family.) I am really F'ed.

So, I am here trying to gather some opinions on what I should do.

-On one hand, fixing this car seems to make sense because I'd (hopefully) get several more years of use out of a great vehicle and be able to resell or trade it in for "something" when I am ready to move on.

-On the other hand, scrapping it seems to make the most sense since I have no guarantee (as was just demonstrated to me) that the car will hold the money I put into it. If I scrapped it, I'd borrow way LESS money to buy a beater to use while I finish my degree.

AND BTW: If anyone has suggestions for someone who could repair or junk it in the Boston area, I'd appreciate it.

Okay, thanks for anything you can offer. I'm going to go back to feeling sick to my stomach now.....
 

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Yes when you own a Turbo engine it requires a much higher level of awareness regarding fluids, oil condition and how its operating. Small turbo engines do not tolerate poor oil change intervals at all and will bite you for it.

Fix the car given you will be able to sell it in a year or so at market value. Keep all your records!!! So you can show it was handled correctly to the new owner etc. This is a very well known issue with the XT and the Turbo Legacy Wagon and Sedan.

Even with a solid job I avoid Turbo vehicles as my daily drivers. For the fun car that can break and spend three months in the garage till I feel like spending money fixing it not a big deal etc.

Fix it!!! And only run quality Synthetic oil in it and do not run it beyond 4000 miles per oil change!

As for cost? That seems very high given you could get a whole new engine for nearly half that price. Shop around but keep in mind you get what you pay for when you shoot for the lowest bidder.
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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Well, does the engine really need to be replaced?

I've seen engines eat a lot of crap and maybe burn a little oil from a scrape in a cylinder, but does the engine really need to be written off before actually checking it?
 

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2013 2.5i Limited
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That sucks..... sorry to hear it... It looks like re-manufactured engines for the xt are 6k (high end) delivered. plus installation. Tough decision... I was considering making you an offer but too much to invest for me... You have to look at the whole vehicle and think about what the condition of the rest of the vehicle is and how much else you will have to spend vs how much you would spend on a reliable replacement vehicle.

-Mike.
 

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2013 Outback 3.6R Limited
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How difficult would it be, and would it save this poor guy any money to ditch the turbo and stuff a NA engine in it? It'd be easier to maintain and more reliable, which is what he really needs for getting through school.
 

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The non turbo - if he has the manual transmission would probably involve a new ECU to run the engine. If he has the AT that could be difficult.
 

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'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
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I'd suggest checking out LegacyGT.com too there is alot of Turbo Subaru info on that site.

Personally, I couldn't justify putting $13k into a car for repairs. Maybe if you were building it to be a track car and could afford the upgrades. I'd write it off, see what the dealer has on the lot used and see if you can work out a deal with them. Or borrow 1/3 the money you would have put into repairs and buy a beater car to drive until you are out of school and can afford a better one.

If space allows, keep the XT and store it until you can afford to put an engine in, or list it on the forums as a parts car and you will probably get more that scrapping it.

edit: check out AZP installs in Kenilworth (not Boston area, but not TOO far either)
http://azpinstalls.com/

I had them do the 60k service on my LGT while I was visiting my brother in Matawan. Good shop and they might be able to offer a good price.
 

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2009 Tribeca Now - 2004 Outback EJ259 - Sold
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Good advice from vr4.
Should be able to locate a good engine in the 3-4k range.
New turbo will be less than 1000.
Put it on the sideburner and start pulling together parts.
Drive something cheap in the meantime.
Selling or trading it as is, you're going loose a ton of money.

Unfortunately the dealer price is about right, pull the oil pan and have a look inside.
Chances are high that you're going to hit gold, lots of bearing material.
Have seen a few XT's like this, not many though, irresponsible maintenance schedule leading to engine destruction.
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Don't they have public transportation in Boston? Seriously though, find a place to store the car under a cover on jack stands. Get a beater for less than the cost of the rebuilt engine. Drive it into the ground. Which ain't hard to do in Boston (am I right?). Finish the degree (good luck BTW) and get that pay raise that'll help you pay off the loans and fix the car in the near future.

My employer paid for all of my degrees so they could bill me out higher on government contracts. I'm still waiting for the trickle down effect of that deal. :) Still paying off $40,000 on my wife's Ph.D. though.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks

Thanks to everyone for the replies so far. I'd appreciate more, so don't stop!

First off, yes, I am responsible for not maintaining the car meticulously. I bought it from a Chrysler dealership that had it among its used inventory when it was getting cancelled back in early summer of 2009. I got an insanely good deal, but nobody said anything to me about how much care this car was going to require.

It seems like the consensus here is that I should store the car, get myself a trustworthy, inexpensive beater like a Civic or something, and then try and recoup some losses in when I have money to repair this car and flip it. There's a problem though, I live in a studio apartment in the city with a single parking spot. Nearest relatives are hundreds of miles away. I have no way of storing this car. I also have only one week before the dealer will start charging me for storage (very nice of them to give me the week, actually.)

Like I said, I am F'ed.

So, I guess I need to get what I can for the car, call it an unfortunate loss, and get something to handle my transportation needs for the next year or two.

PLEASE: if anyone knows of any shop, private mechanic, or enthusiast, who can actually use the parts (interior is very nice, too), and could maybe offer me something more than what I'd get from scrapping it . . . please please please let me know. This is absolutely catastrophic.

Again, thanks for all the advice and support.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
One more thing.

Also, from what info I have been able to find online about Subarus with blown turbochargers, it sounds like it's not all that uncommon for people to perform the repairs and then have the turbo blow AGAIN within the year.

Is this true? If the repaired vehicle would be any more likely to have a catastrophic problem again, and the repairs are roughly equivalent to the value of the vehicle . . . then wouldn't it make more sense to buy a different car for $12K if it would cost $12K to repair this one????
 

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Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
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As others have said, check out legacygt.com A number of people in a similar situation as you posting over there. Fortunately, it's not as grim as it looks here. You can get several k for it as-is. You can probably get a new engine installed for 4-5k based on posts over there. Decide which you want to do, and push forward. Storing and repair in a few years will not make financial sense given your situation.
 

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Also, from what info I have been able to find online about Subarus with blown turbochargers, it sounds like it's not all that uncommon for people to perform the repairs and then have the turbo blow AGAIN within the year.

Is this true? If the repaired vehicle would be any more likely to have a catastrophic problem again, and the repairs are roughly equivalent to the value of the vehicle . . . then wouldn't it make more sense to buy a different car for $12K if it would cost $12K to repair this one????
1) The people who blow the 2nd turbo didn't change the short block + oil cooler or even inspect the banjo bolt filter, they just threw a new turbo on there. Usually the shop didn't know what they were doing. Your shop is giving you good advice, but they are too expensive.

2) You need to find someone that can put in a used engine for 4-5k and make sure they check/replace banjo bolt filter. This is the main reason for turbo failure. Then you need to do 3750 mile oil changes.

If your only option is repair as 12k, sell it as-is.
 

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I don't see your engine on here, but give them a call and see if they can help:

JDM Engine Depot
 

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Vr4s plan sounds plausible. I agree with the idea that you need to shop around some more. You don't want the wrong fix, but you don't need to pay the biggest bill either.

Good luck!
 

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This is no different from getting work done on a house or even buying a computer. You need to shop around or you could pay way too much for this. Like some have said though, don't just go with the lowest bidder because they may not know what they are doing. Read shop reviews on-line and make sure the shop does work on Subarus. It's possible getting the car fixed won't be $13k

Now what I don't understand is all that stuff about a salvage title. You didn't total your car in an accident, this repair isn't going through your insurance company, and you don't have to report this to the department of motor vehicles. Yeah you should tell a potential buyer that the engine was replaced, why, and who did the work. This shouldn't drop the value much if any though. A new engine and turbo put in by a reputable shop should actually increase value because the engine will theoretically last longer. What am I missing here guys?
 

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Go talk to your dealer and see what they can offer you. They might have a car that's been on the lot that they can't move and be willing to work out a reasonable trade/buy offer.

Contact AZP installs and see if they know of any local places that buy Subarus. Also check out LegacyGT.com and go into the regional forums and post asking for places that buy Subarus.

I know there are places that specialize in Subarus, S&S Parts comes to mind S & S Auto Parts - S&S AUTO PARTS , but I believe they are in California.

I say give up on the XT, it just doesn't make sense for you. It's upsetting and a tough lesson to learn, but the sooner you face it the sooner it will be behind you.

Good luck and let us know how everything works out.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I don't understand is all that stuff about a salvage title. You didn't total your car in an accident, this repair isn't going through your insurance company, and you don't have to report this to the department of motor vehicles. Yeah you should tell a potential buyer that the engine was replaced, why, and who did the work. This shouldn't drop the value much if any though. A new engine and turbo put in by a reputable shop should actually increase value because the engine will theoretically last longer. What am I missing here guys?
Oops. Yeah, I think I got that wrong. The shop I was talking to (and I was kind of frantic at that point), was using the phrase "salvage value" and in my hours of googling I think I saw enough things about "salvage titles" that I conflated the two. Glad to hear that I may have been hearing what I was told with a bit too much pessimism.

And honestly, guys, I'm not a gearhead. I don't know about salvage titles nor much more about cars in general. I am sure I sound like an ignorant fool to most of you who come here frequently, but I'm just a regular dude whose automotive skills top out at changing tires and batteries. I got a '97 OB when I was 24 and beat the living crap out of it for ten years in Boston. I thought I was in possession of a much more resilient machine that I actually am. I now know better.
 

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No, you don't sound like a fool at all. Ignorant yes, but that's how we learn, but realizing we don't know something.

This is a good thread! And good luck!
 

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