Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, my story might not be short but hopefully to the point.

My son worked hard to save money for his college car. He was set on a Subaru Outback, manual. Car was found on FB Marketplace and we decided it was a great purchase. With a little more than 140K, a 2008 blue beauty was calling his name and we both concurred it was a great purchase for $3,900. The family fund even helped a little to make things meet.

So, he took his new GF nicknamed Roxy to the mountains of TN and finish his second year of college. When he got back during the holidays, I knew it was time for a new clutch. Took Roxy to a Subie specialist that told me the clutch system had some chinese parts in it and that he had to rebore, rethread (?) in order to fit Subaru OEM parts.. So, I helped him with about $1,500 to replace the clutch. When he was done, Roxy was purring like an elegant cat. Amazing, beautiful, sporty ride everywhere. I thought, “hmm.. maybe I should become a Subie fan as well...”

Now, fast forward to summer and Roxy brought my son back home. Fresh with memories, Roxy took him to hidden swimming holes, watched drive-thru movies with friends and even housed a couple of them while hiking the beautiful mountains (just like in the commercials, right?). With the car in our driveway, my car broke so I had to ask him to let me drive Roxy for a couple of days while I sorted out my own car issue. On a recent weekend, shifting from 3rd into 4th (not overbearing at all), the car suffered a little bit of loss compression, it felt like Roxy had stuttered.. weird, I thought. I hope it doesn't happen again.. is it the timing belt?

Then, 48 hours later, the oil light started flickering.. on my way back home 4 days ago, I stopped by Valvoline Oil Center to change the oil. 5 quarts of synthetic oil later, Roxy was being driven, nicely without an oil light flickering again. The next day, while sitting idle in the parking lot at work, Roxy sounded like it was gasping for air. The engine trembled and when I started to drive away, a horrible knocking sound was heard.. it sounded like a piston was out of place. So, I turn the car off, went back to my desk and waited to leave back home. When it was time, the same horrible, knocking sound was heard but Roxy was able to turn on and allow me to drive off towards the road.. it also felt like I was driving with 2 cylinders instead of 4.

Then, I remembered my father's advice saying: “when and if you hear an engine knock and it sounds horrible, just turn the engine off or take it to a mechanic immediately” So I did. I told my wife, don't wait up for dinner for me, I gotta take Roxy to the Dr. immediately. 48 hours later, the diagnostic is in: The mechanic won't even open the engine and told me that there is something horrible wrong - most likely a cracked piston or something of that nature. His advice: Replace the engine with a “JDM Engine from Japan. Engines that are about 50K or 60K miles on it”.. His price tag: $1,500 for labor, $1,800 for JDM Engine and the rest for gaskets, seals, o-rings, Oil Change parts and fluids $585. In total, $4,090 out the door.

Wow, I'm in disbelief. Right now, my son is floored with how much he has had to spend on the car, thinking of the sweet memories it has brought him. I am a bit upset that I have had to also dish out some money from the family fund and now we are both considering whether to spend the $4K and change or consider alternative ways of either letting go of Roxy into eternal bliss and/or considering purchasing an engine ourselves (is that even possible?), hiring someone else to do the job and hopefully slash the tag price of bringing Roxy back to life for less than half of what the Subie expert is telling us.

I am not questioning the Subie's expert advice. I'm pretty sure he's a professional and has provided me with a good-faith estimate. I'm actually thinking if spending the money is worth it. My son's allegiance has not wavered.. he's still a Subaru fan to the core. His ultimate wish would be to own a Subaru Crosstrek.. but before he gets there, he's out $3,900 + $1,500 + $4,000 (if he fixes it) = $9,400.

Meaningful, experienced but kind advice is needed. I really don't want to jump into a hasty decision here.

Much appreciated.

Subaru Outback 2008
Manual Transmission
157K Miles
2.5L, 4 Cyl
(Not LL Been Edition)
 

·
Registered
2014 Subaru Outback 2.5 Premium
Joined
·
523 Posts
Its a real tough call but I can say if you do the new motor it will be a solid running vehicle for a long time most likely. The prices you got seem on par from what ive heard and there inst going to be a much cheaper option unless you can do the work yourself or a friend who knows cars. I would say he isnt off saying that it needs the motor from what you described. If that price includes new gaskets and t belt then you shouldn't have any big maintenance worries once its done.
 

·
Registered
2019 Outback Touring 2.5
Joined
·
143 Posts
As an alternative look at what $4,000 will get you for a used Subie, plus you can probably get some $ for your junker. Remember you have an eleven year old car with an unknown history.
 

·
Registered
2015 3.6 Premium
Joined
·
1,183 Posts
Sorry to hear of your sons (and your) situation. You are in coin toss territory here. I would probably go with the engine swap. Junking the car wont get you much towards a replacement and the replacement could also have issues. At least you will have a newer engine with a relatively new clutch.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1stinlastout

·
Registered
2000 Outback, 2006 Outback XT LTD, 2005 Legacy GT LTD
Joined
·
45 Posts
Sorry to hear of your sons (and your) situation. You are in coin toss territory here. I would probably go with the engine swap. Junking the car wont get you much towards a replacement and the replacement could also have issues. At least you will have a newer engine with a relatively new clutch.
That's how things have been going for me lately. Save money and do it yourself. I have found the legacy is really simple to work on. Check out youtube.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top