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Discussion Starter #1
I've searched, but did not find any similar threads.
My 2008 Outback, base engine, 97K miles, started to idle very roughly and the check engine light illuminated. Got it towed to my regular mechanic. Code indicated #1 misfire. He pulled the plug, said it looked okay and fired. Swapped fuel injectors with no change. Did compression test and zero compression in #1 with others okay. The mechanic said it was a very rare occurrence. He said it would cost $1,800 to R&R the head plus the cost to repair whatever failed.
Drove it home from the mechanic (3 miles) and it died in my driveway. The check engine light was illuminated when I left the mechanic and started to flash part way home. The engine starts but stalls as soon as I put it in gear. Four miles from initial incident to complete failure.
I figured the car is toast and looked at the RAV4, CRV, and headed to my Subaru dealer. The salesman who sold me the car in 2007 also said that it was a very rare occurrence and that Subaru is very good about taking care of such failures. The salesman said to talk to the service manager (on vacation for two more days). Has anyone experienced such a failure and did Subaru repair the engine or buy back the car or give a decent trade-in on a new Subaru?
 

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2006 Outback Wagon 2.5i
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Did your mech say what was wrong, like a bad head gasket or broken valve? Others on this board know much more than I, but unless you're going to work on this car yourself, I say take the money and run. For me, the more I work on this car the more I like it and will happily keep pouring money and time into it. I've just replaced head gaskets, struts, lower control arms and timing belt on my '05, all of which your car is going to need. It sounds like an industrial sewing machine and can barely get out of its own way when getting on the freeway, but it has never stranded me anywhere (knock on wood) in twelve years.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The mechanic said it would cost $1,800 just to remove and reinstall the head with a new head gasket. He said that he cannot determine the failure until the head is off. Then add the cost of the repair. So likely $2,500 to $3,000. The car is worth about $2,700 on trade. I will talk with the service manager when he returns from vacation and request that Subaru either repair the car or buy it back or give me a very good trade value on a new Forester or Outback. I have no interest in doing anything beyond oil and windshield wiper changes anymore. I have a 1940 Ford that needs maintenance and other work and that is all I care to get into. Since July 2017 three wheel/hub bearings have been replaced as have the rear struts and springs (one spring broke). Four problems, including a catastrophic failure, in 13 months equals no longer reliable and a money pit.
 

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2005 18psi supercharged U5 Outback w/207k+ miles
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757 Posts
what about doing a leakdown test before pulling the heads?

i honestly don't think subaru of america has any reason to be involved here, unless the car is somehow still under warranty.
 

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2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
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WOW - your mechanic did not even pull the valve-cover to inspect the valvetrain? My daughter has had TWO Gen3 outback which started to have 'rattly' engine sound... In BOTH cases, some of the valvetrain fasteners had loosened up to the point of nearly falling off.


Her mechanic said she saved the engine by being astute regarding unusual engine-noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I figured I got screwed by my Outback; no engine should die at 97K. I went car shopping, told the Toyota and Honda salesmen the problem, they offered $1,000 for the dead car, and I was okay with that. Then the Subaru salesman told me that Subaru generally steps up to the plate in such circumstances. So I will follow the process to see what happens. Good points on the valve train; the mechanic likely did not want to go through the ordeal and expense to me of undoing exhaust and engine mounts to pull the valve cover. From reading about the process I expect that's another couple hours of shop time and nothing I care to tackle. Brucep, was the mechanic able to fix your daughter's cars without pulling the head? After two such failures I sure as heck would eliminate Subaru for my next car. I did not hear or feel any indications of impending doom. Next car, two repairs and gone.
 

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2005 18psi supercharged U5 Outback w/207k+ miles
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Sounds like you are done with the car .. so the cost of repair is sort of moot. Someone would probably be willing to pay more than $1000 for it but finding that person may not be worth the effort. Maybe Subaru dealer will pay more for it because they can fix it easier/cheaper than other dealerships. Subaru of America would probably also give you $500 off a new car purchase for your trouble. So if by some chance the dealer would give you a lot more than Honda/Toyota, and you combined it with $500 from SOA , maybe it's a consideration to look at another Subaru.

For what it's worth, the new Subaru motors do not have the oil burning issues that the old ones had, and they do not have timing belts to have to change every 100k miles.
 
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