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Discussion Starter #1
This is my 1st time on this site so I hope I am in the right place...
I have a 2009 Subaru Outback with 89,927 miles. My car will be 4 years old in another month. A few weeks ago I was on I95 between NY & CT, when my car started having a problem; my check engine light came on, the car was not sounding right, then the oil light started flashing. Fortunately I was near a weigh station and pulled off the road. Long story short, there was no oil in the tank, although I was not due for an oil change for another 12 days. However, I was over the 3000 miles suggested by not quite 2000 miles. There was never a visible oil leak from my car, and there was never an oil light that came on to indicate oil was low, until the dreadful day. My car was towed to the dealership that I purchased it from in Norwalk, CT and I was told my engine blew and the cost, with a few other repairs of approx. $900 would cost me $5,645.00.:gasp: Needless to say, I was and still am in shock! They brought the price down to $4,950. I am looking for guidance, who can I contact for compensation? This is obviously a premature engine problem, or is it an oil problem?? HELP!
 

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I would start with, is the engine really blown?

Dealers are very hungry right now, and there have been many cases of unnecessary work, even though they may be technically correct in some ways that the engine is 'blown'.

But, if you drove it very low on oil, a blown engine is what you would get. 3 or 4 quarts in 5000 miles would be a pretty heavy oil consumption rate, but our '05 forester usually uses almost a quart in 3000 miles.

I would like to know if the engine had oil on the bottom of it, if the oil drain -plug came out of if the oil filter was loose whomever last changed the oil owes you an engine.

My dealer once left the drain-plug finger-tight.

Did the engine make horrible clattering/knocking sounds?

What is driving their judgement it needs an engine?
Does it even start?

You could consider putting in a junkyard engine, dealer might balk but other garages wouldn't.
 

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Wow, that's really crappy. Sorry to hear of your misfortune :(

1) Who changed your oil last
2) Have you noticed your car smoking out the back? (blue/gray)
3) Any history of oil consumption? Like, when you took it in for an oil change, did they ever mention you were a quart or more low?
4) Have you tried contacting Subaru of America? I agree that this seems very premature. But you need to have your bases covered as far as service history goes.

That's all I can think of now. I'm sure others will chime in.
 

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Wow, that's really crappy. Sorry to hear of your misfortune :(

1) Who changed your oil last
2) Have you noticed your car smoking out the back? (blue/gray)
3) Any history of oil consumption? Like, when you took it in for an oil change, did they ever mention you were a quart or more low?
4) Have you tried contacting Subaru of America? I agree that this seems very premature. But you need to have your bases covered as far as service history goes.

That's all I can think of now. I'm sure others will chime in.
I would add the question did you ever check your own oil? I have a '12 OB and I check the oil every time I fuel up. Yes, it might be overkill, but it is a habit that might someday save me from what you are going through...
Good luck!
 

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I would start with, is the engine really blown?

Dealers are very hungry right now, and there have been many cases of unnecessary work, even though they may be technically correct in some ways that the engine is 'blown'.

But, if you drove it very low on oil, a blown engine is what you would get.

Did the engine make horrible clattering/knocking sounds?

What is driving their judgement it needs an engine?
Does it even start?

You could consider putting in a junkyard engine, dealer might balk but other garages wouldn't.
That's a good point. I had a Honda that used to drink a quart or more per week. Before I realized how bad it was, the CEL came on and the oil light illuminated and started to flash. It wouldn't rev past 3500 and didn't sound great. Adding oil made it all better... at least in the sense that it would run.
 

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I would add the question did you ever check your own oil? I have a '12 OB and I check the oil every time I fuel up. Yes, it might be overkill, but it is a habit that might someday save me from what you are going through...
Good luck!
True story!
Not a common practice these days though :(
 

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If there was no history of it burning oil (if it was really burning that much, I bet you would smell it under acceleration), I'd bet that whoever changed the oil last may have not tightened the plug or filter--OR they only put about a quart or two back in, walked away and forgot to add more. That scenario seems much more likely to me--It's conceivable that a car with that mileage might burn a quart or so in that time period (though, really, I wouldn't be pleased if I had an engine with under 100k on it burning any noticeable amount--my 2004 with 124k on it doesn't seem to burn a drop).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks to all of you that chimned in.
I have had to replace the engine...we put in 4 qts of oil & the engine would not turn over and the car sounded like it had rocks in it. The dealership says that I should go after Valvoline since they changed my oil last, but I still think an oil light should have come on for me indicationg that the oil was low. I never saw an oil leak from the car & the car never overheated - that was the first thing my husband asked me when I pulled the car off the road. Personally I cannot swallow the cost of $5000 and feel either Subaru or Valvoline or both should be responsible for some of the damages. Any suggestions who to contact at Subaru???
Thanks again for all your feedback!
 

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In the end you are ultimately responsible for the wellbeing and upkeep of your car. SOA is not responsible for putting a warning light in to tell you when your oil is low, a warning light is there to tell you there is a problem. If valvoline messed something up on the oil change, find the problem and have them pay for damages but it sounds like after 5k miles you had a leak and you failed to catch it. If it ran out if oil in a matter of days, I'd be more inclined to say they screwed something up on yhe oil change, but not at 5000 miles. Sorry for your troubles but there is a moral to this story and that is, check your oil more often.
 

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If the filter was loose or the drainplug came out the engine would have been covered with oil on the bottom.

Was it, or was it dry?

Did the oil you put in stay in?

If no oil leaked out it will be hard to get valvoline to admit they might have put in far too little oil. When I used to go there they would show me the dipstick...

As far the oil light, most cars do not have an oil level light, just an oil pressure light. The pressure light basically lights up to tell you the engine just self-destructed (unless you shut off the engine the instant the light comes on)
 

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As far the oil light, most cars do not have an oil level light, just an oil pressure light. The pressure light basically lights up to tell you the engine just self-destructed (unless you shut off the engine the instant the light comes on)
I think they just added one to the newest Outbacks, but you're right--an 09 wouldn't have it.

I've seen the light flicker a tiny bit when the level is very low under high revs in some vehicles (none of them were mine!), but that's it. The threshold for that light coming on is typically at the point where you would destroy the engine if you ran it while it was on.

I've heard of people going to places to get their oil changed where the place forgot to put in any oil at all because it blew the engine very close to where they got it changed and it would be tough to deny fault. With this much of a span, and the fact that they would have had to put in something for it to last this long, I think it would be nearly impossible to prove it's Valvoline's fault.
 
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