Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I were traveling Labor Day across Wyoming when the car computer beeps, I look down and it shows a temperature symbol. I look at the temp guage and it is just touching the bottom of the red zone. I immediately turn on the heater and turn off the AC, ambient temp was varying between 78-82. The car lost power right away and when I put the clutch in the engine died. I pop the hood and there is coolant all over the engine bay from the coolant overflow tank cap popping open. Added water to the overflow tank and it sucked about 3/4 of that back into the radiator over severa minutes. Added more but the level didn't change much after that. Can't get the car to start. The starter will turn, but it will not fire up. When releasing the key you can hear a whirring noise as if something is still spinning (driver's side of engine while standing over the engine). CEL is on, SI Drive is flashing "S". I pulled the battery for a few minutes, reconnected still won't start. Later after I had a Labor Day tow to a populated area where I actually had reception I downloaded Torque and pulled the codes P0345 and P0345. All fluid levels were fine before leaving. After incident the oil is still full and clean. What do you supposed happened?

1500 miles ago I had the short block, turbo, and oil pump replaced. The dealership added in the banjo filter. Subaru roadside assistance was of no help so I had it towed to the nearest town which of course had no Subaru dealership (closest one is about 150 miles away). My wife and I rented a car to get to our destination. I spoke to a technician at the "Subaru service center" (they share it with Chevy/Buick because the town is so small). His gut diagnosis was that the valve gasket blew out (I believe that is the head gasket) which caused the coolant to get pushed out. He then started to ask me about the history of the vehicle since it was relatively new ('09 XT with 23248 miles). I informed him of the 1/2 engine replacement and he asked if the heads were machined. I did not know. He called the dealership it was serviced at and confirmed that they did not send the heads out for machining (either they felt they didn't need to be or they were doing sloppy work). He seemed pretty convinced at this point that it is a head gasket. Would you agree?
Now I get to worry about getting roadside assistance to cover a tow but that will be in another thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
514 Posts
Why did the dealer install a new head gasket on such a low-mileage engine?:headg:

It would seem to me that the new head gasket "install" was somehow done wrongly and the problem reared its ugly head at the worst possible time:gasp:, while you are away on a trip!:mad:

With how many (low) miles the car had when the dealer changed the head gasket:eek:, I would say there is a warranty on the work the dealer did when they did the gasket job!:17:

The more I hear about these head gaskets, the more I wonder about the integrity of the engines, as that is a very crucial and MAIN component of the engine, a head gasket is nothing to sneeze at!:gasp:

There should be a recall on all these engines and make Subaru change EVERY HEAD GASKET, all at THEIR EXPENSE!

I would MAKE the dealer who did the head gasket job 1,500 miles ago pay for EVERYTHING -- as the new head gasket was just getting broken in, now it is just BROKEN-PERIOD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
First off the turbo subaru engines are not known for Head Gasket issues the head vs block design and the gasket used has proven to be quite durable.

First the quality of the work performed is very suspect to start with if there were just a cooling issue the engine should at least turn over it does not sound like thats the case. Very possible that what ever work was done by the dealer they made a mistake that caused internal issues and excessive heat which then boiled over the cooling system. And yes the HG are for sure probably blown after cooking the engine to the point of shut down.

There is really no information that would help sort out what happened on the forums other than I highly Highly doubt the original HG's were the issue unless the engine was cooked prior to your ownership due to the turbo engine having a pretty solid non issue with head gaskets. Debri in the engine from the rebuild - a damaged or improper thermostat - or prior damaged parts bearing etc could all be suspected causes at this point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,964 Posts
First the quality of the work performed is very suspect to start with if there were just a cooling issue the engine should at least turn over it does not sound like thats the case. Very possible that what ever work was done by the dealer they made a mistake that caused internal issues and excessive heat which then boiled over the cooling system. .
yeah - more likely slipped a timing belt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
yeah - more likely slipped a timing belt
I forgot that the technician I spoke with also said a slipped belt could be a possibility. He said if it had slipped one tooth then it most likely would still start, but if it slipped more....

I really don't think the main cause of the issues is overheating. I have had one experience before with an overheating engine (Acura Integra) and you should be able to reduce the overheating by bringing in cooler coolant from the heater core and reducing the load on the engine. I started to do this but by the time I pulled over on the side of the road and let the vehicle coast it was already game over. This all happened within 20-30 seconds.

At this point I feel like asking them to install a new full block. They already replaced the short block, due to the rod bearing issue, but probably missed some other less obvious issue or did a poor job of putting it back together. I did take it to Groove Subaru (used to be Burt Subaru) which has had good reviews from other forum members (though anything can change with time). Of course this is all moot until it actually gets to a service center.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Looks like another engine

Sorry I haven't updated, but I have been trying to catch up on stuff after being gone for several days. I ended up having Subaru tow it to the "closest" dealer. That tow was 210 miles to Steamboat Springs. Could have had it towed to Jackson, WY at 170 miles, but Steamboat is "only" 160 miles away from where I live as opposed to Jackson which is 590 miles (and incidentally where my wife and I were headed for our trip when this went down). Of course to pickup the car I will have to drive 320 miles roundtrip.

The service shop there (it is a joint service service shop of Subaru and Chevrolet because the town is small) took an initial look at it Friday morning and said either the timing belt broke or the belt tensioner broke or came loose which means that the pistons and valves probably tried to duke it out with each other. This will be the 2nd short block in ~1500 miles and now some valves/headwork too. I expecting/hoping to get a call Monday or Tuesday with the official diagnosis.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
About this Discussion
6 Replies
6 Participants
jschuk
Subaru Outback Forums
Welcome to the Subaru Outback Owners Forum, we have tons of information about your Subaru Outback, from a Subaru Outback Wiki to customer reviews.
Full Forum Listing
Top