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Discussion Starter #1
Wife came home the other day, "Check engine light came on, car felt low on power merging on to the highway" on our 05 Outback XT with 96k miles.

I took it down to Autozone to pull the code, P0011 pass side AVCS. I know the Subarus but had not yet been acquainted with the dreaded P0011. The ride home I heard some odd noises, a sucking through a straw is the best I can say, confirmed that others heard this too googling around. I also heard some rattling.

Totally freaked out, I removed the banjo bolt screen on the pass side head. It was opaque, not even sunlight would shine through it. Code persisted, at least wasn't starving the turbo for oil any more.

Luckily we have a Subaru specialist shop less than a mile away, we dropped it off to have them sort it out. I figured the turbo was gone. They think the turbo is fine, a loose heatshield was rattling on the exhaust causing some noise. They are going to follow the Subaru TSB and do an oil flush to hopefully free up the AVCS and get us back to good.

This is what happens when you buy a turbo Subaru with an unknown history. We may have dodged a bullet here, for now. The shop says we should be running synthetic and change it every 3750.

Turbo owners make sure you change that oil frequently and check that banjo screen...
 

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I think there are 2 more screens leading to the AVCS so, they are likely clogged too.

have you owned and maintained the car since new? How's the maintenance been and what oil and change interval do you use?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
From my research, there are two screens, one is on the feed to the AVCS solenoid on the driver's side. The pass side feeds the turbo and the AVCS, and so is more critical. The AVCS system can survive a restriction of oil but the turbo needs good oil pressure to keep the bearings healthy.

The driver's side is also much more difficult to check, I believe at least the timing cover needs to be removed to access it, so I likely wouldn't address that one until I get the P0021 (driver's side AVCS) code. It may well be that the Subaru flush procedure will clean that screen out a bit as it is, so this may never be a problem.

We bought the car recently, used, I don't know the history of oil changes, so that is the issue. According to our Subaru shop oil needs to be synthetic and changed often to prevent this issue.
 

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synthetics keep 'varnish' dissolved/suspended well. One reason synth looks so dark coming out. I'd expect it may also be able to 'clean' varnish from inside an engine previously using conventional oil - not sure, but, if so, switching might clean/flush out some of the screen clogging debris - i guess it depends on a lot of variables.

good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks! I am wishing we just bought the H6 or non-turbo 4 probably would be less trouble, but we are making the best of it, want to get at least 50k more miles out of this car.
 

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is there a procedure or video on how to clean these screens?

I dunno if my 06 has the screen but, I know it's never been examined.

I use synth that is changed much sooner than it 'should be' (on a normal car)
 

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Thanks for the info; great info! My car threw a P0011 code recently and it has me super scared. I changed the oil and have made a few short trips here and there and the CEL hasn't came back on. I too bought a used 2.5XT w/no service records. I'm having a mechanic take a look at the banjo bolts this week. Do you recommend driving, or should I wait to have the screens replaced/cleaned/removed? How do you feel about moving the screens all-together? Since the code reads "Intake camshaft over-advanced" do you recommend having the belt looked at to see if it skipped some teeth? NIGHTMARE!!! I hope everything shakes down fine once it's diagnosed...
 

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Your belt didn't skip a tooth. Nearly impossible to happen. They break first. You either have a lazy OCV (they do tend to fail early and are uber easy to replace) or you have an oil starvation problem on the PS. Regarding the latter, you're ripe for a turbo (and ultimately engine) failure if you don't address the problem right away. Get that banjo filter out, change the oil, and if the code persists change out the OCV. The P0011 is highly correlated to turbo failure. It's very similar to a heart attack in humans... Fix it right away and you'll live a long life. Procrastinate and you're dead. It's an easy fix on your car, just don't blow it by wishing it better.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
To echo above the P0011 has nothing to do with the timing belt, it is feedback from the variable cam advance system.

I would def recommend not driving the car if you can avoid it when you get this code. Yes taking the screen out is fine that is what I have done. There is a small risk if something bad happens to the motor you could ruin the turbo too, since the screen is not there to protect it from debris in the oil any more, but IMO the risk is worth it due to the known issue of the screen clogging.

We did not drive our XT very far with the code, the turbo still has a slightly "off" sound. I am going to have the endplay checked out, it may have been too late to save it, even though our mechanic thinks it is fine. The "oil flush" fix also caused/uncovered and oil leak on to the exhaust so that needs to be addressed anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I just pulled the DP off and checked the turbo today...its all done, lots of shaft play. I am pretty sure it was fine until the P0011 fun started. Good reminder not to drive the car if you can when this happens.

Off to find a good used turbo...
 

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Off to find a good used turbo...
If there is such a thing. Takes a lot of faith in the previous owner, and even then he won't know whether it has 1k or 50k left in it. You'll probably spend $400 for a takeoff when you could get a 16G from BNR for $725 and be done with the IHI turbo failure risk forever. Not that the TD05 can't ever fail, it's just known to be more reliable than the OEM. And you'd be getting a brand new CHRA fitted into an OEM housing.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
^^Agreed it all depends on the personal situation. For me:

-Its an automatic outback XT my wife drives it, don't care one whit about modding it for power, so any turbo that gets into a tune is out. Already BTDT with my WRX.

-We are considering getting out of it for a newer car without the turbo because honestly we really shouldn't have bought a turbo for what we wanted out of a vehicle. My fault I got too excited about the turbo wagon ;-) The bearings in this turbo are gone, the fins have hit the housing and the motor has ingested some amount of aluminum flakes. That has taken some life off the motor, added risk we don't really want. Wife is about to go on maternity leave so won't drive the car that much. Least cost to get the car through the next 5 months is my plan we'll deal with it later.

If we were in this for the long haul no doubt I would be on a new turbo, Sixstarspeed will sell a reman'd VF40 for $600. You know if i was going to mod I might be inclined to go TD04 ha, lower the HP but eliminate the lag!

I did find a used one under $300, plenty of miles but at least one of the guys at Infamous Performance has checked it and gave it the thumbs up.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Follow up: I had the turbo swapped yesterday by Motive Autoworks (excellent Subaru perf shop in Woburn MA BTW) and picked it up today. I had them put a new inlet in since the old one looked a bit haggard.

Car runs great again, idle is much better I am thinking the inlet had a vacuum leak, that does make me feel better about the valves and ringlands.

Car has just over 100k, I put in a good VF40 with 100k on it, lends some credence that lack of maintenance is the cause of turbo failure. I'll certainly keep this thread updated with the lifetime of the new-old turbo.

Next to fix the valve cover gasket leak. I am thinking I should change out the trans fluid soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hey I gotta take one for the team, so we can see how long these things can last ;-) The turbo was in great shape at least, working good so far!
 

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Update: 100k mile used turbo still working great.

Motive auto works fixed my passenger side valve cover leak, had them put in new plugs and check compression/leakdown since I have been concerned about the life of the car. Tests came back fine so I feel better about the longevity. Still idles a little shaky in drive but hey its got 100k miles. Otherwise running great. Now I am feeling how long will this turbo really last, should I replace it next year maybe?

While I was at Motive another Outback XT showed up on a flatbed, apparently didn't catch the turbo in time and it blew, heard the estimate at the Subie dealer for a new block and turbo was 9k.

So another reminder to inspect that banjo screen, watch for those AVCS codes, check that turbo, change your oil often...
 

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Hello!
I just found this site yesterday because my used 2007 XT (87k miles) threw the p0011 code and my mechanic started talking about 2k$+ for a new turbo being a likelihood. I see from this and other threads that they aren't far off.

Disclaimer: I'm no mechanic, I've changed a few parts in my day, but time is money and I usually take twice as long to do half as good a job as the pros.

Here is my question.


I see that there are aftermarket upgraded turbos that people here have used. I'm not so much interested in power (it's my wife's daily driver) but I am interested in getting rid of the potential for more problems. These upgraded turbos, I see some of them have additional aftermarket in line filters. Has anyone tried them, long term? Do they decrease the chance of future oil clog issues? Do the turbos/in-line filters come warrantied/Has anyone tested them on their warranties?

Thanks in advance.
 

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First, give your location. There might be a well respected performance shop that can hand this issue very effectively for you.

Second, read the turbo failure wiki over at legacygt.com It has all the answers you are looking for.

http://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php/turbo-failure-wiki-173358.html

The very good news is that it is likely you've caught this problem early enough to not need a new short block. However, you need to stop driving it now.
 
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