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Outback 2011 3.6R Premium
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I’m sorry that you have had continued problems with your vehicle. I am even more sorry that the dealership you have been working with is simply taking advantage of you. They have charged you way too much for the work they have done and then they have misdiagnosed the cause of an oil leak and then charged you again to fix a problem they should have diagnosed correctly in the first place.

Dealers like this need to be shut down or sued or maybe both.

Seagrass
 

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They called it the "cam tower", but basically there is a seam that runs above and below the cam seal.
Perhaps the camshaft "cap". (See attached.) FSM specifies applying seal all around the cap-to-head joint.
Was the engine ever worked on before such that part of the resealing wasn't done properly?
 

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2008 OB 2.5i 5mt
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Discussion Starter #43
@plain OM Yeah I think you are right that it was the cap that was not properly sealed. I obviously had the same question myself, it must have been done improperly by someone if the liquid gasket was completely missing from the lower part of the seal. It's not like it was ragged or something, it was just not there at all. I personally felt that a more thorough diagnosis (by the dealer) would have involved taking a close look at the cap and realizing that it was not sealed properly, especially since I told them the cam seal had been replaced with an OEM part just a month prior. It was obvious to the eye that the silicone was missing from the lower part of the seal, but I figure they saw oil around the cam seal area and thought "hey, leaking cam seal, that's a quick job that we can charge 2.7 hours of labor for by the book. Let's do that." Wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, etc. Then when I come back with the same problem they say, "well the seal we put in didn't fail, but if you want me to fix your other problem that'll be $$$"

The other question is whether the shop that did the short block replacement has any responsibility for this. I initially brought the car to them to diagnose an oil leak. Now it seems like this leak was probably another one of several leaks, most of which had to do with abuse of the previous short block. They obviously did remove the heads in order to do the short block replacement, and they had them 'tested' by a machine shop, although they have completely ignored my email asking for more info about what testing was done and what the results were. I had assumed they were just testing that the heads would be flush with the gaskets and seal properly. They were reground by the machine shop. The garage adjusted the valves. To the best of my knowledge they didn't disassemble and reseal the camshaft cap, but again it seems like if they had taken a close look it should have been possible to see the lack of silicone and figure out that this might cause a problem upon reassembly.

So it would seem that both shops are kind of in a position to say "hey, this wasn't my job, it wasn't my fault", while at the same time I feel that they both basically saw my troubles as an opportunity to extract cash from me and did not do their due diligence in ensuring that additional problems wouldn't arise in the future. Why would they? That's just another opportunity for them to extract more cash. Since my dad helped me pay for the short block replacement and a lot of the cost was charged on his credit card, we are planning to contest some of the charges based on the parts that were double-invoiced and now intend to include the cost of the dealer's service in the contested charges. We'll see how it goes I guess.
 
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