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'99 OBW w/ CWP
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm well aware that countless other Subaru owners have been frustrated with the blown engine, due to one thing or another, so I have come up with a long shot approach, to get Subaru to recall these engines. You don't need to be directly affected, just need to know someone with one of these cars.

Please take the time to go My Petition and take the time to read, sign and share.

We have strength in numbers!

Here is the link, if my little dooy-whacker didn't work.... http://www.change.org/petitions/sub...himori-stand-behind-your-05-09-turbo-engine-s

Code:
engine
Code:
failure
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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14,368 Posts
You're upset that a high performance engine died after 7 years of service?

Have you spent any time talking to owners of WRX imprezas with this same engine? I think you might find different expectations.

I'm impressed that mine hasn't blown up, but I know it's coming and I don't think I'm bringing unrealistic expectations. I've got 130,000 on it now, and with continued maintenance, stock power levels and some luck, I might see 200,000. But maybe it will only be 130,001. I still drive it hard and get out smiling every time. I'm still interested in modding it for more power, even though I know it will further shorten the life of the engine.

I think Subaru already realized the problem: people were expecting the kind of reliability the old 2.2L engine gave, from a car built under much more strict emissions laws, and optioned with an engine that gives double the power out of essentially the same block. Something has to give, eventually.

Subaru no longer offers a turbo outback. Now they offer a honkin' big 6 cylinder engine with more or less the same output. It's big and heavy and strong and dumb by comparison, but it has a much better chance of showing the same long-term durability as the classic 2.2L. As much as I love my XT, I'll be the first to admit that the H6 is a better fit for the average outback buyer who wants a little extra butter on the biscuit. By now we have all had years to consider trading in for one, or getting one in the first place.

I will agree with you in that too many engines are being ruined after a turbo replacement. Something is up with that. Personally, I suspect that nobody is spending the time or money on forensic teardowns because money was so short in the first place- so we might never know what the cause is. Would you spend $1500-2500 to have a qualified machinist disassemble your engine to pinpoint the cause of failure knowing that not one dollar would count towards actually fixing the car? ...And may not even yield conclusive results? After reading the same blogs you are, I've realized that I have a choice. If my turbo shreds, I can replace the whole car, replace the whole engine, or just replace the turbo. Only one of these three choices has been documented by numerous others to carry the risk of subsequent engine failure. And when it happens to me? I might very well roll the dice on option #3 myself.

I'm not out to defend Subaru here- I think they've made some pretty dumb choices along with some brilliant ones. However, it is my opinion that your petition is a waste of time that could better be spent elsewhere. I think they've found the problem and fixed it, but not everybody got the memo.
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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14,368 Posts
What's your interest in the matter? The cause of failures of 05-09 XTs is well known. It is turbo failure due to poor maintenance. Plug up the infamous banjo bolt screen with dirty oil and the turbo dies from lack of lubrication. Subaru addressed the issue with a TSB requiring synthetic oil at shortened intervals. As an XT owner, I have no axe to grind.
Not sure whether you were directing that to me or the O.P.

Either way, I don't think the O.P. was referring to the original failure of the turbo, but rather the failure of the underlying piston engine shortly after a failed turbo was replaced. This has been reported a number of times, and I sure haven't seen any TSBs or other Subaru-authored documents on the matter.
 

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1993 Legacy LSi with still functioning Air Suspension, 1999 Outback 2.5L 5MT lab Rat
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191 Posts
First lets address "underlying failure" I have personally overhauled several of these engines. Its been my experience the the Underlying failure is Lack of Maintenance, extended oil change intervals, as well as running the engine consistantly on less than a full oil level. Turbo engines generate a tremedous amount of heat, and Subaru addressed this early on with a revised service interval from the owners manual 7,500 miles to 3750 miles. Since then they have issued several bulletins to Address the Turbo engine, the 1st being 02-101-07 Turbo Operation and care, 02-103-07R Turbo Oil supply mesh Screen 02-106-08R Turbo Mesh filter Screen. I wish I had a quarter for every turbo engine failure that I pulled a Lube sticker from the windshield that was at least 4000 miles past due and had No Oil on the dipstick.
I have also seen Turbo engines of this generation serviced regularly, with some very "spirited " driving pushing into the high 100,000 miles. Service is king with any engine or vehicle, and with high performance vehicles specifically.
Think of an extended/ignoring oil change intervals like your cardiologist telling you to give up the Double Bacon Burgers, If you keep doing it seriuos injury or death may result.
 

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SubyTechJoe you bring up some great points. I've been in the slightly sour camp after problems like the ringland issues with the STIs and the bad bearings on the early 09 turbo models. Not to mention a bad oil pickup here or there. The "only if it fails" policy of warranty fixes has left some people a little wary, but if its cheaper to lose a few customers than replace all those engines proactively hard to fault Subaru.

We had the AVCS/turbo oil screen starvation issue on our XT. Bought unknown history used so there you go. The Subaru dealer just wanted to run the flush didn't care about the screen. Same with the local Subaru specialist. I removed the screen myself. Lost the turbo, but it didn't blow so the motor is still good at 100k.

I'm not sure if it is the expectation of something very sturdy with the Subaru. Or maybe the dealers aren't getting the word out, they don't all seem to know or care about proper love for the turbo models, even though the TSBs are out there. A local dealer was still changing the oil on my friends 05 LGT every 7.5k when I let him know it should be 3750 and when he asked them about synthetic the service advisor told him "The STIs take to it but the Legacy doesn't" WTF does that even mean.

But you have opened my eyes a bit the underlying motor is good just has a small weakness with the banjo screen, it needs vigilant maintenance. Not true of every turbo motor but many are similar.

OP you have to vote with your dollars it is all that counts. Don't buy Subaru again if they have turned you off.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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All I Wanted Was An XT

Every Subaru I have ever owned has been a turbo. Several Previous Gen 1's, 1 Gen 1, now my 2006 XT. I was so lucky, I bought my used XT out of Subi warranty, but under a used car warranty. My turbo and motor blew with 200 miles of purchase. I got a new motor at 65K to maintain myself. However, my 2 year used car maint. contract (not a Subi dealer) wants to maintain the oil service at 3,000 miles. Great, not 7,500. But, I can't get them to use a sythetic even if I pay them extra. So the maint. is the key. If the turbo ever fails, the repair diagnostics are where it is at. My turbo has failed prior to the sale. All the Nissan dealer did was bolt on a new turbo. That's it. They didn't even drain the crankcase. 200 miles and BOOM.

You don't see the failure rate in the other applications because of the maint schedule granted. But, I feel the average WRX driver might be a little more attentive to oil changes AND oil levels than your average blue hair librairian. Again... I know some of them rip it up.

High performance, high maintenance. Race cars break several times a race.
 
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