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'16 3.6R 5,600 miles, previous '05 OBXT, 80K
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My 05 XT with 92,xxx died on me at the airport Friday evening. I got it towed and still made my flight. The shop looked at it today and said the engine needs to be replaced, to the tune of $5-$6,000.

History of the car- I bought it new and have liked it from day one
1) never had any ghost walking incidents
2) first set of tires wore evenly but were shot at 28,000, the second set made it about 40K, also evenly worn
3) Subaru dealer put in and paid for a new turbo at 31,700
4) didn't like the sag at the rear when loaded for trips with kayak on the roof and bikes on the back so I did the King springs and KYB's on the rear only (based on what I learned from y'all)
5) replaced the front halfshafts a couple months ago due to torn boots leaking grease on the exhaust
6) new brakes at around 60K, also evenly worn
7) the car has been well maintained
8) I drive it robustly, cruise at 80-85, spurts over 100, very stable at speed

So, do I fix it and keep it for another 90K/5+ years or sell it and get something newer?
 

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2016 Outback Ltd 2.5 eyesight Nav push button Hole in roof, Lapis Blue
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737 Posts
If you were to find the same car in the same condition as before the engine failed would you be willing to spend 5k to but it? If that answer is YES then repair it, if you would rather look for a different car then scrap it and move on. It really is that easy to decide!!
 

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2015 Forester XT Touring w/EyeSight
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479 Posts
I'm not sure what I would do in that situation.

I have a 2005 Outback XT limited w/5MT. Bought it w/~102K for ~$10K. It's at ~106.5K now.

I did a little research before purchasing it, but probably not enough. Wound up being kind of freaked out at first that it would just spontaneously self-destruct.

It's been good so far. I don't know what it would be worth with a blown motor, but right now I'm kind of thinking it would be difficult to put another 5-6K into it.

I guess with that said though, I doubt I could find anything I'd like as much for under $10K...
 

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00 Outback Wagon...269K 09 Legacy 2.5 Sedan...93k
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201 Posts
WHY did they say the engine needed to be replaced??
WHAT did they do to come to that conclusion?

A catastropthic engine failure is usually described as more that "it died".
 

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2015 Subaru Outback Premium | 2007 Outback 2.5i
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345 Posts
I, too, would be more curious about the shop's diagnosis.

But, with what you've described, lets just say I had this IDENTICAL situation last fall - with my 02 Outback Sport (situation documented on dirtyimpreza.com).

Here is the thing ... you know your XT since you are the original owner. You know what is wrong with it, what it will need, and what has been done. So, in short, (assuming the diagnosis by the shop is accurate) keep the car and replace the motor.

Unless you are buying a brand new car and wanting to take on a payment, you will be better of keeping the car you know. I've had my 07 OBW for 3 months now and I am catching up with the previous owner's neglect (jacked up parking brake cable, bad oil pressure switch, brakes, and shocks). If it wasn't for the fact that I sold my OBS (with a crate motor I installed none the less - yes long story) to an arguably better owner I would be regretting suggesting to my wife that a toss of the coin would seal determine the future of the OBS.

Keep the XT - it will be cheaper in the long run.
 

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'16 3.6R 5,600 miles, previous '05 OBXT, 80K
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Further checking today. Went by the shop where the car is to get things out of it and better understand what's wrong. He started it up ( yes it ran ) and it has a VERY nasty knock from deep inside. His diagnosis is a bad rod or main bearing. He recommends a short block and I tend to agree. Cost of new, not rebuilt, is under 2K from Subaru. Plus the shop is confident enough in their work that they give a 2 year warranty.

I went by a Subaru dealer today and drove, a new Outback 3.6, a 2014 Forester XT, and a 2007 Outback 3.0 LL Bean they had. The Forester is the only one that wants to go like my XT, but it doesn't feel near as stable at 80. Looking at lots of cars/crossovers/SUVs online, there doesn't seem to be anything out there that's got the nice blend of style, comfort, utility and power that my XT has ( and doesn't cost more than 40K). So I'm leaning towards fixing what I have.
 

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06 Outback 2.5i, 06 BMW 325xi wagon, 02 2.5rs, 82 CB750, Polaris XC SP 500, and a single speed bike.
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876 Posts
nspekter, do you know Nolte?

I got my rebuilt long block 2.5 from SSI - Remanufactured Subaru Engines — SSI Subie Specialists

Including shipping, it was around $2200. I installed it and have put around 45-50k on it. Solid motor, and has a 36 month/60,000 mile warranty.
 

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22,802 Posts
Why did the turbo need replacing at 31K? Wondering if that had something to do with the current issue?

Seems like you've put lots of money into this thing and your not even at 100K yet. Not sure I would be into putting more money into it if I were in your shoes. Kinda sounds like a non turbo V6 or H6 would be far more to your liking and driving style and far less prone to costly repairs. Just saying
 

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2015 Forester XT Touring w/EyeSight
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479 Posts
Why did the turbo need replacing at 31K? Wondering if that had something to do with the current issue?

Seems like you've put lots of money into this thing and your not even at 100K yet. Not sure I would be into putting more money into it if I were in your shoes. Kinda sounds like a non turbo V6 or H6 would be far more to your liking and driving style and far less prone to costly repairs. Just saying
I was going to suggest the H6 as well, but he said he wasn't impressed with those.

Assuming the turbo failure @ 31K did contribute to this issue -- wouldn't a new short-block cover all the bases?
--
 

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'16 3.6R 5,600 miles, previous '05 OBXT, 80K
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
When the dealer did the turbo they said it was due to length between oil changes. Up until then I had been doing the 7,500 miles between because that's what I saw in the owners manual. Since then it's been 3-3750 and usually closer to 3K, sometimes even finding a quick lube in whatever town when it comes due and I'm on a road trip.

It's been 60,000+ miles between that repair and this failure, so I'm not to inclined to think they're related, but maybe so.

As far as hearing noises beforehand, I have old manual sideways rolling garage doors so I get to be in front of it with it idling twice a day or more. I have heard a knocking or out of balance sound for years, not loud but noticeable. Not something I ever noticed while driving. It's been to the dealer and my local shop several times with this noise present and they haven't commented on it. I didn't ask about it either, I just thought it was a lumpy idle.

I have given the shop the go ahead and they're doing a full rebuilt engine. They like their engine supplier and I like the 2 year warranty. The dealer only gives one, but this guy's got a "I'm only getting paid to do it once so I'm doing it so I won't have to do it again" attitude that I like.

As far as putting a lot of money into it so far, it doesn't feel that way to me. The only real repair was the turbo and Subaru paid for that. The rest, tires, brakes, struts, belts and oil changes are maintenance. I have replaced quite a few headlamps though.
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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15,483 Posts
LKQ, if an engine is available from them, offers 3 year unlimited mileage warranty on a remanufactured long block. Might want to have your shop look into that.
 

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Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
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2,926 Posts
I vote fix it. You should be able to sell it for 8-10k depending on your market and how long you are willing to wait for the right buyer.
 

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Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
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2,926 Posts
PS Make sure they replace the banjo bolt filters, both of them.
 

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22,802 Posts
Synthetic oil only!
And my understanding and experience with subaru is that the first cars they ever made that had 7500 mile suggested oilchange intervals didn't happen till 2010.

Even the non turbo engines prior to 2010 were 4000-5000 mile oil change cycles
 

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Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
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2,926 Posts
My 2005 turbo manual said 7500 miles. A TSB came out later saying all turbos needed to move to sever, and so 3750 miles. I assume the rest of Gen 3 remained at 7500.
 
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