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2017 Forester 2.5i
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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings, I have a 2017 Forester with the FB25 engine and the manual transmission. The engine has consumed oil since it was new, about a quart every 2,500 miles. As such, I was all over the maintenance of this motor. This meant frequent top offs of the oil level and 5k oil changes with the more expensive Mobil 1 EP 0w-20 and OEM filters. My driving is 90% highway, 75MPH, 40+ miles each way, six days a week. This means that I have amassed 80,000 miles since it rolled off the lot in 12/2016. A few months ago I started noticing a faint clattering sound when the engine was under load and an occasional rough cold start. I cleaned the MAF sensor and changed the air filter with little improvement. Last Tuesday morning I got about a mile from my house when I lost power and the engine began to knock. I had it flat bedded to the dealer who is now telling me that i need a new short block. They are currently processing the claim through the Subaru extended warranty that was purchased (thank God!). We are waiting for the smoke from the Vatican chimney on the claim. I am at a bit of a loss about this situation, I really thought I was doing all of the right things, good oil, frequent changes, OEM filters, mostly highway miles. I drive a lot, but I have never failed to get at least 250,000 miles out of any engine that I have owned. I know how to maintain a car. This has been a major disappointment! Hopefully I will be covered and will get past this. I am now questioning keeping this vehicle long term. I would welcome constructive input or advice on what needs to be done to get this car back up and running, and/or long term viability of this drivetrain. TIA!
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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1,656 Posts
@IowaClass65
Good thing you had the extended warranty. Regardless, you have another 20K and at least until December of next year (assuming you got the 5yr/100K plan).
That means you have essentially a new car warranty, so whatever happens, it's on Subaru for warranty repairs.
If you are concerned about longevity, sell the car with some warranty left in a private sale. With a new short block, it will be a newer car than average, and with some warranty left, you can pass on some peace of mind to a new owner (the warranty is transferrable).
As far as whether your car will last "forever" or you have another problem next week, no one can tell you that, but some people do put a lot of miles on their cars, others have your experience. It's the luck of the draw. My daughter is driving a 2004 with over 250K on the clock and never had a major problem...
 

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2017 Forester 2.5i
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Well, we will see about that extended warranty. The dealer has now had the car 22 days and just yesterday they texted me that Subaru is bringing in a "technician from the factory" to "confirm engine failure and most likely proceed with the repairs..." I am starting to get a bad feeling about this. I have not yet made waves about this because thy gave me a loaner car and I don't want to poison the well.
So I am keeping a positive attitude and getting my ducks in a row for a fight which I hope never comes. I always try to assume good intent and expect people to do the right thing
As far as a forever car, I am not that naive, I keep up with my maintanence and just want a robust service life from my vehicles. One thing I do know, if the new short block burns oil, I will be getting rid of it begfore the extended warranty expires. That happening would be a real shame as I pay this car off in November and I was looking forward to a few years without payments.
 

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Well, we will see about that extended warranty. The dealer has now had the car 22 days and just yesterday they texted me that Subaru is bringing in a "technician from the factory" to "confirm engine failure and most likely proceed with the repairs..." I am starting to get a bad feeling about this. I have not yet made waves about this because thy gave me a loaner car and I don't want to poison the well.
So I am keeping a positive attitude and getting my ducks in a row for a fight which I hope never comes. I always try to assume good intent and expect people to do the right thing
As far as a forever car, I am not that naive, I keep up with my maintanence and just want a robust service life from my vehicles. One thing I do know, if the new short block burns oil, I will be getting rid of it begfore the extended warranty expires. That happening would be a real shame as I pay this car off in November and I was looking forward to a few years without payments.
IMHO, that is not very good customer service from your Subaru dealer. I took my car into the dealer back in January to have a Cam Carrier oil leak repaired on my 2015 Forester (35K miles). I left the car on Wednesday and picked it up on Saturday. The mechanic removed the engine and replaced the Cam Carrier seal on both heads. It would not have taken much longer for him to remove the heads, install a new short block, and put everything back together. On my Forester, I do notice a chatter for about 2 seconds when I first start the car on a cold morning (about 40 degrees F outside). I think that the chatter is coming from the timing chain and appears to be normal for a Boxer engine.
 

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2017 Forester 2.5i
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Agreed, yesterday started the 5th week that they have had my car and still no decision. I guess it is time to get Subaru of America involved. I have been trying to avoid antagonizing the dealer, but this is getting absurd, although I do not mind driving their new loaded Crosstrek 100 miles a day to work and back. The Eyesight system is pretty cool!
 

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Agreed, yesterday started the 5th week that they have had my car and still no decision. I guess it is time to get Subaru of America involved. I have been trying to avoid antagonizing the dealer, but this is getting absurd, although I do not mind driving their new loaded Crosstrek 100 miles a day to work and back. The Eyesight system is pretty cool!
My Cam Carrier seal replacement was covered under my extended warranty. Otherwise, the work would have cost me about $2300. I thought that the oil burning issue stopped with the 2014 Boxer engines. I read somewhere that the oil burning was caused by accelerated wear on the cylinder walls/rings due to restricted oil flow. Subaru found some oil passages in the block were getting clogged up. Perhaps your oil burning issue is separate from the engine failure. One quart of oil in 2500 miles is not too bad, but most Japanese cars hardly burn anything in 6000 miles. My grandfather always told me that he was suspicious of any car that did not burn any oil - to him, that meant that the rings were not getting enough oil. Of course, this was back in the 60s and 70s.

It is my understanding that the boxer engines use variable cam timing and that change in timing depends upon oil flow. I think that the timing chain tensioner also depends upon oil flow - thus the initial chatter on engine start in cold weather.
 

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2017 Forester 2.5i
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Well, I picked up the car today and what a surprise! According to the dealer a piece of the TGV valve assembly broke off and dropped into cylinder 1 where it did tremendous damage. Not surprisingly it took out the head, cylinder, piston, connecting rod bearing (excessive play) and debris got into the cam gears, oil pump, exhaust manifold and catalytic converter. The dealer replaced the intake manfold, short block, one head, cam gears, exhaust manifold, and the front catalytic converter. The tech said he had never seen this occur before. This certainly isn't what I expected! I can't really blame the oil burning for this little catastrophe. All was covered under the extended warranty. It was the first time I ever agreed to the extended warranty. I got a peek at the dealer's invoice and there was well over $4k in parts required for the repair. .
 
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