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2005 Forester XT Auto
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So last June I took my 03 Forester into the dealership (don't ask) for some much needed work. They pulled the motor, did a timing belt job, machined the heads, new head gaskets, new oil pan, and a few other things. Since the day I got it back, it tapped for a second when I started it but ran fine. I brought it back for the tap and they told me it wasn't their fault, it might just be something it does. They didn't make it sound bad. They said they could try to throw a new oil pump at it and see if he helped but they wouldn't cover it. I had plans to go to another place to get a second opinion but I work 7 days a week from Nov-Mar (ski industry) so that appointment was scheduled soon. Sunday while I was 3 hours from home she started tapping and squeeking like crazy on the highway then started loosing power and before the big bang I shifted into N, shut it down, and coasted to the brake down lane. Towed it home, salvaged my vacation, and now I have to figure out what to do. I think the tow truck driver tried to start it and it sounded seized. The dealership said they'll take a look at it, but they already sound like they want to call it not their fault. I could also take it to another dealership. The warranty on the work is 1 year and unlimited miles.

Does anyone have any ideas on what may have originally caused the tap when I started it? Because of the way it died, I feel like the two issues are related. Am I safe to assume this? Does anyone have any thoughts about what I should do next? :icon_confused:
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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Did they replace the idlers, water pump and tensioner? If not and one of those parts failed, they may try to back out. But I think you have a case if one of those parts left lose. BC if it did they were in tthere last. Obviously the timing belt belt is shot. You may have to go to small claims court.

You are lucky you were not further from home. I keep saying..even though my 08 is in perfect condition (IMHO) I won't take it much more than 500 miles from home.
 

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2005 Forester XT Auto
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22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yea the whole assembly was replaced. All idler pulleys, belt, water pump, the whole nine yards.

Does anyone think whatever was causing the initial tap on startup is what caused it to die?
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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Yea the whole assembly was replaced. All idler pulleys, belt, water pump, the whole nine yards.

Does anyone think whatever was causing the initial tap on startup is what caused it to die?
Hard to say but I would bet $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ the problem will be in the TB area.
I would tend to get another subaru dealer to do the job. There may be attempts at CYA from the dealer that did the job.
 

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2008 Forester AE
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Documentation is going to be your friend, hopefully it's complete. I would look very closely at the details of the warranty you have. Although any shop/dealership who says they could try to throw a new oil pump at it and see if he helped in response to a ticking engine is a little disheartening.

Good luck!

I keep saying..even though my 08 is in perfect condition (IMHO) I won't take it much more than 500 miles from home.
:icon_eek: :icon_cry:
 

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2007 Forester SportsXT AT
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I keep saying..even though my 08 is in perfect condition (IMHO) I won't take it much more than 500 miles from home.
Stop being such a wuss. :biggrin: I'm about to embark on the second leg of a 900 mile road trip and have no worries.
 

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2005 Forester XT Auto
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the help guys. I towed the car to a different dealership. I'll hear from them tomorrow or Monday. I'll update.

There's an 05 XT with less that 50K on it at the same dealership... my coilovers would bolt right up...
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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5,732 Posts
Thanks for the help guys. I towed the car to a different dealership. I'll hear from them tomorrow or Monday. I'll update.

There's an 05 XT with less that 50K on it at the same dealership... my coilovers would bolt right up...
DO NOT post up that dealership or I'll be calling them first thing in the morning and fly out to pick it up. haha!
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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It sounds like you may have had a rod let go. Could have been age, lack of oil or oil pressure, wear from something like overheating, water in the engine.. Did it have a lot of miles on it?

Stan
 

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2010 Forester Premium X AT
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I wonder if they plugged one of the oil galleys. I mean, how could you bring them a car that didn't tap, they do all that work, and then it's tapping when you get it back? It's not like they did some minor maintenance to the engine, sounds like they had almost the entire thing torn apart. They would look like idiots in front of a small claims court judge.
 

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2018 X3 M40i / 2016 X3 xDrive35i
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The initial tapping was probably a spun bearing that progressively got worse.

Since I just did an oil pan I'll tell you a LOT can go wrong there that would cause you to spin a bearing. First off, if they didn't clean it up well there could have been crud all over in the pan after taking it off and replacing it, they could have sprayed parts cleaner all over the block to try and clean it up and removed the coating of oil off the bearings, they could have forgotten to fill up before starting it..very easy for that job to go bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I wonder if they plugged one of the oil galleys. I mean, how could you bring them a car that didn't tap, they do all that work, and then it's tapping when you get it back? It's not like they did some minor maintenance to the engine, sounds like they had almost the entire thing torn apart. They would look like idiots in front of a small claims court judge.
THANK YOU. The initial dealership made me feel like an idiot a few times for that, but I knew I wasn't alone in that thinking. I'm no mechanic, but I did go to a vocational high school and I based my whole argument on exactly what you just said. It ran fine before I brought it there (it just leaked oil), they pulled the motor, then it tapped when I got it back. I brought it back and they said they did an oil change and that didn't fix it so unless I paid more they weren't going to help. I almost vomited. They thought bad oil pump, but I've always heard oil pumps don't go very often because they're surrounded by oil, and I always thought it was one of those things that either worked or it didn't to a certain extent. I didn't think it was something that could kind of work for 8 months then die almost catastrophically.

There were a few other things that made me think there might have been shotty work... It started pissing tranny fluid the minute I got it home. I immediately brought it back and they claimed a blown tranny line. They covered it, but I saw the loose hose clamp with my own eyes, I just couldn't reach it and didn't want to deal with fixing their work. Also, it was summer when I had the work done, but when the colder temps came around I got awful belt squeak until I tightened the power steering belt a little. And she burped up an evap code about 4 months after I got the work done. These may have not been related, but at this point I just don't know anymore.

This is so frustrating. I spent so much money last summer and asked the mechanic to do anything it needed to make it another 100k, and now it looks like someone threw glitter in my oil. :censored:
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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This is so frustrating. I spent so much money last summer and asked the mechanic to do anything it needed to make it another 100k, and now it looks like someone threw glitter in my oil. :censored:
I feel for you. Just had timing belt and all the trimmings, and then a head gasket job. I reasonably expect to keep the vehicle for another 80K miles.
 

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I once had heads done by a machine shop, nightmare they said all the valves were bent(no way but whatever) then they said the seals were bad(ok fine) got the heads back, bolted them on, rod knock not 500 miles later on a brand new sti short block, with brand new everything.

tore it all down and found erosion on allllll of the bearing surfaces including the cam girdles.

Turns out they didnt clean the oil passages in the head after the machining and it wasnt covered under warranty cause i did the work :censored: ive been building motors with my father since i was 10....and im the one who doesnt know what im doing.

So maybe when they did your heads they didnt clean the passages properly and caused a domino effect of bearing failure.
 

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OP, if I were you, I wouldn't tell the new dealership the complete history on this, have them tell me what went wrong and what needs to be fixed, get it on paper. And if it ends up being workmanship issues, I'd get my court papers ready to serve to the original dealership for trashing the engine due to negligence. Based on the history with this dealership, I think this is the only way get anything useful to happen. IMHO, you were too nice and/or were misled by them. I would not have let a tapping head go when they just did major head work.
 

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To me, sounds like OP neglected to thoroughly address the problem. Yeah, he noticed the tap and brought it back to the dealer. They made a recommendation, but then for ten months OP ignored the repair suggestion while he continued to drive the car. Sounds like skiing was more important then fixing the car.
 
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