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2009 forester turbo auto
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25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
hello. thanks to this forum, i've successfully saved thousand$ on repair, from brakes to radiator replacement to squeek fixes, you know the drill. anyway, i want to give you our sad tale and get your opinions, please.

2009 forester xt turbo, 153k. i bought it in '13 and thanks to getting the extended warranty, had the lower engine rebuilt by subaru (pistons, seals, crank, cam) two years later. in october i noticed a strong smell of gas and it wasn't running well, so i took it into an indy mech who replaced the head gasket for $3k.

two weekends ago, i replaced the front brakes and took it out to break them in and noticed some occasional weird engine squealing when i accelerated, and felt a loss of power. took it back to him and he then diagnosed it to be the turbo, $2k more. the day i picked it up, it ran great for literally 3 miles...not 4, but 3 miles. i took it back and he then said it was an engine bearing, and i need an engine, $5k. when i asked about the $2k turbo he did yesterday, he said it was properly installed to spec and this is just bad luck / bad timing, so there's really nothing he can do about the costs.

NOW, the question. Is he right?

I'm in the NE illinois area, and if anyone can direct me to a solid subaru mech, i'd appreciate it.
 

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2007 2.5XT Limited 4EAT
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343 Posts
Sorry about your bad luck. I think $3K for the head gasket job was a bit pricey but not completely unreasonable. I believe Subaru charges around the same for that job. $2K for the new turbo seems pretty much par for the course. That said, $5K for a new engine on top of what you already spent is certainly a tough pill to swallow though. I suppose the first question is, how many miles have you put on since the bottom end rebuild? I wonder if it was a botched rebuild or if the old turbo dumped some metal into the lower end when it failed resulting in your current engine failure, as is often the case.

Considering the turbo failure. Do you know if your vehicle has the banjo fitting filters still in place in the oil feed lines? I don't recall what year Subaru stopped putting them in. If so this could have contributed to your original turbo failure. These likely would have been removed when you had the bottom end rebuilt as I believe there is a TSB out on the banjo filters, but the turbo may have already been on borrowed time by then. I would definitely inquire into this with Subaru for your peace of mind and future longevity of the new engine and turbo. If you aren't in the know about the banjo filters and the havoc they reek, do a quick search for the dreaded P0011/P0012 codes.

I would also be curious as to whether your mechanic replaced all the oil feed lines and fittings for the turbo, and properly flushed the oil system. If not, you may have a leg to stand in regards to placing blame. If in fact everything was done correctly with respect to the turbo install, then I would say you can chalk it up to bad luck and poor timing.
 

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1999 Forester S
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530 Posts
What was the cause of failure for the turbo? If the turbo let go, ate its bearings and your mechanic should have explained that to you, because it could have a knock-on effect to the rest of the engine.

You need a better mechanic.
 

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Registered
2009 forester turbo auto
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25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thank you so much for input! i have a service business, and if i installed a $2k part within a couple months of another $3k job and within literally < 10 miles after pickup, i'd at least make the client whole on the turbo, or offer free labor on the engine. of course, the difference is i actually CARE about my clients.
 

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Premium Member
2018 X3 M40i / 2016 X3 xDrive35i
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1,632 Posts
Turbo and engine failure go fairly hand in hand. If he installed "to spec" though, ask him if he removed the oil filter screen for the turbo in the banjo bolt as well as the AVCS screens. I've also heard recommendation for removing many of the hard lines on the car as metals will hang out in those lines and be reintroduced after a failure.
 

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2019 Forester Touring CVT
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67 Posts
two weekends ago, i replaced the front brakes and took it out to break them in and noticed some occasional weird engine squealing when i accelerated, and felt a loss of power. took it back to him and he then diagnosed it to be the turbo, $2k more. the day i picked it up, it ran great for literally 3 miles...not 4, but 3 miles. i took it back and he then said it was an engine bearing, and i need an engine, $5k. when i asked about the $2k turbo he did yesterday, he said it was properly installed to spec and this is just bad luck / bad timing, so there's really nothing he can do about the costs.
Your info shows the Transmission as "Auto", if it's actually a CVT the failure symptoms can include squealling and loss of power. Does the RPM go up with the squealing?
 
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