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Discussion Starter #1
My 18 son bought a '09 16 months ago for $8000. It had 95,000 miles on it. It was in great condition other than a light oil leak. My mechanic couldn't figure out what it was and another mechanic was guessing a head gasket. The oil leak got worse over time and we had the head gasket and belt done (for another $2800) this past summer at about 105,000. You see where I'm going here. last weekend, he was flying down the highway and the engine made a horrific noise and then cut out. He coasted to the breakdown lane and was towed to the mechanic.

My mechanic doesn't replace engines so we were waiting to hear back from someone next door to him. I haven't heard numbers yet, but he was trying to get my mechanic to talk me out of it. He called the guy who did the head gasket this past summer and without looking at yet, was less fatalistic and thought 3-4000, but again, hasn't looked at it.

The engine starts but sounds horrible and I wouldn't even try to drive it.

Tomorrow we will go talk to the guy to see what is possible. I am wondering what is reasonable here. It guts me to basically walk away from a car that we put $11,000 into. He's a teen, working full time, going to college in the fall, but only an hour away. The need for a car with regularity isn't going away.

Is 3-4000 for an engine reasonable? Am I right to wonder what so catastrophically failed that wasn't noticed 5 months ago during the head gasket? Is it foolish to put a new engine in a car this old? If we walk away, I don't imagine we'd get anything for trade in given the engine condition.

What should I ask?
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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What's wrong with it? When the belt was done were the idlers, tensioner, and water pump replaced. I would guess one of the jobs was done incorrectly. I would pursue getting resolution of how the engine failed.
 

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2003 Forester X 5 MT
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522 Posts
Definitely need to find the cause of the engine noise. How much oil is on the dipstick now? Timing belt slippage or rod bearings are possible causes but I would look to find another mechanic other than the ones that worked on the car.
 

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2010 Forester
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Post your location for local suggestions.
Sounds like the previous job was done by somebody who wasn't a Subaru specialist.
 
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