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Turbo troubles with 05 forester

mjm7mjm7 Posts: 3
edited March 7 in Subaru
I seem to be having a major problem with my wife's 05 Forester XT (33,000 miles). During a recent out of town trip, the cruise light blinked and check engine light came on. We were also experiencing a lack of power in the hills and some high RPM's before the AT would go ahead and shift properly. We curtailed our vacation and took it in to the local dealer who diagnosed a cam and/or timing problem. The dealer then went on to say we were due for an oil change. This was true. I've been overseas and my wife last changed her oil at 26,000 miles (now at 33000). I told them to go ahead and change it which they did but they were unable to fix the original problem. I had to return home to go back overseas the next day so was forced to drive the 450 miles back. But once we left the dealership, we were smoking like crazy! My wife took it in to the local dealer who said the turbo was shot and subaru would not fix it without maintenance records. So does anybody know if this all sounds legitimate? I am overseas for another 10 months and am trying to work this out long distance. When I'm home, I generally change our vehicles oil myself. My wife just fell behind. Am I getting the run around here? Or is this all our fault? Sorry for the long post but any response is appreciated.

Comments

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Do you have receipts from the purchase of the oil filters and the oil itself? Did you document the changes in the owner's manual or on My.Subaru.com?

    Having records for that is pretty critical. Turbos need to be maintained carefully.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Yeah you need reciepts for the oil and filters if you did it yourself. My guess is that you possibly popped an oil line going to the turbo, and the turbo burnt up due to lack of lubrication.

    -mike
  • mjm7mjm7 Posts: 3
    We have managed to find 3 receipts for actual oil change work and 2 reciepts where I bought oil/oil filter at Target. Never updated mysubaru.com however and those 5 are not enough to cover the 11 that should have been done. I know a lot of people are cringing out there at the mere thought of pushing an oil change to 7, 8, 10,000 miles between changes. I know...very irresponsible. But we move around a lot and get busy and life is stressful, ya da ya da ya da, she's forgiven. But be that as it may, does it all sound plausible? And how much cashola am I potentially out? Is this BIG like my dealer tells me?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    OK, so you can prove 5, but is that all you've done? Or did you do the others, only you don't have receipts for them?

    The dealer is in an awkward position, he doesn't want to call you a liar, but he has to prove to SoA that the regular maintenance schedule was adhered to, and he really can't do that with 5 receipts out of 11.

    See what the dealer can do for you, but try not to get adversarial. He has to fight *for* you with SoA, not with you.

    If SoA doesn't want to help, call 800-SUBARU3 and explain the whole situation.
  • mjm7mjm7 Posts: 3
    I understand the dealers situation and they've been supportive. I know we did not do 11 oil changes; 7, 8 max! So if we forget about warranty claims, etc., is it feasible that what I'm beng told is true and just that little amount of negligence totally blew my wife's engine? There was no problem with smoking before the out of town oil change. The only problem was the cruise control light blinked and check engine light came on. No oil pressure lights or anything else have ever appeared. I'm not trying to pin the blaim on anyone but us...I just want to learn what exactly happened here and how much this will potentially set me back.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Did the out of town dealer ever tell you what the CEL was for?

    -mike
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,651
    Wait, how does engine oil relate to the turbo? Does the turbo use engine oil as a coolant?
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Yup, there are oil lines that run to the turbo and pump through the turbo. Engine coolant as well.

    -mike
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,651
    Ah, okay. I was wondering how engine oil change intervals would play a role in turbo reliability. If it was the oil, would it not be obvious that there is a clog of some sort in the turbo? Or is the turbo so sensitive that reduced cooling capacity of old oil would be enough to cause a "KABOOM"?

    You can see that I have no experience with turbos.... :blush:
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Actually 5 oil changes in 33k miles is right in line with Subaru's recommended change interval of once every 7,5k. So there's no way they can deny a warranty claim just because you didn't change the oil every 3k.

    -Frank
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My book had 2 "schedules", one with 3750 intervals and the other with 7500 mile intervals. I guess it depends on the type of driving you do, but few people truly qualify for the longer intervals.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    IIRC, The 7500 interval is for normal driving while the 3750 is for driving under "abnormal conditions" such as lots of stop and go driving or driving in hot dusty conditions. So actually, I would think most people should qualify for the longer interval.

    Of course anyone who changes oil for a living will push for the shorter interval since it doubles thier income ;)

    -Frank
  • rochcomrochcom Posts: 247
    I had a clutch problem and the dealer kept me at bay by hinting that perhaps I did not know how to drive a manual (my Forester was my 5th) or that I abused it, etc. They said that they would tear it down and if it looked like a defect it would be covered under warranty, but if not, I would have to pay, and they gave a rough estimate over quite a wide range. I decided that I could not live with the problem and told them to go ahead and tear it down. They decided that it was a warranty problem, though from what they described, it could easily have been something else.

    The dealer gets paid either way, although they would make more if you paid. On the other hand, you would probably never come back to them for service again or to buy another vehicle. So, you do have some leverage and you should be polite but firm about your expectation that this is a warranty problem and that you expect it to be repaired at no cost to you. Your receipts should be enough evidence that it was properly cared for, but show them only if it becomes an issue. It is like dealing with the IRS. Answer their questions, but then shut up. Anything you say can be used against you.
This discussion has been closed.