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MD7305 02-02-2013 07:54 PM

Prospective buyer questions: Turbo Corrosion?
I'm looking at a 2005 Legacy GT Auto with 70k miles. The car runs smooth, no odd noises, shifts smoothly, and the engine bay is super clean and it's reportedly a two owner car. Oil looks clean, transmission fluid looks clean too. I had a couple of questions about things I noticed while combing over it today. I tried to search the forum but no luck (my search-fu may need work). Please bear with me, I'm new to Subaru's so my terminology is probably ridiculous and lame.

1.) Turbo Corrosion: I noticed that a tube or hose forward of the turbo has a bit of corrosion on it. The hose is rubber but leads in to a metal right -angle bent tube directly forward of the turbo. This metal tube has corrosion on it similar to what you see on corroded battery terminals. What is this? After reading a lot of posts on here I'm being cautious about anything that appears to be turbo, head gasket, or transmission related. That turbo looks new!? Below are a couple pics:

2.) The fog lights don't work? Both of them. I asked the sales guy who predictably said that it passed inspection therefore they must work, yeah, okay. I'm figuring they either have blown bulbs that were never replaced, a fuse, or a wiring cluster-phuck of some kind? Is that common, easy to diagnose?

3.) There's no engine cover. Will that cause issues directing air to the intercooler? The under-hood design appeared to directly match the engine cover (from pictures I've seen) so I was curious it the cover was necessary or not.

That's it, all I could nitpick which isn't much I guess. I know this community would have answers, if anyone.

Thanks in advance.

SBT 02-03-2013 06:07 PM

Welcome and glad to have you join us.

WRT the corrosion. That is the coolant tank to turbo hose I believe. Looks like the hose is leaking around the clamp. Easy fix if that's all it is. Those hoses have been known to crack and start weeping. Mine did that around your mileage. ISTR that it was < $20.00 to fix.

Good luck and keep us posted. Again, welcome.

Check the service record on the car and if there's any question about the age/mileage of the coolant - change it out with Genuine Subaru Long Life Coolant and Coolant Conditioner, both available from your Subaru dealer. There's a "Coolant Change" thread that provides a walk-through/how-to.

MD7305 02-03-2013 07:40 PM

I saw the reservoir beside the turbo and thought that might be some type of coolant, thanks for clarifying that.

I'm going to contact the local dealership tomorrow and see if they will use the VIN to check the service history. I'm not sure if that's a common request but the car is for slaw at another, unassociated dealership so hopefully they'll be accommodating.

Any opinions on the engine cover?

SBT 02-03-2013 09:28 PM

Missing engine cover typically means one of two things.
  1. One of the POs lost the pop-it clips and tossed the cover, or,
  2. One of the POs modded the engine and added a larger TMIC so the cover no longer fit and they tossed the cover.
Can't tell from the pictures whether the heat shield is still on the turbo, but if it's not, I'd tilt toward #2.

MD7305 02-04-2013 07:14 PM

The turbo heat shield was still there. The car looks stock and no indication of mods. According to the dealer a couple traded this car and a 2013 BRZ with 3k miles for something new on their lot. It's a Ford dealership so I was curious what they traded for, who knows?

In other related news I called local Subaru dealerships to see what, if any, service records they had for the car. One service department had one record, 12/2011, for a inquiry on the 60K service, brake inspection, and had the trans serviced. The second service department had no records but went the extra mile and looked it up on Subaru's database. The tech said that the records went back to 2006 but were coded and he had no clue what some of the codes meant, but believed mostly routine service as they repeated at regular intervals. One specific entry was for an axle and hub replacement. No date given. I also found out that this particular dealership offers a complimentary inspection on used cars. I'm going to ask the seller if I can take it to be inspected, only downside is the dealership is about 50 miles away. Not sure what their response will be.

SBT 02-05-2013 05:13 PM

With a deposit, they'll typically allow you to get it checked-out.

ScottFW 02-07-2013 11:42 PM

Axle & hub replacement... the passenger front CV boot can deteriorate & crack due to its proximity to the turbo and downpipe, then lose its grease and require replacement. If you get the car up on a lift you can look for grease slung onto the downpipe to see if that's the case. Wheel bearings are another thing that tend to fail sooner on these cars than they fail on others, and you replace them as a hub assembly.

Re the fog lights, the sales guy is obviously trying to bullshit you because no vehicle inspector is going to bother looking at something that isn't required by law. They are probably both just burned out. You have to lie on the ground, monkey with a few pop-its and move some trim panels, and pull the lamp assembly to change them. Not too bad, but it takes longer than 5 minutes so lazy people neglect them.

Mine was missing the engine cover when I bought it, and only one of its pop-its remained (broken off) in the front bracket by the alternator. Wouldn't surprise me if the cover is still in the PO's garage somewhere because they were too lazy to replace some fasteners. You can buy a replacement cover for ~$50. It does help direct air through the intercooler, but the car will run fine without it.

If the stock turbo heat shield is in place, and the bolts on it and around the turbo & downpipe have an aged patina and no evidence of tool marks on them, it probably hasn't been molested. People who bother modding their cars and then returning them to stock before selling also tend to be people who aren't too lazy to replace burned out fog light bulbs. ;)

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