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#13: 04-04-2008, 03:31 PM
Blown turbo and engine
Title: New Member
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Name: New poster

Make: 2006 Outback XT

Mileage: 20,616

Time Out Of Use: since 3/28/08 (1 week, today)

Problem And Likely Cause: Clogged filter at banjo bolt starved OEM turbo of oil. Turbo failed, sent metal through engine, destroyed engine.

Modifications: None

Submitted For Warranty Work (Yes/No): Yes

Reason Given For Denial (if applicable): Denied due to failure to follow recommended oil change interval.

Your Story: Driving on highway, engine made strange whistling sound (presumably turbo failing), lost some, but not all power. No warning lights or other warning, although the engine had sounded a little rough prior. Got off highway and limped to gas station. Shut off car. Car wouldn't restart, so called Subaru Roadside Assistance who sent a flatbed tow truck which towed us to nearest Subaru dealer (not our own dealer since we were travelling). Monday morning the dealer called and said it looked ugly. The oil was filthy. Mea culpa - we had gone slightly over 10,000 miles on the current oil. The last oil change, however, was Valvoline full synthetic. The oil change before that had been at 6800 mile interval. They tried to tell me the recommended oil interval for the turbo is 3750 miles, although manual says 7500 (the 3750 recommendation is for severe driving, according to the manual; you have to read the TSB to get that recommendation for all turbos). Clearly trying to put me on the defensive. I'm not pleased that there was no warning prior to impending doom. Also, I don't expect Subarus to be so delicate. My Saab turbo recommends 10,000 mile intervals. Not that that's really an excuse, but I didn't feel grossly negligent in our oil change interval. But it didn't follow the letter of the warranty requirements (the manual is in the car so I can't confirm the item a previous poster quoted about whether the warranty can be denied based on improper oil change interval or lack of receipts).

District manager inspected car and denied warranty due to dirty oil and my exceeding the recommended interval. Subaru of America agreed. Thanks to this forum I was able to point to the TSB on the banjo bolt. SOA subsequently offered me a "one-time good will gesture" whereby they are paying for the new turbo and associated labor and the labor to take the engine apart to diagnose the problem (they inspected the banjo bolt and dropped the oil pan). That leaves me to pay for the new engine (ouch!), although they are charging that labor at warranty rates, which helps. They are also paying for three days of rental car, although I'll need twelve before the repair is done. Parts have been ordered and the car should be repaired next week.

My question now is, given my poor oil change history, should I be happy that I got this much out of SOA. Or do I have a case to get them to pay more?