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delBIONICfonic 03-05-2008 06:28 PM

Anyone with an OEM blown turbo please post!
Currently I (as many before) have a blown OEM turbo on my 2005 LGT with 58,000 miles (please see my other post for details: that the dealership claims failed due to a lack of oil.

However this seems to be a very common fate to most Subaru owners, since the oil filter screen built into the factory oil feed banjo bolt at the cylinder head starves the turbo of oil and does not cause the oil pressure warning lamp to come on.

Now my purpose with this post is to hopefully gather a consensus of how many LGT owners have had their OEM turbo fail and what the cause of the failure was.

So please post the following.




Time Out Of Use:

Problem And Likely Cause:


Submitted For Warranty Work (Yes/No):

Reason Given For Denial (if applicable):

Your Story:

Mods - This is also posted in the turbo forum as well. Please do not delete. I'm trying to gather as much input as i can. Thank You

delBIONICfonic 03-05-2008 08:38 PM

Name: Bill case#1089048

Make: 2005 Subaru Legacy GT

Mileage: 58,000

Time Out Of Use: as of 3/5/2008, 29 days without repair

Problem And Likely Cause: Turbo failure resulting from broken turbine shaft. Dealer and SOA claim lack of oil, i say its an oil filter screen built into the factory oil feed banjo bolt at the cylinder head thats caused a lack of pressure to lubricated parts

Modifications: Bone Stock

Submitted For Warranty Work (Yes/No): Yes

Was it Approved For Warranty Repair: Denied

Your Story: On the 15th of February the turbo in my car (05 LGT w/58,000miles) failed resulting from a broken turbine shaft. The next day I took my car to a Subaru dealership where they discovered that the car was running on 2 quarts of what they claim to be very unclean oil (no viscosity test was or will be preformed).

The oil in my car was checked and at a normal level prior to the road trip (about 250 miles) home, which is when the turbo failed. Additionally, I use full synthetic oil and preformed the last oil change myself about 3,200 miles ago. Subaru states that the oil in a 05 LGT should be every 3,750 miles under severe driving conditions and 5,000 – 6,000 miles otherwise.

In order to fully diagnosis the problem with the blown turbo the dealership asked that I allow them to tear the turbo apart and conclude the exact problem that lead to the blown turbo. After allowing Subaru to do said work, they discovered the busted Turbine shaft. They then concluded that since this is a lubricated part the break was due a lack of oil pressure in the turbo resulting in lower lubrication for the turbine shaft.

At no time during the drive home, when the turbo failed, did a check engine light or oil pressure warning light display on the dash. The oil pressure warning light comes on when there is an indication that the engine oil pressure is low and the lubricating system is not working properly. Additionally, my temperature gauge was reading a normal temperature output.

The turbo on my car is covered up to 60,000 miles by the powertrain warranty. Subaru also states on page 47 of the Warranty and Maintenance Book under Owner’s Warranty Responsibilities section that “Subaru of America, Inc. cannot deny warranty solely for the lack of receipts or for your failure to ensure the performance of all scheduled maintenance”. Yet, Subaru has continued to cite neglect for only being able to provide them with a credit card statement with an amount, not itemized, purchase at Auto Zone for the oil used in my car.

Based under the assumption of neglect (a bogus and hurtful claim to a proud Subaru owner) Subaru is only offering to cover the parts of the repair and not the labor involved. Page 9 of the warranty and maintenance book states that a new or remanufactured part will be replaced without charge to the owner for labor or materials under covered warranty items, such as Turbo which is covered under the powertrain warranty.

After refusing to accept the “deal” (their word, not mine) Subaru has now decided that further inspection should be done to my car. This means that they wish to remove and inspect the valve cover and oil pan for further damage. No mention of this inspection was ever made prior to my refusal of their “deal”. They have offered to cover the labor cost involved for this inspection.

That is where I am as of 3/5/2008

Now in good faith I should believe that Subaru of America and the dealership are not trying to find or conjure evidence of neglect and/or poor maintenance of my car. However, why would they suggest that further inspection be done to the engine only AFTER I refuse to cover the labor for the repair? Shouldn’t this have been suggested BEFORE they asked they offered me their “deal”, and AFTER the tear down of the turbo was completed? I must admit that I do have a suspicion of foul play.

Furthermore, it was also only upon independent research that I found literature supporting that a loss of oil can occur when a turbine shaft breaks. This oil will then end up in the Intercooler or the downpipe and Upipe. Additionally, Subaru turbocharged engines suffer from a starvation of oil, which results in a turbocharger failure, due to a oil filter screen built into the factory oil feed banjo bolt at the cylinder head. More information on this can be found at or you can reference supporting Subaru documentation with bulletin number 02-103-07 which was released on 10/19/2007. I believe this to be the manufactured defect that lead to a mechanical failure in the turbo.

I have at this point not authorized Subaru to inspect the valve cover and oil pan. Instead I am investigating the matter further to see how many Subaru customers have experienced the same thing I have.

Adam G 03-05-2008 10:59 PM

Name: Adam Gilgis

Make: 2005 Subaru Legacy GT

Mileage: ~58,000

Time Out Of Use: 10 days

Problem And Likely Cause: Blown turbocharger. No explanation yet, although the dealer said oil level was within normal limits and there were no signs of owner neglect.

Modifications: None.

Submitted For Warranty Work (Yes/No): Yes.

Reason Given For Denial (if applicable): None yet, we will see.

Your Story: GT turbo went out a week ago today. I got the P0011 and P0021 CEL's followed by a hellacious grinding noise coming from the turbo. Limped home with the hazards on, towed it to the dealership later in the week.

I was up front with the dealer in that I was paranoid about Subaru of America denying the warranty claim based on what I've read on the various boards. Late last week they did a partial tear down on the engine, said the infamous banjo bolt was fine and unclogged, but there was no evidence of neglect on my part and the engine was only a half a quart low on oil. I'll bring my maintenance records and receipts with me when I pick it up. I am cautiously optimistic that my claim will be covered. (cut and pasted from CSi)

friviz68 03-07-2008 05:24 AM

mine went at 58,000...warranty replaced it with no questions..i now have 98,000 all is good...

ziggy 03-27-2008 11:53 AM

Blown Turbo
2005 Legacy GT wagon
No mods
35,000 miles
Blown turbo that dealer has agreed to fix under warranty

NatesGr8 03-27-2008 05:26 PM

2005 LGT Sedan
62000 miles
Not sure if turbo is blown or not...but there is an aweful racket coming from under my has no power...cel and cruise light is blinking. I think i'm screwed.

NYtoVT 03-27-2008 07:09 PM

no mods (except K&N panel filter) @ 55K miles and no problems.
but the dealer sales manager strongly suggested to get an extended warranty for this problem. which I did... for 100K miles.

NatesGr8 03-27-2008 11:47 PM

I will be calling my dealer first thing in the morning to find out if they'll honor the warranty even though i'm 2K over. If they say no it looks like i'll be purchasing a new 335xi :)

ziggy 03-28-2008 05:52 AM

Another question is whether subsequent failures will be covered. Does the 2005 have a defect that makes the turbo a replacable part every 30k miles?

what? 03-31-2008 05:32 PM


Originally Posted by ziggy (Post 1801053)
Another question is whether subsequent failures will be covered. Does the 2005 have a defect that makes the turbo a replacable part every 30k miles?

The 2005 LGT is just a defective car in general.. ha ha :lol: Pretty much just sucks the big ones for early 2005 owners atleast. We're the ginnea pigs I guess! Now I know what it feels like to be a mouse having tests done on you all the time.

Oh, I just wanted to add I guess I am lucky with my turbo, I am at 75k and my turbo is still working ok. I do use synthetic though and have since 6k. I just wonder how many people know to fill the oil filter with oil when your putting a new filter on.. I wonder if the dealers even know to do this..

NYtoVT 04-01-2008 06:24 PM

^^^ BTW, I'm using synthetic blend oil on my 55K miles, since 10K miles.

docsam8 04-04-2008 07:41 AM

Blown turbo
Name: Jack Kulas

Make: Baja turbo

Mileage: 75,000

Time Out Of Use: 12/23/07 - still

Problem And Likely Cause: don't know yet

Modifications: none

Submitted For Warranty Work (Yes/No): no

Reason Given For Denial (if applicable):

Your Story: It all started with the check engine light. Had a code related to the variable valve timing. While driving home, I heard a noise like a guitar string breaking, then no turbo. Took it to the dealer
and found the turbo had crashed and took out the blades. They replaced the turbo, but not the problem with the valve timing. After 3 more trips to the Subaru dealer for oil line and coolant leaks to the turbo, I took my car to a private mechanic. After replacing solenoids and other parts for the valve timing, Subaru tells the mechanic there is an oil tube that feeds both the turbo and the right bank valve controls that is the problem. It seems that this tube has a coating on the inside and has delaminated. This clogs the
solenoids for the valves and reduces the oil flow to the turbo. This is todays news and the 3 month saga goes on.

wi_outback 04-04-2008 03:31 PM

Blown turbo and engine
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?

Gmoe 04-05-2008 08:52 AM

Over 10,000 miles without changing the oil, on a turbo motor?!? I would say you're lucky considering what they've offered to do.

I don't know that I'd call that a Subaru being "sensitive". Your oil had to be black as night and pretty goopy.

ScubieFishGT 05-20-2008 08:56 AM

blown turbo and ALVS
My 2005 60,500 mile Subie just blew the turbo. Under similar circumstances with the other posts, it happend when my 'check engine' light came on and it turns out that the AVLS cams were being starved of oil. Right before the check engine light came on I heard a pop in the ebgine area and lost a lot of power. It has been maticulously maintained and serviced. and the oil was clean when this happened.

Becasue it was barley over warranty subaru graciously covered the cam work but the blown turbo cost is unfortunatley mostly on me, I guess becasue they discovered that after the fact.

My advice to anyone else is that when that oil screen/cam posisition sensor warning comes on have them deal with the turbo too. They are apparently related.

I hope this helps in your data gathering

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