Dealership ******* me?
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This is a discussion on Dealership ******* me? within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hey all, I have been a member here for some time and while generally lurking, am thinking this is a ...

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    Dealership ******* me?

    Hey all,

    I have been a member here for some time and while generally lurking, am thinking this is a good time to post to ask your expert opinions...

    I have a 2005 EJ20 WRX with no real mods. It is roughly 130k miles. It has been making an odd ticking noise around 3000-3500rpm, and recently, something happened that i noticed on a highway offramp where the car lost all mechanical power, went to idle for 1-2 seconds and died. I was able to get it restarted and coast it into a place where I could have it towed back to my house. Started it and drove it to the dealership 3 miles away where they told me the 'engine was blown' and it would be 6500-8000 to fix it.

    My question with the limited info I have given is, is the dealership bending me over or will the car really still run (albeit with very little power) with a blown motor?

    Symptoms:

    Difficulty starting
    Very loud knocking noise (when started)
    Dies at idle after about 5 mins, but will idle for first 5 mins or so
    Completely unable to start after 5 mins with ignition
    Able to start by being pushed and popping clutch but if RPMs go to idle (realistically under 1500rpm's), car dies and needs to be push-started and will run with VERY little mechanical power until rpm's drop.
    Turbo sounds like it will still spool and BOV still fires same as it ever did.

    Dealer says motor blew, I am skeptical...

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    Subaru Newb MainFrame's Avatar
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    Loud knocking noise is likely spun rod bearing, or some other serious mechanical damage. If the car was immediately shut off and not ran after the noise first started then it would be likely that some parts of the engine could be salvaged in a rebuild. However, since the engine has been ran after the initial problem, it is likely that virtually everything is ruined now.

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    Registered User Pylonpounder's Avatar
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    I second mainframe. "Loud knock" is all you needed to say. Knock is the killer of all engines, in one way or another. I can't believe you're still attempting to drive it; or for that matter, that it's not entirely seized yet. I spun a bearing in mine last year, and not having much choice tried to limp it home 2 miles. The engine locked up entirely about 500 yards away from my driveway. entire shortblock needed replacement; oil pan needed replacement, due to shards of the old engine being imbedded in it. Heads and cams were gouged, but saveable. new oil pump, water pump, etc are all expected on a new engine anyway... Long story short: Loud Knock=Bad.

    And hey, on the bright side, 6-8k for a new engine isn't that bad...all in all mine came out around 13k, though I built a hybrid.

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    Subaru Newb MainFrame's Avatar
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    Yeah.. I heard a very faint ticking in mine a while back. I drove it real easy about two miles home listening carefully. By the time I got home the ticking had turned to a knocking noise. I immediately shut the engine off and had the car trailered to the shop. They pulled the engine and long story short, the rod bolts had stretched on one of my rods and I was about to spin a bearing. If I had driven the car another 100 feet it probably would have destroyed the engine. Since I shut it off and never attempted to restart the car the only thing that had to be replaced was the rod bearing and the bolts that had stretched. Luckily my engine was still under warranty, but if I had continued to run it the damage would have been much more substantial.

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    Registered User UEDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MainFrame View Post
    Yeah.. I heard a very faint ticking in mine a while back. I drove it real easy about two miles home listening carefully. By the time I got home the ticking had turned to a knocking noise. I immediately shut the engine off and had the car trailered to the shop. They pulled the engine and long story short, the rod bolts had stretched on one of my rods and I was about to spin a bearing. If I had driven the car another 100 feet it probably would have destroyed the engine. Since I shut it off and never attempted to restart the car the only thing that had to be replaced was the rod bearing and the bolts that had stretched. Luckily my engine was still under warranty, but if I had continued to run it the damage would have been much more substantial.
    Good words of advice man. Care to make a "caring for your Subie" thread?

    Sent from my DROID2 Global using Tapatalk 2

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    Administrator TheJ's Avatar
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    Appreciate your replies guys. While I am 'pretty sure' this is the case, it is still hard for me to believe I would be able to drive the car 1-2 miles on the day the proverbial excrement hit the fan, and then drive it to the dealership the following day (3-4 mi). Along with the symptoms posted in the OP (primarily the pushstart aspect), I still think it could be something else... (not that I am really hopeful, as it is what it is, I just dont want to spend a ton of cash fixing the wrong problem).

    Quote Originally Posted by MainFrame View Post
    Loud knocking noise is likely spun rod bearing, or some other serious mechanical damage. If the car was immediately shut off and not ran after the noise first started then it would be likely that some parts of the engine could be salvaged in a rebuild. However, since the engine has been ran after the initial problem, it is likely that virtually everything is ruined now.
    That is my thought as well. Looking back, I do realize I should not have driven it to the shop... That said, I am still not 100% certain that the engine is blown or a bearing is thrown, as the car still runs and will start, and run for a while, and will restart with a pushstart.

    Thanks for the reply, keep em coming!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pylonpounder View Post
    I second mainframe. "Loud knock" is all you needed to say. Knock is the killer of all engines, in one way or another. I can't believe you're still attempting to drive it; or for that matter, that it's not entirely seized yet. I spun a bearing in mine last year, and not having much choice tried to limp it home 2 miles. The engine locked up entirely about 500 yards away from my driveway. entire shortblock needed replacement; oil pan needed replacement, due to shards of the old engine being imbedded in it. Heads and cams were gouged, but saveable. new oil pump, water pump, etc are all expected on a new engine anyway... Long story short: Loud Knock=Bad.

    And hey, on the bright side, 6-8k for a new engine isn't that bad...all in all mine came out around 13k, though I built a hybrid.
    I have been told by a couple people here (who certainly know more than I do about WRX's) that I likely spun a bearing and it is a fairly common occurrence with the car. That said, Im not paying 13k for a new motor. I will work it myself and plug away if needed, but 13k, you should have bought a new WRX Id say... Thanks for the reply!

    Quote Originally Posted by UEDan View Post
    Good words of advice man. Care to make a "caring for your Subie" thread?

    Sent from my DROID2 Global using Tapatalk 2
    As someone who peruses but very rarely posts, I think this would be a great addition to the site!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJ View Post
    OP Don't dodge the swear filter.
    Seriously? I have about 10 posts in 3 years of being here, I was unaware of your little 'swear filter' and the sites policy on alluding to a word one wants to use without using it. Perhaps a PM letting me know or reminding would be better than a snide comment? That said, anything to add to the thread? Any thoughts about the question I asked?
    Last edited by ATCtower; 05-28-2012 at 07:46 AM.

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    Moderator rage-wrx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATCtower View Post
    Seriously? I have about 10 posts in 3 years of being here, I was unaware of your little 'swear filter' and the sites policy on alluding to a word one wants to use without using it. Perhaps a PM letting me know or reminding would be better than a snide comment? That said, anything to add to the thread? Any thoughts about the question I asked?
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    Ooh,hang on. That is the throb of a turbocharged flat four engine. A sound which,all over the world,heralds the imminent arrival of a moron - JC.

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    Subaru Newb MainFrame's Avatar
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    That is curious that it's still running. Although I have seen weirder things happen. Your really can't know what's going on inside without pulling the engine.


    That said, I know a cheap/easy way to see if the engine is toast.. drain the oil. Look at the drain plug and oil for metal particles or shavings. Take the oil filter off and cut it open, look in the bottom for metal shavings. If there's metal in your oil then it's done for. If not then you might be extremely lucky. A stuck valve can make a pretty horrendous noise and not destroy the engine. Stuck valve would just mean you need to have the heads rebuilt and new valves and guides.

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    Registered User Ingen's Avatar
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    Depending on how mechanically able of a person you are, I did some googling regarding engine swaps in your car. It looks like you can get a new, functional engine for a whole lot less than that money. See here:

    Millennium Auto -Specializing in Subaru WRX STI.Used parts for sale, Pre owned cars

    I hope it's okay to link to a non-site vendor - I don't know of anyone here who sells complete engines or I would link to them first.

    Edit: he appears to be out of stock at the moment (imagine that, this isn't exactly an off-the-shelf part!) So here's a couple more:

    http://www.wrx-tx.com/swapsspecial_order - this guy seems to have one sitting around. Not a horrible price either.

    So I guess contact those two companies. 4000 in labor for an engine replacement seems... um, excessive. And if you felt the need at this point you could probably do an STI swap and be all the happier.
    Last edited by Ingen; 05-28-2012 at 11:21 AM. Reason: First link was a dud, I updated with a better one.

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    Registered User Pylonpounder's Avatar
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    Yeah, it shouldn't cost you anywhere near what I spent. I dropped in a 2.5 shortblock, new ecu, injectors, rebuilt/balanced turbo, lots of head work, tuning costs, etc.

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