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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2012 WRX with 68,000 miles. It started stalling after I hit a really hard bump from road construction, after which it started stalling. I took it to the dealer right away. Apparently the oil just leaked out of it suddenly. The car was in for a recall service just the previous week, and it passed inspection then, so we're talking all of the oil leaking out in the course of a week if it wasn't from that bump. It had the oil pan replaced in late August because a mechanic somehow cross-threaded the drain plug and it wouldn't come out. Apparently everything was fine then.

Insurance isn't covering it and my only option seems to be to have the dealer tear it down to see what happens, but they're saying that the seals on the engine are blown. How does that happen in a week?

I've taken care of the car and it is totally stock. I can't afford the $6000-$7000 they're quoting me for replacing the engine.

What can I do in this situation?

If in the worst case I have to sell it as-is, does anyone have any idea about what I might be able to get for the car when it is otherwise in good condition? I'm in Michigan.
 

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Sorry to say, but unless you can prove that this was related to the work done by either your mechanic or the dealer, you are on the hook for the repair.

I agree that this SOUNDS (based on your account) as though the fault lies with someone either replacing the oil pan or the drain plug, but you have to show proof for it to be viable in court.

Unfortunately, you will likely have to find a way to afford the replacement or sell the car for a loss. This is the risk you accept when purchasing a vehicle that is not warrantied.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just talked to the dealer and yeah, that's the sense that I am getting. No matter what it was, there will be finger-pointing elsewhere. The dealer wants $500 to do the tear-down and diagnosis, and it sounds like no matter the outcome, it's still going to end up on me, even if there's no way it is my fault. They did say that the oil is not coming out of the oil pan, but the back of the engine around where the seals are, so they think the seals have gone bad for some reason.

I bought the car new, so it was under warranty until recently. Which is also frustrating. This doesn't seem like something that should happen. Especially losing 100% of the oil over the course of a week. I'm just perplexed by this.
 

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Basically Zak covered it. The car is worth what someone will pay. There are people out there that will pay out the nose for that body style especially if it’s a hatch.

4 quarts in a week is a lot. If you were burning that much it would be rolling coal. I would inspect the underside for signs of oil leaking. That much should be obvious.
 

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I bought the car new, so it was under warranty until recently. Which is also frustrating. This doesn't seem like something that should happen. Especially losing 100% of the oil over the course of a week. I'm just perplexed by this.
I understand. I'm also on the last legs of my factory warranty -- it's such a mixed-bag with these cars, I'm not entirely convinced I'm going to keep it past the termination of the warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Basically Zak covered it. The car is worth what someone will pay. There are people out there that will pay out the nose for that body style especially if it’s a hatch.

4 quarts in a week is a lot. If you were burning that much it would be rolling coal. I would inspect the underside for signs of oil leaking. That much should be obvious.
For the value, I guess I'm just trying to get an idea of what a reasonable price is to ask. I know there are people out there doing engine swaps and so on so I'm sure someone will pay for it, but I don't want to ask some absurd amount and waste people's time and look like a jerk, and I also don't want to get totally screwed. But I'll try to do some research and perhaps ask in another forum where the question is more on-topic than this one after I know a bit more. Thank you for the answers to this and my other questions.

As for the oil, I don't think it was burning, I would have smelled that. The mechanic seems to think that a seal was leaking, and I have no idea how that could have happened. I just know that no matter who I go to, they're going to point the finger at someone else. "The last mechanic that touched it cross-threaded the drain plug. You ran it with a cross-threaded drain plug for who knows how long", (Even though the plug was tight and not leaking when I went to change the oil and found it wouldn't come out) "We already paid you for the new oil pan, and maybe they messed up the install", etc.

To clarify: A mechanic changed the oil, I went to change it myself a few months later and the drain plug just spun after I tried to remove it. (With hand tools)

I just don't see myself winning because they can each point at the other and I can't prove it was either of them. I can pay $500 for the teardown but then that doesn't seem like it will change anything; I'll just be out $500 that I could put toward a new car. But maybe I'm wrong. I'm no expert. I only do some of my own basic maintenance.
 

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I stand by my statement 4 quarts is an absurd amount of oil to go through in a weeks time.

The chances you can pin it to a specific person that may have failed to complete the job correctly is slim however not unheard of. Go inspect the vehicle to see where 4 quarts of oil went. If it’s all down the under side of the body trace it to its source. If it’s the pan you may have an argument
 

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Just skimmed through the post. I'm really sorry you're in this boat. It's terrible! :(

I wouldn't spend the $500 since it will give you no real leverage to be able to point the finger to someone specifically.

That's the problem with these cars to be honest. I have had a spun rod bearing (short-block had to get replaced) and my turbo blew up. Both thankfully covered under warranty. Both also happened within the first 20k miles of the car. First year and a half of ownership. These cars blow up. It's really painful. Having any car like this out of warranty is too risky for my taste.

Do you have a hatchback? What color? That can really fetch a fair buy if you're just trying to salvage this at this point.

Again... I'm really sorry. I can feel the pain man. :(

(I will sell my car when the warranty expires - not worth the risk to me)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I stand by my statement 4 quarts is an absurd amount of oil to go through in a weeks time.
You're right. And I would have noticed the huge puddles where I parked the car. I think that either it all leaked out due to a sudden failure while I was driving, or the dealer didn't actually check and said that they did. I raised the point with them and they deflected of course, and said I can pay for the $500 teardown.

I wouldn't spend the $500 since it will give you no real leverage to be able to point the finger to someone specifically.

That's the problem with these cars to be honest. I have had a spun rod bearing (short-block had to get replaced) and my turbo blew up. Both thankfully covered under warranty. Both also happened within the first 20k miles of the car. First year and a half of ownership. These cars blow up. It's really painful. Having any car like this out of warranty is too risky for my taste.
I really appreciate what you said, thank you.

And I think you're right about the $500 and everything else.

I have a sedan, WR blue color. Too bad it isn't a hatchback, you're right.

Also, what you said about these cars blowing engines, I'm doing some reading and it sounds like yeah, that happens a lot. Subaru has at least 3 class action lawsuits about this.

https://www.torquenews.com/1084/subaru-hit-3rd-wrxsti-engine-failure-lawsuit

The oil is leaking out the back, apparently from the seals but that's all they'll say without tearing it down. I'll inspect the oil pan myself, but I'm also thinking of getting some of whatever is left in the oil pan and seeing if there are metal shavings, (probable) and if they're magnetic. Maybe it actually was caused by bearing wear/failure or ringlands, since it sounds like people that have those failures have the same symptoms. (Knocking, stalling)

Not to belabor this when all of you have already given me so much helpful input, but I don't think this was my fault, and I don't think it is because of the oil pan either. I see way too many stories of people that have the same thing happen with similar mileage. I might contact Subaru and see if I can pursue this further. I haven't neglected or beat on the car and this shouldn't have happened. Please let me know if I am off-base here, I'm just getting a strong impression that this might not be related to any maintenance on the car.
 

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call Subaru of America. there is no circumstance that your car passed an inspection while being in for service last week and then lost every drop of oil without the oil pan being torn out or clear leak being noticed in the oil pan.

Do you have an inspection sheet dealers gave you where they check the red/yellow/green boxes? I would try to pin this on Subaru...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I do have the inspection sheet. They marked everything on the sheet (including oil) as checked and didn't mark anything as needs attention.

I trust that the dealer did inspect it. And I think you're right, it sounds absurd that just suddenly all of the oil just gushed out in so little time. There's no oil pan damage from what they said, and they specified that it is coming out of the back, they never said anything was leaking from the oil pan, which was replaced in August.

I'll take your advice and call Subaru tomorrow. I'm not sure how good they'll be about it, but even helping me out part-way might be the difference between me being able to keep this car and having to get rid of it.

I'll report back with how it goes. Thank you for the advice.
 

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Take class action lawsuits with a grain of salt. Do ej engines have a tendency to pop up with blown pistons and spun bearings? Yes. Do the majority of those owners leave out the fact they spent 99% of the time beating the car to death? Also yes.

As I said go look at the car yourself. The oil had to go somewhere if it didn’t leak into a puddle you burnt it. If you burnt it the car would have been smoking like crazy.
 

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Not exactly. If it was marked good and failed at start up post inspection maybe.
If it was marked as good/pass then the issue happened less than a week later I'm sure a good lawyer can make a strong case for it. It sounds pretty negligent to me though since the car was losing oil so rapidly. It should have been caught during the inspection.

I see what you're saying though. It can be a tough cookie. Terrible boat to be in for anyone.

Hopefully this works out in the favor of the OP though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you all.

I called Subaru and explained the situation. The representative that I spoke to was very kind and helpful about it. They want to see all of the maintenance paperwork that I have, since some of my service was not done at the dealer. I'm getting all of that together since I've been pretty good about keeping everything. They also want me to authorize the teardown. I called the dealer and we're going to do that. I figure it's worth the chance.

I'm not totally sure who I'd talk to a lawyer about. I have no reason to think that the dealer caused the issue or failed to inspect the car and said that they did. So then, Subaru? I'm not sure what chance I'd have with a lawyer there, though I guess I don't know if I don't talk to someone? Certainly I am going to see what Subaru says based on the teardown first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I spoke with the service director this morning. He didn’t want me to pay for the tear down because he thinks what is going on is that the oil pump failed on me, and that it would have dumped oil only when it was running, and that’s why I didn’t see/smell smoke from burned oil or see pooled up oil where I parked. He said that he doesn't think it was my fault and that there's nothing I could have done.

I sent my oil change records to Subaru. Hoping for the best.
 

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Hang on, I recall hearing some engines had issues with oil pickup tubes.

If that applies to the ej255 i wouldn’t be surprised if that could be part of your issue
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hang on, I recall hearing some engines had issues with oil pickup tubes.

If that applies to the ej255 i wouldn’t be surprised if that could be part of your issue

Sounds reasonable to me. Let's say that it is, do you think there's anything I can do with that information? Subaru has told me they're unwilling to help me, at all. I asked to speak to a supervisor and they said they'd call me within in 24 hours.
 
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