2008 Subaru Outback - Help me start this project right



Inherited an abandoned 2008 Outback, 252,000 miles. Don’t know what exactly was wrong except engine problems and it was towed home when the engine quit and sat ever after. It drove onto the trailer and drove off. I changed oil (synthetic) and test drove it about three miles when the engine lost power and started bucking severely - car jumping up and down trying to hold 20 mph from 35 - and then it died on the road and wouldn’t start again. There was no rattle or abnormal engine noise. A year later when I am ready to work on it, I charged the battery, started it, and the engine rattles like a rod bearing is shot or a lifter is collapsed. Oil is still clean.
Can a rod bearing go south that fast with no hard turns, taking it easy on a level road?
Also, I noticed a Check engine light, code P0113 which has absolutely nothing to do with the engine mechanical condition. How do I diagnose this fault between a bad mass air flow sensor, bad wiring (it all looks good), or a bad temperature sensor (high output)?
Also, does Subaru publish a factory service manual with wiring diagrams for the 2008 Outback?


David, you just inherited a very large paper weight. If you really want this back on the road I would suggest a used engine or just getting a rebuilt one.


A ten-year-old vehicle with a 1/4 million miles? With an engine knock? And a Subaru?

Sounds like a money hole to me.



It’s hard to diagnose an engine that won’t start. If you really (really, really) want to work on this thing, start with a compression test. It’s possible the timing belt has failed and there’s internal engine damage, and a compression test will start the process of convincing you to either give up or find another engine and rebuild it over the Winter and install it in the Spring.

I vote for the recycling yard.


So how long did it sit before you got hold of it? If you’re talking a year or two, etc then odds are the gasoline has turned to garbage.

Bad gas can also cause a rattle and I think you’re getting bit ahead of yourself with a factory manual and schematics. Odds are it won’t come to that.

Can’t be a collapsed lifter. This car has mechanical lifters.


I have a feeling the right way to start this project, will be calling a wrecker. And will end with getting the salvage value at a junk yard.