Dead engine on brand new car

I bought a new 2009 Subaru Forester a few months ago. The engine died with only 2,000 miles on it from a factory defect causing a major internal engine issue (exact cause has not yet been given to me). Subaru will replace the engine under warranty. Will this engine replacement (when it shows up on Carfax when I sell the car) negatively affect the value of the vehicle?

In my opinion, no. Subaru provided an appropriate warranty solution and the trouble-free miles you will put on the Subaru makes it a non-issue. Also, no guarantee that it will show up on Carfax. As I understand it, not all dealers report everything to Carfax.

I think it will negatively affect the buyers perception of Subaru in general not just your car.

We can explore the issue of everything being re-installed correctly by the mechanic who changes the engine,no more likely the Dealer mechanic left something loose than the factory assembley group.

Now if this was major accident damage with both the engine and trans out,suspension components replaced,body panels replaced and repainted,with airbag and interior trim damage (I been the machanic on this one)it would be a different story.

If you are going to sell it in the next 12 months, yea.  If you are going to trade it or sell it in a few years, not really.  That is assuming it shows up on carfax.  Anyone who relies on them for full information is a fool.  It may be a useful tool, but it is far from perfect. 

The longer you have the car the less it will mean.

I had a similar question about an '09 Hyundai Sonata when the main fuse box and wiring harness along with a few other parts were replaced. The car seemed to be fine but I felt the car would be worth a great deal less due to its Carfax history. I was lucky, it took over 30 days to obtain those two main components and to install them. The 30 days met the NYS Lemon Law requirement and I was awarded a new vehicle 4 months after taking ownership. So now I have a car with less than 400 miles and a clean Carfax history, I will never know the true value of my decision but I drive a little happier. You might want to discuss your case with the BBB or your states Attorney General. I found a lot of information on line about the settlement process, the number of “lemons” produced, tactics of manufacturers and such. GOOD LUCK!

It may not even show up on Carfax at all but if it does then it could raise an eyebrow or two if you try to sell the car in the near future. A new engine at 2k miles would definitely make me want to know what happened.

Just curious though. Was the engine run out of oil? Did the engine get an oil change within that first 2k miles?

And how long ago did this happen? If the exact cause has not been determined then how is it claimed a factory defect is behind the failure?
Subaru of America is not going to blindly warranty an engine without a valid reason being provided for the failure. This means an engine teardown to reveal exactly why it failed.

New car warranties are for situations like you have with your 2009 Subaru Forester. Most failures will occur almost right away. In the old days, new car warranties were 90 days or 4000 miles. This caught most of the manufacturing defects. It cost the auto manufacturers very little to extend the warranty to the new limits the warranties have today. I can’t see where a replacement engine would affect the value. I was one of the lucky ones on a 1990 Ford Aerostar. I had the engine replaced under warranty at 35,000 miles. By all odds, if the engine was going to fail, it should have done it much sooner. At any rate, the new engine didn’t affect the value of the vehicle.

I avoid cars with extensive electrical work,burn jobs and swimmers even more,I am pleased things worked out as they did for you.

It won’t show up anywhere.

Let me guess the Forester XT with the turbo 2.5L engine? This is a very common issue with the turbo engined Legacy, WRX, and Forester for 2009 only. I think they have a defective set of bearing inside.

You got it, 2.5XT. Very interesting…It will be interesting to see what’s wrong with it once they figure it out. He told me major engine defects like this occur maybe 1 in 1,000 cars, so I guess I’m just unlucky.

No. This stuff happens and thats what warranties are for. Robots and people are not infallable. I doubt it would show up on Carfax and even if it did, a failure at 2000 does not suggest a lack of general maintenance. There really is nothing to do on a car for the first 2000 miles so nothing to neglect.

Thanks for your response. I feel better about the value being maintained now if I get a new engine. I don?t know the cause yet, but the engine is shaking violently back and forth. So they told me that it?s an internal engine problem, that there?s no way I could have caused it and that it?s a factory defect. The service manager told me it?s very likely I?ll be getting a new engine. They are just waiting for the go-ahead from Subaru to disassemble the engine to figure out what happened, and have promised to get me this information by Monday at the latest (this happened this past Monday).

If they tell me that they want to repair the engine, I?ll be pushing to get a new engine because mine went from hero to zero in 30 minutes of driving. It was running just fine, started rattling when I hit the gas and then starting loudly knocking within 20 miles. It died as I pulled into my driveway, which was the luckiest part of my day. I didn?t change the oil in the first 2,000 miles; didn?t think that was required. Thanks again for your insight. I?m hopeful Subaru will resolve this for me in a reasonable amount of time!

My question(s) still remains. Full of oil and any oil change performed during that first 2k miles?

Agree that these things happen occasionally. A colleague of mine bought a new Buick Roadmaster station wagon upon retiring. Within 3000 miles the engine (350V8) blew, much to his chagrin. The dealer took it in and replaced it with a factory-new one at some $7000 cost, but no cost to my friend. He even got a loaner. I would not imagine any problerms selling this car. That’s what warranties are for.