Turbo troubles

I bought this 2005 model used 2 and 1/2 years ago. I recently had to have my turbo replaced for a second time in two years. Then I had to bring it in two months after the second turbo was put in because it was burning oil. They found the oil leak in a hose related to the turbo and fixed it, then when they started the car, the engine started melting. They found a piece of metal that had been sucked into the engine from the turbo and told me they would “try to get me help from Subaru” but that my high mileage (107,000 miles) could be a problem. Should I actually be responsible for paying for engine damage and why would my mileage matter about them taking care of things? I appreciate any help!

By the way, it’s a 2005 Subaru Forester.

107k is way out of any reasonable manufacturer goodwill repair help. That they said they would try to get you help from Subaru makes me wonder if they didn’t mess up, they know it, and they’re trying to help you out without having to eat the cost of the repair.

Proving that (assuming it’s true) would be very difficult.

The odds of getting Subaru to provide a Good Will warranty is about slim and none. If you were the original owner and the car had less miles and IF the vehicle was maintained to the max then it’s a least a possibility.

Offhand, it sounds like this car has been neglected and possibly beaten into the pavement. Almost every turbocharger failure is due to not changing the engine oil regularly enough. Now whether this applies to you or the prior owner I have no idea.

You might clarify the part about engine melting. Wild guessing at this point, I can only take that to mean that pistons are being knocked out by chronic/severe pre-iginition or the converters are clogged from oil and causing the engine to run near red hot, which is in turn cooking the cylinder walls and piston rings.

The bottom line here is that this car did not suffer a manufacturing defect, which is what warranty is all about. Maintenance neglect, abusive driving habits, or even a screwup during the turbo installation is on the car owner and/or the shop, not the parent company Subaru of America. SOA is the warranty provider of course.

If you can clarify what melted and what piece of the turbo was inhaled I may be able to make a better guess at this. Keep in mind that engine sludge leads to a failed turbocharger which can suffer an impeller failure which may then allow the engine to suck in a piece of that impeller…
(That’s just a theory at this point but I do think you’re up the proverbial creek without a paddle.)

I took the car in for all of its required oil changes and maintenance. Obviously, the previous owner did not, and that’s why I had to buy a new turbo. But the replacement turbo was defective, which is why I had to have a second turbo put in within the warranty period. Then it turns out the mechanics who put in the turbo didn’t realize there was a leaky hose in the turbo, so it had to be brought back to have that fixed, which is when this part apparently was sucked into the engine. I’m not sure who’s at fault here, but I know it isn’t me. However, I do understand that I may still but up the creek. Waiting to hear from the dealer…

Who is replacing the turbo? I think that is the problem here. They are missing a few other items likely due to lack of experience that are leading to turbo failure.

Subaru Forester turbo setup is not known for its early demise.

Both times, the turbo was replaced by a Subaru dealership, and they were two different dealerships.

There’s some of the story missing. The odds of getting a faulty turbocharger are about as good as winning the Lotto half a dozen times in a row.
The second turbocharger may have been killed because of an installation error or another pre-existing condition but I would bet you an armored car full of cold hard cash it was not a defective part.

If possible, try to find out what part was inhaled into the engine and clarify the engine melting part of your statement. Knowing this could possibly help to determine what is going on here.

I would add that you state the car was taken in for all required oil changes and maintenance. Sometimes that requirement is just not good enough. Every car maker has a severe service interval and this applies to almost every car in the real world, especially turbocharged ones.
If your car sees a lot of short hop city driving and depending on enviro conditions oil change intervals could possibly be in the 3k miles/3 or 4 months range.

Subaru reverted their 6month/7500 mile oil change interval for normal to their severe one, every 4months/3750 miles. Mainly due to the 05/06 Legacy GT & Outback XT with the turbo engine but applied it to all turbo Subaru’s 2005+.