I gambled and lost

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I have a 2001 Subaru Impreza RS that I've had since new, just over 14 years now. While it's getting a little dinged up, a little rust is forming, etc, I've decided to keep it for a few more years simply because I don't want to have a car payment to deal with. Also because there really isn't anything out there that I've fallen in love with. My Impreza has been my buddy for a long time and it fits me well. I really don't want a different car just yet. So the decision was made to spend some money on it to get a few more years out of it, also to make it worth a little more when it comes time to sell it down the road. $2k later and it has new brakes, new struts, new tires, a new front wheel bearing and alignment, and the car feels good again. Yes, $2k is a lot of money but since a new car loan would probably run me $500 a month nowadays (ugh), I decided four months worth of payments to get two or three years out of a car would be well worth it. Driving home from work on Tuesday (only a week after buying the tires), a relatively short commute of about 7 miles or so, the engine developed a tapping noise. I kept the revs low and the gears high for the rest of the way home, only a few minutes of driving, but by that time it turned into a louder knocking. Initial diagnosis is either a skipped timing belt, or more likely a spun bearing which Subarus are known to do. *deep sigh* It's going to the shop hopefully on Monday for an official diagnosis. Now I just need to figure out how much more I'm willing to spend on it.
 
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Is that the 2.2L? Those were near bulletproof. They didn't seem to have any head gasket issues unlike the 2.5L.
 

JTK

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Known to spin bearings? I've not heard of that. You don't hear many T-belt related issues with the EJs either.
 
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There are lots of sources for mechanical tapping noises that are not internal engine problems. If you have kept up with OCIs, and never run the engine low on oil, it is unlikely that it is the failed bearing that you are in fear of. Look for a bad idler or tensioner for either the timing belt or drive belt. If the belt had actually skipped, you would not have been able to drive it home. Good luck.
 
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Upstate NY
I put a reman engine in my Jeep when it was about 10 years old and so far so good. So many gambles on keeping older cars running are worth it.
 
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Illinois
My Brother in law broke a timing belt tensioner on his Legacy, and it sounded like there were marbles in the engine. Once it broke, he limped it down the shoulder of the interstate to the next exit, then had to rev it up pretty good to get it loaded onto a tow dolly. Didn't hurt the engine a bit.
 

Bottom_Feeder

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Originally Posted By: Rand
Is that the 2.2L? Those were near bulletproof. They didn't seem to have any head gasket issues unlike the 2.5L.
It's the 2.5 SOHC. No head gasket issues after 114k miles.
 

Bottom_Feeder

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Originally Posted By: JTK
Known to spin bearings? I've not heard of that. You don't hear many T-belt related issues with the EJs either.
Well I've heard of a few bearing issues being a NASIOC member for a while. I'm not saying it's a widespread issue like head gaskets but apparently it does happen.
 

Bottom_Feeder

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Originally Posted By: 4wheeldog
There are lots of sources for mechanical tapping noises that are not internal engine problems. If you have kept up with OCIs, and never run the engine low on oil, it is unlikely that it is the failed bearing that you are in fear of. Look for a bad idler or tensioner for either the timing belt or drive belt. If the belt had actually skipped, you would not have been able to drive it home. Good luck.
It's lived on synthetic all of its life at 3.3k intervals. I started going to 5k intervals once it hit 100k. It now only has 114k on it which is not much for one of these motors, or really any recent motor. Timing belt was done with a Gates kit 18k ago at 96k miles so I'm hoping one of those components didn't fail. And yes, that's the strange part, it seemed to run somewhat normally during my ride home. It idled fine, no warning lights, temp gauge right in the middle. But it sounds mechanical and somewhat terminal. Something is touching something in there that shouldn't be...
 
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Hello, Get the news first then decide what to do. As usual, the formula isn't simply "Repair $ > Worth of car" or in your case "Repair $ > Worth of car +$2,000". It's more like "Repair $ yields X months/miles worth of driving without replacing your car." Please forgive me trying to be clever with my math "formula" but you know what I mean. You've only got 114K on this car and you're WAY BETTER OFF than most people because you know what's been done to it. COLD WATER IN YOUR FACE DEPT.: I got news for you pal, brakes, struts, tires, a wheel bearing and an alignment is called MAINTENANCE. Frankly speaking, you haven't been hurt yet! The less mystery you have the lower the gambit. Fix your problem and drive. ENLIGHTENING REMARK DEPT.: Remember to lay out the maintenance history of your car in a clear table. It's the only way you'll get any value back at time of sale. In a couple of years the only person likely to give you anything for your car will be a Subbie freak. That person will appreciate what's been done. Any other buyer looking at your 16 to 18 year old Subaru will be looking for a $50 car. Fix your problem and drive. Good luck. It'll be fine. Kira
 
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Well in theory, when you have no car payment, put that $500 a month away for the next car and pay cash. Nothing says you have to make payments. Im curious to see what is wrong with the car now. Ill consider putting a new trans in my car to the tune of $3000 even if the car is worth that. I already put $ into the engine so it should be good a while. As long as you know the history, fixing an old car is almost always a wise proposition compared to payments on a new car.
 
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Delaware
Lots of good comments but since you say rust is starting to show up then I would seriously review how much more life the body and other components have especially with hidden rust not so obvious by quick visual inspection.
 
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chicago, Illinois
Originally Posted By: Cutehumor
Maybe the last place who touched your car did something to it. Just saying.
Wouldn't surprise me in the least, I have found this to be the case MANY times when using various shops. You take the car in for one thing and within a month or so you mysteriously end up with another problem completely unrelated to the earlier repair. Sure the car is old, but the number of times I have had this "coincidence" happen to me is more than just happenstance. I noticed when I recently stopped using a place I mistakenly trusted, that this pattern stopped on BOTH my vehicles I took there for a number of years. Oh, sure just a coincidence, and I am paranoid too. crackmeup The auto service and repair business is plagued with dishonest, incompetent, and unprofessional people.
 
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5,295
There been reports of Subaru's suffering spun bearings on Mobil 1, is that the syn you have been using?
Originally Posted By: Bottom_Feeder
It's lived on synthetic all of its life at 3.3k intervals. I started going to 5k intervals once it hit 100k. It now only has 114k on it which is not much for one of these motors, or really any recent motor. Timing belt was done with a Gates kit 18k ago at 96k miles so I'm hoping one of those components didn't fail. And yes, that's the strange part, it seemed to run somewhat normally during my ride home. It idled fine, no warning lights, temp gauge right in the middle. But it sounds mechanical and somewhat terminal. Something is touching something in there that shouldn't be...
 

Bottom_Feeder

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Originally Posted By: Cutehumor
Maybe the last place who touched your car did something to it. Just saying.
Possible in any other situation but I'm not thinking that might be the case here. I did the struts and brakes myself, I watched my car the whole time the tire shop had it, and a highly respected Subaru shop did the wheel bearing. I have no reason to think this was anything but bad luck.
 

Bottom_Feeder

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Originally Posted By: LoneRanger
There been reports of Subaru's suffering spun bearings on Mobil 1, is that the syn you have been using?
A long time ago yes, up to about 50k, but then mostly SynPower or whatever name-brand syn was on sale. It has T6 in there now for 4k miles of a 5k OCI. Here's one for the Purolator haters: it has a PureOne on there. Coincidence? smile
 
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