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The engine in my 2014 Crosstrek started to rattle on Sunday (04/13/2020), sounded like a loose valve. Took it to the dealer on Monday (4/14/2020), and within ten minutes the service tech told me the engine needed to be replaced. He didn't even look at it except to listen to it. He knew exactly what the problem was. And that tells me Subaru knows these engines have significant issues.

The car has 79K miles and has been maintained regularly, including regular oil changes. After much haggling with the Subaru Customer Service folks, they've agreed to cover 50% of the cost of replacing the engine. And apparently that is as good as it is going to get. They're hanging their hat on the fact that the last oil change was 6,600 miles ago, hence over the 6k recommended mileage, and therefore any expectation of Subaru's responsibility is null and void as I have not maintained to vehicle properly in their opinion. I have had the car into Subaru multiple times over the last five months because the Check Engine light constantly comes on (which according to the dealer is just a ghost in the electrical system and all the cars have that issue), like within hours of getting the car back after being repaired. And I know these things burn oil like crazy, so I keep the oil up and replace it often.

One thing I found out in my internet sleuthing (and with help here on the XVForum) was that many of the 2013 XV Crosstrek models were covered under the settlement of a class action lawsuit related to oil consumption (see link below), and that those models had their drive train warranties extended to 8 years/100,000 miles.



I've been on the phone with Subaru of America all day. Been getting moved up the foodchain to little avail. Subaru has decided they're willing to pony up 50% of the cost out of the goodness of their hearts, in spite of my "poor maintenance record" as I was told. But beyond that they're basically telling me to f*** off at this point, take the 50% or get zero if I keep pushing this. As far as they're concerned my car doesn't qualify under the current class action lawsuit that covered the 2013 XV models, even though drive train is identical, that's not their problem. I can wait for the next class action lawsuit. I don't think their customer service is what it used to be. Needless to say, I won't be buying another vehicle from them.
 

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I'm sorry you've had a bad experience but it seems there's a lot of duplication and cross-posting going on here. You're probably mad at Subaru right now and want to get back at them but it's not helping any of us here to help you with so many discussions on the same topic. I'm not a mod, btw, it's just my opinion.

Having successfully returned a Land Rover under California's lemon laws, I can tell you that it takes a lot of patience and documentation to get a major car manufacturer to act in an individual case like this. Keep escalating it if you can but at some point you may have to cut your losses and take what's being offered. A new engine will also increase the resale value of your car.

Subarus, overall, have a good reputation for being reliable but as with any manufactured item, some bad ones slip through. The fact that the class action didn't apply to the '14 tells is significant. I'm sure the lawyers wouldn't have missed that opportunity if it were a valid complaint. There may have been something else going on with your car, the way it was driven, the way it was maintained, etc.

Either way, good luck and stay safe!
 
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The engine in my 2014 Crosstrek started to rattle on Sunday (04/13/2020), sounded like a loose valve. Took it to the dealer on Monday (4/14/2020), and within ten minutes the service tech told me the engine needed to be replaced. He didn't even look at it except to listen to it. He knew exactly what the problem was. And that tells me Subaru knows these engines have significant issues.

As far as they're concerned my car doesn't qualify under the current class action lawsuit that covered the 2013 XV models, even though drive train is identical, that's not their problem. I can wait for the next class action lawsuit. I don't think their customer service is what it used to be. Needless to say, I won't be buying another vehicle from them.
Same thing for me but at higher mileage. I also know multiple people directly that had to have their '14 engine replaced. They definitely have an issue just like the 13's. Sure don't build them like they used to.

And one more thing to note, the 2014 manual clearly states that an oil change is supposed to be performed at 7.500 miles. The 6,000 figure is for newer models, not the 2014.

Engine Oil and Filter, 2.5L 4 cylinder Forester, 2.0L Impreza, BRZ, Crosstrek
Synthetic 0w-20 oil required
1st oil change by 7500 miles or 7.5 months.
Subsequent oil changes at least every 7500 miles or 7.5 months
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Same thing for me but at higher mileage. I also know multiple people directly that had to have their '14 engine replaced. They definitely have an issue just like the 13's. Sure don't build them like they used to.

And one more thing to note, the 2014 manual clearly states that an oil change is supposed to be performed at 7.500 miles. The 6,000 figure is for newer models, not the 2014.
Thanks for the comments and information. I've met five people in the last week or so, in my area (through local social media), who have or had 2014 models that needed the engine replaced. They all had higher mileage than mine, though most under 100K miles. I work with two 2013 owners that had their engines replace under the lawsuit. They both recommended to me last year that I should get rid of my car ASAP. I should have listened. And btw, they both sold their cars after their engines were replaced. Neither drives a Subaru anymore. Go figure.

I also talked to my independent mechanic who takes care of my 18 year old Nissan Frontier (he is also an authorized Subaru mechanic) as my second opinion. He said the Subaru FB engine design is flawed in his opinion, and that they experience an unusually high failure rate compared to most vehicles he works on (he works on Japanese vehicles).
 

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Thanks for the comments and information. I've met five people in the last week or so, in my area (through local social media), who have or had 2014 models that needed the engine replaced. They all had higher mileage than mine, though most under 100K miles. I work with two 2013 owners that had their engines replace under the lawsuit. They both recommended to me last year that I should get rid of my car ASAP. I should have listened. And btw, they both sold their cars after their engines were replaced. Neither drives a Subaru anymore. Go figure.

I also talked to my independent mechanic who takes care of my 18 year old Nissan Frontier (he is also an authorized Subaru mechanic) as my second opinion. He said the Subaru FB engine design is flawed in his opinion, and that they experience an unusually high failure rate compared to most vehicles he works on (he works on Japanese vehicles).
I wonder what the incidence of failures is, over 80K miles, compared to other manufacturers. That would be interesting, rather than the anecdotal, "There are five people = Subaru's engine is badly designed!"
 
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FWIW, Consumer Reports reliability tables indicates that the Crosstrek's engine is "much better than average" (CR's highest rating) from model years 2014-2019. However, model year 2013 is "much worse than average (CR's lowest rating). Clearly Subaru had a problem with the 2013 engines but there is no evidence of widespread problems with the 2014 - in fact, just the opposite.
 

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@david94903 . I'm curious as to the production date of your Crosstrek. Look at the sticker at the bottom of your driver's door jam for the date. It will say something like "MFD IN" with the month and year. If your Crosstrek was one of the first to roll off the 2014 assembly line it might help your case with Subaru in trying to get it covered under the 2013 settlement. Just a thought.
 
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The engine in my 2014 Crosstrek started to rattle on Sunday (04/13/2020), sounded like a loose valve. Took it to the dealer on Monday (4/14/2020), and within ten minutes the service tech told me the engine needed to be replaced. He didn't even look at it except to listen to it. He knew exactly what the problem was. And that tells me Subaru knows these engines have significant issues.
What you describe sounds like it could be valve spring related, but once again that's a 2013 model year issue:
"The glitch is caused by an overstressed valve spring that could fracture, which could lead to engine noise, malfunction or, in the worst case, stalling, said Dominick Infante, director of communications for Subaru of America."
 
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Check what SubaruBill wrote. Check for a TSB for your VIN. Good Luck.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
I wonder what the incidence of failures is, over 80K miles, compared to other manufacturers. That would be interesting, rather than the anecdotal, "There are five people = Subaru's engine is badly designed!"
I'm sure Subaru is tracking it. They know the number of engines they've replaced. Question is, is there any independent groups tracking it? And will it turn into another class action lawsuit someday?
 

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FWIW, Consumer Reports reliability tables indicates that the Crosstrek's engine is "much better than average" (CR's highest rating) from model years 2014-2019. However, model year 2013 is "much worse than average (CR's lowest rating). Clearing Subaru had a problem with the 2013 engines but there is no evidence of widespread problems with the 2014 - in fact, just the opposite.
I noticed that too. Though looking at older version of CR, the 2013's didn't get the "much worse than average" until 2018. Prior to that they show "much better than average." So I wonder if the 2014 will also get the same low CR rating in a future issue of their magazine? BTW, both of the 2013 owners I work with, who's engines failed, both had their engine's fail in early and mid 2019. Prior to that, one started having excessive oil loss (the dealer ran him through the hoops and charged him for two oil consumption tests, which where later refunded) a few weeks before total engine failure, while the other wasn't having any issues until the day before he took it to the dealer and got the bad news (except his cost was fully covered, he was at 98K miles).
 

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@david94903 . I'm curious as to the production date of your Crosstrek. Look at the sticker at the bottom of your driver's door jam for the date. It will say something like "MFD IN" with the month and year. If your Crosstrek was one of the first to roll off the 2014 assembly line it might help your case with Subaru in trying to get it covered under the 2013 settlement. Just a thought.
Good thought. I'll have to look when I get the car back. I bought it in July of 2014, never paid attention to the production date.
 

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Good thought. I'll have to look when I get the car back. I bought it in July of 2014, never paid attention to the production date.
That would be good to know, as the first '14s would have been manufactured a year earlier, in mid 2013. If yours was the first off the production line it was sitting on a dealer's lot for a very long time! ?

And a LOT of '14s were manufactured in that year without the problem. Just sayin'...
 

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What you describe sounds like it could be valve spring related, but once again that's a 2013 model year issue:
"The glitch is caused by an overstressed valve spring that could fracture, which could lead to engine noise, malfunction or, in the worst case, stalling, said Dominick Infante, director of communications for Subaru of America."
I'd seen that article when I first started researching this. When the noise first started, I thought it was a valve. Definitely sounded like one. I've owned enough old cars to know that sound. I checked the VIN, mine it too late, so doesn't show up. And my car never lost power, as one would expect with a valve spring failure, though if I'd driven it longer, I might well have if that was the case. In fact my car never showed any signs, beyond the off and on again, almost never repairable check engine light that the dealer chalked up to an electrical ghost, that there was an issue. It didn't burn oil (the oil was clean when I brought it in at 6,600 miles), fuel consumption was normal, no loss of power, no unusual engine noises. Nothing that would indicate that the engine was about fail at all. So when the service mechanic said after a very cursory inspection that the engine needed to be replaced, I was stunned. It seemed extreme but he was adamant that that was the only solution, and that I needed to contact Subaru of America right away to find out the next steps.

I'm curious to see if this will ripple through the generations of Crosstreks as time goes on, or if Subaru managed to fix the issue that is currently plaguing the 2013 and 2014 vehicles.
 

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That would be good to know, as the first '14s would have been manufactured a year earlier, in mid 2013. If yours was the first off the production line it was sitting on a dealer's lot for a very long time! ?

And a LOT of '14s were manufactured in that year without the problem. Just sayin'...
True that. I'm gonna hazard a guess that mine is not an early production model in the 2014 run. And the reason I say that is that when I bought it, the dealer actually had to search the state to find a model in my color, which I took possession of in July of 2014. There were so few Crosstreks available at that time, if we wasn't able to fine the color and model I was looking for, I was going to have to wait for the 2015 models to ship. So that tells me it was most likely a later run vehicle. But I will still look at the production date when I get it back, just to satisfy my curiosity.
 

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And here's a question I have and can't find an answer to - How good are the replacement engines that Subaru is installing? Are they the same engines with the same design flaws, or are they a newer engine? My service dealer says it's the same engine and as far as I can tell, it'll be a refurbished engine. I haven't been able to find much on how they're holding up. The two 2013 owners sold their vehicles, so they can't tell me. And the new 2014 owners that I found in my area can't tell me much because they're engines are all relatively new.

Looking at Torque News in regards to the updated TSB (that unfortunately does not cover the 2014 Crosstrek), most of the reviewers don't sound too happy about their service outcomes. Not giving me a warm and fuzzy feeling.
 

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Check what SubaruBill wrote. Check for a TSB for your VIN. Good Luck.
So I didn't find anything specific to my VIN but... I did find a TSB that extended the drive train warranty 8 years/100K miles (same as the lawsuit) to 2014 and 2015 Crosstrek models with manual transmissions. The 2014 and 2015 CVT models are excluded from this TSB. The 2013 CVT model is not.

 

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So when the service mechanic said after a very cursory inspection that the engine needed to be replaced, I was stunned.
Assuming your car is drivable, I would get a second opinion from another Subaru dealer, or even better an independent Subaru-only repair shop.
 

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And here's a question I have and can't find an answer to - How good are the replacement engines that Subaru is installing? Are they the same engines with the same design flaws, or are they a newer engine? My service dealer says it's the same engine and as far as I can tell, it'll be a refurbished engine. I haven't been able to find much on how they're holding up. The two 2013 owners sold their vehicles, so they can't tell me. And the new 2014 owners that I found in my area can't tell me much because they're engines are all relatively new.

Looking at Torque News in regards to the updated TSB (that unfortunately does not cover the 2014 Crosstrek), most of the reviewers don't sound too happy about their service outcomes. Not giving me a warm and fuzzy feeling.
Here's one way to look at it that may make you feel better...

As @SubaruBill pointed out, consumer reports gave the 2014 its highest rating for the engine and the 2013 its lowest rating, so something changed between the model years regarding the engine. I hold CR in much higher regard than Torque News, LOL. So, it's not the same engine with the same design flaws.

That doesn't mean every '14 engine is perfect and every '13 engine is bad, just that they had a lot of problems with the '13s and very few with the '14s. We've already established that your car was likely not the first off the production line and, assuming the car was broken in and treated and maintained properly, you probably just got one of the very few bad ones (like winning the lottery only not in a good way).

Let's assume Subaru isn't stupid enough to be putting flawed replacement '13 engines in '14s, so now the stats are in your favor. The probability of getting a bad engine in the first place was very small, and the probability of getting a bad replacement engine is also very small. So the probability of getting a bad one when you bought the car AND getting a bad replacement is even more improbable. I don't know the exact numbers but let's say it's 0.001 for a bad '14 engine. The probability of getting another bad one is the same but the chances of two bad ones in a row is 0.0000001!

This also explains why you haven't been able to find anyone who had a replacement that also failed.
 
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Thanks for the comments and information. I've met five people in the last week or so, in my area (through local social media), who have or had 2014 models that needed the engine replaced. They all had higher mileage than mine, though most under 100K miles. I work with two 2013 owners that had their engines replace under the lawsuit. They both recommended to me last year that I should get rid of my car ASAP. I should have listened. And btw, they both sold their cars after their engines were replaced. Neither drives a Subaru anymore. Go figure.

I also talked to my independent mechanic who takes care of my 18 year old Nissan Frontier (he is also an authorized Subaru mechanic) as my second opinion. He said the Subaru FB engine design is flawed in his opinion, and that they experience an unusually high failure rate compared to most vehicles he works on (he works on Japanese vehicles).
Similar story here. Due to my location, a lot of the 850+ people where I work have had Subarus. And just like your experience, quite a large number have got rid of them due to engine and reliability issues. Not Just Crosstrek, many were Imprezas and Forestors. One poor guy with an Outback is on engine #3 and is at the dealer for engine #4. And sadly, this car was a replacement for a buy back of a previous Subaru with issues they could not resolve. With all that is going on in the world, it's still waiting to be repaired. At least he has a loaner. In that case I think is a dealer issue but the others were clearly not. Most were covered under warranty but once you hit 100,000 , you are on your own. I personally have a new issue popping up regularly but am trying to get till retirement without buying a new car. Not sure I'll be able to make it though with this POS. I bought the Subaru for a reasonably reliable car that would make it 10 years and 200,000 miles but that is has not been. A lot of people I work with with real world experience would tell you the same thing and have dumped theirs and moved on.

A big issue is also the selling dealer. We used to have one of the oldest Subaru dealers in the country to help with issues. They were extremely good, treated their employees right, and knew what they were doing. The owner retired and ended up selling to a slick dealer that just plain is all about the money. They completely destroyed the reliable competent service department. Sadly still doesn't explain all the wheel bearing and CV failures just out of warranty. In my almost 45 years of working on cars, never replaced them at such low miles let alone at all in most cases. (n)
 
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