Our repair of the month this July is a 2008 Subaru Outback. This car came in making some unpleasant noises from under the hood. Just from the knocking and squealing noises coming from the bottom end, we were led to believe the bearings in the bottom of the engine had failed. After some diagnostics with a stethoscope, kind of like the one your doctor uses, we were able to confirm that the main and rod bearings have “spun”. Spun is a term used to describe when engine bearings fail. This normally only happens when an engine is starved of oil, or the oil loses too much viscosity and can no longer lubricate the engine properly.
You see engine bearings are never supposed to contact each other while the engine is running. They are separated by a thin film of pressurized oil, which at the correct viscosity keeps everything running smoothly with no metal to metal contact. Oil loses viscosity over time from wear and tear, heat, combustion gasses, fuel dilution and condensation. This process is normal but is the critical reason why it is so vital to change your oil on time.
Luckily we actually had a donor car on site with the same engine! We were able to perform a side by side transplant between the two cars and save the customer a decent amount of money on the job, even though we had to remove 2 engines in order to install one good one. This is not a normal occurrence as we don't have our own salvage yard on site, but we did happen to have a Subaru that was heading to one! This is just more proof of why it’s so important to keep up on your general maintenance and always make sure you have an adequate oil level. Come on down for our complimentary health inspection with your oil change so we can keep your vehicle running reliably for years to come!