2003 Subaru Outback Damaged engine - run without oil

Tiny
LOISEE
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 SUBARU OUTBACK
Engine Mechanical problem
2003 Subaru Outback 4 cyl All Wheel Drive 70,000 miles

I took my Subaru to have the oil changed last week. I drove it right at 3 miles, heard an odd noise and pulled over. I checked the dipstick - no oil! Had it towed back. The oil change guys admit they failed to put new oil in - about 1 cup drained out of the engine back at the shop. Their insurance is paying for repair.
Car is now at a Subaru dealer service department. The technician there says only the right side of the engine lost compression and cracked the head. They are doing extensive work on that side. However, he says the other side has compression in the normal range and does not need repair.
This is not making sense to me. I'm concerned that there is in fact damage that will show up down the road, when I won't be able to get it taken care of by the insurance.
Is it possible there is no damage to one set of cylinders, etc?
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Wednesday, April 1st, 2009 AT 12:25 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
HI there,

It is normal practice to dismantle the engine and fully inspect it for damage, main bearings & rod bearings are easily damaged when run dry, as is cam bearings, I find it hard to under stand how they can not be checking the crank shaft, I would be voicing my concerns about this, if the insurance is covering the repairs there should be no short cuts taken.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Wednesday, April 1st, 2009 AT 3:28 AM
Tiny
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Thanks so much for your quick reply, and tips on more questions to ask.
I have asked that the shop (5 hours away from my home - I was visiting family when this happened) fax me all their paper work. In several conversations with the mechanic in charge, he does not answer me directly about what visual inspection of what parts they have done. I will ask about the items you mention.
Does it make sense to you that only one half - the upper or left is what he calls it) was damaged?

The person in charge says they found only a coolant leak on the other side, which would be an existing problem not caused by the "dry run." They found other maintenance needed - two cracked belts, and then various seals that should be replaced since the engine is apart - so I am to pay $900 for that work. The insurance portion of the work is about $2000.
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Wednesday, April 1st, 2009 AT 9:40 AM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there, I would insist on a full report and I would not be paying for any work apart from accessories, belts and hoses that may be defective, this problem rests squarely on the shoulders of the lube service that failed to carry out there work, point this out to them and don't let them fool you otherwise.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Wednesday, April 1st, 2009 AT 5:03 PM

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