I am looking at buying an 01 outback that the owner says needs a new engine because there was antifreeze in the oil. He has changed the oil to get to antifreeze out of the engine. My question is: Is this engine totaled or is it possible this just needs to have the head gaskets done like so many other Outbacks? I think I could ge the car for around $500, so if it is head gaskets, that is a deal, if it is engine, I need to run away. Any thoughts?
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2001 Outback with antifreeze in oil
Posted 17 October 2013 - 01:07 PM
almost any oputbck for $500 is a deal.
but if you should buy depends on how many miles, what shape it is in, and how much to replace the engine.
and that is in fact what you should budget for, engine replacement.
anti freeze in the oil is not the standard head gasket failure.
in fact it is really rare.
so on the one hand i might suspect a mis-diagnosis, but on the other hand he changed the oil so he must know what was in it, right?
i don't have a lot of experience with anti-freeze in the oil, but i hear it creates an acid like solution that will eat your bearings.
so if it is true, i would not try and save the engine, just start over with a used one.
so for $500, i would buy it,
drive it while looking for a replacement engine and see.
see if it loses coolant,
see what the oil looks like,
see if the rest of it is worth keeping,
see if you like it,
see if you kind find an affordable engine,
see if you can find some place to do the swap your self, or
see if you can find a shop to do it for you at a good price.
i think you can get $350 - $400, maybe more, for scrap value.
so for $500 you don't have a lot to lose.
Edited by johnceggleston, 17 October 2013 - 01:09 PM.
Posted 17 October 2013 - 02:10 PM
probably a good chance of making 10's of thousands of miles with just headgaskets....for 100k+ miles who knows.
that's not typical EJ25 headgasket failure so i'd be wondering why it's doing that, how badly it was previously overheated, etc. prior overheating is the main concern. look for timing belt cover warpage due to the plastic getting to hot and ask lots of questions - if you can tell an honest person from a hacker you can generally get a good feel if this is legit or not.
basically there's no way to know the condition of the engine - a legitimate technical answer would require disassembling the block and inspecting all bearing surfaces for wear...thousands of dollars of work. so it comes down to how well you can ascertain the condition with what you have and how much you like to guess.
that shouldn't deter you from a $500 outback though. www.car-part.com
Posted 21 October 2013 - 02:57 PM
If body & interior are OK, you're getting a steal even if, worst case scenario, you have to replace the engine. If you have the $$ to do an engine swap, I'd jump on it.
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