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Gates
2015 Subaru WRX Engine Timing Belt Tensioner 4 Cyl 2.5L Gates - Timing Belt Tensioner

P311-142DC88    T43271  New

T43271 , 13033AA050

Qty:
115.60
  • ; Interference engine application
  • Timing Belt Tensioner
Brand: Gates
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Fuel Type Block Engine CID CC
2015 - Subaru WRX GAS H 4 Cyl 2.5L - 2458
Gates
2014 Subaru WRX Engine Timing Belt Tensioner 4 Cyl 2.5L Gates - Timing Belt Tensioner

P311-25CBCE5    T43138  New

85065 , 13033AA041 , FS67994 , 13033AA040 , 32010899 , 85561 , 85065FN , 13033AA042 , 024-1368 , 13033AA002 , T43138

Qty:
125.03
Gates Engine Timing Belt Tensioner
  • ; Interference engine application
  • Timing Belt Tensioner
Brand: Gates
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Fuel Type Block Engine CID CC
2014 - Subaru WRX GAS H 4 Cyl 2.5L - 2458
Gates
1997 Subaru Legacy Engine Timing Belt Tensioner 4 Cyl 2.5L Gates - Timing Belt Tensioner

P311-25CBCE5    T43138  New

85065 , 13033AA041 , FS67994 , 13033AA040 , 32010899 , 85561 , 85065FN , 13033AA042 , 024-1368 , 13033AA002 , T43138

Qty:
125.03
Gates Engine Timing Belt Tensioner
  • ; W/Integrated Assembly; Interference engine application
  • Timing Belt Tensioner
Brand: Gates
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Fuel Type Block Engine CID CC
1997 - Subaru Legacy GAS H 4 Cyl 2.5L - 2458
GMB
1988 Subaru RX Engine Timing Belt Tensioner - Right 4 Cyl 1.8L GMB

P311-1163B05    460-8560  New

T41061 , 13070AA000 , 85154 , 4608560

Qty:
10.63
GMB Engine Timing Belt Tensioner  Right
  • Engine Timing Belt Tensioner
Brand: GMB
Position: Right
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Position Block Engine CID CC
1988 - Subaru RX Right H 4 Cyl 1.8L - 1781
GMB
1992 Subaru Loyale Engine Timing Belt Tensioner - Left 4 Cyl 1.8L GMB

P311-1C0BB89    460-8570  New

T41062 , 13071AA001 , 85155 , 4608570

Qty:
13.34
GMB Engine Timing Belt Tensioner  Left
  • Engine Timing Belt Tensioner
Brand: GMB
Position: Left
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Position Block Engine CID CC
1992 - Subaru Loyale Left H 4 Cyl 1.8L - 1781
GMB
1990 Subaru Legacy Engine Timing Belt Tensioner 4 Cyl 2.2L GMB

P311-32BE3EF    460-9080  New

4609080 , 13069AA034 , 85461 , T41063

Qty:
24.40
GMB Engine Timing Belt Tensioner
  • Engine Timing Belt Tensioner
  • ; w/o Integrated Tensioner Assembly
Brand: GMB
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Block Engine CID CC
1990 - Subaru Legacy H 4 Cyl 2.2L - 2212
GMB
1998 Subaru Impreza Engine Timing Belt Tensioner 4 Cyl 2.5L GMB

P311-1FB705C    460-9085  New

4609085 , 13069AA063 , T41092 , 85466

Qty:
42.88
GMB Engine Timing Belt Tensioner
  • Engine Timing Belt Tensioner
  • ; w/o Integrated Tensioner Assembly
Brand: GMB
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Block Engine CID CC
1998 - Subaru Impreza H 4 Cyl 2.5L - 2458
NSK
1992 Subaru Loyale Engine Timing Belt Tensioner - Right 4 Cyl 1.8L NSK

P311-1B2BDDF    52TB011B04A  New

Qty:
61.58
NSK Engine Timing Belt Tensioner  Right
  • Product Attributes:
    • Feature 1: Premium Oe Technology - Vehicle Specific Fit-form And Performance
    • Feature 2: Long Life Low Friction Bearing - Superfinished Precision Matched Bearing Raceway
    • Feature 3: Water And Contamination Resistant - Advanced Multi-lip Seal Technology
    • Feature 4: Zero Maintenance - Sealed For Life Design With Premium All Weather Grease
    • Inside Diameter: 9
    • Width, Outer Race: 37.7
Brand: NSK
Position: Right
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Position Block Engine CID CC
1992 - Subaru Loyale Right H 4 Cyl 1.8L - 1781
GMB
1999 Subaru Forester Engine Timing Belt Tensioner GMB

P311-5C8D34E    W0133-1620725  New

Qty:
57.16
GMB Engine Timing Belt Tensioner
  • ; Production: -06/01/1998, with Tensioner Roller Mounted to Bracket on Block, Not to Tensioner Housing

    (T-BeltTensioner Adjuster Serviced Separately)
Brand: GMB
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Prod. Date Range
1999 - Subaru Forester To:06-01-98
NSK
1999 Subaru Forester Engine Timing Belt Tensioner NSK

P311-3030A2F    W0133-1620725  New

Qty:
90.35
NSK Engine Timing Belt Tensioner
  • This Original Equipment Manufacturer part is the same part that was made & installed by the car manufacturer at the factory where the car was produced.
  • ; Production: -06/01/1998, with Tensioner Roller Mounted to Bracket on Block, Not to Tensioner Housing

    (T-BeltTensioner Adjuster Serviced Separately)
  • This is the roller for the tensioner assembly. Order the automatic tension adjusting unit separately.For 2 PIECE TENSIONER - For use with T-Belt Tension Adjuster 13068-AA051
Brand: NSK
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Prod. Date Range
1999 - Subaru Forester To:06-01-98
GMB
1997 Subaru Legacy Engine Timing Belt Tensioner 4 Cyl 2.5L GMB

P311-5C8D34E    W0133-1620725  New

Qty:
57.16
GMB Engine Timing Belt Tensioner
  • ; with Tensioner Roller Mounted to Bracket on Block, Not to Tensioner Housing

    (T-BeltTensioner Adjuster Serviced Separately)
Brand: GMB
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Block Engine CID CC
1997 - Subaru Legacy H 4 Cyl 2.5L - 2458
NSK
1997 Subaru Legacy Engine Timing Belt Tensioner 4 Cyl 2.5L NSK

P311-3030A2F    W0133-1620725  New

Qty:
90.35
NSK Engine Timing Belt Tensioner
  • This Original Equipment Manufacturer part is the same part that was made & installed by the car manufacturer at the factory where the car was produced.
  • ; with Tensioner Roller Mounted to Bracket on Block, Not to Tensioner Housing

    (T-BeltTensioner Adjuster Serviced Separately)
  • This is the roller for the tensioner assembly. Order the automatic tension adjusting unit separately.For 2 PIECE TENSIONER - For use with T-Belt Tension Adjuster 13068-AA051
Brand: NSK
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Block Engine CID CC
1997 - Subaru Legacy H 4 Cyl 2.5L - 2458
GMB
1999 Subaru Legacy Engine Timing Belt Tensioner 4 Cyl 2.5L GMB

P311-5C8D34E    W0133-1620725  New

Qty:
57.16
GMB Engine Timing Belt Tensioner
  • ; Production: -05/31/1999, with Tensioner Roller Mounted to Bracket on Block, Not to Tensioner Housing

    (T-Belt Tensioner Adjuster Serviced Separately)
Brand: GMB
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Block Engine CID CC Prod. Date Range
1999 - Subaru Legacy H 4 Cyl 2.5L - 2458 To:05-31-99
NSK
1999 Subaru Legacy Engine Timing Belt Tensioner 4 Cyl 2.5L NSK

P311-3030A2F    W0133-1620725  New

Qty:
90.35
NSK Engine Timing Belt Tensioner
  • This Original Equipment Manufacturer part is the same part that was made & installed by the car manufacturer at the factory where the car was produced.
  • ; Production: -05/31/1999, with Tensioner Roller Mounted to Bracket on Block, Not to Tensioner Housing

    (T-Belt Tensioner Adjuster Serviced Separately)
  • This is the roller for the tensioner assembly. Order the automatic tension adjusting unit separately.For 2 PIECE TENSIONER - For use with T-Belt Tension Adjuster 13068-AA051
Brand: NSK
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Block Engine CID CC Prod. Date Range
1999 - Subaru Legacy H 4 Cyl 2.5L - 2458 To:05-31-99
GMB
1995 Subaru SVX Engine Timing Belt Tensioner GMB

P311-27DA58C    W0133-1624375  New

Qty:
64.54
GMB Engine Timing Belt Tensioner
  • This is the roller for the tensioner assembly. Order the automatic tension adjusting unit separately.
  • Roller
Brand: GMB
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle
1995 - Subaru SVX
NSK
1986 Subaru DL Engine Timing Belt Tensioner NSK

P311-5F4C2B9    W0133-1632398  New

Qty:
117.77
NSK Engine Timing Belt Tensioner
  • This Original Equipment Manufacturer part is the same part that was made & installed by the car manufacturer at the factory where the car was produced.
  • Includes Bracket
  • Right
Brand: NSK
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle
1986 - Subaru DL

Latest Car Advice

CarJunky AutoAdvice

'97 Subaru Outback 2.5L Timing belt is too loose

Showing 2 out of 16 Posts | Show 14 Hidden Posts
Question From Dispiacere on '97 Subaru Outback 2.5L Timing belt is too loose

Ok, so I am the girlfriend posting on behalf of my boyfriend and my dad(who recently retired as a master mechanic about 3 months ago)

Me and my boyfriend got a new car, and shortly after it started to overheat and turns out the head-gasket blew. So my dad come to help fix it(we live 300 miles away) and bought a timing belt kit with waterpump, a headgasket kit, and machined the heads. My dad went to put everything back together and started it and said that the timing belt was too loose. He started cursing the machine shop but we called them and they said they couldn't have possibly taken too much off, they said they only took off 4 thousandths of a inch and they said they could have done up to 12.
We measured all the pulleys and they are the correct size and verified all the parts are correct, so at this point we are pretty stumped.

Time is also a factor because I am in college and I need to drive to my finals that are coming up in just 4 days!

Response From Discretesignals

How many teeth are on the replacement belt? How many teeth on the original?

Response From Dispiacere

I didn't count, but I checked on the internet via model numbers printed on the timing belts themselves and the original and the new one both had the same number. It had 281 teeth.

Response From Discretesignals

This is a Legacy Outback and not an Impreza Outback?

Response From Dispiacere

Yup, its a legacy outback limited eddition

Response From Discretesignals

Machine shop is right that the service limit for machining is .012 inches

The belt should have 281 teeth on it.

Don't think anyone would go through the hassle of swapping a 2.2L in there, which uses a smaller belt, but who knows. That is why I was wondering with the teeth count were on the old belt. Of course, the 2.5L and 2.2L are easy to tell apart because the 2.5 is a DOHC and the 2.2L is a SOHC.

The belt could of been packaged wrong or could be a defect, so teeth count would be important to be sure of on the new belt.

Response From Dispiacere

So you think I should take it off and manually count the teeth?

Response From Discretesignals

You should, just to be sure. You don't want to be cranking on the engine with the wrong belt, seeing how this is an interference engine.

Here is pic of tooth count between sprockets:


Response From Dispiacere

Ok, I will pass that on to my boyfriend. But to save time just in case the belt isn't a defect. What else could be the issue?

Response From Discretesignals

If all your replacement parts are exactly the same and the installation is correct, the only thing that changed was the surface of the head. You stated they machined only .004 inch. Maybe the heads where machined before, and the service limit is exceeded, but you would think the machine shop would be able to tell that it can't be machined any more. Standard head height is 5.02 inches.

Was the hydraulic tensioner adjuster replaced also?

Response From Dispiacere

I think so? Here is a brochure of the kit I got(it was the timing belt kit with waterpump)
http://www.gates.com/common/downloads/files/Gates/TCKWPFLYER.pdf

Also, we called the machinist and they made it sound like they did nothing wrong and were careful. I can call back and make a stink about it, but I just wanted to be sure before I did. What could I do to check that the heads were to short?

Response From Discretesignals Top Rated Answer

Which kit number did you get? Gates makes 3 of them for that engine.

A hydraulic tensioner malfunction could also cause the belt to be loose. Important to be sure the tensioner isn't leaking. If it is the original one, would be wise to replace it. Here is the description of how it works:


1) Belt tension action
The tensioner adjuster rod (3) is moved to the left by the force of the main spring (6). This causes silicone oil (which is held to constant pressure by compression-spring tension inside the reservoir chamber (9) to push the check ball (5)so that silicone oil flows into the oil-pressure chamber (8).
The momentum which forces the adjuster rod out acts upon the tensioner arm C2 so that the pulley is turned counterclockwise. Thus, timing belt tension is properly maintained.

2) Balance to belt tension
When the timing belt reaction force is balanced by the main spring tension (to push the adjuster rod), the arm is held stationary to maintain constant belt tension.
When the timing belt reaction force increases to such an extent that the belt will be too tight, a small quantity of oil in the oil-pressure chamber (8) gradually returns to the reservoir chamber (9) via the adjuster body-to-rod clearance. This return of oil continually moves the rod until the reaction force of the timing belt balances with main spring force and oil pressure inside the oil-pressure chamber. Thus, belt tension is constantly maintained.


The height of the head would have to be measured to see if it is out of specs. You should call another machine shop to ask how you tell if a head is machined too far on that design.

Response From Dispiacere

Ok, I will call a place tomorrow.

I remember the night that my dad told me the belt was loose and someone asked him if the tensioner could be back and he said its working, the arm(or plunger, cant remember what he called it) was fully extended and he said that it shouldn't be that extended, and that he thought it wasn't the tensioner. Do you think that with what he said you agree or could something still be wrong?

The part number for the kit is tckwp277b

Response From Discretesignals

If the tensioner is over extended, I'd would agree with your Dad that is probably isn't the tensioner that is the issue. That kit number does include a replacement hydraulic tensioner.


Belt Tension Adjuster:
Protrusion Of Adjuster Rod .............. 15.4 - 16.4 mm (0.606 - 0.646 inch)
Belt Tensioner:
Spacer Outside Diameter ................................... 16 mm (0.63 inch)
Tensioner Bush Inside Diameter ....................... 16.16 mm (0.6362 inch)
Clearance Between Spacer And Bush:
Standard ......................... 0.117 - 0.180 mm (0.0046 - 0.0071 inch)
Limit ............................................. 0.230 mm (0.0091 inch)
Side Clearance Of Spacer:
Standard ........................... 0.37 - 0.54 mm (0.0146 - 0.0213 inch)
Limit ................................................ 0.8 mm (0.031 inch)

Response From Dispiacere

So what else should I look at besides the head depth or is that about it?

Response From Discretesignals

I'm out of ideas other than what was provided above. Maybe someone else will chime in.

Engine Melted After Repair, Dealership Blames Me?

Showing 2 out of 30 Posts | Show 28 Hidden Posts
Question From bodhisoma on Engine Melted After Repair, Dealership Blames Me?

I brought the family's 2003 Subaru Outback Legacy to the local dealership for inspection, they said it had a leaking head gasket and showed it to me. They also mentioned the heads may need to be re-planed, and they did. I should mention that this vehicle has been maintained meticulously; oil changes on schedule like clockwork, repairs done whenever they're needed. No major troubles at all, original owner.

We picked up the car and headed out for a trip we had planned. About 80 minutes into the drive the engine just stops. Everything stops, no power steering, nothing. It is possible we simply didn't see the steam/smoke, it was raining pretty good, behind the car looked like a constant mist.

We pull over, let the steam clear, pop the hood and the radiator cap is missing, coolant all over the engine. We thought perhaps the mechanic had simply forgotten to put on the radiator cap, hoping we could replace the cap and the fluid and be on our merry way.

Not so much.

We had the vehicle towed to the nearest shop, Sears. The mechanics looked at it, said exhaust and/or compression gasses were coming through my radiator and the head job had failed and would need to be completely re-done. The oil was completely cooked. Didn't even have to put my nose up to the stick, I could smell it from two feet away.

We then had the vehicle towed back to the dealership for them to check out.

Apparently, along with whatever caused the "core" failure, the thermostat failed and the engine got, according to the dealer, "hot enough to melt some bolts." The dealer blames the incident and the destruction of the engine on my failure to see the temperature gauge.

In response to my claim that the gauge should have been replaced as part of the head repair, the dealer claims the temperature gauge is not necessarily part of the repair, only if it appears to need replacing. I replied, "so it is your position that the gauge was working properly when you examined it and failed within the next two hours?

Their answer: "Yes."

To be clear, this is not me trying to warp the dealerships argument to make it more absurd, that's verbatim.

I can't explain what, precisely, happened with the head job. They did the postmortem and have not explained the source of that failure.

All this leads me to some questions...

  1. Is there any way for their head job to have been done correctly and still have this happen? I mean, the thermostat failing had nothing to do with the core failure, it merely prevented me from seeing a warning, correct?

  2. Should a thermostat reasonably be expected to have been replaced as part of a head re-planing/head gasket job?

  3. How likely is it that the temperature gauge did not display properly? I didn't see it go up but it's not at all impossible it did register and I didn't see it.

  4. How likely is it that the damage to the engine (past the point of economic repair) occurred prior to the gauge displaying a warning level?

  5. My position is that the most likely scenario is the mechanic did not notice a faulty thermostat, and it is EXTRAORDINARILY unlikely that the device was functioning properly when the mechanic examined it and failed in the next 80 minutes. Is this position reasonable?

  6. Is the dealership's position that this is my fault, and not theirs, reasonable?

Thanks VERY much in advance!

Response From bodhisoma

What I don't get is what happened to the radiator cap? Even an engine overheating shouldn't blow a radiator cap off. Either the cap was improperly installed or wasn't installed. Without the radiator cap the coolant will boil at a lower temperature. The coolant will also get pushed out of the radiator without the cap installed.

That's an interesting question.

The guys at the Sears shop felt it might have blown off. The consensus was that with enough pressure, this could happen. Other mechanics we've spoken to have felt that there are other elements to the system that would have gone first (hoses?) before pressures sufficient to cause a cap to blow would exist.

It's worth pointing out that we could not see (a) any damage or bending to the flange which the cap grips to and (b) no damage to the point above the radiator cap where a projected cap might put a ding. On the other hand, it was pointed out that it's possible the cap split rather than being "shot" off, which would explain both of these observations.

Ultimately, the shop which performed the repair believed the cap did, in fact, get blown off and the mechanic was adamant he did replace the cap (presumably "correctly").

My soft opinion at this point is that the mechanic replaced it improperly.

I doubt many would do it but you should be advised after major work to let it prove itself before heading out on a trip right away.

It's funny you should say this. They know we've got two Subarus, we'd just brought the other one in (also for an inspection) earlier that week so taking the other would have been a non-issue. We also asked, when picking up the 2003, if we could leave the 2001 on the lot until that evening when we came back through.

We took the 2003 because it's just a bit more comfortable. If it had been suggested that we treat the 2003 gently for a spell, we would have absolutely taken that advice.

After the incident, when speaking the service manager, she indicated that after the repair the mechanic had driven the car around for a bit, I think she said 12 miles.

The question isn't whether the job was done correctly or not. It apparently wasn't. The issue is with the driver continuing to drive a hot car which is not the fault of the shop. They were responsible to repair whatever was still causing ti to overheat but the damage done by a driver that continued to drive a car too hot is not their responsibility. An inoperative temp gauge is not a "get out of jail free" card. That would have been something that the driver should have been aware of.

Fair enough but I would have 100% certainly stopped the vehicle if I'd noticed anything amiss or any gauges that looked unusual. I didn't which is why I'm wondering if the temp gauge may have also failed.

Response From Hammer Time

Fair enough but I would have 100% certainly stopped the vehicle if I'd noticed anything amiss or any gauges that looked unusual. I didn't which is why I'm wondering if the temp gauge may have also failed.

The gauge is either reading or it isn't. Even when the car isn't overheating, it will show normal operating temp and if it doesn't, that is a clear red flag for something is not right. Once you have lost enough coolant, the gauge has nothing to read anymore and would read cold but it's too late by then. It needed to be caught before reaching that point.

Gauge observations are the responsibility of any qualified car owner and driver. You don't have to be a mechanic but you do have to know how to use the warning instruments provided.

Response From Discretesignals

Radiator cap is designed to relieve pressure in the coolant system if it gets too high. It isn't designed to eject itself when the pressure gets too high. If the radiator cap was malfunctioning even then it probably wouldn't blow off.

If an oil change place such as Walmart forgets to put oil in your vehicle and you drive off and lock up the engine, they are negligent. It is true that you should check over things before you go on a long trip, but did the shop tell you to drive the vehicle locally to make sure that things work out? Probably not, so the OP decided to drive his car on a long road trip in which the vehicle was designed to do. If the temperature gauge sender wasn't registering correctly because the coolant wasn't there on the probe end of the sensor and the customer couldn't see the steam billowing out from under the hood because they were traveling at highway speeds in a rain storm, how was the OP going to tell the engine was overheating?

Response From Hammer Time

The radiator cap did not blow off if it was on properly.

The car didn't leave on a trip with no coolant as it had been driven at least a little before leaving, therefore something happened while driving. If the temp gauge worked upon leaving, at some point things changed. If the temp gauge did read normally before leaving, the car never should have left.

The head job may or may not have been faulty. The blown head gasket was the result of a previous overheating which may have been triggered by a still unknown reason that the shop never found.

Response From Discretesignals

Don't know if the OP brought the vehicle in for an overheating condition, but the OP stated they brought their vehicle into the dealer for an inspection and the dealer noticed there was a head gasket leak (probably external) which isn't too uncommon on the 2.5L engines.

Also noticed clearance between the top of radiator cap and the bottom of the hood look pretty tight. Don't know if the cap would go sailing even if it did blow off.

Response From bodhisoma

Don't know if the OP brought the vehicle in for an overheating condition, but the OP stated they brought their vehicle into the dealer for an inspection and the dealer noticed there was a head gasket leak (probably external) which isn't too uncommon on the 2.5L engines.

That is correct. We'd just moved to new state, got the cars registered, they just needed inspection stickers. We were not experiencing any problems. Heck, we were surprised to learn that the 2003 needed work at all.

Response From Hammer Time

I have changed more than a few head gaskets and my experience is that they nearly always are caused by extreme heat distortion however they very rarely leak externally. Are you sure it was actually a head gasket that they changed? Was ther bill over $1000?

My current theory is that it was malfunctioning before it left the shop.

That would flip the blame back to you for heading out on a trip that way.

Response From bodhisoma Top Rated Answer

Are you sure it was actually a head gasket that they changed? Was ther bill over $1000?

100% certain. The invoice reads:

TECH REMOVED THE HEADS AND FOUND OUT OF SPEC. HEADS WENT TO THE MACHINE SHOP FOR WASHING AND PLAINING. TECH REPLACED THE HEAD GASKETS AND ALL OTHER RELATED SEALS AND GASKETS. TECH REPLACED THE TIMING BELT. TIMING BELT TENSIONER. SPARK PUGS TEST DROVE. CONCERN CORRECTED.

I do notice that one of the parts replaced is "THERMOSTAT GASK."

(The description is truncated by the printout software, I'm assuming it fully reads "THERMOSTAT GASKET" and there isn't more information at the end.)

My current theory is that it was malfunctioning before it left the shop.

That would flip the blame back to you for heading out on a trip that way.

I guess I'm not understanding why this is so, but I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.

The mechanic said he checked the thermostat and it was functioning properly at that time and it is the service manager's stated position that the thermostat failed sometime between when the job was finished and when the incident occurred. I don't deny that it's actually possible for this to have occurred -- after all, devices that fail do so at a discrete point in time -- but that seems extraordinarily unlikely from a simple odds perspective.

If my theory is correct (the device was not functioning to specification when I picked up the vehicle), and they admit they inspected the element, how could it be my fault that the information they gave me was not correct? Surely it can't be my responsibility to remove the motor and inspect the job myself.

Also, since I'd just picked up my vehicle from inspection and a repair of that specific part of the vehicle, what indication should I have heeded to know that this vehicle was not fit for driving?

Again, thanks for your time on this.

Response From Hammer Time

I guess I'm not understanding why this is so, but I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.

As the owner and driver of the vehicle, you are responsible for maintaining all fluid levels and monitoring all gauges and reporting systems at all times on the vehicle that were provided to the driver.
If your airline pilot realized he didn't have accurate altitude measurement and decided to continue on a flight regardless, who's fault would it be if the plane crashes?

Response From bodhisoma

I guess I'm not understanding why this is so, but I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.

As the owner and driver of the vehicle, you are responsible for maintaining all fluid levels and monitoring all gauges and reporting systems at all times on the vehicle that were provided to the driver.
If your airline pilot realized he didn't have accurate altitude measurement and decided to continue on a flight regardless, who's fault would it be if the plane crashes?

Ah, I think I see where we are parting.

If it was/is the case that the temp gauge was displaying properly, I would agree that future damage to the engine would be my fault, though I'd argue that we do not know what damage was done to the engine by this point and therefore how much culpability I would carry.

But the facts seems to suggest that the cap was left off, evidenced by the fact that the cap is designed to relieve pressure and other systems can handle far less pressure than the cap which would cause them to fail first and relieve the pressure on the cap. If this is correct, obviously the service center's fault since I have a reasonable expectation that they put everything back.

The coolant on top of the engine is clear evidence the coolant exited the system upward, caused by the compression and/or exhaust gasses exiting from the engine, which the Sears dealership demonstrated for us.

If the coolant exited, the gauge would not read correctly.

Therefore I think it's reasonable, albeit not certain, to believe the cap was left off, the coolant was forced out by gasses being vented by the head and without coolant the gauge was not capable of displaying anything.

Is there a flaw in there somewhere?

Response From Hammer Time

Good luck convincing them of that scenario.

Response From bodhisoma

Good luck convincing them of that scenario.

Fair enough.

Based on the information as presented, what's your guesses as to the likely sequence and an estimate of how likely each of those sequences are?

Again, can't thank you enough for your input on this.

Response From Hammer Time

One thing we all pretty much agree on is that about you can do is fall on the mercy of whatever help the dealer is willing to do for you. They have legal ground to stand on here so they wouldn't be required to do anything but most reputable businesses will try to help in some way.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

This thread is sure flying along. OP - You've new in town didn't you say? If you go legal you will probably bite off your nose to spite your face.

I'm not seeing a whole lot cut and dried about this whole thing,

T

Response From bodhisoma

Thanks for the replies guys. I'll proceed with the 92k engine.

I'm still interested in hearing what you all think the most likely sequence of events are, given the circumstances, but that's more for my own curiosity on how things work.

Also, if you were in my position, would you still do business with this establishment?

Response From re-tired

If it is convenient to use the dealer and his pricing is competitive I see no reason not to use him. They (the dealership) will most likely have the service mngr himself drive your car after future repairs . Not really , but they will double check stuff. It is my humble opinion the cap was left off or loose. In 30 + yrs i have never seen a cap BLOW off. And the engine temp snuck up on you. A so called idiot light may have been better in this case. You stated that you were driving on a highway and it was raining. Meaning you had your eyes and concentration outside the car. Move on to the next crisis . WHich is just around the next curve.

Response From Discretesignals

One thing that would deter me from going through all the hassle of legal action would be having to deal with this....LOL



Response From Discretesignals

What is the mileage on your engine? I believe you should take what the dealer is offering on the 92K replacement engine. If the replacement engine isn't leaking at the head gaskets, the dealer isn't going tear it down and replace the head gaskets for free as preventive maintenance. Besides if they crack open the engine, that might breech the contract of the warranty from who they are getting the engine from. You could try taking legal action against them, but as RT stated winning is slim to none unless you can prove without a doubt damage was due from their negligence of not following proper service procedures. So far there is doubt about what happened to the radiator cap and if a failure of the thermostat was the cause.

Response From Discretesignals


If your airline pilot realized he didn't have accurate altitude measurement and decided to continue on a flight regardless, who's fault would it be if the plane crashes?

I guess you never heard of Tuninter Flight 1153 that crashed because the plane ran out of fuel. They had installed the wrong fuel gauges in the plane.

Most people think that if the gauge is showing anything but HOT the engine is fine. I've actually had vehicles in the shop that were overheating, but the gauge didn't say so. One thing about air craft is they have redundancy. I don't think I have seen redundancy of the engine temperature indication to the driver other than maybe on Cadillac that has a message center and some Fords with CHT sensors.

Response From Discretesignals

I'm just a tech, so I don't know too much about what goes on in the management side and how they are supposed to handle problems such as yours. I can tell you though that radiator caps don't go flying off when an engine is overheating. Even if the cap were to malfunction and not relieve the excessive pressure after 16 psi, something else would blow off, such as a hose or radiator tank. Ever seen what a water heater can do when the T&P valve is plugged off and the heater element is stuck on?



Response From Tom Greenleaf

How about sitting down like common sense people and discuss with the dealer what an acceptable course of action would be to both of you to fix this car? Quite apparently it is much worse off than before it ever had this impending doom coming. There's a lot a 'grey' area with this. Problem of the sort is hard to believe nothing was noticed gauges, warning lights or what before engine fully quit.

If you need a black or white who did it on something like this it's impossible. OP know that we are techs so would have our bias on this and I'd bet every one of us has dealt with or had something go wrong. Do techs or shops own the whole car because of something that went wrong. That's for courts and none of us are going to agree totally on things we aren't even actually involved with.

I suggest taking the problem as it is now, learn by it and don't let it happen again on all sides of a problem that isn't funny for anyone involved,

Tom

Response From bodhisoma

Problem of the sort is hard to believe nothing was noticed gauges, warning lights or what before engine fully quit.

The service manager told me that if the thermostat was broken there'd be no lights. When everything just quit, the entire board lit up. The one I remember seeing was the battery but I do recall seeing a LOT of lights but then my prime concern was getting to the breakdown lane and not hitting someone while trying to get there.

As for the gauge, I can only assure you that while it's possible that I missed it, I would never in a million years ignore it. My wife is 8 months pregnant but even if she wasn't in the car, there's still absolutely no way I'd ignore an engine light.

I have been involved in several arbitrations in the past. First it is near impossible to determine after the fact which came or happened first. The chicken or the egg symdrome. IMO the customer has a resonable expectation that his/her car is repaired and fully functioal at pickup. Mr Dealer has to reallize that he is dealing with a brand loyal repeat customer. The shop is insured for such affairs. THe customer must realize that it is not a perfect world and even new parts fail, thats why even NEW cars have warrenties. Both parties should sit down and try to reach a middle ground. THe dealer with its contacts should be able to score a good deal on a used engine.THe owner should expect to pickup most of the labor. If all else fails then a neutral third party should rule with binding arbitration.

The dealership initially offered an engine with 90k miles with 1 year parts+labor guarantee. We were not thrilled with this offer, as we felt the vehicle was well cared-for and the we know nothing about the history of the used engine.

Because 90k is approaching the age at which these particular engines start experiencing problems (like needing to have head gaskets replaced), we asked the dealer to extend the warranty to 2 years on the engine, 1 year on the labor, they declined.

We asked the dealer to purchase a younger engine, they declined.

We asked the dealer to perform a preemptive head gasket replacement on the used engine, they declined.

It took a few days for us to conclude that we were willing, under protest, to accept the used engine but after accepting the offer, we got a call back saying that they no longer had access to the 90k engine and they had found another engine with 138k miles. At that point I felt we were being lied to, that the dealership was simply trying to test our limits and minimize their expenditure, and told them I would be seeking legal council.

Received a call back about a half-hour later saying they'd found an engine with 92k miles, we accepted.

I found their insistence that another system caused the problem, and that the cap blew off, and the head job was performed correctly, and that the thermostat failed after they'd inspect it, to be highly suspect at best. Now, this miraculous finding of a suitable engine after professing an inability to do precisely that, leads me to believe that the dealership is not acting in good faith.

This is why I came here to learn more.

To be blunt, if they'd replaced the engine with the used 90k and done one of the three things we asked, we'd probably have continued using them for service and purchased a new car (probably two) in perhaps 3-5 years. I think it's safe to say that's unlikely at this point.

Response From re-tired

I have been involved in several arbitrations in the past. First it is near impossible to determine after the fact which came or happened first. The chicken or the egg symdrome. IMO the customer has a resonable expectation that his/her car is repaired and fully functioal at pickup. Mr Dealer has to reallize that he is dealing with a brand loyal repeat customer. The shop is insured for such affairs. THe customer must realize that it is not a perfect world and even new parts fail, thats why even NEW cars have warrenties. Both parties should sit down and try to reach a middle ground. THe dealer with its contacts should be able to score a good deal on a used engine.THe owner should expect to pickup most of the labor. If all else fails then a neutral third party should rule with binding arbitration.

Response From bodhisoma

The car didn't leave on a trip with no coolant as it had been driven at least a little before leaving, therefore something happened while driving.

I might have been unclear, my apologies.

I'm not suggesting that the vehicle had no coolant when it left the lot, I'm suggesting that if the cap was left off, combined with gasses exiting from the head through the radiator, this would have caused the coolant to vacate and by the time the engine became overheated, there was no coolant for the thermostat to engage to detect that overheating.

If the temp gauge worked upon leaving, at some point things changed. If the temp gauge did read normally before leaving, the car never should have left.

I assume you meant to write "If the temp gauge did NOT read normally...?"

My current theory is that it was malfunctioning before it left the shop.

The head job may or may not have been faulty. The blown head gasket was the result of a previous overheating which may have been triggered by a still unknown reason that the shop never found.

If I understand you correctly, you're saying that there might have been some other system which caused the head gasket to fail.

What I don't understand is that if this is so, why did it not cause the head gasket to fail catastrophically prior to repair? It seems illogical that some fault in the system unrelated to the job they performed was bad, did not cause the original head to fail, they perform the job correctly and that external system causes the perfectly solid job to go south.

Again, thanks to everyone for the replies and helping me understand this better. It is my goal to approach this shop fairly, neither taking advantage of what happened nor getting taken advantage of.

Response From bodhisoma

Fair enough but I would have 100% certainly stopped the vehicle if I'd noticed anything amiss or any gauges that looked unusual. I didn't which is why I'm wondering if the temp gauge may have also failed.

The gauge is either reading or it isn't. Even when the car isn't overheating, it will show normal operating temp and if it doesn't, that is a clear red flag for something is not right. Once you have lost enough coolant, the gauge has nothing to read anymore and would read cold but it's too late by then. It needed to be caught before reaching that point.

Gauge observations are the responsibility of any qualified car owner and driver. You don't have to be a mechanic but you do have to know how to use the warning instruments provided.

Let me star by saying this is me trying to understand all angles and not be argumentative. I came to see if there were flaws in my logic, and I appreciate any feedback, even if it's not what I'd like to hear.

So far I've got two assumptions on which there seems to be general agreement.

  • The radiator cap was either not replace or not replaced correctly
  • The head job was bad

  • My current understanding is that both of these, if true, would be the shop's fault. It's also my understanding so far that #1 is all but certain while #2 is a little bit of a mystery.

    If the head job failed, exhausting compression and/or exhaust gasses through the radiator, it seems reasonable that an improperly applied cap would come off and, of course, one not applied at all would result in the same.

    Is it then not reasonable to conclude that the exiting gasses pushed the coolant out and unto the engine (which we observed), which would then cause the gauge to have nothing to read, resulting in no warning for me to notice?

    Response From Hammer Time

    Whenever an engine is destroyed from overheating, it is always the driver's fault, regardless of what the original cause of the overheating may be. No matter what the cause of the overheating was, it could have been repaired up until the time it was driven too far and permanent damage was done.

    I think one of the first mistakes made was to head out on a long trip immediately after a major repair like that. These things should always be tested thoroughly, locally before heading out on the highway. It is not unheard of to miss something in a situation like that but it is always the driver's responsibility to not continue to drive the car when it gets hot. If the temp gauge is faulty, that also is something the driver should realize and stop driving, especially with a car that has a history of head gasket problems.

    Response From Tom Greenleaf

    Purpose here is not to be the judge and jury of horror like this. IMO - customer is not expected to know every detail of everything at all. Would the customer be or supposed to be worried about the job done properly and check every 2 minutes after a job that it's right? No. Shop loses - cap was missing could cause all of this.

    Rock and hard place. Shop could have checked it better with a big job like this. Owner/customer shouldn't make matters worse if it isn't right. I doubt many would do it but you should be advised after major work to let it prove itself before heading out on a trip right away.

    Can be argued both ways and both be right. Should the shop be responsible for everything in a vehicle after working on it? NO. Should something like a missing radiator cap (if you can prove that) be on a vehicle after work that would require touching it? Yes.

    Does anyone win when things like this happen? Absolutely not,

    T

    Response From Hammer Time

    The question isn't whether the job was done correctly or not. It apparently wasn't. The issue is with the driver continuing to drive a hot car which is not the fault of the shop. They were responsible to repair whatever was still causing ti to overheat but the damage done by a driver that continued to drive a car too hot is not their responsibility. An inoperative temp gauge is not a "get out of jail free" card. That would have been something that the driver should have been aware of.

    Response From Discretesignals

    What I don't get is what happened to the radiator cap? Even an engine overheating shouldn't blow a radiator cap off. Either the cap was improperly installed or wasn't installed. Without the radiator cap the coolant will boil at a lower temperature. The coolant will also get pushed out of the radiator without the cap installed.

    I've never heard of replacing a temperature gauge as part of head gasket repair. It is possible that without enough coolant in the system the temperature sensor's probe can become uncovered giving you an erroneous temperature gauge reading.

    If the job was done correctly and the repair was confirmed by the technician driving the vehicle, you shouldn't be in the situation you are in.