How much should a Rod bearing cost to replace/repair?


Asked by Feb 24, 2014 at 05:57 PM about the 2010 Subaru Forester

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

On my 2010 Forester, the Check Engine light, Vehicle Dynamics display light with a line thru it went on and the Cruise control light started flashing today. It also started having a rattling noise/something vibrating when you rev the engine to about 2000 RPM's. The initial thought when I took it to the dealer and they listened to it was a rod bearing(?) and possibly other related issues from that. How much should/could that type of repair cost, depending on what else may be involved?

23 Answers


Didn't you get an estimate while it was in there?

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A check engine light on, cruise control blinking, VDC OFF light lit are the results of a CEL code or a good old check engine as on other cars. What was the code that they pulled? Post the code back here.

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I had to leave it and they were going to check it out and let me know before they started any repair work. They said based on another Forester they had in for similar repairs, if there were other issues including the head gasket etc., it could be as much as $4000-$5000. They would not know what else was needed until it was looked at.

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Wow, IMO, before spending $4 to $5K on engine work I'd have a second opinion. Ask them for a written estimate and bring it back home. Have another dealer or local garage inspect it for you.

Best Answer Mark helpful

I'm not all that familiar with Subaru's and the dealership might be right, but I'd hate to spend that much money and not have the issue fixed. At least you can get another opinion to verify the diagnosis. HTH's


The oil level was at the very low end of the dip stick when I checked it yesterday. Added a quart and was going to take it in anyway before it started making that noise earlier today. The same lights went on last Wed for a few hours but then went out and did not come back on while driving the car since then everyday until this morning.

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If the light did come on, there is a code that is stored in memory. I'd say whatever is tripping the lights is part of the problem But I can't tell you since I can't hear it, I can only guess. On the plus side, another garage/set of ears and eyes looking at it might be able to fix it for you for less. Can't hurt.


I dont have it in writing, I am getting that on the way home. They said It needs a new rod and main bearing along with a new short block because the head gasket needs replacing also? They said it is cheeper to just replace the short block than it is to repair it??? $6200 Wow. I will take it to an independant repair place for a second opinion and estimate.


Tom. The sub is a boxer. The block halves bolt together sandwiching the crank. I've heard they are a pain to work on. I would think there is access somewhere to pull the end caps off but I'm no expert. I would get a second opinion to and maybe price out a rebuilt motor???


There is still alot of labor to install a short block. Try long block or complete. 6200 is crazy.


Thank's yeti, Oh ok, I know these engines have headgasket issues, right? Maybe that's why the rod and main bearing failed? How many miles on the car/engine? I would call Subaru Customer service and complain and see if you can get that repair for less if actually needed if your close to the warranty miles.


I've not heard of a 2010 failing before... Buying a complete long block new from Subaru is really expensive, your best bet would be to replace the short block or find a used long block if that is truly the case.

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Sorry to jump in so late. I've got a 2009 Forester. I have those same lights come on before, but "research" online said that it was a O2 sensor issue, likely caused by the fuel I was using. Indeed, putting in higher octanes (or ethanol free fuel) would cause the lights to turn off after a day or two. About ten days ago, on the way home from a golf trip, about 150 miles from home, I noticed the same kind of knocking at higher RPMs. Prior to this, those lights had come back on as well, But I assumed it was because of the gas I had put in the tank where I had gone on vacation. The next morning, when I started the car, it sounded like there was a jackhammer for a couple of seconds, and then it was fine. I took it do the dealer, and they're telling me the same thing you heard. Short block repair, rod damage, low oil. About $6K. I was hoping they'd cover it under warranty, but they (so far) are declining, stating that there are no maintenance records as I change my own oil. They're starting a tear down today to determine the "true" cause. We'll see. The car has 59000 miles on it.

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Thanks for everyones answers. Took it to a shop that is owned by a friend's family friend for a second opinion. Got the same diagnosis as the dealer but it turned out to be about $2000 cheaper than the dealer quoted.

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Nealh, I'm going through this RIGHT NOW with my 2009 Subaru Forester. The dealership is being very coy about telling what is wrong -- it was a catastrophic failure of some sort -- and they keep hammering me about oil change records. I don't change my own oil, but I've missed a couple of dealer oil changes; looks like insurance won't cover -- at least that is what I'm reading between the lines. I will find out in a couple of days, but my car has been there now for over 2 weeks. The only thing my "service manager" told me was that there was a broken rod bearing. Are Subaru Foresters really that fragile?? I had my car in to the dealer two other times this summer, once for routine maintenance and once for an over-heating issue that was traced to an incorrectly installed bit of tubing. They didn't charge me for that.... I'm pretty unhappy right now.

3 people found this helpful.

Hey, so I should update this. They did the tear down, and then the dealer called me to tell me that Subaru decided to cover the repair. He was as shocked as I was. I asked him what they found, and he said that they did not tell him any specific thing. He thinks that it was just bumped up to a higher authority who rewarded me for buying the extended coverage, and looked at it as a way to ensure customer loyalty. Which they have done. So, after it was all said and done, they did a short block replacement, and I had to pay about $500 for the deductible and a couple of other things I had them take care of.

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Oh, they did tell me that the bearing was worn down, and that there was a lot of debris in the remaining oil.

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fill up your oil to proper level, turn off and disconnect (-) Neg cable from battery for 6 min. Reconnect, bring the key just before ignition let it be for 2 mins. move back to off and then re start normally. That will clear the Check Engine light, Vehicle Dynamics display light with a line thru it and the Cruise control lights. If it comes back take it to autozone have the codes read again. if you are over 80k O2 upstream sensor or clogged CAT. P0420 Subaru Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold. It happened to my 09 forester with 150k in TX

We just had the same problem with our 2010 Forester. We tried to get Subaru to pay for it, but we were missing a couple oil change receipts and the y said no. They said at first is was a broken rod, but found out it was a beating, bottom line short block replacement, $5400.00. That's the last Subaru we'll ever buy!

I hate to join this chorus, because the music, brought to you by Subaru stinks! We have a 2010 Subaru Forester and had the exact same problem. We heard a knocking and they said we threw a rod, cost to replace, $5400.00 - $7500.00. We were missing a couple of Jiffy Lube receipts and they denied responsibility. It turned out to be the main bearing, not a broken rod so they just needed to replace the short block and the bearing so it only cost $5400.00. The care has less than 60,000 miles and this should have never happened. This is the first site I have looked at, how many more people are mysteriously having this same problem? I'm calling Subaru tomorrow with these posts and asking for a refund. If they say no I will not only never buy another Subaru, but I will make sure everybody who ever has this same problem will know that this problem is Subarus' and they are cheating their customer by not standing behind their product.


Running an engine low for even a mile will destroy it and this is a 8 year old car. Not sure at all Subaru is to blame.

2010 Soobie Forester 144k. "Spun a rod" Heard transient knocking since the last oil change. Regular oil changes. Thought for sure it was the timing belt breaking but nope. Never thought a catastrophic engine failure was within sight. Mechanic says we need a new engine. We still owe 5500 on it. Thinking about just trying to repair it myself. What a piece of garbage. Thanks Subaru! They should sell a discounted engine to all of their customers that have been as unfortunate as us.

Aargh, same issue, 2010 Forester @ 99K..heard increased knocking then all hell broke loose, did not help that I was doing 70K on freeway, no warning lights until after the fact, mechanic says needs new short block (which Subaru conveniently sells remanufactured units for $2K, $7K total impact), regular oil changes but at 5K intervals, now I am being told that boxer engines need at 3.5K miles..was my second forester, first one had head gasket issues at 105K, now this at 99K..I am done with Subaru's! Many more AWD options nowadays..

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