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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    the check engine light on my 99 Forester is PO463 - Short in the fule level indicator. My mechanic said to tak eit back to the dealer, should be under warranty
  • edunnettedunnett Posts: 552
    As mandated by the EPA, if your car fails a local emissions test and the fault is found to be a major emissions part (catalytic converter is the most major of the emissions parts) the auto maker must cover the expense of making it right. See
    for your rights under this mandate in case it applies. -elissa
  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    the fuel level indicator was not under warranty, whihc I can understand. However the dealer said when we took the car in that there is an $88 charge for diagnostic, which I can alsmost understand. However I failed to understand why that charge was not included in the repair, the repair was on top of the "diagnostinc" charge, oh well another dealer who has lost my business.
  • lfdallfdal Posts: 679
    Don't feel bad, Honda did the same thing to me -twice - once for a rear window defrost relay - I troubleshot it myself and when I took it in I told them to change the relay. I didn't tell them what the symptoms were, I knew it was the relay. I specifically told them to not do anything else other than change the relay. I told the service writer if I was wrong, so be it, I'd pay for the mistake and let them fix it later.
    When I picked it up that night they charged me a $75 diagnostic fee. I asked them why, and they responded that they did that to confirm the part was bad. Grrrrrrrrr.........

    When the airbag computer went I just let them troubleshoot it themselves - it was a flat diagnostic fee. That and it was a $850 job anyway.

  • edunnettedunnett Posts: 552
    I assume (with some education) that the diagnostic fee goes toward paying for the labor involved in diagnosis, not repair, and toward paying for the very costly computer software shops (dealers and independent repair shops alike) need to purchase in order to do a proper diagnosis. I had to pay $300 recently to diagnose a bad gas cap. *sigh* But I understand why they have to charge that fee so I can't really blame them for doing it. I wouldn't be so hard on those dealers. I think it's an industry standard to charge for the diagnosis. -elissa
  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    If all that's involved in diagnosis is hooking up a connector to the OBD computer and reading the codes - that should be free, as I cannot possibly see that taking more than 2 minutes.
  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    I think I will ignore the CEL from now on unless I think the car is not running correctly, can't just run and pay a bundle of $ everytime the light goes on. Even better spend a few buck on a reader and make sure I have the one that rases codes.
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    The '04 STi muffler will fit the '02s. Remember to get new gasket when you put it on. :)

  • ppekppek Posts: 58
    Stevek, There are probably auto parts stores in your area that will read your code for free. Autozone in our area does this in the hopes you will purchase your parts from them.

    Take care,

  • joybelljoybell Posts: 275
    I had to pay almost $400 diagnostic fee at an independant garage for my Loyale wagon a few years ago when I suddenly lost some power (they gave me a diagnostic sheet from SOA). I was told one of the cylinders wasn't working and the motor should be replaced. I went to another mechanic who found the problem. He fixed it with a $15 manifold gasket. There was nothing at all wrong with the motor. The Loyale lasted several more years without any problems. The body went before the motor ever did.
  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    However when I take it to a local mechanic, they usually have the diganostic fee waived or included in the final price if you fix the car there. If they just read and wipe out the code then I am charged about $60, if I have the car fixed they charge me for the labor to install the part. The problme is that Subaru (and other manufacturers) do not release all the codes to independent mechanics therefore only the dealeres have th ecomplete up to date codes.
    This repair cost me $380 (for a fuel level sensor), if I took it to a local mechanic it would of been around $250. Live and learn :)
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Oh, as for your '02 WRX muffler, I think they won't fit on other Subaru models without some mod(s). I know it'll not fit on my '99 OBS w/o modding.

  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    are just saying where the problem is, you still need a competent mechanic to figure out how to fix it. SOunds like the first mechanic was a part replacer not a real mechanic.
  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    independent shop via our Service Manuals, etc. They can order bulletins etc. through our website (albeit with a fee to cover the cost). I know that it used to be an issue, but I think it's been addressed. I hope this information is helpful.

    FWIW - I would suggest you call in your concerns related to the diagnostic fee being added to the charges for the repair. The Rep. can report it and things like this do facilitate change. This isn't something that SOA controls, so we can't force a dealer to change a business practice, but if the dealer knows it puts a negative spin on the dealership, who knows.....

    Thanks - and I'm sorry about the whole problem!

  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    I realize the dealer is in business to make money, but I also heard similar repairs cost less than $300.00. I took it in because I was hoping it was under warranty (of course this dealer wanted to charge me $1000 for a head gasket, which was under warranty).
    Charges were as follows:
    1 hour for diagnostic $88
    1.5 hours to replace the parts $120
    parts: fuel meter unit1 $69.95
           gasket $9.22
           fule meetr unit2 80.77
    I also complained about bad exhaust smell (when the head gasket blew it ruined the oxigen sensor) I think the leaking antifreeze may have damaged the converter. They told me to use different gas (has been using Mobil). At least I have it on record so if it is the converter.
    Interesting that we had numerous problme with the Forester (all repaired under warranty which is great) and no problems with the Legacy GT, they both have about the same milage.
  • celica115celica115 Posts: 169
    Thanks, that would be a waste of my old muffler. :P
  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    on the situation. If calling in is a problem (Wed. and Thurs. are lower volume days and you'll have less of a wait), you can send an e-mail with the details via the Contact Us section of We would just need your VIN, mileage, dealer name, who you worked with, etc. If you send an e-mail, could you add a note that I'd like to see the case?


  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Being on the other side of the fence on this, I understand them charging for a diag fee if you don't get it repaired at their shop. Problem I has is that people will take advantage if it's "free" and come down all the time which will hurt your bottom line as a repair facility.

  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    I agree with you if you don't fix the car then the fee should be paid (nobody works for free........I think). But if you choose to repair the car some kind of concession should be made. In my case the diagnostic took less than 10 minutes, I know because I did it before going to the dealer.
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