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SOA Warranty Problems & Questions



  • I've heard a number of negative comments over the years from people who purchased cars other than Subaru from Romano. In fact, I've been surprised that so many individuals who don't even know each other have had similar comments. None of the comments, pro or con, were from their Subaru customers. One day, I'll have to check them out for service.
  • bogey5bogey5 Posts: 35
    Wouldn't it be interesting to set up a thread called "Dealer Reviews" where EVERY dealer in the country had a thread here for attaboys or criticism by its customers. Might make for some interesting discussions with dealers when we as consumers referred the dealers to their thread to see what their customers thought of their service. Might be interesting for dealer management and sales people as well. Certainly wouldn't mention individual names but dealer names would be enough.

    I think it might carry some weight with SoA as well.
  • lskinnerlskinner Posts: 8
    An update: SOA actually did respond and helped me set up an appointment at another dealer. I went there this morning and the service guy said that he lubricated the return spring on the clutch pedal; that this would improve things; that springs squeak a little, especially new ones; that this is a problem others have encountered; and that I should give the lubrication a chance to work.

    Frankly, I had the feeling he was BSing me. However, the squeak does seem to have subsided for the time being.

    My previous car was a Honda, which was nearly 100% perfect for the 6 1/2 years I owned it. Essentially the only work necessary was routine maintenance and replacement of parts that wore out. (The only non-routine problem with my Honda was that the headlights burned out more frequently than one would expect.) So perhaps I'm a little spoiled.

    In fairness, I should say that besides the clutch pedal issue, I love the car so far.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hey, if it work, don't jinx it, just be happy there's no more squeek! ;)

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,267
    On my '96 Outback, I had some squeaky door issues when it was around 9 years old and 190,000 miles. I sprayed lithium grease on the hinges and sliders, but was disappointed that it did not seem to make any immediate difference. Within two days, though, they were perfectly silent and stayed that way through the night it was killed.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    I happened to stumble upon this while researching another tranny issue: From a 4 year old Subaru publication intended for aftermarket shops:

    Changing the engine oil would seem to be such a simple procedure. Yet a mistake can yield catastrophic results. The transmission in the photo above was being replaced due to a differential failure. The differential failure was not caused by a part failure, but rather by operator error. The differential fluid had been drained during an oil service, rather than the engine oil. The drained fluid was not replaced, and a few hundred miles later, the differential was destroyed. This error may have been caused by unfamiliarity with Subaru vehicles or simple inattentiveness. In any case, it’s not a mistake any of us would want to make. Although we ran this information in an earlier End Wrench, seeing the destroyed transaxle drove home the fact that some technicians still need to be reminded of the correct service procedures.

  • bogey5bogey5 Posts: 35

    All in all I was very fortunate in this whole episode. I learned a lot! I had asked the Valvoline manager if he was aware of any technical bulletins that VIOC had sent out cautioning against this kind of mistake but at that point he wasn't going to acknowledge anything like that. I'll bet there is one now if not before. My Subaru dealer did tell me that Subaru doesn't send these kind of service advisories to places like VIOC any more. Too bad.

    Before donning the collar I spent 38 years selling medical products, mainly custom wheelchairs, power wheelchairs etc. and drove Astro vans and Caravans and beat the daylights out of them. Finally blew an engine on the Washington beltway on my last Dodge at 180K. Even with great abuse and very poor maintenance they seemed to last well into 150K plus.

    I guess I have to be a bit more attuned to the needs of my little OBW. Tanny and other systems are fine. Whew!!

  • larryaklarryak Posts: 18

    I'm having a problem getting coverage under the Subaru Extended Warranty, I'm hoping to get some constructive feedback here.
    The extended Warranty expired in late Dec., 2005.
    The story:
    I purchased a new Outback in Dec, 1999.
    All was well (mostly) until March, 2004 (odometer:40K). Then one day I turned the AC on and there was no cooling until after 15-20 minutes of driving. The-compressor-was-not-engaged (trust me on this). As it was a very intermittent problem, and because going to the dealer was a real pain, I did not bring it to the dealer's attention until mid Nov, 2005. They said the refrigerant level was very low and recharged the system for which they charged me $200, which I paid, figuring that if it fixed the problem I was getting off cheap. Afterwards the frequency of malfunctions actually increased. I took the car back, more than once, in 2006. After several visits (most ended as "all OK, no problem found"), eventually I proved to them that it was still not working and they replaced some parts for no charge but the repairs did not do the job and now they say additional parts need to be replaced...expensive ones. These they want me to pay for.
    Am I unreasonable to expect this to be covered by the warranty? If so, how does one "motivate" them to take care of this? Is it reasonable for me to pay part of this (as they seem about to suggest)? I have been in contact with a Subaru customer service rep but they don't seem to be on "my" side.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Let me get this straight, it took you a year and a half (March 2004 to Nov 2005) to bring this in for a problem? Unfortunately as much as I would like to side with you, if you read your warranty you are required to bring the problem to their attention ASAP as continued driving could (not necessarily did) cause more damage.

    In the case of your compressor, if it was not kicking on, the parts were not being lubricated, and thus some of the parts that you would like them to cover under warranty, could have actually broken due to your lack of bringing it in in a timely fashion to be repaired.

    Sorry but you are SOL with SOA on this one, and I'm the biggest advocate of having an extended warranty, but if you don't hold up your end of the agreement I can't hold them responsible for it.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    From a practical stand point, the repairs done in Nov. 2005 should come with a one year warranty, i.e. that extended your coverage until Nov. 2006.

    Given we're well into 2007, it's quite a stretch.

    Hindsight is 20/20, but I would have tried to document the problem some how, maybe with a home video, before Nov. '06.

    It's kind of late now.

    Call 800-SUBARU3 and be REAL nice, plead your case. Ask them to check their records to see how many times you went in before Nov. 06, so they can understand your frustration.

    At best I imagine they'll share the cost, but even that's not guaranteed.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
  • larryaklarryak Posts: 18
    Yep, in hindsight I should have brought it to their attention sooner than Nov' 05 but circumstances at the time made that difficult. Also, the very infrequent (at the time) occurrence of the problem made it unlikely that they would be able to fix it. Anyway, subsequent events proved me correct on this as they were unable, on their own, to get the problem to occur at the shop despite several attempts during 2006 (starting in Feb). In the end I was forced to drive the car over to the dealer during the day (unscheduled) to demonstrate the problem. The same thing happened last month...they had the car for 3.5 days, could not replicate, I returned to pick the car up and it malfunctioned for *me* right there at the shop. Then they said it was because it was in "fresh" mode rather than "recirculate" (!!!). Now it hasn't worked at all for the last two weeks (they did another recharge a month ago, I guess it couldn't take it).
    As for if the compressor was damaged by lack of lubrication, keep in mind that most of the time prior to Nov, 2005 it did kick in, so I think it got an average amount of lubrication.
    So far they haven't given me any rationale for their position other than that the warranty expired in Nov, 2005 and it's now March, 2007. The problem with this, of course, is that it implies that you're SOL of they can't properly diagnose and fix the problem within the warranty period.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sounds like the dealer could never figure out what was really broken, and they've given up now that the warranty has expired.

    Problem is, that's tough to prove. They're not going to admit their repairs weren't done properly, as that would be shooting themselves in the foot. :sick:
  • larryaklarryak Posts: 18
    Thanks for you comments.
    After the events of last month I contacted Subaru primarily to get some technical help for the dealer...they are clueless (fresh vs. recirculate??). The technical help didn't seem to happen but now I'm discussing the issue of covering the cost with them. The rep I've been in contact with has essentially said that it's up to the dealer to decide what will be covered by "goodwill". The fact that I did bring it to their attention before the warranty expired does not seem to carry much weight.
    Although it was functioning at the Nov, 2005 service, they say that the refrigerant was very low and recharged it. So they know that a.) I claim that sometimes it doesn't work, and b.) It was low on refrigerant. So something wasn't right prior to that date.
    BTW...I don't have a video camera.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    If the problem wasn't occurring when you brought it to them, it's pretty hard for them to diagnose the problem and bringing it to them so late which may be due to circumstances, doesn't really help the matter.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,267
    Even with all of that granted (timeliness of the original service call on it being the most pertinent point), the fact remains that the "recharge" did not help the situation, so whatever the problem was, it occurred prior to warranty expiration and was not fixed by the dealer's initial attempt. If you have made a committed effort to have the problem fixed after their initial failed attempt, then it should not matter when the warranty expired as the problem existed prior to warranty expiration - they know it existed because you brought it to a dealer for that reason. Heck, if the system was working properly, why would it have needed a major recharge with so few miles? My '96 had 220,000 miles on it and the A/C worked just fine without ever having had a recharge! The fact that the system either works fine or not at all points away from the "freon" as a potential culprit anyway. As the system loses charge, it will not cool as well, but it is not going to work perfectly once and then not at all the next time around.

    So, the issue now is to find a shop that can diagnose the problem. Without knowing the problem, there is no way that SOA is going to agree, at any level, to address it. Your refrigeration system aside, the problem now is that the service department you are dealing with currently is incapable of addressing the car's malfunction. If you keep bantering with them, they are going to keep wasting your time, and before you know it another year or two have gone by...... Time is a critical factor at this point since you are in the "goodwill" phase....

    I expect that, regardless of the outcome, at least some repair expense will be borne from your pocket. :(

    By the way, as far as fresh vs. recirculate goes, recirculate will ultimately allow the system to achieve a lower cabin temperature since the intake air through the cooling fins has already been cooled by them and is thus lower than fresh, hot, air. If the system is not cooling at all though, how could it make any difference?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    But it's not a week or 2 or a month past the warranty expiration. It's significantly past it at this point.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,267
    No, I agree. It is significantly past. But, much of the problem is due to the dealer being unable to diagnose the problem even when it is occurring! Obviously, the owner cannot beheld faultless here that he is at this phase more than a year past expiration. But, even if he took it to the dealer when the problem first started, it is very possible that he could still be right at the same point today considering that the dealer has not addressed the problem at all.

    He would just have a much better "goodwill" case. ;)

    It is all a moot point though unless the problem can actually be diagnosed. Otherwise, everyone is just speculating.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    True. The way I look at it is this. If I was going to make a mountain out of a mole hill on this issue, I would have started just before the warranty was up, left the car at the dealer until it was fixed. Unfortunately on intermittent problems, it's hard to do that.

    I'd actually be more embarassed that I was trying to get my warranty covered a year after it expired.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,267
    Hahaha, agreed. I am not sure I would be embarrassed so much as frustrated, though, if it was a warranty (defect) issue. Even little warranty items tend to be frustrating to address.

    For example, with my car's "little things", like cracking shift boot, copious rattles, etc., even fixing is not the end. I had the car in back in January, they say "yes, it has these problems, we will order parts and you bring it back in two weeks." Okay, I do. They address a couple issues, but say "Sorry, we had wrong part on shift boot, bring it back in two weeks." I do. I call them the day prior to the appointment to ask if they can have the car done no later than 1400, as I need it early. They say that is fine. I take the car in and go to work. 2pm, I am there to get the car. Guess what?! They have only had it in the shop for 45 minutes! Well, that should be plenty of time considering they just have to swap out the shift boot and glove box..... NO! They give it back to me completely untouched. I take it back in just on Tuesday of this week. They swap the shift boot (same cheap material as last one, so it will have to be replaced again), but now the trim around it is loose and rattles, plus the glove box was the wrong part (surprise!), so it has another appointment. I think they are making me regret my decision to ever take it in for these petty annoyances! I just want to get it ironed out before I sell it, but I am worried that the touch-ups are just going to snowball the more I take it in.

    Whoa - sorry about that... speaking of snowballs!

    Anyway, Larry has an uphill battle for sure and it is likely to culminate in an unsatisfactory outcome for him. But, until the problem is diagnosed, it is all just a frustrating mystery.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    See if you can get a low-cost digital camera that also has a video feature. Nowadays that's pretty common.

    At least for future use.

    Cheers. :shades:
This discussion has been closed.