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SOA Warranty Problems & Questions
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I dropped the car off on Tuesday A.M. I had a bad omen because the AC was working when I dropped the car off. Received no updates until I called on Thursday at which time they said they had not been able to replicate despite repeated attempts. Too late to pick up that day so I go in Friday noonish to pick the car up. The service advisor that I'd been dealing with was out to lunch, but another advisor was pulling lunch duty. I insisted on him being present as I started the car. Low and behold, the AC is not working. Compressor pulley is not engaged, no cooling fans operative, etc... Just warm air coming out of the vents since it was parked in the sun. Now this is where I made my "fatal" mistake. I noticed that it was set to recirculate, which I hardly ever use. So I switched to "fresh". Anyway, the guy agree with me that it was not working. We ran it for 5 minutes or so, during which time the compressor pulley never engaged. Since the adviser I had been dealing with was not expected back for 20-30 minutes I turned the motor off and walked down the street to have lunch. When I returned the two advisor's and the mechanic were gathered around the car and as I walked towards them the meeting broke up and my adviser announced that they had found the problem. Although dubious, I said "great!". This is where it got "fun". The AC was now working, pumping out plenty of cold air. They said the reason that hot air was coming out earlier was because the "fresh" air was being pulled in over the warm hood. Somewhere around here the service adviser who was present when the AC was not working scurried off. I then pointed out that earlier the cooling fans had not been running and the compressor pulley was not engaged as I would expect based on my previous observations during periods when it was cooling properly. In the ensuing discussion it became apparent that even the mechanic was seemed unsure about what cooling fans should be operating when the AC was on. Anyway, I wasn't getting anywhere and had to get back to work so I left. That weekend I emailed Subaru.
During '06 I had the car in for 3 "official" visits, the first in Feb, the last in Sept. Plus there was at least one other unannounced visit when I took the car there while it was malfunctioning and demonstrated it to the service adviser.
Does anyone have an opinion on if there is anything to be gained by talking to the regional rep or asking for someone higher in the organization? Does that ever work?
The issue with recording it is how do you prove a negative? If I show them video of the AC not working, who's to say that I didn't have the switch on? I guess I'd need to have a notary present during filming. :-)
A video might be useful in "proving" that I'm not hallucinating, but if they can't replicate on the premises and there's no service bulletin dealing specifically with "phantom" AC malfunctions then I probably would not have been much better off.
As for the cooling fans (I assume you are referring to the dual electric cooling fans mounted to the radiator for the engine coolant), they turn on based on the temperature of the coolant. I do not think they come on automatically simply because the A/C compressor is on, though the compressor does add a significant load to the engine at idle so it is far more likely to come on once the car is warmed up.
There are many times that my cooling fans do not run at all during the winter months (or very intermittently), even at highway speeds, simply because the ambient air temperature is cold enough to keep the coolant temperature down even without the forced induction.
Five months and five thousand miles after the damage to and replacement of my front differential following a catastrophic draining of the differential during an oil change, the car is running fine. Mileage is as expected. No noise, no smoke, no smell, no nothing.
Thanks again to all those who offered advice and counsel during the height of the anxiety. I always recommend CarSpace to folks who are having car problems or questions.
Bogey5 (Pastor Steve)
The weather in the Northeast is spectacular today and for any friends in the mid-west especially Greensburg, KS our prayers are with you.
It's really the mechanic's fault, though, not Subaru's. How would you have wanted them to help more? I'm sure they backed off due to the liability issue.
To each his own though.
We had one Edmunds member take their Outback to Jiffy Lube and the same thing happened - they drained the transmission and then proceeded to overfill the engine oil. :sick:
I found at least one Sienna owner that had the same thing happen to them at a quicky lube place.
I'll do it myself, thanks.
Years ago before I had my first OB I had a Honda Accord. On a trip up to Niagara Falls, on the Canadian side my transmission started to slip. I went into a Canadian Tire who said they could get me running to get home to Brooklyn for service. Turns out they put engine oil in the transmission so I had to get a new tranny. After going back and forth with them for a couple of weeks they finally reimbursed me the cost of parts, not labor. Wound up costing me enough that I started looking around for a new car. That's one reason I go to the dealer for everything now -this way there is a record.
Definitely have to watch what these guys do.
The fact that Subaru changed their differential plugs to a T70 Torx is a testament to their willingness to reduce the frequency of the problem... at the expense of mechanics and DIYs of course.
Motor Oil: Blackish/brownish/distinct odor/distinct viscosity
Differential Oil: Clearish-redish/VERY RANCID SMELL/significantly thicker than motor oil
Automatic Trans Fluid: Redish-brown/different odor from Motor or diffy oil, thinner viscosity than both those.
As Wes said, plain and simple old fashion lazyiness/carelessness is to blame, and marking the plugs with an O, T, or D would not help that!
It doesn't look, feel, or even smell anything like used oil.
Should I buy any of the rust/undercoat/fabric packages that they have on sale for less than $200 each?
Maybe to the warranty. The warranty includes roadside assistance for the entire duration, and we got one and dropped AAA. That offset about half the cost of the warranty, which made it worth it to us.
Will think about the warranty - I guess I can purchase it anytime before the current warranty runs out.
you can buy a can or 2 of Scotchgard and get the same fabric protection
I just traded in my 1995 Legacy wagon (I loved it) for a 2002 with 82,500 miles (yes, I know, a tad high for its years). I am debating on an extended 4 year/48,000 extended warranty which will tack on about $60 a month for life of loan (5 years). I do not drive a lot (1995 only had 110,000). My other option is a one year Subaru extended warranty on the Power Train for about $20/month (the 4 year is not a Subaru warranty). Any thoughts???? I have to decide by tomorrow.
The only problems I was beginning to encounter with my 1995 were due to age and rust (not body, but parts affecting suspension, exhaust, etc.) which were beginning to add up, thus the new car.
Even a head gasket replacement should not cost more than $1800 for the pair, and that is still half of your "budget!"
Good luck with the car!
Have you found/heard of head gaskets being a problem with these or was that just one of the more expensive problems and that is why you mentioned it?
That's the most common problem by far. If Subaru will already cover that for the next couple of years.
If so I'd pass on buying longer warranty protection at all (and I have a Subaru Gold warranty, FWIW).
$20 for 5 years? With one year of coverage? Wow... quite a deal, there! Pass. Or tell them you'll pay $5/month over the loan for it. Unless there is an existing problem, they will still likely make money off it! And, if there IS an existing problem, they should pay anyway. If they scoff, ask them, "Why? No confidence in your own product? I only put a few thousand miles per year on my cars!" :P
I don't have the URL for the HG issue because it has not affected any of the 5 Subarus in my family.
on the warranty - yeah, I agree. I bought a Subaru for their reliablity
what would you do???
My concern is that at 50k miles, the bumper-to-bumper warranty already expired, so there might be a lot of exclusions, i.e. anything that may have developed between 36k and 50k miles.
With a lapse in coverage, it may not be worth it.
We do have a Subaru Gold warranty for our 2002 Legacy (though we've never used it).
u think it did have an extended coverage that ends in a few months or something, so i dont think there'd be a lapse... does that change your suggestions??? m
Why? Because it was too long?
I dunno. Subaru has a CPO program. I would search for a different car, or get that one and pass on the warranty.