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2009 Forester Manual
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My father in law took his 09 Forester with about 60,000 kms (he's elderly and doesn't drive much) for a service - essentially an oil change. They told him there were problems replaced the lower front control arms and away bar bushes. They also replaced all the disc pads and I think replaced all the discs - hard to tell from the invoice, they look new but might have been just machined and cleaned (At $130 each?).

I have an 09 myself, with twice the kms. I'm not surprised the pads were changed but as far as I know the discs were not scored or damaged. My discs are fine, but will be changed or machined at the next change. I wish I had looked at, and photographed, his before the service.

Similarly with the control arms. The car is looked after, has never been off road and is garaged. I'm intrigued that the arms and bushes were so badly worn they needed to be changed at 60K. Mine look fine. Is there an known issue with the control arms? Tyre wear was even and there were no signs of misalignment.

The bill was nudging $2,800 and they didn't use the recommended oil for the engine (it was a mineral 10 W 40).

I guess you can see I think advantage was taken of an elderly customer, but perhaps there are known faults/issues with discs and or control arms I'm not aware of.

Thanks,

Tim
 

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2010 Forester Diesel 6MT
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880 Posts
Without seeing the car and knowing its history (Has someone else owned it/driven it? Accidents or driven into kerbs? Water crossings after heavy braking?) at those klms it does sound all wrong to me. And the wrong oil is just...wrong. Apart from the viscosity (should it be a 5W-30? I don't know but 10W-40 is a bit on the heavy side I think) it should be a full synthetic.

We have a 2010 diesel with 200+k km and have not replaced any of those components (except brake pads).

A few ideas:

1) You, or your father in law has a right to the parts back- they were off his car so they are his. Insist they are returned and inspect them. And see point 9 below for verification.
2) If he's elderly, there's a good chance he's a member of the NRMA. Get them involved- technical and legal services. They should be able to inspect the car and tell what's been done. Point out the wrong oil was used for starters then the amount of work done.
3) Have you checked they parts quoted have actually been fitted (get the NRMA to check again)?
4) Have you checked they are a licensed mechanic?
5) Were they replaced before he agreed to the work? What did he sign- if he took it in for an oil change that is what he should have signed for- any extra work needs to be quoted first and agreed to.
6) Are the parts quality or cheap copies, and what price was he charged for them (get the NRMA to check again)

Now perhaps to make them sweat a bit...
7) Did they align the suspension afterwards- if not, ask why not given the suspension parts were changed. (This is a bit of a tell-tale giveaway in my opinion). And then ask them how they did it and for the printout, which they should supply.
8) How long did the job take? If it was done in a day, they had the parts already...and wanted to get rid of them, perhaps (just perhaps) stolen, which leads into...
9) (You'll need to check with Subaru) 2009 models had the DataDot technology. So you can have the parts scanned for this (if they claim they are genuine used parts perhaps) to see if they are stolen. If you suspect they are or they say so, tell them (on the phone so you're not there) you'll have the parts scanned by the police for this. Might be entertaining to do this from your mobile across the street to watch what happens...

Good luck.

Oh, and how did he pay and did he get a proper invoice?
 

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2009 Forester Manual
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks Patrick. I realise that its a bit hard to comment without seeing or knowing the car, however none of the driving scenarios you mention at the start apply. He is 87 and the car gets driven in suburbia - and he is limited to 15km from home - it has had a very pampered life.

There is an invoice, but it doesn't give the origin of the parts. Some of the times are excessive in my view, but probably come from a standard estimate rather than actual. I see on the net it can take only a few minutes to remove a control arm. The control arms are new (I checked) and the discs certainly look new and like OEM ones. (I've a Forester and do all my own work on it so I'm familiar with its undersides). The invoice included an alignment but who knows?

I suspect all the parts have been thrown away now - the work was done last week and I didn't see all the details until the weekend. The idea of involving the NRMA isn't bad, he's been a member for about 50 years, but it would be interesting to see how they did it given the apparent ownership of the workshop.

He's found the whole thing disturbing and I'm not sure continuing it is a good idea given his health. This might mean the children of unmarried parents get away with it.

Regards,

Tim
 
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