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A Beautiful 2001 2.5L N/A Forester that can run on WATER! Yours can't, so don't try it at home.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I NEED A LIST OF ALL PARTS THAT ARE,
OR CAN BE DAMAGED BY WATER IN FUEL.
(Immediate, and future damage resulting from same incident.)Thanks in advance.
I need information. Not smart mouth remarks. Please, be helpful or move along.

I have a very nice 2001 5 speed Forester with the 2.5 N/A

This car had no leaks, ticks, knocks, smoke, anything... It was a very healthy car to say the least.... Now it seems to have all of the problems above and more.

A few of weeks ago on Christmas Eve 2022, I refueled at a gas station off of I-81 in SW Virginia. As we got back on 81, after filling the Forester with gas....It started misfiring, then boom!

Loud chattering, pinging, knocking, loss of fuel economy (used over half a tank in a very short trip), CEL came on, huge loss of power, all from what I assume was water flooding at least 2 cylinders... Etc....
Obviously water isn't combustible, and I had just filled up, you do the math.

Unfortunately, due to our financial situation, and the poor weather that day, we were unable to afford a tow truck and in turn, we were forced to continue driving the car the rest of the way home.

I gotta give it to Subaru, the car didn't leave us stranded, even though it was being murdered by bad fuel. It still got us home safely.

That's where it remained parked, until I changed the oil. In doing so, I noticed a lot of tiny bubbles indicating water in the oil.(Not coolant as far as I can tell.)
The oil was also very dark, way darker than normal. I also removed and cleaned all 4 spark plugs. They had been replaced at the last oil change. Along with new wires, and a new coil pack. The plugs had definite signs of being fouled. Especially #4, which was caked with so much build up, it definitely couldn't fire. I then topped the gas tank with a bottle of Heet, and 100% ethanol free, unleaded gasoline.

After doing this, the car is still running so poorly we can't drive it.
It sounded slightly better after the fresh oil, but ultimately no actual improvement. Still tons of ticking, pinging, knocking, misfiring, backfiring, smoke and moisture from tailpipe, almost no power, tries to stall starting from a stop, seems to burn oil now, has trouble starting and idling, etc., etc., etc......

As I said before, we are not able to afford repairs, and it's our only transportation.
We called the Station to complain, and the manager told us the tanks are checked every day or every other day.
I'm now in contact with the gas stations "litigation manager", Who refuses to accept or admit the possibility of their gas ruining my car.

She reports no complaints of bad gas at that store, even though we called and complained. She also said that the tanks couldn't be tested because they sell too much gas. Which is the exact opposite of what the manager we complained to said.

I'm attempting to settle this out of court, because I don't even have the money for diagnosis, and definitely none for an attorney...
The gas station litigation manager claims she needs to speak with the certified Subaru mechanic that diagnoses it directly. I don't understand why when i have the evidence pointing to bad gas, and people who can verify the car never had an issue until after refueling it there on Christmas Eve.

I feel like I'm gonna get screwed. Every time I present what she asked for, she has another excuse.

I called the closest dealership and explained the symptoms over the phone. To which I was told it sounds like bad gas, and was given an estimate of $7800 for (most, not necessarily all) parts BEFORE labor.

I forwarded a photo of the list of parts, and the litigation manager called and spoke to the same dealership. She claims the estimate is not acceptable because I didn't physically take the car to the shop. I've told her 20 times I can't afford to. I know I can win triple what I'm asking in court, but I just want my car fixed.

I need any advice you all have.
As well as a list of any and all parts,
I will, or could need. Other friendly advice is also welcome.

I'm gathering as much evidence possible.
At this point I fear even if I take it in and pay for them to confirm the same diagnosis I have already given, through researching symptoms and information given by more knowledgeable people, that She might say it's still not enough 馃檮馃う

Thanks a ton! This is an awesome community!

P.S.
I hope you liked the novel!
 

Super Moderator
2001 Forester S, 4EAT
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@Jolleyization I sympathize with your situation especially from a financial side.

You're not on good ground with fighting the gas station. They're correct you need to provide proof, but guess what? That requires you pay for the repairs up front and proof from the shop that your issues are truly related to what you claim. Because you did not spend $$ to repair the vehicle and therefore DO NOT have actual proof, ie parts showing water damage, they're not obligated to do anything for you. It's your word against them.

Not the same issue, but back in 2002, my 2001 was in a harsh crash taking good portion of the left front end(Fender, bumper, front suspension, etc....). I got the car back, but never thought that a strange front end vibration was related. I finally decided to tackle the vibration in 2008-2012. So once I figured out the vibration was due to the accident, there really was no way I could go back to the insurance company (I signed a release), and claim the vehicle was never fixed properly. I spent $$$ between 2008-2012 including multiple brake jobs(everyone claimed warped rotors), new front wheel bearings, new front ball joints and finally the real reason was bent hub/spindle!!!!. All the other $$ I spent were not even related to the vibration.
 

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A Beautiful 2001 2.5L N/A Forester that can run on WATER! Yours can't, so don't try it at home.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That requires you pay for the repairs up front and proof from the shop that your issues are truly related to what you claim. Because you did not spend $$ to repair the vehicle and therefore DO NOT have actual proof, ie parts showing water damage, they're not obligated to do anything for you.
I have $17 to my name. What part of, I CAN'T AFFORD IT, do people not understand?
 

Super Moderator
2001 Forester S, 4EAT
Joined
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@Jolleyization I edited my original post. But you're asking for things which you cannot afford: legal advise and written proof that your vehicle was truly damaged by water in the fuel. I drive a diesel and when fueling stations accidently mix gasoline in with their underground diesel tank, I am stuck initially with the repair estimates from a repair shop, I then take the repair estimate to the fueling station to file my claim. That is the written proof your looking for. My vehicle will then sit at the shop until I receive compensation from the fueling station.

My point being because you tried to save money, you've actually dug yourself into a hole.
 

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2001 Forester S, 4EAT
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@Jolleyization In your case if you truly have water in the fuel, the repairs possibly include:
  • Draining/cleaning the fuel tank, fuel lines
  • Possibly replacing fuel injectors.
  • Internal engine damage?
You might want to try and file a claim with your car insurance......
 

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A Beautiful 2001 2.5L N/A Forester that can run on WATER! Yours can't, so don't try it at home.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@Jolleyization I sympathize with your situation especially from a financial side.

Not the same issue, but back in 2002, my 2001 was in a harsh crash taking good portion of the left front end(Fender, bumper, front suspension, etc....). I got the car back, but never thought that a strange front end vibration was related. I finally decided to tackle the vibration in 2008-2012. So once I figured out the vibration was due to the accident, there really was no way I could go back to the insurance company (I signed a release), and claim the vehicle was never fixed properly. I spent $$$ between 2008-2012 including multiple brake jobs(everyone claimed warped rotors), new front wheel bearings, new front ball joints and finally the real reason was bent hub/spindle!!!!. All the other $$ I spent were not even related to the vibration.

That's absolutely terrible. How were you to know the person responsible for providing the service, didn't provide the service correctly? It's not your fault that you trusted the repairs had been made correctly, resulting in you spending more money in an effort to fix your vehicle. You'd think for someone else's mistake, you'd be owed. Even after all the time passed. I'm aware that unfortunately, that's not the world we live in.

In my situation, I still believe the company should compensate us. Not only for damages and repairs, but at this point for the inconveniences as well.
 

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A Beautiful 2001 2.5L N/A Forester that can run on WATER! Yours can't, so don't try it at home.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@Jolleyization In your case if you truly have water in the fuel, the repairs possibly include:
  • Draining/cleaning the fuel tank, fuel lines
  • Possibly replacing fuel injectors.
  • Internal engine damage?
You might want to try and file a claim with your car insurance......
I have liability only.
 

Super Moderator
2001 Forester S, 4EAT
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In my situation, I still believe the company should compensate us. Not only for damages and repairs, but at this point for the inconveniences as well.
I agree with you that you should be covered for damages and repairs. Is there someone you know with legal background that will help you for min., fee? As that's where you're going to have to take it. Even if we all here and tell you what needs to be fixed without looking a the vehicle, that's not going to help you legally as they have fired the first warning shot, "We need written proof from the shop." So the ball is in your court on how you want to proceed next.
 

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A Beautiful 2001 2.5L N/A Forester that can run on WATER! Yours can't, so don't try it at home.
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@Jolleyization I edited my original post. But you're asking for things which you cannot afford: legal advise and written proof that your vehicle was truly damaged by water in the fuel. I drive a diesel and when fueling stations accidently mix gasoline in with their underground diesel tank, I am stuck initially with the repair estimates from a repair shop, I then take the repair estimate to the fueling station to file my claim. That is the written proof your looking for. My vehicle will then sit at the shop until I receive compensation from the fueling station.

My point being because you tried to save money, you've actually dug yourself into a hole.
Not only was it an effort to save money,
it was an effort to fix the car.
As I said it's our only transportation.

I also thought it may help to avoid all of this in the first place.

Wouldn't a mechanic be able to confirm the damage was caused by bad gas, even if the bad gas has been removed?


Diesel trucks can definitely be a pain, especially in the winter. I sold mine this year because of financial issues and bought this Subaru. My luck has been extraordinary.
 

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2010 X Limited, 2.5L NA, 4AT. Purchased as the second owner in 2020 with ~126K miles.
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Sorry about your troubles.

Water in the gas usually results in damage limited to the fuel system components all the way up to and including the injectors.

Whatever circumstances required you to continue to drive the car and force it to continue, doing so likely caused the majority of the rest of the damage damage.

This is a bad situation and I don't see a clear path to resolution. A smart outfit would give you a couple of grand and call it even. A 2001 isn't worth a lot of money. They know that.
 

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A Beautiful 2001 2.5L N/A Forester that can run on WATER! Yours can't, so don't try it at home.
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
And when I get this, can she still refuse, or is that case closed and a check?
 

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A Beautiful 2001 2.5L N/A Forester that can run on WATER! Yours can't, so don't try it at home.
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The value of the car is less than the repairs. I'm aware. However I want the same car that was ruined by them, repaired by Subaru. Which I know and you know and they know, is gonna be up there. If they were smart they'd give me what I've requested, instead of 3x that in a suit.
 

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2010 X Limited, 2.5L NA, 4AT. Purchased as the second owner in 2020 with ~126K miles.
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I understand your situation. The value of your claim without some degree of personal injury is very low by relative standards. I understand your situation. If you can find a lawyer who will talk to you for free about taking the case on spec, you will find that there is not enough damage here to warrant a case. I understand how hard it can be. In larger cases, if a judgement is ordered for the plaintiff, defendants can continue to find actions that delay the requirement to pay. Otherwise, failure to pay small claims are just ignored unless the court goes after them.
 

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A Beautiful 2001 2.5L N/A Forester that can run on WATER! Yours can't, so don't try it at home.
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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
I understand your situation. The value of your claim without some degree of personal injury is very low by relative standards. I understand your situation. If you can find a lawyer who will talk to you for free about taking the case on spec, you will find that there is not enough damage here to warrant a case. I understand how hard it can be. In larger cases, if a judgement is ordered for the plaintiff, defendants can continue to find actions that delay the requirement to pay. Otherwise, failure to pay small claims are just ignored unless the court goes after them.

Well what, if anything, should I do now?
Or am I going to be forced to let it go and call it a loss?
 
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