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2016 Forester XT Limited
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Discussion Starter #1
Wanted to see if anyone else had come across an issue with pealing-flaking paint on the die-cast sections of the front wiper arms. While I have seen this on older cars, my FXT started presenting bubbling since year 2 of the car! Now, it started flaking off. Dealer took pics of the issue several times before finally getting back to mw today to say that Subaru Canada will not cover this. (Had a few other issues that involved Subaru Canada which were solved)

Solving this requires replacing the entire arm; which probably will amount to the same result in 2 years (unless I got a illegitimate offspring batch on my vehicle). The other solution would be to take them off and repaint them; but this is more something I would do on a '99 Civic... car is too new to go down that route. :(

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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The issue should have been taken care of when the vehicle was 2 years old by warranty - assuming you're the original owner. That may be why SoC is not covering the replacement NOW, it is now many years later. And there may not be any notation of this in the records so they can't know that this issue started 3 years ago. That's also why the car is not "too new for this to happen". Paint is paint and there are just times when something happens during the application process that cause a less than perfect finish years later.

There is no "cost" or "value" issue as to why it could happen on one brand and should not happen on another... As the saying goes "stuff happens"...

My 2014 Forester doesn't have any issues with the wiper arms and the black paint finish bubbling or peeling off. Others MAY have had this problem, but I don't recall seeing many mentions of this in the last few years I've been around. My car has 7 years (bought summer 2013) of wear and environmental effects including desert heats (90 or more days of over 100 degree heat, 300+ days of sun and years of being washed. This kind of makes the concept of this happening in another 2 years a minimal possibility.

Chances are it is a combination of something faulty in the painting process 5 or 6 years ago (when the wiper arms were manufactured) and 5+ years of environmental wear and tear from sitting in the sun, snow, rain and air, washes, and more. Again, this probably won't happen in 2 years.

The wiper arms show to be available for about 30 to 50 bucks each (US dollars) from many sources. There are even youtube videos on how to do it... If anybody should do something about it - it would be the dealer as they should have the history of this issue - from what you've posted - of the bubbling finish to the now-peeling paint.
 

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2016 Forester XT Limited
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Discussion Starter #3
Agree, dealer was made aware of issue before year 3 and took pictures, etc, but somehow did not get back to me. This week, I mentioned it for the 4th time, they took pictures for the 4th time, and, this time, called me back the next day (new guy kept his word). The Subaru Canada rep was at the dealer that same day, so got a quick answer. I too did not see much on the topic, so I guess this is a illegitimate offspring case. I'll take them off and restaure them myself before winter. If I'm not happy with it, will one day get the new parts. It's more a question of principle as I have a Subaru Extended Warranty just for these types of things.
 

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Just one question - why didn't the dealer replace/fix the issue back when first noticed and first documented?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Rep at dealer said he needed to consult with "manager".... and would get back to me.
 

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That sounds like a bs answer to me... But then again... Either way, I think it would be a good thing if the dealer that has seen and recorded this issue to offer at least a partial replacement cost. But that's me...
 

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.....yeah, even my wife's '08 didn't look like that after around 13 years. They are still appear new but then again, I'm weird and actually apply wax / sealant / coatings to those bits including all off the other trim, cowling, etc.

If all else fails, yes, you can just paint them using a trim paint or something else that will leave a satin / matte finish. I did this on my '86 4Runner and the bits came out looking new.
 

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2016 Forester XT Limited
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Discussion Starter #9
I have been maintaining my vehicles like I did my collector cars, but admit that I don't wax the Wiper Arms regularly ;) . It started as bubble on the curved edge above the hinge pin (both arms). The rest of the die-cast arm is intact (including the inside). Clearly a defect on the part.

Here are 2 better pics taken this spring.
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This reinforces the need to get complete documentation in the dealers write-up for every issue in every service visit. If you had that for that pre-year 3 visit you would be golden. Bummer that guy deflected your original report of the problem.
 

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That bubbling is also what a chemical reaction might look like and looking at its location around the joint area, I have to ask.....

@DJTremblay , do you happen to apply a lubricant / product to the joints of your wiper arms? Given the localized damage in that area, I'm wondering if this might be a potential cause.
 

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I wonder the same things - but this could also be a case of the protective coating or processes BEFORE being painted black not being done right. I mean, we all know how the body of the car is protected by a rust-preventative coat and/or primer before the color finish is added. Does the wiper arm assembly get a similar type of 'pre-coat' or primer before the matte black finish is applied?
 
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