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2011 Forester Ltd 2.5
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2011 Forester with around 44K miles on it.

Just got back from my 60,000 major maintenance. (60K maintenance at 44K because I don't put many miles on the car per year).

When I bought my Forester, most people agreed it was a good move. Heck, my cousin who works at NISSAN said "Subarus are great. They last forever."

Well, so these are the repairs they say need to be done at 44K:
Leaking power steering pump $829
Cracking serpentine belt $195
Broken engine ground straps $160
Rotted transmission cooler pipes $529
Camshaft carriers are leaking oil $3400
Front control arm brushings are cracking $589
Front sway bar links loose and cracked $295
Exhaust flanges rotted on mid pipe and mufflers $1545

Total estimate: $7542. At 44K miles. Not exactly "lasting forever" in my book. Yes, car parts wear out, but this is the total amount I would expect to pay over the next 5 or 6 YEARS, not all at once right now.

The service rep said they will talk to Subaru and the service manager to see what they can do. But c'mon, how much can they knock this down? She also suggested maybe they would work with me to buy a new car. Why would I want another Subaru at this point? So it can fall apart at 44,000 miles?

Thoughts?

Thanks for reading.
 

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2019 Forester
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A little searching says that Leaking camshaft carriers were more common back then and even with that low of mileage.

https://www.ultimatesubaru.org/foru...g-camshaft-carrier-seals-in-my-2011-forester/


Some of those prices for the other repairs are exaggerated. An exhaust shop can replace the entire muffler system for a few hundred dollars.

I'd consider taking the car to carmax or somewhere else and just trading it in for something else. Whats Subaru going to do.....knock 7,000 off your trade in value? Winters must be rough on cars regardless of miles driven.
 

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2005 Forester 2.5X RWD JDM 6mt
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453 Posts
Those look accurate for dealer labor rates (usually $85-$125 per hour) booked at hours from ALL-DATA suggestions, and for paying OEM prices from the dealer for new parts (MSRP)

That said, they are bending you over because dealers are a business, especially the service department. I'm not saying those things shouldn't wear, as most are common especially in snow/salt states, but there are better places to get the work done. Even if not all done at once.
 

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2011 Forester Ltd 2.5
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Winters must be rough on cars regardless of miles driven.
I agree, but remember when Subaru's advertising bragged they were the #1 car in Maine, Vermont, and Alaska? Hmm... suburban Boston shouldn't be as much as a strain on the car as those places.

I will definitely be looking at other mechanics. What do you think is most pressing? I'm guessing the oil leak needs to be addressed first. Which--hooray!--is the most expensive to fix.
 

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2011 Forester X Premium AT
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167 Posts
FYI engine ground straps are generic, about $6-10 each, and if you're handy enough to hang a picture on a wall then you can replace them yourself.
 

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2015 Forester2.5i Premium CVT
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I may be completely off-base, but to me this sound like a car that was driven on mostly short trips, that was parked outside in all weather, that was exposed to road salt and brine every winter without being given thorough undercarriage washings, and still made it eight years before saying "enough!" If this resembles the truth, rest assured that no other car would have done any better under these circumstances, and many would have been stopped dead long before this.

Now if it was garage-kept, and aways washed after driving in bad winter weather, and only taken on long, leisurely country drives, then I'm completely wrong and you've definitely got a beef!
 

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Sahuarita, AZ 2018 Forester Limited
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Find an independent Subaru-only shop and get second opinion and estimate.

I drove a 2010 for 197k miles and the only items on your list that it needed were the serpentine belt and control arm bushings.
 

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2006 Forester XTE 5 speed manual
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284 Posts
I live in the UK and EVERYTHING is more expensive here, but those prices are at least double what I would have to pay and I doubt much of it needs to be done now (why replace exhaust parts unless they have failed?). The dealer is ripping you off (or at least, attempting to). Go to an independent that is trusted and ask what needs doing. It will be a fraction of the dealer quote.
 

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2006 FXT 5mt
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62 Posts
Sway bar end links are $35 each from Subaru, or $20 each from MOOG or ACDELCO. They are a part that you can probably lay on the ground and fix in an hour or less yourself. All you need are wrenches, and sometimes a special tool depending on what links are on there.

A lot of the costs involved here are labor, which is obviously really expensive at dealers. Try taking it to another shop and getting an estimate for the same work and see how much cheaper it is?
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Premium 6-speed manual
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Due to the low mileage listed and not knowing how many owners it has had in the last eight years I normally assume that it was under maintained due to being hardly driven.

Of the repairs listed, I would consider two may be three items normal wear and tear and the rest of the damage directly related to the well documented needless use of, and the excessive "over saturation" of, road salt so common in New York and the New England Region of the "Salt Belt".
 

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2011 Forester Ltd 2.5
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I may be completely off-base, but to me this sound like a car that was driven on mostly short trips, that was parked outside in all weather, that was exposed to road salt and brine every winter without being given thorough undercarriage washings, and still made it eight years before saying "enough!" If this resembles the truth, rest assured that no other car would have done any better under these circumstances, and many would have been stopped dead long before this.
This is very accurate. Except, I've never had this problem with other cars.
 

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2017 Touring CVT
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Several of these items, although not all, are evidence of the desirability of buying a Subaru extended warranty. I drive relatively few miles and live in a heavy winter salt area, so I quickly leaned toward a long-term extension of warranty coverage, although the extensive electronic doodads also played a large part in my decision.
 

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2011 Forester Ltd 2.5
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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Several of these items, although not all, are evidence of the desirability of buying a Subaru extended warranty. I drive relatively few miles and live in a heavy winter salt area, so I quickly leaned toward a long-term extension of warranty coverage, although the extensive electronic doodads also played a large part in my decision.
Haha... yes I actually had an extended warranty. It ran out around eight months ago. Funny how they didn't see any of these problems before. :shrug:

I've done a little more research on another site, and have discovered that this type of camshaft leak is a common issue in Foresters of this era. And yet, they did not find this problem until now, just a few months after my extended warranty ran out. What a coincidence!
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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That is insane for an 8 year old Forester needing all that work
Those prices for jobs are equally insane, coming from someone in the UK whose prices are always much much higher.

The order I would do the jobs in are below
Job 1:
Serpentine Belt: Without this, you lose alternator, power steering and water pump
ACDELCO 6K864 {#88932768} Professional; Alternator, Power Steering and Air Conditioning $16.83
Personally I would change the tensioner at the sametime as that could be all rusted up etc too.
GATES 39359 {#23769AA040, 23769AA05A} DriveAlign Premium OE Automatic Belt Tensioner (Only 4 remaining) $51.79

Job 2:
Engine Grounding Straps: If these go, you can get faults and all sorts of codes and rough running
Check your local auto parts store for these or get some copper cable and create your own

Job 3:
Rotten Transmission Cooler Lines: If these go bad, you will leak transmission fluid. If that gets low, you're going to have a very bad (Expensive) day
RockAuto does not list an application for yours - Might be worth contacting Jackie to get a quote on parts from her.

Job 4:
Camshaft carriers - Up until this point you have been checking and topping up your oil right? This is why I put this at Job 4 and to be honest, depending on how bad the leak is, you could make it less of a priority.
I would go with a Subaru specialist/Independent for this job as it wont be simple - I'm curious how the dealership diagnosed the problem without opening everything up.
RockAuto does a range of seals, for whichever you need, or let the Subaru specialist install what they know is right

Job 5 and 6
Front control arm bushings - Very odd for all of the bushings to go in both controls arms.
I'm not sure how tricky it is to change these out yourself on the SH model - Might be a job for the specialist/independent while getting the oil leak sorted. The bushings are wear and tear items. If the control arms are rusted anyway, it might be worth changing out both front control arms which would come with all the bushings etc already in place so you don't need a press.
MEVOTECH CMS801051 Front Left Lower $73.79
MEVOTECH CMS801052 Front Right Lower $73.79
Or cheaper alternatives at $44.79 each by a company called Ultra-Power, whoever they are.

Front Sway Bar Links
I would typically go with AC Delco, Moog or Beck Arnley as they are known brands, but the below suggest rustproof so might have better resistance to it - If you have a 6 point socket set, vice grips and or a Dremel/hacksaw, you can replace these yourself fairly simply. These are wear and tear items
PROFORGED 11310542 Greaseable; Rustproof E-Coat Housing Front; Metal-to-metal HD bearing $24.79

Job 7 - This could affect you passing emissions testing so might be more of a priority to you depending if you need that doing soon.
Exhaust flanges rotten
You could go with new pipes or have an exhaust place fix you up a set.
I would be surprised to pay more than 300 for an exhaust shop knocking a set up.

Job 8 - If you want to bother.
Power Steering Pump Leak (Mine has been whining for years, going through countless pumps, Subaru and aftermarket - I've just gotten used to it - I'll get round to getting the Subaru pump changed out on warranty one day (3 year warranty on UK parts) If you really want a new pump, ask Jackie for a quote. From memory my pump was around $280 from memory.....But it was a few years back now and mine was a non-electric type. I'm not sure if your SH uses the more expensive electrical type

Total from RockAuto, excluding Labour, Camshaft carrier seals (~$10 each) and Grounding Straps, Transmission cooler lines and Shipping: $240.99
Gives you $7,301 change for a mechanic, the parts excluded and probably a nice vacation somewhere - Or an additional used car
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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@BostonEd -
"I will definitely be looking at other mechanics. What do you think is most pressing? I'm guessing the oil leak needs to be addressed first. Which--hooray!--is the most expensive to fix."

Actually, an oil leak is only a major problem for one reason: You can run out of oil. If you keep it from running out, by checking, it's only a minor expense, but not a major problem.... If it leaks a LOT, it can be messy, but that still doesn't make it a critical problem, just a messy one.
For a minor leak, clean it up occasionally.
It would take a long time to run through $3400 worth of oil and paper towels.

Your car could be eligible to get a new short block subject to the oil consumption class action lawsuit.
Take a look at this: https://www.classlawgroup.com/subaru-oil-consumption-class-action-lawsuit/
If it applies, you have 10 years / 100K and I would wait to have any engine work done when the engine is pulled when you fail the test, provided you have only a minimal leak that can be cleaned up.
BIG labor save in that case. Get your heads rebuilt by a third party once they are pulled and that will solve your oil leak if it's minor.

Experience has taught me to take anything a "stealership" tells you should be taken with a grain (ton) of salt.
Unfortunately, when some stealerships encounter someone who doesn't have any idea about their car, they act like a shark when there is blood in the water.

IMHO many of them are thieves with a license.

NEVER let a dealer (or anyone else) do an expensive repair to a running vehicle without a second or third opinion or be prepared to get royally screwed.
Very likely you can do better with an independent Subaru specialist, but your other option to consider doing some work yourself.

You can literally save thousands of dollars for some of those very simple repairs.
Online videos and information on this forum can help you decide what you care comfortable with, and will significantly reduce the cost of ownership.

$200 for a belt replacement? It takes all of 15 minutes if you are very slow and the belt is less than $15. Definitely an EASY DIY.

Leaking power steering pump is $829? You can buy a new one online for $130 and they aren't difficult to install.
I would replace it when the belt is replaced and flush the power steering fluid, also a super easy job.
The dealer typically charges $100 plus just for that alone.

Some other posters have commented on the other ridiculous overcharges.
You likely paid over $100 to have your cabin air filter replaced at your 60K ream job, and that is a less than $15 for the filter and takes all of 5 minutes to install.

If you have a LOT more money than time, this post might be a waste, but if it's just that you haven't worked on a car....
There is a forum member who never did an auto repair in his life, and he removed his engine and replaced his head gaskets himself saving thousands of dollars.

Aside from the oil leak, much of the work listed is a mole hill compared to the mountain that member successfully climbed.
 

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2019 Forester
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DragonSubie may be right. You should contact SOA before you do anything else. Maybe Subaru would help you. You already have a verified concern from the dealership.
 

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2003 Forester AW Manual with low ratio
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Been looking at this thread, thinking of how to put my words together, and the advice just above is spot on, go with it. Serpentine belt and corroded fluid lies as a priority but the info about the extended warranty dates are shocking, they really are taking you and other folks for a ride here. The prices are designed to make you buy a new car, without any doubt. In reality not all of the work needs doing ( can you live with leaking camshaft covers, and keep an eye on the oil level? I probably would at that price). Take a little time finding a good independent specialist and you will save a fortune and still have a reliable car.
P.S. And make whatever complaint you can about the X tended warranty and not having these" faults" found within the warranty period, but ask for a refund of the warranty rather than a goodwill payment off the stealers prices to get the work done!
 

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2015 Forester2.5i Premium CVT
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This is very accurate. Except, I've never had this problem with other cars.
So given that you’ve mistreated (sorry, but it’s true) all your cars the same way, I’d suggest that you’ve been lucky they all didn’t have similar deterioration.

But yeah, survey some reliable independent mechanics for better estimates and workarounds. They will all take one look at your car and immediately decide they desperately want you as a customer. :grin2:
 
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