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2018 Forester XT Limited CVT
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2018 XT Limited and had a fuel smell in the passenger compartment. The dealership replaced one fuel injector and redid the seals on the three others and while that has gotten rid of the fuel smell, it seems that everything the dealership touches has a problem shortly afterwards. The latest:

We were driving home from a local ski hill on the highway and after an hour and a half, there was a loud pop and then the engine started running like crap. I managed to pull over to the side of the highway before the engine died. Restarting the engine, I could get the engine to run for 10 seconds with a lot of lights coming on on the dashboard, before the engine died again. I had my wife and young son with me and we had some important errands to run on the way home, and being stuck at the side of the highway in a remote area wasn't in the plan.

It had sounded like the pop came from underneath the car so I looked underneath and didn't find anything out of the ordinary. Not that I could see a lot by lying on the ground beside the car. But under the hood I found that the pipe on one side of the intercooler had popped off. So I had to unload all of our suitcases and ski gear and arrange them at the side of the highway, get the screwdriver that is with the spare tire and jack etc, keep my wife and kid safe away from traffic, and see if I can get this stuff back together and see if I can get the car running.

What angers me is that the way the pipe attaches to the intercooler, there's a rubber gasket that is keyed so it fits only one way, and it has ridges and mating shapes in the intercooler and pipe, so that if you tighten down the hose clamp, that thing is definitely not coming off. If it is installed correctly, it shouldn't come off, even under max boost, especially on a car that is less than a year old and has only 15,000 km (9,300 mi) on it. But the dealership had to take everything off the top of the engine, including the intercooler, intake manifold, and everything else attached to that stuff, to access the fuel injectors. And they put this stuff back together quickly and carelessly, and now this pipe has popped off, stranding us at the side of the highway. And depending on traffic and where we were, we could easily have been involved in a collision either as we were coming to a stop, or as we were parked at the side of the highway.

After getting everything back together, and with the pipe reconnected to the intercooler, the connection is very secure. When all the parts interlock and the hose clamp is tightened, that thing is not coming off. I started the engine and revved it around a bit, and everything ran normally and there were no error indications on the dashboard. We repacked the car, cleaned our hands with drive-through napkins (some of the parts had oil on the internal surfaces, probably from the PCV), and continued with our day. The car ran normally for the rest of the day.

I think the gauge on the dashboard says the max boost is 17-18 PSI, but I don't see more than 8-10 PSI in normal driving, so that pipe connection wasn't under any abnormal stress. I haven't followed the pipes around or done much work on the car (I got this car new from the dealership in April 2018 and have done just one oil change), but I assume that since the pipe blew off the side of the intercooler, that it's pressurised in this location when the turbo produces positive pressure. I assume that if this part is under vacuum, the vacuum helps hold the parts together.

Shortly after I got the car back from the dealership after they had done the fuel-injector work, the car developed what seemed like a horrible exhaust rattle, that eventually faded away. I didn't go check under the car because we had a few inches of slush on the road, but after a few days of driving the rattle went away so I was going to take a look around the next time the weather allowed. But maybe because this recent intercooler problem made the noise seem like it was from underneath the body of the car, maybe the rattle had nothing to do with the exhaust, and maybe the noise was caused by a leaky connection at the intercooler.

I assume that this intercooler connection doesn't normally pop off on its own, and this problem was caused by shoddy work at the dealership. During the same appointment at the dealership, they changed my GPS antenna, and damaged and didn't reassemble my dashboard properly, among other problems.

https://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f88/gas-smell-cold-weather-745881/index2.html#post7508005

What is the best course of action? Should I approach the dealership? Should I approach Subaru Canada?

Attached are a few pictures. The first one shows the pipe as I found it. The second shows the pipe as I found it, and after I had removed the plastic cover over the top of the engine. The third shows a mounting bracket molded into the centre of the length of pipe. I didn't look at that bracket closely and don't know whether or not the hole in the bracket is supposed to go all the way around.
 

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‘14 FXTT; '15 Legacy FB25
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Do you use this dealer for any routine maintenance? If so, they may offer you a few free oil changes. If not, then they'll offer you a few free oil changes and their sincerest apology, neither of which will do you any good.

I've had issues with a (normally) great dealer where small things were loose or not installed correctly due to a lack of attention to detail. The ONLY one a pursued was the crease they put in my side trim due to not positioning the lift shoes correctly. They replaced it, no questions asked.

Also, you bring up a very important point that is often neglected: tools!

1. Flat Tire: the crowbar that comes with the spare is so crappy that I always put my own bar in their when we go on any trips over a couple of hours.

-----Also, check the pressure in your spare. Most don't and over several years it drops from its spec'd 60#. I often find family member's (that I've never checked before) between 0 and 20#

2. Tools: Keep all tools in a small box or bundle that is easily accessible.

3. First-aid: I keep a small kit in the left or right cubby, which it fits perfectly into without taking up cargo space

4. Protection: I keep a couple of pairs of thick nitrile gloves in my car at all times.

I've luckily never been stranded and had to use them that way, but I was one of ONLY TWO FREAKING PEOPLE who stopped for a motorcycle accident and I didn't want to get any of the rider's blood on me while I inspected him for lacerations. His clothes were covered in blood, but it was luckily all superficial. I had never thought of needing gloves for first-aid, but I'm glad I had them.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
I used to get routine maintenance done at a different dealership after I purchased my 2007 Forester XS. I would also agree to things when they would call me and say XYZ fluid looks dirty, I recommend we change it. But then one time they wanted to turn my rotors and then later when I looked at the rotors it didn't look like they had done anything. I phoned them and the service advisor said he saw the guy doing it. I never went back and did my own maintenance after that.

Then the new dealership closer to home opened up. I went there for a timing belt service and clutch service, both on the 2007, and didn't have any problems (that I am aware about). Then of course 2018 came along and I had to buy one because it was the last year for the turbo, and I bought it from the dealership closer to home.

Initially when I found the damaged dashboard panel, my plan was that if they offered me a free oil change, I'd ask for the equivalent value in oil filters and crush washers. But that never materialised and later when I went to have the replacement dashboard panel installed, I also went to the parts counter to get a $0.75 plastic rivet thing and the service manager told the parts guy to give it to me for free. So I got a free $0.75 plastic rivet thing.

This time because it's not cosmetic and I got stranded at the side of the road because of the shoddy workmanship, I want to report it directly to Subaru. So far all I've found is a "contact us" form that gives me 1500 characters to write something, but I'll keep looking.

I normally have a small socket set in the car but had taken all my personal stuff out of the car when I left the car with the dealership. I hadn't put anything back into the car because the ski hill was only a couple hours away. Good point about the gloves and first aid kit. I should put those thigs into my car. I did check the spare tire and it was 40 PSI and I brought it back up to 60 PSI before a ski trip earlier this year (4 hours away). At that time I also checked to make sure the jack and all that stuff was actually in the car, because I had never looked at it since the car was new.
 

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‘14 FXTT; '15 Legacy FB25
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[email protected] is what I've used MANY times when inquiring about things with SoA. They haven't always been helpful, usually deferring to the local dealer, but they do light a fire under the dealer's butts when I'm having trouble getting a call back or informative responses. I've had the email responses refer to the actual service manager, so it seemed more likely that they WERE actually contacting the dealer about my concerns.

Also, before I purchased my '08 STI new and '14 FXT new I emailed them about loyalty incentives. I got a grand check back from them for the STI and $750 for the FXT, which was better than nothing.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
[email protected] is what I've used MANY times when inquiring about things with SoA. They haven't always been helpful, usually deferring to the local dealer, but they do light a fire under the dealer's butts when I'm having trouble getting a call back or informative responses. I've had the email responses refer to the actual service manager, so it seemed more likely that they WERE actually contacting the dealer about my concerns.
I'm looking for something similar, for Subaru Canada. When they damaged my dashboard, I sent the pictures to the service manager at the dealership, and he ordered a replacement and installed it. But I want to contact Subaru directly and light a fire under his butt this time because we got stranded at the side of the road. If we were in inclement weather, it would have been very unpleasant to be doing that roadside repair, if not quite dangerous.

If I don't find a way to contact Subaru about my concerns, I'll just have to use my 1500 characters to ask them for more contact info and give them some context.
 

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‘14 FXTT; '15 Legacy FB25
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I'm looking for something similar, for Subaru Canada. When they damaged my dashboard, I sent the pictures to the service manager at the dealership, and he ordered a replacement and installed it. But I want to contact Subaru directly and light a fire under his butt this time because we got stranded at the side of the road. If we were in inclement weather, it would have been very unpleasant to be doing that roadside repair, if not quite dangerous.

If I don't find a way to contact Subaru about my concerns, I'll just have to use my 1500 characters to ask them for more contact info and give them some context.
Jeez, major brain flub on my part! Sorry for not noticing your location!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here is the response from a Customer Care Liaison at Subaru Canada:

"Upon getting in touch with the dealership, we were made aware that the dealership is not aware of your concern as of yet. The service manager and their district manager who is a representative of Subaru Canada has recommended that you bring your concern to the attention of the dealership and they will be able to assist you with your concern.

We recommend to speak [sic] to the Service Manager when you get to the dealership as he has been made aware of your concerns."

So.... I guess I COULD just make minor changes to my email and send it off including pictures to the service manager, but I don't know how the dealership will be able to assist me with my concern. I certainly don't want to let them touch my car again. Everything they have touched has ended up in something broken or installed incorrectly. I have already dealt with the service manager when he replaced my broken dashboard panel.

Should I send the email to them? I suspect they won't be able to resolve my concern. If they ask me if they can make it up to me somehow, what should I say?
 
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