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2008 Forester 2.5X
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146 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've debated about posting negative comments regarding Subaru, but at the same time this is an information sharing board, so I'm going to share. And I'll try to remain objective.

Purchased my Forester in September of '07, '08 2.5x Base 5spd, brand new with about 10 miles on the OD. Drove off the lot and didn't return to dealer until 32K miles. I did all my own maintenance on the vehicle logging everything into mysubaru.com (of which SOA erased when upgrading the site).

I had the dealer check the mystery trans leak, short cycling AC compressor, grinding trans, and some other dumb crap. No issues found. During my owner ship just about every oil filter leaked (included OEM Subaru) except for some Nippen's I bought. At one point I stopped at the dealer to complain and was told that my aftermarket filter cause the leak and I would void the warrenty if I continued to use them. Again they also couldn't find the trans leak eventhough the oil was burnt to the exhaust pipe. Smelled great too!

So I called SOA and they said the dealer tells SOA if an item has an issue or not. So if the dealer says it's not an issue SOA will not do anything. SOA also gave me crap about doing my own service and that they didn't have "evidence of proper maintenance on the vehicle". They did allow a 2nd opinion from another dealer. The 2nd dealer also said the trans was not leaking, eventhough I made the guy physically put his hand on the puddle of oil sitting on the cross member under the trans.

About this time the warranty expired and I no longer cared to deal with Subaru on anything. So at 77K my AC compressor ceased up. Couldn't get parts. Estimate from dealer was $3500. I orded the stuff from Hodges (thanks) and had a guy in town fix it. After two months of the car sitting, when I started to drive it again, seemed like 5th was going out. Changed the gear oil again and it seemed to calm the beast.

Perhaps mine was a lemon. I don't know. But SOA does not stand behind their products. My issues where not that severe. Not as bad as chipping paint or spun bearings like the folks on NASIOC. It baffles me why I couldn't get the dealers to actually help me and then I got "go stuff it" from SOA. I don't think I should be punished for being a gearhead and wanted to do my own maintenance work. I changed the oil, filters, gear oil, rear diff oil, coolant, plugs, etc at the severe intervals. Kept records, receipts, even photos. I drove the car every two weeks to FL and back on the hwy. I didn't abuse the car EVER!

I could go on.......

I think that anyone new to Subaru should go out of there way to build a dealer record of service. And before purchasing a new Subaru beware of the fact that every service visit will cost $50 up to $1000 for the 30k, etc.

This has to be one my worst new car ownership experiences. I'm thankful that its gone. Now time to unfriend Subaru from my life!

I wish ya'll the best. Please buy or come pick up the Subaru crap I still have. Thanks.
 

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2000 Forester
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263 Posts
Sorry to hear about your experiences! I'd say the main reason they give you crap about doing your own service is that they can't determine your excellent quality of service from your neighbor who never changes his oil. Good luck with your new car...which great car company did you go with anyway?
 

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TANSTAAFL
2010 2.5X Premium AFF 4EAT
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481 Posts
Sorry to hear of your bad experiences with your Sube but I'm guessing you'll continue to have similar dealership attitudes no matter what manufacturer you choose to buy a vehicle from if you insist on doing your own maintenance, then expect warranty coverage if anything rolls a seven...no matter how qualified you are as an auto technician.
 

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03X MT
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847 Posts
I don't think any mfg requires that the dealer provides the service for a warranty to remain intact?
 

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1998 Forester
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602 Posts
You probably got a lemon. Even when a particular model is well engineered and tested, sometimes a few bad apples slip thru the production process. I had a lemon Totoyta Celica once..it was a used car out of warranty so not much I could do except get rid of it.

With a new car with so many problems, the first thing you should always do is file a complaint with your state's division of consumer protection. many states now have 'lemon' laws that state if certain issues cannot be fixed or are not acknowledged by the dealer within a reasonable amount of time...dealer has to take the junkheap back. That is what we pay taxes for to have an advocate....in the future use it.
 

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2009 2.5X EJ253 Manual
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2,830 Posts
So I called SOA and they said the dealer tells SOA if an item has an issue or not. So if the dealer says it's not an issue SOA will not do anything. SOA also gave me crap about doing my own service and that they didn't have "evidence of proper maintenance on the vehicle".
Exact, and I mean exact same way we were treated by Volkswagen of America during a dispute we initiated over an issue with the wife's 2005 Beetle TDI. Seems like the corporate just parrots the dealer's stance. We could not even get to talk with a field engineer regional rep because they won't allow customer to talk to the field reps, the dealer again is the middleman.

Sorry to hear of your very bad experience with the Forester.

Good luck and I hope you get a good car.
 

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2009 Forester Limited
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20 Posts
When you call the 1-800 number for any manufacturer you will be talking to a level 1 person looking at a computer knowledge base. I have had the same reponse from Toyota, Honda, Audi. You have to get beyond level 1 to stand a chance. Requesting a meeting with the regional service rep and your service manager with a senior tech present has got some resolutions in the past. Have had the cost of out of warranty repairs on things that should not have failed reduced as a result.

I have had better luck working with the service manager or dealer general manager as I have a few dealers in my area that want you to refer customers and want you to buy future cars from them.

Agree it is a crap shoot with a new car (they are becoming computers on wheels) and I have gotten a few with more problems than normal.

Toyota is always fun to deal with. They usually say you are the first one to ever have this problem even when the forums are full of owners with the same issue.
 

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2017 2.0 FXT-Touring CVT
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2,457 Posts
Wow, that's terrible. I had similar experiences with Ford (several vehicles). I will never do business with Ford. My dad had similar problems with GM as well. We all switched to Toyota for personal use, but I switched to Subaru when my wife and I moved to the New England area. I think I found a good dealer, but only time will tell.
 

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2007 Sports XT 4EAT
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2,503 Posts
Sorry to hear about your bad experience. Unfortunately, no manufacturer is perfect and you got unlucky with both your vehicle and the quality of service received from your dealership... I know other Subaru dealerships have really gone to bat for people when they've had issues.

Nice use of the "word of the year", BTW. Best of luck to you with your future vehicles.
 

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NA No more! :(
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8,529 Posts
I would probably be in the same position if I had your experiences! Definitely does sound like a lemon and I sure wish the dealership was more helpful. Even if they could find the source of the leak, they sure could have gone the extra step to open up an SOA ticket to continue searching for it instead of saying no issues found.
 

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2008 Forester 2.5X
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146 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks guys (& gals).

I really like this forum and it was part of the reason I bought the car. Not to mention that I've always loved the concept behind the Forester. I probably could have taken the car back to the dealer for oil changes, but it's so difficult when I'm an hour plus away, work all the time, and then drive to Tampa to see my wife and family every two weeks. Sitting at a dealer for an hour plus the drive, when I can chg oil in 15 minutes or less at home....

I sold a VW Golf TDI in Sept 07 and then bought the Forester. I gave up on that crappy warranty and found a private mechanic that is almost Godly. Didn't have the same luck on the Subaru brand. The VW ran perfect until 95K and then cost me nearly $4500...

Toyota is good if you continue to bother them, Honda about the same. Ford and GM simply don't fix anything. Their warranty is only enforced with lawyers.

The lemon law only applies under certain conditions, which I didn't meet.

I now have a Nissan. I hope it will be better. I will probably take the car in for the major service intervals which are a lot less frequent and less costly than Subaru. After the warranty runs off I'll probably do as much as I can myself. I did find an interesting note already. Nissan has extended the CVT warranty to 10 years 120,000 miles based upon customer complaints about the extreme cost to repair/replace the CVT. Not sure if this is good or bad news, but at least Nissan did something in response to their customers.
 

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2000 Forester
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5 Posts
In the world of customer relations, there are two roads to take by a business or enterprise in the context of dealing with customer problems: absorbing the cost or part of it, or requiring the customer to pay for the repair.

The place where the rubber meets the road is the service department of the local dealer. These people may be encouraged to find a way to put the onus on the customer. No matter who is going to pay for the repair, putting a car on a lift and replacing parts costs money. It's not free for any dealer to do any work on any car, they must provide the facility, parts and labor if someone else is not paying. If the larger company refuses to pay, the middleman or the customer must make it up.

What is lost many times due to a myopic view of the bottom line is customer satisfaction. If a dealership can make something right, even if it is out of warranty a bit, they can foster good will and loyalty among their customer base. This fosters return business, which is very important in the automobile retail sector. Still, only a nuanced manager will recognize the benefit of helping a customer in the name of maintaining their loyalty...and for good reason, car buyers are notoriously fickle.

Still, some dealerships have cracked the equation, and will help out customers with the hopes of retaining their business later...they come out on top. It's just frustrating to know that many of them are too ignorant to know it.
 

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2009 2.5X EJ253 Manual
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2,830 Posts
The CVT in Nissan's is made by JATCO, who also supplies other manufacturers. However,JATCO does make one of the better CVT's, the one in the Nissan's is in its 3rd gen I think.
 

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2008 Forester 2.5X
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146 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Sorry to hear of your bad experiences with your Sube but I'm guessing you'll continue to have similar dealership attitudes no matter what manufacturer you choose to buy a vehicle from if you insist on doing your own maintenance, then expect warranty coverage if anything rolls a seven...no matter how qualified you are as an auto technician.
So then by this logic all warranties are void by those who perform their own maintenance? I would tend to agree with this sentiment in regards to Subaru. However, I have not had this particular problem on the other brands my wife and I have owned. Everything from Japanese, to German, to Domestic. Even the old '89 XT6. Heck VW, if maintenance comes into question regarding warrantied part failure, will ask for your records, and then follow through with the work.
 

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2009 Impreza OutbackSport 4EAT
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404 Posts
The CVT in Nissan's is made by JATCO, who also supplies other manufacturers. However,JATCO does make one of the better CVT's, the one in the Nissan's is in its 3rd gen I think.
JATCO also manufacturers the 4EAT in modern Subarus. I wonder if they also make the new CVT in the 2010 Legacy? That is one car I'd consider if I needed a larger passenger car.
 

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2008 Forester 2.5X
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146 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
JATCO also manufacturers the 4EAT in modern Subarus. I wonder if they also make the new CVT in the 2010 Legacy? That is one car I'd consider if I needed a larger passenger car.
I'm sure it is. My buddy just bought one. I'll probably never be more than one house away from a Subaru. Hope he has better luck.
 

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Premium Member
2008 2008 2.5i-2018 XT
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13,234 Posts
Lets face it. No matter how good the car there will always be a certain percentage of dissatisfied customers. In your case it was a lemon with a poor dealership. Not saying it was your fault, but I believe that with enough effort the problems and dealer could have been put in their place. Not saying it was worth the effort though.

My Daughter and I both have 08 Forresters. 100K miles total and not one problem.

Good luck. Let us now how the new ride turns out.
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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4,909 Posts
... Purchased my Forester in September of '07, '08 2.5x Base 5spd, brand new with about 10 miles on the OD. Drove off the lot and didn't return to dealer until 32K miles. I did all my own maintenance on the vehicle logging everything into mysubaru.com (of which SOA erased when upgrading the site)....
Purchased my Forester in November of '07, '08 LL Bean automatic, brand new with 30 miles on OD. Got free oil changes for 2 years or 24K, but at 7500-mile intervals. I let the dealer do those and I did intermediate oil changes. Everything went into My.Subaru.com and stayed there. Car now has 16K miles and I will let the dealer do the 30K service in another two years. It won't cost me anything since I already have accumulated $500 in Chase MasterCard Subaru certificates.
Car has been fine, and dealer is OK. Guess I was lucky.
 

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1998 Forester
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3 Posts
Car has been fine, and dealer is OK. Guess I was lucky.
I don't think you got lucky, I think the OP got a lemon. My 98 has 155k miles on it, and the sole problem worth mentioning was it's HG's went at about 140k miles. Improved MLS gaskets and heads shaved flat and she's running, well, like Subarus do.
 
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