Universal & Auto Network Subaru, NYC (was:Subaru dealer stinks) - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2007, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Universal & Auto Network Subaru, NYC (was:Subaru dealer stinks)

I've never had any good expereince at any Subaru dealership, but this time I'm pissed. 1.5 hour of labor time for a rear brake pad change, almost $150 labor + $75 parts. Auto Network Subaru, Northern Blvd, Oueens, NYC.
I had the rear pads on since I bought the car almost two years ago and knew it was almost down to the bottom. The dealer checked the pads, showed it to me and it was just as I thought. But, they still told me the pads were not low enough to be covered by warranty. I told them to change it any way 'cause I didn't even know Subaru's warranty cover the brake pads and was expected to pay for it any way. But charging me $150 for labor on changing the damn brake pads which took an actual 20- min, who they think they are, Porche? And the service manage tole me that's the rate from their book, which he couldn't locate when I ask him to show me. Then he asks the mechanic: What kind of car? reply: 05 Forester XT. Manager: 2WD or 4WD? I was like, hold it there, what the heck are you talking about? Do you even know anything about Subarus? Which Subaru is 2WD. Show me a rear drive one. LMAO Manager: Oh, yeah, there are. I didn't say RWD, there are FWD ones.
This is the 2nd dealer I switched to. The first one, Hillside Subaru (Queens, NY), placed my oil filter on the battary after an oil change, never puts it back. Good thing I opened the hood to let out some hot air before I close the garage at night. I bought my FXT there and was handed a bill of $37500. I'm not gonna tell you how they did there math, but these were crooks. When I got the car it was scratched massively on the front of bumper when they took it out of the lot. They refused to repaint it and simply put on a pair of rubber bumper protectors to cover it up. I'm also an owner of a Honda Fit sport, and I could tell you the Honda dealer was straight forward with no traps like that. My Fit had some slight pain damage on the rear bumper due to shipping and they repainted the bumper like new. I love Subaru cars, but the dealers SUCKS!!!! Pardon my use of language.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2007, 02:41 PM
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Horrible experiences, but this should probably be moved to the 'Dealer/Vendor Reviews' section of the forum.


2nd Forester
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Quartz Blue Pearl
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2007, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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correction: It was Universal Subaru on Northern Blvd. Auto Network was the Hillside Ave dealer.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2007, 03:48 PM
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Have you contacted SOA about these issues? They are the ones that can do something about bad dealers.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2007, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I did wrote to Subaru about the Hillside dealer. They were already closed down. I don't know why, but since even on that day I wasn't the only one left cursing, I'd rather believe our voices were heard. And I decided not to use dealers for services...may be I will go order up a part, but installation, forget it. $95/hr is still acceptible, but it's the way the managers treats you. Universal used to have a kind manager named Marc, who would work with you together and if the job takes 15 min, he would just bill you 15 min. After he left, we got to deal with this guy who is just a crook.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2007, 04:43 PM
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As a rule, anything on Hillside Ave is going to be a rip off.
Northern Blvd is a bit better, but not by much.
I know the area well. My in-laws still live off Northern & Francis Lewis.

'05 FXT 4EAT (SG9CYBT) PSM Stage 1
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2007, 04:56 PM
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I agree. Every car dealer I've ever dealt with was a pain in the rear. $150 for break pads is about standard dealer price. Get this I took my Firebird in to a Chevy dealer get the headlights changed. The price they quoted me to put in new lights? $350. I said "Ah there people that acutely pay that?" I did it myself for $20.

I read this old book called "Don't get taken every time" The book basically stated that a dealers goal is to rip you off big time on every interaction involved with a car. They try and rip you off $1,000s off you trade in, $1,0000s on the price of a new car, $100s on crap like under body coating and new car prep, then $100s on maintenance.

Subarus do attract some real nasty dealers. We just had a new Subaru dealership open here. I was all excited because the one I got mine at closed two weeks after I got my Forester and the other one Subarus come after the Buicks, and Deawoos they sell. Well, the place opens and I find out the dealer is Bunky Gandy. He ran a Chrysler Plymouth Dodge dealership into the ground. Now he's going to run the only Subaru dealership around here. Ticks me off. His name alone should tell you something http://www.bunkygandy.subaru.com/en_US/

Bunky root word Bunk Def. A swindle in which a person is cheated at gambling, persuaded to buy a nonexistent, unsalable, or worthless object, or otherwise victimized.


I've though about opening my own Subaru dealership. Been wondering if it's posible to run a car dealership without cheating everyone and chargeing $150 to put on break shoes.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-27-2007, 05:15 AM
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Caveat emptor, I guess.

The lesson here is to find out what they're going to charge before they take your keys. Also find out if they bill by the job, or by the hour. If they say they bill by the hour, then hang out and watch how long your car is up on the rack (assuming you're waiting at the dealer while they work on it). If by the job, then do as you did and ask to see the guide book that states the hours needed for the work.

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'08 Legacy SE, 5spd - hers
'09 OB SE, 5spd - mine
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-27-2007, 03:47 PM
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For what it's worth, I haven't heard any horror stories about the dealer up in yonkers, the name of which escapes me at the moment (they're on central ave). Nothing astoundingly positive, but nothing horrible.

Also, subaru's are phoenominally easy to work on - find a decent local mechanic and you'll be good most of the time.

There's a garage on 94th near 3rd called Auto Care East. I've used them for tire stuff in the past, but I had a roommate go there with a modded impreza and it turns out the shop owner is a big subie fan. I'm not saying they're 100% on the level, and they've never done anything astoundingly positive, but again - they haven't tried anything shady, and I haven't heard anything bad about them.

Also worth calling the local BBB or (here in NYC) the Public Advocate's office to see if there are open complaints against anyone you're trying to deal with.

Fmr 98L auto. I ride the subway now.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-28-2007, 07:04 AM
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I'm always appalled at what a dealer charges for jobs that don't seem that awfully hard, but frankly the charge you encountered seems like it would fit within the boundaries of the normally appalling charges.

It would be interesting if one of the dealer-associated members here could advise what the flat rate manual says for this job. There is no excuse for the dealer's refusing to tell you.


2.5i Premium CVT - Me 2018, She 2016 ● Robin-Subaru Powered Generator
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 04:12 PM
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Subaru Service Departments

It's truly sad for a company such as Subaru that prides itself in their customer loyality to have a network of low-life dealerships. Perhaps that's just the auto industry in general.

My 2006 Forester has been damaged by three different dealership service departments to date. Despite repeated requests NOT to mail me service specials and other marketing BS, they still do. Now I get calls from Tacoma Subaru at home late at night reminding me for an oil change.

Auburn Subaru continued to send me crap for an Outback that I did not own for over five years despite calls, letters and two visits to the president of the dealership begging for the junk mail to stop. Guess who I did not buy my Forester from?

Puyallup Subaru where I did buy the Forester damaged the car BEFORE I picked it up. Great detail work! That took two visits to fix.

SOA can't seem to honor a simple request NOT to send credit card offers and their marketing BS. How many letters does one have to write? They never responded to my complaints about the dealers damaging the car, so I gave up.

Anyway, I understand your frustration. I have owned the same Toyota truck for nine years and have not had the problems with dealers or the vast amount of junk mail like I do with Subaru. Pretty sad.

2006 X - Regal Blue - MT
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