('14-'18) I'm starting to question Subaru's quality - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 103 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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I'm starting to question Subaru's quality

I like Subaru brand a lot I bought two of them brand new 3.6R and an XT (three if I count the one SoA re-purchased). I am/was thinking to get a BRZ, but now I'm not so sure anymore. I'm starting to question Subaru's quality based on my comparison with my two earlier vehicles, which both are Honda.

This is the break down of the repairs (anything outside regular maintenance):
- 2010 Outback Premium 3.6R: (22k miles when sold)
- Since beginning the transmission shifted down very roughly. Re-programmed ECM, no problem
- Since beginning the steering wheel vibrated. Went back and forth with repair for ~1 year. SoA repurchased the vehicle.
- 2012 Outback Limited 3.6R: (currently 56k miles)
- ~30k miles TPS went bad. Replaced under warranty no problem.
- ~46k miles the power seat switch went bad. U$400 repair
- ~50k the tailgate hydraulic lift support start showing weakness
- I have added about 0.5 quart of oil 3 times so far. Couldn't find any leaks.
- 2018 Forester XT: (currently 6k miles)
- Quarter glass on the front driver side popped and entirely cracked. I heard loud popping noise twice. The first one on the road, I didn't see anything hit. The glass was still OK. When I parked at home, heard second loud popping noise, that's when I noticed the window is about to shatter. It looks like the origin of the crack is behind the rear-view mirror post.
- 1998 Honda Civic DX Hatchback: (125k miles when it was totaled in an accident)
- ~100k miles Power steering hose leaking.
- 2003 Honda Accord LX: (still driving it at 176k miles)
- ~145k miles VTEC solenoid replaced
- ~155k miles A/C blower replaced
- ~165k miles Alternator replaced.
As you can see, In about 75k miles, I already have more problems on my Subaru compared to 300k miles on my Honda. This statistics makes me wonder about Subaru quality. I was already not sure about Subaru when my first 2010 3.6R had that shake problem and had to spend considerable amount of time at the shop. But Subaru did the right thing by repurchasing the lemon.
Now, I'm trying to get SoA to cover my current window problem under warranty. If they refuse, I won't buy another Subaru for sure.

I'm not trying to start an online argument here..., just want to share my experience. Cheers!

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post #2 of 103 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 10:16 AM
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I have a 2017 XT Touring.

yes i have had a few issues as well
-front control arm bushing
-electric power steering module and motor replaced
-two stalling issues (caused from previous powersteering module and motor)
-auto power window function issues
-re flashes up ecu to address certain drive ability concerns


Hey im still going to buy a subaru next time for my self cause i like them. they engineering is pretty solid and i know how to work on them. im also very knowledgeable about there systems and i have alot of contacts in the dealership networks with service managers and mechanics so when i need more info or help i turn to them.

I dont think you are complaining in any way. i just think that when you buy a new car, the consumer has become the test platform at times. it nice buying a car 5 years old because usually the first owner went through bring the car back to the dealer to have things fixed.


my fiance complains that for a new car my car has had too many issues. im also very detailed and i like everything working on my car. i can also feel when some thing is out on my car nature of being a shade tree mechanic.


also at times you just get a car "made on a monday or friday" just it came poorly made from the factory and that one car out of every 2000 will inherently have more problems.

people should also look to themselves. us drivers are not poor innocent victims. im the first to admit, most of the time i have contributed whether large or small to my car issues. so owners should always do some self reflecting on how they might have contributed to issues with their car. im makeing clear mention that the owners and drivers are not solely to blame. im saying that we at times have small to large contributions to why the vehicle is in the shop.

but if the manufacture installed a poorly designed air bag, that is totally on the manufacture.

but if you have oil burning or leaking issues, i ask:

-how religiously was the oil changed following the recommended OCIs is not always correct most times change it sooner.

-consistent use of the same brand and type of oil

-frequent short trips

-not burning the carbon out of the engine or doing upper cylinder cleanings

-not waiting for engine oil to come to temp. before loading the engine.

this all was an excise in example but we as consumers can have fingers thrown at us too by the manufacture.

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post #3 of 103 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 10:31 AM
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post #4 of 103 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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but if you have oil burning or leaking issues, i ask:

-how religiously was the oil changed following the recommended OCIs is not always correct most times change it sooner.

-consistent use of the same brand and type of oil

-frequent short trips

-not burning the carbon out of the engine or doing upper cylinder cleanings

-not waiting for engine oil to come to temp. before loading the engine.


I follow the mfg scheduled maintenance since I pre-pay the service. I am hoping the dealer I go to uses consistent brand and oil type. Yes, the 3.6R is my wife's, and she uses it about 20 miles a day running short errands. I don't remember if I've ever done cylinder cleaning. We drive like grandma on the surface road for safety reason :), so no, we don't load the engine. I do go fast on the freeway, but I don't drive this 3.6R often.

Thanks for sharing!
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post #5 of 103 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 10:57 AM
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You bought two of the most reliable (by reputation--hindsight compared to present day presents its own issues) Japanese cars in the past 25 years with both of those Hondas. The only other car I'd place in that category is the same era Camry or ES.

Most Subarus have had their issues. It's not fair to compare an Outback or Forester to the Civic or Accord. You most likely went Subaru for symmetrical AWD and space. Most people buy their Hondas for a reliable commute.

Honda doesn't quite produce the same quality as they did then but those early 2000s cars really gave them a boost in reputation. This causes an unreasonable expectation that basic maintenance should get your car to 200,000 miles. There's so many moving parts, electronics tied into everything nowadays, safety systems, regulations that influence new components (I'm looking at you EPA), and other factors in how and where you drive that it's inevitable something breaks.

I'm not saying the ideal is wrong and that you shouldn't be able to have all of the above but the market is what it is and you have to prioritize what's most important to you in vehicle ownership.
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post #6 of 103 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subiedrvr View Post
but if you have oil burning or leaking issues, i ask:

-how religiously was the oil changed following the recommended OCIs is not always correct most times change it sooner.

-consistent use of the same brand and type of oil

-frequent short trips

-not burning the carbon out of the engine or doing upper cylinder cleanings

-not waiting for engine oil to come to temp. before loading the engine.


I follow the mfg scheduled maintenance since I pre-pay the service. I am hoping the dealer I go to uses consistent brand and oil type. Yes, the 3.6R is my wife's, and she uses it about 20 miles a day running short errands. I don't remember if I've ever done cylinder cleaning. We drive like grandma on the surface road for safety reason :), so no, we don't load the engine. I do go fast on the freeway, but I don't drive this 3.6R often.

Thanks for sharing!
When i say load the engine, i mean staring the car and driving away. normal driving loads an engine which in turn load the contact points. if the engine oil is not up to temp it behaves as a thinner oil and will not protect as well as when it is at 212 F.

even in naturally aspirated cars let the car warm up for 5-10 mins when its the first start-up of the day.

upper cyclinder cleaning prevent carbon deposite build up. when those deposits build up and then get knocked loose they can scratch/scrap the side wall of the cylinders. im sure your old enough to have heard of the Italian tune-up. running engines at higher loads and rpm aka driving hard. for periods of time aka on the high way, help burn some of the deposits away before knocking loose.

also CRC GDI and intake cleaner is a great product to use. i highly highly recommend it. also having the PCV valve looked at or replaced would help.

im getting off topic but my point is that we contribute to vehicle problems. i drive fast and way to hard but only after everything has warmed up and i let everything cool down before turning off. but in the future if the dealer told be that there is suspension issues or the engine is showing signs of wear i would not be surprised.

so far i dont burn a lick of oil.



also coming from a honda is a hard compare. my girls 07 toyota is bullit proof. i changes the fluids regularly. she will never kill that thing. the suspension could use all new bushings but im not putting that work into the car cause i dont drive it, she does. its not important to her and she cant even feel it.

good luck with your cars. if you want tips PM me and ill answer back but this is not the thread for this.
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post #7 of 103 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 11:42 AM
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I think comparing a decade old car to a “modern” car is slightly unfair for multiple reasons.

There are so many more electronic items and tolerances are so much tighter (perhaps the window issue) that it is an apples to oranges comparison.

We had a 2012 Honda Civic that just nickel and dimed me for years and the radio NEVER worked right even after two replacements. My 2015 Forester with 65k, while not perfect, I feel was a much better value. I’ll let you know another 100k...
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post #8 of 103 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 12:39 PM
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Your experience is not confidence inspiring considering the age and mileage, and I can definitely appreciate the sentiment. But it could be much worse. You could be driving a Chrysler product of the same vintage as your Hondas ;)

And for what it's worth my 2014 ecoboost F150 dumped both of it's turbos at 80K. What a huge $3000 disappointment that was! But even still, I would not attribute this to Ford's overall quality. The truck has had zero issues otherwise and now pushing 100K. I would buy another one without hesitation.

Also, my 07 Forester has had more issues in the year that I have owned it than my 02 WRX had in ten. I still wouldn't trade it for anything else. Again, perhaps I'm foolishly loyal.

Sometimes you get get a bad batch of parts. Sometimes you get a lemon. Luck of the draw unfortunately. And it's not like Subaru are the only one's suffering a slide in quality/reliability as of late, neither Honda nor Toyota currently have the unshakable reputation that they once did.

Again, it could be worse. Consider this, back in the 60's and 70's Chevrolet (knowingly by the way) would sell you a car that leaked oil straight from the factory, because it was (a) "good enough" and (b) the customer expected it! Thankfully those days are long gone.

That said, your grievances are not unwarranted, and if you are past your honeymoon with Subaru I don't think anyone could fault you for that.
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post #9 of 103 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1roamingnome View Post
...
good luck with your cars. if you want tips PM me and ill answer back but this is not the thread for this.
Thanks for the tips. I'm not a car expert, but I am old enough to remember people said they need to warm up their car first, but that was pre-fuel injection cars (old cars in third world country, almost 40 years ago ). I do agree with you, I think it is good idea to warm up the engine first. Thanks again!
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post #10 of 103 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by andj View Post
You bought two of the most reliable (by reputation--hindsight compared to present day presents its own issues) Japanese cars in the past 25 years with both of those Hondas.
I think you are spot on there. I'm not a car expert, but my Civic DX Hatchback was some simple I did a lot of maintenance myself (oil change, brake pads, replaced power steering hose etc.). Everything in that car is manual. It never broke until we got t-boned. I heard many enthusiasts are crazy about Civic Hatchback back then. A few times strangers asked me if I want to sell that car.

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post #11 of 103 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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Just a quick update: SoA came through again. They called me earlier and told me that they will cover the damage. I'm not a big fan of the dealer that will handle the repair, but they are the closest to my place, so I'll settle with that.
Thank you SoA, I will definitely consider BRZ again in my next car shopping (especially if they put 2.0T or even better 2.4T in it)!
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post #12 of 103 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 01:13 PM
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Is your dealer more then a subaru dealer cause that would explain it.

I have used many different subaru dealers and the best ones every single time for me have been the straight up only subaru dealerships. that have no affiliation to another brand.
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post #13 of 103 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, you guessed it..., the owner of this Subaru dealer basically own the whole auto-mall strip..., Jaguar, Audi, Range Rover, Honda, etc. The service managers I think handles two brands each.
Before I came to this area, there is an older Subaru dealer that only does Subaru. So you are right in this case on both ends.
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post #14 of 103 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 01:41 PM
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On startup & loading the engine immediately the biggest reason not to do this is it takes temperature to have all the parts to expand to the correct size, and the engine oil is actually thicker when you first stat & the oil also takes more time to make its way through the engine to lubricant everything properly, if you use synthetic oil this happens faster but still takes a few seconds!
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post #15 of 103 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by subiedrvr View Post
Just a quick update: SoA came through again. They called me earlier and told me that they will cover the damage. I'm not a big fan of the dealer that will handle the repair, but they are the closest to my place, so I'll settle with that.
Thank you SoA, I will definitely consider BRZ again in my next car shopping (especially if they put 2.0T or even better 2.4T in it)!
You should talk to gaborkin on here, he's having trouble with SoA.
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