Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We have a 2011 Outback 3.6 which we bought in Aug 2010

For the first 30K miles, we had the oil changed at local oil change places at roughly 5K intervals and I changed the cabin air filter at 10K intervals and air filter at 15K.

For the 30K milestone, I figure it's a good idea to take the car to the dealer and get the 30K service ($499) done just to ensure the car gets a full check-up.

What you get for $499 is very little - oil change, some filter changes and a bunch of fluid checks and top offs. I do feel this is a rip off.

My wife took the car in for service, dropped it off and left with a loaner.
AN hour later they call her and tell her the car needs the following in addition
1. Differential Service @ $190
2. PowerSteering service @ $130
3. Fuel Induction service @ $110
4. Cabin filter & evap box cleaning @ $158

I was quite livid when I heard this and asked my wife to tell the dealer to just stop all work and give the car back as this completely feels like an attempt to fleece the customer. When she called them, she was told that the car had been drained of all fluid and they couldnt stop.
We agreed to let them complete the 30K service and do none of the other recommended stuff.
When she picked up the car, the oil light was on and upon complaining, they realized that oil level was low and had to be topped off.

I really feel at this point that the dealer is simply attempting to fleece us.

I'd like to figure out what the car really needs though since I would like to keep this car at least 10 years.

So, do I really need all the other recommended services that was offered by the dealer? I've never ever had to get diff service or power steering fluid replaced at 30K in any car. Is this necessary for the Outback?

Any advise appreciated.

P.S. Every time my wife takes the car in for oil changes, regardless of where, they always tell her that the air filter and cabin air filter are filthy and need replacement. I tell her to decline and once I'm home in the evening I pull out the filter and show her that they're perfectly clean.
Why do auto shops and dealers always attempt to fleece female customers?

Thanks
V
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,495 Posts
There is a maintenance schedule in the warranty manual. Look at the "Severe Service" recommendations if you live in an Urban Area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
514 Posts
I live in an area that is mountainous, add to that the extreme temperatures from anywhere in the 90's during summer months and down to as low as -40 (F) during winter months! So, I expect that our 2005 OB would be considered as being run under "severe" conditions.

I rarely go to the dealer for anything, as each time I have, I have been taken by them. My wife did take the car to another dealer about an hour from here when the car started sputtering and the check engine light came on. Come to find out the two catalytic converters were both plugged and needed replacement. Fortunately, she was still under the drivetrain full warranty (with about a thousand miles or less to go on said warranty :eek:)!

Now, the car has over 120,000 miles on it and I just replaced all the fluids with full-synthetic. I have been using full synthetic oil since the car was broken in at about 8,000 miles. Whenever I have taken ANY vehicle to the dealer for service, they have always found "major" problems and the invoice in the end was ALWAYS at least Double, if not TRIPLE what I would have to pay my local mechanic to do the same job! Now I am to the point where I will do all the work myself with the help of an online shop manual at ALLDATAdiy.com Leading Source of Factory Automotive Repair Information

I just got done doing over $2,000 worth of work on the car, all labor done by me and all materials purchased wholesale. It took me a month to get everything done, sometimes, waiting for the right parts to come in after receiving the wrong parts. The car runs and drives like a brand-new car now, no more noises when hitting bumps and extremely tight, all around!

It sounds like you are as mechanically-inclined as I am, I see no reason why you should go to the dealer for everything. As long as you document that everything has been done, as recommended for your vehicle and your climate (conditions), I would think you are protected as far as future problems and the warranty are concerned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
565 Posts
Maybe I am missing the point here, but am I the only one that is apalled at the fact that the dealer is trying to get away with recommending these things be done on a car with ONLY 30k miles???!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
514 Posts
Maybe I am missing the point here, but am I the only one that is apalled at the fact that the dealer is trying to get away with recommending these things be done on a car with ONLY 30k miles???!!!
EXACTLY!
One must wonder, what kind of car is this if all this stuff needs doing to a car that is barely BROKEN-IN!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
546 Posts
We have a 2011 Outback 3.6 which we bought in Aug 2010

For the first 30K miles, we had the oil changed at local oil change places at roughly 5K intervals and I changed the cabin air filter at 10K intervals and air filter at 15K.

For the 30K milestone, I figure it's a good idea to take the car to the dealer and get the 30K service ($499) done just to ensure the car gets a full check-up.

What you get for $499 is very little - oil change, some filter changes and a bunch of fluid checks and top offs. I do feel this is a rip off.

My wife took the car in for service, dropped it off and left with a loaner.
AN hour later they call her and tell her the car needs the following in addition
1. Differential Service @ $190
2. PowerSteering service @ $130
3. Fuel Induction service @ $110
4. Cabin filter & evap box cleaning @ $158

I was quite livid when I heard this and asked my wife to tell the dealer to just stop all work and give the car back as this completely feels like an attempt to fleece the customer. When she called them, she was told that the car had been drained of all fluid and they couldnt stop.
We agreed to let them complete the 30K service and do none of the other recommended stuff.
When she picked up the car, the oil light was on and upon complaining, they realized that oil level was low and had to be topped off.

I really feel at this point that the dealer is simply attempting to fleece us.

I'd like to figure out what the car really needs though since I would like to keep this car at least 10 years.

So, do I really need all the other recommended services that was offered by the dealer? I've never ever had to get diff service or power steering fluid replaced at 30K in any car. Is this necessary for the Outback?

Any advise appreciated.

P.S. Every time my wife takes the car in for oil changes, regardless of where, they always tell her that the air filter and cabin air filter are filthy and need replacement. I tell her to decline and once I'm home in the evening I pull out the filter and show her that they're perfectly clean.
Why do auto shops and dealers always attempt to fleece female customers?

Thanks
V
Thanks to the internet, the dealers make very little on the car purchase so they have to make it up in the service department.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,970 Posts
Well, iI just had my front and rear diff oil replaced and it did not come to 190$. I only have 21k on my july of 09 purchased OB, but the time was my factor in replacing that diff oil's and I plan on keeping the car 10 years
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,128 Posts
vasuvius,
I see you are in Northern, NJ. Is your dealer in Budd Lake? If so, I did see the cabin air filter price on the board behind the service desk and thought it was a mistake or maybe even a joke. This was during the dealer tour after purchasing. I never use them for service.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
565 Posts
Well, iI just had my front and rear diff oil replaced and it did not come to 190$. I only have 21k on my july of 09 purchased OB, but the time was my factor in replacing that diff oil's and I plan on keeping the car 10 years
Why are you replacing the front and rear diff oil at 21k miles? My last Subaru didn't get it replaced until the 60k service.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
572 Posts
What I plan to do is have the first service done by the dealer. I believe its 3750 miles and then 7500 mile intervals after that is when the regular interval begins. For anything after the first one I will have our local shop quote it. So long as they follow the same instructions it should be fine. I believe I could do the oil change portion, but inspections I would not be sure im looking at the right stuff. On the diff fluid change I do know that Honda's work off of friction determining when to engage the rear wheels and ours would bind up quite a bit. Once we changed the fluid it was fine. Im not sure how the Subaru AWD works, but I believe its more continuous AWD instead of front wheel 90% of the time like our CRV
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
187 Posts
I used to work at a quick lube about 10 years ago. Those prices are a complete joke even when you take into account inflation. Here is what you get for that money:
-Diff Service: Kid that gets paid ~$10 per hour pulls a total of two fill plugs and two drain plugs. He lets the diff's drain for 5 minutes (if even that). Refills diff's with a couple quarts of diff fluid. Dealer makes profit of ~$150. <--this is assuming that you have an auto transmission.
-Powersteering Service: I'm assuming its a flush. The same kid hooks the car up to the P.S. flush machine and use a total of ~2 quarts of transmission fluid to flush it. It would take a total of 20 minutes (on the high side). Profit of about ~$110.
-Fuel induction service: Could range from just a fuel injection cleaner being put in the gas tank to running a cleaner through the injection system. Either way, profit of about $90.
-Cabin air filter with evap box cleaning: I'm assuming they just swap out the filter and vacuum out the box and evaporator. They might even spray a cleaner on the evaporator to keep it smelling good (I don't know for sure since this service sounds like a joke). ~$10 for the filter (dealer cost) and 30 minutes of time (assuming they do an amazing good job at vacuuming, which they probably don't). Profit of ~$130.

That dealer is price gouging big time (even for dealers). Besides those prices, what erks me about your story is how they really didn't do a true 30k maintenance service. I could be mistaken but I believe the brake fluid is supposed to be flush every 30k on Subarus.

Finally, dealers and shops don't make money off of just oil changes unless you have a luxury car or exotic car like a BMW, Benz, Porsche, or the like. Always expect dealers and shops to try to sell you on something extra. You really shouldn't be surprised when they say you should have an extra $200+ worth of work done. Its the nature of the beast. The only way to avoid being hassled for sales is to do everything yourself or find a honest local mechanic.

Edited to Add: Dealerships have really discovered how much profit can be made on the service side within the past 10 years. The biggest challenge always has been getting customers in the door. The up-selling part comes easy after the customer is in the door. This is why so many dealerships offer free oil changes with car purchases in recent years. So again, don't be shock when the dealership tries to sell you on additional services by using various tactics up to and including scare tactics and a sense of urgency tactics.

IMHO, Subaru already has a very high maintenance service schedule compared to other makes (examples: brake fluid flush every 30,000 miles and plugs every 60,000 miles). If you stick with the service schedule in your owners manual, your car will get more then enough maintenance to keep it running for years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
Buy some Royal Purple or similar high quality fluid rated for your car, about 5 bucks, a turkey baster for $2, suck out all the fluid you can from the reservoir, fill it up to max, turn the wheel a few times, check the level. Do it again a week later and once again if you feel like it. Total cost $7-12. Satisfaction, priceless.
Make sure you clean the top off with a cloth so as not to contaminate the reservoir before you open it.
If you want to flush it, you have to pull off the return hose, put it in a jug, cap off the reservoir return nozzle and run fluid through it till it comes out clear, hook it back up and fill to level. I haven't done this on an Outback but the principle is the same, on some cars you need a lift.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
514 Posts
One local dealer that I am aware of heats their entire service center using waste oil from the oil changes, so, naturally, they want ALL THE OIL THEY CAN GET, even if it means them giving you free oil changes or only charging a very modest fee to cover the cost of the oil and filter.

One time, on a "Free" inspection a certain dealer offered, they told me that my front wiper blade was "hazardous" and that they would have to replace that before they could put the sticker on. Of course, being on the DRIVER'S side, I would have SEEN a defective blade as I was using the wipers in a light rain on my way to the dealer! When I asked to see the damaged blade, the rubber was torn back about 4" from the lower end - something I would have absolutely noticed during the drive to the dealer!

So, just to get done and get the inspection sticker, I told them to replace the blade. Final bill was $49.98 -- $31.98 for the total cost of the blade (material charge) plus $18.00 charge to install (labor charge) the blade.

I nearly fell on the floor when I saw what they charged!:mad:

This was a Ford dealer.
I never went there again. In fact, I never bought another FORD again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
766 Posts
Nice Post. Anyone feel like posting a pic tutorial on the diff and tranny fluid changes?

My local dealer doesn't flush the tranny. Just drain and fill.

I used to work at a quick lube about 10 years ago. Those prices are a complete joke even when you take into account inflation. Here is what you get for that money:
-Diff Service: Kid that gets paid ~$10 per hour pulls a total of two fill plugs and two drain plugs. He lets the diff's drain for 5 minutes (if even that). Refills diff's with a couple quarts of diff fluid. Dealer makes profit of ~$150. <--this is assuming that you have an auto transmission.
-Powersteering Service: I'm assuming its a flush. The same kid hooks the car up to the P.S. flush machine and use a total of ~2 quarts of transmission fluid to flush it. It would take a total of 20 minutes (on the high side). Profit of about ~$110.
-Fuel induction service: Could range from just a fuel injection cleaner being put in the gas tank to running a cleaner through the injection system. Either way, profit of about $90.
-Cabin air filter with evap box cleaning: I'm assuming they just swap out the filter and vacuum out the box and evaporator. They might even spray a cleaner on the evaporator to keep it smelling good (I don't know for sure since this service sounds like a joke). ~$10 for the filter (dealer cost) and 30 minutes of time (assuming they do an amazing good job at vacuuming, which they probably don't). Profit of ~$130.

That dealer is price gouging big time (even for dealers). Besides those prices, what erks me about your story is how they really didn't do a true 30k maintenance service. I could be mistaken but I believe the brake fluid is supposed to be flush every 30k on Subarus.

Finally, dealers and shops don't make money off of just oil changes unless you have a luxury car or exotic car like a BMW, Benz, Porsche, or the like. Always expect dealers and shops to try to sell you on something extra. You really shouldn't be surprised when they say you should have an extra $200+ worth of work done. Its the nature of the beast. The only way to avoid being hassled for sales is to do everything yourself or find a honest local mechanic.

Edited to Add: Dealerships have really discovered how much profit can be made on the service side within the past 10 years. The biggest challenge always has been getting customers in the door. The up-selling part comes easy after the customer is in the door. This is why so many dealerships offer free oil changes with car purchases in recent years. So again, don't be shock when the dealership tries to sell you on additional services by using various tactics up to and including scare tactics and a sense of urgency tactics.

IMHO, Subaru already has a very high maintenance service schedule compared to other makes (examples: brake fluid flush every 30,000 miles and plugs every 60,000 miles). If you stick with the service schedule in your owners manual, your car will get more then enough maintenance to keep it running for years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
no, the dealer is in Bergen county.

vasuvius,
I see you are in Northern, NJ. Is your dealer in Budd Lake? If so, I did see the cabin air filter price on the board behind the service desk and thought it was a mistake or maybe even a joke. This was during the dealer tour after purchasing. I never use them for service.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Sorry for not responding to everyone's posts - we were away for the weekend.

In general I have no problem with dealers making a profit for their services. I just get upset when they try to scare customers in to paying for service that is not even required.
While I can definitely do a lot of the basic service myself, I do not have the time for it and given it's my wife's car and our primary weekend mode of transport I'd rather pay to get it done.

80% of the 30K miles are highway miles. The rest are trips to grocery store, drop kids at school etc. This does not constitute driving under severe conditions. There is no reason why the car should need differential service, fuel induction service or power steering service.
As for the cabin air filter - I change these frequently and it takes me less than 10 mins to do a quick vacuum while changing the filter. This is completely a gouging tactic that seems to be commonly practiced by many dealers.

For my other car, a BMW, I have never had the dealer try to make a quick buck by recommending unnecessary service.
Even when we had a Honda Odyssey, we never once had the dealer try to convince us that we needed anything more that what was recommended as per the manufacturer.

We love the car. Guess we'll just have to find an alternative to the dealer for all service now.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
About this Discussion
15 Replies
11 Participants
vasuvius
Subaru Outback Forums
Welcome to the Subaru Outback Owners Forum, we have tons of information about your Subaru Outback, from a Subaru Outback Wiki to customer reviews.
Full Forum Listing
Top