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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All.

2006 OB, NA, nearly 178K on the clock. The Blue Beast.

A while back, I posted about water in my left reverse light after it rains.

My Subaru dealer - I've been dealing with them for 10 years, and they've always been good - told me a colossal lie, and tried to overcharge me by nearly $1000.

They told me the back panel, and all the nuts and bolts, were "all rusted and corroded" inside. I needed to replace "everything," and have the new panel painted to match the car, and it would cost me $1100 (about $1000 more than I thought it would cost).

When I asked to take a look at the damage, the mechanics were all "too busy."

Yeah. Okay.

Well, I looked when I got home, and you know what I saw in there? It was brand new. The bolts were shining stainless steel, and there was a little dust here and there. And that's it. Perfect.

Of course I was furious, and made an appointment to speak with the manager. He said it "should have been explained to me better," and that "sometimes it gets corroded in there." He said that he was "sorry about any misunderstanding," and said "we'll do our best not to break anything," and offered me a free hour of labor.

Yes, he actually said all of that.

I don't mind mistakes (I make enough of them myself), but I don't like liars or cheaters. Especially when they're reaching for my wallet, and my $1000.

So on Friday, I brought it to a shop from a chain mostly known for their work on mufflers and ACs. "Mind the Key," I said, as I handed them my car key, in good faith (they fixed my exhaust a few months ago - bending pipes, and all that cool garage stuff).

I asked them to fix my reverse light (along with some other stuff), and they were happy to do it. I told them I think the left light needed a new gasket.

Here's how it turned out: the reverse lights are not available in 'after market,' so I'm getting genuine OEM Subaru lights (they're on order). The light is a sealed unit, and there is no gasket. The lights are $40 each, so I'm having them change both sides (a nifty preemptive strike there, yes?). The labor is $125. This brings the total to $205, which is a bit better than $1100. And I get two brand new Subaru reverse lights. This makes me happy.

I will bring my car to this shop, from now on. They have my business. And they are FAST.

I will continue to drive Subaru cars, because they are incredible. But this particular Subaru dealer has lost me. They're good for oil changes, and that's about it.

Dealers, are you listening? This is how you lose a customer.
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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When I asked to take a look at the damage, the mechanics were all "too busy."
I think this is the key to it all.

Ever since Subaru sales surged upwards circa 2010, all the dealer service bays are booked hard. Lots of dealers are struggling to add capacity and hire more technicians. A lot of the "I got bad service" stories have this same element- just too much resource contention in the bays. Recent labor-intensive recall programs (Takata airbags, FB25 rings, steering shake) have not helped at all, even if your particular car wasn't directly affected.

I found a great independent shop years ago & haven't looked back.
 

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'17 3.6R Touring Brillant Brown Pearl
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And this is one reason why I wrench on all of my own stuff. (I'm an incredible cheapskate, also)

If you took your time, you could probably fix this yourself for under $50
 

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2008 Outback 2.5
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But this particular Subaru dealer has lost me. They're good for oil changes, and that's about it.
I wouldn't even allow them to change my oil. Dollars to donuts you'll get a phone call from them saying something like "the pads are worn down to 8mm and you need new pads and rotors" even if the rotors are new. When you tell them they are new, they will say "well, with the age of your car we assumed they were so old that they should typically be replaced by now"

I also don't need a grease monkey using an impact wrench on my oil drain plug.

I had the dealer do warranty work last year on the air bag recall and he tried to "upsell" me into getting new rear pads and rotors for a mere $900. I never asked them to remove the wheels to inspect anything. I went and bought new rotors and when I took the old ones off to be replaced, they were far thicker than minimum so I wasted $70 for new rotors because shipping them back would have been nearly the same cost as the rotors themselves.

Oh well, a $70 lesson to never trust a dealership.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
And this is one reason why I wrench on all of my own stuff. (I'm an incredible cheapskate, also)

If you took your time, you could probably fix this yourself for under $50
Yes, you are correct, sir. If I had the time, the nerve, and the knowledge, I could probably do it for $40. But what the heck - I'll let this shop do it, and I believe it'll be done right. I'm impressed with them so far. Cheers, Mate.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I wouldn't even allow them to change my oil. Dollars to donuts you'll get a phone call from them saying something like "the pads are worn down to 8mm and you need new pads and rotors" even if the rotors are new. When you tell them they are new, they will say "well, with the age of your car we assumed they were so old that they should typically be replaced by now"

I also don't need a grease monkey using an impact wrench on my oil drain plug.

I had the dealer do warranty work last year on the air bag recall and he tried to "upsell" me into getting new rear pads and rotors for a mere $900. I never asked them to remove the wheels to inspect anything. I went and bought new rotors and when I took the old ones off to be replaced, they were far thicker than minimum so I wasted $70 for new rotors because shipping them back would have been nearly the same cost as the rotors themselves.

Oh well, a $70 lesson to never trust a dealership.
It's funny you should say that. A friend of mine went to the same place the same week they tried to rip me off.

They wanted to replace his rear brakes, and he had just replaced them. Unbelievable.
 

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The local dealers by me all seem to be busy 100% of the time and you need to get an appointment in advance. My local guy (been going to him for 25 years) will fix what needs to be fixed almost always the same day when I drop if off in the morning. Once in a while the job is either big, or some parts need to be ordered and it is ready the next day. Never once tried to upsell me anything.


The dealers seem to think they are doing you a favor if they grant an appointment and suggest some expensive "improvements" as part of their service to you these days. Those car owners going to dealers these days are often the type of owner who figures to repair anything and everything "just in case, cheap insurance, etc..."
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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My local Dealer shop rate is $129/hr for accessory install and $149/hr for wrench labor.

That's freaking insane folks.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The local dealers by me all seem to be busy 100% of the time and you need to get an appointment in advance. My local guy (been going to him for 25 years) will fix what needs to be fixed almost always the same day when I drop if off in the morning. Once in a while the job is either big, or some parts need to be ordered and it is ready the next day. Never once tried to upsell me anything.


The dealers seem to think they are doing you a favor if they grant an appointment and suggest some expensive "improvements" as part of their service to you these days. Those car owners going to dealers these days are often the type of owner who figures to repair anything and everything "just in case, cheap insurance, etc..."
Yes, my direct experience is nearly identical to this.

The Subaru dealer trying to rip me off was a huge wake-up call. I won't be going back there, unless there are some really compelling reasons.
 
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