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Discussion Starter #1
Last week I had my '00 outback head gaskets replaced by the dealer. This Saturday I opened the hood to check for my fuel leak and noticed something was missing. Last summer I purchased and installed a grounding kit from Paranoidfabrications.com and it was gone............completely. Well this bugged the heck out of me untill
untill Sunday when I opened the rear door and found the grounding kit on the floor behind the drivers seat.
Does the dealer have a right to remove items from a vehicle? I would think they should have talked to me about this before they did it to explain why, but there was no mention ever.
Are grounding kits a no-no??
 

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Yes, the dealer has the "right" to un-install any non-factory part in the course of doing a covered warranty repair, assuming that the non-factory part is somehow in the way of the repair. Had they removed an aftermarket muffler in order to do your headgaskets, that would have been way out of line. I don't know specifically how your had your grounding system installed, but from the units I've seen on other cars and especially other Subies, I don't see how they could have done a head gasket repair without removing a SIGNIFICANT portion of the wiring to the "grounding" kit (unless you did a great job of hiding the wiring or running it along exisiting wiring looms.

Now...that being said. A good dealer should have done one of two things... #1. Removed it, and notified you of the removal when you picked up your vehicle. #2. Removed it, done the necessary repair, and then re-installed the item. At the minimum, they should have noted the removal of the item in writing on the service work order.
 

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My arse. The dealer does not own that car and therefore has no right to remove it completely. I don't care what they would say to why they did it, they have no right to do it themselves. They can nicely tell you to get rid of it if they 'fix' the car. But I find that appauling for someone to do that to prove a point.
Sure it may not be stock, but they need to converse with you how/why it is there. That does not sit well with me at all. Brian
 

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while i can see how they wouldn't want to pay mech to have it replaced on a warr claim, it wouldn't have taken long and a tech who cared abt his customers' cars would have done so. not like a grounding harness is a turbo or somethin...pretty innocuous, and arguably necessitated by small gauge wires Sub and other mfgrs use.
 

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Random said:
Yes, the dealer has the "right" to un-install any non-factory part in the course of doing a covered warranty repair, assuming that the non-factory part is somehow in the way of the repair. Had they removed an aftermarket muffler in order to do your headgaskets, that would have been way out of line. I don't know specifically how your had your grounding system installed, but from the units I've seen on other cars and especially other Subies, I don't see how they could have done a head gasket repair without removing a SIGNIFICANT portion of the wiring to the "grounding" kit (unless you did a great job of hiding the wiring or running it along exisiting wiring looms.

Now...that being said. A good dealer should have done one of two things... #1. Removed it, and notified you of the removal when you picked up your vehicle. #2. Removed it, done the necessary repair, and then re-installed the item. At the minimum, they should have noted the removal of the item in writing on the service work order.
I totally agree here, at the very least if they did not notify you that they were going to remove it I'd say that is cause to have them reinstall it for free. They should have reinstalled it from the beginning just as a courtesy, since they didn't do any of that I'd recommend to go back there and give'em ****! If they give you any guff about it I'd say to call Subaru directly or come back here and I can help you get in touch with someone ;)
 

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The dealer has no authority at all to do that. They cannot just remove things from your vehicle and throw it in the trunk. What are you guys smoking? I have aftermarket rims, what are they going to do say they won't do a brake job? Or will they leave the car on blocks and say they aren't stock? In no way shape or form do they have the right to remove such items. They can tell you they will not perform any work until you remove the items but they cannot do that themselves.

What about my non-stock radio? Would they take it out? What about my gauge pod? Do they put that in the hatch area? And my fog lights? See what I mean now. They have no right at all to do it. Now if you give them consent that is different. And if you change something on their request, sure.

But darnit there is no way the dealer can pull that crap in my book. Oh, and my cigarette lighter is not a stock piece either, will I find that next to my Cold Air Intake in the back seat one day?

Brian
 

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bheinz57
Yes, they DO have the right. Go back and re-read my post.
They have the right to remove anything that interfears/gets in the way of them doing the warranty repair. They only need to re-install the part if the car will not function, or if the removal of said item/part will compramise the function or saftey of the vehicle.

Use common sense. They can't remove your Car Stereo unless you are complaining about a car stereo issue/electrical issue. They can't remove your muffler for a faulty turn signal issue. They can't refuse to put your wheels back on, UNLESS they feel your wheels are a safety/warranty hazzard (incorrect offset, non hubcentric, cracked/damaged, etc). My local tire/wheel store that I go to will not touch oversize chrome wheels. They send the business to other companies, as they don't want the liability of 65+ wheels with -5" offsets on vehicles designed for 20 lbs wheels and +2" offsets. Many dealers do the same. If the dealer refused to service a car that had 20's 22's or 24's, I wouldn't blame them. It's a saftey issue and a liabality issue.

The reason they have the right to remove the grounding system is that it was in the way of the head gasket replacement. It was much easier/simpler to remove the system prior to service work rather than just leaving it in place and trying to work "around" it. The grounding kit is not covered by Subabu's warranty, so there's no reason why the dealership or Subaru should have to pay for working around it, or re-installing it. The consumer installed it, the consumer is responsable for it, not the dealer not Subaru.

All the other aftermarket items you mentioned (wheels/radio, etc) fall under the "compramised use" clause. Removal of them would require a re-install, or it would compramise the owners use of the vehicle. Removal of the grounding kit does not compramise the use of the vehicle, thus is not subject to re-install by Dealer/Subaru.
 

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Brian--

go smoke something and calm down, we won't tell em about where to find your car to exorcise all them nasty aftermkt bits.

i think Random is right on here. whether they have the "right" to remove the grounding harness or not, they had the NEED to and the POWER to in order to perform the warr repairs. you can't thereafter expect them to reinstall your aftermkt stuff for free. and you know how much i hate dealers.

i'm not sure your analogies are good ones since removal of most of those items would disable the car, and they're not an "additional" item to replace beyond what the factory put on there. and as to the fogs, if they were no more trouble than the stockers to R&R, i'd expect that a good dealership would replace them.

really, the solution is to find either a better dealer or a good indep shop. this carp of alienating the enthusiasts is one of the things i hate most abt dealers, and which i consider self-defeating in the long run. how many Subies do you think the members of this list have collectively managed to sell for SoA?
 

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Nope, no way. I stand my ground. The minute a dealer takes something off my car and does not tell me is the time they are wrong. Listen to me and re-read my posts.......I said they have to let you know that they will not work on something until it is gone or they have to tell you about it. Read the first post, something was removed and then found in the hatch area later. That is not right no matter what you guys think.

The dealer had absolutely no right in doing what they did in that manner. I know you cannot get all the aftermarket stuff past a dealer's eyes but in no way shape or form do they have the right to make that decision for you without your consent.

And my analagies are fine. If you take your car in for an electrical problem and they say they fixed it, and for you to go to the dealer and find your new stereo in the front seat, my ass. And the dealer does not have the authority to decide on what was the compromise of the alteration--their job is to do it or not to do it (a job) Or ask you to put it back to stock, and not remove things from your vehicle.

Doing a headgasket repair has nothing to do with having extra ground cables coming from your battery. And...andy good Subaru mechanic shall know that an extra grounding system has been proven effective on most Subaru's anyway.

Well I'm done with this now. Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I went back to Subaru yesterday to find out why my grounding kit wasn't replaced after service work. It seems my grounding kit caused a lot of interest, no one at the dealership had any idea what it was, or what it was for. The service manager said they removed it to do repair, put it on the floor in the back seat and forgot about it.
They had planned on re-installing it, they had drawn a sketch of how it was wired to re-install correctly. They apologized for error and said they would re-install for me.
Service manager said there is absolutely no need for a grounding kit,
any thoughts from people on this forum?
Also, thanks to everyone for your input, this is a great web site with a lot of knowledgeable, helpful people.
 

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Pretty funny that they would not even know what a grounding kit is; there must have been some nice stares and conversation in the shop over that one. *G* Is there a Gawking Time entry in the labor section of the bill?

True such a kit might not be a strict necessity, but it is an enhancement like so many other modifications we make. Considering their inexperience with such a kit, you may be better off re-installing it yourself since you know what it is, instead of leaving it to someone who has no idea what they're putting in.
 

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you may be better off re-installing it yourself since you know what it is, instead of leaving it to someone who has no idea what they're putting in. [/B][/QUOTE]


My thoughts exactly, I would also be particular about looks and where and how routed.
 

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Hey, at least they didn't call it a flux capacitor or accuse you of trying to build a time machine out of an outback!

the following is an opinion
I've read lots of proudct info from various companies that make grounding kits. I've seen the dyno's they have trying to prove a performance increase. The average claimed gain seems to be in the 3-5 WHP range. However, I have YET to see an actual "back to back" dyno comparison done by an individual. It should be fairly simple to do 3 runs with the device attached, then remove the connection point at the negative battery terminal, and do 3 more runs and average them out (again, done by an individual, not a company with a vested interest).

Trying to understand the "science" of what grounding kits are supposed to do, the only logical "need" for grounding cables would be for the cylinder head (or heads in suby's). Assuming the head(s) are poorly grounded, adding a quality ground to the head(s)would give a better spark (how much better depends on how poorly the head(s) were grounded before), which could equal an increase in performance.

I find it very hard to believe that current automotive manufacturers aren't aware of the basics of electricity, and haven't grounded their engines properly. Especially in this day and age of strict emissions and consumer demand for better fuel economy and more power/torque.

All of that being said, why do most grounding kits come with between 4 and as many as 8 attachment cables? Even 2 cables would be overly sufficent in grounding a large 4 cylinder head. Why do they reccomend you attach the cables to non electricty critical items such as the intake manifold, and the Exhaust?

I could possibly see a "need" for a product like this on an older car, with older wiring and possibly corroded frame attachment points. However it would be cheaper and possibly more productive to clean the contact attachment points and replace corroding wiring if that was really the problem.

Finally, i look at the "bang for the buck" factor. If you were to buy one of the "name brand" grounding kits, they run about $100 for a questionable 5 hp. That same $100 could be spent on other modifications with guaranteed HP/fuel savings.

All of the above being said, they don't "hurt" anything if installed properly. They don't add significant weight or detract from appearance. If you like them and if you feel they offered a benefit, I'm not going to argue (much :p )
 
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