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2012 3.6R Limited Pearl White Satin
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186 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I would like to get the 2nd/3rd year model of the latest Forester, but I might have to forget it since I do not like the closest dealer. The next closest one is about 40 miles away.
I am not worried about service, I can get it done at some other individual shops. Just worry about the warranty problem for the first three years.

Have dealer's quality sway you away from buying a Subaru (or other brand for that matter)?
 

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2003 LL Bean Outback H6 and 2019 Outback Base
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514 Posts
No.....we went OVER an hour away...TWICE for TWO different vehicles.....BUY it at the dealer you like AND get it serviced there..

You will NOT be sorry......worth the extra effort to know your subaru is taken cafre of.................because it will sure take care of you........................
 

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Sales staff and dealer service dept are different and a service dept can change over night. Our newest dealer which we bought two 2010's from was the classic family owned small place - shop was very honest none of this BS mileage based service packages etc. Fast forward two years and they nearly denied my mom an oil service because they want $500 for a 30K service. I warned her about this practice. So she was prepared and she says Oh so give me the list of things your doing for $500. She had to ask 5 times for the list.

1 Oil change
2 Brake fluid flush
3 Airfilter replacement
4 Cabin Filter replacement

I had already given her the rough break down of the costs for those things so she told me she asked them what they charged for the brake fluid flush that it was like $100 right? She then asked what the filters were?

When done going through the list she told the service rep - Tell you what change the oil in the car today and I'll go change the filters my self --- her son will do it-- LOL

So folks even the old school fairly solid family run shops are now adopting the BS mileage based over priced service packages and pushing them hard. The more you know about your REAL Subaru Service list the more money you will have in your pocket. Don't get Fleeced by your dealer!
 

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^^^ there would be one attempt by a dealer to do that to me. I would simply leave. When I got home a phone call to SOA. Done.
 

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'14 3.6R Outback
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I would not let a dealer service dept come into the calculations of buying a car because I would never use the dealer for maintenance work.

I always use an interdependent shop for things I can't do myself.
 

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^^^ there would be one attempt by a dealer to do that to me. I would simply leave. When I got home a phone call to SOA. Done.
Socal - oddly enough SOA - has made some very minor subtle changes in its documentation and its online site information that if you want to call it - throws a bone to dealers and makes it easier for them to do this.

On the flip side what most people do not realize is that the Warranty game has turned the dealer shops into money loosing programs when the bulk of your cars in the shop are all warranty covered vehicles. The warranty provider like the Health insurance providers have negotiated the service time and costs down to the point that any warranty service that takes slightly more effort than the minimum ends up costing the dealer money.

That is why today dealers sell trumped up mileage based packages - charge you $100 for a bulb change etc - this is how they make up for their lost money on the warranty jobs.
 

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2012 3.6R Limited Pearl White Satin
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186 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I would not let a dealer service dept come into the calculations of buying a car because I would never use the dealer for maintenance work.

I always use an interdependent shop for things I can't do myself.
Actually, I am not worried about maintenance. I am worried about warranty work , albeit it should be rare (finger cross) I have to go for warranty work. But my bad experience with my 2010 (steering wheel shake) enough to scare me.

About maintenance, I was stupid enough to pay U$1200 for 45k miles maintenance (mainly due to laziness to calculate).
That includes 12 oil changes (~U$420), 6 tire rotation (~U$120?), 2 * 15k miles service (~U$200?), and a 30k mile service (~U$200?). So I got ripped off about U$250 to pay service up front... From now on I am just going to independent shops, and it happens I know this guy that seems pretty honest.

But again, the warranty works that worry me because the next closest dealer is 50 miles away.
 

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'14 3.6R Outback
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I'm sorry, I miss read your post.

I thought you meant 2nd or 3rd Gen, not 2012, 2013 Forester.

I wouldn't worry about it. The odds you'll have a warranty issue are very low. I'm confused why you would get the maintenance though if you are so worried about the warranty? The same people do both work.
 

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2012 3.6R Limited Pearl White Satin
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Discussion Starter #9
I'm confused why you would get the maintenance though if you are so worried about the warranty? The same people do both work.
Sorry for the confusion, I am typing really fast today :).
The maintenance plan is for my current OB. I regret buying it, and will never buy such a plan for any of my cars in the future.


I think you are right about the warranty, it should be a small chance that worth to take a risk on. That is the reason I am considering 2nd or 3rd year of the new Forester model, not this 2014 one.
I bought 2010 OB which is the first year of the current model, and 2003 Accord which also the first year of that model. Both had problems, although the Accord was not so bad. So my theory is that 3rd year would be safe because they would find all the problems in first year, fixing it during the second year, and it will be ready and tested for the third year.
 

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'14 3.6R Outback
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Sorry for the confusion, I am typing really fast today :).
The maintenance plan is for my current OB. I regret buying it, and will never buy such a plan for any of my cars in the future.


I think you are right about the warranty, it should be a small chance that worth to take a risk on. That is the reason I am considering 2nd or 3rd year of the new Forester model, not this 2014 one.
I bought 2010 OB which is the first year of the current model, and 2003 Accord which also the first year of that model. Both had problems, although the Accord was not so bad. So my theory is that 3rd year would be safe because they would find all the problems in first year, fixing it during the second year, and it will be ready and tested for the third year.
Never buy version 1.0!!!

Nah I'm not questioning why you want a 2012 or 2013. All new redesigns have issues. Most car makers try to make it right but in getting the new design you have to deal with making the payment on a car that is at the dealer getting repaired. Or worse, the dealer doesn't think it's a problem.

On the bright side with the '14 on the lot and they are much improved Dealers will be looking to dump the older models. You should get a great price!!!
 

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1993 Legacy LSi with still functioning Air Suspension, 1999 Outback 2.5L 5MT lab Rat
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Buy the car that you want where you want. Interview both dealers service representatives, and decide who will do your warranty work, if any is required. Cross that bridge when needed.
As far as service is concerned, I have seen many discussions, threads, posts and Rants about dealer "fleecing" with Menued services etc. My answer is READ YOUR OWNERS MANUAL, and understand it.
An example for instance is 2010 Outback Schedule A indciates that the CVT be inspected each 30K. With an added Note , if you look up the note, it indicates that if you tow with the vehicle fluid must be replaced at 24,855 Mi. So from NEVER Being serviced to BEFORE 30K
Now with that example out of the way, looking at the owners manual there are in fact 5 items set for replacement at 30K miles, and 16 items that are recommened that you inspect. How long do you think it takes to insepct these items? Even if you get the benefit of 5 mins an item, figuring some less, some more, you are looking at 80 minutes or 1hr. 20 Min at an average cost in dealership rates at or above $100.00 per hour. Now back to the CVT in the 2010 model, The Recommended Inspection of the fluid. This is a SEALED Transmission, and has no dipstick so there is a specific procedure for inspecting both the condition, as well as changing the fluid if needed. This Item alone start to finish takes me 20 min, between warming up to within specs (scan tool needed) , fluid condition and the running level check. Remember No dipstick. Add that 20 mins to your 1hr 20, Now at 1hr 40min. Now lets replace your air filter/cabin filter 15 mins. 1 hr 55 min, add the oil change 15 min more, thats 2hrs 10 min. Brake fluid flush, 30 minutes to do it correctly, where are we now 2 hrs and 40 minutes. Now thats approximatly what I take to do the RECOMMENDED BY THE FACTORY SERVICE, The Factory Maintenance plan pays in fact 2.5 hrs for a Schedule A, 30K service. BTW, I will add that the factory service schedule does not recommend Tire rotation.
So I guess all the tire companies recommending regular rotations are just trying to fleece their customers as well, and I suspect that SubieSailor while informing his mother of the actual cost breakdown to save her a dollar, doesn't recommend she get her tire rotation either.
So for the sake of arguement lets add the tire inspection, and rotaion, and in CA. Legal requiremant of setting the pressures at the manufactuers Specs. (cost of $50. per tire in fines of you don't) at another 20 min. Now we've arrived at 3.0 hrs in labor.
so lets do the math for a Schedule A factory Maintenance per Subaru owners/service manuals for that 2010 Outback.

3.0 hours labor ( includes the Non recommended Tire rotation) 3.0 x $125.00 average in my area of dealers and independants)

Cabin filter Genuine OE $39.95
Genuine Air Filter OE $25.00
Oil Filter OE $7.00
Oil 4.5qt @ $3.50ea $15.75 Non Synthetic ( oil goes up as often as gas)
Brake Fl. 2x$ 7.00 OE $14.00
Parts $101.70 Labor $375.00 Total $476.70 This doesn't include waste disposal, but does include the Fleecing tire rotation.
 

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1993 Legacy LSi with still functioning Air Suspension, 1999 Outback 2.5L 5MT lab Rat
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Now bear in mind this is what the factory recommends and the Owner is responsible for under the Warranty, and BTW every manufacturer I have ever worked for when a catasrophic failure occurs asks 1st for Service and Maintenance records. And I have seen claims denied for lack there of. So some more math,

$500.00 x 2 = $1,000.00 in service over 60K miles, (Subaru Powertrain Warranty) sounds like alot, and not being independently wealthy myself understand this is alot of money
vs
1 catastrophic engine failure
Shortblock OE $2900.00
Gasket set OE $400.00
sublet Heads to machine shop avg $500.00
12 hours labor at $125.00 + $1,450.00
total $5,250.00 then add Oil and air filters, Oil and coolant another $80.00

Seems to me this is reasonably priced insurance when depreciated over 60K miles or in fact $0.60 per mile

and yes $100 to replace a headlamp bulb is highway robbery unless you follow posts here and read one persons lament of having damaged the bumper on his Outback figuring on $800.00 to fix this he'd have saved money. Plus the 2010 and later its easier and in fact safer to Remove the bumper to replace the bulb, but the good news is the bulb, wiper blades, and everthing else not on schedule A is covered by Subaru's 3yr/36K bumper to bumper Warranty.
 

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2012 3.6R Limited Pearl White Satin
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Discussion Starter #13
SubieTechJoe,
Thanks for that detail info. I believe you those things takes time and the dealer/mechanics need to get paid. Assuming they actually do those things.

The reason I started this thread is because I do not trust the dealer closest to my house. And why I do not trust them? Because they cheated me on tire rotation... Imagine that... a tire rotation! How did I know? Because someone spilled some paint next to my car and left markings on my tires. After the "tire rotation", the same tire with paint stain was still on the same spot. The service manager denied it, first he said "we do not cross rotate", well it doesn't matter because that one tire didn't move at all I told him. And he told me he had asked the mechanic, and the mechanic said he rotated the tires and he had no reason not to trust his mechanic.
To his credit later on he called back told me his mechanic confessed that he did not actually rotate the tire. Now, do you know what his excuse was? Because he was working on 2 to 3 cars at the same time! Multi-tasking.., so to be fair when he is multitasking, I don't think they deserve all the itemized charges because they do not focus on one car.

I understand the mechanics frustration when people complain about how much they got charged. I helped my close relative who owned an independent shop during my summer break. But it is the dealer/shop responsibility to tell the truth and to educate/inform the customers on what service they provide for the amount charged.
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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WOW - $100 to $125 an hour! My independent shop charges $65/hour and will let me buy the OEM parts and bring them in. Or they will go to the trouble to get them themselves if I ask. I guess I'm just lucky I'm not under warranty anymore and have a decent shop near me. Well, actually this old beater never was under warranty when I inherited it a few years ago. Even if my car was under warranty, a dealership must accept maintenance and service records from a certified professional shop here in MD as equal to a dealer's service. I do agree there are certain jobs a dealership should or must do, like the CVT inspection. Otherwise, do what you can, keep the records, and pay out the wazoo for the dealership to do the rest. Yeh, I said "wazoo."
 

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2013 Legacy Lim CVT Car: 2011 OB Prem 6MT Car: 2006 Miata GT 6MT mc: 2003 Honda GL1800A * Reunite Gondwanaland *
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1993 Legacy LSi with still functioning Air Suspension, 1999 Outback 2.5L 5MT lab Rat
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My intent was to at least educate most readers about why most dealers have moved to Menu services, yes there are some things that are done that are not recommended (like Tire Rotations). Most menu services I have been involved with include things like Transmisson services, and Differential and coolant changes. It has been my experience that when Maintained by that standard (meets or exceeds Factory Recommendations) that my customers have had far less problems, like for instance Head Gaskets.
I won't apologize for the Dealer you have had a Bad experience with, and agree they Do NOT deserve yor buisness. I currently teach service clinics for new car owners, and advocate for their personal Mechanics, as much as their local/selling dealers, If they don't have a Mechanic they trust. But I also advocate for the owner to Interview any prospective service provider.
There are some things you want to ask, 1st about their experience with any given product. Special schooling for any given type of problem (you wouldn't want a plastic surgeon doing brain surgery)
Ongoing education, cars change every year, sometimes this is limited to body work, sometimes a collision avoidance system (Eyesight) becomes available. Imagine if you took a Turn of the Century (1900's) mechanic (they were blacksmiths) and brought him forward in time to the turn of 2000. From hand crank starts and acetyline headlamps, to say A Honda Insight with No starter, and air bags.
How many young technician/mechanics training today even know what a carburetor is.
Other things you may want to know, what kind of warranty applies with any repair you get. Does that cover Parts only or labor as well, a good independant will warranty both unless you supplied the part, or a used part which he has NO control over quality of is required. Most OE parts are warrantied for 12 months/12K miles and includes labor.
Here's hoping you have no need for anything but routine Maintenance, and that you find a Technician you trust. Remember as you choose, he/she wants your buisness, but they must earn it. Be mindful that he little to gain by shortchanging you what your paying for, and what he charges has to cover, his living, tools, education, insurance, buisness taxes, as well as any State and Federal EPA concerns. I can tell you from personal experience that over the last 5 years, everything is increasing at a significantly faster rate than his living.
 
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