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SubaruOutback.org Founder
2018 Outbacks, Grey Premium & Silver Limited
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Discussion Starter #1
I've decided to create this thread so that members can list their experiences with dealerships as it relates to the steering wheel shake issue. Complaints about vehicles will not be tolerated in this thread, this is specifically about the services which have been rendered to your Outback from any dealership you've dealt with.

If a dealership has been good to you and has genuinely put forth an effort to solve your problems, lets give them praise and let other members know that they are a valued resource. If a dealership has not been good to you, let'em have it! If say there are conflicting reports about a certain dealership lets not start an argument, we should be looking to help each other mutually benefit from our experiences.

You're up, have at it :17:
 

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Premium Member
2018 328d Wagon / 2018 3.6R Touring
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706 Posts
Well, since I made the comment about it being a good idea, here I go.

My dealership is Subaru of Wakefield in Wakefield MA. I've been doing business with the dealership for the last 8 years and my wife and I have purchased all 6 of our new Subaru's through them: 2003 Forester XS, 2004 Forester XT, 2003 OBW 2.5i, 2008 OBW 2.5i, 2008 OBW 2.5 Ltd, 2011 Outback 3.6R Ltd.

I believe in getting a car serviced where I buy it, if possible, as it seems most service departments, at least in my experience, will treat you better if you're also a sales customer.

That being said, there are two service writers I've dealt with, Tom and Christine. Both are easy to deal with, polite, and will do their best to accomodate you on issues that they know how to solve. I've not seen either try to tuck it to a customer with unecessary services.

The service manager, Larry, and I have butted heads a number of times over the years but have arrived at what I feel is a level of mutual respect.

My key to success with them has been been polite persistence, and I've pretty much gotten everything corrected from the 2003 OBW's piston slap to my 2008 OBW Ltd's needing 4 new struts at 30k. Not always on the first try, but I don't give up and they know it.

If you know enough about the car to be able to give them some meanignful specific insight into the problem that also helps, they will listen.

They also have some excellent mechanics, and I get the car back in the same cosmetic shape I left with them, i.e. no scratches, dings, oil stains inside, etc. The one time I did get a piece of trim damaged (rocker panel cover scratched), they replaced it with no problem.

I've tried to deal exclusively with Al and Tom in the parts department as I know them the best and they're very much on top of the typical parts a DIY person would need.

The sales department has been excellent overall, but truthfully like any other dealerships that I've seen you must go in there knowing the real cost of the car and the market value of your trade. If not, you're fair game. Their F&I guy is not overly pushy but will try to sell you a lot of useless stuff. At least he's not high pressure about it.

My current car has been the most problematic from getting the transmission to replicate its problem to the steering wheel resonance issue. We're slowing getting clarity on some of the issues but I can't help feeling that there's something about the new 2010/2011 Outbacks that they're having trouble coping with, either because there really isn't a solution and they know it, or because some of the problems have been predetermined by SOA to be foisted on to the customer as normal. Whatever it is its treated somewhat differently than any of our previous cars. Really took me opening a case with SOA to get their attention, and I've never had to do that before.

As regards loaner cars, they're a smaller dealership and their service loaners are generally older Legacy wagons with 100k or more on them. Doesn't bother me as it's something for me to drive and that's all I care about. If their service loaners are tied up they'll use Enterprise Rentals just down the street.

So overall, I give them a solid 9 out of 10, and in fact I do on the surveys. If I replace this with another Subaru, there's no doubt I'll try to do business with them first.

Hope this info helps.
 

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SubaruOutback.org Founder
2018 Outbacks, Grey Premium & Silver Limited
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Discussion Starter #3
I appreciate you posting this, it is a good example that I can critique to better explain the purpose of this thread. First off let me say that while this post is certainly beneficial to the thread, most of the content would be better to put in the Dealership Review forum. This is not a slight to you, its just that I've seen so many posts in this sub-forum that have been highly detailed about every aspect of a member's experience with a dealership as it pertains to their steering wheel shake issues.

That's what I'd like to see and I could care less if its good or bad. Frankly if anyone wants to rant to whatever end about their bad experiences with a dealership, I welcome it in this thread. If you are p1ssed off at a dealership because of how they've handled your shaker problem, we want to here about it in this thread! If you're happy with the service you've received let us know!

I would like to think this thread could show people the good dealerships to go to and let them know about the bad ones to stay away from. Its that simple.
 

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Premium Member
2018 328d Wagon / 2018 3.6R Touring
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706 Posts
I appreciate you posting this, it is a good example that I can critique to better explain the purpose of this thread. First off let me say that while this post is certainly beneficial to the thread, most of the content would be better to put in the Dealership Review forum. This is not a slight to you, its just that I've seen so many posts in this sub-forum that have been highly detailed about every aspect of a member's experience with a dealership as it pertains to their steering wheel shake issues.

That's what I'd like to see and I could care less if its good or bad. Frankly if anyone wants to rant to whatever end about their bad experiences with a dealership, I welcome it in this thread. If you are p1ssed off at a dealership because of how they've handled your shaker problem, we want to here about it in this thread! If you're happy with the service you've received let us know!

I would like to think this thread could show people the good dealerships to go to and let them know about the bad ones to stay away from. Its that simple.
Got it..... I'm a little slow on the uptake sometimes. Feel free to relocate it to the more appropriate forum. The most applicable part then would be: "My current car has been the most problematic from getting the transmission to replicate its problem to the steering wheel resonance issue. We're slowing getting clarity on some of the issues but I can't help feeling that there's something about the new 2010/2011 Outbacks that they're having trouble coping with, either because there really isn't a solution and they know it, or because some of the problems have been predetermined by SOA to be foisted on to the customer as normal. Whatever it is its treated somewhat differently than any of our previous cars. Really took me opening a case with SOA to get their attention, and I've never had to do that before."

If I were to grade them strictly on this issue we're down to a 5 out of 10.
 

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SubaruOutback.org Founder
2018 Outbacks, Grey Premium & Silver Limited
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Discussion Starter #5
My dealership gave me every line in the book for my “shaker” including “It’s normal, all Outbacks handle poorly and shake on the highway”, “It will improve after a few thousand miles”, “all all wheel drive cars do that” and on-and on. After several service trips they told me not to bring it back until I needed an oil change.

After the royal brush-off my SOA dealer survey came. Needless to say I gave them a bad review.
A couple of weeks later I got a very angry phone call from my dealership yelling at me for not giving them a perfect score. I didn’t appreciate them calling to yell at me, so bridges were burnt.

I opened a case with SOA and after a couple of months of inaction SOA was finally willing to take a look at the car but needed the request to come from the dealer I purchased the car from. They wouldn’t let me go through another dealer. They refused to call SOA to make that appointment. Even though SOA called them twice to make an appointment for one of their regional techs to come out, they still never called them to make the appointment. SOA wouldn’t come out without the dealer requesting it, so I was SOL as far as getting any possible repair or buyback resolution to the problem.

Legal action was then my only recourse.
Harplayr, when you will see this you will be asking yourself why I quote a post you tried to delete. I did this because this is EXACTLY the kind of review this thread needs. If you still with that it be completely removed from the record please let me know and I'll do it without question.

Here is what I don't get, for the past year we've had a few hundred members complain, gripe, and b1tch at no end about the steering wheel shake issue. I've seen hundreds of posts that contribute nothing be negativity towards this issue. I've probably seen a hundred accounts of members detailing talking about how their dealerships have dealt with them. I've extended an open invitation to these members so they can let loose with how they feel about it and all we have are two members who have made the effort to do so, one who deleted their post which suited the subject matter perfectly. All the while, as of the time I post this message, this thread has over one hundred views but no one else willing to step into the arena.

I don't know what to say, the affected members wanted me to create a sub-forum to group all related thread together. I did. Yet it seems as if a great amount of people would rather be content in their dissatisfaction instead of helping others and essentially help themselves.
 

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2016 Outback 2.5 Premium w Eyesight
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Harplayr, when you will see this you will be asking yourself why I quote a post you tried to delete. I did this because this is EXACTLY the kind of review this thread needs. If you still with that it be completely removed from the record please let me know and I'll do it without question.

Here is what I don't get, for the past year we've had a few hundred members complain, gripe, and b1tch at no end about the steering wheel shake issue. I've seen hundreds of posts that contribute nothing be negativity towards this issue. I've probably seen a hundred accounts of members detailing talking about how their dealerships have dealt with them. I've extended an open invitation to these members so they can let loose with how they feel about it and all we have are two members who have made the effort to do so, one who deleted their post which suited the subject matter perfectly. All the while, as of the time I post this message, this thread has over one hundred views but no one else willing to step into the arena.

I don't know what to say, the affected members wanted me to create a sub-forum to group all related thread together. I did. Yet it seems as if a great amount of people would rather be content in their dissatisfaction instead of helping others and essentially help themselves.
I would appreciate it if you would delete the quote or at least delete the references to my dealer’s name and location.

The reason I deleted the post is that I’m under a NDA (non-disclosure agreement). I’m not sure if calling them out in this manor may violate that agreement, but I wanted to play it safe. This may be true for others as well that either don’t want to burn bridges completely or may hinder their chances of a positive outcome.

I have seen many reports of good dealers here also. I agree that it would be helpful if those people would acknowledge them here.
 

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SubaruOutback.org Founder
2018 Outbacks, Grey Premium & Silver Limited
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Discussion Starter #7
I would appreciate it if you would delete the quote or at least delete the references to my dealer’s name and location.

The reason I deleted the post is that I’m under a NDA (non-disclosure agreement). I’m not sure if calling them out in this manor may violate that agreement, but I wanted to play it safe. This may be true for others as well that either don’t want to burn bridges completely or may hinder their chances of a positive outcome.

I have seen many reports of good dealers here also. I agree that it would be helpful if those people would acknowledge them here.
Understood, I edited the quoted post as you have requested. In the instance that you are able to disclose any more information about your dealership in the future we can always post it back up. If there is anything else I can do let me know.
 

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2016 Outback 2.5 Premium w Eyesight
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Understood, I edited the quoted post as you have requested. In the instance that you are able to disclose any more information about your dealership in the future we can always post it back up. If there is anything else I can do let me know.
Thank you for understanding.
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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4,448 Posts
I've decided to create this thread so that members can list their experiences with dealerships as it relates to the steering wheel shake issue. Complaints about vehicles will not be tolerated in this thread, this is specifically about the services which have been rendered to your Outback from any dealership you've dealt with.

If a dealership has been good to you and has genuinely put forth an effort to solve your problems, lets give them praise and let other members know that they are a valued resource. If a dealership has not been good to you, let'em have it! If say there are conflicting reports about a certain dealership lets not start an argument, we should be looking to help each other mutually benefit from our experiences.

You're up, have at it :17:
Don't know how many Newfoundlanders are on this forum but...My dealership has been fantastic from the get go! In fact...in the beginning I was the one who was giving them info before they had their hands on it..thanks to this fantastic forum....(SUBIESAILOR! :yodaddy:...oh yah...he's not reading this this sub forum any more...darn!) and SOA putting stuff out before it reaches SIC.

They have done everything possible to fix this and...as always...their service is first rate. Capital Subaru, St. John's Newfoundland.
 

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2011 Subaru Outback 2.5iL - Graphite Gray (bought back)
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221 Posts
i will try to keep this short as i have a dedicated thread on my shaker issue & final buyback

Dealer : Capitol Subaru, San Jose
Satisfied : Yes, with only person Stan Ramirez. Sales was clueless and even knowing they told "Wow - yours is the first Subaru we sold is a shaker"
SOA rep : Jody Cullen


I have been very very satisifed with SOA's commitment to fix my vehicle. Stan (dealership) helped me to get the parts, not wash me off, patiently understanding & relaying my problems.

However, SOA had been extremely helpful and when they could not fix the issue after the re-work of the 2nd TSB they offered me a price which i could not deny and was beyond my expectation.
 

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Premium Member
2018 Subaru Outback 3.6R 50th Anniversary Edition
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98 Posts
My Experience at Subaru of Kennesaw (Georgia)

My 2010 Outback Limited 3.6R was delivered on February 19th after being special ordered in late December. At the 3K mile service on May 17th I reported what I defined as a vibration felt in the steering wheel at approximately 70MPH. The Service Writer notified the Service Manager and told me they would contact SOA for permission to perform a Road Force Balance (RFB) on my Outback. The RFB was performed at a local non-affiliated Toyota dealer on May 19th.

My experience at Subaru of Kennesaw has been very positive:

1. My dealership took my word for the vibration issue and did not perform their own road test prior to contacting SOA.

2. I was called to schedule the RFB within two days of the original complaint.

3. There was no denial, or "they all do / feel like that" response to the issue.

4. The Service Manager let me know they would perform one four wheel alignment, at no cost to me, if I thought the Outback needed it. It was suggested that I wait until I had more miles after the RFB to see if it was necessary.

I have been one of the "lucky" ones that had the vibration resolved with a RFB. I now have over 9K miles and the vibration has not returned. If it should return I am confident that Subaru of Kennesaw will handle the issue professionally and continue to maintain their "customer first" approach to business. :29:
 

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My experience at Subaru of Kennesaw has been very positive:

1. My dealership took my word for the vibration issue and did not perform their own road test prior to contacting SOA.

2. I was called to schedule the RFB within two days of the original complaint.

3. There was no denial, or "they all do / feel like that" response to the issue.

4. The Service Manager let me know they would perform one four wheel alignment, at no cost to me, if I thought the Outback needed it. It was suggested that I wait until I had more miles after the RFB to see if it was necessary.

I have been one of the "lucky" ones that had the vibration resolved with a RFB. I now have over 9K miles and the vibration has not returned. If it should return I am confident that Subaru of Kennesaw will handle the issue professionally and continue to maintain their "customer first" approach to business. :29:
S of K is where I bought mine in August and my experience with them so far has also been very positive :29:.

Although I haven't had any shake problems with mine, I've discussed this phenomena with Steve, the service manager a couple of times, and like you say, he readily acknowledges it, but doesn't think it's as widespread as reported here on the forum. He also believes he can solve the problem if need be, and has his own theories behind its cause. Hope I never have to ask him for his help should the syndrome strike my OB, but I know I'll be in good hands if it does...........
 

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2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
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Sewell Subaru in Dallas has been great. They've listened to my concerns and when they couldn't fix the vehicle, they directed me to SOA. I was worried I'd get "this is normal" or "it's just road feel" response, but none of that.
 

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2010 Outback 2.5i Limited
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66 Posts
Lester Glenn Subaru of Toms River has been absolutely excellent to deal with on every issue. There was never a word of denial from their service department. I was easily able to demo the problem initially and it was immediately escalated to SOA corporate. They have maintained communication with me and checked back with me often for status. Sales is sales...and I would not expect them to either know or be openly speaking about an issue that is effecting only a percentage of vehicles. The service manager at the dealership is top notch.
 

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2007 Lexus IS 250 AWD, 2010 Honda Civic, New: 2016 Outback 3.6R
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Lester Glenn Subaru of Toms River has been absolutely excellent to deal with on every issue. There was never a word of denial from their service department. I was easily able to demo the problem initially and it was immediately escalated to SOA corporate. They have maintained communication with me and checked back with me often for status. Sales is sales...and I would not expect them to either know or be openly speaking about an issue that is effecting only a percentage of vehicles. The service manager at the dealership is top notch.
I deal with Flemington, but it's great to know there is another excellent dealer in the state of NJ.
 

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I would love to give my experience with my dealer over the shake issue, so here it is.
Brattleboro Subaru, Brattleboro, VT is where I purchased our 2011 Outback. We drove it off the lot and immediately felt the problem. I contacted the dealer as soon as I got home. They told me to bring it back. Visit 1 they decreased the tire pressure, made problem worse. Told to bring it back. Visit 2 they found alignment off. They aligned and told me everything else was normal. Problem still existed. Called back and I was told to bring it back and a mechanic would drive it with me. I also told them it was still out of alignment, and was told that it was road crown causing it. I have driven countless cars and trucks over the last 30 years to know if it is road crown or not. Visit 3 test drove another new Outback on a Sunday to compare. The other model did the same thing. Salesman told me my hands were to sensitive and it was normal. Visit 4 rode with mechanic and he verified the car was still out of alignment, HUH, and the shimmy was normal. Now to this point I have taken time off work to deal with this problem, and I keep getting the same answers, the problem is normal with the rack and pinion steering, and it is normal with the CVT transmission, and there are no known issues from Subaru. The other issue that really irks me is this is the 3rd car we have bought and we needed an alignment within the first month. They also tried to put the alignment against my 1 warranty alignment. I put the kibosh to that maneuver, with much disagreement from the service manager. Visit 4, I think corrected the alignment but I dont drive the car often. I went into the dealer after finding out about the shaking issue, brought the TSB # with me and was ready to discuss the problem. The servive manager would not discuss anything with me and he told me just because I found 1 other person on the internet with the problem does not mean there is a problem. I gave him the TSB info and he would not look them up for me. I threw my hands up and said I was done with that dealer. Since then I have contacted another dealer who is on the same page with me, and I will report after my appointment. Very dissatisfied with Brattleboro Subaru. JMM
 

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Salesman told me my hands were to sensitive and it was normal.
I've dealt with the three dealerships until I've found the one I can communicate with. Heard this argument before.

The servive manager would not discuss anything with me and he told me just because I found 1 other person on the internet with the problem does not mean there is a problem.
SOA and SCI knows that there are more people facing the problem. Just 1 other person wouldn't be sufficient to cause the TSBs.

Now to this point I have taken time off work to deal with this problem, and I keep getting the same answers, the problem is normal with the rack and pinion steering, and it is normal with the CVT transmission, and there are no known issues from Subaru.
Senior people at Subaru told me that FHI is aware of the problem and they are working on it. Since I like the car otherwise and want to keep it, they asked me to be patient.

Seems like a knowledge is a must to be able to disscuss the vibration issue with some dealerships. Some of them would try anything to direct us staight into a shrink office.
 

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Senior people at Subaru told me that FHI is aware of the problem and they are working on it. Since I like the car otherwise and want to keep it, they asked me to be patient.
I've had similar requests from both subaru and other auto makers over the years. Eventually the fix was sorted out and everything was fine. These companies are huge and in Subaru's case Japanese - it does take time to get the beast to move and to move with a solution.
 

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'18 Accord EX-L 2.0t; Wife's car: '16 3.6r Ltd. w/ Eyesight
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I orderd my OB 3.6R Ltd. at Grand Prix Jeep Chrysler Subaru in Hicksville, NY. It took almost 3 months for it to come in. Prior to taking delivery, I took it for a test drive and discovered the steering wheel vibrated on the highway, most significantly between 70-74mph. I refused delivery, canceled my order, and was refunded my deposit without a fight. :29:
 

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2011 Outback 3.6R Limited--Sky Blue Metallic
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I deal with Flemington, but it's great to know there is another excellent dealer in the state of NJ.
I am fortunate to not have a shaker--at least not yet.
But, I did want to point out that Somerset Subaru has an excellent service department--or at least that was my experience with the two previous cars that I bought from them.

I am taking my 2011 Outback to them next week for its first oil change and for the brake pedal "clunk" + a fairly obvious alignment problem. If I no longer have a positive impression of their service department, I will post back with an update.

Hopefully...
 
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