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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My wife has a 2009 Outback that was making some weird noises when backing up. I've been in the market for a 2020 Outback and I scheduled a test drive. I decided to see if they could look over the 2009 while I did my test drive. The 2009 was serviced about 1000 miles previous and was given a clean bill of health. After my test drive I get an estimate for close to $7000 worth of work, including a timing belt that we had previously replaced as part of scheduled maintenance, brakes that somehow went from fine to "it's too dangerous to drive" in 1000 miles, and a head gasket (there is no leaking oil in our driveway. Ironically, as they went over each line item, I kept asking if that would fix the noise I was trying to deal with in the first place. They never answered my question, just went back to the list.

My belief is that they were going to use this estimate to low-ball the price of a trade in. It was never even our intention to trade in the 2009. I still decided to buy the 2020, but I now have a very bad feeling about the service department. I'm curious about what other people would do under these circumstances.
 

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I would have the 2009 checked somewhere else (especially for the head gasket), and if they give it a clean bill of health, tell Subaru Of America about your experience with a dealer potentially lying about repairs. If the dealer did this, it is fraudulent. Subaru surely doesn't endorse this kind of shady practice going on at their dealerships.
 

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2017 Outback Premium, silver
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Well, it’s not likely they opened the engine to inspect the timing belt, thus I assume they looked at the mileage and assumed it wasn’t done, so added it to the list. Likewise the head gasket. They seem to be stating that they know head gaskets will need to be done, so here’s what it costs. Brakes are always a bit of a judgement call, with the dealer wanting to have you spend the money, so onto the list it goes. My dealer does the same, I expect it so ignore it. My private guy meanwhile, does the state inspection and never mentioned brakes.

They are trying to make money. You know they are trying to make money, so why the surprise ?
 

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2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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please name this lot,

and yes there are threads like this here....they probably wanted to clean the brake dust out curing the noise, ..
..and put it on the certified used lot for top dollar.

and please delete your name out and post the estimate if you have it in writing. (I really wonder how they could find $7000 worth of work to do to that car,...even if it was a basket case )
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The timing belt was replaced by the service department that gave me the estimate. They claimed it wasn't in their records.
 

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'10 3.6R Outback Limited, 2zr swapped Toyota Yaris track toy, '05 AWD Pontiac Vibe
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The thing I'm surprised about is why did you buy a darn car from them?!

A dealership wants to make money, that is a given, but throwing random things onto a bill to stack the numbers is BS. An honest, competent mechanic would never tell you a HG needs to be done if it doesn't.

It's one thing if the OP gave them his car to check out stating that he wanted to trade it in. Then I would expect them to come up with a list of things that potentially will need to be done to make the car reliable ie: a new HG. But the OP gave them the car to inspect for a specific noise complaint. What they did was utter garbage and another reason many of us refuse to set foot in a dealership.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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OP said he already bought the 2020, so that's water over the dam. Understand there really are dealers where the sales and service departments' reputations are wildly divergent, i.e. one can be extremely good and the other extremely bad, or vice versa. Perhaps the price was right, or they were honest on that end of it, or whatever. Main point is it's done, so don't think too hard on it.

And OP also said that it was never his intention to trade in the 2009, so I presume he still has it and not yet taken in for any kind of service there, so that's also water over the dam. I don't think he'll be going back there.

But if it were me, I'd take it one step further: Write a letter to the owner explaining your experiences - and enclose paperwork, if you have it - and why they will never again get your service business.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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I suggest you find a good indie shop.

$7000?????
HG with head rebuild calls for 14 hours.
Timing components and gaskets with spark plugs and thermostat are parts w/o labor added to the HG job. You also have oil, filter and coolant. The OEM gaskets for the job run about 200ish retail. Coolant at 25/gal, oil at 15/qt, filter 10-15, thermostat 28, plugs at 10/ea, cables at 70ish.

Noise when backing is generally the wear indicator rubbing the rotor. Which means worn pads. It's been my experience that all 4 wheels wear about the same, the dealer replaces the rotors. So all 4 wheels would run about 900 with them.

Then if front lower control arms are on the list there's that and an alignment.

They probably added struts to the list.

The other thing that drives the labor cost up is instead of combining labor, they most likely stacked it. Meaning they stacked HG, plugs, therm, timing components, etc.

I see screwball estimates all the time when people bring them to me and stacked labor is the cost difference. I'd say 20% of the time unnecessary work is also listed.
 

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2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i 2003 Legacy L special edition (retired to backup)
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all of the Subaru dealers here will tell you maintenance is due if they have no service history on said car. They even note it on said check list as no service history.

Also if your car has a diaper under the engine (the plastic aerodynamic cover), you would not know there was an oil or coolant leak until it became severe.

If their service department is as bad as you said, I hope you did not buy your car from them...
 

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he did not say it was at the same dealer...
 

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2008 Outback 2.5
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I'm sorry you bought that 2020 from that crooked dealer. Now go and find a reputable independent shop and take your 2009 there and vow to take your 2020 there in the future. Dealers are good for 2 things. Buying the car and getting free recall service done while refusing additional "recommended" service. Go in for an ECU flash and find out that they took your wheels off to sell you new brakes, rotors and suspension. Get the airbag recall done and they tell you you need a new air filter, throttle body cleaning and new shocks. Each for about $1000. They never want to let you leave their shop without separating you for around $1000.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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Dealers are good for 2 things. Buying the car and getting free recall service done while refusing additional "recommended" service. Go in for an ECU flash and find out that they took your wheels off to sell you new brakes, rotors and suspension. Get the airbag recall done and they tell you you need a new air filter, throttle body cleaning and new shocks. Each for about $1000. They never want to let you leave their shop without separating you for around $1000.
I just had the TKC20 airbag recall done on my 2008. Before that this same dealer did the WQR53 airbag recall (not their fault it was done twice, BTW; most of you know the story here). In neither case did they attempt to sell me anything else; they merely did the recall that I had requested and gave me my car back fixed and with the dashboard looking like it was when I brought it in to them.

There are honest dealer service organizations out there. You just have to ask around.

And that being said, I'll admit I use an independent shop for all non-warranty work. It's not as much about competence as it is about the labor rates charged and profit margins built-in.
 

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2008 Outback 2.5
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When I had mine done, they said front and rear brakes were worn, wanted to replace the pads and rotors. Pads were down but not to the linings and the rotors were well within spec for width. When I had to get a solenoid switch replaced under warranty for my wife's Nissan, they wanted to replace the air intake filter, cabin filter and clean the intake sensor for a nice $800. Yes there are some honest dealer service organizations out there and yes you do have to ask around. The problem is that you often don't have the time to leisurely ask around when you need service.
 

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'10 3.6R Outback Limited, 2zr swapped Toyota Yaris track toy, '05 AWD Pontiac Vibe
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When I had mine done, they said front and rear brakes were worn, wanted to replace the pads and rotors. Pads were down but not to the linings and the rotors were well within spec for width. When I had to get a solenoid switch replaced under warranty for my wife's Nissan, they wanted to replace the air intake filter, cabin filter and clean the intake sensor for a nice $800. Yes there are some honest dealer service organizations out there and yes you do have to ask around. The problem is that you often don't have the time to leisurely ask around when you need service.
How the **** did they land st $800 for that?!

I've heard it thrown around before that $1000 is the sweet spot to charge people who show up at dealerships. Higher than that and they will refuse and go elsewhere, lower than that and you could have got more money from them...not sure how true it is but based on a lot of the dealership quotes people post on car forums, it seems about right
 

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Nuts. If it's not warranty, I try my best to learn to do it myself. Brakes are pretty easy on most vehicles.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 
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