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Discussion Starter #1
My 2018 outback has a large gap between hood / fender / headlight on passenger side. Driver side is much tighter. I tried adjusting by using the rubber stoppers but it's not helping. Does anyone know how to adjust the hood gaps? Not sure I want the dealer to mess with it...never seems to come back right.
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i Convenience
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@Triumphgt6c Picture?

I didn't register it was a 2018, just get the dealer to deal with it. I get what you're saying, but it's their problem since it's off the assembly line.
Sounds like it's a height issue if you're using the rubber bumpers. That's how it's adjusted, keep turning it.
If the problem is lateral, it requires loosening the hinge bolts and small adjustments, re-tighten, carefully close the hood and check gap distances, and repeat until it's good.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I looked at the rubber bumpers and adjusted but it didn't help.
Seems like the hood needs to move laterally. I removed a nut on the hinge to see how it adjusts, but it's just a hole for the stud to go through, not a slot. If there was a slot then it would be easy to tweak it over a bit, but it doesn't look like there's any adjustment in these hinges. Does anyone have a workshop manual that explains how the hinge adjusts? I saw a diagram for a forester that said the hinges have slots for adjustments but this Outback does not.
 

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I'd really take it to a dealer. if you adjust something the wrong way and break it or make it worse, the dealer will void warranty for that part / issue altogether. It's a brand new car, I wouldn't bother fixing it myself, and I'm completely DIY on my cars.
 

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2018 Outback Limited 2.5L - 100,000+ miles
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I am going to be 100% honest with you and tell you that I think this is an assembly issue. My 2018 Outback was this way when it arrived and despite the fact that we adjusted the rubber stopper on that side things only changed marginally. I have seen several other 2018 Outbacks that look to have the same thing going on with them.

I would say 99% of people would never notice it but those with scrupulous eyes like us will. I'm pretty much over it and just enjoying the car. I'm sure Subaru SOA and SIA are aware of it by now and will take measures to correct whatever is the cause soon enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm just concerned the dealer might do something stupid like try to force a hinge or something and make everything worse. Sometimes it's better to keep the factory defect rather than have a dealer mess around and potentially make things worse...opening a can of worms. But if this is an emerging concern then perhaps SOA / SIA has a fix prepared?
 

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Not an emerging issue. Do some searching and you will find others that find some of the panel gaps unacceptable. Last ones I remember reading had to do with the rear hatch.

Mine aren't perfect but meet my expectations for a vehicle at the price point of the OB.
 
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A vertical hood gap - assuming I'm understanding your description correctly - can indeed be adjusted by the rubber stops, BUT you may also have to adjust the hood latch downwards a bit as well to pull the hood down on to the readjusted rubber stop.

A lateral gap between the side of the hood and the fender will usually have to be adjusted by slipping the hinges. HOWEVER - and I say this having not ever seeing the 2018 center latch - you may have to adjust the center latch sideways slightly instead to allow the hood to move the amount your need.
 

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Humans made it, humans can adjust it.
Dealer body shop would be well qualified to adjust hood perfectly.
Doesn't the factory have a final quality inspection? Perhaps that's within the specs. I have noticed over the years a inconsistent build. I remember looking at the 13 model OB and seeing huge gaps in the a pillar trim where it meets the headliner then it seemed to be corrected
 

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Doesn't the factory have a final quality inspection? Perhaps that's within the specs. I have noticed over the years a inconsistent build. I remember looking at the 13 model OB and seeing huge gaps in the a pillar trim where it meets the headliner then it seemed to be corrected
Final quality inspection could be as simple as "hood opens, hood closes", meets specs. I could be wrong but doubt for cars in this price range they are laser measuring gaps to the tenth of an inch.
 

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I looked at a 2018 Outback today with the same issue. The gaps between the right front quarter panel and the windshield pillar were off too. Much bigger gaps than on the driver's side. The build date on the tag was 7/17. I pointed it out to the salesman and sales manager. The dealership GM came out to take a look as well. They immediately sent it to their onsite body shop. I am going back to look at the car again after they fix the issue.
 

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Saw the car today after the body shop made corrections. It looked much better. The adjustment they made was to the right front quarter panel and not the hood. That seemed to correct the issue with the excessive hood gap.
 

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The FINAL INSPECTION is supposed to be the technician at the dealer that does the PDI, or Pre Delivery Inspection! They get paid 1 hr labor per vehicle usually for initial checkover, road test and minor adjustments, fluids, tire pressure, hood/trunk/door latch bumpers and adjustments. There is a quality manufacturers checklist form that should be turned in on each vehicle at PDI completion. Any other problems or corrections are at warranty rate. You are supposed to be delivered a vehicle in perfect condition, so sad it rarely happens. I used to do PDIs when I was a line tech for Honda and Toyota. I treated each one I did as if I was taking delivery of it myself. The rest of the guys didn't care. They would bring 2,3 or 4 in at a time, remove the shipping covers, check the lights and radio, gas it and on the lot it went. Easy money spending a whole 15 minutes on each and getting paid for 1 hr of work for each car and the customer and manufacturer suffer the consequences of procedures not followed.
I was working at a Toyota Chrysler dealer when the first LH cars came out. They seemed nice at the time. The Chrysler tech's never properly PDId the vehicles. I had my wife come over after I got off work to drive a new mini van and a Concorde just to see what she thought. Hated the van, seemed to like the car at first but then we went over a set of railroad tracks......oh boy the rear suspension sounded like it was going to fall off, and the right pillar trim fell in her lap, then the dash cover popped loose across the entire dash! She looked at me and said take this POS back not buying any Chrysler at all. We got a Camry, which is what I wanted any way. This was in 94. A proper PDI would have corrected those issues before the customer experienced them. You only get one chance sometimes.......
 

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I have a 17 that was hit in the front and the body shop pretty much dismantled the whole car and then threw it back together from what I've found so far. Not one part was aligned properly. Gaps everywhere. Just plain not attached. Even bowing out. They had it for 3 months (10 days shy of 3) and I have a list of 13 noted issues and it is going back this week. I feel bad but my car was great and I was told by my Subaru dealer and the very reputable shop I would get it back better than before the accident. So from your incident I guess I'm not knit picking because it can be fixed? Otherwise I will keep taking it back.


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Same problem with mine too...

Picked up my '18 last week here in California and noticed this a couple days after driving it off the lot. I guess I'm glad I'm not alone? Otherwise the car is amazing. I've notified the dealership but haven't had the chance to bring it back to show them. I don't have much confidence that the dealer will be able to fix the issue.
 

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My new Crimson 2018 Outback Premium has same issue. Hood isn't aligned right, passenger side has larger gap than driver side.

Noticed it yesterday on drive from dealer home.
 
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