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Hi all, this is gonna be kinda long but I need some advice.

Tuesday, I took the day off and rove 3+ hours to get a 2017 Outback Premium. 11800 miles on the odo and it presented as being in pretty good shape. Ran well, no rust, a few dings to the paint but overall a good buy. (i'm hoping)

Did the test drive, drove straight no problems. The wife and I sat for a few hours while they got the paperwork done and I asked them to straighten out the steering wheel. It was about 5-10 degrees out of being straight when driving straight. I didn't think much of it, the car didn't pull to one side or anything, I figured it was a mistake when it was last aligned.

We left with the car and I was following, it turns out the rear camber is WAY out. I could see that the rear wheels didn't line up with the front. The car was going down the road a bit sideways. Full stop, back to the dealer.

Looking at the rear camber, it was just crazy out, the inside 3 inches of both rear tires were bald. (It seems the lease holder never noticed because you could tell all 11k miles were on those same tires)

Sales manager is (seemingly) honestly sorry that this is the state of the car. He sends it to the shop to get it fixed ASAP as he knows we've a 3 hr drive to get home. It turns out the passenger side rear camber bolt(?) with some sort of disc isn't tight and just will not tighten up. Parts need ordered (a new bolt, disc and arm(?)), two new tires need ordered and (thankfully) the dealer will deliver it to our home 3 hrs away. We leave, still having bought the car, but we now wait for it to arrive.

So questions: 1. Have I made a huge mistake keeping the car? It hasn't been delivered yet and I'm pretty sure I could call the dealer and tell him no thanks, cancel the deal. Should I? 2. If I don't cancel the deal, is there any lasting damage related to bad rear camber that I should know about? Problems with the axles, brakes, tie rods, even the rear diff?

Lastly, I know some may say walk away, and I am still willing to do so but this is the only Outback that we could find in our price range with the options we wanted within a 250 mile radius and we really want an Outback for a variety of reasons.

TL;DR Rear camber is WAY out for 11K miles, other than bad tread wear on the tires, is there any other possible lasting damage from incorrect camber (brakes, axles, tie rods, rear diff, etc)?
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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Was this car rear ended or power-slid into a curb? Really sounds like something "kinetic" happened aft of the C-pillar, then repaired and traded in 15 minutes after the paint dried. That doesn't mean it's a bad car, and it's good that you noticed it right out of the gate. There may be hope for it yet.

I wouldn't anticipate any geometry problems affecting the powertrain/rear diff. There is enough isolation via the driveshafts.

That said, it's going to be weird with tires. You always want 4 matched tires to keep the AWD healthy. Anything that creates differential tire wear is going to be a problem, and if you fail to manage that problem it's going to eventually eat the transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've heard that about the matched tires. In the normal course of events I get all 4 when it is necessary. I will keep an eye on it. Thank you for the reply.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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I would walk away from this sale transaction, but at the same time tell the dealer that if he allows you to have it inspected by a mechanic of your choice, you might reconsider. This way, you're protecting your interests, but you still have made them aware that you're interested.

If they say no, walk permanently.

It sounds like the dealer didn't know of the problem, but now that they do, it likely becomes something that would have to be disclosed to any other potential buyer. Therefore, there's less chance of it being bought out from under you.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
UPDATE: Talked to the dealer, according to them the car is fixed up and I'm getting at 4 new tires. It should be delivered tomorrow at 1.

I'll be lining up a independent inspection with "my guy" who I usually go to. So we'll see....
 

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You can run a carfax on it. If it was wreaked, then you would know.


Also, the 2017 outbacks had an undersized sway bar on them. Just about everyone replaced them with 19mm or 20mm sway bars. Maybe someone forgot to tighten up some of the bolts and that was part of the problem. The original sway bars I think were 12mm? The car was difficult to control in high winds at highway speeds. About $100 to replace if the original sway bar if it is still on the car. I would ask. That may be why they are selling a 2017 with 12k.



I would give the dealer a chance to make things right. If fixed, you could end up with a nice car.
 

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2016 2.5i Outback, 2002 Audi S4 Avant, 1980 CB750F Supersport, 1985 Carrera 3.2
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I wouldn't go off assuming that a camber bolt being off was the result of a collision without any other obvious damage or repair work easily noticed. It's more possible a previous owner hit a curb real bad while taking a right turn out of a driveway or parking lot and it knocked it off alignment (happens often). Offset camber bolts can easily strip if the force is great enough which might be why they can't re-tighten it. If it's fixed along with new tires and the car looks clean with no accident record then you should be fine.
 

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You can run a carfax on it. If it was wreaked, then you would know.


Also, the 2017 outbacks had an undersized sway bar on them. Just about everyone replaced them with 19mm or 20mm sway bars. Maybe someone forgot to tighten up some of the bolts and that was part of the problem. The original sway bars I think were 12mm? The car was difficult to control in high winds at highway speeds. About $100 to replace if the original sway bar if it is still on the car. I would ask. That may be why they are selling a 2017 with 12k.



I would give the dealer a chance to make things right. If fixed, you could end up with a nice car.

Please don't spread false information. Those vehicles do not have an undersized sway bar on them. They have a 16 mm bar that the Subaru engineers decided was the optimal size for all around handling.

"Just about everyone" doesn't go out and replace the RSB. Some do, mostly the blind following the blind.

The car is not difficult to control in high winds at highway speeds.

Most likely the vehicle is a 1 year lease that has been turned in and nothing to do with the vehicles handling characteristics.
 
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Please don't spread false information. Those vehicles do not have an undersized sway bar on them. They have a 16 mm bar that the Subaru engineers decided was the optimal size for all around handling.

"Just about everyone" doesn't go out and replace the RSB. Some do, mostly the blind following the blind.

The car is not difficult to control in high winds at highway speeds.

Most likely the vehicle is a 1 year lease that has been turned in and nothing to do with the vehicles handling characteristics.
I feel so out of touch. I had no idea I was one of the few who hadn't replaced my severely inadequate sway bar. I also had no idea my car was supposed to be hard to control in high winds at highway speeds. I have probably been driving out of control all this time and didn't know it. Now that I know I will be scared to death if I have to drive when it is windy.
 

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i feel so out of touch. I had no idea i was one of the few who hadn't replaced my severely inadequate sway bar. I also had no idea my car was supposed to be hard to control in high winds at highway speeds. I have probably been driving out of control all this time and didn't know it. Now that i know i will be scared to death if i have to drive when it is windy.
:29::19:
 

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Brucey
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I would walk away. Plenty of other fish in the sea.

Also, a clean Carfax is not worth much.

It's usually a good sign but remember this truck?


It has a clean Carfax.

Carfax only reports incidents reported to insurance.

If someone fixes vehicle out of pocket then the Carfax shows nothing.
 

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2015 Outback 2.5i Limited, Ice Silver/Black
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FWIW, I've never had an alignment done where the steering wheel didn't end up crooked and it ate my tires shortly after. I chalk it up to general incompetence by mechanics. I don't do it anymore unless I actually see abnormal tire wear. I don't think it's a "basic maintenance" item on the street. Maybe off road.
 

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2017 OB Premium, Wh on WH
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I traded my Forester after it was wrecked into twice. Checked the dealer website and the Carfax had no mention of either wreck, kind of like the internet, don't believe everything you read!
 

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2017 2.5 Outback Limited no Eyesight
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A crash takes about six to ten months to show up on Carfax. That's if it's reported at all, as stated above.
 
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