I know this topic seems to have been covered ad infinitum in this forum, but I want to get an opinion on the following chain of events:
0) The car is a 2005 Outback Wagon. We purchased it in November 2008 with 32,000 miles. It currently has 92,000 miles on it.
1) In mid 2011, the rear oxygen sensor failed with a code that suggested the Catalytic Converted had failed.
2) on 9/13/11, we had the catalytic converter replaced and tested. I believe this was covered by a recall or extended warranty.
3) Recently we noticed a loud exhaust-related noise and took the car to the dealer. We were told that there was a crack in the middle of the system, and that they needed to replace the entire system from there back. At the same time, we were told that the head gaskets were leaking and that we would need to get them replaced as well. The entire cost for this was $3,500
4) Less than a week after the exhaust system was replaced, a sensor failed and caused the check engine light to come on again. It wasn't the oxygen sensor, but another which we were told could be caused by misfires or a problem with the catalytic converter. I apologize for not knowing the name, but the paperwork is in the car, which is currently in the shop because...
5) One day after the faulty sensor was replaced, the rear oxygen sensor failed, causing the check engine light to come on again. We were told that it could have been because of the catalytic converter, which (as mentioned in 2) above) was replaced less than 18 months ago.
We were quoted $400 to replace the rear oxygen sensor. I can't help but feel that with replacing the exhaust system, catalytic converter, etc., that we are being taken for a ride somehow.
The car has turned into a money pit and we are eager to get rid of it, but for the moment I'd just like to know if anyone thinks I should push back against having to pay for the oxygen sensor, or if it's something that I should have 'expected.'