Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
14,318 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Your guilty.

Everyone is guilty.

In some way, shape, form or poor excuse, everyone skimps on maintenance necessities. Some keep putting it off to buy the kids what they want or need. Others, things for the wife. Then you have maintenance on the house, school fees, clothing, pets, gasoline, phone bill, tax bill, insurances, holidays and even food. I even had one owner who turned down a really good price on repair of the brakes she desperately needed before she killed someone because she had an appointment to get her nails done and couldn't wait. Hey, she HAD TO HAVE her nails done, that's all there is to it. When she came back after it got worse, I was thinking, whoever did them ripped her off. And she paid for that????

For some, they don't think about it because they don't know. Or they had an idea, but didn't act on it.

Look familiar: :RTFM: Its put up as an indication that the question you are asking is in the handbook provided with your new vehicle. If you didn't get a handbook, chew out the salesman. Better yet, sit down with the salesman and go through it asking questions. In the old days, a salesman made sure you knew what you were getting and how to take care of it. Now its, get the signature and move on to the next one.

If you bought it used, hey, its online somewhere or a call to the manufacturer will lead you to where you can obtain one. You don't try to put that IKEA wall to wall entertainment center together without a manual, why wouldn't you want one for one of the most expensive items in your possession? Don't have it, get it, read it, follow it.

The importance of following the maintenance as outlined in your owner's manual needs to be ingrained in mind. Or, put it in you iPhone to remind you. I haven't looked for it, but I wouldn't be surprised if there is an app for auto maintenance schedules. (If not, someone reading this will probably get on that and let us all know how it turns out. There are enough engineers and computer programmers on this forum to make it possible.)

I see a large number of vehicles through the week. Some are in good shape. Others are mediocre. 10%, and that is probably a generously low number, have issues that could have been prevented if the maintenance schedule had been followed which would have lowered the overall cost of repair. Or if simple things that come up had been taken seriously instead of disregarded as a temporary measure that may go away. Instead, the chain of events leading to the domino effect has begun and the problem expands to a much more serious issue.

Case in point: Owner calls and wants a price on repairing the brakes on a 2500 Suburban. Says they started making noise and they need to be replaced. I told the owner to bring it in so I can check to see exactly what was happening and what was needed to remedy the noise. Next day, same owner calls again and wants a hard price for a repair. Its not happening. Unless its a scheduled maintenance repair, I don't give any definite pricing. I don't know what's going on, can't do it until I see it. Third day the truck comes in, we get it in the air, take the wheels off and holy shite, what a mess. The passenger front pads were gone, piston were almost out of the dual piston caliper, half the rotor was chewed up, and I mean one side of the friction area was ground away through half the vents. I asked why the truck wasn't looked at prior to the severe grinding. The answer I got, "It just started a couple days ago and I thought it would go away. I thought about getting it looked at when it wouldn't stop good any more." $450.

Really. No kidding.

Simple things, like oil changes. Why skip that schedule? Why risk your investment? "I know I'm a couple thousand miles overdue, but just top it off for now, I do mostly highway driving." Yeah, the highway is MoPac during rush hours when it resembles more of a slow drive thru lane during cheap fried chicken night than an expressway. When the engine light comes on, and I find the issue, remember that the overlooked oil change would have saved your camshaft actuator. $1200 (Chevy 6.2)

In Texas, it is required that all beginner driver's go through a licensed driver training class in order to get a license. Why can't they spend 2 hours in this class instructing teens on how to read the owner's manual so they know about what they are operating? Maybe have a class in HS required of all new driver's that covers nothing but understanding the heavy machine's operation and basic needs. It'll never happen. Or it would be like music instruction and sports, pay to play. I remember when driver's ed was a class, now its a business.

I don't intend to rant. I am just trying to convey the importance of scheduled maintenance. It doesn't matter why you missed it, just know that there is that chance the work or repair you neglect may escalate into a larger problem. Several cars were in the shop today for various repairs. Three repairs could have been prevented if maintenance had been followed.

And sometimes, people get lucky. Example: Subaru 2.5 SOHC Timing Belt - YouTube
 

·
Registered
2003 OBW 2.5L 4EAT
Joined
·
860 Posts
I know what you mean Cardoc. My '03 Outback had ~121,000 miles on the original timing belt which had several severe cracks in it and a leaky tensioner when I bought it last June, not to mention both headgaskets leaking oil externally, completely wasted spark plugs that were covered in oil that killed my igniton wires as well. Whole bunch of other things had to be changed as well, too much to list.

Previous owner managed to do oil changes properly on time according to the stack of receipts that came with the car, 4 new tires and new rear passenger side wheel bearing just before selling it, but couldn't keep up with the rest of maintenance apparently.

I can hardly believe that I was able to drive it off the dealer lot without the engine dying on me, but I knew all this beforehand when I looked at it. 2 days after I drove it home, I took it my Suby mechanic to get everything done and to this day I still keep strict maintenance on it and can finally do some modding on it and not just maintenance. :D
 

·
Registered
1993 Legacy LSi with still functioning Air Suspension, 1999 Outback 2.5L 5MT lab Rat
Joined
·
191 Posts
I agree Doc, for guys like us in the repair biz its going to get better, at least in terms of income, unless they learn. With the onset of high fuel mileage requirements and new low friction engines, oil change intervals have risen on average across the board. New Hondas 10k between oil changes, subaru's 7.5kbetween changes.
Low friction engines are designed to consume/use/eat oil. The Fed government now allows 1qt of consumption per 800 miles. Hondas hold 4qts, if it uses 1 per 800 mi, your oil is gone before what would have been the old change interval at 3750 mi. New FB 2.0/2.5 Subarus hold 6qt at 1qt per 800 your at little or no oil at 4800 mi. I don't care who builds the engine, nobodys engine respondswell to lack of lubrication.
I am always amazed at the number of people who will spend $100 on a DVD player and read the book (owners manual) cover to cover, but spend thousands on a car and the owners manual is wrapped up neatly in the glove box.
BTW The government knows people neglect their cars, that why they are now equipped with tire pressure monitoring, low oil indicators, and are going to legislate AC sytems and cooling systems into the Smog Programs. People want to complain about what cars cost, but imagine if they took care of them, the government wouldn't have as much to worry about, wouldn't have to force manufacturers to add items, and would reduce the costs to some degree.
What I find interesting is your Suburban brake issue, I've seen this alot woth similar tails of "just started making noise" statements. I had 1 guy admit that it had made noise for almost a year, he brought it to us when the noise couldn't be drowned out anymore by the Sterio. This guy shouldn't be allowed to drive a car, let alone own one!
 

·
Registered
2005 OBW 2.5L, 1989 Subaru Justy, RIP Blu
Joined
·
7,355 Posts
Some states dont even have drivers ed programs anymore. The problem has gotten worse with the way user interfaces have changed. It used to be you could at least turn on lights, heater, wipers on any car. Now good luck with the heater, radio has been a lost cause for years, and the headlight switch is starting to get weird with automatic lights.

To be fair, the size of the owners manuals are getting huge and intimidaiting. I think someone switched to a CD, how the heck is that going to help you in the middle of nowhere trying to chase a fuse.
 

·
Registered
2013 Legacy Lim CVT Car: 2011 OB Prem 6MT Car: 2006 Miata GT 6MT mc: 2003 Honda GL1800A * Reunite Gondwanaland *
Joined
·
3,567 Posts
Simple things, like oil changes. Why skip that schedule?
Possibly because lying scum service providers have lost all credibility?

My dealer says 3500 miles, even though Subaru USA says 7500 miles,
and Subaru Germany says 15,000 km. That's 9320 miles, on EXACTLY
the same car ...uhh, except for the V-rated tires and no speed limiter.

Is it any wonder that automobile service businesses rank somewhere
between congressmen and Bernie Madoff in the public trust?

...what goes around comes around,

Looby
 
  • Like
Reactions: TJ Miller

·
Registered
03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
Joined
·
17,619 Posts
food clothing shelter and transportation are common to almost all of us.

so many people know little to nothing about shopping for, repairing and dealing with the basics in life. If you have no parents to teach you, find an expert, some info or a class.

learn to sew on a button, and how to properly wash clothes.

learn how to prep and paint a bedroom, fix a toilet, unclog a drain, replace a leaky faucet washer or a worn-out door lockset.

learn to grill, pan fry, boil and bake a little. Enough to put together 3-4 tasty, nutritious meals. At least a decent breakfast or 2 (eggs and oatmeal even), a coupla kinds of sandwiches, burgers and meatloaf, steamed mixed vegetables and corn. Brew iced tea, cheapest drink after water.

learn to read the BOTH sides of the maintenance schedule of the car, what the warning lights mean, how to check fluid levels and tire pressure. Listen to it with the radio and a/c off occasionally, watch any gauges and feel for anything odd. Have the tires rotated and inspected.


learn how to RESEARCH solutions to problems beyond your capability, Either research how to DIY, or research to locate a highly rated professional. Research to hire a job done could mean Yelp, Angie's List or Google reviews - or, asking coworkers, relatives, neighbors, or the pastor of a local church for a recommendation of a professional.
 

·
Registered
1993 Legacy LSi with still functioning Air Suspension, 1999 Outback 2.5L 5MT lab Rat
Joined
·
191 Posts
Looby, the idea of Docs post was that maybe as an owner you should read the owners manual, which will tell you when to do required maintenace. Then DO the maintenance the vehicle requires. Yes, I agree most everyone is guilty of ignoring maintenance and in the long haul it doesn't cost me if your engine blows up. I'm sure that most service personnel don't do alot to bridge the trust gap either so some of us pay for that lack of trust. If your dealer is suggesting 3500 miles, you might ask why since the owners manual indicates 7500.
Also for the record I don't know of a manufacturer that doesn't also suggest the owner check the oil level, tire pressures and such when you fill the tank. So at the very least the manufacturer thinks that is a minimum maintenance requirement as far as ownership.
I have worked on cars for 30+ years and I have yet to work for a shop who would charge to diagnose the same problem within a reasonable warranty time twice, you bash mechanics, cool. Have you noticed that when you go anywhere else (Doctor/Dentist/Attorney)everytime you walk in the door your going to pay. If I make a serious mistake Your car comes back to me on tow truck. If your doctor makes a serious mistake your dead. Hate me all you want, but to be good at my job I have to keep up on technology that has gone from basic Internal combustion principal to advanced electonics.
To fix todays high tech cars a funtional Understanding of Chemistry helps (Emissions)
A degree in electonics wouldn't hurt (Everything from the engine control system to the LAN system that now allows the many controllers to communicate)
An understanding of sattellite operation for the navigation systems, Radar for adaptive cruise contol, thats all in addition to still having to fix, fluid hydraulics (Brakes, Automatic transmissions), Thermal dynamics (engines, cooling systems air conditioning systems)
Then think about how much has the Human Body changed in the last 100 years. Now how much has the automobile changed in the last 20 years. I remind my clients that if their optomotrist suggested lasik surgery, they may balk about the cost, but they wouldn't be heading to the phone book looking for a Wal*Mart alternative, no more than if thier spouse/child/parent needed brain surgery, and If your doctor needs a consult your going to pay for the consult.
Best news from my end is if your car needs Brain surgery its likely I can give you better odds of success than your Nero-surgeon, and for significantly less money. And if I need a consult you don't pay for it.
 

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
14,318 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Possibly because lying scum service providers have lost all credibility?

My dealer says 3500 miles, even though Subaru USA says 7500 miles,
and Subaru Germany says 15,000 km. That's 9320 miles, on EXACTLY
the same car ...uhh, except for the V-rated tires and no speed limiter.

Is it any wonder that automobile service businesses rank somewhere
between congressmen and Bernie Madoff in the public trust?

...what goes around comes around,

Looby
I agree. Its stupidity.

Mine's not the same either and I still don't know if we managed to kill the speed limiter.

You know what it is, Humans have become reliant on information but tend to ignore the important things. We look for the answers we want instead of the knowledge we need. We are more concerned with what someone else is doing over maintaining our individual lives. If you aren't told to change the oil, you don't do it. If you aren't told to check the oil level, you won't do that either. TPMS, headlights, lane weaving, active cruise control, automatic transmissions. Okay, I threw the last one in to be sarcastic. But when do we stop relying on constant monitors to tell us how to operate the car? I understand that the manuals are getting ridiculously thick, but we asked for it. I didn't. But apparently a few people did.

I don't like the color changing temperature indicators. I don't like the dinger on the fuel gauge. I don't like not having an oil pressure gauge, especially wrapping the engine to 7k. I don't like not having an amp/voltmeter. Lights? Owners ignore the lights. I get cars in all the time and ask how long the light, which ever light it is, has been on and the answer is "I don't know. A day or two." Check it with the scanner and its been on for 10k miles.

Its becoming too comfortable. Advertisers and manufacturers have convinced the human race that we don't need to worry ourselves with the daily needs of the automobile. We only need add fuel and oil on occasion and drive it. The rest will take care of itself.

Look at the adds for cars. Toyota, Honda, Kia/Hyundai and even Subaru advertise like you won't have a worry in the world with one of their vehicles. "Built Ford Tough"(tm) is a misnomer. Tough compared to what? A toy car? I see more Fords for repair than any other vehicle. And its always stupid stuff and difficult to repair because they can't build the trucks and cars for simplicity in repairs. The engineers design them like nothing will ever go wrong. 04-08 5.4L engines with the most stupid design plug. You tell a customer 3 hours to change the plugs and an extra 1/2 for each one that brakes they look at you like your crazy. I had one truck where 1 came out whole. I spent 5 hours removing broken plugs and I have the tool for it.

So its not just the consumers. Its the manufacturers and the advertisers that contribute to the ignorance of the owners as to what the needs of the cars are. That book is to save them from lawsuits. They know you are intimidated by the thickness of the book. We want it quick, easy and now. NOW.

It doesn't work that way. Patience and perseverance. Nothing comes easy all the time.

Again, its up to each individual to put forth effort to learn. The information is not going to be handed to you or provided fully in a google search. Get to the car. Get dirty. Get the car dirty. Hook up that laptop and talk to it. Make it better. Make it yours and treat it like a part of the family and respect it.

Because when you come to see me when a major hit happens, it most likely will not be because of the engineering behind the combustion engine. It will be due to neglect or abuse somewhere along the lines in ownership that went a little too long.

Remember, when you come to someone like me its like visiting the doctor and surgeon. You have to pay for what I know and am able to accomplish. That's the trade. Or, you can try it yourself and get it right or bring it to me on a tow truck when you don't. (I had a guy yesterday ask me about an ignition plug change on his Ford and I laid it out for him. Cost, time and variables. He asked what would happen if he tried it himself and broke a plug. I gave him the number to the tow company I use. Maybe he'll get it right, maybe he'll tire of it after he can't figure out how to get the coils out without removing the fuel rail.)
 

·
Premium Member
2005 3.0 R n totaled
Joined
·
7,529 Posts
cardoc: In some EU countries there is a mandatory technical class required before you go to drive a car. In that class, potential new drivers are taught how combustion engine works and all related matters with car upkeep and mainenance. Once completed, you have to complete 20 driving lessons (you get a coupon book) with licensed driving instructor. Only after that you can go and take a test to get a driving license.
 

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
14,318 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
cardoc: In some EU countries there is a mandatory technical class required before you go to drive a car. In that class, potential new drivers are taught how combustion engine works and all related matters with car upkeep and mainenance. Once completed, you have to complete 20 driving lessons (you get a coupon book) with licensed driving instructor. Only after that you can go and take a test to get a driving license.
That's what is needed everywhere. I've been saying for years that schools in the US should have a class for basic automobile maintenance in the high schools.

A few years ago a Honda comes in on a tow truck because it won't start. Normal check of everything is performed. When the dipstick was pulled for the oil it was sludged and nothing was on the stick. I asked the girl driving it, a local UT student when the last time she had the oil replaced. Her reply, "What do you mean replace the oil? You have to change an oil on the car?". I then asked how long she owned the car. 5 years. Gas and drive. The engine locked up. To this day I don't know how the car made it that long. It was a 1.5 SOHC.

I could fill a book with failures and the oddities that accompany them.
 

·
Registered
14 ob limited
Joined
·
310 Posts
Cardoc this is not only true for cars but almost everything. Our education system only believes every one need to go to college, and they still don't learn as much as us older people learned through high school! When I was in school we had driver ed. and they taught every one how to change a flat tire, now most people don't even know where the spare tire is let alone know how to use it.
 

·
Registered
2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
Joined
·
1,040 Posts
Basic maintenance has definitely gone by the wayside. Most people don't know anything about cars and have no desire to learn. How many people do you know that you can ask "What kind of car do you have?" and they will respond with "A red one" or "a blue one" etc? I know a lot of people like that. Get in, drive the car, add gas when it runs out, and that's all they do. It is sad.

I never had to go through driver's ed, but I'll say this, I've probably driven about twice as many miles as most people my age (I used to drive professionally... put 42,000 miles on my company vehicle in less than a year). Top that with the fact that my first "real" job was at an auto parts store and my dad was a mechanic, and I learned by being associated with that.

It should be a requirement when you take your license test that you demonstrate the ability to change a tire, check your fluids and tire pressure. Working in the tire store it always surprised me how many people would come in and say "I've got a leak in one of my tires, could you take a look at it for me?". Pull the vehicle in, all 4 tires have steel cords showing. You tell them and you might as well be speaking Chinese. People have no idea how unsafe their vehicle is and the potential danger they put their life in.

I'll never forget one day I had a kid come in, maybe a year or two older than I am. "My tire pressure light came on and I don't know what to do". "Did you check your tire pressure?" "I don't know how, my mom just told me to take it down here"... !!!! I'm sorry, you're old enough to drive and a male, and you can't check your tire pressure?!?! That's asinine to me.

People have gotten so unaware of what is around them every day. I begin to wonder if people really even look cars over before they buy them. Do you know how many people come into our shop and are completely taken aback when I tell them tires for their vehicle cost $1200? Happens all the time. "Well, if I would have known 20 inch tires were so expensive when I bought the car..." Well, you didn't. Why didn't you look into it and do the research? You just bought it because it looks cool. Practicality means nothing anymore.
 

·
Registered
'14 3.6R Outback
Joined
·
2,345 Posts
You all are preaching to the choir here. :29:

I too think more should be included in driver tests. However, I lost all faith in the DMV when I was 15. To be fair... I'm not sure I walked in the building with much trust of the DMV, but I know it was all gone when I walked out.
 

·
Registered
03 Outback H6 base
Joined
·
252 Posts
DMV is just a money depository for the government.... They can't/don't prepare folks in the art of driving. Most don't have a clue but are out there everyday proving their unawareness of the spatial dimensions of their vehicle.

Why care about maintenance? That's someone else's job, right? Funny clip below...


.
 

·
Registered
2015 Forester XT Touring w/EyeSight
Joined
·
478 Posts
I think I've always been pretty good about scheduled maintenance.

I am maybe a little guilty of not doing additional maintenance. Especially when we had our 1999 Land Rover Discovery Series I.

We eventually quit taking it to the dealer for oil-changes because my wife felt every time it went in, they "found" another $1K of stuff that should be fixed.

We wound up selling it very shortly after the 90K service. In retrospect, if we had been planning to sell it at that time, we wouldn't have spent the money on the 90K.

The only things we knew that were wrong with it when we sold it were the diff-lock indicator (the diff-lock light glowed dimly even when diff-lock wasn't engaged), and the ladder to the roof-rack was rusted like crazy. I think it must have been rusty before they coated it, or it rusted under the coating sitting in a warehouse (~10yr old stock?) somewhere. We had it installed around 2009 and it rusted immediately.
 

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
14,318 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
That's another thing, dealerships.

When the dealer or another shop advertises an oil change special or sends out coupons it is to get traffic flow in. When the car comes in, they do their checklist. This checklist is looking, hunting for issues that they may use to increase sales. Sometimes its BS. They play the ignorance of the owner and toss the dice.

There's a lot of shady dealing out there. The more you know your car, where you are on maintenance and know when to ask the right questions, you'll walk and make the service tech or manager think about what just happened.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top