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I've got 86,000km (54,000miles) on my 2011 Outback, 3.6R Limited and am in need of a good service facility in the Greater Toronto Area.


I have had no problems with my car, and have completed all of the service listed in the owner's manual, but am now facing the usual issues, i.e., squeaky brakes, sunroof that does not tilt up completely, and grinding noises from my wheels (which I think may be wheel bearings). So, I'm looking for someplace other than the dealership for service ... usual issues with the dealer are price and inconvenience.


Any assistance or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Can't help you out with mechanics. Good luck with that.

Squeaky brakes and a grinding noise? Grinding noise occur with or without the brakes applied?
 

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Can't help you out with mechanics. Good luck with that.

Squeaky brakes and a grinding noise? Grinding noise occur with or without the brakes applied?
tough haul trying to find a 'trustworthy' mechanic ...


Brakes aren't really squeaking ... I thought that was the issue. Initially it seemed that the grinding sound was reduced when brakes were applied, but then that scenario changed.


Seems to be a grinding sort of noise that increases after the car has been driven for 30 minutes or more at >100km/h. It doesn't seem to be related to speed, but more to the heat that may have built up. Now I'm thinking wheel bearings maybe... sound is there regardless of speed. My experience with bearings in industrial machines kind of leads me that way. Hoping that wheel bearings are less expensive than complete brake job including pads, rotors, and full rebuild of calipers.


BTW ... one service shop said that the 3.6R has ceramic brake pads, or at least that's what their computer is recommending as replacement. Is this true?
 

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"Trustworthy" is hard to find in the mechanic world!

Reason I asked that (should have wrote it) is a grinding when braking would be the brake pad metal backing grinding the rotor (I've experienced it with a sticky pad, wore at an angle and eventually metal backing met the rotor), but since it happens without brakes applied, it would point to the bearings.

The good news about that is that it should be part of the powertrain warranty, it is part of the suspension/power system. Check your manual for confirmation of 5 year-100,000 km, I have a 2013 and that's what it has.
If I were you and you have 5-year warranty, I'd be going to a dealer and pressing for the work done (at least call and speak to the service guys).
Cheaper than a brake job: should be $0 IMO if it is indeed the bearing.

I think most brake pads are ceramic-based these days. They work well, they're quieter, and they won't rust. I haven't had to replace mine, I know I'll shop around but OEM seem pretty good so far. I've used Monroe pads in another car and they worked really well. When it comes to brakes and tires, I generally don't cheap out as those are the parts that make the car stop!

Good luck with your repair!
 

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OK ... here is the latest. Grinding noise was in fact brakes.


I knew the dealership wanted at least $1400 for rotors, pads, caliper service, etc. So, after many phone calls, I brought it to a brand name brake shop. Thinking it would just be a relatively inexpensive brake-service-only visit I said, "Let's do it!!"


They couldn't get the tires off because 9 of the 20 lug nuts were seized on the studs. According to them, whoever had previously installed the tires had over-torqued them ... even though I told them to use a manual torque wrench and not the "torque-stick" on impact gun that they prefer. I told them to go ahead and try to remove them, but they ended up breaking a stud!! Thankfully, it was only 1, but add another $100 for parts and service!!


Once the tires were removed, I checked out the status on all four corners. All pads needed to be replaced ... no problem, because I expected that. Next, found that the rotors were not scored at all ... GOOD!! But they were about 4mm under minimum thickness ... BAD!! All the rotors needed to be replaced ... $$$ Right rear caliper and left front caliper were seized ... $$$ Got no choice now; in for a penny, in for a pound.


After all was said and done, it cost me $1100 and 3.5 hours of my time at the shop. New pads, rotors, service on all four calipers - rebuild included new seals for sliders and pistons, new wheel stud, and installation of my summer tires.


Lesson learned ... monitor my brakes more closely and not let them get to this point again. AND - absolutely insist that mechanics use a manual torque wrench when installing lug nuts on to wheel studs. If I break another OEM lug wrench trying to get my wheels off, I will tow my car to the shop and use the broken lug wrench to open their front door.


BTW ... thanks for the feedback, mjohnson!!
 

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I was wondering if anyone here has any idea on charges for Service A (at 10,000 kms) here in GTA. Just took my 2015 2.5i for its first oil change to a dealership in North GTA and taken aback to get a $158 (tax incl.) bill for Service A (I opted out of tire rotation which would have added on additional labour charges), which IMHO is quite steep. I enquired about service B at 20000kms and was told it was around $250 before tax
New to Subaru club so pardon me on my ignorance if these are indeed the going rates. But I have never paid so much for a simple oil change on other cars before.
Any suggestions or recommendations on a good dealership to go to would be very helpful. Thanks.
 

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@bvishy
It may be worthwhile to call around. I called most of the dealerships in the GTA for a set of steelies and winter tires and there was a $900 difference between the highest and the lowest for essentially the same thing. The one at North Tor came in the middle I think. I went with the one at Scarborough which was cheapest.

I suppose they should have a fixed pricing for the services though.
 

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I was wondering if anyone here has any idea on charges for Service A (at 10,000 kms) here in GTA. Just took my 2015 2.5i for its first oil change to a dealership in North GTA and taken aback to get a $158 (tax incl.) bill for Service A (I opted out of tire rotation which would have added on additional labour charges), which IMHO is quite steep. I enquired about service B at 20000kms and was told it was around $250 before tax
New to Subaru club so pardon me on my ignorance if these are indeed the going rates. But I have never paid so much for a simple oil change on other cars before.
Any suggestions or recommendations on a good dealership to go to would be very helpful. Thanks.
Check out the Toronto Subaru Club for the mechanics that they recommend.
 

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A service B is more than $250. He is clearly not including the F and R brake service most dealers include, making it around $425-450.

$158 for a synthetic oil change (service A - that's basically all it is) is too much. Shop around. Budd's in Oakville runs around $100 for the same service. Minden Subaru, always my first choice and where I bought the Outback (and the new, yet to be delivered 2019 Crosstrek my wife just bought from them), is around 15-20% cheaper than Budds on average due to a lower labour rate and is probably the best Subaru dealer in Ontario.
 
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