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Discussion Starter #1

I am a new member to this forum. I currently own a 2010 Outback 4 cylinder that tows a Camp Inn teardrop.

Recently I returned from the vacation from ****. Drove 4,715 miles, was towed twice, spent $3600 in engine repairs, totaled one Subaru dealer loaner car (my at fault accident), hit a deer, and moving violation ticket, and one extra week of vacation.

Have learned a lot about towing, signs of water pumps malfunction, that "dirt" in coolant resevoir is oil, and that I don't know enough about car repairs and where to seek service.

Any way, reason for post: How should I prioritize service options, Subaru dealers, other brands vehcile dealers, and various independent shops ranging from Goodyear to the local owner.

At one time the closest Subaru dealer was over 150 miles away, options would be a a GM dealer, Goodyear, and various local owner shops.

Visited one local owner shop who failed to discover the waterpump failure, changed bottom radiator hose and clamps only.
Later the same day ended up at a GoodYear shop where they found the failed waterpump, replaced at $1100 total. Then on road again, for a short time till car overheated again, leading to headgasket failure, warped heads and milling. Spend $2500 in repairs second event.

First: Subaru dealer
Then how should various shops be prioritized and expected to find all the issues in a timely manner?


22,802 Posts
Towing is a big deal you really need to keep a much closer eye on whats happening with the car. Fluid levels, condition any signs of leaking etc. The Camp-inn's are awesome trailers!!!!

When towing every stop I always pop the hood for even just a 5 second peek to see that all the fluids look right. Water pump failure is very rare with subarus and could be caused by debri in the coolant or damage from prior damage deer strike etc.

Also very important with the CVT to know that you have to keep an eye on the temp indicator when your in hot weather and doing climbs owners manual lists what the temp indicators mean you basically have "car is hot warning which you need to take action slow down - crank the cabin heater to shed some heat from the cooling system" Then you have pull over now temps are way off the chart STOP!

Towing can cause pretty serious strain on the cooling systems so its no joke to really keep a close eye on them and know what needs to be done when you see something developing. Knowing that will result in years and years of trouble free towing where you might take action several times to mitigate an issue that could have developed into a huge issue.

Regarding service while on the road.. In recent years with any travel I found that online reviews and sources of info to find the best service center or dinner spot etc is really the ideal way to go. Your not going in totally blind you have an idea of what type of service history a business has by the feedback online or the recommendations etc.

Even this forum would be a good place to check given lots of the posters cover a wide range of locations. A thread post "Hey Guys just hit a deer X miles from home I need some advice on dealers or repair shops in my area" Chances are you will get some pretty good feedback fairly fast on who to avoid and what shops have a good reputation.
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