Illustration for article titled Ongoing Subaru Maintenance Saga

Been a while since I’ve posted but thought I might chime in with our ongoing Subaru Service drama... (longish rant inbound)


So, for the past year and a half or so our Forester has been having an issue burning oil (oil light comes on when down one liter of oil) and we were able to get three oil tests within a 6month period by our Subaru dealer (Subaru requires this before they look at any results). So our dealer sends over the results and Subaru Canada says it’s within the tolerances of what it considers to be burning oil and agrees to a short block replacement. Great, we have ~15k kms left on our powertrain warranty and we’re happy this is being covered (as the dealer says it’d cost ~$5k to do otherwise).

So we drop off the car to the dealer before leaving to go to England for two weeks and hope to come back to a car with a new shortblock. We get an email on the day before we return, saying that since the engine is out, we’re 10k kms from needing the spark plugs replaced and the PCV valve’s condition isn’t great, they’ll replace both with no labour cost to us; again great news and we pay the $180 for the spark plugs and PCV valve.


We get back from vacation and their service tech calls in sick ~4 days in a row and we end up needing a rental (paid for by the dealer), a bit of a pain but no big deal.

A week later, we get the car back. Within 24 hours, we discover that the car shakes after sitting for a few seconds at idle (which it’d never done in the past). We take it back to the dealer the next day and they say that they’ll look at it and I can pick it up at the end of the day. I call them at 4:45pm (15 min before close) and service person #1 tells me that the car is ready to be picked up, I inquire about what the issue is and he says he’ll need to check with the other service person, service person #2 gets on the phone and says something about an alternator belt tensioner and cites that it might not be covered under the powertrain warranty but she’ll need to check on that and/or if there’s a recall for it (nothing has been done on the vehicle yet). She says that the car can be picked up and driven without issue, she also says that this apparently isn’t something that would be caused from the short block replacement they did. She also says she’ll call me Friday (the next day) with more info on whether this is covered under the powertrain warranty (she thinks it isn’t though) or if there’s a recall. I pick up the car and drive it home.


Friday passes and service person #2 emails me the paperwork for the shortblock replacement (she was behind when we picked it up and had said she’d be emailing the paperwork) but no phone call. I email her explaining our concerns and that we understand they’re swamped but would appreciate an answer early next week.

Saturday, I notice the car hesitates a bit when trying to start but I think I might be being a little extra sensitive to everything given what’s happened.


Sunday, we go to leave to get groceries and the Subaru won’t start, I tried turning it over several times (chug chug chug, nothing), waiting different intervals of time after each try, just in case. I’m able to finally coax it to life after adding a bit of throttle when tried to turn it over but the RPMs steadily start climbing (I wasn’t on throttle), I turn it off once it hits 2000 RPM. We park it.

Tomorrow, we’re going in to the dealer to hand them the keys and get them to fix w/e is happening and quite frankly don’t think we should be paying for any of it, but we’ll see where get with that. 

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