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Used car from dealer having issues after 4 days

used car impreza problems

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12 replies to this topic

#1 Armchair Bronco

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 11:28 PM

(Apologies in advance for a LONG post; sorry, guys, but there's no other way.)
 
Hey guys, I'm looking for some feedback on a couple of issues I'm having with a used 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.2L sedan w/ 119K miles I bought just 4 days ago (the very end of 2013).
 
My wife and I paid a premium for this car over the KBB estimate because it had a 12+ year comprehensive service history from the local Subaru dealership.
 
The CL listing stated the following: 
 
Dealer maintained, Major Services done, Clean!
A rare find!
Well maintained with TONS of dealership service.
All major maintanences have been done including timing belt and head gaskets.
This Impreza has also been inspected by our licensed Subaru technicians.
 
 
The timing belt & head gasket work was what caught my eye; the sales guy gave me copies of the service history for this car going back to 2002. All work was either done at the dealership (for things like oil changes and some CEL work in 2002) or at a nearby Subaru shop with a great reputation for the 50K, 90K, and 105K scheduled maintenance.
 
ISSUE #1: The Subaru shop confirmed that they changed timing belts at 90K, but there's no record of them or the dealership ever having done the head gaskets. So, unless the previous owner had them done somewhere else (highly unlikely since like clockwork she only used these 2 shops for 12+ years with regular records on CarFax), it seems that the head gaskets have NOT been changed.
 
What should I do about this? Unless the dealership can prove that this work has been done, I think they either need to replace the gaskets as advertised, or warranty that if the gaskets ever do fail, they will do all necessary repairs for free.
 
ISSUE #2: When I did my first walkaround of the car, I noticed that the gas cap was missing. I told the sales guy at his desk and he said: "Yeah, I got it from the back." However, the cap is an older, non-OEM brand, and the CEL has been turning on intermittently for the last 2 days, presumably because of this. When I mess with the gas cap, the light goes off, but it keeps coming back on.
 
Now, the CEL may *not* be due to the gas cap (I'd need to see what the code is), so who knows. I'm also concerned that 4 days off the lot the CEL is turning on and off, especially since the dealer had the car for nearly 3 weeks and put it through an inspection by licensed technicians.
 
ISSUE #3: One of the dealer work invoices for December 2013 stated the following: "Abnormal noise while car is rolling - sounds like RR area - Wheel BRG passes preliminary inspection (DIO)". I'm also hearing this noise; it only happens if the car rolls forward very slowly by its own weight/inertia, so I didn't hear it during the test drive. If it's under power then you don't hear it. Seems to me that since the dealership spotted this during their 11 point inspection, they should have addressed the issue.
 
DISCLAIMER:
 
I understand that when you buy a used car, you're rolling the dice. But in my defense, I bought a car with a solid maintenance history from a Subaru dealership to avoid these kinds of issues. And I don't think it's unrealistic for me to expect the dealership to address these issues.
 
I'm planning to swing by tomorrow morning (1/3/2014).


#2 soobie_newbie67

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 12:02 AM

Thats impeccable!  My car was like that.  Different story though.  And why are you concerned with the head gaskets?  2.2s do not have that problem.  My car is like yours, i have a full record of all the work ever done to that car, till the day i bought it, was done at the dealer.  Now it has 225000 miles on it.  never needed head gaskets.  thats a 2.5 issue.  I'd say you've found yourself a gem, just not a back yard gem like i did.  lol.  Savior it.  She will run longer than you maybe?  haha xD  Love Subaru

 

Oh yeah.  and you need to get the correct gas cap to work with the EVAP system on your car or it will throw a code.


Edited by soobie_newbie67, 03 January 2014 - 12:16 AM.


#3 Armchair Bronco

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 12:48 AM

Thanks for the feedback. On some other sites, I'm getting a black eye because I didn't verify absolutely every stipulation from the dealer before doing the deal.

 

I also agree that we found "a gem". I'm VERY happy with this car, and overall I'm really pleased with the way things worked out and with our salesman at the dealership.

 

Regarding the head gasket issue, here's a little background. I started off by looking at older RS 2.5's from 2000 through 2005. That's when I learned about the head gasket problem with the EJ25 engines. The head gasket issue totally scared me away, so I started look at the 2.2L engines instead. However, during my research I did find instances of head gasket failures on the Phase 2 EJ22's. They were rare, but they did happen from time to time.

 

So when I read: "All major maintanences have been done including timing belt and head gaskets" I thought: "Awesome, that's one less thing to worry about." The dealer was stipulating that this work had been done, and I assumed (incorrectly) that they wouldn't have made this stipulation unless it were true.

 

Now I'm thinking that the sales guy may have meant to write: "...timing belt and water pump".

 

Regarding the CEL, I've got my fingers crossed that the problem is just a non-standard gas cap and that it will be a trivial fix.

 

Anyway, thanks again for keeping your feedback upbeat! I needed it!  :)



#4 Armchair Bronco

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 01:23 AM

"This thread is worthless without pictures."  Here's the car.

 

shx5.png



#5 soobie_newbie67

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 01:52 AM

Wow.  thats clean.  My car wasnt that clean when i got it.  see for yourself

 

http://www.ultimates...ontons-of-pics/

 

shes worth way more than i have into her now.



#6 Armchair Bronco

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 02:05 AM

Wow.  thats clean.  My car wasnt that clean when i got it.  see for yourself

 

http://www.ultimates...ontons-of-pics/

 

shes worth way more than i have into her now.

 

Wow! That's eye-opening. By contrast, my car was treated with kid gloves.

 

I have evidence that this car was owned by a very responsible older woman who took the time to do ALL scheduled maintenance on time. She has an unimpeachable track record of getting oil changes from the dealership every 3K miles using blended synthetic oil, come rain or shine. She also averaged only 8K miles per year on this car over the 12+ years she drove it, so I have visions of a middle-aged woman going 20% under the speed limit, signaling all of her turns, and making complete stops at all 4-way stops...even if she were the only car at the intersection!
 
Here's are some pictures before the dealership changed out the original wheel covers:

 

6nnw.png

 

kvx7.png

 

q7no.png

 

9qb0.png

 

uj3f.png



#7 soobie_newbie67

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 02:11 AM

Nice.  If you think you'll have plans for this thing down the road you should post all your pics in the Members' Rides section.  But damn thats clean.



#8 Armchair Bronco

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 02:22 AM

Will do. I don't anticipate any engine-related mods to this thing...unless my 2 teenage boys get bitten by the bug and spring for the work.

 

But I do want to add some (cheaper version of) Dynamat sound deadening to the trunk, install a fog light kit (we actually have real fog where I live), track down some OEM splash guards / mud flaps (almost there), and throw in some all-weather rubber floor mats (an absolute must-have item for Seattle).

 

Anything I post in the Member's Rides section will be sedate compared to the WRX'ers...but it is what it is, right?



#9 soobie_newbie67

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 04:07 AM

For sure.  The floor mats are definitely a must.  we dont have much for weather here in Kennewick, so i have a really nice set of floor mats i custom cut out of some carpet i had left over from a flooring job.  You can see them in my pics in that link i gave you.  Winter is about the dirtiest time around here for the outside of the car, as where summer is the dirtiest inside the the car.  lol.  I can keep my car clean all summer long with window cleaner and a rag, but i always give my car a good old fashioned waxing; the rub on kind too, not that wimpy wash on wash off stuff.  Lol.  but when i do have to do a major cleaning (say after some rain, or a few gravel roads xD)  i use a soap with wax in it.  my paint beads water all year round.  Very helpful to keep your paint from being stained.



#10 86BRATMAN

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 06:56 AM

It's could be that the dealership had gotten so use to writing ads for subarus of this era saying they've had the head gaskets replaced that they forgot this one was an ej22 car. If you look hard enough you can find a few head gasket threads for ej22s, most of which are caused by extenuating circumstances. A big no-no is aftermarket thermostats, they fail often sometimes resulting in head gasket failure if overheated.

But generally you have a very trouble free engine powering your new Impreza. It would be worth finding out if they replaced the timing idlers with the belt, I didn't see any reference to that in your post or I overlooked it if it was said. The best itself rarely ever breaks on its own, I've seen stripped teeth from the cogged idler locking up, and slippage from others giving out. A lot of dealers will do the bare minimum of a job, also having worked in one I know it's often the customer who shares this philosophy.

Most likely cause for the cel is of course the gas cap, you can verify this by going to an Advance Auto or Auto Zone or the like, they generally will scan the codes for free.

#11 grossgary

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 10:18 AM

#3 is interesting. subaru rear bearings were failing all the time and there's a Subaru TSB Technical Service Bulletin for it.  I'm not a mechanic, or a Subaru worker and I know this - surely the dealer is familiar with Subaru rear bearing failures.  I'm not saying this is what you have but it sure would be likely:

http://www.scoobymod...sb-03-2249.html

 

They can take a year or two (depending how many miles) to get worse, but that's probably what it is.

 

If the CEL is showing - read the codes (Advance Auto Parts and many other places do it for free).  no sense in guessing, though surely gas cap is a possibility.

 

I'd consider it a blessing that the dealer didn't actually do the job on an EJ22. They would simply reinstalling the same exact headgasket that's already in there.  Subaru never updated the EJ22 headgasket so you wouldn't get any better end product. so whatever "risk mitigation" you'd get from having them replaced would likely be offset by "risk increases" of reduced efficiency of torque readings, per-job-payment plan/speed of employees blowing through it, block not being as flat as it was from the factory, Subaru doesn't usually resurface heads so you'd get a medium grade head gasket job anyway...

 

Maybe they could take the car back from you if you feel you were lied to and taken advantage of.  They'll relist it, and resell it for the same price with a correct add, not a big deal. Subaru already gets a premium price by selling off their lot, replacing a headgasket in that vehicle isn't a upsell for them for most of their customers.  Even more so considering what I just said about them replacing it anyway. A lot buyers of premium vehicles dont' want an engine that's been "opened up" so it's not a magical sales tactic for dealers charging high lot prices.



#12 ivans imports

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 11:05 AM

Sloppy dealers hmmm have seen this before gess it dosent matter were you live remember dealers are for service not repair



#13 Rooster2

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 03:03 PM

It is simple and easy to take your car to an auto parts store like Advance Auto Parts or AutoZone Auto Parts. Those two stores, and prolly more will pull the Check Engine Light (CEL) code if it is lit up on the dashboard. They pull the code out in their parking lot at no charge. This takes about 5 minutes. The guy will read the code, and tell you what problem needs to be addressed. Ask what the code number(s) are, so you can report back to this forum with the code number(s) if need be. More then likely the code will refer to the fuel evaporation system, if so a new gas cap is needed. Cost of one is less then $10, plus they will remove the CEL light from your dashboard. A replacement cap won't have a tether strap like the one that came with the car, but the cap will work just fine. I fixed my wife's Subie is this manner.







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