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New member, I love/hate my Outback


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11 replies to this topic

#1 diesel_travis

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 11:10 AM

I'm new here and I thought I'd say hi.

My car is a 1999 Legacy Outback wagon, 5spd, 108K mi., grey/silver. I bought it at Van Bortel Subaru in Victor, NY, and would definitely buy from them again. I dislike haggling on prices, so I'm pretty much limited to buying a Saturn or a car from Van Bortel (Subarus, Fords, or whatever else is on their lots). I've owned it since October of 2001 (~70K mi.) and I have until October of 2006 to keep making payments on it.

Some maintenance/repair history:


  • vibrating driver-side mirror serviced under warranty three times (never fixed, given the option of replacing entire thing for additional fee)
  • heat-shield rattle/buzz serviced under warranty twice, noise still exists, given the option of having them removed for an additional fee I opted to live with the buzz
  • faulty driver-side door lock switch replaced after 2nd complaint, under warranty $50
  • faulty rear brake assembly replaced under partial warranty coverage $250
  • brake pads to meet inspection in spring '02 (included in asseblies above)
  • faulty oil pump replaced after 3rd complaint of burning oil, under warranty $50
  • K&N air filter installed
  • window tint installed
  • car broken into summer '03, tint scratched, stereo ripped out, center console gutted, recieved $15 (after $500 deduct), hooray for comprehensive :-( I've replaced the stereo, and several of the smaller parts, but it isn't anywhere near 100% yet
  • got some great & cheap snow tires from Dunn (the cheapest they had), can't recommend them enough. I'm using them for the 2nd winter now. I think their Nitrogen doesn't do anything for mileage though. I've noticed no gain whatsoever. ~$300
  • faulty front brake assemblies replaced, ~$800(!)
  • car wouldn't start for 3 days in a row, started up fine on 4th day. Has started fine since, I haven't done anything to fix it.
  • regular ~3500mi oil changes
Here's some pending repairs:
  • exhaust is venting before catalytic converter, it sounds nice but smells horrible
  • timing belt is due to be replaced (I'll be sure to have the water pump done as well)
I'm not sure of the cost of the exhaust repair or the the timing belt service, but I know they are going to be time-consuming and expensive so I'm not exactly looking forward to it.

A few pics:

I only get around 23mpg (less in the winter of course) so I wish that were better. The car is the most expensive and has had the most maintenance of any that I've owned ('93 Toyota Tercel, '86 Volvo 740 wagon), but as far as drivability is concerned though, I love the car. It would be difficult to own a non-AWD car now. I'd probably buy another when this one becomes too expensive to own (or kicks the bucket), since Subaru currently has the cheapest (and best) AWD per dollar. Hopefully they come out with an alternative fuel vehicle in my price range.

#2 Bmm001

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 01:58 PM

How did you try to fix the heat shields? My mechanic welded them and they've been silent ever since.

Brian

#3 vic/se

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 07:13 PM

you should never pay for a problem that keeps coming back even if your guaranty has expired. it only proves they didn't fix it correctly

#4 diesel_travis

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Posted 15 December 2005 - 01:14 AM

How did you try to fix the heat shields? My mechanic welded them and they've been silent ever since.

Brian


They told me that they "tightened" them. I assume that just means re-torquing all the nuts/bolts that hold them. Currently I can't hear them buzzing over the exhaust and even if my exhaust were fixed, I usually just turn up the stereo anyways. If they get really bad I'll just try to remove them myself.

#5 diesel_travis

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Posted 15 December 2005 - 01:20 AM

you should never pay for a problem that keeps coming back even if your guaranty has expired. it only proves they didn't fix it correctly


I agree, I was very aggravated at the dealer about this. They finally agreed about the oil pump problem when I dropped the car off after <3K mi and the oil was well below the low line on the dipstick. Not to mention every warranty service costs $50.

They are great about the selling process, but as far as maintenance and repairs go, they're pretty bad. They did have $8/day loaner cars, but I'd have to schedule the repairs a month in advance.

#6 Andyjo

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Posted 15 December 2005 - 01:25 AM

when my heat shields were rattling, i crawled under the car, and bent them all away from the exhaust.... the ones between the exhaust & the body that is

#7 diesel_travis

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Posted 15 December 2005 - 01:27 AM

when my heat shields were rattling, i crawled under the car, and bent them all away from the exhaust.... the ones between the exhaust & the body that is


That definitely sounds better than removing them altogether, although I think the first deep snow I drove through would probably bend them back. I'll give it a whirl in the springtime if the noise is still there though. Thanks!

#8 nipper

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Posted 15 December 2005 - 11:48 AM

Seems like if you loose them, in deep snow the transmission tunnel gets packed with snow and you cant shift the car (seen that listed on another list).


Usually its free to have the mechanic tach weld or screw the sheild down if hes there doing something else and he knows you.

nipper

#9 cookie

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Posted 15 December 2005 - 05:49 PM

in one place and just rebent the thin one in the tunnel. That's been about a year with no more noise.

#10 diesel_travis

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 09:04 PM

Seems like if you loose them, in deep snow the transmission tunnel gets packed with snow and you cant shift the car (seen that listed on another list).


Usually its free to have the mechanic tach weld or screw the sheild down if hes there doing something else and he knows you.

nipper


I've yet to find a trustworthy mechanic near me so chances of them knowing me would be pretty slim, but maybe I can talk whoever I get to fix my exhaust to have a look at them.

#11 unverviking

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Posted 17 December 2005 - 09:41 PM

I've yet to find a trustworthy mechanic near me so chances of them knowing me would be pretty slim, but maybe I can talk whoever I get to fix my exhaust to have a look at them.


The dealer's are kinda expensive... I've been, and go to occasionally, Van Bortel's. I've been to Universal Imports, not too bad, kinda on the expensive side as well, but good work.

I do routine maintenance all my self. Brakes, tires rotations, oil changes, etc...

If you find a good independant mechanic that likes Subaru's, let me know, I too am looking for one in the area...

I'd recommend my buddy Steve's shop, but he's boycotted my Subaru since I had him replace a front wheel bearing this summer... Didn't go very well, but it's nice and quiet now... If another Sube showed up at his door, he'd never let me back in...

If you're near Avon, you could try Iler Motors. I worked for Phil (owner) about 12+ years ago. He worked on most everything when I was there, I've not called him directly about working on mine. I've really not needed anything done other than routine 30k, 60k, etc maintenances. I still like the dealer for that, they do it every day and some of these Sube's are touchy when it comes to timing belts, coolant flushes, etc...

On the heat shields, the last 2 fixes I used stainless steel hose clamps on the areas that were causing the buzzing... Really easy to do...

#12 diesel_travis

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 12:20 PM

The dealer's are kinda expensive... I've been, and go to occasionally, Van Bortel's. I've been to Universal Imports, not too bad, kinda on the expensive side as well, but good work.

I do routine maintenance all my self. Brakes, tires rotations, oil changes, etc...

If you find a good independant mechanic that likes Subaru's, let me know, I too am looking for one in the area...

I'd recommend my buddy Steve's shop, but he's boycotted my Subaru since I had him replace a front wheel bearing this summer... Didn't go very well, but it's nice and quiet now... If another Sube showed up at his door, he'd never let me back in...

If you're near Avon, you could try Iler Motors. I worked for Phil (owner) about 12+ years ago. He worked on most everything when I was there, I've not called him directly about working on mine. I've really not needed anything done other than routine 30k, 60k, etc maintenances. I still like the dealer for that, they do it every day and some of these Sube's are touchy when it comes to timing belts, coolant flushes, etc...

On the heat shields, the last 2 fixes I used stainless steel hose clamps on the areas that were causing the buzzing... Really easy to do...


Thanks Mark. I live in Irondequoit and work in the city, so Avon would be kind of out of the way. I was going to take my car to Piehler (on Lake Ave & 104) since they're much closer to me than Van Bortel. I'll definitely post if I find a good shop though.




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