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Is this un/reasonable?


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29 replies to this topic

#1 richardjames

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 10:06 AM

I had my 99 Forester with 162,000 km (100,000 miles for the American Folks) in for it's annual maintainence yesterday.

It included checking belts, hoses, A/C, lights, tire pressure and rotated, oil change/filter, replaced air filter, inspect cooling - EGR - exhaust - steering - suspension, clean/service battery, lube locks/latches/seals, reset ECM and finally - strip the brakes apart to lube/service.

They determined I needed new rear rotors and pads as well as gaskets for 5 - engine oil leaks. They were going to change the timing belt but said it's best to do it when the gaskets are done.

I replaced the rotors and pads and passed on dealing with the leaks right now. The total came to $885.55 CDN with taxes.

In terms of the leaks - they said I need to change both head gaskets, valve cover gaskets, oil pump seals and rear separator plate. And to do this they will have to take the engine out of the car. Including the timing belt, they quoted $1,849 CDN plus taxes.

I find it strange there are leaks - there isn't one drop of oil on my driveway. Not one! I do find that I have to add a litre of oil every couple of tanks but - I've read on this group that this is common for this car.

Is this reasonable??? Do they need to take the engine out for a couple of gaskets and a pair of seals? Is that price outrageous?

Sometimes I would like to do this:

Me :Flame: :slobber: Dealer

#2 porcupine73

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 10:26 AM

That price doesn't sound too bad for all that work if it includes parts. With that year 2.5L you may end up with head gasket issues eventually anyway so if the engine is coming out for these other items now wouldn't be a bad time to take care of it. I'd go for it using OE parts if possible.

They're probably going to replace the front cam seals and front crank seal when doing the timing belt but I'd ask to be sure.

Also highly suggest replacing the water pump since it probably won't last another 100k miles. Also replace at least the geared timing belt idler near the water pump and either of the other idlers if needed.

For the oil separator plate, make sure to get a metal one if it has a plastic one. It cannot be replaced without removing the engine.

When were the differential gear oils last replaced? Is this an M/T or A/T? If M/T check out the clutch while the engine is out. If A/T how's about a fluid change.

#3 richardjames

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 10:38 AM

When were the differential gear oils last replaced? Is this an M/T or A/T? If M/T check out the clutch while the engine is out. If A/T how's about a fluid change.


Hi Porcupine73 -

It has an A/T that was replaced a little over a year ago. I wouldn't anticipate the engine seal needs replacing but they guy said there was oil all over it.

Actually - I don't fully trust the dealer because of this transmission - I bought the car from them and they denied warranty service on the A/T - then a few days after it expired they said "you need a new transmission - but fortunately for you, we'll only charge you $5000 for the job." That's when I said "I think you need to re-evaluate this situation." They begrudgingly replaced it. Since then I've always had the feeling they intend on recovering the $5,000 it cost to replace it.

But seriously - they need to take the engine out - and $1,849 is reasonable?

#4 nipper

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 11:03 AM

you need to go someplace else.

Your due for a timing belt. Thats when the engine seals water pump and tensioner should be done.

WHY are they replacing head gaskets?

Look under the car, is the engine wet?



nipper

#5 jon38iowa

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 11:54 AM

I have the '99 Forester as well. The price the shop quoted you sounds resonable for that much work, moreover, I agree with nipper, get a second opinion first.
Whatever you do I would definately stick with OEM seals/parts, this, as mine had to be rebuilt twice because of after maket parts installed the first time.

#6 Downbound

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 02:40 PM

hi..99 Forester also and live just outside Ottawa.If the dealer is Westboro Subaru I have found them to be be fair and as honest as any dealer can be and the quoted price sounds resonable. If you are looking for a good independent I would recomend you check out Heb White Automotive in Merrickville, only about 45 minutes from Ottawa..

#7 The Dude

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 06:39 PM

I owned a 1999 Forester for 200,000 miles, and here's my take on your situation. NONE of the proposed engine work NEEDS to be done. If your not seeing puddles of oil under the car, and the dipstick shows a slight loss of oil, the proposed work is entirely optional.
I would replace the belt, water pump, and seals on the front of the engine at 105,000 miles. PERIOD. If you're not leaking oil and don't have oil fumes in the car why pull the engine to replace the oil separator? Just for giggles?

You have the Phase II engine, the overwhelming odds are that your head gaskets will just be fine. Your car is getting old, dude. Now the game is to have it run as long as possible, as cheaply as possible. Don't scrimp on safety or maintenance that will actually add to the life expectancy of your car. Say at 200,000 miles you're adding a quart between oil changes. So what?

#8 WoodsWagon

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 07:09 PM

If it's not dripping, don't fix it. It's nearing time for a t-belt job. Cam seals and water pump are a good idea to do at the same time. Any shop worth it's salt can do these jobs. The job of the dealer is to fish for work. $800 canadian for a brake job is steep too. I just bought rear rotors, $68USD for both rears, and pads $32USD, and the pads were the good ones. So that's 100USD for a rear brake job.

#9 grossgary

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 10:40 PM

if you can keep an eye on your oil level and add a quart when needed, then don't worry about the seals. if you're not overheating, loosing coolant and seeing puddles under the car, the headgasket nonsense could be all lies.

looking at your list, they really didn't do anything. they replaced the air filter and an oil change. everything else was an eyeball inspection at best. "checking" means they take about 3 minutes to look and make sure everything seems normal with those systems and don't do anything unless it seems out of the ordinary. they charged you $800+ for $50 in parts and about 45 minutes in labor. do not take a vehicle in for "inspection" or "annual treatment" - that's dealer lingo for "charge lots, do little". they don't really do much of anything. they make up a huge list of things that sound impressive but don't really amount to you paying for any REAL service to your vehicle. go in and tell them exactly what you want and needs to be done - change my oil, clean my battery terminals and change my air filter. $75, thank you and see you later. all that other BS is glance over nonsense that takes anyone that knows anything about cars all of 3 minutes to check. consider this a $750 hint on finding another mechanic.

doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell you that you need to go somewhere else.

#10 nipper

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 10:54 PM

How to tell a great shop.

They see the engine is wet underneath (with no drips). They steam clean the engine and tell you to come back in a week.

Find somone like that, they are gold.

I have one of those.

nipper

#11 srs_49

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 07:36 AM

Yeah, I think it's unreasonable. Sounds like the dealer is fishing for work. If it's just an oil leak (which does not seem to have been determined yet), forget about it unless you're really worried about your driveway/garage or it's causing running problems such as fouling spark plugs. You can put an awful lot of oil in a car for $1,800!

I wouldn't worry about the head gasket if it's just allowing an external oil leak. Unless it's letting coolant to leak into a cyclinder or into the oil system, or causing a loss of compression, I would just let it go. There are ways to tell if one of those conditions is present. Valve cover gaskets are usually a piece of cake to do.

I also think $800 for brakes is way out of line. I did my fronts, replacing pads and rotors for ~$150US. That also included new brake fluid. Haven't had to touch the rears. This is on a 2002 Outback with 85,000 miles.

I would replace the timing belt though. I'm not sure if the 2.5L engine in the Forester is a non-interferring design or not. If it's not, then losing a timing belt will damage/break valves, gouge the combustion chamber, and in general wreck all kinds of havoc with the cylinders. I speak from experience on this, having lost a timing belt on my '73 Fiat (yes, a Fiat) years ago. Then again, my som lost the timing belt on his '94 Merc Tracer, which was a non-interfering design. That just left him stranded, but did no further damage to the engine.

#12 richardjames

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 11:21 AM

hi..99 Forester also and live just outside Ottawa.If the dealer is Westboro Subaru I have found them to be be fair and as honest as any dealer can be and the quoted price sounds resonable. If you are looking for a good independent I would recomend you check out Heb White Automotive in Merrickville, only about 45 minutes from Ottawa..


Actually it is Westboro Subaru.

Every time I went in before the transmission issue - they usually found about $300 - 400 worth of work to be done. Sometimes I complied, sometimes I didn't.

Since the transmission was replaced, they started quoting in the $800 range (hence the work that was just done). Then this $1849+tax job after completing the work.

I just thought of something - I changed to synthetic oil about six months ago. If I switched back to regular oil, would/could this fix up these leaks?

So...the consensus is to:

1) change the timing belt
2) replace the water pump
3) replace the cam seals
4) continue to check oil and top up every 2 to 3 tanks of gas - and see what happens

How much shoule 1, 2 and 3 cost?

Any comments or other suggestions???

#13 richardjames

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 11:28 AM

I'm not sure if the 2.5L engine in the Forester is a non-interferring design or not.


How can I determine this?

#14 nipper

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 11:49 AM

How can I determine this?


It is . Assume all engines are, it's a fact of life. All 2.5L are.

Switching from dino to syn will cause some initial leaks, but then it should stop. If they are still leaking, it just means that they were going to start leaking sooner or later anyway.
Don't switch back, it can make things worse.

nipper

#15 johnceggleston

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 12:30 PM

1) change the timing belt
2) replace the water pump
3) replace the cam seals
4) continue to check oil and top up every 2 to 3 tanks of gas - and see what happens

How much shoule 1, 2 and 3 cost?


i paid 575$ - 675$ all 3 times i've had it done (non-dealer). labor was in the 75$/hr range.

5) don't forget to have the oil pump o-ring replaced and the pump checked for loose bolts.

#16 nipper

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 12:40 PM

i paid 575$ - 675$ all 3 times i've had it done (non-dealer). labor was in the 75$/hr range.

5) don't forget to have the oil pump o-ring replaced and the pump checked for loose bolts.


It runs me 650.00 u.s. including the tensioner (dont forget to repalce that).

nipper

#17 richardjames

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 01:42 PM

It runs me 650.00 u.s. including the tensioner (dont forget to repalce that).

nipper


Just to confirm:

You are saying you charge $650 US for parts and labour to do the following:

1) change the timing belt
2) replace the water pump
3) replace the cam seals
4) replace oil pump seals
5) replace tensioner


Two other questions -
1) If I did have 5 leaks as they said, wouldn't I have oil on my driveway?
2) Someone mentioned I should change the oil pump. Is that necessary or a make work project?

Thnx - you guys are the best!!! I feel like I owe you a beer.

#18 nipper

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 03:41 PM

Just to confirm:

You are saying you charge $650 US for parts and labour to do the following:

1) change the timing belt
2) replace the water pump
3) replace the cam seals
4) replace oil pump seals
5) replace tensioner


Two other questions -
1) If I did have 5 leaks as they said, wouldn't I have oil on my driveway?
2) Someone mentioned I should change the oil pump. Is that necessary or a make work project?

Thnx - you guys are the best!!! I feel like I owe you a beer.


not replace, re seal the oil pump.

Subarus can leak and not leave a stain in your driveway. They do love leaking onto the exhaust pipes and making smoke though.

nipper

#19 cookie

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 04:31 PM

an old Subaru that does not leak at all is more rare. Seals seem to last about 100,000 miles and after that seep a bit. Even when they have been replaced 40,000 miles ago like mine I find a small bit of evidence of leakage on the front main.
I agree with doing timeing belt, water pump, fint seals and tensioner at the same time. When you need a clutch do the rear seals and the seperator.

#20 porcupine73

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 10:00 PM

Remember the toothed/geared timing belt idler near the water pump.

#21 richardjames

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 04:26 PM

[quote name='richardjames']Just to confirm:

You are saying you charge $650 US for parts and labour to do the following:

1) change the timing belt
2) replace the water pump
3) replace the cam seals
4) replace oil pump seals
5) replace tensioner

/QUOTE]

Here's my dealer's quote:

CHANGING THE TIMING BELT = PART COST $131.00
REPLACING THE WATER PUMP = PART COST $ $165.00 PLUS THE GASKET COST $4.00
REPLACING THE CAM AND THE OIL PUMP SEALS = PARTS COST $36.00
REPLACING THE TIMING BELT TENSIONER = PART COST $220.00

LABOUR TO REPLACE ALL OF THESE PARTS IS 4hrs @ $88.00 P/HR FOR AN AMOUNT OF $352.00

For grand total estimate of $908.00 CDN plus tax.

Even with an over exaggerated exchange rate - they are about $125 over.

#22 nipper

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 04:42 PM

[quote name='richardjames'][quote name='richardjames']Just to confirm:

You are saying you charge $650 US for parts and labour to do the following:

1) change the timing belt
2) replace the water pump
3) replace the cam seals
4) replace oil pump seals
5) replace tensioner

/QUOTE]

Here's my dealer's quote:

CHANGING THE TIMING BELT = PART COST $131.00
REPLACING THE WATER PUMP = PART COST $ $165.00 PLUS THE GASKET COST $4.00
REPLACING THE CAM AND THE OIL PUMP SEALS = PARTS COST $36.00
REPLACING THE TIMING BELT TENSIONER = PART COST $220.00

LABOUR TO REPLACE ALL OF THESE PARTS IS 4hrs @ $88.00 P/HR FOR AN AMOUNT OF $352.00

For grand total estimate of $908.00 CDN plus tax.

Even with an over exaggerated exchange rate - they are about $125 over.[/quote]

HOLY TENSIONER BATMAN!!!

i just looked up on https://www.subaruge..._parts_cat.html

(when it worked) and it was like 65.00 . That was just the pully with the bearing. Either way that price seems high. Jamie also has a timing belt for 60.00.

Call Jamie and see if she ships to canada. buy the parts yourself.

nipper

#23 grossgary

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 05:16 PM

i don't know the exchange rate and i'm not going to look it up but the timing belts are $59.95 in the states ordering on-line or from a nice dealer. those prices all seem very high on the parts. i would not buy the parts and ask them to install them, most places do not like doing that and many refuse. often they refuse saying they can't gaurauntee it or verify the proper parts, etc....they usually make up some excuse, but the bottom line is they make money on the parts too (as you can tell in this case).

The local dealer quoted my cousin $695US for only replacing the timing belt.

#24 cookie

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 05:23 PM

I'll let our Canadian friends comment but parts often seem very high in Canada. I believe taxes on improrts are very high.

#25 richardjames

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 09:26 AM

I'll let our Canadian friends comment but parts often seem very high in Canada. I believe taxes on improrts are very high.


Funny - even if the import tax was 100%, it's still less than the dealer!




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