Last post on Aug 12, 2010 at 1:33 PM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Car Buying, Car Comparisons, Sedan, Wagon
#16 of 23 Re: Turbo [paisan]
Jul 12, 2008 (9:39 am)
Your comment about the banjo bolt screen being removed on later models is precisely why I am now a frustrated Subaru owner. I have owned my car since July 2004 (Legacy GT Auto Wagon). I was an early adopter of the redesign and had purchased two prior Subarus, and several more through extended family. I change the oil religiously; never over 3500 miles and check oil level at every other fillup. In short, I did everything I could do to avoid a turbo failure.
When I did have a failure, I was out of town and the closest Subaru dealership tried to take advantage with claims of numerous expensive repairs - all of which would have to be paid cash. SOA did the right thing and intervened. It ruined a vacation and involved a week of hassle, but I don't hold that against SOA.
My frustration is I have asked numerous times what I can do to prevent a second failure down the line. The car is like new and given that you cannot buy new GT wagons, I have no desire to get rid of the car next year at the five year mark. If SOA would only admit that the banjo screen is a problem and explicitly remove them from cars (at least after a turbo failure), I would feel like a second failure is not an inevitable problem.
Instead, I have received three "official" responses urging that I change the oil every 3.5 months/3500 miles, which is what I have always done.
I was probably one of the most passionate Subaru fans in the Philadelphia area. Certainly not as vocal as the members of this board, because I was always a reader- not a poster. Still, in my eight years of Subaru ownership, I have convinced over 20 people to buy the cars. I drive past SOA headquarters at least once a week, and have met several of their employees in the past through Marketing conferences, etc. When I was having the troubles with the "dishonest dealership," I called people within the company that I knew, but don't want to ask them to intervene now as I imagine I would now be viewed as a "pesky owner" and won't ask friends to go out on a limb for me.
The issue is this, if a manufacturer has loyal advocates as Subaru does, don't deny problems that will impact those most loyal fans. A simple note that "real-world experience has led to rethinking of the banjo-bolt screen, thus we do not replace it after turbo failure" would eliminate my future concerns and would have prevented me from becoming an annoyed, former advocate. A simple lesson in PR. SOA used to have an employee monitor these boards on a regular basis (Patty). I hope my notes are making it to the attention of someone who is more of a Marketer than a liability attorney.
Jul 12, 2008 (12:03 pm)
I do not think that screen in banjo bolt is THE PROBLEM. The problem is that something is get cought. If screen is not present then "something" (I suspect sludge or coke) will get further into the system and still cause a failure, just a different one.
ABZ, you followed new SOA recommendation (OCI 3750 miles) from very begining and you still had turbo failure?
My bet is that SOA oil specification allows usage of oils that do not work well in 2.5 turbocharged engine.
It looks awfully similar to VW 1.8T issue. VW also underspecified the oil in the beginning.
#18 of 23 Re: Turbo [abz]
Jul 12, 2008 (5:55 pm)
Since you know how to remedy the problem, why not just remedy it yourself?
Subarus aren't perfect. I've had to do tweaks on almost all my cars. Imprezas had ball bearings in the wheels but the legacies had barrel ones. Whenever we replaced a bearing on an impreza we slipped in the legacy ones for either ourselves or our customers.
I haven't removed the banjo bolt on mine yet but probably will do it when I do my Upipe and Downpipe since we'll be in there anyway.
I have actually kept in contact with Patty and she is great. SOA really does try to do the right thing, depsite what folks think. They now hold an annual breakfast for the subaru owners who do the 48hrs of Tristate http://48hrs.info where we kickoff the event which raises money for The American Cancer Society at SOA headquarters, have breakfast, and meet the CEO and the rest of the management team. This past year they matched, dollar for dollar whatever we raised!
#19 of 23 Re: Turbo [paisan]
Jul 12, 2008 (6:36 pm)
I am still under powertrain warranty and didn't know that SOA has since removed the banjo bolt screen. I have read on other forums that aftermarket tuners recommend removing the screen, but the last thing I want is to have a future warranty repair denied due to having removed the screen on my own.
I am mechanically inclined, but do little maintenance on my own vehicle. What can I say, MG's were far easier to work on. If I won't invalidate my warranty, I will probably download the instructions and remove this screen at some point in the future. Again, all I wanted from SOA was a statement that they now recommend removing the screen. I am tired of being told to change the oil. I already had to provide them four years of oil change records in order to get them to cover the turbo under warranty. They know very well I change my oil at 3 months/3000 miles.
I will stop posting on this issue at this point. The question started with the durability of Subaru turbos, and my experience would suggest there are some unresolved issues.
#20 of 23 Re: Turbo [abz]
Jul 12, 2008 (6:43 pm)
I doubt that SOA will say "go ahead and remove it" and I'm not sure you'd be covered under warranty. I've never heard of them requiring your maintenance records for a simple turbo replacement. Maybe an engine replacement but it's weird to hear it on a turbo.
#21 of 23 Re: Turbo [paisan]
Jul 13, 2008 (7:11 am)
Now you can understand why I am so soured on turbo Subarus.
I was 100 miles from home at the start (interrupted) of a family vacation. I had two daughters with me (seven years and sixteen months). I am stranded in this town where I had my Subaru towed. The quote from the Service Manager (attributed to the SOA regional rep is "the number one cause of turbo failures is neglect. We won't even order parts for your car as a warranty repair until you provide copies of all oil change receipts.")
I had already provided the phone number and address of my local Subaru dealership where the vast majority of work had been done. When I made it back home (in a rented car), I had to run to my local dealer to get a copy of a single missing receipt. The Manager of that dealership was pissed off about the whole situation because he quickly pointed out that my records were already in the networked computer system accessible to all Subaru dealerships.
Long story short, my local dealership is incredible, but if I suffer problems elsewhere I am very likely to be screwed. This experience has formed my opinion of Subaru turbos. The form letter responses I get from SOA are not encouraging as to whether they will stand behind their cars in the future.
Buyer beware. There is an issue with the turbo design. Subaru eventually made good on the head gasket issue which impacted the previous generation engine. My hope is they realize that while the turbo issue impacts a much smaller number of cars, it has as great an impact on owner loyalty.
#22 of 23 Re: Turbo [abz]
Jul 13, 2008 (8:43 am)
I think you may have hit one bad dealer, from your description above, it seems that the repairing dealer didn't want to deal with it nor honor the warranty. As you said, your local dealer was outstanding in the situation.
#23 of 23 Re: Turbo [paisan]
Aug 12, 2010 (1:33 pm)
I feel most of you are forgetting something hear about who is responsible and what is within the control of a consumer. The majority of the people who buy cars don't know how to get around the certain bugs that are found within their vehicles. You all mention replacing ball joints, changing your oil, maybe flushing the coolant and even the differential fluids. However the majority of SOA customer don't do that and depend on independent mechanics and dealerships to help them.
SOA knew about turbos failing due to clogged banjo filters to the point that they placed a TSB out about it. They even went as far as removing it from 06 and up. The questions raised is how does a common consumer know this? SOA needs to take ownership in this known problem and do the right thing.