Last post on Nov 13, 2012 at 11:37 AM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Subaru XT, Auto Repair, Sedan, Wagon
#1 of 26 A rip-off?
Nov 06, 2012 (1:20 pm)
I have a 2007 Subaru Outback 2.5XT Limited (auto), bought new, now with 60K miles.
Recently started hearing a buzzing/clanking sound at idle (at higher revs it's masked by engine noise), sounds like a belt(?). Took it to a dealer:
the dealer mechanic does not hear this extra noise (?) - although it's very proniunced...
the dealer service/repair estimates:
slightly over 1000 for 60K service
plus a list of recommended repairs:
resurface front brake rotors and replace brake pads (at minimum) $395.00
replace front lower control arm bushings (torn)..................$429.00
add all wheel alignment..........................................$120.00
front left strut is leaking fluid, recommend replacing both front$1,100.00
Front axle boots are cracking/dry rotted, will split soon, recommend both
Does it sound reasonable? I don't take this car off-road, why suddenly a $4,000 expense at only 60K miles?
Yes, i already to change rear bearing, and and ignition coils at 40K miles...
#2 of 26 Re: A rip-off? [tpe3b]
Nov 06, 2012 (1:51 pm)
Prices do seem high. Some very high.
Since it's out of warranty you may want to consider a good indy shop.
I wouldn't change the front axle boots until they do fail. I had that happen once and it still didn't cost as much as that quote.
#3 of 26 Re: A rip-off? [ateixeira]
Nov 06, 2012 (5:15 pm)
Agreed - they sound high!
The struts are ~$150 each for the part (possibly less, I haven't directly priced them) and are probably 30 minutes per corner. Unless they have one heck of a shop rate, that sounds like a rip-off. The axle boots should either be replaced with a split boot to preserve the current equipment, or let them fail and replace the axles when they start making noise. The latter will probably take 40K miles (possibly more). The former would be a pittance of the work/cost.
All the stuff you mentioned sounds more like $1,500 - $1,800. That said, none of it is an "oh my gosh, do this now!" type of repair. Of them all, I'd say the bushings and alignment are highest priority.
That said, I'd address that noise. It could be a turbo issue, in which case you could be headed toward a catastrophic failure in that system.
#4 of 26 Re: A rip-off? [tpe3b]
Nov 07, 2012 (10:29 am)
definitely look for a local repair shop. Its very common for dealers (all makes) to reward their customers for making such a big purchase as a new car, by sodomizing them relentlessly. those prices are ridiculous and some services maybe not even necessary. Do these people have any conscience at all? Once the warranty is done most people need to look for an independent trustworthy garage.
#5 of 26 Re: A rip-off? [xwesx]
Nov 08, 2012 (8:44 am)
How does terrible advice help the O.P?
The prices to me do sound high, but then again I've learned to not guess what something should cost. We have to spend the time to look up the parts, and the labors and build an exact estimate each and every time.
The struts are ~$150 each for the part (possibly less, I haven't directly priced them) and are probably 30 minutes per corner
So what if this car has active suspension, or maybe even Magna Steer" ? Now the odds are that it doesn't but if you blindly throw out some number as you did now you have completely mislead the OP and anyone who prices out the job correctly you just labeled a thief in her eyes.
BTW, what you can buy a given part for has no bearing on what a shop needs to charge in order to actually thrive as a business. You don't know what it costs them to open the doors, therefore you should be honest enough to admit you don'tnow how to price the repair. On top of that you can find very cheap parts out there that while they may fit, no way perform to the level that the correct part does and a shop cannot use those because the customer would be dissapointed with the handling of the car. Some of the stuff we find out there is so bad that she's better off keeping her leaking strut on the car for a few more years than she is to replace it.
The axle boots should either be replaced with a split boot to preserve the current equipment, or let them fail and replace the axles when they start making noise.
Terrible advice. Split boots have never been the answer. There is no way to disassemble and clean the joint if you try to use them and they leak. If you don't have the discipline to do the job correctly, which means remove the axleshaft, disassemble it, clean and inspect the components and if they are OK fill the joints with the correct amount of fresh grease and install the correct boots then don't touch it.
That said, I'd address that noise. It could be a turbo issue, in which case you could be headed toward a catastrophic failure in that system
Did you actually hear her noise to decide that? Why couldn't the original noise just be a heat shield? Does she even have a turbo? (I'd have to open up another page to go back and read to see if she mentioned one) Heck if it is a turbo charged version the sport suspension actually becomes much more likely. If you were a shop and she called you for "an estimate" and you guessed as you did here and then when the car came in (because you were the cheapest) you would then have to correct your prices to reflect what it takes to do the job the right way, and using the right parts. That would make you a bait and switch operation any day of the week and a rip-off most certainly would be occurring.
#6 of 26 Re: A rip-off? [thecardoc3]
Nov 08, 2012 (10:46 am)
Magna Steer on a Subaru? Check the thread you're in.
#7 of 26 Re: A rip-off? [ateixeira]
Nov 08, 2012 (1:19 pm)
Actually I stuck that in there on purpose, I know that Suby's don't use that system. It's place in that response has a deeper purpose. You'll have to try and see what it's use was suggesting.
#8 of 26 Re: A rip-off? [thecardoc3]
Nov 08, 2012 (6:18 pm)
For all the effort that you put into that post, Doc, you seriously missed the mark. You pretty much convinced me that you have little exposure to the 2007 Outback XT, which surprises me given the reasonably large presence of the make in Pennsylvania.
The OP wasn't asking for a diagnosis, but rather an assessment of reasonableness. Given that I have performed the work on these cars, I think my assessment is reasonable. If I was asked to provide a quote, well, that's a different story and obviously more information is needed and more effort put into research when providing an answer.
As to the noise, heck yes that should be identified! The XT (and GT) was identified during the Outback's gen-3 time frame for turbo failure due to a filter screen clogging. Does the OP know that? I don't know, but an owner saying that "something sounds different" / "I don't know what's causing it, but I can tell something is wrong" means it needs to be identified. When a shop says they cannot replicate, it's normal operation, etc., yet the noise is present at that moment, that's when it's time for a second opinion somewhere else. Of course, they follow that up with "oh, but we did this 651-point inspection while we had the car in the bay, and here's everything we found that IS wrong!" You're an amazing mechanic from what I can tell, Doc, but that means you should know more than anyone that not all shops are on par with you.
I'm sorry if you feel that us fly-by-nighters aren't worthy of the cyberspace, but we can help folks in our own way. If it were all left up to you, you'd have quite a workload.
#9 of 26 Re: A rip-off? [tpe3b]
Nov 09, 2012 (1:14 am)
The prices seem high - but that does not mean you don't need these repairs.
Try other Subaru dealers before taking to an independent.
#10 of 26 Re: A rip-off? [xwesx]
Nov 09, 2012 (7:51 am)
Watch, everything you suggested will turn out to be true.
If anything, the few Subaru problems that do come up tend to show a pattern, one that can and will be observed again and again. Head gaskets, wheel bearings, etc.
I've made suggestions that a mechanic said were completely off base (how dare I?) and then a week later the OP comes back and thanks me for my correct diagnosis.