*NOTE: This is only about their service department. I've had good experience with their parts dept., and no experience with their sales side.
I don't usually do this kind of thing. But this was such a bad experience that I'd like to give a little warning to the community if you're considering Nate Wade Subaru in Salt Lake City Utah for service.
Cliff notes: After getting serviced by them, my brake line on the only corner they worked on gets completely severed less than a mile from the dealership. As in total foot-to-the-floor braking loss as I'm coming towards a stoplight. They then proceed to blame me and charge me to replace the severed brake line.
My 2005 WRX was beginning to have an issue with the front driver's side hub/wheel assembly - when under load, the aftermarket brake rotor was grinding against my caliper. My first thought was wheel bearing, so I brought it to Nate Wade Subaru (most local to me) to have it checked out as I don't have a garage or the time to properly do that kind of job.
After leaving my car with them for the day, I get a call back saying that they're still checking out the front, but I have a bad right-rear wheel bearing as well. I accept to replace it, since at my mileage and use that kind of wear and tear is to be expected.
When I go to pick up the car, only the rear bearing has been done, and they tell me that they’re “not sure” what the grinding noise is, but they blame it on my aftermarket wheels - which I’ve been running without issue for 2 years. I their statement odd, but I needed the car so I paid up and got the keys.
Here's where it gets interesting: About 3/4 of a mile away from the dealer, while approaching an intersection with a red light, I go to hit the brakes. I hear a slight grinding noise, then POP - my brakes go to the floor. ZERO braking power. Scary. I reach for the e-brake and stop on the side of the road.
I get out of the car to see brake fluid spewed all over the right rear wheel - yep, the very same one that they just replaced a bearing on.
I call the dealer, the service manager comes and picks me up. It's closing time on a Friday, so he hands me the keys to a crispy new Outback for the weekend - which I thought was very nice of him to do. I only used the car to get home and back out of respect for them giving me a brand new, for-sale car from their lot.
Fast forward to that next week - one of the service reps call me up and say that it was my fault, because I didn't have my brake lines secured (I run KW coilovers with no adaptable brake line mounts). Mind you, I’ve been running like this for 4 years - multiple track days, hundreds of autocrosses, and thousands of miles of daily driving with zero issues. Then out of the blue, on the one corner that the dealership serviced, I suffer a massive brake line failure barely 1000 feet away. And that’s my fault? Right.
EVEN if it was my fault - if non-fixed brake lines are that big of a liability, why would they ever let me back on the road like that?
Their “offer” to me was half price on labor and parts to put a new line on. I informed them over the phone, multiple times, that I would like to speak to them in person about the charge. They accept, and tell me the car will be ready by 5pm. They close at 6. When I arrive at 4:45, neither my service rep or the service manager were anywhere to be found after I specifically asked to speak to them in person much earlier in the day.
I couldn’t get my keys back without paying the dealer, which is standard accounting policy if there’s a standing charge. So I bit the bullet and paid just to get my car out of there. I was a bit shocked that a service manager would pull a cowardly move like that. Call me na´ve.
The worst part: Well over $500 later, I still had the same front grinding issue. As it turns out, the simple problem was that the center lug was not torqued to spec. It’s kind of a shame that their “certified” mechanic couldn’t figure that one out.
Thanks Nate Wade, but I won’t be seeing you guys ever again. I'm just very thankful that neither myself nor anyone else was injured (or possibly killed).