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Old 01-03-2002, 06:06 AM   #1
Scooby Specialist
Member Sales Rating: (1)
Member#: 2736
Join Date: Oct 2000
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Los Angeles, CA US
2001 Impreza 2.5RS
Aspen White

Default Culver City Subaru Service Dept. (verly long)

Here are the facts:

I'm currently having tranny probs w/ my MY2000 RS (4EAT). On cold mornings or when the car has been off for over an hour (on a cold day), "drive" doesn't engage immediately or requires revving of the engine to about 4000 RPM to engage (this problem does not occur in reverse under any circumstances).

I took it to the dealer on Dec. 31 of last year for them to look at it. The service rep (Ron Champion) told me that the tranny may need to be replaced and wants the master technician (who was not in on the 31st of December, 2001) to have a look at it to verify. I brought it back on the 2nd of this month (which is when the master tech was supposedly working) and was informed that I will need to have the tranny replaced. My service rep told me that he'd start the paper work to get the ball rolling and etc.

Later that day, he called my house and spoke w/ my father informing him that due to an "improperly installed" tranny cooler, my tranny's fried.

When I got home, my dad told me to call them back to have them explain to me what was going on as his car knowledge is quite limited I called them back and spoke w/ my service rep. He said that there was a "kink" in the hose therefore hindering the return of the AT oil back to the tranny. As a result, my tranny's fried. Something along the lines of a voided warranty were also uttered into the conversation by the service rep.

The tranny oil cooler installed in my RS was done by Steve over at
Suby Specialties in Monrovia, California sometime in September of last year.

I have already contacted SOA about my concerns and am currently awaiting their response.

Here is my opinion:

Culver City Subaru does not want to do the warranty due to my car for whatever reason. I'm assuming that they had decided to deny my car warranty service when I first brought my car in for inspection and used the master technician's opinion as an excuse to buy them time to figure out a way out of servicing my car.

Suby Specialties is a great place to take your car and have it serviced and what not. Don and Steve of Suby Specialties are great guys who do not give up until the work they have done is deemed perfect by them which I believe to be quite a high standard. There is no way that Steve could have goofed up my installation as I had read the instructions and seen him install it in the same manner.

I don't think Culver City Subaru even opened up my transmission. According to the service rep, it would take his mechanics a few days to open the transmission and inspect it. I brought in my car for the second time, and on the same day, they were able to determine that it was fried inside.

I don't believe they've got the proper equipment to be able to come to that conclusion, but I am no mechanic, so I have no idea if that type of technology is available to them.

Other experiences at Culver City Subaru:

I have had two previous experiences that were negative.

The first is having brought my car in for regular maintenance. I was informed by service rep Brian Brannan that I needed new front brake pads. Without having drawn up a new estimate, informing me of the price, or getting permission, the job was done. I should have raised hell and flagged them as a no no, but I thought it was my fault for not having asked.

The second is having brought my car in for maintenance including alignment. The alignment was fine, however, when driving at freeway speeds, the steering wheel shook violently (as if the car was going to fall apart) even on newly paved highway.

They've got friendly people working there who are generally nice, but, IMHO, this is strike three...Culver City Subaru, you're out!

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Last edited by ivbdn; 01-03-2002 at 06:13 AM.
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Old 01-04-2002, 01:01 AM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member Sales Rating: (0)
Member#: 10057
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: WLA
MY02 TS w/ leather
AW w/ full tint:4eat


I've had to take my car to a trnny shop after CC Subaru would not or could not find the problem. After independent knowledge, I presented them what was wrong and they fixed it under warranty ( my93 Legacy). I will not take it there if not under warranty. What is the deal here. CCS, Valley dodge was OK, SM Subaru was soso. NONE were five star IMO.
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Old 01-04-2002, 06:25 AM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member Sales Rating: (1)
Member#: 2736
Join Date: Oct 2000
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Los Angeles, CA US
2001 Impreza 2.5RS
Aspen White


I went back to inspect the supposed kink. It turns out that one of the hoses was pinched between the stock radiator and part of the bumper. It wasn't a severe pinch and certainly one that wouldn't even come close to reducing the line pressure.

I grilled the so-called master technician. As I suspected, the tranny wasn't even disassembled to be examined. They took one look at the cooler and tried to find some lame excuse so as to not do the work.

He claimed that the tranny oil was burnt. I checked it before I went and it didn't look burnt to me nor did it smell as though it were. Also, the AT Temp light never came on and I grilled him on that. He said that the light signals the tranny when to shift. The guy must think I'm an idiot.

Anyway, they decided to do it and they warned me that if Subaru decided to send a district rep to take a look at the car and deemed that it was the cooler's fault, I'd have to pay for the parts and labor. Well, until they prove to me that it was my cooler's fault, they can forget about it!
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