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Old 12-28-2007, 05:52 PM   #1
sleeperX
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Default 05 STi strange idle, new piston, still issues

I have had ongoing issues with my 05 STi currently around 18,500 miles. I started to notice a strange idle and jerking form the motor could be felt through the seat at idle once the car was fully warmed up. I took to the dealership on two occasions and they stated that there was nothing wrong with the car. Being frustrated with this I sent an email to dealer relations at Subaru. I was contacted shortly and set up another time to take my car back to the dealership. After a compression test they found that cylinder #4 was off. They tore the motor down and found that the 4th piston was actually the wrong one. It was stated as A and B piston, A piston was put in the motor from the factory and should have been B piston or vise versa. I have had the car for a several weeks now and the idle issue is back and even worse.

I honesty have not been to happy with Subaru i.e. the manufacturer, I have felt as if the customer service rep in dealer relations just doesn’t care about my issue. I had asked for my warranty to be extended after I got my car back and that was denied. I have not had any type of apology or explanations of quality control from Subaru. After a quick visit at the dealership yesterday and speaking to the service manager I will be taking the car back on Wednesday. Please note this car is bone stock and I have never been modded. Has any one had an issue of this nature?
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Last edited by sleeperX; 12-28-2007 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:09 PM   #2
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you already have a 6/60 powertrain warranty.

Give them a chance to fix it.
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munkis View Post
you already have a 6/60 powertrain warranty.

Give them a chance to fix it.
Powertrain warranty is 5/60

OP: have you tried taking it to another dealership to get a second opinion/
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Old 12-29-2007, 12:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexygirl View Post
Powertrain warranty is 5/60

OP: have you tried taking it to another dealership to get a second opinion/
I understand the powertrain warranty. I am more concerned about that fact that the wrong piston was put in my motor from the factory. If the piston had cracked, I would know that something broke but this has been in my car since I bought it. Again I will be taking my car back to the dealership for the same issue a 4th time. Unfortunately the next closest dealer is a little ways out. I guess if it comes to that then so be it. This truly frustrates me to spend this much time on something that was caused by factory neglect.
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Old 12-29-2007, 02:11 PM   #5
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If there was TRULY an incorrect piston installed, this is a gross defect.

You have every right to have the issue fixed.

Your stance here needs to be that if the tech was dumbe enough to slap a bum piston on the block, and the car passed PDI, what are the chances that the QC on that motor is worth a poop?

The motor (or short block, at least) was severly defective from the factory, and you wish to have a new one.

This is worth an hour consult with an attorney, for sure.

Ask nicely for a replacement block, for starters, and they won't fix the issue, go get a lawyer's advice.

I believe you are well within your rights for a new shortblock if the issue is still unresolved.

As long as you've still got a warranty, you should be fine.

Yes, it's frustrating to wait for them to fix the issue, but I think they'll fix it.

Did you go to Austin Subaru? I find it hard to believe they would treat you like that.

SOTC
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Old 12-29-2007, 03:58 PM   #6
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I'm surprised they actually "rebuilt" your short block. I know where I work (Toyota dealership) we must replace a faulty component rather than rebuilding it under warranty, but that is just Toyotas policy. That Short block should have been sent back to subaru for inspection... you probably could have screamed loud enough to get a long block out of it...
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Old 12-29-2007, 04:04 PM   #7
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Our dealership, we replace the short block. I haven't seen one yet where they won't replace it. Same deal with Toyota when I worked for them too.

To the op, did they replace the short block with a new short block? That has yet to be determined in the thread.

Last edited by blackfang; 12-29-2007 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 12-29-2007, 04:05 PM   #8
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Once the issue with low compression was discovered, I'm really shocked Subaru didn't call for the motor back and a new shortblock installed. That is certainly what I would recommend as the tech working on the car, especially if it was the wrong piston. Who knows what else could be wrong on that motor. Subaru will usually go with the customer, you just have to complain enough.

-Mike
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Old 12-29-2007, 04:27 PM   #9
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Who is to say they haven't? So far we don't know if the short block was replaced with a new short block either.

Whenever a repair is made under warranty and the defective part is still on the car(i.e hasn't fallen off on the road or missing), it will be held by the parts dept in case Subaru does call for it back. If Subaru does call for that short block, the customer won't know.
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Old 12-29-2007, 05:26 PM   #10
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The short block was never replaced just the piston. I was surprised myself that they did not replace the short block. Austin Subaru has been nice so far itís more or less the feeling from Subaru USA and the rep in Dealer Relations that but the bad taste in my mouth and the fact that my car still runs like this.

I guess the worst part about the warranty extension denial was that they offered me a "Loyalty Trade in Offer" but they would not extend my warranty.

In my line of work if we were send out a product like this we would fix it and try to make up for our mistake in some way shape or form.

The car is still under warranty and Texas does have a Lemon Law. If there is not resolution I will be contact the Dept of Transportation. I am not familiar to how this works but I may find out.
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Old 12-29-2007, 06:23 PM   #11
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You know, you sound very reasonable in your post. Maybe get the dealer relations person to pass you up to his/her supervisor or manager. If you explain things to that person, as you have here, I'm sure they'd give it more thought. Maybe you just got a bad rep. on a bad day or something? It can't hurt for you to try to escalate the situation - before you start paying for a lawyer. You bought the car because you liked it. Just let SOA know you want your faith restored in the car and the company. Post back if you do that and let us know what happens?
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Old 12-29-2007, 08:09 PM   #12
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This is probably why the short block was repaired and not replaced:

Quote:
Dealers are required to repair assemblies that malfunction using individual component repair parts. Assemblies may only be replaced when one or more of the following conditions occur:

If the repair estimate (parts and labor) exceeds 90% of the replacement estimate (parts and labor). The estimate must be prepared prior to replacement of an assembly, and a copy of the estimate must be retained with the repair order. This document may be requested by SOA to validate assembly replacements. Refer to the ďAssembly Repair vs. Replacement WorksheetĒ found in the forms section. (see section 17)

If assembly replacement is specifically instructed by a Subaru Service Representative. An authorization code will be provided and must be included upon claim submission. (see section 8.4.10)

If a specific policy has been released instructing assembly replacement
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Old 01-02-2008, 08:03 PM   #13
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The car is back at the dealership and I donít expect to hear anything back for a couple days.

I called back to SOA and tried to get to the manager/supervisor on the phone, yet they forwarded me right back to the same person that I wasnít happy dealing with prior. After about 5 minutes of going back and forth it comes to light that the representative doesnít even seem to understand that the wrong part was put in my car from the factory. This baffles me since I was told they reviewed my case for a warranty extension that I requested and being that I have discussed this with the same person 3-4 times now. I was asked to provide the documents from the dealership. I am even more surprised that they donít have access to warranty related repairs, which the person said they did and them back tracked to ask for the info from the dealer. Does SOA not communicate with dealerships? With that said I donít know if I am being singled out or there is some underlining miscommunication from the dealer to SOA. Either way dealing with SOA directly has not been a pleasant experience. I will wait to see what the dealership says this round, and I have been told that the supervisor at SOA will be reviewing my case.
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:40 AM   #14
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Just keep on them Im having very close linked problems with my vehicle, exept they don't know the porblem and it seems they don't want to investigate it further either lol i agree you should raise hell about the short block issue labor plus parts combined for that job easily makes the replacement bracket in my opinion.
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Old 01-16-2008, 08:15 PM   #15
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Well I met with the SOA field rep today. He drove my car with me and put it on the machine again. They still canít find anything wrong. They can feel, and acknowledge exactly what Iím talking about but canít find a solution, nor did they really provide one. I was told that they drove another 05 STi on the lot that had a similar feel but not as pronounced. When I asked how many miles that one had they stated 34K I have yet to crack 19K and began to notice this shortly after 10K miles. I was told nothing further can be done at this time, and to drive the car and bring it back if it gets worse. I am extremely perturbed at this point and am loosing faith in Subaru, I am a reasonable person and this is not a reasonable solution. I am waiting for a call from the SOA dealer relations rep. What this will accomplish I am not sure but feeling buyerís remorse 2.5 years later is a horrible feeling.
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Old 01-16-2008, 08:41 PM   #16
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Reasons like this are why I might be adding a BMW to my fleet, not a 2008 STI.
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Old 01-16-2008, 08:45 PM   #17
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lemon law if you bought it new, you said they acknowledge the problem but won't can't fix it and that is precisely what the lemon law is there for. If you push hard enough you can get them to buy it back.
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:18 AM   #18
bo9877
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flstffxe View Post
lemon law if you bought it new, you said they acknowledge the problem but won't can't fix it and that is precisely what the lemon law is there for. If you push hard enough you can get them to buy it back.
The OP said that he's had his car for 2.5 year, which places him out of any lemon law coverage. Most states--and I believe Texas is included in this--have a lemon law period of 2 years or 24k miles, whichever comes first.

If you've simply lost faith in the car and not SOA as a whole, what you very well may be able to do is get SOA to help trade you into another car. This will involve some negotiation between SOA and the dealership on exact terms, but in the end usually involves the dealer agreeing to take your car in on trade, giving you a new car at a good price, and SOA kicking in X dollars towards the deal. Actually, looking back on the post history, it appears that they've already offered this.

So what can you do from this point? Would you be satisfied if they offered you an SAS warranty? If so, repeat your request for the warranty. Since the rep acknowledged a problem, you might be able to get them to agree to it at this point.

Several people on here have suggested it could be an injector. You could spend your time fighting with SOA and the dealer and get them to replace the injectors, but how much is your time worth? Consider taking your car to a performance shop and have them check and replace the injectors if needed. If you have a concern that going to a 3rd party shop may in the end come back to bite you on warranty down the road, pay the dealer (or another dealer) to replace the injectors. If it fixes the problem, then request that SOA reimburse you for the repair as it obviously should have been warranty.

Another option could be requesting that SOA place a data recorder in your car. They used to do this occasionally for a problem that was hard to capture/figure out. Basically they place a recorder that stays plugged into your OBD port and the recorder has a button that you press whenever the condition occurs. The recorder then saves a few seconds of data before and after each button press. After a week or two, the dealer reclaims the recorder and sends it to SOA for the engineers to take a look at.

If none of these options are acceptable to you, then your two options are to keep the car and live with it or sell it.

Good luck.
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WJM View Post
Yes, the driving recorder on the SDS interface box.
The only problem with that is that 99% of the dealers only have ONE of those. Sending the only one out with a customer for a week or two pretty much puts them out of business for looking at anything with the SDS.
No, this is a different piece of equipment from the SDS, but it records data streams the same way. These specific recorders are not available to dealers and their distribution is controlled by FHI engineers at SOA. They have to be requested by the field reps as there are apparently only a limited number of them. To look at one, it looks like they're probably hand-built custom jobs from FHI; no screen interface, just a utilitarian metal box with an OBD cable and a cable ending in a pushbutton. They may not be used all that often anymore since dealers now have the ability to capture data streams with SDS, but they were used in the past for complaints that dealers or field reps couldn't capture either because of their extremely intermittent nature or because it was a normal operating condition and the data is just to confirm that.

And I can't imagine any dealer letting one of the SDS computers go off with a customer for any length of time. More likely the tech would drive the car over night or for the weekend with the SDS.
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:28 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by WJM View Post
This would not be one of those cases to use that on, as its easily duplicated. I seriously think the tech(s) need to do a little more research on the matter. But thats just me.
I don't remember seeing it mentioned above, but has poor fuel been ruled out? To the OP, where do you get your gas from? A name-brand place or a Cowboy Dan's Gas N' Que-type of place? Same actual stations (like one near your house) or just random ones whenever you need to fill up? I know some people might disagree with me on this and I'm sure I'm going to get some blowback here, but I have seen rough idles, hesitation, etc. caused by off-brand gas. If you're going to a small unknown kind of place or places, there is a chance that their gas could be contaminated or have water in it or something. Just throwing it out there.

WJM may very well be right about the tech. Though I would HOPE that a leakdown and compression test has been done by this point...

Last edited by bo9877; 01-17-2008 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:28 PM   #21
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North Carolina lemon law. http://www.north-carolina-lemon-law.com/ But in any case if you push SOA hard enough you should be able to get them to buy it back.
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Old 01-17-2008, 09:18 PM   #22
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To all asking what type of gas that I use, it’s strictly Shell and not from the same location there are several in town. For grins I will try Exxon this week. I spent a fair amount of time on the phone today with a rep from SOA with no resolution, they flat out stated since they cant see or find anything wrong with my car there is nothing for them to fix. I have contacted the Dept of Transportation and will begin the Lemon Law process. I feel this is the best thing I can do. Subaru has offered concessions for my time and issues with the car but they are no way adequate for time and money that I have spent. Leakdown #'s last visit tested #1 8% #2 8% #3 6% #4 14% please note the prior visist showed 12% on #4, this was right after the new piston had been repalced.

Last edited by sleeperX; 01-17-2008 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:04 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleeperX View Post
To all asking what type of gas that I use, itís strictly Shell and not from the same location there are several in town. For grins I will try Exxon this week. I spent a fair amount of time on the phone today with a rep from SOA with no resolution, they flat out stated since they cant see or find anything wrong with my car there is nothing for them to fix. I have contacted the Dept of Transportation and will begin the Lemon Law process. I feel this is the best thing I can do. Subaru has offered concessions for my time and issues with the car but they are no way adequate for time and money that I have spent. Leakdown #'s last visit tested #1 8% #2 8% #3 6% #4 14% please note the prior visist showed 12% on #4, this was right after the new piston had been repalced.
http://www.carlemon.com/lemon/TX_law.html It looks like Texas' Lemon Law is for a period of 12 mo/12k miles if there were 4 repair attempts in that 12 mo period, or 2 yrs/24k mi if the car was out for service for 30 days total AND two of the repairs happened in the first 12/12. It also states that "(h) A proceeding brought under this section shall be commenced within six months following the earlier of (1) expiration of the express warranty term or (2) 24 months or 24,000 miles following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to an owner. Unfortunately, even if you met the above LL criteria, you may be past the statute of limitations, though I could be wrong since I'm not an expert in legalese. Just be prepared and open to other solutions assuming you're not covered by LL.

To flstffxe, if a car isn't still covered by LL, the chances that SOA will buy back a car are slim-to-none; they have no legal obligation to do so under the terms of the applicable state's LL and no amount of pushing is going to change that. The most anyone can realistically hope for is what the OP was offered-the Owner Loyalty deal.

OP: I know you don't really want to, but now may be the time to try another dealership. The tech who is on your car either doesn't know what to do or is hiding the correct data from the SOA field rep and Techline to avoid looking incompetent. It sucks that it seems as though the dealer and SOA are no longer able or willing to work on your car for this concern. You could always trade it in; if the dealership says the car is running properly and that there is nothing to repair, then they should take it in no problem. KBB trade-in for an '05 STi with your mileage ranges from 19k-22k. If you're not sold on Subaru anymore, trade it in towards another brand.
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