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Old 11-04-2013, 02:30 PM   #1
couchforester
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Default Did I get screwed by the dealer?

I recently purchased a 2004 Subaru forester from a dealer (I wont mention the name for the meantime) here in Portland. This a small dealer that ''specializes in subarus". They do all the their own work with an onsite mechanic. I was drawn to this vehicle because of all the work it just had done.

New OEM Subaru HEAD GASKETS
• New OEM Subaru Intake Manifold Gaskets
• NEW OEM Subaru Camshaft Seals
• NEW OEM Subaru Crank Shaft Seal
• New OEM Oil Pump O-Ring
• New OEM Subaru Thermostat
• New OEM Subaru Thermostat Gasket
• New TIMING BELT
• NEW Valve Cover Gaskets
• New Spark Plug Tube Seals
• New Washer Rocker Grommets
• New Spark Plugs
• New Oil
• New Oil Filter
• New Anti-Freeze
• New A/C Drive Belt
• New Power Steering Drive Belt
• Fresh Transmission Service

So after Checking it out and driving the car I decided to purchase it.When it comes to cars I like to double check any work done, so I started checking it out further when I brought it home. I noticed that the front transmission fluid was low.(at the end of the dipstick). I then emailed the owner(only employee at dealer) asking what kind of fluid he used so I could add more of the same. He responded very apologetic and said it was redline 75w90 from the Subaru dealer. He even offered to pay for the oil. I told him I appreciated it but that wasn't necessary and I would just get it. I then bought the oil topped it off and checked the level. This time the level was correct but I noticed the fluid was very dark. I knew something wasn't right So I went to the auto parts store and purchased 5qts(front and rear) and engine oil.

This where I start to call things into question. I then drained the front diff and to my surprise it is pitch black. Remember at this point is has been less than 200 miles since I bought this car. I then move over to the engine oil and same thing, pitch black. In my opinion there is no way either engine or gear oil can change that quickly. Here is where Im not sure what to do. Most of the work that they claimed to do is internal stuff head gaskets etc etc. I have sent an email to the owner and am just waiting to hear back. Please let me know your thoughts
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:36 PM   #2
Jack
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If it were me, I'd be asking the dealer for receipts for everything. You only need to see them, not keep them.

If you happen to be friendly with the Subaru dealer parts guy, ask them about this guy. I know that when I owned a used Audi, the dealer where I bought it sent it to an Audi dealer for a new clutch. They also supposedly adjusted the linkage after it came back shifting hard. The Audi dealer said they did no such clutch adjustment.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:37 PM   #3
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If the head gaskets were done recently, if they were done correctly, the heads should have been serviced at the same time. Usually when this is done the heads look spotless super clean. you could get underneath the vehicle and take a look. You should be able to get a good idea of what was touched by looking for new or very clean parts.
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack View Post
If it were me, I'd be asking the dealer for receipts for everything. You only need to see them, not keep them.

If you happen to be friendly with the Subaru dealer parts guy, ask them about this guy. I know that when I owned a used Audi, the dealer where I bought it sent it to an Audi dealer for a new clutch. They also supposedly adjusted the linkage after it came back shifting hard. The Audi dealer said they did no such clutch adjustment.
He told me that he gets his parts from carr Subaru. I thought about asking for receipts but if he is ordering parts from there daily who knows whats for my car or for the next. Since he only sells subarus I would imagine him buy lots from there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2lowcoupedoor View Post
If the head gaskets were done recently, if they were done correctly, the heads should have been serviced at the same time. Usually when this is done the heads look spotless super clean. you could get underneath the vehicle and take a look. You should be able to get a good idea of what was touched by looking for new or very clean parts.
Yes I agree. The bottom of the heads are clean and dry. The whole engine bay itself is very clean so it it hard to tell what bolts have been touched and what has not
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:11 PM   #5
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Still try and get all the receipts. If you end up selling the car, the next owner is going to want them, which is a nice way to ask for them for yourself.

Also, if you are super worried it is not that hard to pull out one or all of the plugs and look.

Do the drive belts look good and new?

Also, yeah, the CARR subaru guys have always been really good to me across the board. You can always go in to buy yourself an OE oil filter and strike up a conversation.
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:00 PM   #6
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Still try and get all the receipts. If you end up selling the car, the next owner is going to want them, which is a nice way to ask for them for yourself.

Also, if you are super worried it is not that hard to pull out one or all of the plugs and look.

Do the drive belts look good and new?

Also, yeah, the CARR subaru guys have always been really good to me across the board. You can always go in to buy yourself an OE oil filter and strike up a conversation.
Yeah I think I will see what receipts I can get from him and or the CARR. I thought about pulling at least one of the plugs because he said he used NGK. Thank you for the advice. What about things like the head gaskets and all the other seals. Im told on the second gen sohc ej25 it is hard to see if it has been changed just by looking at the head
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:04 PM   #7
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do the a/c and ps belts look new?

i'd call total BS if that oil was black - dude flat out lied to you
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Big_Hitter View Post
do the a/c and ps belts look new?

i'd call total BS if that oil was black - dude flat out lied to you

Yeah the belts look newish. Tonight I think im going to pull one of the spark plugs to see if its new and ngk

Im still waiting for him to email me back since the one I sent him sat.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:52 PM   #9
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Here are pictures of the oil. The stuff in the blue bucket is engine oil and in the orange juice jug is front gear oil



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Old 11-04-2013, 08:08 PM   #10
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oh man, that looks very used
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:32 PM   #11
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How many miles since the work was done? How long have you driven it? Those fluids are filthy and not fresh looking.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:08 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Teedub21 View Post
How many miles since the work was done? How long have you driven it? Those fluids are filthy and not fresh looking.
Now I have about 375 miles since all the work was done. That oil looks way older than 375 miles to me
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:56 AM   #13
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looks like 37,500 miles lol
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:42 AM   #14
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Here is the email response from him last night. What are your thoughts?

My question is if the end cap on the transmission (output shaft area) was pulled off would all the gear oil drain out? I would not think so since its not the lowest point on the gear box. I have pictures of things from last night that I will get uploaded shortly.

I am very sorry that when you received the car the gear oil was a 1/2 quart low. That was a mistake and I take full responsibility for not catching it. My sincere goal is to sell the best quality used Subarus in the area.
I am going share the information that I have and then we can both decide what to think. I don’t claim to be perfect, but I do my best and I do value you as a customer.
To address the issues you brought up:
Gear Oil:[

]I do have receipts for parts that we installed on the car.
I personally bought 3 quarts of Redline 75w90.
]I personally saw the tail housing of the transmission off while the mechanic was resealing the tail housing. Without draining it, while on the lift, oil would have being coming out while he was resealing the tail housing.
I don’t have a way to determine when or if the transmission was ever serviced in the past. With a manual transmission, people often forget or neglect to service them.
There is no transmission filter on the car to replace, so short of disassembling the transmission and cleaning it out, there is no way to get it perfectly clean. There is the possibility that this car needed two drain and fills
Anything in a black drain pan is going to look darker than it is. I agree, the oil in your picture (even though it was in a black pan) did look darker than I would expect.

]My thoughts

The gear oil did get changed, but there was enough dirty residue/dirty oil that wouldn’t come out in a normal drain and fill that remained mixing new oil with dirty oil/residue making the oil not as clean as we would hope.[/color][/font]

Why do I think this:
I saw the tail housing off, I can prove it was off, I bought the gear oil, & I paid a mechanic to do it.
My mechanic could have changed the gear oil when the car was cold, reducing the amount and speed of gear oil that would come out. Maybe he didn’t give it enough time to fully drain.[/color][/font]

I don't have any more time tonight, so we can talk about the engine oil tomorrow. it would be helpful to see the oil filter you took off.[/color][/font]

I would be happy to supply you with receipts. I will need time to scan and email them.[/color][/font]
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:33 PM   #15
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Here are a few pictures I took last night. All the spark plugs looked the same. The spark plug wire was dry(in spark plug tube) but there was oil on the threads of the plugs themselves???














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Old 11-05-2013, 02:03 PM   #16
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well it looked like the motor has been cleaned in the last 1000 miles or so. with out taking it apart you really wont be able to tell.

as far as the oil and gear oil goes... send a sample to blackstone and they can 100% tell you what you have.

the oil looks old, gear oil is harder to tell. you can put brand new stuff in drive it 5 miles and its already black. same with engine oil. but it is the consistency of the oil that changes...

its a tuff call... are there any issues with the car? did you put new plugs in? did you check the gap of the current plugs?
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:12 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by BREWPUBEAVER View Post
well it looked like the motor has been cleaned in the last 1000 miles or so. with out taking it apart you really wont be able to tell.

as far as the oil and gear oil goes... send a sample to blackstone and they can 100% tell you what you have.

the oil looks old, gear oil is harder to tell. you can put brand new stuff in drive it 5 miles and its already black. same with engine oil. but it is the consistency of the oil that changes...

its a tuff call... are there any issues with the car? did you put new plugs in? did you check the gap of the current plugs?
That's weird to me about the gear oil. I have put 20k miles on oil before and its just golden brown. No I didn't put new plugs in because these are supposed to be new. Sorry no I did not check the gap.

If everyone seems to think all the other parts look fine then im just going to drop this. I don't think im going to send out a sample of the old stuff since I just put new oil in. This all started because the oil was dark and that go me questioning if the other parts were new
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:31 PM   #18
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I have a Blackstone oil analysis container if you want. only thing is that if you did not take the sample as it was draining any contaminants form the container it landed in will show up on the report.
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:04 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by couchforester View Post
That's weird to me about the gear oil. I have put 20k miles on oil before and its just golden brown.
Same... I have changed my gear oil three times, each time was around 30k miles. On all three occasions, the oil was just slightly different tone of golden brown than when it went in. I know they are totally different cars, transmissions, and driving conditions, but that "lots of pulp" bottle is fitting. Seems strange to me as well...
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:12 PM   #20
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if you told us the name of the dealership, we could tell you straight away if you were screwed or not.
IBsilverline.
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:19 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMorninwood View Post
if you told us the name of the dealership, we could tell you straight away if you were screwed or not.
IBsilverline.
That was my initial thought as well…
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:32 PM   #22
couchforester
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMorninwood View Post
if you told us the name of the dealership, we could tell you straight away if you were screwed or not.
IBsilverline.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NwRider View Post
That was my initial thought as well…
haha no it was not silverline.


So based on everyone's experience from what you can see in the pictures do the head gaskets look new?
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:35 PM   #23
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Headgasket edges, as well as spark plugs and timing belt all look really clean and near new. Those at least look like they were done. And if the head gasket was done the oil was obviously done at the same time.
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:33 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by couchforester View Post
haha no it was not silverline.


So based on everyone's experience from what you can see in the pictures do the head gaskets look new?
My guess is accolade auto in hillsburrito
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:11 PM   #25
couchforester
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Well all is good now. I spoke with the owner and he was very willing help me out and work with me. He offered to have me bring the car down and put it up on the lift and check things out. I told him I didn't think that was necessary since I had just done that myself the night before. This still didn't solve the issue with the dirty gear oil though until I looked at a picture of one split in half. He told me that they replaced the pilot bearing and the bearing near the output shaft (sorry I don't know the name) at the rear of the gearbox. By looking at this picture you can see that if you don't drain the fluid out of the drain plug but instead out of the rear it dose not get it all out. When I changed the fluid myself The nut was very hard to get off and the exhaust was dry. When draining these on a N/a forester it always gets on the exhaust. So to sum this up with the oil being low then really dirty it threw up a red flag and made me start questioning all the other work. Turns out everything is fine the oil just should have been drained before pulling the end cap of the gear box. The dealer which yes is accolade auto stood beside his product and work to make sure I was happy. He even gave me a 6 month warranty on all the work they did to make sure nothing came up. (no that is not my gear box, just one I found online)


Last edited by couchforester; 11-06-2013 at 12:58 PM.
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