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Old 06-11-2003, 06:31 PM   #1
StuBeck
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Unhappy HUGE PROBLEMS with my new car!

Just today I was driving down the road and heard a wierd sound out of the rear tires. I can't really describe it. Anyways, in the next turn (a right) the left rear felt like it was going down. Got off the road, it was fine, tire pressures were fine too. Took it back to the dealer...they won't be able to work on it for two weeks...grrr.

Come back home, and on a banked off ramp (another right) the right front tire felt like it came off the ground. While the right side should have been planted on the ground, it came up above the left side.

Also the shifting has been very poor since I got the car (its an auto). It jolts often when stopping, when it is downshifting, and it also jolts when I upshift, no matter whether I'm at 3 grand or 6.5.

Needless to say the car has problems, I went back to the dealer and they'll "try" and look at the car tomorrow if they can. Anyone know from these symptoms what the problem is? I would like to be able to go in and have a clue what the problem may be. Thanks.
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Old 06-11-2003, 07:57 PM   #2
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Well StuBeck, I am sorry to say that I don't known enough about cars to help you out on the issues. But 2 weeks for them to take a look at it. That is reduclius for an issue like you are having. Have you tried to call around to the other dealers? Most of the time you can find one that is close enogh that will help out. And sometimes when you explain it over the phone, they can get an idea of what is going on and point you in the right direction and/or get you an appointment quicker.

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Old 06-11-2003, 08:08 PM   #3
StuBeck
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Yea, the big problem I have is that I HAVE to have them work on the car. Its still under the lemon law warrenty, so I have to do it there. I did get them to at least think about looking at the car tomorrow (dropped it off about an hour ago.) The person who I talked to didn't seem to understand that my car not working is a problem...dumbass. I'm definitely not buying a car from them again, and going to cancel the extended warrenty with them too.

I'm sorta hoping they won't fix it so I can get it classified as a lemon and get another car, but I doubt this will happen.
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Old 06-11-2003, 08:31 PM   #4
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The nice thing about the subaru extended warranties is that they work at any delearship or authorized service center. Unless the warranty you got is a dealership only warranty. I have not had the pleasure of bying a new car yet, but my parents have and the warranty has saved their asses several times. So if it is the offical warranty I would keep it myself and just find a better service center. Good luck on geting it classified as a lemon.

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Old 06-11-2003, 08:43 PM   #5
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It's a Honda warenty, I got the car used from a Honda dealership to save myself on fianceing. I haven't seen what it works with, but right now even if I do keep the car, I'm switching dealerships, they're idiots there.
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Old 06-11-2003, 08:44 PM   #6
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Any noises from back there? Collapsing for some reason obviously. A broken/dead spring and/or blown damper is my first bet (and you'd be surprised how little noise a broken spring can make if they settle just so).

Have you stuck your head inder there to see if there is anything (like oil from the damper) visibly out of whack under there?

Best of luck with getting it all up to scratch.

Oh, and if you bought it from a Subaru dealer, get onto the helpline/customer service people - leaving you like that is just plain wrong.

Edit: Just saw your new post - go get on Honda's case...
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Old 06-11-2003, 08:53 PM   #7
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I looked under the rear end, it looked like the springs were fine, but I didn't check the dampers. I did push on the front end and it seemed to be okay.

I'm just in such a bad mood about the car right now I have no clue what I want to do. Its 3 weeks old from when I got it...and it was on the lot for 3 months, you THINK they would have made sure it was in good condition...
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Old 06-11-2003, 09:01 PM   #8
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your brought a subaru to a honda dealership?? isnt that like apples and oranges, might be the reason for the long wait. Try and talk to head people in charge and show them that this is a major impact on your life(work, food, etc.) Im sure with enough complaining they will get it in sooner
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Old 06-11-2003, 09:04 PM   #9
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Its already probably going in tomorrow. I'm definitely going to bitch to whoever will listen about it. I got it at that dealer because the used car sales person at Van Bortel is an ass and a half, and I was able to get a good deal there too. The reason there is a long wait is they don't seem to understand that my suspension bouncing around is bad...oh, and they don't have loaner vehicles available either They have 200 unsold vehicles on the lot, but they can't give me a loaner vehcile that my warrenty GUARANTEES me...
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Old 06-11-2003, 09:08 PM   #10
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F that dude you demand a loaner car, or you will go to someone hah oh man i got no clue but im sure there is some place that you can report these guys for crap like this, just not fair.
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Old 06-12-2003, 11:08 AM   #11
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The Honda dealership has your money, now they are giving you the cold shoulder! It bites, but it is a very common practice with used car sales.

Have you complained to the dealership manager? Owners? You could try going to the BBB, but what short term benefit will that give you?

My advice would be to first check the details of your warranty. Is there a contingency plan for getting repairs made at a different garage if your car breaks down on the highway or in another town? Sometimes extended warranties are handled by third parties. Maybe you can bypass this dealership by going directly through the warranty provider?

If these guys continue to screw the pooch with you, take the car to a qualified Subaru shop and get them to do an inspection of the car carefully noting anything wrong. It may cost you $100 or so, but then you can take this back to the Honda dealer and demand repair, refund or compensation.

Don't mean to preach, but this is why its a good idea to get an independent inspection on any used car you are serious about buying! Good luck to you and let us know how it goes!
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Old 06-12-2003, 12:32 PM   #12
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My plan right now is that unless they fix everything that I see wrong with the car, its going to another Subaru dealer to be checked for problems. I'm definitely going to see if I can change Honda dealers that I deal with, and I'm going to tell them that. I am going to talk to a dealership manager when I go back in to pick up the car.

I knew that I should have gotten an inspection before I bought it, but it is a huge dealership (Honda, Porsche, Audi AND Mazda) so I though they would know their sh**...but apparently not.
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Old 06-12-2003, 05:03 PM   #13
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StuBeck, they are in the business of selling cars, not providing honest deals. I always say, never trust anyone in the business of selling!

Years ago I was going to buy a used car from a well established Toyota dealership here in Calgary. I was in love with the car and was ready to sign on the dotted line! I took along my father as a second conscience. He asked the salesmen if there were any problems with having an independent inspection. The salesman was a little apprehensive (my first clue) saying that all their cars had been inspected and certified. My father persisted and they let us take the car to his mechanic. We found out that the engine was nearly shot and that there were severe electrical problems that could cause a fire. It would have cost more than the car was worth to repair it! Best $50 I ever spent!

Since then I always take my Dad with me when I am car shopping!
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Old 06-12-2003, 05:24 PM   #14
finse46
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I am with sooberoo. About a decade ago I wanted a Toyota MR2. I went through a lot of trouble to find one I liked. When I did, it was at very large Honda/BMW dealer. Well, I took my pop along with me. Of course he insisted we take the vehicle to a diagnostics shop for an unbiased review. The diagnostics guys provided me with an extensive laundry list of issues the car was facing. I walked back into the dealer, informed them I still wanted the car, but not before they fixed every last issue on my laundry list. They agreed and my MR2 gave me several years of spirited motoring.
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Old 06-12-2003, 05:43 PM   #15
StuBeck
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Just got the car back...they didn't find a problem with it at all . Took it out on the road, got the problem almost immediately. In a right hand turn, the right front comes up a LOT more then it should. Needless to say I won't be doing the autocross this weekend...I've got to go to one of the local Subaru dealers and see if I can bring one of the mechanics with me on a test drive to see what the problem is.
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Old 06-12-2003, 06:24 PM   #16
Frawl
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Could something be amiss with your swaybar (either one I suppose but I'd look to the rear first) and/or links?? It just takes a second to see if everything is hooked up correctly.

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Old 06-12-2003, 07:09 PM   #17
StuBeck
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Don't really know what to look at, what would be amiss, just it not connected? Its obviously something in the rear of the car, so the rear sway bar being disconnected on the left side may make sense.
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Old 06-12-2003, 07:22 PM   #18
Frawl
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See if the bar's damaged or broken (which is unlikely). More probable would be the endlinks. Again, either broken or not connected for some reason.

If you need help finding things down there, this link on upgrading your endlinks will show you the main parts.

http://www.scoobymods.com/forums/sho...s=&threadid=28


Jeff
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Old 06-13-2003, 02:47 AM   #19
Subietonic
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Definitely don't want to scare you but a front end lifting on a turn is a typical sign of a bent frame. Was there a full disclosure of any and all repairs that have been made to this vehicle prior to purchase? It's entirely possible that this car has sustained serious front end damage to the frame and/or suspension and that's what's causing the lift. I agree with the previous comment that a sway bar end could be loose or an end link could be bent, broken or missing... all not very good signs of previous care. What did Carfax say about the car? If it's been in any kind of an accident and this information wasn't disclosed then tell them you want a buy-back for the full amount that you paid, including tax, title, license, warranty, every dime.

BTW - how many miles on the car? When was the car first put in service? Are the tires on all four wheels the same make and size? Subes don't tolerate different mfg/size tires front to rear and side to side. That'll screw up your center diff and the rest of your drivetrain in a hurry if not correct. Also, check your tire pressure front and rear. Should be 32 psi front and 30 psi rear. If they put new tires on the car, being a Honduh dealership, they probably just set the tires to 35/35 or at least 32/32, either way, same front and rear and that's a definite no/no with Subes too.

The hard shifts and the noise can be caused by a bad center differential. This is particularly common on the 4EAT Auto transmissions. You definitely want to get this fixed and by a Subaru trained tech.... don't get me started on other non-Subaru trainined techs working on our cars...

If your car is less than five years old from date of initial service and less than 60K miles, Subaru will honor its powertrain warranty and fix these kinds of things for you. But you've got to get your car to a Subaru dealership. And don't let them charge you a diagnostic charge unless they for certain can't find anything wrong. Have them explain everything to you. And while you're there, have them give the car a good going over top to bottom, side to side and front to rear. You may pay $100 but you'll be armed with the laundry list of what you expect the Honda dealership to fix.

After three good faith attempts to have the dealership where you purchased the car fix the problems (all of which they should document for you), as a last resort, walk onto the sales floor when it looks really busy, and in a voice loud enough to be heard, announce to anyone who is in the room/on the floor that this dealer's service department doesn't care about its customers and the dealership doesn't honor its warranties. Be calm, not angry and use good clear language (potty mouth words don't work well here). That will typically get some action if not from the general manager, at least from the sales floor manager.

And don't let the "up" guys try to talk you out the door... only deal with the SFM or GM. Just hold your ground and keep talking loudly until you talk to one of them. Then in a calm, rational voice and demeanor, detail what you've done and ask them specifically what they are going to do to honor their commitment. If the next word out of their mouth isn't something to the effect that we will take care of this for you tomorrow, then calmly advise them that they will be hearing from your attorney. Leave, contact any attorney who specializes in vehicle and/or contract law and turn them loose on the dealership.

The sad truth is that used car dealers typically don't care about you once the deal's done. They got your money, you got your car, everybody's happy right? Here's hoping the best for you because you certainly bought into what you believed to be, and which was represented to you to be, a good used car.

Good luck!

Br, Dale
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Old 06-13-2003, 11:05 AM   #20
StuBeck
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I did a CarFax search and it came up all clear. The people bought it in Pennyslvania, moved to Florida and then the car got resold up here at an auction.

It has only 48K on it, was sold Feb 1998, so I'm four months out of the five yr subaru warrenty. But within the 60 days that I get from the dealer. I'm going out in a few minutes and going to see if I can get a mechanic to drive the car with me in it. The problem yesterday was worse, the rear wants to swap ends with the front, and the front just pushes.

The tires are all the same, new at the end of 01. Supposedly someone looked over the car and couldn't find any problem with it...but its obvious that it does have a lot. I honestly can't remember what the tires were set at. I set it to 32/30, is that a wrong?

And on the lawyer issue. I've got an assistant state atourney willing to help us out, so I'm fine with that. If the honduh dealer doesn't find anything wrong again, or I can't get a tech to drive with me. I'm definitely going to a subaru dealer and seeing if they can drive with me.

I think the problem is that if you're driving slowly it is hard to notice. It only occurs badly when you are pushing the car at all, which I can sort of understand the tech not wanting to do.
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Old 06-13-2003, 11:41 AM   #21
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Sounds like you are on track to get this resolved. The name of the game at this point is documentation, documentation, documentation. Particularly if/when you have to take legal action. Hopefully the Honda dealership will pull their head out of their proverbially hawse pipe and see that you are taking a reasoned, rational approach to holding them accountable for both the driveability and the merchantability of your purchase. Keep us appraised because I'm sure there are others in this and other forums who have had similar experiences and can lend their thoughts to your efforts.

Br, Dale

BTW - how does the transmission fluid look? Is it a nice light red/pink color or does it look darker like motor oil or smell burned?
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Old 06-13-2003, 04:21 PM   #22
StuBeck
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Another update

Went to the Honduh dealer, had a mechanic sit in the car while I drove. Didn't have the 3 wheeling, but it was depending on the left hand side of the car way too much while taking a right hand turn. He didn't think it was THAT big of a deal, and didn't even tell the receptionist person what the problem was...I had to. So he thought it was a rear alignment problem. Got an appt Tuesday the 24th....way to long in my mind but whatever.

Went to a subaru dealer. This time the mechic drove the car, he didn't push it as much as I would have liked, but it did show the problem a tad. He thought that it was a problem with the transfer clutch (or something like that.) Took it in circles to readjust it and its 20 times better right now. Still isn't as brillant in turn in as it was, but I'm much more happy with it then I was. Going to have them look at the car this tuesday. I'm going to have them right down EVERYTHING that they see is wrong or out of wack with the car, and go nail the bi*ch at the honduh dealer to the wall with the problems it has.

I'm going to look and see if I can get a warrenty through this subaru dealer, or find a honduh dealer with Subaru. The thing that is REALLY wierd is that this dealer I was working with serviced Audi's...I know they're different then Subaru's but you would think they would have an idea what the problem is.

So right now I'm happy with the car again. I'm definitely going to talk to a manager at the Honduh dealer about my problems, and the ineptness of their mechanics, and let them know that I am going to change the dealer I deal with after my (now) 62 day warrenty is over.

Oh, and I (sadily enough) don't know where the tranmission fluid is, can you tell me? Neither of the people I drove/driven with had a problem with the shifting, so I think that might just need me getting used to the new auto.
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Old 06-13-2003, 06:10 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by StuBeck
Oh, and I (sadily enough) don't know where the tranmission fluid is, can you tell me? Neither of the people I drove/driven with had a problem with the shifting, so I think that might just need me getting used to the new auto.
Your transmission filler/dipstick tube is located just to the left and somewhat below the brake booster (that large, black round thing sitting against the front of the firewall on the right side of the engine compartment). It's probably partially hidden by some big vacuum hoses and battery cable etc. but it's there and the handle is yellow (likes to collect dirt, oil and grime so it may not look too yellow) and has a hole in in it grab with your finger. Once you pull it you can clean it up so it looks nice and yellow the next time.

Subaru recommends checking the transmission fluid HOT so drive the car several miles to warm up the fluid to normal operating temp. Without turning off the car, park the car on a level spot and set your emergency brake. With your foot also on the foot brake, shift the transmission into each gear, R, N, D, 3, 2, 1 and finally back to Park and let the car idle.

Lift your hood, locate the transmission dipstick and pull it out smoothly, drop some of the fluid onto a clean piece of plain white paper, wipe the remaining fluid off with a clean, lint-free cloth and push the trans dipstick back into its tube until it firmly seats. Pull it smoothly out and check to see where the fluid registers on the dipstick. Since it's now HOT, it should read between the upper two dots right below the word HOT on the dipstick.

If it doesn't read in the HOT zone, then it's either not at normal operating temperature or its low. If it's low, I'd take it back to the dealership and tell them to top it off. Get a record of this. Then I'd watch for fluid leaks around any/all of the transmission housing seals and for fluid consumption. Also, the trans fluid you dropped on the plain white paper should be a rosy pink/light red. Any other color and I'd have them change because that fluid is "cooked" or burnt and it's probably contributing to your lousy shift points/deterioration of the trans and/or center diff. Recommend fluid is Dexron II or III Type Automatic Transmission Fluid.

While you're at it, check your front differential gear oil. Look on the opposite side of the transmission from the trans dipstick and down on the side of the transmission is another yellow (again, probably really dirty) handle with a hole in it. This is located just above and just behind the right front drive axle as you look down behind your engine. There's a dipstick attached to this handle too and indicates either F - full or L - low. If it's not between those two marks, I'd have the dealership drain and refill it with new diff fluid. Don't mix differential fluids unless you have to do it.

Recommended oil grade is API GL-5 and depending on your ambient temperatures where you live, you'll want to replace it with the right viscosity (weight) oil. For year round driving where temps will be <-20 F to > +100 F, your best bet is 80W/90. If temps run from -20 F to > +100 F, Subaru recommends straight 85W.

Anyway, make these checks part of your Saturday morning routine when you check all your fluids, set the tire pressure for the week, wash and/or wax your car. Even if the car doesn't get washed, at least check your fluids, inspect and air up your tires. Also, don't leave out the rear diff as a once a month check too.

These are general recommendations. If you have a manual for your car, look in the index under Automatic Transmission Fluid, front diff, rear diff for the appropriate info for your car.

HTH.

Br, Dale
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