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Old 11-21-2006, 06:56 PM   #1
dajabr
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Location: Charleston, WV
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Default Beware: Royal Subaru in Charleston, WV

Hi All, it's my sad duty to report this dealership quite negatively.

Long stories as short as possible...

Oil Change: Had an appointment for 9am, arrived on time. Was told it would be at least an hour until they could take it. After an hour, nothing, they said another hour. Came back from walking from breakfast, still not started. Finally after 2:45 hrs it came out done. Tech walked away without a word, when asked why it took so long service guy just said, "sorry, you can pay over there" and also dismissed me somewhat. Cashier was very nice though.

Brake pads:
Went in to get this done, nothing wrong with the car otherwise, had resurfaced my rotors 6 months before. All is fine. Made early appt. to avoid the wait, they still said it could be an hour, tech was staring blankly out the bay door as he said this, like I wasn't there. I was expecting to wait from my previous visit, walked to Kmart for a bit. Came back after 1:30 and they hadn't started, again, "about 2 hours" still staring blankly. After three hours I had enough and went to bark at them and cancel the whole thing. It came out done. Again, "sorry, you can pay over there".
Here's where it gets bad...
The brake pedal felt firmer, but some squeaking was coming from the front. Figured it was the pads breaking in. Two days later, there was an intermittent grinding from the front right wheel, possibly left. Didn't always happen and still don't know under what circumstances it does or doesn't. Called Royal and another tech, suggested making an appointment, which I now know is useless, not acknowledging that the car was fine before they did the brakes. Very dismissive, apathetic. Came in at 8 monday, told the tech what had happend, again, "sorry, it will be about two hours". I asked if I made an appointment for exact time they open in the morning if I could avoid a wait. I work 11am-8pm so this is important, and I had already spend a total of 5 hours waiting there for two simple jobs even though I made appointments. The best I could get was, "probably", but I had to get this done, so made the appt. Up at 6 to make it there at 7 next day, second in line of four cars. I realized these guys had a big scheduling problem, they were actually making things much worse by taking appointments. 7am, the bay opens, same tech remembers me, mentions the brakes. I try to politely remind him that this is becomeing a big inconvenience and possible damage due to their mistake. In additon to signing his service request, I add to his descripotion of brake grinding problem, "after pad install at royal". He tells me there are no jobs remaining from the day before and the car would go right in. My wife give me a ride, I drop her off, then my sister as we now have 1 car between us. After two hours, I call to find out what's going on. Get another tech who says, you guessed it, "it hasn't started yet, we had several cars before you". I informed him I was told it would be started immediately. His response... "he was mistaken", but at least polite. He does state he will call me. Get that call 45 min later, original tech says the rotors need to be resurfaced. I tell him I authorize no work, get it out of the bay, I'm coming down. Get down there, he does not acknowledge that the rotors were fine before they did the pads, does not address they have made a mistake. I tell him the rotors were resurfaced 6 months before and there was no pulsing, squeaking or grinding until the day they put the brakes in. Then he actually says... "it's rust. You have rust on the rotors rubbing the pads." He actually expects me to believe that suddenly, by pure coincidence with their pad install, that the grinding is actually rust. Rust which cannot possibly accumulate on rotors due to the contstant friction.I challenge him on this, and then he actually suggested that rust on the EDGE of the rotors was making this noise. Pads and calipers don't even touch it. I told him his guys just had a chance to do the right thing, they had the wheels off, suggested if they didn't have the courage to admit a mistake, they better have at least fixed it. He walks away with some mumbled canned goodbye. Sure enough, still grinding. Now have to take them apart and see if I can spot what's wrong. Will see what happens.

Today at work, coworker tells me she went there looking for a car, and they were pushing her to buy a $19k car that she know was only worth $12k. She bought a almost identical one elsewhere for $12k.

Anyway, be warned... Royal Subaru in Chrleston, WV. Clearly do not have the consumer's interest in mind.
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Old 11-22-2006, 10:12 AM   #2
Wylan
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Wow what a bunch of inconsiderate asses
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Old 11-22-2006, 04:51 PM   #3
dajabr
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I'm sure it was a simple mistake, but their attitude just made it impossible to resolve. It was as though they were irritated by my troubling them with the situation and didn't care enough to deal with it. Kindof a shame really, this is the kindof behavior which gives WV (or any city/state) a bad rep. It has really been fabulous to live here, sad to see the long trend end this way.

Last edited by dajabr; 11-23-2006 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 11-23-2006, 02:11 PM   #4
dajabr
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Follow up:
So I spent an hour today (thanksgiving) taking the caliper off to check this problem. Long story short, I could NOT find what could be causing the grinding. The pads were in properly, anti squeal compound was in place, the caliper appeared to be working normally. One thing though, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the rotor. It was very smooth to the touch, almost mirror finish where it contacts the pads. Sure there was rust on the edge, but this was there long before the pad install and will never be a problem. Every rotor will eventually have this. Besides, the grinding wasn't the dusty crunchy sound that rust would make (until it's rubbed off), it's bare metal on bare metal. There appeared to be no damage of any kind on the rotors, not even from grinding.

So, unfortunatley I'm kind of stuck. Am not going to take it back to Royal as they have made it clear that they want to do a resurface. Quoted $120 by the way, I could get new rotors for that. Not to mention I will not willingly subject myself to the staff and ridiculous "appointment to wait" there again. They had no interest in hearing what I had to say and the last straw was when the tech started making up excuses, ending with this rust BS. Will see what happens after thanksgiving, might have a recommended mechanic look at it.
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Old 11-24-2006, 05:43 PM   #5
lunatictokyo
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if the grinding noise wasn't there before the pad change, then it's not normal ... I would advice taking this up with SoA as soon as you can making sure you let them know how this particular dealership has treated, and how things are not resolved, and how much of a hassel and a waste of your private time it has been.

You should not have to pay a single dollar to fix this mess at all. I would NOT advice getting stuff fixed at a local mechanic at this pt because it may render your claim worthless as far as SoA is concerned.
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Old 11-24-2006, 08:04 PM   #6
dajabr
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I have considered going to SoA, my big problem is I need this car to get to work. One thing, since the grinding is intermittent, and there does not appear to be any scoring of the rotor happening, I may have some time to decide how best to proceed. I am picking my battles however...
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:33 PM   #7
dajabr
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The problem appears to have gone away. After I reassembled the calipers, wheel, there was some squeaking, but had to get to work so decided to just drive it until I could get it looked at. Turns out the squeaking is now gone and the grinding hasn't returned. I didn't want to post it here until I had several grind free days, but that's what has happened.

So... I can only guess that the re-assembly at Royal was a tad off somehow, it did look like everything was fine when I took it apart, but I didn't look at it before disassembling it. I wish I could find some undisputable problem, but as long as I don't have to fix it, I'll save my battles for another day.

Anyway, you may draw your own conclusions...
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Old 12-02-2006, 02:37 PM   #8
dajabr
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I spoke too soon. It came back suddenly today, very noticable grinding, clearly metal on metal, not rust. Sped up in reverse, slammed on the brakes then it disppeared from the front for a while, repeated, front quiets down. There is something loose in my front right brake. Going to call the servce manager on monday, see what can be done.
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Old 12-07-2006, 02:58 PM   #9
dajabr
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Default Royal Pain in the A$$.

Royal Pain in the A$$.

Did not call back monday, had to make a decision about this. I am in the process of buying a house, and some problems developed. I have decided that I can't put aside the house purchase to wrestle with Royal on this issue, and by the time I can it will be far too late, so they have won. I do intend to broadcast my experience with them to as many people as I can, but at this point I have much more to lose by not cutting my losses.

In the meantime, an occasional slam on the brakes in reverse seems to clear out the grinding. Maybe they put in the wrong pads, I don't know.

Found on the invoice that Royal does not guarantee their work in any way. So basically, if they screw it up you still have to pay them, and then you have to pay them to fix it, until they don't screw it up, all the while waiting far beyond your appointment time in their waiting area.

Final message- the shared attitude of apathy in the service dept. combined with their unwillingness to keep the appointments they set, makes Royal Subaru an unsafe option for your vehicle, subaru or not. They also sell and service Jeep and Suzki brands. You can find (or avoid) them here...

http://www.royalsubaru.net/en_US/
http://www.royal-wv.subaru.com/
http://www.royalsuz.com/
http://www.royal-jeep.com/ ("you deserve to be treated like royalty")

I welcome posting any good experiences anyone may have had with Royal, I'm sure there have been some. I feel I have been more than patient with this dealership, and have given them ample opportunity to redeem themselves. It is quite apparent to me that they are not interested in doing so. I wish them the best of luck; and I believe they will need it.

Happy Holidays...
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Old 10-08-2007, 08:09 PM   #10
dajabr
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Long time no nothin! Wanted to post an update, unfortunately no better news.
Took it to another Subaru dealer in a neighboring town, went ahead and paid the $50 for the complete brake check and they found nothing wrong with it. Grinding continues intermittently. Took it to a regular mechanic here in town and they also found nothing wrong with it. Grinding continues intermittently. Then got new tires at the Sears two months ago, had them do a brake inspection, and guess what, they found nothing wrong with it. And guess what... Grinding continues intermittently.

So basically whatever Royal did, Royally screwed up my car. At this point I just have to wait for something to break or show signs of damage. The rotors have since warped, and am going to have them turned soon, though am certain this will not improve the grinding. Will just keep plodding along. We have another car now which makes it easier. Funny thing is that since no one catches it grinding, and no one can see anything wrong in there, it's passed inspection twice. In almost a year that have been putting up with this, at least havn't had to worrry about the law, of course it would also be nice if an inspection found whatever is wrong.

Anyway, be warned. Royal Subaru in Charleston WV. A royal pain in the arse.
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Old 10-09-2007, 03:18 AM   #11
depACE
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I know this may sound stupid, but did you ask one of the technicians to drive with you in the car so you can point out to them when it does it?
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:00 PM   #12
dajabr
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I gave it back to them overnight a few days after install, asked them to check it out and drive it. Came back the next day and that's when the tech mentioned above said "rust", and I almost got in a big argument with him.

Also Corrrection: Car passed inspection only ONCE during this. It failed the previous time due to big wyoming crack in indshiled, ALMOST failed due to brakes, after new windshield they passed with a warning the brakes were almost spent. A month after I went to Royal and got brakes/screwed.
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:00 PM   #13
Sweet_T
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Does the grinding happen while turning? I a problem with grinding and had to take it to the dealer about 4 times to get it taken care of. I had metal on metal grinding in reverse and while turning. I finally had to drive the Head Service Tech around in the parking lot until he could hear it. Right after he heard it he said it sounded like a brake problem. It turns out that the pad was moving around a little because the metal pin (or whatever holds the pad down) was loose. Anyway it is finally fixed after 10 months of this crap. I hope this helps.

P.S. I was also once told it was rust.
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Old 10-11-2007, 09:35 PM   #14
dajabr
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Doesn't happen while turning. It's usually gone for several days up to two weeks, under all circumstances and driving conditions, then comes back suddenly for a few hours up to a day, clearly metal on metal grinding, under all circumstances and driving conditions. When it happens it's while turning or straight, when it's gone it's both turning and straight. I will be taking out the rotors this weekend, will check those pins.
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Old 10-25-2007, 04:23 PM   #15
dajabr
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Summary: Frankly, I don't have time to work on my car. I took it to yet another place, Firestone, downton charleston. They had been very cool when I came in for inspection a month ago, I picked them solely because they were close to my office. Came back to get the rotors turned tuesday 10/23. Same thing, they found nothing wrong with them. This time I went down and talked with the mechanic as he was reassembling everything. We went over almost everything breifly; I suggested stuff, he suggested stuff. Pads, pins, rotors, calipers, pistons, dust shield, rim, ABS solenoid, caliper bolt hole cross threading, rear to front pad thickness ratio, even drivetrain. But even with a thorough history of the issue and looking at it taken apart... no problem found.
So, just like previous times it seems to be quiet after this fifth reassembly. The rotors have been resurfaced and the pulsing is gone. If all goes like previous times the grinding should return this weekend or so. Will post.
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Old 11-16-2007, 08:31 AM   #16
millstone
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I find it interesting that I have had the exact opposite experience with this dealership. I did not buy my car there, and it had over 100,000 miles on it before I even went to this dealership to have some work done....

The service and parts guys at Royal have given me advice over the phone, which allowed me to avoid the service visit altogether! When I do bring it in, they either deliver me to my worksite, or I wait. The most I have waited beyond thier projected time has been an hour. They had advised me, upon occassion, to take my car elsewhere to have the same work performed at a much lower price. These folks have retreived me from the highway when my axle broke, and set me up with a discounted rental.

I only take my Subie (284,350 miles) to the dealership when something big needs attention, or when I can't figure out exactly what the problem is - I live about 70 miles from them. For instance, the last visit was about 2,000 miles ago, when I needed new tie rods & boots. It was an overnight repair job, promised for 11 a.m. the following day. I called around 9:30 to make sure things were on track before driving for an hour and change - and it was ready to go at that point.
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Old 11-17-2007, 05:47 PM   #17
dajabr
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Am glad to hear you have had a better experience, was this recently? I can only hope that it was, and they have improved since I last went there.

Grinding has returned. But rotor turning has helped the pulsing quite nicely. When grinding is gone the brakes work quite smoothly. So much for "rust theory".
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Old 11-18-2007, 08:52 AM   #18
millstone
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My last visit was for the tie rods about 2 weeks ago.

Hint, tho - since you work near the Firestone place... Garnet Career Center (422 Dickinson) has Auto students do work for the price of parts & a $15 shop fee. Great place to get your oil changed. The instructors are really knowledgeable, especially Jasper, and can generally diagnose problems. Just don't ask them to change light bulbs....
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:00 PM   #19
dajabr
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Update: Gave up on this brake issue late last year, only had people take a look if other work was going on. Long story short, the grinding returned less and less frequently and it has now been quite some time since it has come up, maybe two months. Am hoping one year of wearing them in has worn off whatever was causing the problem. Will be going in for inspection again next month, am pretty sure the rear shoes now need to be replaced, let's see what they say about the fronts, though there's no reason to expect they will see anything wrong.
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:19 AM   #20
dajabr
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Final post:
It passed inspection again in October, but the squealing was still coming and going, rarely grinding as before.
So I finally decided to replace the rotors and pads. As you know this is pretty easy, and I did it with my brother in law who did his own brakes on his Soob multiple times. Front and rear pads did not need to be changed, left the rears and changed the fronts. Front Rotors had started to warp again, so was glad to get full thickness rotors in.

Anyway -No Change. Squealing and squeaking is exactly the same. I'm not about to change out the calipers due to the cost, and there does not appear to be any actual damage occurring. So I'm basically going to keep driving it into the ground for work, and making some bank from milage reimbursements.

I wish I knew what they did to it, but at this point it's just over.
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Old 12-25-2009, 03:44 PM   #21
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I know this is a far stretch to make the drive, but have you considered talking to SoA and having the car serviced in Morgantown? John Howard's service department has been spot on every time I've been up there, barely a wait to get your car in the bay and they're always busy but trim and fast.
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