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Old 10-05-2011, 11:32 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 263792
Join Date: Nov 2010
Chapter/Region: BAIC
2011 WRX

Default 2011 WRX misfires, Subaru says my 5w-40 is the issue

Anyone ever have the dealer and Subaru tell them that Shell Rotella 5w-40 wasn't an acceptable oil?

Here's the story: CEL comes on at the end of August while I'm half way through a 250 mile trip. It came on right after I bought gas, obviously engine was hot, but I wasn't going to be home to my code reader for another 4 days because I was camping. Made a few short drives from the campsite, the CEL turns off by itself. I think okay no big deal, maybe it was a loose gas cap.

Fast forward two weeks: my wife is driving the car, CEL comes back on, she takes it to the dealer we bought it from. It was a Friday afternoon and he says, "Well, I pulled the codes and cleared them, but we're not going to fix it today, so call me if it happens again." He told my wife that he pulled misfire codes, but I don't know exactly which ones.

Fast forward another two weeks or so: the CEL comes back on. This time, I pull the codes, sure enough: misfires on all for cylinders P0301, P0302, P0303, and P0304. I call the service guy back at the first dealer and leave him a message, he doesn't call me back. I start calling other dealers. Finally make an appointment for Monday 10/3.

So I bring the car in on Monday, they verify the codes but there's no obvious problem. They clear the code and drive it around a bit. Fortunately, they're able to get it act up again and record some data that they send off to Subaru. The dealer tech tells me that the next step is to go deeper and to pull the valve covers and start poking around but that Subaru won't authorize the repair. He says that I need to authorize the repair and basically take responsibility for the fact that I might have been abusing the car. Not exactly an awesome way to treat customers. But he assures me that once they get in there and see that there's nothing unreasonably out of the ordinary, Subaru will authorize and cover the repair.

Not feeling like I had any choice, and knowing that I haven't abused the car in anyway, I authorize the dealer to proceed and leave the car there.

Today, the dealer calls me and says, "Subaru called us back after analyzing the data stream and said don't do anything until you put proper oil in it. We flushed the engine, put 5w-30 in, and put a few miles on the car and haven't seen any issues." Fine. Great.

But here's where I start to get annoyed. The dealer wants to charge me $110 for the oil change to a "proper" oil. But last time I checked the car manual, 5w-40 is an approved weight and of course the Shell Rotella is generally well-respected here on the forums. I don't think I should be paying out of pocket to hunt down a problem in a car filled with an approved fluid, and frankly, I shouldn't have had to assume any responsibility at any point when the car has such low mileage and zero after market parts.

The car has roughly 11k miles on it. It's bone stock. I do the maintenance myself and have copies of receipts for oil and oil filters. I will grant that I may be a bit paranoid on the oil changes, having done the first at 3500 and the second at 8500 (I'm sure the peanut gallery will tell me that changing the oil too soon has caused irreparable damage).

Thoughts? I hate to start another "Oil Thread" having read through so many of them before choosing the Rotella and knowing just how vicious they can get.
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