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Old 12-23-2008, 01:37 PM   #2276
blackfang
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfd1053 View Post
What is SOA??
What phone number should I call to get a case number?
Due to the Holidays my car will not be looked at until the 29th.
1-800-SUBARU3 (782-2783)

They will assign a case number to your concern.

As for dealerships being busy, that is the case this time of year. We are slammed with work around the holidays.
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Old 12-23-2008, 02:31 PM   #2277
family wRXagon
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Just got an email back from SOA and i had to give some more info. Will keep you guys posted. i need to get this fixed.
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Old 12-23-2008, 04:02 PM   #2278
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Dropping my 92x off at Saab Sunday night
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Old 12-23-2008, 05:04 PM   #2279
Novarex
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I've read through this thread and haven't seen too many 04's with this problem, I drive a 2004 WRX and last night it smelled like someone dumped a bucket of gasoline in my car. It was about 16 degrees out, so like everyone else, it seems to be a cold weather issue as well. I took it home and left it alone for the night, being that I couldnt see anything. spent the day reading this thread and poking around a little bit and found that a fuel line hose under the manifold on the driver's side was wet, I couldn't get in the spot with my hand, so i rubbed the hose with a q-tip and sure enough it was gas. I took some pictures and circled the areas of the fuel line and leak. The thing is, after spotting the leak I had to run a quick errand, after returning home, the hose was dry and when i cranked the throttle cable it didn't leak at all; however, 20 minutes before when the car was cold and i cranked the throttle, I could physically see the hose get wet with gas. ...These pictures were taken after the car was warmed up.

...From what I've read it seems like a raw gas smell or any fuel leak on a post 2002 Suby is a bigger problem, and I'm wondering if that is my case.

also, if I couldn't physically see the hose leak after running the car for 20 minutes would that mean that the hose is shrinking under the very cold temperatures and expanding from the engine heat, thus stopping the leak?











...any ideas, advice or solutions would greatly be appreciated!

Thanks
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Old 12-23-2008, 05:17 PM   #2280
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I thought I'd share my experience in hopes that it will help others who are in a similar situation. I have a 2002 WRX wagon with 84,000 miles on it, which I bought used in June at a non-Subaru dealership. This is my first Subaru (and first time having it repaired), and so far have liked the car and have recommended them to family and friends.

Last week the temperature in MN was below zero, and I encountered the raw fuel smell. It was bad enough to give me a terrible headache and burning eyes for an entire day. I read a large portion of this thread and learned as much as I could about the situation, thanks in large part to the helpful info others have provided. Seeing how others have had success getting this fixed at no charge, I set out to do the same. I'll outline the process I used, which has been recommended in previous posts. This will probably get lengthy, but hopefully it helps anyone who wants detailed advice on how to handle the situation.

I called SOA first. I chose not to email them, since it is too easy for them to say no via email. It's much easier to convince someone if you speak with them directly. Email might work fine, but I think it's easier to express your concerns via phone. I spoke with a rep named Patrica, who kindly reminded me to have my rear gate recall fixed. I found it ironic that she was telling me to have a minor issue like that fixed, but fuel leaking onto the engine is no big deal. Anyway, I told her I had the leaky fuel line, referenced the TSB and asked what we need to do to take care of it. She gave me the name of my nearest dealer, then informed me that the car was out of warranty, and there are no guarantees that any assistance will be provided. She told me I first had to have the car diagnosed by the dealer and go from there. I informed her that there was fuel dripping from my passenger side fuel line below the intake manifold and that it was pooling up on my engine block. She said I may be right but the dealer has to diagnose the problem before any assistance can be provided.

I asked for a case number, which apparently angered her, because she hastily told me that "this isn't how it works." I asked her how it did work, and she told me that it all depends on the dealer, and the dealer must review the situation and contact his SOA rep. I said I knew that Subaru is covering the costs of this defect for many people, and asked why they are successful and some are not. She explained that it depended on how long you've owned the car, and how the dealer chooses to handle the situation being that the car is out of warranty. At this point I could tell she was going to pass the buck to the dealer and try to get me off the phone. I said that regardless of the mileage on the vehicle, regardless of how long I've owned the car or how loyal a customer I am, this is a serious safety issue and is not warranty related in the least. I firmly expressed my concerns, which anyone can understand and identify with. She seemed to figure out then that I wasn't going to go away until she took some sort of action, so she said she would call the dealer right away and let them know I spoke with SOA.

I then called the dealer (Morrie's Subaru in Brooklyn Park, MN) and spoke with a service advisor (the SOA rep wanted me to speak with the service manager, who was not there). I quickly explained the situation, and he said he had just gotten off the phone with the SOA rep, which was impressive since I had just done the same. I asked if they had done this repair under the TSB before and he confirmed that they had, which I was glad to hear since that appears to be half the battle for some people. He informed me that a diagnosis would cost $125. I asked him if we could skip all of that if I could open the hood and show him the fuel dripping out of the fuel line. He said we probably could. I made an appointment to bring the car in and have it "diagnosed".

I started the car this morning (12F) and verified that fuel was still dripping from the line. I drove it to the dealership and spoke with Jeff, the service manager. The funny part was, he was talking to someone else on the phone about "fuel leaking everywhere" and "temperatures have been cold." So right away I knew he was familiar with this situation. He asked me if it was dripping right now. It was when I started the car, but maybe wasn't anymore since it had warmed up. We walked out to the car, and you could smell it right away. He grabbed a flashlight and said he could tell it had been leaking, even if it wasn't at the moment. I pointed out the stains on the engine block for good measure. He asked me if I had already called SOA, and if they wanted him to call them back. I said yes, they do. He called SOA and was given a case number. He was unable to talk to his SOA rep since apparently he was on vacation today, so he left a voice mail. He informed me that he is "very confident" that SOA will pay for the repair on good will assistance. He said he will order the parts and get it fixed next week.

So there you have it. We'll wait for final judgment until it actually gets fixed for free, but so far it looks like it will. I was a little put off by how SOA gave me the runaround (although I was prepared for it), but the dealer was very helpful and there was no hassle at all. I didn't even have to say hardly anything, he just knew what to do. I was asked a few times if I was new to the vehicle, which thankfully they recognized as an opportunity to gain my loyalty.

To summarize that story into useful tips (from my experience - probably not universally true):

  1. Call SOA first, since it shows the dealer that you are aware of possible good will assistance and you are doing your part to have it covered. Get the SOA rep to at least contact the dealer, even if you can't get a case number.
  2. Be well-informed about the TSB and how other owners have handled the problem. Read as much of this thread as you can.
  3. As has been mentioned before, be respectful to the rep and the dealer, since they are the ones giving you the good will assistance. It might be easy to get frustrated and angry, but it's better to be firm and express your concerns respectfully. Nobody has to help you if they don't want to, since this is not a recall, as SOA is sure to remind you. I think that's where the "it depends" stance comes from. It depends on how you are perceived as a customer.
I will post an update once the car is fixed. Thanks again to all who have provided information in this thread, it was very helpful. If anyone in MN needs this repair, at this point I can recommend Morrie's in Brooklyn Park.
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:02 PM   #2281
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Originally Posted by Novarex View Post
II took some pictures and circled the areas of the fuel line and leak.
Hard to tell from that pic, but it looks like that clamp is barely tightened.
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:05 PM   #2282
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Originally Posted by Tea cups View Post
Hard to tell from that pic, but it looks like that clamp is barely tightened.
Yeah, i know they're not the best pictures, it's in a very tough spot to get to. If the clamp is the case, there's no way I would be able to get in there easily. ... Also makes me wonder what would cause the clamp to become loose?
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:24 PM   #2283
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Yeah, i know they're not the best pictures, it's in a very tough spot to get to. If the clamp is the case, there's no way I would be able to get in there easily. ... Also makes me wonder what would cause the clamp to become loose?
Pull the IC off and you might be able to get to it, although the wiring harness might be in the way. They aren't very tight from the factory.
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:48 PM   #2284
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Originally Posted by DB02 View Post
I thought I'd share my experience in hopes that it will help others who are in a similar situation. I have a 2002 WRX wagon with 84,000 miles on it, which I bought used in June at a non-Subaru dealership. This is my first Subaru (and first time having it repaired), and so far have liked the car and have recommended them to family and friends.

Last week the temperature in MN was below zero, and I encountered the raw fuel smell. It was bad enough to give me a terrible headache and burning eyes for an entire day. I read a large portion of this thread and learned as much as I could about the situation, thanks in large part to the helpful info others have provided. Seeing how others have had success getting this fixed at no charge, I set out to do the same. I'll outline the process I used, which has been recommended in previous posts. This will probably get lengthy, but hopefully it helps anyone who wants detailed advice on how to handle the situation.

I called SOA first. I chose not to email them, since it is too easy for them to say no via email. It's much easier to convince someone if you speak with them directly. Email might work fine, but I think it's easier to express your concerns via phone. I spoke with a rep named Patrica, who kindly reminded me to have my rear gate recall fixed. I found it ironic that she was telling me to have a minor issue like that fixed, but fuel leaking onto the engine is no big deal. Anyway, I told her I had the leaky fuel line, referenced the TSB and asked what we need to do to take care of it. She gave me the name of my nearest dealer, then informed me that the car was out of warranty, and there are no guarantees that any assistance will be provided. She told me I first had to have the car diagnosed by the dealer and go from there. I informed her that there was fuel dripping from my passenger side fuel line below the intake manifold and that it was pooling up on my engine block. She said I may be right but the dealer has to diagnose the problem before any assistance can be provided.

I asked for a case number, which apparently angered her, because she hastily told me that "this isn't how it works." I asked her how it did work, and she told me that it all depends on the dealer, and the dealer must review the situation and contact his SOA rep. I said I knew that Subaru is covering the costs of this defect for many people, and asked why they are successful and some are not. She explained that it depended on how long you've owned the car, and how the dealer chooses to handle the situation being that the car is out of warranty. At this point I could tell she was going to pass the buck to the dealer and try to get me off the phone. I said that regardless of the mileage on the vehicle, regardless of how long I've owned the car or how loyal a customer I am, this is a serious safety issue and is not warranty related in the least. I firmly expressed my concerns, which anyone can understand and identify with. She seemed to figure out then that I wasn't going to go away until she took some sort of action, so she said she would call the dealer right away and let them know I spoke with SOA.

I then called the dealer (Morrie's Subaru in Brooklyn Park, MN) and spoke with a service advisor (the SOA rep wanted me to speak with the service manager, who was not there). I quickly explained the situation, and he said he had just gotten off the phone with the SOA rep, which was impressive since I had just done the same. I asked if they had done this repair under the TSB before and he confirmed that they had, which I was glad to hear since that appears to be half the battle for some people. He informed me that a diagnosis would cost $125. I asked him if we could skip all of that if I could open the hood and show him the fuel dripping out of the fuel line. He said we probably could. I made an appointment to bring the car in and have it "diagnosed".

I started the car this morning (12F) and verified that fuel was still dripping from the line. I drove it to the dealership and spoke with Jeff, the service manager. The funny part was, he was talking to someone else on the phone about "fuel leaking everywhere" and "temperatures have been cold." So right away I knew he was familiar with this situation. He asked me if it was dripping right now. It was when I started the car, but maybe wasn't anymore since it had warmed up. We walked out to the car, and you could smell it right away. He grabbed a flashlight and said he could tell it had been leaking, even if it wasn't at the moment. I pointed out the stains on the engine block for good measure. He asked me if I had already called SOA, and if they wanted him to call them back. I said yes, they do. He called SOA and was given a case number. He was unable to talk to his SOA rep since apparently he was on vacation today, so he left a voice mail. He informed me that he is "very confident" that SOA will pay for the repair on good will assistance. He said he will order the parts and get it fixed next week.

So there you have it. We'll wait for final judgment until it actually gets fixed for free, but so far it looks like it will. I was a little put off by how SOA gave me the runaround (although I was prepared for it), but the dealer was very helpful and there was no hassle at all. I didn't even have to say hardly anything, he just knew what to do. I was asked a few times if I was new to the vehicle, which thankfully they recognized as an opportunity to gain my loyalty.

To summarize that story into useful tips (from my experience - probably not universally true):

  1. Call SOA first, since it shows the dealer that you are aware of possible good will assistance and you are doing your part to have it covered. Get the SOA rep to at least contact the dealer, even if you can't get a case number.
  2. Be well-informed about the TSB and how other owners have handled the problem. Read as much of this thread as you can.
  3. As has been mentioned before, be respectful to the rep and the dealer, since they are the ones giving you the good will assistance. It might be easy to get frustrated and angry, but it's better to be firm and express your concerns respectfully. Nobody has to help you if they don't want to, since this is not a recall, as SOA is sure to remind you. I think that's where the "it depends" stance comes from. It depends on how you are perceived as a customer.
I will post an update once the car is fixed. Thanks again to all who have provided information in this thread, it was very helpful. If anyone in MN needs this repair, at this point I can recommend Morrie's in Brooklyn Park.
Wow! Stupendous first post! Your command of English orthography is obvious. Posters with your language skills are extremely rare in these forums. You don't happen to work for Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis (SOA's ad agency), do you? Please let us know about your repair's "final judgment."
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Old 12-27-2008, 12:51 PM   #2285
StuckinDinoland
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Got the new fuel rails installed and it certianly fixed the problem. It has been very cold here in Utah and there is no fuel smell at all. The total for parts and labor was $590 at Nate Wade Subaru in Salt Lake; they were very nice and great to work with. My invoice states "Customer will follow up with SOA to get the cost reembursed." I hope to get that taken care of Monday. I will keep everyone posted.
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Old 12-27-2008, 01:03 PM   #2286
02darkRS
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fed up with the gas mileage (using recirculate, keeps the fuel vapors out of the cabin). i took the following last resort fix. before, looking into legal action. it seems to have worked so far.......

1. remove two stock clamps from fuel hose
2. take clamps to auto store
(i went to advance auto)
3. compare stock clamps to the stores stock of FI hose clamps. pick the clamps which are 1 size smaller than stock.
4. install new FI clamps in stock clamp positions. tighten to the point that you have used all your physical strength. turn once more. (make sure clamps are not twisted. they may cut into the fuel hose.)

i used:
BRAND- IDEAL
(green, yellow, orange package)
PART#- 52F13V
DESCRIPTION- FUEL INJECTION SYSTEM HOSE CLAMPS
QUANTITY- 4 in package


it was down to 4 degrees here in the last week. no leak.
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Old 12-27-2008, 02:03 PM   #2287
kingbingy
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Sweet, but you still had to remove the manifold right?
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Old 12-27-2008, 05:05 PM   #2288
02darkRS
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no. you can get to the clamps.
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:26 PM   #2289
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Really? Everything I read. (didn't go through all 92 pages tho). So I guess I will check that out. Did you remove inter cooler? If not, how did you do it?
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:31 PM   #2290
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if 02dardrs is talking about his own personal car which is an RS then you prob don't have to remove the mani...but for wrx's you either have to remove it or take out the inlet and be very very skilled or "temporarily clamp" it, which i've heard people doing.
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:45 PM   #2291
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Ah ok. that makes sense. Thanks. How is yours holding up, I saw you did a nice tear down.
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:43 AM   #2292
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Originally Posted by kingbingy View Post
Ah ok. that makes sense. Thanks. How is yours holding up, I saw you did a nice tear down.
that's out of the way and holding up great, now i'm working on other things that come with higher milage, lol.
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:54 PM   #2293
02darkRS
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it`s been awhile, sorry. i only remembered the difference of mine as being on different sides of the bay.
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Old 12-29-2008, 08:31 PM   #2294
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First post, smart guy, car retarded:

Ok, I read through a vast portion of this thread, and I am now mostly confident that my "fuel smell in the cabin" issue is directly related to the TSB 09-36-03 issue. Here's what is in my garage.

2002 WRX Sport Wagon
104k miles, original owner
Completely stock

What maybe hasn't been discussed thoroughly thus far, is that with my car's advancing age, the gasoline smell has become more apparent at higher temps. I'm from Tahoe, but I live and work in San Diego now. Today, while the ambient temp was 60's, fuel smell was apparent while the car was stationary, even after warming up. By all means, the smell is much stronger both at altitude (Tahoe is 6250ft) and at lower temperatures, but I still experience this problem at sea level, in San Diego (which, yes, is sunny and 72 degrees all year round). I now regret having bought into the "richer fuel at lower temps" ruse, and would have otherwise had this looked into several years ago. However, I did attempt to have it checked out (not at a Subaru dealership), but it was during the summer in SoCal, and the symptoms did not present very well, so nothing was addressed.

Today, I initiated a phone call with SOA, per direction from others in the thread. The woman was very nice, and seemed to have some familiarity with the "Cold Fuel Smell" issue as she termed it. I have an appointment with a local dealer tomorrow, and I'm going to park my car in their lot tonight so they get the full experience tomorrow morning and not just after the car is warm. SOA said my car was beyond warranty, but at the discretion of the dealership and the SOA Field Service Manager, they may be able to offer up to 50% coverage under their Good Will Assistance. Of course, I will press for 100% payment of the fix, but that call was not the proper time.

I will post again with updates as it develops.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:13 PM   #2295
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I'll try to keep it short:

- Service rep confirmed fuel/fume leak corresponding to TSB 09-36-03.
- They also discovered several additional hoses/gaskets in the area that needed to be replaced. Again, I am car retarded, so unfortunately, I cannot independently confirm.
- Original quote $1000, reduced to $850, reduced to $640.
- Local SOA Field Rep refused to provide any Goodwill Assistance after repeated requests. His primary claim is due to the advanced mileage of the car. I mentioned that other WRX owners had been reimbursed 100% for cars with more miles than mine. He was not having it.
- SOA Rep on the phone was able to "override" the Local Field Rep and will reimburse 50% of the cost. I will pay in full, up front and provide the invoice to SOA for reimbursement.

I apologize to the community for caving in so early with respect to reimbursement, but I've dealt with this kind of crap before, and it drags on forever. At least my car will be fixed (please god, make it work the first time with no repeat failures), and I won't have to spend an additional week and a half on the phone with people that only kinda care if I stay loyal to their company.

I will post again after repairs are completed along with with other parts were replaced in addition to those listed in the TSB.

Thanks again to everyone, especially Blackfang and SAJOHNSON for all of the info provided in this post. Truly helpful, should have visited sooner...
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:57 PM   #2296
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sydeburns View Post
I'll try to keep it short:

- Service rep confirmed fuel/fume leak corresponding to TSB 09-36-03.
- They also discovered several additional hoses/gaskets in the area that needed to be replaced. Again, I am car retarded, so unfortunately, I cannot independently confirm.
- Original quote $1000, reduced to $850, reduced to $640.
- Local SOA Field Rep refused to provide any Goodwill Assistance after repeated requests. His primary claim is due to the advanced mileage of the car. I mentioned that other WRX owners had been reimbursed 100% for cars with more miles than mine. He was not having it.
- SOA Rep on the phone was able to "override" the Local Field Rep and will reimburse 50% of the cost. I will pay in full, up front and provide the invoice to SOA for reimbursement.

I apologize to the community for caving in so early with respect to reimbursement, but I've dealt with this kind of crap before, and it drags on forever. At least my car will be fixed (please god, make it work the first time with no repeat failures), and I won't have to spend an additional week and a half on the phone with people that only kinda care if I stay loyal to their company.

I will post again after repairs are completed along with with other parts were replaced in addition to those listed in the TSB.

Thanks again to everyone, especially Blackfang and SAJOHNSON for all of the info provided in this post. Truly helpful, should have visited sooner...
Not a problem man, no need for thanks. Sorry to hear they couldn't cover it 100%.
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:59 AM   #2297
sydeburns
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Happy to report that fuel smell is completely gone. I am anxious to get back into colder weather to really test it, but it's totally good for now.

Here are ALL of the parts that were replaced as listed on the bill of repairs:
17544AA135 - PIPE CP-FUEL - 1
807707140 - HOSE - 4
16175AA223 - GSKT THROT CHMBR - 1
742038300 - PT421894 HOSE CLAMP - 4
14035AA421 - GASKET INTAKE MANIFOLD - 2
14459AA224 - DUCT AY AIR INT - 1
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:48 PM   #2298
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Hello and happy new year. Thanks for posting on this subject. I have an 02 wrx with this same problem and the information here was very useful. After reading, i contacted SOA who unfortunately did give me the brushoff to the subaru dealership. Also stated clearly that they're under no obligation to fix anything on my car for free that isn't federally mandated (product recall). Wish me luck. I'll update after i take the car into the dealer on Wednesday.
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:53 PM   #2299
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Originally Posted by sydeburns View Post
16175AA223 - GSKT THROT CHMBR - 1
Why would they remove the throttle body from the manifold? That's odd.
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:36 PM   #2300
blackfang
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Originally Posted by slapshotz View Post
Hello and happy new year. Thanks for posting on this subject. I have an 02 wrx with this same problem and the information here was very useful. After reading, i contacted SOA who unfortunately did give me the brushoff to the subaru dealership. Also stated clearly that they're under no obligation to fix anything on my car for free that isn't federally mandated (product recall). Wish me luck. I'll update after i take the car into the dealer on Wednesday.
Ok, a few things here. SOA will not agree on anything but possibly a diagnosis charge until the car has been properly diagnosed by a Subaru dealer. You pay be required to pay that upfront.

It is best to contact them and get them in the loop first though. Plus it informs them of your problem and the possibilities of diagnosis reimbursements.
Once it has been diagnosed, it can go either way, but like I have said a few parties will have to be actively involved in order to get you a partial reimbursement or 100% free.



***Disclaimer Keep in mind because I have been successful at getting them covered or partially doesn't mean everyone will or that they are obligated to cover it. The key is having a service advisor work with you and that will offer a good chance in some kind of coverage.***
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