Well to keep folks up to speed in my little corner of the globe, the Paisley's Subie finally took a nose dive. The engine is totally gone and I'm on the search for a new one.
Let me tell those of you in this area, do not let Carter Subaru service your car. To give the really short version of the set of circumstances that lead up to needing a new engine:
Last April we took the car in for new brakes. That was $700. Way too much in my opinion. Then a week later we took the car back to them for a head gasket service. This includes head gaskets (as the service would suggest) but oil seals for the cam shafts in both heads, coolant service and a few hoses and oil pump and a few other things that I can't recall. They have to pull the engine for this service so there is plenty of opportunity to give it a thorough inspection for any other issues.
There were a few other things that needed to be done and the dealership did call us about them and we had them taken care of.
This is where it went bad. We got the car back and right away the Paisley thought that it was feeling a bit underpowered. I didn't totally agree with that. I did notice that we were consuming way too much oil and that the car was blowing it out it's arse every morning until it warmed up.
We took it back to the dealership two days later and brought these things to their attention. The answer we got was "we can look at it, but if it's not related to the service we did then it's going to cost you". That was shit. After explaining to the service advisor that this had to be related somehow to the service they just did we were told the same line over again. So we left and took our car with us.
Two days later we were back. This time we left the car and asked them to let is sit overnite so that when they started it up cold they could see how it smoked.
Next day the dealership called and told us to pick up the car. They didn't have same experience we had, but they did note the oil was low and topped it off.
This cycle repeated it self once more before we were told by the dealership that "according to Subaru an acceptable loss of oil in your car is 1 qt every 1000 miles to which my reply was that after having this major (and expensive service) any oil loss was not acceptable by my terms. We were then told that we could bring the car in every 200 miles to see how much oil we were losing by having them do a leak down test. So we agreed to do this.
We took the car in twice for this test and both times were down 1 qt for about 350 miles of driving. Again we were told to just make sure it's full and don't let it run out of oil and we could drive it indefinitely like this.
Every visit I reiterated to the dealership that this was not acceptable and that they were the cause of the problem. I was told that it could be piston rings or problems with the valve stems/seals.
My thinking is that if they pull the engine out and have the heads off then they should be inspecting the sh** out of the heads and the block and not charge me $2700 for a service that is going to be useless in under a year when the engine totally blows out. Thieving dealership wankers!!!
After not getting anywhere with the dealership I had almost accepted that this was the way it would be with the car. ......... almost. So two months ago now I contacted Subaru of America. They have been about as useful as tits on a man. Two months of emails have gotten me the answer of, "they will look at it but if it's not related to the service you had done then it will cost you".
Since English is my first language and having worked in car dealerships, I understand their mystery speak. What they don't seem to get is that our car had NONE of these issues the day I took it in for it's major service. My secondary point to them was that if they had inspected everything like they should have done during this service, this would have saved me $2700 then and I could have directed that money towards a new engine and not wasted on service that would prove to be useless.
So now I wait to speak to Subaru of America again. In the mean time the car is parked and dead. The same tech that services my BMW did the diagnose on it last week and in his opinion we would be better off parking it in a bad neighbourhood and leaving the keys in it. Unfortunately we still owe on it so that isn't an option.
It seems that Subaru makes one expensive engine. A standard non turbo EJ25 engine for a 1999 Forester is a few thousand bucks. Matter of fact the cheapest low milage motour in the area from a reputable yard is $2700 bucks. So I'm hitting Craigslist and E-Bay Motours in hopes of finding one more in line with my budget and also trying to avoid getting a Japanese crate motour since there could be differences in connections for various sensors.
I'll have to keep an update log on this and document the swap process as it happens once the donor motour is found.