• Report: #334647

Complaint Review: Subaru Of America

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  • Submitted: Sat, May 24, 2008
  • Updated: Wed, January 06, 2010

  • Reported By:Cleveland Missouri
Subaru Of America
2235 Marlton Pike West Cherry Hill, New Jersey U.S.A.

Subaru Of America 08 Subaru STi engine completely destroyed in 2k miles warranty denied Cherry Hill New Jersey

*Author of original report: Short addendum

*Author of original report: Addendum to original, and another destroyed engine

*Consumer Comment: A comment from a recently retired Manufacturer's REP......

*Consumer Comment: Learn to read

*Consumer Comment: Learn to read

*Consumer Comment: Learn to read

*Consumer Comment: Learn to read

*Consumer Comment: one quart of oil every 1,500 miles not excessive?

*Consumer Comment: The heart of the matter.

*Consumer Comment: Failure to maintain the vehicle

*Consumer Comment: Failure to maintain the vehicle

*Consumer Comment: Failure to maintain the vehicle

*Consumer Comment: Failure to maintain the vehicle

*Consumer Comment: Subaru has a problem with oil consumption whether racing or not

*Consumer Comment: RACING MEANS NO WARRANTY

*Consumer Comment: Subaru cars are bulletproof.........

*Consumer Comment: Subaru cars are bulletproof.........

*Consumer Comment: Subaru cars are bulletproof.........

*Consumer Comment: engine issue fixed

*Consumer Comment: Here's a hint Yoda

*Consumer Comment: Here's a hint Yoda

*Consumer Comment: similar issue

*Consumer Comment: Autocross IS racing

*Consumer Suggestion: If you checked the oil, then do what you said in your original post...

*Author of original report: One last time: HPDE not racing

*Consumer Comment: Here it is...you really shouldn't have given me the idea

*Consumer Comment: I'll make this simple for you

*Author of original report: Re-read it more slowly...

*Consumer Comment: Uh huh

*Author of original report: Re: Racing

*Author of original report: Re: OMG and "racing"

*Author of original report: Re: OMG and "racing"

*Author of original report: Re: OMG and "racing"

*Consumer Comment: OMG!!!

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Will make this version pretty short as I'm putting together a website to cover all of the details, including pictures.

I took delivery of a new 08 Subaru WRX STi 6 weeks ago. It's used for both street and track (road courses for High Performance Driving Events).

One thing I must give Subaru credit for is that everyone in the organization I've talked to (this is my 4th one of these) has considered the race track to meet "normal use" definitions and my previous cars have been nearly completely trouble-free despite spending most of their time on tracks.

However, the situation is completely different with the new 08. Again, to keep this posting short, I'll summarize.

The car has 1987 miles on it, about 200-300 miles of which have been on racetracks, though not until the break-in was done and I was very careful to never floor it during break-in or exceed 4k RPM and to frequently vary load and revs since a proper break-in pays major dividends once a car gets older.

This car started running poorly as soon as I put it on its first racetrack, going 20 mph slower in two different areas than the 07 does, and stumbling while doing so. I called the dealership while I was at the track and they suggested I reset the ECU, which I did. Repeatedly. Each time I reset the ECU, the car ran fine for a couple of laps then would start running poorly again.

Last weekend, I was on the track again and this time it was noticed that it would dump out a bit of blue smoke on startup and it was observed puffing black smoke on the track, though nobody was behind it long enough to tell me if this was just on upshifts/downshifts or constant.

Oil is the lifeblood of an engine and especially important on a small engine making a lot of power. These engines have very tight tolerances and are working much nearer their physical limits than, say, a big American V-8. So I've always been very attentive to oil level and condition, and the oil level and condition were both excellent Saturday morning at the track, though the car was surprisingly reluctant to start that morning at the hotel.

I did a 20-minute session during which the car did its stumbling bit so I short-shifted it to keep it out of the poor-running area (5200 rpm and up) as much as possible and all seemed fine.

Prior to the next session, when I started it, it puffed smoke again. Someone asked if I overfill my engines for track use and I said that I do on my Mustang but not on the Subaru because of the boxer configuration. I checked the oil level and it was barely below the full mark and still in good condition (just starting to darken but could still see my fingerprint clearly through it).

Car ran about the same that session.

Next session, I was gridded next to my best track bud (who owns an 05 STi and first turned me on to these cars) so my engine would've been a few feet from his door and he later reported not having heard any noise.

10 minutes into the session, the Check Engine light came on for the first time in the vehicle's life and only a second or two later, it started making a horrible noise. Spun rod bearing. I coasted safely off the track and had the car flat-bedded back to Lees Summit Subaru, which is only about 40 miles from my home.

The dealership claims that I neglected the car and let it run out of oil, as there were only 2 quarts in the sump. They also claimed that I drove it a lot further than several hundred feet of coasting after the noise started because the rod bearing and rod were so destroyed. False.

I went to the dealership myself to inspect the torn-down engine and pointed out several things, some of which would've caused the engine to suddenly develop a ravenous appetite for oil, some of which showed that it had done so, but the service manager described these items as normal. When I get my website about it done, I'll explain these in detail with pictures.

Anyway, warranty denied and they're replacing the engine on my dime. $9k for the engine and I don't know how much for labor.

Though I've got minor problems with the service manager describing as "normal" problems with the engine that obviously were symptomatic of sudden oil consumption, my main beef is with Subaru of America.

I'm not being allowed to talk to the Regional Rep. The service manager at the dealership asked why I wanted to talk to him and I told him it was so I could make sure he got all the info (pre-breakdown conduct of the car) directly from me rather than risking parts being left out because the service manager was relaying it to him and he said he couldn't give me the name or number because he'd "get in trouble".

I called SOA and opened a case file and asked that the Regional Rep contacted me. When I called the next day to ask why he hadn't called yet, the low-tier phone rep who wouldn't let me beyond her said that the Regional Rep *had* contacted me, then later retracted (probably an honest reading mistake) and said that the Regional Rep had noted in my case file that if I had any comments or questions, I was to take them up with the dealership.

I'm getting completely stonewalled by SOA. After having bought 3 STi's, one WRX, and recently an 08 Tribeca. And having steered who knows how many customers their direction because they've seen my previous ones or ridden with me or been instructed by me on road courses. I've always recommended it as "the best bang for the buck" car in existence and still believe that about the previous ones I've had.

But I seriously cannot recommend that anyone who will ever drive their car hard (ie. track usage, which I reiterate is not only fine with SOA, it's mentioned in the owner's manual and not negatively) buy one of these unless they're willing to check the oil about every 30-40 miles or risk have to buy a new engine themselves.

I've started seeking a lawyer because SOA has made their position clear and won't even let me speak to the person who could hear my side of the situation. I have no idea how much of my information he had before determining that the engine wouldn't be covered. This would be a good time to point out again that it has 1987 miles on it.

This lack of access has totally soured me on Subarus and I used to be a major advocate of their products.

As an aside for the benefit of those who know these cars well, no, my VIN is not in the range of VIN's involved in the "stop-sell" (which SOA isn't making it easy for anyone to find info about) involving cars with incorrectly prepared/cleaned crankshafts. I ordered the car very early and its VIN is a little over 2100 units earlier than those units.

And something that's not public knowledge is that a couple of these cars were yanked from a fleet of test cars that were being used before the new ones started hitting show-rooms. They were yanked for (as you might've just guessed) sudden and excessive oil consumption. The Regional Rep could've told me how close to the VIN of those cars mine was, but refused to speak to me. Possibly because the VIN was close enough to cast its freedom from manufacturing defects into doubt? I can only speculate at this point, but should be able to find out at least what those VINs were via subpoena.

For what it's worth, the last 8 of my VIN is 8L823017. If you simply MUST own one of these despite my experience with it, please try to make sure the VIN is tens of thousands away from this one.

Again, I'll submit an update once my website is up that gives the whole timeline, all of the detailed information, and supporting pictures, as I own the old engine and will pick it up when I pick the car back up next week.

Bob
Cleveland, Missouri
U.S.A.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/24/2008 12:44 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Subaru-Of-America/Cherry-Hill-New-Jersey/Subaru-Of-America-08-Subaru-STi-engine-completely-destroyed-in-2k-miles-warranty-denied-Ch-334647. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Author of original report

Short addendum

AUTHOR: Bytor_2112 - (U.S.A.)

Somehow I get the feeling "Robert" is the service manager at Lees Summit Subaru.  The same guy who thinks a thick carbon buildup on top of the pistons of a high-output turbocharged engine in less than 2k miles is normal.

He claims I autocross the car.  I do not.  I drive it on big tracks.  I don't drag-race the car and I never use full throttle in 1st or 2nd gear.

Autocross is racing, granted.  It's a timed event that is to road-racing what ping-pong is to tennis.  Same thing but on a much smaller scale.  Though road-racing is also wheel to wheel, which autocross isn't.

What I do with this and the previous 3 Subarus I've owned is neither road-racing or autocross.  Previous 3 Subarus that didn't have these kinds of problems, I should add.  If it were as simple as Robert wants to believe and that it's drive the car a certain way and it will break, why this one and not the previous 3?

I want to also mention again that Subaru themselves tell you not only how you should maintain the STi when using it for track days or autocross, but where to set certain controls in the car.  I repeat, they tell you in the owner's manual to set the center diff on manual control and max rear bias when using it for a track day.

Robert is of the opinion that track days and driving schools are racing but Subaru is not of that opinion.  Robert also seems to think that track days and autocross are the same thing.  They aren't.  Actually, I would think that autocross would be more taxing on the car than road-course use in some ways, but probably easier on it in other ways.  You won't be doing 125 mph on straights in autocross, but you also won't floor it in 2nd gear on a road course.

I can tell when a student of mine who also does autocross is using an autocross approach to the track.  They understand the analysis of turns and how best to get through them, but they're abrupt in inputs.  So I tell them that autocross is a mosh pit but the road course is a ballet.  Smooth on everything. 

The only thing that makes me think maybe "Robert" isn't the service manager at Lees Summit is that "Robert" is focusing on trying to define my use of the car as racing and cause for lack of warranty coverage, where the Robert at the dealership isn't making my use of the car an issue at all but instead maintains that I neglected the car and let it run out of oil.

When I took the car to Lees Summit a few months ago (prior to the second engine breaking the same as the first) because the Chuck Engine light was on, the service manager noticed the Cobb AP controller in the passenger seat and, I swear to god, GLEEFULLY told me I no longer have drivetrain coverage because of it.

I've used Stage 1 tuning a time or two and Valet tuning and even found that if you set it and an iPod in the same cupholder, you can inadvertently find yourself in anti-theft mode, as that's the default you're gonna get on, I think, 3 taps of the center button.  Imagine the fun of learning that one very late at night out in the sticks.

Anyway, it turned out the CEL was thrown because a fuse in a fusebox I didn't find in the car or manual (under the glove box) had blown.  Actually took the mechanic a while to find it.

But I digress a bit.  Robert at Lees Summit said the Cobb was a straight-up warranty-killer.  According to him it doesn't even have to have been used to reflash the ECU with a safer tune.  It simply being in the car is all it takes.  I used it for a Stage 1 91 Octane flash up until Subaru did the recall that isn't a recall and admitted they had software problems and reflashed all of the STi's.  Since then, I've left it on Subaru's tune, which, while less powerful, feels more conservative so should've helped engine life, I'd have thought.

The Cobb controller is also an OBD reader.  I used it to determine that the CEL was complaining about the heaters for the O2 sensors and decided that wasn't something that would endanger the car on the 46 mile drive to the dealership.

Robert disagreed.  His position is that if you get a CEL, you don't check the engine.  Even if you're a former professional mechanic and happen to have a friggin' reader.  Instead, you drive it to the dealership.

Yeah, right.  What if I hadn't read the codes and the CEL was for something more dangerous to the car like, say, no oil pressure.

We had quite the loud, vulgarity-laden argument on that visit.  I'm really tired of his adversarial handling of me when I've been such a loyal and visible proponent of the marque for so long.  Heck, I traded in my low-miles 06 STi on an 07 the instant it came out so I could get the taller middle gears and not hit the rev limiter anymore in a particular turn.  And kept the 07 for a while after getting the 08 so I could compare the two versions of the car.

Anyway, Subaru did reimburse me as a goodwill gesture on the first engine, but I think primarily because I'd bought 5 new Suibarus in 3 years.  I'd mentioned that as an aside to the rep on the phone and her tone changed and she said when I write, I need to emphasize that.

But I want to get back to the issue of "neglect" which is what the dealership cited on the first engine and which I put a lot of effort into dispelling in my letter to SOA.

Guys, I have my own freakin' lift, tire changer, and a large supply of expendables such as oil, gear oil, trans fluid, oil filters, and the like for not only each of my track cars, but each of my cars period.  I don't mess around when it comes to this kind of stuff.  I don't buy 1 oil filter and 5 quarts of oil.  I buy 6 filters or however many the store has on hand, and my oil is bought in cases though I'm seriously considering going to 55 gallon drums with air-power pumps at least for the viscocities I got through a bunch of.

My garage is 7200 square feet, my tool cabinet a massive Snap-On, with the same name on most of my tools, and, again, a freakin' lift!  Not really the trappings of someone who ignores and neglects cars.  You don't get a lift because you like seeing cars go up and down.  You do it because you service your cars so frequently it's worth the money to be able to stand and change your oil rather than use ramps and a creeper.  And you don't use Motul 600, at $14 a pint, as your frequently replaced brake fluid if you don't take your car and its condition and upkeep pretty seriously.  And you don't get your own tire changer, and the UPS man doesn't get to know you so well that when he's got yet another bunch of tires from Tire Rack for you, he throws them in the back of your truck at the office if he's going by.  And the people at Porterfield don't get to know your voice and go to the trouble of making sure they have a rough idea what you're going to need from them soon and make sure they have it in stock.

Anyway, dealership said "neglect", Robert here claims "abuse", but he also claims track days and autocross are synonymous, so I have a pretty good idea the value of his opinion, and Subaru themselves are being kinda quiet on the issue.  They're replacing engines left and right because of broken ringlands.  Even replacement engines are being replaced, but sometimes a b*tthole dealership does try to intervene and blame the customer for the pistons that're simply too fragile for the increased power and tighter emissions limits.  I've got a broken ringland in my replacement engine, which is producing 140 psi compression on 3 cylinders and 75 psi on the culprit one.

And under controlled conditions, I've determined that my engine can now consume all of its oil in just under 10 minutes of very hard driving, only puffing smoke occasionally, and running more strongly because of the higher BTU of oil versus gasoline. No, I didn't run it out.  I drove it on a circle track (no other cars were present) for different lengths of time, measuring my oil level on the dipstick with a micrometer, refilling, and repeating until I was able to determine an oil consumption rate of just over a pint per minute under heavy use conditions.

This was a neighbor's small practice track (yes, I'm *that* country) in his yard and I ran it in 3rd gear reaching a maximum of 67 mph.  The logged data showed I was full throttle 78% of each lap and never got very close to redline.

One last thing.  I noticed that in my original post, I didn't mention (maybe I didn't notice yet), that one of the camshaft sprockets had been installed incorrectly at the factory.  The appropriate machined hole was not over the locating pin on the camshaft as it should've been.  It had been forced on, making a new hole in the process, several degrees away from where it should've been, which very well might've been why my first engine started acting the fool as soon as it finally saw 5200 rpm.

Dealership service manager claimed that the camshaft had seized and caused this sprocket (and only this one, mind you) to tear itself out of position.  Despite all the camshafts and their wear surfaces in the heads being in pristine condition.  They don't use bearings but, instead, machined surfaces for them in the heads.  Nothing wrong with that, as it's been common in Japanese engines as long as I can remember.  But when you get seizure in that type of setup, it is VERY obvious.  Aluminum makes it pretty clear if a spinning piece of steel made oil-free contact with it.
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#2 Author of original report

Addendum to original, and another destroyed engine

AUTHOR: Bytor_2112 - (U.S.A.)

I had forgotten about this report until I was searching for aftermarket short blocks.


Quite a bit of time has passed since my initial report.  And there have been developments.


1.  Subaru admitted that there was a problem with the new STi's tuning after many of these engines started having the same failure mine did.  I had the misfortune of being the first.  And the only identical failure I've seen reported that wasn't covered under warranty.  They issued a recall and reflashed the ECU's to taper boost down before cutting the fuel at the rev limit.  Duh!


2.  Despite this recall and the warranty coverage of several identically failed engines, SOA still refused to reimburse me for mine.  The person standing in my way the most?  The mechanical-knowledge-impaired service manager at the dealership whose name just happens to be Robert.  How impaired?  Well, how about claiming that huge carbon buildup in the combustion chambers and piston tops at 1987 miles is normal?  As was supposedly the fact that the piston tops were still wet with oil when removed.


3.  Subaru later reimbursed me for the cost of replacing my engine as a "goodwill" move.


4.  Though Robert believes everything posted on the internet is a lie, there are a staggering number of owners now reporting the same failure and warranty replacement, even when used at track days.  By "same failure" I mean broken piston ringlands leading to ravenous oil consumption, the only smoking happening at startup, and if the oil appetite starts on the track, you are well and truly screwed because the engine can drink enough oil to starve the bearings in 10 minutes or less. While not smoking.


5.  Though most owners having this failure use their cars at driving schools, many have never had them on the track.


6.  Incredibly, many owners are now reporting the same failure on replacement engines.


7.  I've recently joined the unlucky group of people who have had their second Subaru engine pop.  Right now, just a broken ringland.  But by measuring and testing, I've found that even under comparatively light track use, it can burn a quart of oil in 10 miles, and never smoke while doing it because of temperatures and combustion pressure.


8.  I installed the Cobb AP Stage 1, 91 Octane tune after talking to Cobb and them telling me they've always tapered boost near redline and felt Subaru was playing with fire keeping the boost so high.  I also recently datalogged both that tune and the factory tune and found that the Stage 1 tune is actually more conservative than the factory tune.  Much more generous with fuel and less aggressive with timing and boost especially at higher revs.


At most, I'm going to see if I can get Subaru to provide the labor to replace my short block or possibly long block with an aftermarket one and we can both wipe our bottoms with copies of the warranty and be done with each other.  I and a friend whose engine also broke a ringland last weekend agree we wouldn't take a new Subaru engine if it were given to us free of charge.  Better to spend the money getting a stouter short block. 


Also, I noticed a while back but forgot to add here that not only does the owner's manual tell you how you should maintain the car for track days, they even tell you which settings to use for the I-Drive and center diff for track use.


My initial indication that my second motor might be in trouble occurred during my 3rd session of the weekend when I noticed power output had dropped very noticeably, checked my gauges and it was two hash marks away from the "H".  It'd done this before (and was reported to the dealership and they said it's fine unless it loses coolant) but I didn't remember a loss in power at the time.


On the next startup, it smoked.  As did my friend's identical car.


And before some idiot jumps to an incorrect conclusion, yes, I do check the instrument panel and instruct every one of my students to do so.  Part of the habit I'm in and want them in as they hit the longest straight and catch their breath.  No Chuck Engine Light, but the only meaningful gauge besides fuel level showed it was hot.  Cooled down quickly, but I finished the lap with my hazards on and ended the weekend, not wanting to destroy another engine, only to find it was already too late.


Unlike my previous failure and most reported similar failures, there was never any detonation, which is what it turns out is breaking ringlands on the too-fragile pistons.


The bottom line is that Subaru's performance flagship isn't up to the task anymore.  It is incapable of surviving the use for which I bought the car and disclosed, as with each of my previous WRX's and STi's was the primary and possibly only use the car would get.


I otherwise love the car.  Looks.  Ride quality.  Ergonomics.  Attractive interior.  Just the right options and features.


And I'll keep the car.  But I won't have another strictly Subaru engine in it.  It can't deliver on what Subaru loudly touts it being built for.  "Thou shalt seek the redline"?  Gimme a friggin' break!  Oh, that's right.  You do.  Ringlands.  Cute.


If you really are considering buying one of these cars, PLEASE read the now-voliminous information on the 'net about how fragile the engine is.  They're replacing them under warranty, but the replacements are the same engine and are starting to break too.  Good car and extremely capable on the track yet wonderful to use as a daily driver, but only if you don't mind the inconvenience of having to get the engine replaced every several thousand miles.


Which I repeat, they're now doing under warranty without giving much resistance, though I know Robert Rodriguez, the service manager at Lees Summit Subaru, where I've been taking this car, will do his best to screw me on it.  A friend is of the opinion that Subaru is simply "rolling over" and replacing engines without a fight lest they create more loudly pissed off customers like myself, but Robert isn't on that page.


I wouldn't be taking the car there if not for the fact that a short talk with their STi specialist mechanic (whose name I wish I could remember because he deserves major kudos) revealed that he really knows his stuff and that conversation sealed the deal on my buying my 07 from that dealership.


I bought the 08 at Olathe Subaru only because I was getting my wife an 08 Tribeca and they had a unit with the color and options she wanted but Lees Summit didn't, and while buying the Tribe, I ordered my STi long before they were shipping them.  I haven't taken the car back to them only because the mechanic at Lees Summit is the only guy other than me who I trust touching this particular car.


This time I guess I'll start with Olathe, though, and if no joy, I'll festoon the car with derogatory info about Subaru and just foot the bill for the pistons the car should've shipped with along with an accompanying short block.

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#3 Consumer Comment

A comment from a recently retired Manufacturer's REP......

AUTHOR: Nomomopar - (U.S.A.)

This is rather humorous in some ways, as I fell upon this thread by doing some research for an individual who is having problems with their '05 Turbo Legacy. I have spent nearly the last 32 years working for a manufacturer, and about 10 of those years have been spent in the field evaluating these kinds of problems, and about 15 more were spent "inside" the office where I dealt with inquiries such as this from consumers. Id like to start by saying that I found the comments by Robert to be both succinct and insightful.

Indeed, his experience shows. And, as to the comment by Dumbblondie from Illinois.....I also see that she appears to have some 'inside' information. In short, I have to agree with the simple statement that use of a vehicle for any reason OTHER than daily travel is pretty much 'grounds' for a manufacturer to decline to pay for something. And, as I believe Robert pointed out, "Not Paying For Something" is NOT the same as voiding a warranty. I don't believe that race tracks have a bunch of manufacturer's reps all standing around taking notes so they can 'void warranties', but I would support that if a dealership or individual provided information that a vehicle was being subjected to track use of any kind, that would be enough for me to take a pass on paying for any claims on the drive train or suspension. If the radio quit....a different story. But, like adding a Snow Plow....I did tend to look at the nature of the failure. I also have to agree that anyone with a lick of sense would STOP running a vehicle that was exhibiting a problem and have it checked out professionally. As to oil consumption, I think a good number of years ago the Fed made fuel economy a real issue, and CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) could make or break a manufacturer. The need for better mileage resulted in 'looser' engines....and with looser tolerances, the 'potential' for some engines to exhibit greater usage levels increased. In fact, at one point, I recall that usage had to be documented with a sealed dip-stick test and had to be in excess of 1 quart per 500 miles before considering the problem to be 'warrantable' in nature.

Needless to say, 'Marketing' runs a company as much as anything....and the publication of 'specs' like this would produce a huge competitive disadvantage......so, to the best of my knowledge, very little has been published on the subject in the way of specific usage amounts by ANY company. I think this even applies to the Motorcycle industry and the Marine industry....who is now becoming a 4-stroke business. In short, I think Bytor_2112 there in Cleveland, MO is probably going to be purchasing himself an engine. And, perhaps it was a warranty matter initially. But, when you openly admit the engine was screwing up and you kept pushing buttons, re-programming the on-board systems, and eventually drove it to destruction.....I think if Subaru DOES help him out.....he should consider himself VERY lucky!! I don't see where he's deserving....regardless of his prior patronage. By the way.....if Robert in Bowie knows how to use this system to get a personal message to me (which I don't as I just enrolled moments ago in order to post this comment)....Robert....I'd love to hear from you. I have a few questions you might be able to assist me with that are Subaru specific. Good luck Bytor....and Robert in Bowie, keep up the fine commentary!! Regards, TSD
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#4 Consumer Comment

Learn to read

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

"I recently bought a brand new, 09, Subaru Outback with a non-tubo 3.0 H-6 engine. Recently checked the oil level and found it down 1/2 quart in the first 1,000 miles. Being concerned I happend on this site. I totally disagree with the responce that states using 1 quart of oil every 1,500 miles is normal."

First, a new engine will use more oil than one that has been properly broken in. The rinds have not seated yet, and oil will be burned at a higher rate.

Second, I never said 1 qt of oil per 1500 miles was normal. I said it is not considered to be excessive by any manufacturer. Reading comprehension is key.

"I am 60 years old, have a mecahnical engineering degree, have owned dozens of cars some new and some old, of all makes, and done all my own major mechanical work. I have never had a car, turbo or non-tubo, that ate 1 quart of oil every 1,500 miles, unless it had 100K miles on it and/or had mechanical problems like bad valve seats or burned piston rings. My other car is a Mustang GT on which I installed a supercharger with 10 lbs of boost and it uses NO oil between 5K mile oil changes."

That was wonderful. Your Mustang is not a Subaru. A Supercharger operates differently from a Turbocharger. Your mechanical engineering degree should tell you that. Turbocharged engines will always use more oil than a supercharged engine, all things being equal. This is because the Turbo runs at much higher temperatures, and the oil thins out at a much faster rate. I can take the intake hose off any turbocharged engine and find an oily film. The same cannot be said for supercharged engines(and no, not all superchargers are the roots style).

"If in fact it is normal for a Subaru to use a quart of oil every 1,500 miles they should point this out, not only in the service manual, but in the sales broucher."

Again, your college degree should have required at least one Reading Comprehension class. NOT EXCESSIVE and NORMAL are not synonymous. And, the owners manual/warranty guide you were given with the new car clearly states the engines use more oil during the break in period.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Learn to read

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

"I recently bought a brand new, 09, Subaru Outback with a non-tubo 3.0 H-6 engine. Recently checked the oil level and found it down 1/2 quart in the first 1,000 miles. Being concerned I happend on this site. I totally disagree with the responce that states using 1 quart of oil every 1,500 miles is normal."

First, a new engine will use more oil than one that has been properly broken in. The rinds have not seated yet, and oil will be burned at a higher rate.

Second, I never said 1 qt of oil per 1500 miles was normal. I said it is not considered to be excessive by any manufacturer. Reading comprehension is key.

"I am 60 years old, have a mecahnical engineering degree, have owned dozens of cars some new and some old, of all makes, and done all my own major mechanical work. I have never had a car, turbo or non-tubo, that ate 1 quart of oil every 1,500 miles, unless it had 100K miles on it and/or had mechanical problems like bad valve seats or burned piston rings. My other car is a Mustang GT on which I installed a supercharger with 10 lbs of boost and it uses NO oil between 5K mile oil changes."

That was wonderful. Your Mustang is not a Subaru. A Supercharger operates differently from a Turbocharger. Your mechanical engineering degree should tell you that. Turbocharged engines will always use more oil than a supercharged engine, all things being equal. This is because the Turbo runs at much higher temperatures, and the oil thins out at a much faster rate. I can take the intake hose off any turbocharged engine and find an oily film. The same cannot be said for supercharged engines(and no, not all superchargers are the roots style).

"If in fact it is normal for a Subaru to use a quart of oil every 1,500 miles they should point this out, not only in the service manual, but in the sales broucher."

Again, your college degree should have required at least one Reading Comprehension class. NOT EXCESSIVE and NORMAL are not synonymous. And, the owners manual/warranty guide you were given with the new car clearly states the engines use more oil during the break in period.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Learn to read

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

"I recently bought a brand new, 09, Subaru Outback with a non-tubo 3.0 H-6 engine. Recently checked the oil level and found it down 1/2 quart in the first 1,000 miles. Being concerned I happend on this site. I totally disagree with the responce that states using 1 quart of oil every 1,500 miles is normal."

First, a new engine will use more oil than one that has been properly broken in. The rinds have not seated yet, and oil will be burned at a higher rate.

Second, I never said 1 qt of oil per 1500 miles was normal. I said it is not considered to be excessive by any manufacturer. Reading comprehension is key.

"I am 60 years old, have a mecahnical engineering degree, have owned dozens of cars some new and some old, of all makes, and done all my own major mechanical work. I have never had a car, turbo or non-tubo, that ate 1 quart of oil every 1,500 miles, unless it had 100K miles on it and/or had mechanical problems like bad valve seats or burned piston rings. My other car is a Mustang GT on which I installed a supercharger with 10 lbs of boost and it uses NO oil between 5K mile oil changes."

That was wonderful. Your Mustang is not a Subaru. A Supercharger operates differently from a Turbocharger. Your mechanical engineering degree should tell you that. Turbocharged engines will always use more oil than a supercharged engine, all things being equal. This is because the Turbo runs at much higher temperatures, and the oil thins out at a much faster rate. I can take the intake hose off any turbocharged engine and find an oily film. The same cannot be said for supercharged engines(and no, not all superchargers are the roots style).

"If in fact it is normal for a Subaru to use a quart of oil every 1,500 miles they should point this out, not only in the service manual, but in the sales broucher."

Again, your college degree should have required at least one Reading Comprehension class. NOT EXCESSIVE and NORMAL are not synonymous. And, the owners manual/warranty guide you were given with the new car clearly states the engines use more oil during the break in period.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Learn to read

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

"I recently bought a brand new, 09, Subaru Outback with a non-tubo 3.0 H-6 engine. Recently checked the oil level and found it down 1/2 quart in the first 1,000 miles. Being concerned I happend on this site. I totally disagree with the responce that states using 1 quart of oil every 1,500 miles is normal."

First, a new engine will use more oil than one that has been properly broken in. The rinds have not seated yet, and oil will be burned at a higher rate.

Second, I never said 1 qt of oil per 1500 miles was normal. I said it is not considered to be excessive by any manufacturer. Reading comprehension is key.

"I am 60 years old, have a mecahnical engineering degree, have owned dozens of cars some new and some old, of all makes, and done all my own major mechanical work. I have never had a car, turbo or non-tubo, that ate 1 quart of oil every 1,500 miles, unless it had 100K miles on it and/or had mechanical problems like bad valve seats or burned piston rings. My other car is a Mustang GT on which I installed a supercharger with 10 lbs of boost and it uses NO oil between 5K mile oil changes."

That was wonderful. Your Mustang is not a Subaru. A Supercharger operates differently from a Turbocharger. Your mechanical engineering degree should tell you that. Turbocharged engines will always use more oil than a supercharged engine, all things being equal. This is because the Turbo runs at much higher temperatures, and the oil thins out at a much faster rate. I can take the intake hose off any turbocharged engine and find an oily film. The same cannot be said for supercharged engines(and no, not all superchargers are the roots style).

"If in fact it is normal for a Subaru to use a quart of oil every 1,500 miles they should point this out, not only in the service manual, but in the sales broucher."

Again, your college degree should have required at least one Reading Comprehension class. NOT EXCESSIVE and NORMAL are not synonymous. And, the owners manual/warranty guide you were given with the new car clearly states the engines use more oil during the break in period.
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#8 Consumer Comment

one quart of oil every 1,500 miles not excessive?

AUTHOR: Tom Isom - (U.S.A.)

I recently bought a brand new, 09, Subaru Outback with a non-tubo 3.0 H-6 engine. Recently checked the oil level and found it down 1/2 quart in the first 1,000 miles. Being concerned I happend on this site. I totally disagree with the responce that states using 1 quart of oil every 1,500 miles is normal.

I am 60 years old, have a mecahnical engineering degree, have owned dozens of cars some new and some old, of all makes, and done all my own major mechanical work. I have never had a car, turbo or non-tubo, that ate 1 quart of oil every 1,500 miles, unless it had 100K miles on it and/or had mechanical problems like bad valve seats or burned piston rings. My other car is a Mustang GT on which I installed a supercharger with 10 lbs of boost and it uses NO oil between 5K mile oil changes.

If in fact it is normal for a Subaru to use a quart of oil every 1,500 miles they should point this out, not only in the service manual, but in the sales broucher.
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#9 Consumer Comment

The heart of the matter.

AUTHOR: Turbotech - (Canada)

The heart of the matter seems to be two-fold.
1) The vehicle devealoped a problem (possibly a warranty issue)

2) The owner continued his "spirited driving" in spite of this, without getting the car serviced first.

If I had been the dealership, I may have had to question the reasoning of an experienced performance driver continuing to operate a limping vehicle in a performance event. There seems to be only one possible outcome, and if he knew he woul be paying for the repairs, would his actions have been different?

As a performance tuner and shop owner, I have dealt with this issue many times in different forms. Higher performance invariably means less safety margin, and places more responsibility on the vehicle operator to be "in tune" with his machine to catch small problems before they turn into expensive issues..

Quite possibly this problem started out with a warranty issue, and may have been more easily resolved without turning it into a catastrophic failure.

I would hope Subaru looks very closely at the root cause of the engine problem, but also that customer responsibility is addressed in their owners manual.
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#10 Consumer Comment

Failure to maintain the vehicle

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

"Subaru has a problem with oil consumption whether racing or not"

No they don't. I work on them every day, and have not seen a trend concerning oil consumption.

"It consumes 1qt/1500 miles, which I view to be excessive."

This is not excessive by any manufacturers specifications.

"If you follow the maintenance schedule posted at http://www.subaru.com/owners/schedules/schedules.jsp?schedulepage=2005myfed.html, this will result in the car running completely out of oil before the service interval is up."

No it won't. You are supposed to check the oil level(along with all other fluids, belts, hoses, etc) weekly. If something is low, or in need of replacement, you are required to do that. Therefore, if you do it properly, you will never be more than 1 qt low on oil at the time of regular servicing. Turbocharged engines burn more oil than natural aspirated ones. This is due top higher cylinder pressure, and the increased wear on the piston rings.

"They've responded to this by deciding to treat any turbo driven in any manner as severe use."

No, they have not. Subaru does not consider normal sriving to be abusive. They consider racing to be abusive.

"I use mine to putter back and forth to work, but this is somehow severe."

Again, no.

"Even with a reduced service interval of 3000 miles, this will result in there only being roughly 2 quarts of oil in the sump at the time of the oil change..."

Again, no. Check the fluids weekely as required, and you will not be more than 1 qt low at time of service. The safe zone from low to full on the dipstick is 1 qt.

"...and something that caught my eye about this report is that the dealer initially used the low oil condition as a reason to not honor the warranty. Subaru claims this is normal. I'm also getting the same stonewalling behavior out of them, and they don't seem interested in fixing anything."

The OP raced his car regularly on a track. He also admitted to driving it in this manner knowing full well the engine had problems with oil consumption and making noise. His engine came apart because of this, yours has not. The OP was abusive to his vehicle, you are not(according to what you have posted). You have no arranty claim because using a qt of oil every 1500 miles is not excessive. Subaru will void your warranty if you show up with engine damage and the oil is not registering between the low/full marks on the dipstick. The oil also needs to be the proper viscosity.
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#11 Consumer Comment

Failure to maintain the vehicle

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

"Subaru has a problem with oil consumption whether racing or not"

No they don't. I work on them every day, and have not seen a trend concerning oil consumption.

"It consumes 1qt/1500 miles, which I view to be excessive."

This is not excessive by any manufacturers specifications.

"If you follow the maintenance schedule posted at http://www.subaru.com/owners/schedules/schedules.jsp?schedulepage=2005myfed.html, this will result in the car running completely out of oil before the service interval is up."

No it won't. You are supposed to check the oil level(along with all other fluids, belts, hoses, etc) weekly. If something is low, or in need of replacement, you are required to do that. Therefore, if you do it properly, you will never be more than 1 qt low on oil at the time of regular servicing. Turbocharged engines burn more oil than natural aspirated ones. This is due top higher cylinder pressure, and the increased wear on the piston rings.

"They've responded to this by deciding to treat any turbo driven in any manner as severe use."

No, they have not. Subaru does not consider normal sriving to be abusive. They consider racing to be abusive.

"I use mine to putter back and forth to work, but this is somehow severe."

Again, no.

"Even with a reduced service interval of 3000 miles, this will result in there only being roughly 2 quarts of oil in the sump at the time of the oil change..."

Again, no. Check the fluids weekely as required, and you will not be more than 1 qt low at time of service. The safe zone from low to full on the dipstick is 1 qt.

"...and something that caught my eye about this report is that the dealer initially used the low oil condition as a reason to not honor the warranty. Subaru claims this is normal. I'm also getting the same stonewalling behavior out of them, and they don't seem interested in fixing anything."

The OP raced his car regularly on a track. He also admitted to driving it in this manner knowing full well the engine had problems with oil consumption and making noise. His engine came apart because of this, yours has not. The OP was abusive to his vehicle, you are not(according to what you have posted). You have no arranty claim because using a qt of oil every 1500 miles is not excessive. Subaru will void your warranty if you show up with engine damage and the oil is not registering between the low/full marks on the dipstick. The oil also needs to be the proper viscosity.
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#12 Consumer Comment

Failure to maintain the vehicle

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

"Subaru has a problem with oil consumption whether racing or not"

No they don't. I work on them every day, and have not seen a trend concerning oil consumption.

"It consumes 1qt/1500 miles, which I view to be excessive."

This is not excessive by any manufacturers specifications.

"If you follow the maintenance schedule posted at http://www.subaru.com/owners/schedules/schedules.jsp?schedulepage=2005myfed.html, this will result in the car running completely out of oil before the service interval is up."

No it won't. You are supposed to check the oil level(along with all other fluids, belts, hoses, etc) weekly. If something is low, or in need of replacement, you are required to do that. Therefore, if you do it properly, you will never be more than 1 qt low on oil at the time of regular servicing. Turbocharged engines burn more oil than natural aspirated ones. This is due top higher cylinder pressure, and the increased wear on the piston rings.

"They've responded to this by deciding to treat any turbo driven in any manner as severe use."

No, they have not. Subaru does not consider normal sriving to be abusive. They consider racing to be abusive.

"I use mine to putter back and forth to work, but this is somehow severe."

Again, no.

"Even with a reduced service interval of 3000 miles, this will result in there only being roughly 2 quarts of oil in the sump at the time of the oil change..."

Again, no. Check the fluids weekely as required, and you will not be more than 1 qt low at time of service. The safe zone from low to full on the dipstick is 1 qt.

"...and something that caught my eye about this report is that the dealer initially used the low oil condition as a reason to not honor the warranty. Subaru claims this is normal. I'm also getting the same stonewalling behavior out of them, and they don't seem interested in fixing anything."

The OP raced his car regularly on a track. He also admitted to driving it in this manner knowing full well the engine had problems with oil consumption and making noise. His engine came apart because of this, yours has not. The OP was abusive to his vehicle, you are not(according to what you have posted). You have no arranty claim because using a qt of oil every 1500 miles is not excessive. Subaru will void your warranty if you show up with engine damage and the oil is not registering between the low/full marks on the dipstick. The oil also needs to be the proper viscosity.
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#13 Consumer Comment

Failure to maintain the vehicle

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

"Subaru has a problem with oil consumption whether racing or not"

No they don't. I work on them every day, and have not seen a trend concerning oil consumption.

"It consumes 1qt/1500 miles, which I view to be excessive."

This is not excessive by any manufacturers specifications.

"If you follow the maintenance schedule posted at http://www.subaru.com/owners/schedules/schedules.jsp?schedulepage=2005myfed.html, this will result in the car running completely out of oil before the service interval is up."

No it won't. You are supposed to check the oil level(along with all other fluids, belts, hoses, etc) weekly. If something is low, or in need of replacement, you are required to do that. Therefore, if you do it properly, you will never be more than 1 qt low on oil at the time of regular servicing. Turbocharged engines burn more oil than natural aspirated ones. This is due top higher cylinder pressure, and the increased wear on the piston rings.

"They've responded to this by deciding to treat any turbo driven in any manner as severe use."

No, they have not. Subaru does not consider normal sriving to be abusive. They consider racing to be abusive.

"I use mine to putter back and forth to work, but this is somehow severe."

Again, no.

"Even with a reduced service interval of 3000 miles, this will result in there only being roughly 2 quarts of oil in the sump at the time of the oil change..."

Again, no. Check the fluids weekely as required, and you will not be more than 1 qt low at time of service. The safe zone from low to full on the dipstick is 1 qt.

"...and something that caught my eye about this report is that the dealer initially used the low oil condition as a reason to not honor the warranty. Subaru claims this is normal. I'm also getting the same stonewalling behavior out of them, and they don't seem interested in fixing anything."

The OP raced his car regularly on a track. He also admitted to driving it in this manner knowing full well the engine had problems with oil consumption and making noise. His engine came apart because of this, yours has not. The OP was abusive to his vehicle, you are not(according to what you have posted). You have no arranty claim because using a qt of oil every 1500 miles is not excessive. Subaru will void your warranty if you show up with engine damage and the oil is not registering between the low/full marks on the dipstick. The oil also needs to be the proper viscosity.
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#14 Consumer Comment

Subaru has a problem with oil consumption whether racing or not

AUTHOR: Dl_23 - (U.S.A.)

I own a 2005 Outback XT, and it has never seen a racetrack. It consumes 1qt/1500 miles, which I view to be excessive. If you follow the maintenance schedule posted at http://www.subaru.com/owners/schedules/schedules.jsp?schedulepage=2005myfed.html, this will result in the car running completely out of oil before the service interval is up. They've responded to this by deciding to treat any turbo driven in any manner as severe use. I use mine to putter back and forth to work, but this is somehow severe. Even with a reduced service interval of 3000 miles, this will result in there only being roughly 2 quarts of oil in the sump at the time of the oil change, and something that caught my eye about this report is that the dealer initially used the low oil condition as a reason to not honor the warranty. Subaru claims this is normal. I'm also getting the same stonewalling behavior out of them, and they don't seem interested in fixing anything.
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#15 Consumer Comment

RACING MEANS NO WARRANTY

AUTHOR: Dumbblondie - (U.S.A.)

Basically, anytime a vehicle is drivin outside the purposes of daily driving, then you are SOL. Racing the car is outside the basics of daily driving. I know it ticks you off, but once it is driven outside the means of getting from one place to another, you are abusing your vehicle. I know those vehicle's are fun! I wish Subaru could help you. Keep in touch with them! I wish the best of luck.
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#16 Consumer Comment

Subaru cars are bulletproof.........

AUTHOR: Sst047 - (U.S.A.)

I have an 05 Legacy GT Turbo. Daily driver, never raced, never, never, never. Not even when all the little local kids pull up next to me with fart pipes on their cars, reving their motors. Coincidentally, I've never had one single problem. Hmmmmm.........
What?!?!? How is that possible? A person takes care of something and it doesn't break down? NO WAY!!!!
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#17 Consumer Comment

Subaru cars are bulletproof.........

AUTHOR: Sst047 - (U.S.A.)

I have an 05 Legacy GT Turbo. Daily driver, never raced, never, never, never. Not even when all the little local kids pull up next to me with fart pipes on their cars, reving their motors. Coincidentally, I've never had one single problem. Hmmmmm.........
What?!?!? How is that possible? A person takes care of something and it doesn't break down? NO WAY!!!!
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#18 Consumer Comment

Subaru cars are bulletproof.........

AUTHOR: Sst047 - (U.S.A.)

I have an 05 Legacy GT Turbo. Daily driver, never raced, never, never, never. Not even when all the little local kids pull up next to me with fart pipes on their cars, reving their motors. Coincidentally, I've never had one single problem. Hmmmmm.........
What?!?!? How is that possible? A person takes care of something and it doesn't break down? NO WAY!!!!
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#19 Consumer Comment

engine issue fixed

AUTHOR: Yoda - (U.S.A.)

This is an update to my situation.

WOOWHOOOO!!!

It has been resolved. They replaced the short block under the warranty. Apparently that were some flaws with oil distribuition to the engine and that destroyed the short block/rod bearing. I was told it was something they were aware and fixed (something to do with an internal recall), but I guess my car slipped the list.

Luckly and rightfully, they fixed the issue and covered under the warranty.
I hope I don't get any side effects from having engine reassembled at dealership. It is not the same as if it was assembled at factory, if you know what I mean.

Like you, I am a long time subaru customer and have had 4 of them already. The dealership has treated me very well. (love nissans and subbies, 3 nissans, 4 subbies)

However, I have to say I am HEARTBROKEN. It is their flagship car and expensive and the engine breaks down at 5K miles. Thankfully my issue has been resolved without any other headaches.

I hope your issue gets resolved as well. Have they changed their position on your issue?
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#20 Consumer Comment

Here's a hint Yoda

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Do not tell the dealership you race the car. Do not use any fancy euphamisms either. HIGH PERFORMANCE DRIVING is racing. The OP even calls it AUTOCROSS, then changes the term when caught on it.

You may have a actual course of action for your engine. The OP does not. The OP also acknowledged his engine was burning oil, and running poorly before it came apart.

He has no case. Good luck with yours.
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#21 Consumer Comment

Here's a hint Yoda

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Do not tell the dealership you race the car. Do not use any fancy euphamisms either. HIGH PERFORMANCE DRIVING is racing. The OP even calls it AUTOCROSS, then changes the term when caught on it.

You may have a actual course of action for your engine. The OP does not. The OP also acknowledged his engine was burning oil, and running poorly before it came apart.

He has no case. Good luck with yours.
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#22 Consumer Comment

similar issue

AUTHOR: Yoda - (U.S.A.)

I have an STI 08 (took delivery in Feb 08) as well and have similar issue.
The only difference is that I don't race and I have 5K miles on it. Properly broke in the car for the first 2K miles, never revved when iddle, have plenty of oil (including one change of oil by dealership at 3K) and only feed 93 octane.
No track and no street racing. I just want the car because it is mad fast and has the power when need to take someone over and love the handling.
My car all of sudden developed a noise and it got progressively worst by the time I got to the dealership from work on my way home.
You are not alone. I took my car to the dealership and they have it for a week and tell me I need a new engine.

The rest remain to be seen.
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#23 Consumer Comment

Autocross IS racing

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

You can spin your tale any way you wish, but you keep admitting you were involved in racing. Autocross IS racing. You refer to it as " High Performance Driving Events". This is RACING.

Racing voids your warranty.

And I like how you twisted my statement. I never said "manufacturer reps" at all. I said the mechanics from the dealerships are at the local tracks taking note of what cars are there. The mechs have their own cars competing. They kw who to void the warranty when the car shows up on Monday...just like yours did.
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#24 Consumer Suggestion

If you checked the oil, then do what you said in your original post...

AUTHOR: J G Shrugged - (U.S.A.)

And hire an attorney. This is beyond small claims and I'm not sure SOA will go to the mat on this with a car that has less than 2k miles on it. You mentioned that you checked the oil, and add the # of miles since the last check and they may back down. it sounds like the dealer has to pay for a portion of the warranty work now so maybe that's why they are hesitant.
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#25 Author of original report

One last time: HPDE not racing

AUTHOR: Bytor_2112 - (U.S.A.)

I've said repeatedly that it's not racing that I'm doing. It's High Performance Driving Events aka Driving Schools.

Your claim that manufacturer reps are at all these events was plucked out of thin air. I do between 10 and 20 of these events a year. The only times manufacturer or dealer reps have been there is to either give advice about their cars or, as is the case at most events, to show off their latest models. At the Audi event where the car blew up, Audi had 6 new cars in front of the tech building to show off and loaned the club a transporter for the event steward to get around in and show off, and a pace car complete with flashing lights for keeping people down to low speeds during the helmet-less parade laps.

I have said repeatedly that Subaru is NOT claiming abuse. They're claiming neglect. If you don't understand that those words are not synonymous, grab a dictionary.

They claim that in 2000 miles of driving, I never once checked my oil, which is a ludicrous claim. And, as it turns out, a number of owners of the 08 are starting to pop up complaining that their cars are burning a ridiculous amount of oil. Like one I talked to recently whose care used 2 quarts in 1200 miles of street driving.

You seem to think that people who do driving schools and open track events are immediately voiding their warranty. I suggest you double-check because many thousands of people do it and they're covered by warranty as long as they don't cause damage themselves by money-shifting or hitting something.

Last time: Driving Schools are not racing, and we're very adamant in these events that they're not racing and are not competitive or timed events. They're a way to safely learn how to *really* drive and safely explore the car's limits, which Subaru, BMW, Audi, Porsche and many others are not only fine with, they actively encourage participation because the best aspects of these cars simply can't be experienced on public roads.

And one last time on this one: Subaru claims I neglected the car by not checking the oil. Ever. If they wanted to deny warranty coverage because I was using it at a driving school, they would've done so without tearing down the engine at their expense.

You really should check the source rather than expressing your opinions/beliefs as fact, and you also should get it into your head that though I was using the car on a racetrack (and have done so for 13 years, 8 years as an instructor), it's not racing and Subaru doesn't consider it racing.

Finally, from the owner's manual:

"Engine Oil and Oil Filter Replacement Interval

Due to heat generated by the turbocharger and carbon deposits contained in exhaust gas, the oil in a turbocharged engine will deteriorate faster than the oil in a naturally aspirated engine. Therefore, special care should be taken to use proper grade oil and to monitor oil deterioration.

Under normal driving conditions, the recommended oil and oil filter change interval for turbo vehicles is every 3,750 miles or four months, whichever comes first. However, for vehicles driven in conditions beyond normal, such as racing conditions, the oil and oil filter may require more frequent changing.

Racing-Type Driving

Racing-type engine stress doesn't only occur on the track. Racing-type driving occurs when the drivetrain, suspension, and other vehicle components are used at near peak capacity. Any driving where the engine speed is kept high either by using lower gears at higher speeds or using engine braking is considered racing-type driving.

Important: A track day or autocross event requires an oil and oil filter change immediately before and immediately after the event. Make sure to check other engine fluid levels as well.
"
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#26 Consumer Comment

Here it is...you really shouldn't have given me the idea

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Directly from Subaru of America's website:

What is NOT covered by the Subaru limited warranty
-parts and accessories covered by other written warranties from Subaru of America or the manufacturer.

-parts and accessories installed on the vehicle prior to or at the time of vehicle delivery.

-performance of any normal maintenance services or replacement of any normal maintenance or wear items.

-normal deterioration of appearance items

-labor and material expenses for repairs unless part or accessory was originally installed by an Authorized Subaru Dealer

-replacement of lost or contaminated lubricants or fluids unless the loss or contamination was the direct result of a defect covered under this warranty

The Subaru limited warranty also does not cover parts and accessories that malfunction, fail or are damaged due to:

-objects or road hazards that strike the vehicle during on or off road use

-collision, accident, abuse, neglect, misuse or any other causes beyond the control of Subaru of America

-failure to follow guidelines and instructions set forth in the Owner's Manual and the Schedule of Recommended Inspection and Maintenance for the car as outlined in the Warranty and Service Booklet

-not following the fuel recommendations found in the Owner's Manual

-improper or incorrect installation, adjustment or repair to vehicle and/or parts and accessories or installation of parts or accessories not approved or recommended by Subaru of America

-alterations made by changing, adding or removing the parts or accessories from the vehicle
-using the car for commercial purposes unless Subaru of America issues a written exclusion


-use of the car for any race or competition

-the vehicle being dismantled or changed in a way which incorporates material alterations of its original construction

-damage to a warranty protected part or accessory caused by the failure of a non-warranty protected part

-damage caused by adding or applying chemicals not approved or recommended by Subaru of America

-contact and exposure to airborne fallout including but not limited to chemicals, tree sap, bird droppings, salt, hail, windstorm, flooding, water, lightning, extreme temperatures, or any other environmental cause.


It seem Subaru does not understand their warranty coverage as you think it should. They do have the same understanding as I.

End of story.
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#27 Consumer Comment

I'll make this simple for you

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Racing is abuse. This is exactly why the warranty was denied.

Go to any racetrack anywhere, and you'll see dealership mechanics there. They are making notes about what cars are racing. When that car shows up for a blown engine or other racing related damage, they have it on file. This is to cover them when they void your warranty.

No manufacturer covers racing in their warranty. I do this for a living, and know how it works.
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#28 Author of original report

Re-read it more slowly...

AUTHOR: Bytor_2112 - (U.S.A.)

Robert, nowhere did I say they voided the warranty. The warranty is still intact. It just isn't being applied to this engine replacement. Heck, they've offerred to replace my brake pads because I wore them out *on a racetrack* and are going to do a racetrack-specific alignment on the car, which is quite different from the alignment you use for street cars. Maximum negative camber and 0 toe, which is useful only on racetracks.

I also said that Subaru is perfectly fine with their STi and WRX models being used on racetracks. They encourage it and cover it. I applaud them for that and wouldn't have bought the car if they had any other position on it being used this way. You obviously don't believe me, but if you happen to be near a Subaru dealership of decent size, I invite you to go in and tell them you're interested in an STi for "track use". Not racing. That really is different. SCCA rules allow (and being competitive would require) such extensive modification to the software that they do become fragile. You'll find that they do consider track use to be normal. Again, it's not the same as racing. The car isn't modified to make 450 horses, which *would* void the warranty. The car isn't modified at all except that I use racing brake pads on it.

If Subaru would've wanted to deny warranty coverage for this engine replacement because the car is used on racetracks, they would've said so. They haven't said so and freely discuss with me its track life.

The reason they are denying the warranty claim is that they claim I let it run low on oil through neglect. My position is that the condition of many parts of the engine show that it rapidly consumed its oil and I couldn't have known it was going through it so rapidly, and they've yanked cars out of test-drive fleets (on racetracks, btw) for sudden and rapid oil consumption.

Again, they're claiming neglect; not abuse.

I don't know how I can say it more simply or clearly.

In the limited automotive experience you're dealing with and if the automotive world were as you described it, they would've denied my warranty claim as soon as the car arrived because they know full well it's not only used on tracks, the engine destroyed itself on a racetrack.

They didn't. The regional rep had them do a teardown at Subaru's expense to see what'd happened, then declared that it'd been neglected.

My beef with them is that though it did indeed have only 2 quarts of oil in it, which was what caused the rod bearing to spin, it consumed a massive amount of oil in far less than 100 miles, which it shouldn't do, track or not.

Yes, if you blow up a Camry on the racetrack, they're going to ask what on earth you were doing using it on a racetrack and deny coverage for "abuse".

If you get a chance (it's available online), check out the owner's manual for the STi. Track use is mentioned repeatedly in it because they know a lot of these cars will see the track since that's what they're really built for. And you'll find that nowhere do they discourage track use. They actually encourage it because HPDE's make you a much better and safer driver on public roads, able to safely avoid being hit by the majority of people who haven't done HPDE's and therefore lack the skills taught at these schools.

Once again and hopefully one last time: Subaru's attitude about the WRX and STi is similar to the attitude most makers of serious driving cars have in that they consider the racetrack a valid place to use the car. Those specific cars; not every car they make.

You may, of course, feel free to think that learning how to use a performance car at its limits and safely explore and enjoy those limits on a racetrack is abusive. But I assure you that Subaru, BMW, and Porsche to name just a few do not share that view. They actively want their drivers to become better drivers by learning the dynamics of vehicle control at the edge of the car's abilities and that's a huge reason they give such cars such incredible abilities.

I could cite numerous examples as evidence of this. But will leave you with just one.

I instructed a few years ago at an event that was specific to Mustangs and we had in attendance the gentleman who was head of SVT (Ford's high-performance arm) and the father of the SVT Focus and the then-current version of the Mustang Cobra. And he wasn't there to tell us not to drive our cars on a racetrack, I assure you.

Subaru considers track use and even autocross racing to be "normal" for this model. Whether you like that fact or not. And my use of it as a track toy is not why they're denying warranty coverage on this engine.

It's really frustrating to keep repeating that and have you continually reply that they're considering the warranty void because of its track use when I've gone so far out of my way and used so many words to convey that Subaru considers this in the realm of "normal" use for this particular car.

Do you even know what an STi is? If not, go ask a dealership and how they'd feel about it being used on the racetrack in driving schools.
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#29 Consumer Comment

Uh huh

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

You claim Subaru is just okie-dokie with racing, and will cover any damage caused by it.

Then what is your complaint?

Oh wait. They won't cover the damage. In other words...Subaru did exactly like all other car makers, and voided your warranty.
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#30 Author of original report

Re: Racing

AUTHOR: Bytor_2112 - (U.S.A.)

I should also point out that if you feel that the way I use the car should void my warranty, consider the following:

1. Everyone I've dealt with at Subaru since getting my first STi knows full well how I use these cars and they're fine with it. As the ownership of one of the dealerships told me "It's what they're built for".

2. You've apparently not read the manual and are jumping to a conclusion with no basis.

3. I'd guess that you don't know what an STi is. They don't put turbo-charged 305-horse engines and massive brakes and a "Sport-Sharp" setting in a car so you can tool around at 60 mph on highways. This is their flagship performance car and Subaru doesn't consider track use to be abuse. They actively encourage it and even give an SCCA membership with these cars. SCCA is a *racing* organization, btw.

4. Even after the breakdown, nobody at Subaru has once raced the nature of its use as an issue.

5. If you'd read all of my report, you'd see that I called the dealership about the poor-running problems while I was at a racetrack. I may not have mentioned in the report that I told him I was at a racetrack and in the unusual situation of getting embarassed by Chevies.

Granted, MOST manufacturers of MOST models of cars do NOT want to see them showing up on racetracks, even for driving schools and HPDE's, but Subaru does not feel that way about the STi. And I doubt BMW feels that way about the M-series cars and doubt Ford feels that way about the Mustang GT500R or any of their Cobra R's, and doubt Chevy feels that way about the Z06. This car is similar to those cars in that it's built to go fast on road courses more than it's built for any other purpose.
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#31 Author of original report

Re: OMG and "racing"

AUTHOR: Bytor_2112 - (U.S.A.)

I don't race the car. And before using an absolute like "all manufacturers", you need to check the owner's manuals of ALL manufacturers.

What I do is described as "track days". Yes, I flog it like a rented mule on road courses. Subaru is fine with that. I've been upfront about intended use on every one of them I've bought.

And the owner's manual not only mentions how the car should be maintained when it's used for "track days" but also autocross, which actually *is* racing; just not wheel to wheel.

Subaru so far has never even batted an eye at the fact I use mine on racetracks. In fact, they'v gotten a lot of customers because of the fact I do so and that my previous cars have not only been really good at it (and I mean REALLY good!), but reliable as can be.

The dealership I bought the 08 from told me that I'd like the fact that brake pads are covered under warranty now and I told him "Ummmm, you're telling me this knowing how I use the car?" and he said "Yeah, because I figured you'd especially like that part." And I do because though the previous generation's pads were only good for one day at the track, the 08's have shown that they just might be able to handle a full 3-day weekend of it and they work a lot better than the older ones.

And one more thing. When I called the dealership to first report the poor-running problems, the way I put it was "I and Subaru are getting embarassed by a bunch of Chevies on the track right now and I'm 25 mph slower than usual at the end of the front straight and 20 mph slower exiting the turn I usually catch people in." and he said something jokingly to the effect of "We can't have that now, can we!" and suggested the ECU reset.

Subaru has zero problem with the STi model (especially) being used on racetracks.

And one final point. I'm a High Performance Driving Instructor. Not a racer, though I used to be one. The car gets run very nearly as hard as it would be in a race when I'm on the track with other instructors, and the main difference is that we don't pass in turns, and since I always run street tires, I don't put quite the same load on the chassis that others do.
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#32 Author of original report

Re: OMG and "racing"

AUTHOR: Bytor_2112 - (U.S.A.)

I don't race the car. And before using an absolute like "all manufacturers", you need to check the owner's manuals of ALL manufacturers.

What I do is described as "track days". Yes, I flog it like a rented mule on road courses. Subaru is fine with that. I've been upfront about intended use on every one of them I've bought.

And the owner's manual not only mentions how the car should be maintained when it's used for "track days" but also autocross, which actually *is* racing; just not wheel to wheel.

Subaru so far has never even batted an eye at the fact I use mine on racetracks. In fact, they'v gotten a lot of customers because of the fact I do so and that my previous cars have not only been really good at it (and I mean REALLY good!), but reliable as can be.

The dealership I bought the 08 from told me that I'd like the fact that brake pads are covered under warranty now and I told him "Ummmm, you're telling me this knowing how I use the car?" and he said "Yeah, because I figured you'd especially like that part." And I do because though the previous generation's pads were only good for one day at the track, the 08's have shown that they just might be able to handle a full 3-day weekend of it and they work a lot better than the older ones.

And one more thing. When I called the dealership to first report the poor-running problems, the way I put it was "I and Subaru are getting embarassed by a bunch of Chevies on the track right now and I'm 25 mph slower than usual at the end of the front straight and 20 mph slower exiting the turn I usually catch people in." and he said something jokingly to the effect of "We can't have that now, can we!" and suggested the ECU reset.

Subaru has zero problem with the STi model (especially) being used on racetracks.

And one final point. I'm a High Performance Driving Instructor. Not a racer, though I used to be one. The car gets run very nearly as hard as it would be in a race when I'm on the track with other instructors, and the main difference is that we don't pass in turns, and since I always run street tires, I don't put quite the same load on the chassis that others do.
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#33 Author of original report

Re: OMG and "racing"

AUTHOR: Bytor_2112 - (U.S.A.)

I don't race the car. And before using an absolute like "all manufacturers", you need to check the owner's manuals of ALL manufacturers.

What I do is described as "track days". Yes, I flog it like a rented mule on road courses. Subaru is fine with that. I've been upfront about intended use on every one of them I've bought.

And the owner's manual not only mentions how the car should be maintained when it's used for "track days" but also autocross, which actually *is* racing; just not wheel to wheel.

Subaru so far has never even batted an eye at the fact I use mine on racetracks. In fact, they'v gotten a lot of customers because of the fact I do so and that my previous cars have not only been really good at it (and I mean REALLY good!), but reliable as can be.

The dealership I bought the 08 from told me that I'd like the fact that brake pads are covered under warranty now and I told him "Ummmm, you're telling me this knowing how I use the car?" and he said "Yeah, because I figured you'd especially like that part." And I do because though the previous generation's pads were only good for one day at the track, the 08's have shown that they just might be able to handle a full 3-day weekend of it and they work a lot better than the older ones.

And one more thing. When I called the dealership to first report the poor-running problems, the way I put it was "I and Subaru are getting embarassed by a bunch of Chevies on the track right now and I'm 25 mph slower than usual at the end of the front straight and 20 mph slower exiting the turn I usually catch people in." and he said something jokingly to the effect of "We can't have that now, can we!" and suggested the ECU reset.

Subaru has zero problem with the STi model (especially) being used on racetracks.

And one final point. I'm a High Performance Driving Instructor. Not a racer, though I used to be one. The car gets run very nearly as hard as it would be in a race when I'm on the track with other instructors, and the main difference is that we don't pass in turns, and since I always run street tires, I don't put quite the same load on the chassis that others do.
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#34 Consumer Comment

OMG!!!

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Racing is considered abuse by all of the manufacturers. Abuse is not covered by any warranty.

Racing is NOT considered "normal". It is abuse.
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