Reader beware: This review is about to get extremely detailed.. If you don’t feel like reading on, here are some highlights: False advertising of a vehicle in “Like New” condition, failure to make (numerous) repairs through their personal mechanic, dishonesty about said repairs, lying about covering costs, skirting of responsibility, lots of anger, and frustration.
**Update: They are currently trying to have my profile removed from Facebook because I left an honest review on their page**
Initially, I was not going to leave a chronological review for this establishment. Upon receiving the dishonest response message, I feel as though I am obligated to do so now.
In March of 2015 I sold my Volvo, and needed to find a vehicle fairly quickly. Not wanting a Swedish car anymore, I decided that a Subaru fit my needs exactly. I spent a few weeks shopping at used car dealers in the area, until I finally resorted to Craigslist. I saw Autorama’s posting for a “Like New” 2006 Subaru Forester with “Low Miles.” I jumped at this ad, and went to test drive the car at Autorama.
The test drive went well, and I really liked the car, everything except this loud whistle that occurred every time I accelerated to about 3000 RPMs. We went back to the lot for further inspection. After chatting about the possibilities, we noticed that the car was leaking oil underneath the head gasket. This is a common problem with ‘06 Subaru models, and Brian said that he would take care of the issue. Brian replaced the timing belt, water pump, head gasket, and the cam & crankshaft seals, as well as put new tires on it. They also replaced the VALVE COVER GASKET. Great, I thought! I asked to bring the car to my mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection in order to see if there was anything else wrong. As it turns out, there was a small hole in the exhaust system causing the squealing. The fix would be replacing the entire exhaust, and my mechanic recommended that it wasn’t really necessary to fix ASAP. We never tested the A/C unit, because I had already told him that I had tested the heat.
Back on the lot, I brought the hole in the exhaust to their attention, I was told to “not worry about” a $200 fix, and I could do that on my own because I am purchasing the car in “As is” condition. When asked several times if there was anything else I should know about the car, the response was always the same, “No, not at all, this is a great car.” That should have been my first red flag...
I purchased the vehicle for $12,196.00 on March 27, 2015. I paid cash.
On April 6, 2015, the power steering essentially crapped out. I had driven the car fewer than 100 miles at that point. I contacted Brian about it, and he said he would “help me out” by giving me his discounted rate at the mechanic. I paid $235.00 to replace the power steering pump (to this day, it still has issues).
In July of 2015, again only after a few hundred miles of driving, I found out that the A/C did not blow cold air. I contacted them about fixing the air conditioner. I was told to use their mechanic yet again for the fix. I had the A/C serviced fo $60: replaced an o-ring and recharged with freon. The A/C blew cold air for approximately 2 days. At this point, I can not believe all of the repairs that have been done on this “Like New” car. These guys had to have known about some of these issues beforehand! I again contacted Brian that the A/C was not fixed, and expressed my concern that there may be a bigger issue with the A/C unit, and that possibly this was something they knew about. I was told that I was out-of-line for insinuating that a used car dealer was anything but honest…
-- Sometime during this period, Brian leaves the business --
Fast forward to January 2016, about 1,500 miles in. I notice the car has been leaking oil again, near the head gasket that they replaced. I am livid. After initiating contact again, we take the car to their mechanic. He says it’s the VALVE COVER GASKET, that was supposedly replaced when I bought the car. Apparently, it was over-looked and never replaced… gives you a whole lot of confidence in all of the previous work done on the car. I again bring up the A/C… This time I was told that the compressor is no good, which is not a cheap fix! I calmly requested a quote for the repair, and promptly called my lawyer. I did not tell them that I consulted with legal council. I get a message quickly after requesting the quote, that he “misheard” the mechanic, and it is only a high pressure o-ring that needs to be replaced. To reiterate, I had the same o-ring replaced previously with the $60 A/C service charge.
I requested that I receive some kind of guarantee that the compressor is in working order, preferably something in writing. I receive this response from Joseph, “I’d rather we just refund the money for the previous charge and you deal with it.” Some customer service for something you already paid for! I ask him if we could please apply the reimbursement to fixing the new o-ring issue, since it should be the same amount of money. Figuring I would take a gamble, and deal with a bad compressor later on with a reputable mechanic. He agrees to fix the air conditioning with a request to “fix it another time.” I agree, as I am super busy with work, and have exhausted my patience with these people.
On April 15, 2016 I notice that my radiator fluid level is low, and has been leaking for sometime. At this point, I’m about 5,000 miles in… I have never been in an accident, and literally drive my car solely to work and back home (approx 6 miles). I must be crazy, but I call Autorama for help with the now defunct radiator. We take it to their mechanic and sure as sunshine, there’s a crack in it (I should’ve gotten a 2nd opinion). I pay $155.00 for a new radiator. Again, I ask about the A/C unit, and when can we have that repaired. I was told, by Joseph, that they have to order the o-rings from the Subaru dealer, and he will order the part next week. I never hear another word from Joseph. Also, during this time I mention an issue that I have been having with the car clunking into the lower gears… it’s an unsettling clunk. Nothing was done about this.
August 4th, 2016: I have been dealing with the 100 degree days in Oregon gracefully with no A/C for months. I contact Joe, and Brian about the agreed upon replacement of the o-rings for the high pressure hose on the A/C. Both say that I have waited too long to replace the parts now, and they will not be covering the charge to fix it!! I waited at their request, and as I travel for work, part of those months I was not able to contact them.
Brian is no longer at Autorama, and is now pleasantly ripping off folks in California. However, Joe is still there, and I urge you to reconsider buying a vehicle from these people if you do not want a lemon, or the headache of dealing with dishonest, hard to get a hold of people. Joseph insists that this was never his problem, because it “wasn’t his deal,” but inheriting a business does not cleanse you of responsibility, when the purchase was made through your lot.
The mechanics they use, operate a nothing short of a chop shop. Please, learn from my experience. It’s the least I can do, I know that I have learned my lesson.