Sunday, April 05, 2009

Beware of Hunter Subaru

I really think when women bring a car to a dealership for repairs they should paint a target on themselves, or at least carry a pigeon. Case in point is my neighbor; she has been ripped off so much by Hunter Subaru of Hendersonville that she's about to go Honda.

In the latest episode they stripped her oil pan drain hole. No, this didn't take place at SPEEDY- LUBE (they are the ones that put Ben's plug in with an impact wrench). This routine service was done at the dealership. The car was only serviced at Hunter Subaru for its short life. They changed her oil every 3,500 miles or half of the recommended interval in the manual. That translates to about thirty oil changes performed solely at the dealership by their factory trained personnel. Hunter told her that her "oil pan wore out". The price to replace the oil pan: $250.

There are few problems with this scenario. Did she wear out her oil pan with all the extra oil changes Hunter did? The Subaru oil plug has about ten threads. That means in the world of "extreme service" car maintainance that plug was rotated app. 600 times. How come the crankshaft can turn 3,000 times a minute for every mile you drive at 65mph and last for 200K miles while the lowly oil pan wears out in 600 turns. They should replace the pan for free. But, then you wonder if that same factory trained personnel will be replacing the oil pan; a repair that has a thousand times the chance of being botched.

Three months ago this same Subaru developed a squeal. The owner called Hunter, they assured her that it was nothing. She left on a vacation and got about thirty miles from home when the tensioner pulley seized and burned up the belt and the broken belt caused other damage resulting in a $400 repair bill from Hunter. It took them a week to fix it and mysteriously when they were done she needed a new starter, ta da! The tensioner should have been replaced with the belt at 105K miles.

I accompanied a young nurse to Hunter to help her pick out a new Hyundai Tucson. It was in November and the salesman agreed to her price of $1,500 below sticker. When it came time to do the paper work we find out that the senile salesman didn't have the authority to make the deal. The invoice was for only $400 below sticker; not much of a deal for last year's car. I dragged the young victim out of the showroom. A few days later she felt bad and went back and leased a Mercury Mariner from them. I can imagine the great deal she got.

I take my Subie to Prestige Subaru in Asheville. They have an A+ rating compared to Hunter's C rating. But I do my own oil changes so I'm not certain they don't have any cross-threaders in their grease pit.


aannie said...

I feel for your neighbor. I hate dealing with car dealerships--definitely on UJBP's list of marital duties.

D- said...

Hmmmm... After working in a couple of dealerships I know a couple of things she should have done.
#1 An immediate phone call from the dealership to Subaru of America would have brought in a Subaru arbitrator.
#2 A very loud, heated argument in the show room about the lack of quality service audible enough to clear out any potential customers.
#3 Threat of lawsuit.
I watched as these techniques brought about swift restitution.
When Marketplace Chrysler tried to say the transmission was fixed on our Plymouth minivan, I called Chrysler. It ruined the "excellent" image the dealership
had with Chrysler. The van wouldn't even go into gear. The final "fix" lasted through the time we no longer owned the van.
I question your neighbor's sanity. Going back to the place that just bites the wallet out of your pants is a little loony.

Anonymous said...

A wrote:

I understand exactly what you are talking about. I had to call Subaru of America to get a clutch problem fixed at Hunter for our Forester. The service manager was telling me the clutch was fine/normal everytime I took it in. Once it was replaced, with the intervention of the company, the clutch worked smoothly as it should have originally. We do not trust the service dept. and go to an independent mechanic. I have heard other people tell me their problems with the serive dept. as well.

aiza@ subarucar said...

i felt bad reading this. but i'm aware that these things really exists.i have a friend who complains the same.Asheville prestige Subaro car