Improper diagnosis....now I'm left with a fee and a radiator I didn't need
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This is a discussion on Improper diagnosis....now I'm left with a fee and a radiator I didn't need within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; A couple of weeks ago I had smoke coming out of the hoodscoop of my 02 WRX. Brought it into ...

  1. #1
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    Improper diagnosis....now I'm left with a fee and a radiator I didn't need

    A couple of weeks ago I had smoke coming out of the hoodscoop of my 02 WRX.

    Brought it into my Subaru local dealership and they ran a diagnostic test ($150 ).

    Told me there was an issue with the radiator and would need to be fixed for $700 total. I had the radiator replaced less than a year ago but, it was from some random autoshop. The subaru tech told me that the radiator was a POS and that it wasn't performing up to standards (umm ok?).

    The work was done and I brought it home. The next day the same exact thing, white smoke from the hoodscoop.

    Brought it back to the dealership and after looking at it some more they told me some hoses and the waterpump needs to be replaced. Now I'm wondering how they didn't notice this problem when they charged me the grand $150 for a diagnostic test.

    The service guy wanted to run a leakdown test (another $90 out of my pocket) to make sure it wasn't issues with the gaskets.

    Get a call the other day and now they're telling me the gaskets are hosed (total would be $2500 to fix).

    Now I'm pretty pissed off at this point. They're refusing to refund me the $150 in diagnostic fees. The $700 I spent to replace a radiator was for absolutely nothing. The radiator wasn't the issue.

    Wondering what type of recourse I may have.

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  3. #2
    Registered User wrxjdm's Avatar
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    I would talk to the service manager if not them go above there head.

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    Registered User sjcurtis's Avatar
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    $700 for a stock radiator WOW!!!!! Is the car over heating? Has it lost any power? If its just smoke coming from under the hood it might just be a leaking coolant hose.

  5. #4
    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    Personally I'd walk into the gm's office and threaten to rip his head off.. but.. I've been known to be a little rash now n then. So that approach likely wont get you much more than a visit with the police.

    Joking aside, Start with the service manager, dont let up and demand that the $700 for THEIR mistake be taken off the final bill. That is, if you actually trust/choose to go with them to do the work.. I'd get other opinions esp since it seems they have no idea what they're doing.

    Now, you had steam coming out of somewhere.. but was the car actually over heating? I've had a bad radiator cap ($7 +/-) give a similar issue .. doesn't show up till the coolant is good and hot and the car sits after being driven. If the car wasn't over heating I'd be very very skeptical of a $2500 head gasket proposal.
    OBP 2010 5dr *traded*
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  6. #5
    Registered User patrickfromnm's Avatar
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    sounds like you've become another victim of subaru's bull****. I've had similar issues with my dealer but definitely not to the extent that you now have to deal with. To start, I would say skip the service manager because he's probably going to stick to his work (despite its illegitimacy) so as he doesn't look like even more of an idiot. Just go straight to the gm like mango said (minus the head ripping off part haha) and give him an ear-full. Good luck.
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    ClubWRX.net Vendor adam@kronosperformance's Avatar
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    Just like a doctor...get a second opinion. All businesses want to make a profit but some want to do it any cost. There are ways for them to test and symptoms to know whats going on without ripping your motor apart.
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  8. #7
    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KronosPerformance View Post
    Just like a doctor...get a second opinion. All businesses want to make a profit but some want to do it any cost. There are ways for them to test and symptoms to know whats going on without ripping your motor apart.
    ^ this.. there are quite a few tests before "guessing" that it's the head gaskets. I'm stickin to my thoughts.. if it wasn't overheating then its not the headgaskets. There are also tests you can do on the oil and coolant to see if there is cross contamination (dead set sign head gasket is toast) .. a compression check is another good one, but that will only tell if the gasket is broken between combustion chamber and water jacket. There would also have been white smoke/steam out the tail and smell of coolant in the exhaust. If the gasket is blown from water jacket to the outside.. there would be leaks .. and coolant level would continue to appear low.

    I still think these guys have no clue.. you dont want to ditch $2500 for the problem to return and them to shrug shoulder as they walk away counting your money. Esp if its something simple like a worn out gasket on a radiator/reservoir cap.
    OBP 2010 5dr *traded*
    SWP 2013 FRS
    My name is Shawn, I'm a Devout Practicalist and I'm addicted to flat4's
    This page has had 1,666 visits
    SUCH IS MANGO!

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