Overheating issue/issues with dealer
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This is a discussion on Overheating issue/issues with dealer within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hey everyone, a few weeks ago, I bought an 08 WRX that I am officially in love with (my wife ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Valkyrie's Avatar
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    Overheating issue/issues with dealer

    Hey everyone, a few weeks ago, I bought an 08 WRX that I am officially in love with (my wife gets jealous sometimes

    Everything about the car is awesome, except one thing: After a long highway drive, about 3/5 times, as soon as I'm off the highway and either sitting at a light or driving through town, it'll overheat, the heater blows cold air and I'll have to shut it off and let it sit for a while before I can drive it safely again; opening the hood reveals that coolant is backing up into the overfill and spilling out from there, and it's burned a bit of oil.

    I've already brought it back to the dealer twice for service, both times they said there was nothing wrong and they couldn't replicate the issue. The third time (friday) I called, I was unknowingly put on the phone with the owner, who proceeded to be completely disrespectful and tell me I was abusing the car, they aren't a personal pit stop, and I need to take responsibility for the problem; he said the issue was caused by working the car too hard, causing the turbo to dump all its coolant and take in oil which would cause the overheating. (I'm not familiar with turbos, but that doesn't seem like it should happen even if I WAS beating on the car.) He said he had an "eye witness" saying they saw my car, with my plates, and I was weaving in and out of traffic going way over the posted limit. Then he said he was voiding my 60-day warranty.

    Some backstory - I work 40 miles from home. Every day at least once, either to or from, this happens. On top of that, I barely ever even let the boost come into play; I typically shift at 2500, set CC for 60-65 and go steady. Gas mileage readout is 24.6/gal.

    I'm stuck between two courses of action now: do I take the car back with the video evidence and give them a chance to rectify, or do I go to an actual Subie dealership (I have a warranty through Allstate that's accepted at dealers so cost isn't really a big deal) to have them diagnose and possibly fix the problem and go after the original dealer legally? CT has lemon laws and there's a good amount of legal recourse there, along with civil action that can be taken.

    My biggest questions are:
    What could cause the issue? Since it's not constant, I don't think it could be the thermostat, right? I'm not super familiar with Subies or performance cars in general, it's my first "nice" car, so I don't know in detail how the cooling system is set up, unfamiliar with turbos, etc.
    Is that an actual common issue with WRX's/turbos in general? I wouldn't think so, I know guys with Evos, modded-out Legacys, other sports and rally cars and I've never heard any of them talking about this.

    Thanks in advance guys.

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  3. #2
    Registered User RichD514's Avatar
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    Can't help with the overheating issue, but contact SOA about the dealerships actions.
    http://www.subaru.com/customer-support.html

  4. #3
    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    Probably just has an air pocket in the cooling system. You need to purge or "burp" the system. Pretty easy to do.

    Cooling System FAQ: Read if you want coolant information! - NASIOC
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    Kinda sounds like it wasn't a "Subaru" dealer. Was it? Is the 60day warranty in writing? Is there a clause for abuse/cancellation?

    Also maybe you don't want a p/o dealer working on your car.

  6. #5
    Registered User Valkyrie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshfl420 View Post
    Kinda sounds like it wasn't a "Subaru" dealer. Was it? Is the 60day warranty in writing? Is there a clause for abuse/cancellation?

    Also maybe you don't want a p/o dealer working on your car.
    No it wasnt. But it was the only standard wrx i could find in my area and a friend of mine is a tech there. It has an abuse clause but with video evidence showing the car overheating without going over 2500rpm i think i can get something done civilly. I don't, honestly, but the 60clutch day warranty is the biggest reason I called them. The warranty does have an abuse clause bu what they dictate is "abuse" is something I've had other Subie owners say shouldn't happen anyway.

    Either way, it will be going to an actual dealer from now on.

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    Update?

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    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    I would probably punch the owner of that dealer in the face, quite frankly.

    Bottom line is, the symptoms you have are not normal and if you bought the car and it has been doing that from the time you bought it, then it's on the dealer to fix it.

    Sounds like the POS owner doesn't want to pay to make something right, which as Donkey suggested, is most likely just an air pocket in the system that needs burping.
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  9. #8
    Registered User Valkyrie's Avatar
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    I brought it to a slightly-out-of-the-way subaru dealership, but better there than back with these guys. Yes, Mikie, it took all I had not to go do that; I still really want to. When it's fixed, if it's anything more than an air bubble, I will be suing the dealer; If it's just an air bubble or something similar, I'll be going back and rubbing their faces in it just for the satisfaction.

  10. #9
    Registered User Valkyrie's Avatar
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    So, I'm getting it back from that dealer today. They couldn't replicate the issue but they did see where coolant had spilled (the bottom of the radiator was wet, among a few other spots) so I'm hoping it was just an air pocket or something like that. Since it was all under warranty, they replaced hoses, radiator caps, etc; not sure what else they did.

    Anyway, hopefully now I can just put all this crap behind me; not even going to bother talking to the original dealer anymore, since I don't really have a leg to stand on I guess ::shrug::

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    Registered User wrxnguyen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valkyrie View Post
    So, I'm getting it back from that dealer today. They couldn't replicate the issue but they did see where coolant had spilled (the bottom of the radiator was wet, among a few other spots) so I'm hoping it was just an air pocket or something like that. Since it was all under warranty, they replaced hoses, radiator caps, etc; not sure what else they did.

    Anyway, hopefully now I can just put all this crap behind me; not even going to bother talking to the original dealer anymore, since I don't really have a leg to stand on I guess ::shrug::
    Did they replace those parts with OEM parts?

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    Registered User Valkyrie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrxnguyen View Post
    Did they replace those parts with OEM parts?
    Yes, all OEM. I haven't put any upgrades in or anything and the warranty only covers OEM to begin with. I'm also wondering if there were low-quality parts put in at the other dealer

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    Registered User Valkyrie's Avatar
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    Update - after doing a flush, conditioning, replacing all hoses, thermostat gasket and both caps, the car was running fine, then last Thursday I was driving to work and couldn't go half a mile without the car overheating. I'd stop, let her cool, refill coolant, go, rinse and repeat. So I had it towed back to the subie dealer, and they're saying the only other alternative now is the head gasket.

    If that's the case... I'm gunning for that original dealership that sold me the car. Will update as I get info.

  14. #13
    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    Have they replaced the actual radiator yet? Never know if it could have some internal corrosion or blockage or something causing the issue...
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    Registered User Valkyrie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikie13 View Post
    Have they replaced the actual radiator yet? Never know if it could have some internal corrosion or blockage or something causing the issue...
    They didn't replace the radiator itself but the first time I brought it there they did a thorough check of everything and said it came back clean. The biggest problem is it took them 3 drives of 20+ miles before they even got it to overheat, that's why they had such a hard time in the first place.

    Also, when the original dealer voided my warranty, two of the signs of "abuse" were degraded/murky oil and dumping coolant faster than normal... Seems to me like they just didnt feel like covering a $1200 fix.
    Valkyrie (named by the wife), '08 WRX Sedan

  16. #15
    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    A coolant analysis will easily tell if it is a head gasket. It's inexpensive and any competent mechanic would do one if he suspected a head gasket due to a overheating car.
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