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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The day that I drove away from the dealer's garage in my 2002 WRX wagon, after the 48,000km service, it started........fumes inside the car. Especially pronounced at idle or low speed. No smell at all at 120km/hr. I mentioned it right away, took it back, and they more or less told me: (a) I was imagining things or (b) "perhaps a little fluid got spilled on your catalytic converter - it'll burn off soon - don't worry." Took it back 3 more times and one guy finally agreed and said: "Yeah, there is a problem." Then 2 more hours waiting. The mechanic emerges and says he can't find anything wrong, but that my car has burned 2.5 liters of oil in 1500km or so of driving. They tell me to go away (for the 4th or 5th time) and come back later if the problem persists.

Well, the problem is persisting, and there are only 4,000km to go before the end of my 60,000km warranty (Maybe they're hoping to stall me just long enough to make expensive repairs harder for me to insist on?).

Seems to me onset of the problem is too coincidental with the 48,000km maintenance work not to have originated exactly there. The mechanic must have screwed something up.

Anyone have any ideas, similar experience, suggestions?
 

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Sorry to hear about it. I have some questions: Which dealer are you going to? Did you buy it there new? Do the fumes smell like oil only, or do you smell gas as well? Is the engine smoking at all, ie. blue smoke out the tail pipe? White smoke? What does the 48000km service entail? Did they replace any parts? I know it's a lot of questions, but try to get back with some more info when you can and we'll see if we can find some answers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Hi Spaceman

I bought it new about 2 years ago from Sergio Iacuessa at Downtown Subaru (Ste. Catherine W ). Soon after, I moved to North Hatley and have had all subsequent service done at Estrie Auto (Subaru, Suzuki, Volvo dealer) in Sherbrooke. As far as I, or the people at Estrie Auto can tell, it's just oil that I smell. Yesterday I took it in for the 5th time and conferred with the "Subaru service manager." We checked the oil and it had lost a liter in the last 700km or so. It has to be an oil leak that drips down, hits something hot and rises up and into the ventilation system and inside the car (Smell is noticeable outside car as well.). I told the manager that I wanted this dealt with before my 60,000km warranty expires. He informed me that the engine is only guaranteed till 50,000km (and I now have 56,000km on it)! BUT..........I have been complaining about this since 47,500km (just after my 48,000km service), so I won't let them brush me off for that reason. He told me he was phoning the Quebec "head maintenance guy" - someone by the name of Normand and would get back to me in a couple of hours..........21/2 days have now gone by without further word........I would hazard a guess that Subaru Inc., not wanting to spend the $$ to tear my engine apart, is trying to figure out its next move here.

There is no smoke out the tailpipe of any color. The 48,000km service consisted of: replace engine coolant, replace spark plugs, replace brake fluid, inspect all emissions related hoses and connections, inspect and clean EGR valve (whatever that is) and passages, inspect all hydraulic brake and clutch lines, inspect fluid levels and condition in front and rear diferentials and transmission, change oil and filter, inspect clutch clearance, adjust drive belt tension, inspect axle boots.

I'll be talking to the Estrie Auto service manager tomorrow or Thursday.

Thanks for your interest............Stelmar

PS......one more thing to mention - I've had 2 things repaired on warranty so far - transmission (3rd gear syncro) and brakes which wore out after 10,000km or so. MAYBE I'M THE LUCKY OWNER OF A REAL LIVE LEMON??
 

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if everything fails, contact subaru hamilton... they're very open minded to aftermarket mods and they seemed to know their stuff than any others.

as for the warranty, you will be fine as long as you have all the service documents that states the complains.

when you can't resolve the situation at the dealership, contact area rep, if that doesn't do anything, file a complain at better business bureau. subaru will contact you really quickly.

also get the name of the person who said'yeah there is a problem" and get him to write his statement and sign it. since they know there's a problem but they can't fix it. they should give you a new engine.
 

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Hi Stelmar. Just a couple of more questions. First is, have you modded the car in any way? Also, have you noticed any oil underneath the car, perhaps in the morning after it's been parked up over night?
I suspect that an oil leak has developed perhaps at the turbo oil seals. I would be interested in seeing if the intercooler had oil in it. At highway speed there is probably enough air moving through the engine bay to push the fumes out before they reach inside the car, but moving slowly or being stopped allows smoke from oil leaking on hot exhaust parts to enter. I've recently read a couple of threads dealing with blown turbos primarilly, however, from modded cars but not exclusively. Can you see ANY oil on or around the turbo?
I was under the impression that the warranty is 60 k bumper to bumper. Have you gotten confirmation regarding the "50 k on the engine" ?
O.k. I just checked my warranty booklet and there is no mention of a 50 k engine warranty and frankly I'm not getting a very good feeling about this dealer if that's what they told you.
At this point I would suggest you call either the downtown dealer or try Subaru des Sources and speak to Jacques (service manager). He's always been a stand up guy with me. I've also been dealing with the nice folks at Subaru Lachute, who are perfectly capable of giving you a proper diagnosis of the problem. I would fully expect this problem to be fixed to your satisfaction by Subaru and would not quit until it happens. Don't take "no" for an answer. A firm but flexible approach usually gets me the results I'm looking for. Keep us posted on any developments and I will talk to a mechanic friend about the diagnosis.
 

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Stelmar, it just occured to me that you might PM GV27 or God regarding this problem, or post it on another forum at this club. There is a lot of expertise around here that might be of more service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Spaceman.........what the heck do you mean by "PM GV27" and "God?" :confused:

Not THE God, surely? :)

There is no puddle of oil under the car in the morning and I can't (the dealer can't either) see any smoke or leak while it's running. It smells, that's all. I have not done a single mod on the car. It just burned another liter of oil in the last 1200 km.

Interesting what you say about 50,000km vs. 60,000km. I will check my little warranty booklet.

Estrie Auto is going to tear it apart on Monday. They suspect #1 - turbo leak. If that doesn't pan out, they say they'll move to #2 - a compression test, then something else I can't remember.

Thanks for all your suggestions as to potentially more knowledgeable and helpful dealers. I'm not ready to abandon Estrie Auto yet.

I'll report what, if anything, they figure out next week.
 

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Hi Stelmar. GV27 and God are, I believe, both moderators, and both have a lot of experience with this car. They are helpful and are a good resource for enquirery.
I'm glad they're taking action, and if you don't see blue smoke from the tail pipe, then a leaking turbo would be my first guess. If this is the case, sometimes you will find oil in the intercooler, so as long as they're tearing it down, why not have a look? I hope it all works out for you, and yes, please keep us posted.
 

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I know this sound really stupid, but ive seen it happen, when they changed your oil filter by chance did the gasket from the old oil filter stick to the oil filter housing and they installed new filter over top of it? just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
LOOKS LIKE THEY FIXED IT!!!!!!!!!

I just drove home without a single oil fume. Turns out I was right when I kept telling them that it had to have been something that the 48k mechanic screwed up (The problem started exactly after that service.).

OK...........here it is............A MISINSTALLED PCV VALVE

He gave me the technical details, including something that I didn't understand about water mixing with oil ! He also told me that contrary to my belief, the engine had not burned that much oil lately, and that in fact both his mechanic and I seem to have overfilled it. He went on to explain that you can't take a proper oil level reading on the WRX unless you let it sit for 10 - 15 minutes! He said he was seeing lots of WRX's (and maybe regular Imprezas?) with too much oil in them. I guess I'll have to check my oil at home instead of at the gas station from now on.

Everybody at the dealership were EXTREMELY nice to me for some reason (They're always friendly and courteous, but this time they were extra nice.) :) Perhaps somebody at Subaru saw a few of these posts? ;) Courtesy car, handshakes, big smiles from the boss.

So that's it. Darn...........no blown engine, no new STI :(
By the way........they had an STI in the showroom (just arrived).
What is Subaru doing, uglifying the 2004 Imprezas' tail lights with those protrusions? YECCH
 

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Nice to here it OK,
I agree saw my first 04, a red wagon.
I saw it from way back and didnt really like the tail lights, i sure i will get used to them and they will be OK.
 

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Congratulations, I'm glad it worked out.
 
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