Illustration for article titled Owner Says Nightmare Subaru Has Killed Four Engines Within 3,000 Miles

I'm not sure why there's such a lurid appeal to reading someone's automotive nightmares, but there is. It's not all schadenfreude, though, there's real sympathy. And if anyone deserves sympathy, it's this Canadian fellow stuck with an unholy 2012 Subaru Impreza that he's claimed, so far, is on its fourth engine. In the past 3,106 miles.


As with all of these tales of automotive woe, please keep in mind we're basing this on the owner's own account, as related to the forum Montreal Racing. The owner describes his dealings with both Subaru Canada and a dealer who has threatened him with a lawsuit if their name is mentioned. So at this point we're unable to get the side of the story from the dealership, so keep that in mind. The whole thread is quite long and maddening, and I encourage everyone to read it, and shake your heads in confusion and sympathy.

The circumstances of this man's experience with his manual 2012 Impreza, which he bought new back in March of 2012, are pretty staggering. The car seems to have been plagued by oil consumption and leaking issues right from the start, and oil, fuel consumption, and other issues continued up until 31,000 miles, when a new engine was finally installed.


That engine, he says, lasted all of 1,200 miles.

He says engine was replaced by the dealer, and the new engine died right there in the dealer's parking lot. From the owner's (known as PreludeAWSi) post:

Engine Part 3:

- Brand new engine installed on Monday-Tuesday November 10-11. I went to the dealer to pick up my car on Wednesday November 12th.

- I swear to you! This is not a joke! The engine blew up 5 seconds after I turned the key in the dealer's parking!!! Sounded something like *Starter**Vrouuuuum**TOC TOC TOC TOC TOC**car shakes like a madman*.

- Got out of the car and decided to make a video to show my friends. First it shows a video of the night I picked up the car. Then the next morning with the dealer's mechanic. Take note that the engine won't go past 2,000rpm even with the gas pedal floored.

- The mechanic was able to start the engine (barely) and there was a loud noise coming from the transmission when he would release the clutch pedal.

- The dealer finally acknowledged there is a bearing noise in the tranny. I almost cried.

- I couldn't go home with my car that night (what a surprise).

Wow. At this point, the owner first airs his complaints on Montreal Racing, and gets an angry call from the dealer doing the work on the car, which wasn't the dealer he originally purchased the car at — he'd since moved. That dealer soon found two plugged and damaged catalytic converters, which may have caused at least the fuel consumption and misfire issues.

Illustration for article titled Owner Says Nightmare Subaru Has Killed Four Engines Within 3,000 Miles

The owner continues:

During the 3 weeks my car spent at the garage. They tried all sort of things. They installed and removed engines that died after the first start up. They changed two catalytic converters. They changed a starter. They also changed wires that were not grounded properly. (Most likely due to their first engine swap)

Saguenay is a small town. While they were working on my car, I heard stories of a car that was giving headaches to Subaru Canada and the dealer that I can't name or he will sue me.

When I picked up my car 3 weeks later, the owner of the dealer wanted to see me. He began by saying he did me a favor because Subaru Canada didn't want to cover half of the work they did on my car. I wanted to know what wasn't covered by the warranty since the car obviously had some serious problem from the beginning. He didn't want to answer the question. All he said was my car cost him a lot of money.

Was I supposed to feel bad for him?

As it stands now, the car is on its fourth engine, and there's still issues, which the owner lists, and laments:

So everything is clear, here is a list of the current problems:

1st: Knocking engine, it's unanimous and undisputable, crank bearing is done. The engine is done… again.

2nd: Transmission problems still present during cold starts. It's getting worse every day. They know about it. They acknowledge the problem over a year ago. They just don't want to fix it.

3rd: Fuel consumption still abnormally high. But the situation is better since they replaced the catalytic converters.

4th: The PAVAC [(Canadian arbitrary program for automobiles) — Ed.] is now aware of the problem. Subaru Canada is aware as well. I was contacted by Subaru and they offered to repair everything. What I would like is for them to buy the car back. They want to avoid that at all cost. (More details soon)

5th: Since the PAVAC is aware, Subaru Canada is aware and now the "dealer that I can't name or he will sue me" is also aware. They called me to fix the problems. I'm trying to make the PAVAC understand the engine problems are not repairable (4 engines in 5,000km) which would make my car eligible for a buy back from Subaru Canada. I have an appointment with the dealer this week and all I want is a paper that says that my engine as to be replaced for the fifth time.

6th: Dropped the car at the dealer in the afternoon. A few hours later I got a call from the arrogant dealer.

It went like this:

- There is nothing wrong with your car.

- We inspected the car from A to Z.

- Scanned it on the computer.

- Your engine works perfectly.

- There is nothing wrong with your transmission.

- We did a 1 hour test drive with the car and did a fuel consumption of 7L/100km.

- We're sending the paper work to Subaru Canada.

- Come pick up your car.

- Bye.

It doesn't look good. I had a bad feeling about this. The fuel consumption is not my #1 priority but I didn't believe a word he said.

So I picked up my car lemon on Wednesday night.

As soon as I started the engine I heard the knocking noise. The transmission did its usual growling noise as soon as I release the clutch pedal. I looked at the trip computer. It shows 9L/100km. Impressive (guess he drove at 80kmh on the highway in top gear) but still a long way from the 7L/100km he claimed on the phone. By the time I drove the car home. The trip computer showed 10.2L/100km.

You're telling me someone did a 1 hour test drive and never heard the engine knocking or the transmission bearing noises? Someone somewhere is lying through its teeth.

I think no inspection was done on the car. When I dropped the car off, the car was covered in snow and ice. That snow and ice would have melted in the garage while they did the inspection. It didn't.

In other words, they are liars. They sent false data of a fake inspection to Subaru Canada and the PAVAC.

I spoke with the owner of the dealership over the phone. Even though I was pissed I remind calm and tried to work out a solution. But he just doesn't give a F***. He reminded me that I did not buy my car at his dealership and that my car already cost him enough money. He also told me again that if I put the story back online. He will sue me.

I am discouraged and I don't know what to do at this point. I cannot sell the car with the $30,000 of repair on file. Nobody would buy it. The engine and transmission are defective and they won't fix it. It is not safe to drive on the road and I lost confidence in the car, the dealer and Subaru.


So, what the hell is actually going on here? How can one car, and so many different engines, remain so completely boned? Did the guy buy the thing with money he got from murdering an old fortune teller? Was it built on an Inuit burial ground? Something just isn't entirely adding up here.

It's good that this Quebeqois owner has a forum to bring his complaints into public view. Regardless of what is actually going on, being quiet about this doesn't help anybody who has the goal of being fair all around. We've reached out to Subaru Canada for a statement, and will update when we hear from them.

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