HELP First time WRX owner - Valve adjustment needed at 50k miles?? - Subaru WRX Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-28-2016, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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HELP First time WRX owner - Valve adjustment needed at 50k miles??

First post, and really in need of some help here.

I purchased my 2013 WRX hatchback new and absolutely love it. Haven't had an issue with the car until about 3 days ago.
Brought it into the dealership for it's last covered service, the car just reached 50k miles. About 3 days before I brought it in, the CEL, traction control, and cruise control lights all came on. (No, the gas cap was not loose.) When I brought the car in for the service, they checked it out and told me this:

P0300 code - Random misfire detected in cylinders #1, #2, #4
Inspected the spark plugs and they are OK
Ignition system is working properly.
Recommend performing engine valve adjustment and inspections $4500, not covered by powertrain warranty

My questions:
1) wtf? I drive this thing conservatively. I don't red line it, ever. I usually always even shift before 4k rpm. Is this a common issue at 50k miles?

2) $4500 seems waaaaaayyyy excessive for this job. I called other Subaru dealers in the area and got quotes ranging from $840 (just labor, not including part cost) to $1200 (includes labor and gaskets, no shims). comparing that to my initial quote from the dealer that I bought the car from again, wtf? $4500? I feel like this guy is trying to rip me off, more than 2x the cost of other nearby Subaru dealers

I know dealerships are always way expensive, but I figured I'd get the work done there until the powertrain warranty was up (10k more miles) incase something major went wrong.

The only thing I've noticed in performance, is that when the car is hot (after commute home) and I'm in the process of pulling into the garage, I put it in gear, slowly pull in, and when I press the clutch and stop the car, the idle dips really low

Any and all information shared would be a huge help! Thank you!
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-28-2016, 06:57 AM
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i think you have already answered your own quesion.

you went else where when you were not happy with what one dealer siad to you. thats exactly what you should do. just walk away. you said you have already found it cheaper by over half the cost. so just go with that subaru mechanic.

as for a common problem? no its not.

are you the original owner? what mods done? do you have an accessport? can you post a log? stories are great, but you havent really told us much about your car to help us solve your problem. we need to know everything thats been done to it and if your the original owner or not. its possible the previous owner beat the shit out of the car and you got sold a lemon.

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post #3 of 11 Old 10-28-2016, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, some more info:

2013 wrx hatchback limited
Car is completely stock (I have had my eye on some upgrades since I bought the car but thought I'd wait for the warranty to be up first. It's my first car that I've bought new so I guess I'm playing it conservative)
I am the original owner
Every service to this point has been done on time and at the dealership

Sounds like valve adjustments on a stock WRX at 50k miles is not a common issue... Hope I didn't get sold a lemon
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-28-2016, 03:00 PM
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Did they actually measure the valve clearances? If so, ask them to provide the numbers (since they charged you for diagnostics I assume).

I don't understand how at 50k something like this isn't covered under warranty, especially since car is stock!?

I would consider getting in contact with Subaru of America to confirm.
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-30-2016, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Ruso. I reached out to Subaru of America, I'm curious to see how they respond. I figure I'll wait for that before taking the car in to get the work done. I'm with you, I also can't believe this wouldn't fall under the Powertrain warranty

Thanks for the help
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-31-2016, 06:43 AM
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original owner, stock car, dealer serviced... and bad valve seals? yea this is definitely somehting you should have SOA to look into.

also, i would recommend NOT taking the car to the original place that tried to charge you double. use one of the other dealers if possible.
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-31-2016, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks titter. Definitely never going back to my original dealership again, I don't trust them and don't want them working on my car anymore. Especially if this gets ugly. Once I get things all lined up, hear back from SOA and have my car's work done at one of the other dealers, I plan on calling my original dealer and giving them a piece of my mind.
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-01-2016, 03:49 PM
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As someone that just got royally screwed over by a Subaru dealer I will tell you this - they're crooks. Getting ahold of SOA was a good move. Honestly, as soon as the dealer even hints at beginning to jerk you around RUN. Find a independent mechanic that specializes in Subaru. I have to drive 45 minutes to mine and it's completely worth it.
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post #9 of 11 Old 12-06-2016, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Update

So, I got in touch with SOA a couple weeks back and they got involved. They called the initial dealer where I bought the car and asked for them to justify their quote. Apparently the number ($4500) represented the high end of their estimate representing worst case scenario. Right. SOA explained that dealers have some flexibility and freedom to charge different prices, I think they said they could pick their own labor costs? Not sure. Either way, complete BS to quote me so high on that job IMO.

SOA has been very helpful though, and said they would help make a contribution towards the cost of the work, also because my car is under 60k powertrain warranty. I told them I was never taking my car back to the initial dealer, but I would take it to a different dealer that was giving me a quote that was comparable to the rest (rather than 3x higher). SOA was completely supportive of that decision and asked to be notified when I took the car in.

Today I took my car to the new dealer and explained the issue, showed them the invoice/diagnostic of the initial dealer, etc. They said they were going to run their own tests to determine what work needs to be done and that the invoice/diagnostic should have included measurement data from the previous dealer that led them to a conclusion that a valve adjustment was needed. They called me a few hours later saying that they could not replicate the issue, they drove the car around for a while, and everything appears to be normal. They said it may or may not have been a bad batch of gas that was causing the spark plugs to misfire but they really didn't know. Told me to come back and pick up the car, and just bring it back if CEL comes back on.

so frustrating. I haven't driven my car for over 1 month while this whole thing gets sorted.

pain in the ass, wtf.

Think it was a scam?
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post #10 of 11 Old 12-06-2016, 07:17 AM
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Sounds like the original dealer was just jumping to conclusions of what it could be. If the had to remove the heads the would have had a clear view of the cylinder walls an such. Then they probably would have said "oh... well... your compressions is low. We recommend new rings". Then you would have been getting new rings, etc. Stay away from the old dealership an just keep an eye on everything.

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post #11 of 11 Old 12-07-2016, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EJorgensen11 View Post

Think it was a scam?
Yup.

Sounds very similar to how a dealer screwed me. I can post a link to my thread if you're interested. I had a minor blow by issue that took the dealer 3 months and ~$2500 (out of pocket) to fix. They disassembled and reassembled the engine a total of 3 times and spent weeks just fighting with the warranty company. They told me I needed everything from a new shortblock, a cylinder head, turbo seals etc.

Ended up just being piston rings. A mechanic that wanted to fix the problem (as opposed to just trying to rape the customer) could have figured that out and fixed it in way less than 3 months and for way less money (as most of it was labor). My warranty company ended up getting billed like $9000 and I had to pay a ~$2500 for the deductible plus 3 sets of "non-warranty maintenance replaceable items" which were just fluid and hose clamps, stuff they used to reassemble the engine 3 times.

I can't stress enough, especially since your warranty is up, that you find an independent mechanic that specializes in Subarus. The independent mechanic will care about their reputation/customer relationship and will work on your problem until it's fixed. The dealership will only work on your car an hour or two a day and will find the most expensive route to the solution.
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