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Engine problem on 5 year old Impreza


JoW
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I have a boxer diesel Impreza, purchased as an ex-demo from the dealer. It was registered Jan 2010 and has done less than 50000 miles. I've had no problems until this year and I love driving it. This year I've had a couple of minor, could have happened to anyone issues; a faulty fuel filter fitted at a service and then a problem with a seized brake calliper. Last Wed, I noticed a knocking sound, which was worse when the clutch was pressed down but was there all the time. It got worse during my 40 mile commute home, so I took it into the garage the following morning. They felt it was likely to be a gearbox or flywheel problem. However, after replacing both the problem is still there and they now feel it is a problem with the engine; likely to be bearings in the head gasket. 

I am gutted; this is going to cost a fortune and it could be even worse, so me and my Impreza are going to have to part.

My question is this; is it common that boxer diesel Imprezas that have done less than average mileage and are only 5 years old, commonly have such a major fault? Or have I just been very, very unlucky? 

Sorry to say that I won't be replacing with a Subaru.

 

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I've heard a number of things about the boxer Diesel engines giving up- it's a shame really subaru and diesel should be nigh on indestructible!

What was the exact issue with the fuel filter? If it was starving the engine of fuel slightly it could've been a contributing factor.

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That is a good point about the fuel filter. It was leaking air due to a faulty seal, which caused hesitancy at 2000rpm and then problems with cold start. That was in March. The car has been driving well until last Wed. I will definitely mention this to the garage tomorrow.

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sorry to hear about your problems :(

 

did the garage charge you for fitting the unnecessary parts that didn't sort the problem that they misdiagnosed? 

 

the fuel filter issue could have caused internal damage.

 

If they fit parts correctly that they have bought, they should be covered by their 'professional indemnity' insurance. The faulty parts they fitted may have caused unseen damage.

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I have spoken to the garage and they have dismissed the fuel filter problem as potentially causing any damage. They have also invoiced me for the work to date. I haven't paid the bill at present and they still have my car.  I'm considering getting a second opinion.

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if they said it was a clutch issue and you asked them to change it, it's not your fault that they misdiagnosed what was wrong. They are professional tradesmen, you didn't ask them to guess and just swap good working parts for new ones. They have fitted unnecessary parts and charged you. Have they even changed them? Did they save the old parts?

 

If you get advice over a forum (someone that can't see/hear/touch your car) and you swap parts yourself, you can accept someones advice might be wrong, but you didn't guess yourself so that you didn't waste time and money.

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Thanks for all your advice. I have spoken to a Subaru technician at a Subaru garage and they also don't believe the fuel filter faulty seal and air leak would have caused the engine problems. They did point out in their opinion the noise from a flywheel problem is different to noise from the bottom of the engine. I've been told by the garage if I'd driven for it longer it would have been more obvious! I'm really annoyed because I did tell them it was a similar noise to that in a previous car when the water pump failed.

I have also taken some advice re the work done to date and there is a difference of opinion on that. Some are suggesting that if the garage used phrases such as "we think it is this but can't guarantee it will solve the problem" that the verbal contract is in their favour. I need a car for work and at present I am having to hire a car, which is an additional cost. I'm going to get independent advice today re the charges and then hopefully put the matter to rest, one way or the other over the weekend.

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they are the professional workmen, they should be able to diagnose problems. I'm a sparky and if I diagnosed a problem and quoted £xxx to replace a certain part or do certain work, then after I had replaced said part/work, the problem was still there. Do you think they would be happy to pay me? or would I carry on until I sorted the problem?

 

why should it cost you money because they are incompetent and can't diagnose a problem

 

could you pay on credit card and then dispute the payment? or issue a CCJ?

 

it's surprising how fast hire car costs can rack up.

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OR, get a mate to go and pick the car up and say he is the legal owner. The costs will have been with the driver that brought the car in, not the owner (name on logbook doesn't prove ownership). Say you owned him money and gave him the car 2 months ago.

 

good luck ;)

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