2001 Subaru Forester Unwarranted Add on Work?

Tiny
G&A
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 SUBARU FORESTER
  • 4 CYL
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 99,400 MILES
My wife brought her car in to the dealer to get a repair on the door handle. They said that there is a recall on the head gasket and that she needs a $131 water pump, a $193 tensioner, and a $99 timing belt. Because of the recall, she's getting a "bargain" $515 worth of work, none of which is triggered by performance or other driver observations. Is this a scam or are these normal maintenance activities that are appropriate at this time?

Thank you!

Greg
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 AT 11:58 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CRZYDRVR
  • MEMBER
I'm not sure about the recall, but these other items are needed to be taken off to perform the headgasket repair. My opinion is that this tensioner you dont see hardly any problems with. I would not approve that. They should have sold you a thermostat b/c it is in the bottom of the water pump. I would only be willing to pay for the parts as an extra expense. P.S Timing belts are routine maintenence item at 60,000 mile intervals. Let me know what comes out of it.
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Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 AT 1:11 AM
Tiny
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Based on your response and some others, I think we got a reasonable deal. I called a couple dealers to get costs just for the replacement of the timing belt, tensioner, and water pump and the two I called quoted me $800 - $900. They both said that they would inspect the tensioner and decide if it needed to be replaced. We paid $513 ad detailed below. The mechanic's comment was that we saved about $300 which seems to be about right.

It turns out that the head gasket "recall" is not actually a recall since it's not related to safety. You have to know about it and find a dealer that will take you up on it. There is apparently a "repair" where they add conditioner to the coolant system or something (don't quote me on that part).

When they took our car apart there was fairly major leakage. They replaced both cylinder head gaskets as well as gasket spark plug pipes, washer rocker cover, gasket intake manifold, thermostat gasket, cooling system conditioner, and another gasket. They tested for oil leaks, the water pump and the oil pump. That was all no charge. They then charged $131 for the water pump, $100 for the timing belt, $193 for the belt tensioner, and $24 for a radiator cap that wasn't holding pressure.

So we paid a total of $513 total including $49 of labor. We're close to 100k miles so hopefully it was the right thing to do.

Hopefully this exchange will help others, I really appreciate your response.
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Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 AT 8:25 PM
Tiny
CRZYDRVR
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Good to hear it all worked out for you. Feed back would be appreciated. Thank you
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Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 AT 10:40 PM

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