I have a 2011 Subaru Forester and recently I had it
serviced at Subaru Richmond BC where I always went for maintenance since I purchased my Subaru over a decade ago. This time, I went there to have my
serviced at Subaru Richmond BC where I always went for maintenance since I purchased my Subaru over a decade ago. This time, I went there to have my aircon fixed together with the regular maintenance. To have my aircon problem finally fixed, I had to come back to the dealership 3 times, with each occasion lasting from 2 to 3 hours. I was given an impression by the service representative that since the dealership is always swamped with customers, I had to make myself available as early as I could so as to make sure he could get the technician to work on my vehicle, but through his efforts, I can be assured that work will be done. On the 3rd appointment, when the replacement part (condenser) finally came and needed to be installed, I was initially told that it would take about 3 hours of labor. I was assured by the service rep (in a hushed tone) that he will try to get me discount for the labor. When the day came for the 3rd appointment, work was done to the vehicle. I had been given the assurance that the aircon was finally fixed, thus paid my “hefty” bill (even after the $80 discount).
Upon driving the vehicle to work after I left the dealership, I noticed the aircon was still NOT working so returned to the dealership to complain about this. This time, I was allowed to drive the vehicle directly into the work area. To my surprise, most of the technicians did not seem as busy at work contrary to the impression the service rep had always suggested, and a few of them even were available to congregate and check on my vehicle. Upon acknowledging the obvious fact that that the aircon was still not working, one of the technicians “tapped” with his hand one of the electrical relay/fuse. Lo and behold, the aircon worked after the tap. Instead of feeling pleased that the aircon worked, this left a bad taste in my mouth. It dawned on me, this gut-wrenching possibility that maybe, the problem was just the electrical relay all along and not the condenser that was replaced. I then asked to talk to the service manager to let him know of my concern. After telling the service manager of what I thought, the service manager of course defended his dealership’s course of action and said that there was indeed a leak at the condenser and that it really had to be replaced. I said, surely there was no way for me to prove or disprove my suspicion since I am not a technician. However, the mere fact that right before my eyes, a mere tap on an electrical relay made the aircon function, made me lose confidence of the initial diagnosis that a leaky condenser was the problem. Perhaps the electrical relay should have been the first to have been checked in the initial diagnosis. I also raised with the manager my annoyance because after 3 appointments the technician released the car with the aircon still not functioning as it should. What made me even more upset, was the manager seemingly suggesting that they may not even have that relay in stock to replace this “faulty” relay that was functioning intermittently. Only after conveying my clear objection of the prospect of having to come back again for the 4th time, one of the technicians suggested to the service manager that a replacement part can be sourced internally and immediately. After about half an hour, my Forester was later released with a functioning aircon. As a testament to my overall disgust at the dealership’s incompetence in diagnosing the problem, not to mention the 3 appointments I had to make, the total bill for this aircon problem amounted to $1,327.65. Unfortunately, in the course of having to spend this much money, I also had to witness their incompetence at their job, and also their lack of respect for my time.