I went into a downtown Subaru dealership because my 2009 Outback(only has 90,000km!) has a "machine gun" noise from under the engine. That dealership, after charged me 1/2 hour labor and told me that they can't find the problem that makes the noise. They suspected that I may have a problem in one of the cylinders. There are 2 options for:
1) take the engine apart and try to fix it.
2) replace it with another used engine.
The cost for either options would be about Cdn$8,000 to Cdn$10,000.
The engine in my car is only having 90,000 km on it and is being considered a "puppy". Man, it is a Boxer engine which some have over 400,000km and are still running strong! After all, I didn't see any engine warning light and I don't feel I am loosing power while driving. Plus, I took good care of the car. Other than having regular maintenance according to the book, I switched to use synthetic oil since at around 40,000 km.
So, I took the car to Scarboro Subaru, where I got my car from, for a second opinion. The diagnose from Jeff Martin (Service Advisor) really shocked me: "torque convertor found loose with one bolt damaged. The cost is 5 hours + parts (about Cdn$500) instead of 1/2 hour + parts. The reason is, being very compact and no room under the hood to work with the bolt, they have to lift the engine up to get to it.
While my car is in the shop, I might do the 100,000km service as well. So, the bill came to Cdn$2,154.57. They feel my stress from the other dealer, the gave me a rental car for 3 days and through in a *FREE* detailing.
When I got the car back, it was just like a new car. i.e. sparkling clean and smell like a new car and runs like a new car. And, it only costed me Cdn$600 instead of Cdn$8,000, plus an unknown engine!!!! I am a very, very happy camper. What an excellent services I got from Scarboro Subaru!!!!!!
I went back to that downtown Subaru dealer to talk to the service manager asking for an explanation on their misdiagnose. His impression on his face showed that he did not believe what I said from Scarboro Subaru until I present the invoice from Scarboro Subaru. He simpler said that he has never seen/had this kind of noise problem. That is it PERIOD!!!!
If I didn't go for another opinion, I will spend Cdn$10,000 + the 100km service. In return, I lost a perfectly good engine and I will get back same(???) / unknown quality old engine. What a rotten deal!!!!!
The moral of the story is
1) you have to get a second opinion if the diagnose is too bad to be true
2) never go to that downtown Subaru dealer for any service. Not even go for an oil change or any recall service.