IW STi Forum banner

2008 STi - Broken welds + hatch damper (metal on metal squeak)... *RESOLVED[?]*

30557 Views 118 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  Deek
Update 2011.09.16: At this point I'm quite comfortable with saying that this issue was definitely related to the passenger side hatch damper. The issue persisted after spot welds were reinforced, and ceased after the dampers were replaced.

I am now also keeping this updated in my blog as well @ 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STi Hatch - "theNoise" (Broken welds = Squeak)

Car: 2008 Impreza WRX STi

Problem: Broken welds on roof support near hatch opening causing metal on metal squeaking over bumps or in turns.
Update 2011.08.27; Could this have been misdiagnosed??? <- Click for more information.

Reason denied: Originally Subaru denied claim and voided warranty stating that installation of stiffer springs caused the weld to break.
Update 2011.07.21; SOA called, they're fixing under waranty, *but*... <- Click for more information.

Summary: I installed springs on my car (320lb rates, front & rear) on 2010.09.18. I have proof of invoice and tracking information via FedEx that shows I didn't have these springs in my possession until 2011.09.16. According to the dealer's service records, I first reported this problem to them on 2010.09.08. This means that it had already been occurring and I called them to set up an appointment for them to look at it. Those notes don't go into the system until the dealer takes possession of the car, at least for my dealer.

I went to the dealer today and had them print my service records. There is a 'customer complaint' on there dated 2010.09.08 that states the following;

Complaint: Customer states that the hatch back or something will creak in the rear when driving over a rough road please check and advise...

Cause: Tech traced and found there was a rattle coming from the latch on the rear hatch back door.

Correction: Tech greased the latch and test drove to verify proper operation.
On 2010.10.08 I brought it in because the brakes were squealing, at which time the service manager noticed the hatch squeak. I told him how I've already brought it in for that and they claim they fixed it by re-greasing the latch. He said to have it looked at again at the next service.

On 2011.02.03 I brought it in for service and this is what they have noted regarding the squeak.

Complaint: Customer states that the rear hatch is squeaking please check and advise...

Cause: Tech test drove the vehicle and found the rear mat rubbing on the cargo cover and tech also found the latch in need of lubrication.

Correction: Tech completed the lubrication on the rear hatch latch and also moved the rear cargo mat from the cargo shade and test drove to verify no squeaking from the rear at this time.
On 2011.02.07 I brought it in for the squeak again, and here are the notes.

Complaint: Customer states that there is a squeaking noise coming fromt he rear hatch when driving over bumps please check and advise...

Cause: Tech test drove the vehicle and was not able to duplicate the customer's concern at this time.

Correction: No repairs made at this time.
On 2011.05.13 I brought it in for maintenance and the following was noted regarding the squeak.

Complaint: Customer states there is a metal on metal noise coming from the right rear please check and advise.

Cause: Tech found the noise coming from the drivers rear quarter panel area more time is needed to complete diag.

Correction: Customer is advised and will return at a later date.
I brought it back on 2011.05.18 and here are the notes.

Complaint: Customer states there is a squeak coming from the rear top of the vehicle when going over bumps advise...

Cause: Tech found the creek coming from the rear roof supports. Possible weld broken.

Correction: Subaru has been contacted and factory engineer will come out to inspect vehicle at customer convenience. Customer will be contacted when this is possible.
I did go back again near the end of may, so I'll need to go back and get that service record for the details... but in short the rep didn't even come look at the vehicle, he just told the service manager to deny the claim and void the warranty stating that my stiffened springs caused the issue, which is clearly not the case.

I just gathered the documents I think I'll need, and I'm stopping by the dealer tomorrow to talk to the service manager. I'll try to keep this updated.
See less See more
1 - 11 of 119 Posts
Re: 2008 STi - Broken welds on rear roof support (metal on metal squeak)...

Re: 2008 STi - Broken welds on rear roof support (metal on metal squeak)...

Yes, buy an STi. I suspect other HB owners might have this issue too but with exhaust, suspension, and chassis mods they might not be able to hear the metal to metal noise above the other added in-cabin NVH. I suggested possibly riveting the rear seam instead of cutting, welding, and painting...not to mention the possible damage, loose interior panels, creating a NEW noise, or overspray. :eek:
Re: 2008 STi - Broken welds on rear roof support (metal on metal squeak)...

Mask is off, lol. :)

If it still squeaks after their repair just install a TBE and group N mounts, the noise will disappear. LOL. Struts on Sunday about noon?
Re: 2008 STi - Broken welds on rear roof support (metal on metal squeak)...

Unreal :mad:. I'm irritated now too, after all that work we did with NO damage and some moron at the bodyshop or dealer dents the car most likely slapping the panel as you stated. Once again someone else besides you creates a problem for you and your STi. Tell SOA to sublet the work to me and I will rivet the seam in question every 1/2". Now I question our local Subie dealer even touching my car for ANYTHING. No wonder why people like to do their own maintenance and service.
Re: 2008 STi - Broken welds on rear roof support (metal on metal squeak)...

Congrats, I'm happy to hear that so far it's a successful repair. Time for an extended test drive to confirm that it's finally gone.
Re: 2008 STi - Broken welds on rear roof support (metal on metal squeak)...

Good job editing the video, please excuse my finger for wandering over the microphone a few times. I'm excited.....for now it seems we found the problem, only time and more miles will tell.
Re: 2008 STi - Broken welds on rear roof support (metal on metal squeak)...

I can't believe that the dealer would have thousands of dollars of work done without being sure about what was causing the problem. No money out of his pocket, so he probably didn't care. They wouldn't have my business any longer after that ordeal.
^^ I completely agree and mentioned that same thought as we were driving home amazed that we might have found the cause of the squeak to be a $100 set of trunk dampers/assists that could have been identified and changed many months ago. I hope SOA does not reimburse the dealer for any charges ariseing from their obvious mis-diagnosis and overly invasive repair. I would also recommend writing some letters to SOA regional representatives to ensure the dealer is repremanded.
Re: 2008 STi - Broken welds on rear roof support (metal on metal squeak)...

As a former dealer service department employee for 3 years, in my opinion this is unacceptable. Sales dept. sells the first car and service sells every subsequent vehicle.

The problem snowballed from lazy technicians that are paid on a flat rate scale, unless a part is replaced or the cause corrected they are not paid for diagnostic time. This problem was relatively easy for me to locate but required some time on the road to duplicate the problem and a little out-of-the-box thinking. I used a strong orbital buffer to duplicate the problem then started a basic process of elimination until the cause was located. This 2 hour process of diagnosis to come up with worn dampers would have only yielded about .3-1.0 hour of pay for a technician to change trunk dampers. Lazy techs and a complacent service manager are the problem here......so, yes I feel Deek should be compensated in some way for lost time and headaches (literally).
See less See more
Re: 2008 STi - Broken welds on rear roof support (metal on metal squeak)...

Dealerships are representing a manufacturers product and are bound by certain laws and agreements to uphold the warranty issued by the mfg. When a dealer attempts and fails at a repair a reasonable amount of times (usually 3 or more) the mfg. ends up in litigation with the vehicle owner and per CA lemon laws usually is forced to "buy back" the vehicle. If a mfg. is buying back vehicles due to a dealers inability to repair the problem their franchise may be in jeopardy. "End of the rope," analogy does not apply when the customer has done exactly what they are supposed too regardless if some of us are more demanding customers.
Re: 2008 STi - Broken welds on rear roof support (metal on metal squeak)...

^^ You are correct, but the warranty administrator can deny the reimbursement charges and leave the dealer with the bill if the dealer made an incorrect diagnosis and received authorization to perform work that does not remedy the problem. This way if you have technicians making incorrect diagnosis' it comes out of the dealers pocket not SOA.
Re: 2008 STi - Broken welds on rear roof support (metal on metal squeak)...

The 2008 collision repair catalog refers to them as Liftgate Support Cylinders L/R. Heuberger Subaru parts on the home page lists them for $80.36 ea (MSRP $107.15), I cant find part #'s though but search by year and model for liftgate and select gate and hardware link.
1 - 11 of 119 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.