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

I'll probably get flamed for this but here goes... I don't really think the dealer owes you anything. Yes the squeak was mis-diagnosed but the whole car is metal which can cause the noise to sound like it was coming from anywhere. For example, ever tried to diagnose a squeak on an aluminum framed mountain bike? It's pretty much impossible. You were continually pushing the dealer to provide a solution so they were taking their best shot at what they thought the problem was. Most dealerships I know would have just jiggled around some stuff and told you they couldn't find it and to deal with it. Admittedly it sounds like their techs could use some classes on problem solving but it's not like they threw some glue on it and said they fixed it. They genuinely gave it a shot at fixing it.

I understand you're frustrated with having to be without your car for weeks at a time but lets face it... it's a 15k dollar car with 20k worth of drivetrain in it. It's never going to be as quiet and rattle-proof as a pricier car like a BMW, MB, etc.

Cliffnotes: I think the dealership took their best shot at repairing it and you should give them credit for footing that huge bill when they could have just told you to shove it. Get them to fix the hatch supports and call it a day.
+1. I'm of the opinion (it's my experience) you only have a certain amount of rope with most dealers, so choose wisely when you decide to use that rope. I suspect you're nearing the end of the rope here, so rather than push it to a point of "pain" for the dealer (which may affect/influence how you're treated in the future) chalk it up to experience and move on. Keep in mind it's not unusual that fixing one noise/squeak can lead to 2 more new ones...
 

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Discussion Starter #102
Re: 2008 STi - Broken welds on rear roof support (metal on metal squeak)...

Keep in mind it's not unusual that fixing one noise/squeak can lead to 2 more new ones...
Well, they've yet to fix the first one... so I suppose I can cross the 'additional-squeak-bridge' when I get to it.


Sorry, unproductive post... just felt like it needed to be said ;). Probably because I'm hungry, "you wouldn't like me when I'm hungry."
 

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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.
 

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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.
Yes I get all that...as I said you have to pick your battles and pursuing or expecting a buy back over a squeak/noise on a 3-4 year old car would be much more trouble/effort than it's worth to me. That said, I admire the OP's determination and hope it works out in the end.
 

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

I'll probably get flamed for this but here goes... I don't really think the dealer owes you anything. Yes the squeak was mis-diagnosed but the whole car is metal which can cause the noise to sound like it was coming from anywhere. For example, ever tried to diagnose a squeak on an aluminum framed mountain bike? It's pretty much impossible. You were continually pushing the dealer to provide a solution so they were taking their best shot at what they thought the problem was. Most dealerships I know would have just jiggled around some stuff and told you they couldn't find it and to deal with it. Admittedly it sounds like their techs could use some classes on problem solving but it's not like they threw some glue on it and said they fixed it. They genuinely gave it a shot at fixing it.

I understand you're frustrated with having to be without your car for weeks at a time but lets face it... it's a 15k dollar car with 20k worth of drivetrain in it. It's never going to be as quiet and rattle-proof as a pricier car like a BMW, MB, etc.

Cliffnotes: I think the dealership took their best shot at repairing it and you should give them credit for footing that huge bill when they could have just told you to shove it. Get them to fix the hatch supports and call it a day.
The dealer doesn't pay for warranty work, Subaru of America does. Hence, the work needing to be approved by a SOA rep. The dealership is a franchisee of Subaru of America. This dealership deserves no gratitude.
 

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

The dealer doesn't pay for warranty work, Subaru of America does. Hence, the work needing to be approved by a SOA rep. The dealership is a franchisee of Subaru of America. This dealership deserves no gratitude.
I was always under the impression that the dealer foots the bill initially and then gets reimbursed by SOA for the work done :confused: This is why they get repairs like this approved by the rep so that they can be sure they get reimbursed for the work they are doing.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #108 (Edited)
Re: 2008 STi - Broken welds on rear roof support (metal on metal squeak)...

The dealer service manager just contacted me, he had a conversation with an engineer at Subaru. The engineer said he's traced down these squeaks on other hatches, which have required more than one repair. It seems that one repaired squeak could bring another one into the light. I understand this, but assured him that the noise hasn't changed as of yet. I let him know that it is still resonating from the same location and sounds identical. Of course this doesn't solidify any theory, I just wanted him to know those facts.

I also let him know that I understand his skepticism regarding the dampers. So we're both pretty interested to see if the noise resurfaces once the new dampers are in.

The replacement visor clips and dampers aren't in yet, he will call me when he gets them. Then we can install them and go on a test drive to see where we're at.

Edit: I also received a voicemail from the SOA rep while I was in a meeting. She was just following up with me to let me know that she received my voicemail.
 

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Discussion Starter #109
Re: 2008 STi - Broken welds on rear roof support (metal on metal squeak)...

The dealer service manager called me this morning saying that my dampers and visor clips came in today. We arranged for me to head to the dealer during lunch to get it all installed.

I stopped in at the arranged time, and he was waiting with the parts. We installed them and went on a test drive up some of the same crappy roads featured in the video, but not for nearly as long. Not a squeak was heard in the 30 minutes we were in the car.

To note: Even the new passenger side damper had more play than the driver side damper... which is consistent with the old dampers.

I will be driving around a bit this weekend, making sure that I cross the 'sure-to-squeak' bump that I drive over every day. He wants me to leave him a voicemail over the weekend if the squeak occurs, and we'll touch base either way on Monday to stay on the same page.

At this point, it seems that one of two things could be true;
1) The damper was the culprit.
2) The new damper has more dampening force (see; not worn) and is preventing the squeak.

I'd be interested to have him keep the original damper around for a week or so (if possible, since it's a warranty repair). If there are no squeaks after a week of driving with the new damper, we can put the old ones back on and see if it returns. He's out to lunch now, so I left him a voicemail with this idea asking that he call me back with his thoughts.
 

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

Got any part #'s for the dampers? Would like to try this on mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #112

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #114
Re: 2008 STi - Broken welds on rear roof support (metal on metal squeak)...

The dealer service manager called me this morning to check in, wondering if I heard anything over the past few days. I was happy to report that I didn't hear anything, but did minimal driving this weekend. :)

I was in meetings this morning, so I forgot to discuss the potential of reinstalling the old dampers in a week or so to see if the noise resurfaces. I'll call him later, after I'm caught up here with my tasks here at work. I'm quite alright with being a guinea-pig as long as I know we're working towards a resolution, especially if there's potential that this could help others as well.

Just to keep this updated... I put my interior plastics back in this weekend, using the foam I picked up from Lowes to help eliminate ticks & rattles. I might revisit some of the plastics with a different foam material though, at which point I'll snap some pictures and include them in a post.
 

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Discussion Starter #115
Re: 2008 STi - Broken welds on rear roof support (metal on metal squeak)...

The SOA rep called me today to check in. She's been in touch with the dealer service manager and the regional rep, and since I haven't been in contact this week they're all assuming that no news is good news.

I'm happy to report that so far I haven't heard a squeak, but I did apologize for not keeping the communication with them as consistent has I have been. Last week was a very busy one at the office (this week is looking the same) and I'm recovering from a cold/flu thing.

I'm going to call the dealer service manager tomorrow to update him as well. I'll also see how he feels about putting the old dampers on for a week to see if the squeak resurfaces, if he still has them.
 

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

This long with out a squeak and dare I say that swapping the old damper back in won't be necessary after all. If nothing else, you've got a "fun" story to tell about the whole ordeal. Them trouble-shooting the issue properly and swapping out the damper to begin with would have been WAY too boring!
 

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

interesting question. If you swap it out, and the noise doesn't return, then what?? I had a very similar troubleshooting situation once, and i say leave well enough alone for now.
 

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Discussion Starter #119
Re: 2008 STi - Broken welds on rear roof support (metal on metal squeak)...

Today I called the dealer and spoke to the service manager, just to let him know that things are looking (sounding :)) good so far... which means no squeaks.

We discussed the idea of putting the old dampers back in to see if the issue resurfaced but both decided we'd pass on that and, essentially leave well enough alone.

Seems this has been resolved, albeit with potentially excessive repairs and time/resources consumption. I'll update the original post to reflect our final theory.
 
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