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Wife of one, Mom of two two-legged children, Mom of four four-legged children.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dear Subaru,

Yours was the first foriegn car I have ever owned. There have been many in my family over the years, so I trusted you. After three Chevys and a Ford, all of which were incredibly reliable, we had a dog and a baby and I thought they should have seperate spaces in the car. I looked at lots of different cars, but kept going back to your Forester. It had everything I wanted, with the exception of an audio jack, and things I never knew I wanted. We searched and searched until we finally found "the one". I wish I only knew then what I know now.

Two months in the check engine light came on and the cruise light started flashing. So I took it back to the dealer. The tech who ran the code gave me the stupid girl speech. "You probably overfilled the tank or didn't screw the gas cap on tight enough. It's fine", he said and sent me away.

Within a month the same thing happened. The lights came on and started flashing at me. Even though I am not a stupid girl and had taken great care to not overfill the tank or not screw in the gas cap. Since the car was running fine otherwise, I let it go. It's not cheap to clear those lights. This went on for a few weeks until very suddenly the car stopped running all together.

So I called the dealership again. Since they were not a Subaru dealer, they referred me to the one down the street from them. The warranty we had purchased with the car covered the 25 mile tow. Three very long days later, I had a car again. This was $900 repair with all but $200 covered by the warranty.

Approximately two months later, the lights started flashing again. It was about this time we got wise to unplugging the battery to reset the light. This didn't last long and soon the lights were flashing again. Then one day on my way home from work, it just stopped working again.

Unfortunately, my first instinct was to call AAA instead of the warranty company for the tow. The tow would only be free if it was less than 5 miles. Luckily, there was a different Subaru dealership within 2 miles. So the car went there. While waiting for the tow truck, I called them and they called a rental company to bring me a car. I didn't know it at the time, but I would have that car for almost two weeks! Yes, two weeks to for them to work with the warranty company and fix my car. This time it was a $2000 bill with all but $200 covered by the warranty. By this point, I was REALLY glad I had that warranty.

A little over a month later, the lights came on again. Since it had almost been a year since I bought the car, my inspection was coming due. So I took it back to dealership that was close to work to have it cleared. After pulling in, I was greeted by the guy at the desk who said, "Oh, I remember this car." To which I responded, "I'm sure you do." A mere $85 later and a new gas cap installed, I drove away without the lights flashing and got the car inspected before they came back on.

And come back on, they did. I'm sure by this point you're thinking, why do you still have this car? Why haven't you just traded it already? There are two answers to this question. The first is that I keep hoping that this repair will fix the damn thing. The second is, I'm stubborn. I have paid in full each car I have purchased prior to trading it. I can't bear the thought of trading a car that still has a loan balance. So the lights flashed for awhile. That is until they mysteriously turned themselves off one day while I was driving.

The lights stayed off for two weeks and then turned back on. I'm at a point where not having flashing lights, makes me more nervous than having flashing lights. About a month ago, I received a recall notice on the car. So last week I called and made an appointment to have the recall work done and have the flashing lights cleared yet again.

The same guy greeted me at the desk. He still remembered the car. I was not at all surprised when he called me a couple hours later and said my car needed $600 worth of work. This time, the warranty did not cover it. A little coordination, as they didn't have the part in stock, and I have a car where the lights have not been flashing for a whole 24 hours. I wonder how long it will last this time?

So what is the point of this long winded post? I'll tell you. While it makes me unbearably sad, if those lights start flashing again, this car is being traded. It will not be for another Subaru. Which really is too bad because like I said, it had almost everthing I wanted. I will once again have to find a car that meets all my criteria, and I'm picky. So if you have any suggestions, let me know.

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