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4 up and one down...way down

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 8/30/2015 Michael

I’ll preface my remarks with the fact that I am a long term Subaru owners who is driving their 5th Outback. My new Outback is a 2015 3.6R Limited with Eyesight. I’ve had this Outback for about 6 months and there are major problems with the electronics. Twice since I got the car the dashboard has lit up like a July 4th fireworks display while I was driving. The Eyesight shut down and every warning light illuminated the brake warning light was blinking red, the check engine light came on and every other icon or warning light was illuminated. The first time this happened I was driving on the highway at about 65 – 70 miles per hour and all these lights came on, the cruise control which is tied into the Eyesight stopped working and I pulled to the side of the road and stopped. I was completely flabbergasted at the event. I called a local Subaru dealer and the service manager said it was too late in the day for me to get into their service department, but if the car seemed to be running ok just drive it home and take it to a local dealer the next day. I did just that and drove for about an hour to my home. The next morning I took the car to the local Subaru dealer at that point the car had about 6,000 miles on it. The next morning the lights were still illuminated and Eyesight was not operational. The dealer was perplexed saying he had never seen anything like what was going on in my car. He said was unable to find any codes that would cause the electronics acting like they had. He told me that he had to reset the computer a number of times to get the electronics to reset and work correctly. Then I was told that my EZ-Pass was causing the problem by its placement on the windshield. I showed him the Subaru TSB that showed where the electronic toll transponder should be mounted and he agreed that it was mounted correctly. He told me that he didn’t know what caused the problem and he would report it to Subaru Technical Assistance. I also called Subaru Owner Technical Assistance who told me that the dealer had entered the problem with the Eyesight and electronics was caused by the placement of the electronic toll transponder. I explained the correct dealer diagnosis should be “I don’t know” but they said that wasn’t what the dealer put on his diagnosis, they would document my problem and let them know if it happened again. Well last week it happened again. This time I was driving on a secondary road at about 45 miles per hour and the same thing happened. The same wild 4th of July display the same Eyesight and cruise control. The same light show with brake warning flashing and check engine and all the icons illuminated. This time I called Subaru Owner Assistance from the side of the road immediately after calling the dealer and making an appointment for the next morning to bring the car in. Subaru Owner contact center was very nice and offered to send me a $100 gift card for my trouble. I told them that was very nice, but a solution to the problem was what I really wanted. They told me to contact them after I brought the car to the dealer.So I brought the car to the dealer early the next morning. All the lights were still illuminated except the brake warning light was no longer illuminated or flashing. The service writer at the dealer said I’ve never seen some of these light I don’t even know what they are. The dealer called me at 3 PM and told me the car was all set. When I got to the dealer I was told that the problem that caused all the lights etc. to illuminate was that the oil was so dirty that it blocked the oil lines/passages and caused the variable valve timing to malfunction and illuminate the Check Engine light which was designed by Subaru to cause all the warning lights to illuminate and the Eyesight system to shut down. This was caused by me not changing the oil at 5,000 mile intervals (the dealer stated 5,000 miles, Subaru’s recommended change interval is 6,000 miles between oil changes) but waiting to 7,500 miles. I was amazed by the stupidity of the explanation. The car has 15,000 miles on it the engine oil was changed at 7,500 miles with Mobil 1 Long Life (guaranteed 15,000 mile change interval) and the oil, which was changed again at the dealer on this visit, was not even dirty when I brought it in. The oil level is checked frequently and I never let it get down more than a ½ quart. I looked at the service writer that was giving me the car back and she was looking sort of sheepish. I said to her that this was the most asinine explanation that I ever heard and it made no sense. I called Subaru Owner Assistance and spoke to the same person I had spoken with the day before and all he could say was we'll put it in your file and let us know if it happens again.

Average Rating : 2

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