Author Archives: Mike Corbin

Mike Corbin

About Mike Corbin

Smart Service is a Subaru service repair and maintenance shop operated independently of Subaru of America or Fuji Heavy Industries. We are a family run business that combine high quality Subaru care, personal friendly atmosphere and a cost savings over the Subaru dealer. We have been supporting the Subaru community since 1999. Follow Mike on Google+.

Do I fix my Subaru or replace it with a new one…..comparison

“I told you we should have taken care of that last week!”

Often we come to a crossroads where a large expense occurs with our Subaru and the decision on whether to re-invest into the car vs replacing the car is thrust upon us. One of the first questions we ask a customer facing this dilemma is do they still enjoy the car and is it meeting all of their needs.  If the answer is yes to both questions  then it becomes a numbers comparison. Subarus, as well as other cars, are getting more and more expensive and re-investing into your current Subaru can actually make sense and save you thousands in the long run. In my cost of ownership analysis I compared a brand new entry level 2018 Subaru Impreza to a 2005 Subaru Outback. I also assumed no money down an a 0% interest 4 year loan.  After researching some numbers it’s pretty clear which scenario is more financially beneficial.  Here are my findings below:

  Cost of Ownershp over 4 Years
  Own Outright New Purchase
  2005 Subaru Outback 2018 Subaru Impreza
Purchase price incl tax/lic $0.00  no monthly pmt. $22,360 ($466 monthly pmt. 0 down 0% interest)
4yrs Lic/Reg/RTA est. $92 $0
  $88 $360
  $85 $320
  $80 $290
Insurance(no comp/coll on 05) $575 $750
  $575 $750
  $575 $750
  $575 $750
Yearly Maint/Repairs $2,000 $400
Estimated worst case $2,000 $500
on 2005 model $2,000 $800
  $2,000 $1,000
Fuel Cost $8,000 $6,000
Depriciation over 4 yrs $3,000 $11,470 
based on Edmonds.com    
     
Total Cost of Ownership $21,645.00 $46,500

I tried to be agressive on the expense side for the 2005 Outback but in reality it would be out of the norm for one of our customers to spend $8000 in repairs and maintenance over 4 years even if it needed head gaskets during that time.

Now I realize that not all decisions are based on financial reasons. Having a shiney new car is nice without a doubt as well as all of the new safety and technology that comes along with it. I just wanted to make sure when you make the decision to repair or replace that you have looked at the complete picture so no matter what you decide you are happy with your decision.

 

Cheers,

Mike Corbin

Smart Service

Subaru Parts Online Smartqualityparts.com is now open!

Visit SmartQualityParts.com

Smart Service has just launched our online parts store Smartqualityparts.com.  We have chosen to offer the same parts quality Subaru parts we use day in and day out on our own customers cars. Six-Star head gaskets, Tranquil Transmission sleeve kits, timing belts, etc. are among the offerings. All parts come with a 2 year unlimited mileage warranty. Check back often as we are always expanding our selection. For you head gasket DIY’ers we even have a complimentary head gasket installation guide with our head gasket kits!

We value your input so please let us know if there’s something else you’d like to see offered on the site.

 

Cheers,

Mike Corbin

Smart Service your Independent Subaru Expert

www.smart-service.com

 

Subaru Parts for Sale

onlinestore

Online Store

Did you know you can buy parts for your Subaru at either of our Subaru locations or at our online store? It’s true.  We stock a wide variety of fast moving genuine Subaru parts as well as a large selection of quality aftermarket and OEM parts for your Subaru.  We have Six-Star Subaru head gasket kits as well as other Six-Star offerings. Check us out at: www.Smart-Service.com

Cheers,

Mike Corbin
Smart Service – Your Independent Subaru Expert

Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid Discontinued

subaru-xv-crosstrek-hybridIt was an attempt at what Subaru owners have been wanting for years but unfortunately has fallen short of the mark. For years consumers have been pushing Subaru to offer us a hybrid. Pretty much everyone else in the market had been producing hybrids for quite some time so Subaru finally had to do something. Unfortunately they really weren’t ready in my opinion but they still came out with the 2014 Crosstrek XV Hybrid. The first thing I noticed upon reading  the new 2014 brochure for the Crosstrek Hybrid was that  the 2014 Impreza non-hybrid offering actually got better fuel mileage than the hybrid Crosstrek! I was floored.  I was hoping that this was just a quick hitter to appease the Subaru entheusiasts that had to have a hybrid but unfortunately after just a couple years of production and no significant improvements Subaru has decided to discontinue the model. They were certainly very well equipped zippy little cars if you judged them strictly on the fun and comfort factor but unfortunately I think that 90% of us wanted something that would get the best fuel mileage in all Subaru had to offer.

I hope they can learn from this and come back with a better offering to top the fuel mileage list. Whether it is a hybrid or diesel, they have to know that Subaru owners want to get better mileage while reducing their total carbon footprint. Good luck Subaru!

 

Cheers,

Mike Corbin
Smart Service – Your Independent Subaru Expert

 

Free Subaru Headlight Replacement!

2010-2012-legacy-outback-headlampIf you own a 2010-2012 Subaru Outback or Legacy you will be pleased to hear that Subaru has just issued extended warranty coverage on the low  beam headlight bulb extending to 10 years from the date of purchase.

Many of you may have received a letter from Subaru explaining this but if not you may still be covered. The letter states that the extended coverage applies to 2010-2012 Legacy through Aug 8, 2011 production and Outback through Aug 22,2011 production date. It’s coverage extends for 10 years from the purchase date of the vehicle regardless of mileage. If your headlights are OK there is no action needed. It is not a recall. The letter also stated that if you had to pay to have one of the headlights replaced in the past, that you may qualify for reimbursement if you can provide an invoice and proof of payment. To get reimbursement for any previously installed bulbs, you must submit your information by November 17, 2016 This is a great development considering how often some of the headlights were burning out as well as how hard they are to replace compared to prior Subarus.   If you have any questions for Subaru on how to submit a claim call 1-855-384-8926 and have your vehicle VIN # ready.

Click here to discover the services our experienced and certified technicians can perform on your Subaru

Cheers,

Mike Corbin
Smart Service – Your Independent Subaru Expert

 

 

 

2008 WRX Underhood Fire Alert-Secondary Air Pump?

This is more of a public service announcement than anything but I just wanted to share a story about a customer of ours with a 2008 WRX that nearly had his car burn to the ground.

He parked his 2008 stock WRX and went into his gym to work out. A person in the gym alerted him that smoke was coming out from under his hood. He immediately went to check it and  there were flames starting to come out the hood scoop. Upon opening the hood there were flames around the secondary air pump and other items nearby. Luckily someone had an extinguisher handy and was able to stop the spread of the fire. Since we’re not trained in fire forensics, I can’t say for sure what caused the fire but from our inspection it appears that the secondary air pump (made of plastic composite) somehow caught fire and then caused subsequent items to catch fire. That’s all we know at this point. The incident has been reported to the NHTSA (safecar.gov) and we just wanted to alert other Subaru owners that  have this same secondary air pump system about what happened. It may be an isolated incident but then again we don’t know. If you have experienced the same issue, I encourage you to report it to the NHTSA.  If we hear anything further from the NHTSA we’ll update this post.

Cheers,

Mike Corbin
Smart Service – Your Independent Subaru Expert

Click here to discover the services our experienced and certified technicians can perform on your Subaru

Seattle, WA

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Airbag recall for Takata now includes Subarus

airbag-check-650x400 (1)Well it seemed like Subaru owners may have dodged a bullet with this massive airbag recall by Takata but unfortunately news has just been released to add select model Subarus (and also some Saabarus) to the recall list.  Fortunately most Subarus will not be affected but if yours is, you should be receiving a letter from Subaru instructing you on how to proceed.
If you don’t get a letter you can still check for any outstanding recalls on your vehicle by visiting the safercar.gov recall page and enter your VIN number.
                                                                 Safercar.gov Recalls
Vehicles that may be included
03-04 Legacy,Baja
04 Impreza and WRX
04 Saab 92-X
From what I have read, it may be a while until replacement units are readily available.

Cheers,

Mike Corbin
Smart Service – Your Independent Subaru Expert

From Two time Zones away..

Hello All!

My Subie and i have made it about 2000 miles from lovely Western Washington. I have seen much along the road, and certainly met an innumerable amount of good people as i’ve strolled along.  It seems this country is full of them. Today i write to you from Elgin, a small suburb outside of Chicago. I plan to make my way into the big city this afternoon for a trip to the zoo. Perhaps even a deep dish pizza, if i make a few bucks street performing.

My glorious little car is running as strong as ever, the little four cylinder tackled  mountains of Yellowstone, and day long drives through the flatness of the west.  With any luck i’ll keep heading east and find the Atlantic ocean in the next few weeks.

This is the furthest east i’ve been, and i’ve still got a ways to go.

-Jack

A side shot of Washington at Mt. Rushmore, in the lovely Black Hills of South Dakota.

A side shot of Washington at Mt. Rushmore, in the lovely Black Hills of South Dakota.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheers,

Mike Corbin
Smart Service – Your Independent Subaru Expert

 

 

Jack Johnson’s Travels

Hello there!

I’ve been on the road for a few days now, and couldn’t be happier with the state of my ‘ol reliable Subaru. Yesterday it got me through the Bitterroot National forest, and what a beautiful drive that is. If you’ve ever got an excuse to hop on US-12 towards Montana, the forest is gorgeous, and there are plenty of pull offs to stop and look at the nature.
Today i am in Missoula, and will be busking the streets near the University here to make some money for lunch. Couldn’t have gotten here without the Smart Service crew getting my Subie (and current home) ready for travel.  I’ll be updating regularly, so keep an eye out to see where i go next!

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Cheers,

Mike Corbin
Smart Service – Your Independent Subaru Expert