Category Archives: General

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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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

Jack Johnson’s Cross Country Subaru Adventure

Jack Johnson is a Subaru owner and a long time friend of the family that is taking an epic road trip around our wonderful nation in his 1996 Subaru Impreza with over 220 thousand miles on it.

We’ve prepped his car and now he’s ready to disembark. Jack will be posting regularly about his adventure on our blog so stay tuned!

 

Cheers,

Mike Corbin
Smart Service – Your Independent Subaru Expert

Snow Tires for your Subaru-sooner is better

Just a quick reminder that if you were thinking of getting snow tires for your Subaru don’t wait too much longer. Once the foul weather hits the sales tend to dry up if you know what I mean. Also, now is a good time to scour craigslist for a used set. I prefer to have a set on rims for easy changeover. The bonus is that many of Subaru’s wheels interchange with other Subaru models.

If you’ve never driven your Subaru with snow tires it’s quite amazing. They may not be necessary for driving around town but if you are frequently going over a mountain pass or skiing it’s a great investment.

Mike

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

Subaru Sunroof leaks in Seattle?

Well with the rains we’ve had I’m sure you’re aware if your sunroof on your Subaru leaks or not. If it leaks there are a few things you can check that may help. If you own a 2000-2004 and some water comes out of the map light, there is a Subaru technical bulletin that addresses where to put some sealant to solve it.

There are also some simple things to do if the sunroof leaks. First of all open it fully and use compressed air to blow out any debris from the channel as well as the front drain holes. Once you do this, pour water in the sunroof channel to see how quickly it drains. If it still drains slow you have a problem further downstream.

Usually we find that mud and road silt has built up in the sunroof drain area behind the front fender liners. Once you clean the muck out of these it usually solves the problem.

If it still has issues the headliner may need removal to inspect the sunroof drain lines (any model). Sometimes we find they are kinked or possibly disconnected from the sunroof altogether.

Simply put, the sunroof is supposed to leak water but it’s supposed to catch it and drain it away in all circumstances.

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

Biggest Subaru Show of the Year! August 6-8 in Longview, WA

Come join us at the 15th annual West Coast Subaru Show held September 6th through 8th at the Cowlitz County regional conference center.

More information and pre-registration available at www.westcoastsubarushow.com

One of our staff members, Dan Rodriquez and his friend Chris Walker have yet again, organized another great event for Subaru entheusiasts far and wide. Whether you swing by for a few hours, camp overnight or stay in a local hotel, this is a must do event on the Subaru circuit.

Smart Service will be sponsoring the awards this year.

Hope to see you there,

Mike Corbin

 

 

 

Failed Six Star Head Gaskets in Seattle

Recently we ran into a customer that had failed head gaskets in his 2001 Subaru Forester. This would seem somewhat normal except the customer had them replaced 2 years ago at a local Subaru independent in Seattle.June of 2013 the car came into Smart Service with overheating problems. Our diagnostics confirmed that the head gaskets were failing and pushing exhaust gasses into the cooling system.

Upon giving the customer our diagnosis, the customer mentioned that he had them done 2 years ago at a local Seattle Subaru independent.  Since the repairing shop warranty was limited 12 month, 12000 mile warranty, the customer was technically out of warranty so he opted not to return to them, and had us do the repair.

The disappointing part for the customer is the fact he spent over $2100 for the head gaskets to be done, along with some additional misc. work, and they had already failed. His first set from the factory lasted over 100,000 miles and he was hoping for at least this or better out of the Six Stars. ( a reasonable expectation in my opinion) Now there are rare cases in which a part has a manufacture flaw or defect that doesn’t arise until well after a warranty has expired so we went into the job with an open mind that it may have just been a fluke.

We carefully disassembled the engine, paying close attention to anything that may have caused these gaskets to fail so soon. The coolant and oil was full and clean, all the heads appeared properly torqued down but, when we removed the heads we found what we believe contributed to their failure.  The head gaskets were coated with some sort of “copper coat” gasket compound.

Click here to view our Head Gasket Kits

In the picture below you can see the faint outline of the “Six Star” symbol with copper coat spray on it. Also below that you can see a screen shot of the instructions that come with Six Star head gaskets stating NOT to coat them with anything.

Even a Six Star will fail prematurely in instructions aren’t followed