Category Archives: Buying a Subaru

Helpful tips relating to purcase of a Subaru

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

Federal Law Prohibits Denial of Dealer Warranty Service

This article explains one of the most frustrating things I come across in the automotive world if not THE most frustrating. I receive calls nearly every day from people that purchase a new Subaru only to find that they firmly believe they must take their car to the dealer until the new car warranty expires.
 
For example, one of my customers recently told me, “See you in a few years Mike”. When I asked why (assuming they were moving or something like that) they said, “We’re trading our old Subie in this weekend for a brand new Outback so we’ll be taking it to the dealer until it hits 60000 miles then we’ll be bringing it back to you.”  Unfortunately they were under the same mystical spell that many dealers try to cast upon their new car buyers. Below I’ll discuss your legal rights under a new car warranty. 
 
Since the advent of the internet, new car sales have become less and less profitable for a dealer. It used to be a big money maker but now that the information is readily available about invoice pricing, specials and other dealers prices, it has changed the dynamic of how a dealer has to operate to stay profitable. Sales was always the number one most profitable department and service was just an add on convenience to take care of any warranty repairs and such. As the profit eroded  to just a few hundred dollars per sale, the dealers were forced to make big changes on the way they operated their business or they would soon be out of business.   
 
Selling tune ups, brakes, tires now became an extremely important part of the survival of the dealership even to the point that many single car line dealers opened up their service department to all makes and models just to survive. Based on a report by Lang Marketing Resources, in 1995 42% of factory maintenance was performed at independent shops while only 19% was done at dealers. Today only 23% is done in an independent facility vs. now 42% is done at the dealer. 
 

The importance of this issue has put pressure on the dealer to turn a new car sale directly into a new service customer for the dealer. Once you purchase your new car, the nice salesperson will likely lead you directly to the service department to let you know that you can have all of your factory required services and maintenance performed at their dealership to keep the new car warranty valid. They are clever enough to word it in such a way that it may even lead you to assume that in order to have your factory warranty remain in effect you must have the maintenance done at the dealership. A pleasant introduction to the service manager, and maybe a couple of other service staff and you take the bait… hook, line and sinker. You leave with the impression that in order to keep your warranty intact you must have the maintenance performed at the dealer.

NOW THE FACTS AND YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AS A CONSUMER UNDER FEDERAL LAW:

Enter the MAGNUSON-MOSS WARRANTY ACT (1975) USC TITLE 15 CHAPTER 50 Chapter 2301-2312

Essentially, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act prohibits a new car dealer from requiring that your factory required service and maintenance be performed by the dealer in order to uphold your new car warranty. They can’t even require you to use their genuine factory parts unless they can prove to the Federal Trade Commission that they have the only part that will satisfy the manufactures requirement. For example, they cannot tell a consumer that they must use Genuine Subaru Oil or your warranty will be void. They would have to go through the painstaking process of proving to the Federal Trade Commission that their engine will fail with any other oil other than Genuine Subaru Oil.

Another positive for the consumer as a result of this law is the burden of proof is put on the business providing the warranty. An example of this would be that the dealer is denying warranty work on your engine because you installed aftermarket spark plugs in your engine. For them to legally deny you the engine repair, they would be responsible to prove that the aftermarket spark plugs caused the engine failure.

The law is set up in the consumers favor. If the issue goes to court, the business denying the warranty must prove that the failure was due to the aftermarket component or improper installation thereof. If they cannot prove this, they will not only be responsible for repairing the car under warranty, but also for all court costs and legal fees incurred by the consumer. Once a dealer is aware that their customer is fully aware of their legal rights, they tend to be motivated to solve the problem outside of court unless it’s obvious to all that the problem was a direct result of the aftermarket component.

So what do you need to do to keep your new car warranty in effect? Simply follow the manufacturer requirements listed in the warranty booklet provided with your Subaru and keep good documentation. At Smart Service, all factory required maintenance, parts and service procedures meet or exceed what is required on your Subaru as well as we keep back up documentation of any service or part we provide. In essence, the only thing you would ever have to take your vehicle to the dealer for is a factory required recall or if a covered component fails within the warranty period.

In closing, I don’t want you to leave with the impression that I’m bashing dealers. There are some very good dealers out that there that can provide quality service and repair. What I do want you to leave with is the knowledge that you are not beholden to the dealer ever. You have rights and freedom of choice as a consumer under the Magnuson-Moss act not just with new cars but with ANY new product you purchase that comes with a written warranty.

For more information please visit the link below. It’s an excellent article by the Federal Trade Commission

 

Where to buy YOUR Subaru

This post is to let you know that if you are in the greater Seattle area make sure you consider buying your new or used Subaru from Joe Spitz.

Joe is an exceptional individual I have had the pleasure of knowing since we opened 1999. He the internet sales manager for Carter Subaru of Shoreline.

I send all of my customers to him including my mother AND mother-in-law for their Subaru purchases. Joe has a simple no-nonsense approach that most people really appreciate.

You can contact him at [email protected] or request him if you visit Carter Subaru. Also, try his website at www.cars101.com to find an encyclopedia of knowledge about current and past Subaru models.

 

Used Subaru Prices Higher

If you’re in the market for a used Subaru it may be prudent to hold off for a while. Since the Japan earthquake, Japanese auto makers have been struggling to maintain supply chains to manufacture their vehicles. Even though many are built in the United States, they still rely on parts built in Japan.

It appears now we’re nearing the peak of the effects of the shortage.

Due to this, dealers have fewer new cars to offer the public. In order to maintain their inventory, dealers have been much more agressive in their pursuit of the used car market. Rental returns, lease returns etc. are sold to dealers at wholesale auctions. Because of demand, dealers have been competing with each other and paying much more than they were once willing to spend to acquire a used car. This pushes up the cost thus pushes up the retail price. From there it’s trickle down economics. Higher demand, higher cost, higher prices.

Now, if you have ever been thinking of selling your Subaru you may be in for a pleasant surprise. Some of the used Subarus have seen as much as a 10% increase in value over the past year.

So to sum it up:

Buyers, be patient, things should be caught up by January of next year.

Sellers…. Strike while the iron is hot.

 

Cheers,

Mike

Which Subaru to buy before winter? 1981-2004

Buying your first Subaru can be a daunting task. Buying any vehicle can be a challenge but a Subaru is a bit more unique than most vehicles out there.  Here’s what a Subaru looked like in 1971. Things have changed alot since then as you might imagine.

Read on and you’ll learn about the good, the bad and the ugly on the used Subaru vehicle characteristics. There’s a bit of history mixed in also.

1981-1984 (some carryover models 86-87) Subaru OHV 1800 DL, GL (includes the Brat)

This was the small boxy Subaru you saw in all the commercials stating “Inexpensive and built to stay that way”

These models were simple, bullet proof vehicles that really gave Subaru the reputation for having a reliable vehicle that could go great in the snow. They had an innovative 4wd system and an 1800 cc carbureted engine that purred like a sewing machine while achieving pretty good fuel economy. Not great on the power, especially if you had one equipped with an automatic transmission.

Over the years their most frequent mechanical issue has been their perpensity to leak oil. The gasket and seal technology wasn’t the greatest. Cork and paper gaskets were used in many areas of the engine. Although the leaks created a mess, they didn’t cause much oil loss overall.  Other than that, they were very reliable cars. If you can still find one in decent shape your biggest problem is finding quality parts to make repairs.  Most of the genuine Subaru parts stock is obsolete for these models  so you’re stuck with finding aftermarket offerings or sometimes used parts (if an item is obsolete). As long as the oil and coolant levels were maintained and regular service performed, these Subarus were indestructible.

STRENGTHS: Inexpensive, great selectable 4wd, available in 2wd, good fuel mileage, simple to work on

WEAKNESSES: Leak oil, difficulty finding replacement parts, Obsolete Carter/Weber carburetors, difficulty finding one in good condition.

1986-1994 Subaru Loyale (incl. DL, GL, GL10)

Larger, sharper body lines, improved more luxerious interior, new overhead cam engine design.

If you were a Subaru mechanic during this model run, you were constantly busy doing warranty repairs. This was the first Subaru model equipped with a timing belt and OOPS…. it didn’t last as long as the recommended 60000 mile replacement interval. Subaru began a campaign to replace the timing belts with an upgraded version and lowered the replacement interval to 52,500 miles as a gesture of goodwill. Back then, if you saw a Subaru on the side of the road you could bet that it was due to a broken timing belt. Subaru pro-rated the cost of the repair for the customer based on how many miles they got out of their belt before it broke.

Today, if you’re looking for one of these models you’ll probably find that the most reliable version was an SPI equipped mode. (Single Point Fuel Injection). It is a simple throttle body injection system (glorified carburetor) that was consistently reliable.

The carbureted models were OK but wear and tear over the years has made the carburetors finicky and many parts are no longer available. The turbo models is one to avoid (unless you can afford to work on it yourself) .The turbocharger itself lasted indefinately, but because the engines were producing more power and heat,  they regularly cracked cylinder heads due to a thin casting area around a water jacket. Subaru made subsequent improvements to these cylinder heads, thickining the material around the waterjacket that tended to crack into the exhaust. This reduced the problem significantly but did not completely solve the issue. I only recommend purchasing one of the turbo models if you have adequate mechanical abilities and a desire to tinker. They were fun when they worked but a headache when they didn’t.

If  Subaru would have continued with the Loyale they may not have lasted but alas a re-engineered Subaru, the Legacy was born in 1990.

STRENGTHS: Good 4wd system, SPI version reliable, ok fuel mileage, some 2wd models available, won’t damage engine if timing belt breaks.

WEAKNESSES: Turbo model=problems, oil leaks, short timing belt life on all models, road noise evident, emissions issues with carburetor equipped models and turbo models.

Subaru Legacy

1990-1994 Gen 1

1995-1999 Gen 2

2000-2004 Gen 3

2005-2009 Gen 4

2010 on Gen 5

The introduction of the Subaru Legacy in 1990 was probably the single biggest change in Subaru engineering history. Engineered buy a team of young designers with the goal of competing with the Toyota, Nissan and Honda in the US market, they really hit the mark. Comfort, convenience, design and reliability were all taken to new levels for Subaru.

Standard features on most models  included power windows, power mirrors, power door locks, 4 wheel disc brakes, 4-speed  electronic automatic transmission and a computer controlled  multi-point fuel injection system. Anti-lock brakes were also introduced as an option and came  standard on the higher end models.

The 2.2 liter engine designed for the 1990 Legacy has proven to be Subaru’s most reliable workhorse to date. When shopping for Subaru Legacies in the 1990-1994 range, the usual rules apply. Have a thorough mechanical inspection performed etc. The 1990-1993 models had early automatic transmission prolems but any cars that are still on the road probably have have those issues addressed by now. The 5 speed equipped vehicles were virtually problem free. Two other items to beware of are air suspensions and sunroofs. Some of the top of the line Subaru Legacies were equipped with a ride-height adjustable air suspension. AVOID.  The air bags were rubber and deteriorated, leaked etc. By now most of the models that were equipped with air suspension have been retrofitted with a conventional hydraulic strut/coil spring suspension(expensive). Facory sunroofs on 1990-1994 had leak problems. The original factory sealant would become brittle and dry, then leak water to the interior. We remove and reseal them from time to time and it is around a 6 hour job to remove it, scrape off the old sealer and reseal it with a hi-tech body seam sealer that can last the life of the car.

Their engines commonly run well for 200,000-300,000 miles if they were properly maintianed. Their timing belts far exceeded the 60000 mile required replacement interval. (we’ve seen original belts still intact although barely at 110,000 miles.) They also leak oil far less often than the prior Loyal 1.8 liter engine.

STRENGTHS: If well maintained, go forever and ever, comfortable to drive, reasonably inexpensive to maintain, good power. 2wd versions got very good fuel mileage. Full Time AWD

WEAKNESS: 90-92 Automatic Transmission could be a weak point. Look closely at this if purchasing.

Subaru SVX 1992-1997

At this time Toyota, Honda and Nissan were developing their “upscale” brands of Lexus, Acura and Infinity. Subaru’s attempted to join the club and  break in to this “over $30000” market with ther own offering. The SVX was a sleek high performance touring coupe that was the most technologically advanced Subaru ever built. It was luxury high performance at it’s best. The SVX was extremely stable at well over 100mph and without a hint of road noise or vibration. Was standard with couputerized climate control, high end sound system w/CD player, very comfortable ergonomically designed interior and a 230hp silently running 6 cylinder boxer engine. The SVX also had a 4 speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. This was it’s one weak point over time. It just couldn’t handle the power of the 6 cylinder.

STRENGTHS: Smooth, Quiet, Great for driving the highway 101 up and down the coast. Accelerates 0-100 without even realizing you’re going over 60. Forward designed half/windows.. either love them or hate them but rolled down over 65mph there’s still no wind noise. Engines have been as reliable as teh Subaru 2.2 engine. (it’s basically the same engine with 2 more cylinders added on)

WEAKNESSES: Automatic transmission has blown out in alot of the 1992-1994 models. 95-97 seemed to last much longer but a few of them have blown also. Rear wheel bearing failure often premature also. Hard to find shops familiar with them due to their low production.

1993-1998 Impreza and Impreza Outback Sport

This model line was marketed as an entry level Subaru for the younger crowd. It was smaller and sportier than it’s Legacy counterpart but still had the same drivetrain and suspension as the Legacy. Imagine what happens when you put running gear from a larger heaver car into an Impreza. You get one of the most reliable Subaru’s ever made even to this day. It’s one of the top rated used cars by Consumer Reports.

STRENGTHS: Great reliable compact car, great AWD system. 1.8 liter and 2.2 liter engines very reliable. Sporty handling. Like the Legacy, can roll the odometer over many times.

WEAKNESSES: Road noise and kind of tinny sounding closing the trunk/doors etc. Just not as luxurious as a legacy.

1995-1999 Legacy and Outback

Once again, another great improvement to design and style. Combined with great marketing campaign with Crocodile Dundee as their spokesman, the Subaru lineup really was getting attention. No longer just a quirky niche vehicle, the Subaru Legacy and Outback were developing mainstream popularity with the US consumer. Subaru’s reputation for AWD combined with a sleek sporty design drove sales to new levels. The Outback itself was a completely new concept in the automotive world that the

All of the Subaru models  equipped with the 2.2 liter engine were once again, bullet-proof. The 2.5 liter equipped models not so lucky. In attempt to keep up with the V6 counterparts available for Honda, Toyota and Nissan, Subaru upped the displacement and horsepower with the intro of the 2.5 liter 165hp boxer engine. It was a great improvement of torque and power over the higher revving 2.2 liter but would proove to have problems develop later in it’s life with the onset of the failing head gasket issue. Subaru had previously used a fiberous composite head gasket design but switched to athin, all metal head gasket on the 2.5 engine. I’ve never heard why this change was made, but since the change was made, the frequency of head gasket failures increased dramatically. If you could overlook the eventual head gasket failure and repair expense, the cars were otherwise another long lasting reliable Subaru.

STRENGTHS: Roomy, good handling, lots of options and features available. Overall good longevity of most components on vehicle.

WEAKNESSES: Head Gaskets on the 2.5… Make sure to have a hydrocarbon test done to the cooling system before purchasing a 2.5 liter equipped version. Rear view mirror vibrates, kind of annoying. A bit underpowered going over the pass full of passengers and gear.

1998 Subaru Forester Debut

In 1998 Subaru took the smaller platform of the Impreza and basically stretched it upward into their boxy new small SUV called the Forester.

The Forester had all the safety features required of an automobile (much stricter than SUV safety standards which are based on truck standards) while at the same time having the look and increased ground clearance of an SUV. These were equipped with the 2.5 liter engine also, which would eventually see the head gasket issue creep up on it. At first sales were slow because they weren’t the most asthetically pleasing vehicle. Once people started to realize how nice they drove and how great the visibility was with the increased ride height and large all around windows, they really started to take off. They were eventually so popular that the other car manufacturers finally decided to copy the concept themselves with cars such as the CRV and the Rav4.

STRENGTHS: Easy to get in and out of due to ride height. The best visibility of all Subarus due to window size and height. Compact car handling and easy to park. Nice interior amenities.

WEAKNESSES: Head Gaskets on the 2.5… Make sure to have a hydrocarbon test done to the cooling system before purchasing a 2.5 liter equipped version.

2000-2004 Legacy and Outback

A major redesign came for the 2000 Legacy and Outback.  Both based on the same platform, the Legacy and Outback were now larger, heavier Subarus than in the past and came equipped with a revised 2.5 liter single overhead cam engine. (although in 2001 a 6 cyl was added to the lineup)The creature comforts were greatly improved on this upgrade along with a much quieter ride due to suspension redesign and added sound deadening material.  Other options were added such as VDC (vehicle dynamics control) and upscale editions like the LL Bean which cam with the 6 cyl and upscale interior.  This 2.5 engine was prooving to be much more reliable than the past 2.5 but eventually would develop a common problem of an external coolant leak at the left side head gasket. It wasn’t profuse but if left unchecked could eventually allow the coolant to get low enough to cause problems.

STRENGTHS: Nice handling, quiet ride, increased cargo space, improved ameneties over prior models.

WEAKNESSES: None other than possible head gasket failure from 2.5L equipped vehicles. Have head gaskets inspected closely at purchase. Budget to replace in future if they’ve never been done. Brakes wear out a little more often than prior models due to increased weight of vehicle but not excessive.

2002 WRX Debut

Impreza on steroids!

This indroduction really put Subaru on the performance map in the USA. Known for saftey and reliability, now Subaru offered world class performance sedan for thousands less than BMW and Audi counterparts. While not as refined as the afformentioned, it wasn’t important on the track.

The WRX had a 227 hp 2.0 liter engine that has proven very reliable thus far. Boasting 0-60 in under 6 seconds as well as an improved braking and suspension system over the standard Impreza. The WRX could be purchased as a sedan or sport wagon.

STRENGTHS: Bullet proof engine, great performance and reliability in stock form. Comfortable to drive. More interior creature comforts than prior offerings. Many reasonable upgrade options for power, braking and suspension.

WEAKNESSES: 2nd gear on manual trans subject to damage if abused. Stock tires were mediocre at best. Radiator seems to eventually develop a crack in the plastic tank at around 100,000 miles. Often excessively modified and abused. Brakes could have been better compared with the performance of the rest of the car.

FINAL POINTS ON BUYING A SUBARU

1. Do your research. Make sure it’s a model that will suit your everyday needs.

2. Perform a CARFAX or similar history check service. If there are red flags, don’t waste your time going further. Buying a car with a totaled or rebuilt title can mean years of headaches or lost money not to mention it could put your safety at risk.

3. Make sure it has pased an emission test within the past 365 days or less or you may have trouble transferring the title. Visit www.emissiontestwa.com  to check on the vehicles past emission tests.

3. Have it inspected by someone familliar with Subarus. Full mechanical inspection paying particular attention to the head gaskets on the models described above. A close inspection of the body for prior damage can be helpful too. Body damage can be OK if it was repaired professionally.

4. Take a long test drive combining highway and city driving to see if you’ll be comfortable with the seating, ergonmics, ride quality etc. If you’re transporting kids, check the fit of the car seats.

5. Get prior records, has the car been maintained religiously, kind of or not at all? This can be very valuable in deciding if it’s a car you want.  If a dealer tells you it’s a one owner car etc make sure you see the records first to prove it. I’ve heard many promises from salesmen trying to make deals but they were never able to produce the information to back it up.

6. Avoid purchasing a car that someone won’t allow you to have inspected. There’ll be other cars that come along.

7. Beware of cars sold at well below market value. If a person is selling a car for $7000 that is listed all day long on craigslist for $10000 don’t be tempted. It’s usually because they are hiding something or the car has a rebuilt title.

8. Check the bluebook value at www.NADA.comto evaluate if the price is in the proper range. Use any findings of needed repairs noted on the inspection when you’re negotiating the final sale price.

9. Be able to walk away. Buying a car can be an emotional event that leads us to making bad decisions. If unsure, give it a couple of days. That will usually give a person enough time to wind down and make a clear logical decision.

10. Take care of your new investment. Get any need repairs taken care of right away. Find a shop famalliar with Subarus that can give it the proper, regular maintenance that will keep it going for the 200,000 plus miles it’s capable of achieving.

Good luck

Mike Corbin

Smart Service

Independent Subaru Expert

My First Subaru – What’s your story?

Many of us can remember our first car. Mine wasn’t a Subaru. As a matter of fact, when I bought my first car in highschool in 1981 I didn’t even know what a Subaru was.(1967 Mustang coupe with 35k original miles).  I still had no clue what a Subaru was until I was hired as an apprentice BMW technician by what was then Bellevue BMW Subaru back in 1986. I eventually made some transitions at that dealer until I was eventually working on Subarus more than BMWs and eventually even became the Subaru shop foreman of that particular dealer until 1993. Even during that time I still hadn’t owned a Subaru. My run of cars I owned before buying a Subaru was all over the board. From my first ’67 Mustang that was totaled (by me) in 6 months from the time I bought it, a second 67 mustang GT that met the same demise, then a 65 Mustang GT….became a torn down project restoration for 10 years until I sold it in basket case, a Fiat 128 box on wheels, another 67 Mustang coup that turned into another project, a 68 Plymouth Sattelite wagon… the one with the woodgrain sides… an AMC Eagle… now we’re talking the pre-Outback, an 86 Nissan 4×4 pickup then comes THE FIRST SUBARU. It was a 1987 Subaru GL-10 Turbo wagon. It was at the dealer, broken down and the customer didn’t want to fix it. I bought it from the customer and proceeded to rebuild the motor and reassemble the car. It was the top of the line for Subaru in ’87. Turbocharged, power sunroof, digital dash, trip computer.. as a matter of fact it had EVERYTHING. It was white with all the sport black trim and aluminum mag wheels to boot. The big bonus was I still had less money into the car than I could sell it for. I was very pleased with my end result. The car ran great, it had lots of power with the turbo, got o.k.  mileage, and once I took it in the snow I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT!  I had owned my illustrious AMC Eagle which was a 4wd and my Nissan pickup which I thought was a great 4wd but neither could touch the grip of the Subaru when I put it to the test. When it snowed,I always used to have fun taking my cars to  wide open parking lots and doing brodies way late into the evening when no one else was around. My fun was over…. (well sort of). I would get up to speed, crank the wheel and punch the throttle and the darn Subaru just went where I pointed it.  I was disappointed that it wasn’t going to provide myself and anyone I had with me the same thrills of the past but at the same time I was very intrigued by how it stuck so well in the snow. Being a mechanic I still had to see what this car could really do so I took it to the steepest hill I knew of. It’s called Firdale Hill and is where 3rd Ave N.W. meets 205th St. in Shoreline. They shut it down any time there’s a bit of snow on the ground. I had yet to drive a vehicle or see one make it up that hill when there was more than a couple of inches of snow on the ground. That evening there was probably a good 6 inches and the road crews hadn’t made it out to shut down the hill yet. So I started up the hill and the car gripped well with a little slip here and there and I knew part way up it would make it without much effort. The next part is truley amazing. I slowed to a complete stop halfway up the hill then put it into 2nd gear  and accelerated slowly. The tires were a standard all season tire, nothing like these Blizzak’s and high tech winter tires of today. It slipped a bit, creeped a bit, slipped, creeped until it was back on track and moving up the hill like it didn’t miss a beat. WOW, I was beside myself. Ever since then I’ve been sold on Subaru and it’s ability to keep traction in lots of extreme weather conditions. I never thought the combination of their symmetrical all wheel drive combined with the low center of gravity of the boxer engine could be such a sure footed combination until I experienced it first hand. From then on out I knew I would always have at least one Subaru in the family. Since then I’ve heard the same story from many of you when you had your first eye opening experience. Your Subaru took you smoothly up the pass while the Humvee’s and Volvo’s were having trouble, took your neighbor to work when his SUV was stuck in his driveway, and so on. I think it’s that moment of amazement  that hooks us Subaru owners for life.   Feel free to share what hooked you on your Subaru!

 Happy Thanksgiving,

Mike