Acceleration wobble ordeal finally solved: it's all about the dealership.

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Thread: Acceleration wobble ordeal finally solved: it's all about the dealership.

  1. #1
    Senior Member xvfan70's Avatar
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    Acceleration wobble ordeal finally solved: it's all about the dealership.

    Hey Folks,

    Some recent developments:

    I had to go to the same dealer where I bought my ride (Puente Hills Subaru, PHS) twice and they gave me that typical BS runaround about how it’s “normal.” How can it be normal when during acceleration a wobble shakes your butt like the car wants to dance. One tech even said he could live with it. So here is the symptom that started about two months ago in case any of you have it:

    Slight to moderate vibration/shake during acceleration from a stop or during traffic crawl, up to about 15-20 mph. Not an engine hesitation or stumble. Vibration felt at the seat/butt area and not the steering wheel.

    Occurs most under load, when full of people, and during right turns. After 15-20 mph the car always drives smooth. The heavier the car, the more acceleration vibration.

    Symptom occurs only **after** the car engine/CVT are at operating temps. Will not happen when driving from a cold start. It seems like very hot days trigger more acceleration vibration.

    Finally, during my second visit they relearned, or “flashed,” the computer. Then I was told it was “fixed” and all’s well. I drove off the lot gushing with joy and then the darn shake returned immediately. I was so darn pissed I didn’t even bother driving back. Why? Because the first time they said it was three flatspots on my tire that caused it. So, on both diagnoses they were wrong. I intuitively sensed it was either the axle or CV joints given the threads I read here and on other websites. Thanks for all your help everyone! My personal inspections of the engine and transmission mounts were correct: no problems with those. I didn’t think it was the suspension because I’ve not had any of the telltale “clunks” people describe on here (well, at least not yet since I have only 9500 miles on the odom).

    I finally did a few searches on the best dealership in Southern California, in LA county, and it was a place called Subaru of the Pacific (judging from all the positive reviews I’ve read I had high hopes; had they not fixed it I would have simply voided my warranty and paid for the part to be replaced). I woke up at 5AM this morning and drove during rush hour to get to my 8:30am appointment. The service rep actually listened to me and had the mechanic ride with me. Then the mechanic drove it himself. I told him to drive a certain way to put the car under load and sure enough the acceleration vibration was duplicated. They determined it was the axle and replaced the front one. All is cured now. After the axle was replaced, the mechanic asked me to drive it with him on board to see if I could trigger it. I couldn’t so it’s fixed! Then I had to drive about 2 hours home in 90+ degree heat (~33 Celsius) and can confirm that the wobble is gone.

    It’s all about the dealership when you’re still under warranty. Now I’m just wondering if I should critically assess the first dealership in an online review or through Subaru USA. As for the first dealership (PHS) I did buy my car through them in a very smooth transaction; indeed, the salesperson I worked with was a very professional and nice guy. However, their car servicing sucks so bad it’s unbelievable. I really just want to say how incompetent they are but then I don’t want to get people fired (that said the service reps there have attitude, thinking you’re an idiot with their “oh, it’s normal" BS). I’ll definitely leave a positive review about the second dealership though—they completely are worthy of it.

    I do have a quick question though: what causes the axle to go out of balance? This wobble didn’t occur until about 2 months ago and I bought my 2015 in October of last year, so what wore off the part to throw it off balance? Thanks for reading this lengthy post!!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member KLEMMER's Avatar
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    How many miles on the XV and which axle was bad.
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  4. #3
    Senior Member xvfan70's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLEMMER View Post
    How many miles on the XV and which axle was bad.
    I have 9586 miles on the odom and they replaced the front driver's side one. Quick note: I don't go crazy on my offroad adventures like driving very fast and so forth, so I don't think it has anything to do with wear and tear (you can see some of my vids in the video section). My ride isn't lifted. All it has is a K&N filter and a front strut bar.

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    Senior Member vahallaoven's Avatar
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    Can't really comment much on the axle since it really shouldn't be going bad this fast. Mine is about the same age and I put it through a lot of weekend abuse.

    As for the dealerships. I would suggest you write to Subaru USA. We need them to bring bad dealership up to speed and help them reward good dealerships. Online review won't do too much good since people tend to stay local when buying/servicing car (I'm one of those weird exceptions). Subaru USA should at least take note of good/bad dealership and do something about it. I think Subaru New England is fairly actively keeping the dealerships here inline. I get more surveys about local dealerships than I get discount notices.

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    Senior Member xvfan70's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vahallaoven View Post
    As for the dealerships. I would suggest you write to Subaru USA. We need them to bring bad dealership up to speed and help them reward good dealerships. Online review won't do too much good since people tend to stay local when buying/servicing car (I'm one of those weird exceptions). Subaru USA should at least take note of good/bad dealership and do something about it. I think Subaru New England is fairly actively keeping the dealerships here inline. I get more surveys about local dealerships than I get discount notices.
    Hey Vahallaoven,

    Nice to hear from you. Yes, I will definitely let Subaru USA know. They'll be sending me an email soon enough and yeah, we should definitely keep tabs on different franchises. I'll just try to be diplomatic in my critical assessment of the first dealership.

  8. #6
    Senior Member KLEMMER's Avatar
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    I have had the same issue since around 45K at 53K now. I'll be discussing this with my service advisor before my next oil change. Can you give any details of the method of diagnosis the service dept did? Any useful info I can have before hand will help.
    2017 Forester XT Premium QBP
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    2014 XV Crosstrek ISM
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    Traded 8/16
    56850 Miles

  9. #7
    Senior Member animated_zombie's Avatar
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    I'm glad you finally got it all taken care of. In your owners manual booklet there should be a small book (normally towards the back of the stack) that has how to contact SOA regardless what state you are in.
    I can't find the info at home, but I'll look for it at work tomorrow. That should help wither you want to complain, or compliment.

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    Senior Member ironman1518's Avatar
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    GLAD TO HEAR for your sake, sanity and safety!! HATE crappy service places where no matter what is wrong with the car they tell you:"oh that's normal"!!! Liars!!

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    Senior Member animated_zombie's Avatar
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    Hi, sorry about the wait. This is booklet that I was talking about. I *thought* I saw that you were in California, so I took a photo of that page as well.









    SOA wants to have this information so they can try to make it right. I think that it's a really nice gesture to include this contact information with the owner's manual.

    Anyway, I hope it helps.

  12. #10
    Senior Member xvfan70's Avatar
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    Thanks for the good vibes everyone. Animated_Zombie, thanks for the awesome info! Fortunately, the dealership that fixed my issue will be sending me an SOA survey to fill out so I’m awaiting that. It is much appreciated. I’ve attached my work order for you guys to see as well…

    I’ll just respond to Klemmer’s query and hope that it might be of benefit to others interested. (1) Best way to get them to diagnose your problem is to insist, if they’re not amenable, that the tech and/or service rep go on a ride with you (or have the tech drive with you as passenger). This is a must and it’s something I’ll do from now on if other mechanical issues surface. Don’t just hand over your car if it’s a serious mechanical/software issue to the tech team. (2) Do a few searches about Subi dealerships on Yelp and if someone mentions a service rep by name for being professional, set up your appointment with that person specifically (this is what I did). (3) Schedule your appointment as the first one for the day. If possible, (4) wait at the dealership. This helped me ‘cuz the service rep would come by and update me. For example, I was told the axle would take three hours to be delivered at the shop. And when the tech was done with my car, he came in right away and asked me to take him and the car for a ride. And in between I got to a lot of seat time in an Outback (what a fine ride that is). Finally, 5) what I did last was overkill: I typed up a short list of the car’s symptoms and listed what I suspected were the culprits causing the acceleration shake and taped it to the dash of my car, LOL!

    I didn’t mention at the start of this thread that the use of the word “ordeal” is quite literal. By the time I got the axle replaced, I had rebalanced my tires at two different shops over a three week period, used up my freebie alignment at the Subaru dealership (the crappy one), and I also visited two Subi shops whose mechanics are well known in Southern California. They were very cool and advised me to always pester the dealerships in a sort of war of attrition, and if need be let them know you’ll be contacting SOA.

    Scan20001b.jpg

    Let's all keep an eye out for one another's rides! Keep on Crosstrekkin!

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