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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just for your information...maybe someone else can avoid this VERY stupid and preventable expense.:headwall:

So yesterday (3-8-11) I got into my '06 Tribeca, started it up and drove off. Within seconds I could feel something wasnt right...engine was idling rough with reduced power then I get the standard "solid check engine, flashing cruise and solid stability control light" all illuminated. Pulled into parking space and called Subaru. They said it could be a number of things so best to tow it in and be safe. Towed it, dropped keys in night drop (of course they were closed) and headed home dreading the eminent morning call. 8:30am next morning Subaru of Las Vegas called with the news...Apparently, the AFTER MARKET, wal-mart cheap ass battery that was installed in it when I bought the car, had leaked acid. And our boxer engines are located at JUST the right level so the acid can drip down or get blown by the fan onto the main wiring harness, down into the connector of the igniter (that is what tech called em, I just say coil) on the spark plug, corroding and dissolving the wire. (cant remember which cylinder) POOF! dead cylinder and $1700.00 to fix. UUHHHHGGGG!!! Now that does include all 6 plugs, 2 igniters, a brand spanking new wire harness, that has to be ordered, and labor. Oh, and of course, a new battery. So, before I got to dealer to pick up loaner car, I was having trouble justifying in my mind almost 2k for some plugs and wire. HOWEVER, when I was taken back to show me exactly what happened to my beloved tribecca's engine, it became clear. My engine was BARE! Everything was off; intake, fuel rails, manifold, down to the block. They have to drain and replace engine coolant as well as a/c refrigerant. Then put it all back together. All that labor helps justify the price. Now, this whole ordeal sucks monkey balls but it has to be said that Subaru of Las Vegas, and my service adviser Steve and Brittany were FABULOUS!!! as they answered all my questions, took tons of phone calls and gave me a loaner Forester at NO CHARGE, all I had to do was ask!!! Keep in mind that my car, at 63000 miles, is far out of warranty and this issue is IN NO WAY caused by a faulty Subaru part. I don't know if that's just the way Subaru does things or what but that sort of service will keep me coming back.

One hell of a tune up! This motor better PURRRRRR only like a boxer can.

BTW- I put a class III hitch on last week: AWESOME! the wire harness for the trailer lights plugs right in. Heading to Cali towing a trailer next week.
 

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Wow what a mess! Thanks for posting all this info. I guess on the bright side you were about due for spark plugs and thats a pricey job for the dealership to do by itself! Best of luck with the now almost new B9 Tribeca!
 

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Glad it all worked out. We recently had our original 07 battery replaced with an OE battery.
 

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Sounds Very Familiar - Could use some help.

We've had our '06 limited for 3 weeks now, just 62,000 miles on her and in fantastic condition. We just love our 'Beca.
On Father's day we started out for Medford, OR, our closest city of size, to celebrate the day. Twenty minutes down the road and BEHOLD!!! the engine started missing, the cruise control light starts flashing, the traction control and engine lights come on and I turn a pale shade of green.
I called the nearest Subaru Dealer (80 miles away) only to find out it could be a lot of things. Mind you, it is Sunday and I live in the high desert, not many options. I manage to get my 'Beca to the nearest town and leave it at the Ford dealership until Monday.
They found that the coil connector on #6 was broken but serviceable enough to get the car running until it comes off again. Now I need to get her to Subaru as soon as it can be arranged.

My question to you all is what am I in for? Can this connector be repaired/replaced or will the whole harness have to be replaced? If the whole harness must be replaced, will the majority of the engine exterior have to be removed like it was for "NatetheSkate"? It would be devastating to go through this after just 3 weeks with the car.

I would really appreciate any input you may have on the issue.

Thanks much for your time,

dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
So sorry...

Hey Dave,
Sorry to hear you got stuck...that blows! Anyhow, if it is the connector that is attached to the wire harness ITSELF that is broken, then you may have an issue. I think I would try to track down the last person to change spark plugs, as they could have damaged the connector doing the change as the connectors could be a beeaatch to get off. Whether it was dealer (hopefully) or some shady place. Go to where you bought it and try to track down the records. I have to imagine the dealer would have the records of such a repair if it were done there. With luck the seller will happily admit to doing this maintenance for you (that would be a great selling point "BRAND NEW SPARK PLUGS!!") letting you know they could be the culprit that botched it up. In fact, those things dont just break. It was broken:censored:. Now, you still may be screwed, as I'm sure it was sold with no implied warranty, but a dealer may be willing to work with you being you've only had it a few weeks. And, honestly, knowing 'how it happened' is half the battle.
Now, I would never suggest that anyone 'rig it up' or use 'the duct tape method' cuz the last thing you want is your 'repair' job to give out in the middle of BFE, but it really f'in kills me that I had to replace the entire wire harness, with all the labor costs involved, for approx 4mm of 2 exposed wires touching each other, when an inch of electrical tape could easily have fixed it (a fix I would not myself partake in, however:scurred:). So, not sure if I have been a help or not, but my fingers are crossed that your coil is broken and not the connector on the harness. Just remember, FWIW, that you chose a really good car and stuff happens. Just ask my check book!!:(

Nathan
 

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Nathan,

Thanks so much for the revised response because you hit my concerns right on the nose. I may well be in for one hell of a fight. The dealer had represented that they had just done a complete service just before it was sold ... so who knows, I may have some ground to stand on.
Thanks again for all of your help ... I'll keep you updated.

dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Was it a Subaru dealer? If so I would go to a different one ( if possible, there is only one here, if u only have one dealer just try to be nonchalant, like u just want it for your records) to get a printout of all the service of the life of the car. A plug change should definitely be on it. Many times a Carfax report will have much of the service information in it too.
But, before we get too doomsday here, hahahaha, maybe a broken connector can be fixed. Thats what really needs to be determined.
 

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I hope it's just a connector fix as well. I would hate to think a factory trained tech would break a connector and then try and cover it up.
In any case, we are going to make an appointment for later this week and we'll find out for sure.
I'm just keeping my fingers crossed.
Nathan, thanks again for your help and concern. I'm not sure why, but it always seems to make things like this easier if someone else has gone through them as well.

Talk at ya soon,

dave
 

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Follow-up on the harness problem

Well ... we went to Southern Oregon Subaru (where we purchased the car) to have the #6 coil/igniter harness connection repaired. Jon, the service writer, mentioned that they had just repaired a car with a similar problem and they were able to replace the broken harness connector with one from a used surplus harness they had.
About an hour after the repair began, Jon informed me that they were indeed able to replace the connector without replacing the whole harness and because we had just purchased the car from them, they did it at no charge.
Their actions managed to restore my faith in both my Tribeca and the dealership. It really is a comfort to know that some dealerships still believe in doing the right thing.

Dave
 

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My question to you all is what am I in for? Can this connector be repaired/replaced or will the whole harness have to be replaced? If the whole harness must be replaced, will the majority of the engine exterior have to be removed like it was for "NatetheSkate"? It would be devastating to go through this after just 3 weeks with the car.
 

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Bajiege,

Don't despair ... my dealership pulled a used connector off of an old harness and replaced my broken one. It's my understanding that Subaru recommends replacing the harness, but the connector shell can be replaced if one is so enclined.
Good luck with you situation;
Dave
 
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