Here is what is going on with my piece of sh*t Forester which is known to some as the PlumMobile

  • I bought my Forester on February 14th, 2004. At this point it was new, and did everything it was supposed to do. It had an incessant rattle emanating from somewhere inside the dash on the driver side, but it subsided after several thousand miles. But otherwise, it was fine.
  • BOOM not fine anymore. Sometime about a year later, some jack-off peeled out in front of me in Portsmouth, spraying my car with gravel. He was uninsured and had a suspended license, and tried to run. I cornered him in his driveway and scared him by pretending to write a bunch of shit down on paper, and then I just drove away. It took 3 years to get the guy to pay up, and I just got the final check from my insurance company at the end of last summer. All told they repainted the entire passenger’s side of the car, plus tailgate and I believe hood.
  • On the subject of hood, a few months later some wad in my parking garage at work dropped some unknown heavy object on my hood and dented/scuffed the shit out of it. They left no note and just took off, leaving me to pay about $400 for the repair. No one has ever come clean on it, and I have worked quite a bit with the people who run the garage to find the person who did it, to no avail.
  • One night during the winter olympics, I was parked on the street in front of Andy’s house. Some idiot kid driving mommy’s minivan full of underage girls creamed my car from behind, completely mauling the left rear end. Creamed is a carefully chosen verb as the kid claims he was reaching into the backseat for an “ice cream cone” and subsequently sideswiped my car. All said and done the rear of the vehicle was pulverized and completely replaced from the axle back. It has never driven the same and it used to make strange noises which emanated from the rear suspension that no one could seem to find the cause of. My rear tires wore like crazy and 2 months ago I had suspension kit installed to help correct the alignment from the accident, which I made my insurance company pay for.
  • Sometime thereafter Manchester Subaru changed my oil. Kristen and I drove around all weekend smelling something really bad which made us feel sick. For no better reason than curiosity, I opened the hood and there was the oil cap, sitting on top of the motor, waiting for someone to put it back on.
  • Not long thereafter, I picked up my car from the same place for some kind of service. As I drove (flew) along 293, my hood started bouncing up and down because some complete moron at the shop did not close it when they finished working on my car. From behind the safety of a state trooper who had already pulled someone over I was able to get off the road and button the hood down.
  • A subsequent trip to Manchester Subaru, I was informed that my wheel bearings were completely worn and needed immediate replacement. Suspecting the accelerated wear was due to Ice Creamy the Kid, I brought my car to the shop that had done all of the work from the accident. They tore the wheels off the car and informed me that my wheel bearings were absolutely fine. So basically A was trying to screw me, and I ended up wasting B‘s and C‘s time. I feel really bad because B spent an whole day going over the car and never got a dime for it.
  • Now I remember what the service was from two bullets ago. A mechanic drove the car out of the garage, and the car had no brakes. He had to use the e-brake to keep the thing from rolling into the river, and it was brought to my attention that my master cylinder had failed. I felt this was completely bullsh*t for a car that was only 3 years old, and Subaru agreed and paid for the repair.
  • Which brings us to Friday. I drive home and the whole way all I can smell is exhaust and coolant. This can’t be good. I get home, pop the hood, and the radiator has cracked along the topmost seam, spewing coolant all over the engine compartment. I bring it into the dealership and it turns out my head gaskets have failed, leaked internally, over-compressing the motor and cooling system, forcing the radiator to pretty much explode. Cost with a timing belt (which I needed) was $2600. I flipped out. I called Subaru of America and gave them a rash of shit about the quality of a car that isn’t even 4 years old with nothing but highway miles on it (111,000). Feeling sympathetic, Subaru chipped in $1300. I have written and as of today faxed them a carefully worded letter requesting more money. Needless to say I’m extremely close to my breaking point.
  • I bring in the loaner car and swap it for my newly repaired car. As it turns out, some complete lifeless spineless fuck of a human being has sideswiped the loaner, which had to have happened in my parking garage at work. The rear bumper has a nice series of gouges in it, and since the car was completely filthy, you can see where the JBC piece of shit tried to wipe it off with their hand. And of course, they left no note whatsoever, told no one at the garage, and just took off. Since I did not opt for the optional bullshit rental coverage, I am subject to a $500 deductible for this through my insurance which means nothing more than this will cost me $500 out of pocket and my chances of ever catching this person is extremely small.
  • While my car is in the garage, I had asked them to check out a problem with my transmission. Sometimes when shifting from 4th to overdrive on a highway, the car makes a horrible, horrible CLUNK. I called another dealership and was instructed that it could mean a new transmission, to the tune of $3,000+. My dealer was unable to reproduce the sound, and in the 3 times I have gotten back on a highway so far, I can’t reproduce it either. If I hear it exactly one more time, we are cutting bait on this piece of shit, end of discussion.

2 thoughts on “Here is what is going on with my piece of sh*t Forester which is known to some as the PlumMobile

  1. In New Hampshire, the lemon law defines a lemon as a vehicle that, aside from any other mitigating factors such as the car being a total piece of shit, is still under warranty. More or less, what that really means is that if your car slips out from under warranty and starts accumulating all kinds of issues, it’s your tough luck and you’re totally screwed, leaving you with the last resort of either letter writing or creative lawyering. Personally, I think the law is garbage. It seems like it was written a long time ago. Lemon laws need to be rewritten to account for both short and longer-term reliability in mind. I see no harm in expanding the scope of the law; it would keep manufacturers honest, and perhaps curb issues like my head gasket. Did I mention that head gasket failures are a well known issue on Subaru 2.5 liter motors over the past 10+ years? Google it. In my opinion they happily pay out warranty and goodwill claims, presumably because the costs of re-engineering a motor that doesn’t suffer from premature gasket failure are much higher. How else can you explain Subaru of America paying off half of my repair bill for an out of warranty car inside of 2 hours time? Seems amazing doesn’t it.


  2. I was just re-reading my repair bill. I had them replace the timing belt and tensioner, and there is a note in there that says “timing belt tensioner is collapsed”. I called the shop to ask them exactly what that meant. Basically, it means I was flirting with being totally, totally f*cked. When the tensioner fails, the tension on the belt fails, and when that happens, the motor basically destroys itself and you get to buy a new one. Or you pull to the side of the road and shoot yourself. Subaru recommends a belt/tensioner combo at 90K miles. I waited until 111K – 21,000 longer than recommended. That was a massive mistake that very nearly left me even more screwed than I already am.


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