I have a 2008 Subaru Outback, 104,000 miles. Last fall we brought it into an auto repair chain to have brakes replaced, and since we were at 100k, we had the head gaskets and timing belt done proactively. After we picked it up, it was not running great, and a short time later, the transmission light came on - luckily my husband was near the shop when it happened and brought it in. There was apparently a large hole in the transmission fluid filter and half the transmission fluid was gone - they replaced that for free.
It was still not running great though, and even after bringing it in again to have them look it over, they just topped up with trans fluid and sent us on our way without looking into it further.
Last month it was running extremely rough - took it to a different local guy - come to find out the timing belt tensioner was not installed correctly, and the brand new timing belt was half off its tracks. We contacted the original shop in complaint and they paid for our new mechanic to make the repair.
Now, we need to get our vehicle inspected, bring it to our new mechanic - we need a new catalytic converter - both front and back. He scoped it and the front converter was all eaten away, with the residue clogging the back converter.
Needless to say, it has been a frustrating and expensive couple of months. In addition to the cats needing replacement, there is a code our mechanic is unsure of - an Oil Switch Valve Solenoid Malfunction.
My question is – in your opinion, is any of the botched work done by the chain shop earlier a warning sign that there could be more serious issue down the road? Should we just sell it and try to get into something else, or is it worth the investment?
We just put 3k into preventative work, and will need to put another 1100 in to do the two cats, with fingers crossed that will solve things. The car is relatively low on miles, and the mechanic says there isn’t any troublesome rust (we are in Maine, so some is expected).
I’ve read about Subarus getting their Cats replaced then still throwing the cat code repeatedly, and I am wary.
Thanks for your thoughts and opinions!