Local Shop Taking FOREVER to finish my rebuild

Alright, so on Halloween night last year (2017) my Subaru was diagnosed with the dreaded rod knock… luckily the dealership I bought it from recommended a warranty that after the fact I thought I had been ripped off, BUT actually ended up saving the day by paying for my oem rebuild! I go to a local shop that has just the best reviews by not only my friend who knows the owner but also on Facebook. They specialize in Subaru’s, not only repairing but making them faster with a reliable build. Everybody is as nice as can be and are extremely helpful with what I should do to it to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again, I end up forking up $3000 of my own cash for aftermarket parts I want and the warranty company payed $6000 so we are close to a $10000 rebuild. I’m super happy I first of all can even afford to rebuild it but also to get the parts I want!! Everything’s awesome, that was all said and done in DECEMBER… they told me the shop they use to machine the heads takes 1-2monthes to finish, it took them 3. SO March rolls around and my heads are back, I give them $3250 of my money to order the parts and tell me my cars next in line to be built… it’s now almost JUNE and still they keep telling me it’s in the assembly stage, I was told by one of them that it would be ready early to mid MAY! So basically it seems like they are pushing and pushing and pushing my car back, I’m 23 and am now very aware I probably should not have given them all the money up front but now this is the situation I’m in. I’ve told them I believe there taking advantage of me and pushing my car aside because it’s been almost 7months and yet I have zero results, another thing that pisses my off is that they have not called me since last year in December, everytime I’ve talked to them has been me calling for answers. I think I’m going to go in tomorrow and have them show me my car and the progress and all the parts they have ordered. Just looking for some advice here! Thanks

First thing not to say to a mechanic is “take your time”. I learned my lesson a long time ago.


Shops like this one are NOT high-speed production lines. Since you are installing “speed” parts as well, this adds time to make them all play together nicely. You want this done right, not rushed.

That said, all the money up front is NOT the way to play this game. The shop needs to have some incentive to complete your job in a timely manner.

To the shop’s side of this, far too many people get in WAY over their heads with modifications and then can’t or won’t pay for that expensive work. That means the shop is stuck with a car they must complete and file a lien on so they can sell it and get some of their money back.

You should go to the shop in person and have the owner or manager explain what they’ve done and when the job will be complete. Have them put it in writing but expect a range in delivery dates because this is custom work and things do come up. You should have been doing this all along to make sure the shop is making progress. But that is the past. Things may change after the sit-down, but they may stay the same. You are a bit at their mercy.

You could pull your car out of the shop and tow it someplace else but you’d likely have to sue to get any money back from the first shop. You will have additional months and money into the new shop getting your car completed.

Sorry, this stinks, but only you can decide how to proceed.


Hey I appreciate it, I’m very aware that it takes time and would much rather wait a year for an amazing build than a month for a shoddy, rushed one… something I didn’t bring up is I have been checking in with them, I went in and talked with one of the managers and was assured that they are not pushing my car aside and that they are just behind because the date they originally gave me back in October was only 3-4 months. The only thing I haven’t done is had them show me there progress which is pretty stupid of me lol I will be doing that today!

Yeah my whole family has been pushing me to go in and basically demand answers lmao I’m sure a lot of people feel this way but the one thing I don’t wanna do is piss off the people who are working on my car, Iknow that sounds stupid! I want to be on there good side because I would like to do future business with them but at a certain point I think it’s okay to ask why everything is taking longer than I was told. Thanks tho I will definitely learn from my mistakes

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I don’t know, once you’re stuck, you’re stuck. It took me 7 weeks to get my transmission overhauled and I was there every other day. The car just sat disassembled gathering dust. Then it took 11 months to get a warranty engine replacement on my snow blower. Thing is I had a spare car and blower. Once you make the mistake of going to the wrong place, it’s hard to change so I guess relax and have a spare.

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Why didn’t you have the dealer handle this warranty repair?


That sucks, I’ve been lucky enough to use my brothers car so Atleast I have that!

Main reason is because I bought the car out of state hahah

This is a family forum, and because of that I must respectfully request that you refrain from cursing or using foul language here.

re: not using Subaru to repair this vehicle- is there not a Subaru dealer in your state?
I get the feeling that your shop thinks that this is more for recreational use, and thus is not in a hurry to get it done. 1-2 months to machine heads is insane- unless that is what you go into it expecting because you are building a high performance racecar (and even then- that is an absurd amount of time.)

Have you talked to the owner of this shop at all about your time concerns? I’m not sure there is much you can do since you don’t own them any more money, but I’d be all up in somebody’s business about this.


Hey! I apologize about the cursing buddy, I didn’t use our Subaru dealership because I was recommended by a friend (who is now extremely upset with them) to go to this shop because we thought hueburger would take forever lol you can see how ironic this is ! I am going in today however to see the progress, I have yet to see my car in 7 months so I’m exited even if they are way behind

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Once again I apologize for any curse words that were in my post, I will not use any sort of bad language in the future !


I think any shop that spends many months on an engine rebuild is running a shoddy operation. I’m not saying they should hustle and do it as fast as possible but there’s no excuse for 6 months.

I’ve done a lot of Subaru engine work over the years and have never spent more than 2 weeks on any of them.The ones that took 2 weeks were simply because the auto machine shop was swamped as usual and it took additional time for block boring, crankshaft grinding, and so on.

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I agree man, to me it feels like they are just pushing my car aside so they can take on other/quicker jobs so they can keep making money… which I actually understand, you gotta keep making money, BUT at what point is it just totally unprofessional to keep pushing it off ?!? I went in to see progress two days ago and the guy I was speaking to played dumb the whole time… avoided my questions… he showed me my car and I just wanna say, okay cool that’s my car, what I really wanna see is my new engine you say you’ve been working on lol

Have you talked to the person who is actually in charge or owns the place? Also you might contact this extended warranty firm you bought the warranty from.

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This has all the hallmarks of something one of my friends experienced years ago regarding body work and paint job on his classic Camaro. Shop came highly recommended and they had all the right answers. Shop was busy and seemed in order. After months of similar run-arounds like yours we went there to have a frank discussion with the owner. It became obvious that they hadn’t really done much with his car and weren’t in any position to finish it. They had more excuses and promised to “get going on it immediately”. We took a breather off to the side and I told him my advice- let’s take your car from here today. All they are going to do is do a little more work and push it off again, just to keep you on the hook. It was obvious he was not a priority to them. We did just that, pulled the car from them and he went elsewhere. Took some time to liberate the downpayment- in fact, his car was finished elsewhere before he got the restitution from the first shop. He never looked back even though it was painful at the time. Hope yours turns out better but based on your last comments, I don’t think so…I would not have left without seeing the parts/progress…

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Not recently, I’m actually having a sit down with him tomorrow to discuss what it going on

That’s unfortunate but sounds like you guys found a solution that worked for you, I believe I would lose money and time moving my car… after I have a sit down with the owner tomorrow I’m going to make it clear that I will be stopping by after work 2-3 times a week. I’ve been lucky enough to have a car in this time but once you get used to a boosted car everything else seems like torture lol

I expect that tomorrow you will hear a line of BS. It’s Friday; lay some BS down and bug out for the weekend while hoping you won’t be back on Monday.

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I honestly expect the same at this point lol