I am new to the community—please let me know if I do not follow the etiquette. I have 2011 Subaru Forester, with about 48,000 miles.
There have been several surprises since I took my car to a reputable local repair shop, with the most mysterious one being “sewing machine-like noise from engine” that I have not been aware of but emerged (or became apparent) during the possession of the shop for the past four days. The owner said the (suddenly-emerged) noise was due to failing engine lifter(s); it just happened unfortunately while my car is in their possession, and has nothing with them.
I don’t think they would ever intentionally damage a customer’s engine; that’s stupid and based on the Yelp review it seems that the owner cares very much about customer’s feedback (https://www.yelp.com/biz/ace-auto-repair-and-tire-pros-seattle-3). But given my very little knowledge about cars, I can’t figure out how this happened. Would this be another human error (they have inadvertently damaged the radiator), although unintentional? Can folks here recommend me what to do next, i.e. going forward with this repair shop, or have another one to address the engine noise issue?
Here is a summary of the story:
8/11, Friday. I took the car to the shop to fix engine oil leak problem. Previously they’ve identified oil leak and put dyes in it. The said both valve cover gasket and timing cover gaskets need to be changed, costing > $1,000 before tax, which I am aware of before hand.
8/12, Saturday. The owner informed me that their technician inadvertently damaged the radiator. So they can not give me the car on that day. He said they will fix the radiator, free of charge, though. He apologized for the delay and error (they actually installed a new one, which I had not been aware of until Monday).
8/14, Monday. I called the shop at noon, but owner was not available. Called him again at around 4:20 --he was on the phone but called me back in minutes. He said, “you car has a problem”. Then he explained it was due to the failing engine lifter(s). He said he checked with Subaru and asked if this is under warranty, turns out not to be the case. He said this is a known problem listed in Subaru’s technical bulletin. He said he will email me the technical bulletin and his statement of the problem, although i haven’t received it as of now.
Base on the conversation with the owner and my experience with his staff, I feel they are professional and courteous. If this is not a fraud…how could the engine lifter problem happen? Before taking my Forester to the mechanics’ shop, the car is running fine, and I am not aware of the noise issue at all. Or is this actually not a problem, as this blog post (http://www.cartalk.com/blogs/guest-bloggers/subaru-engine-sounds-they-all-do) suggests? Could someone help? I appreciate it.