Condensor Damage Danger - Club Crosstrek | Subaru XV Crosstrek Forums
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Old 05-04-2017, 02:50 PM   #1
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Angry Condensor Damage Danger

Beware of A.C. condenser damage. We believed the adverts that said Subarus were designed and built far better than much cheaper competitors, especially the North American companies semi-junk options. NOT TRUE! Based on my experience, these ads are just as false and misleading as the statements of great quality we see in GM/Ford/F-C shilling. The condenser is just as exposed to road surface objects causing catastrophic damage (as in $1K repair bill) as the mediocre outputs of the Bad 3. I appealed to Subaru corporate who took a whole 1 day to give me a complete no for any form of relief. Worse, we were driving on an Interstate when the disaster occurred. Just imagine if we'd been driving on back roads which we'd expect a Subaru was truly designed for.

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Old 05-04-2017, 08:44 PM   #2
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We're not getting the whole story here.

Can you elaborate what potential object collided with your A/C condenser that you're so fuming about? And how this all happened?

I personally believe it's quite a stretch to be under the impression that the Subaru commercials' claim for long-lasting vehicles immediately equates to heavy-duty durable. Most people are not too hard on their vehicles. And today's production cars have been on a trend of reducing heavy durability in exchange for lighter components to try and meet CAFE standards.

And before further condenser and other heat exchanger damage was done to my vehicle, I was proactive and installed this lower bumper grill mesh.

I understand that it's unfortunate that you've got yourself a very expensive repair bill, but unexpected damage does happen with vehicle ownership. In this case, it seems Subaru of America determined that they are not responsible for the resulting failure of the A/C condenser.
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Old 05-05-2017, 01:32 AM   #3
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You asked for more details:
1. The "catastrophic failure" (what the Subaru dealer tech called it) happened on northbound I-75 in northern GA. There were no construction zones anywhere near, no gravel trucks, just slow moving traffic typical of the Atlanta - Chattanooga stretch. This falls well below my definition of an area that should require "heavy-duty" construction. Whatever contacted the underside was small enough to not be noticeable nor loud enough to be heard as anything unusual. The tech told me he was certain the cause was material because of how the condenser looked and how the A.C. cut out in a matter of a minute or two. As for the supplemental protector mesh you mention - this is the first I've heard of it and to reiterate my original theme: if Subarus were actually built better why aren't these things factory installed so that normal objects from a paved interstate roadway don't damage a lower part of the power plant. This isn't the same as a stone flipped into a windshield or a tree branch from a dirt cart track flipping into a muffler, this is an expensive part of the A.C. Another (independent garage) auto tech told me this type of damage occurs on all makes with regularity. Again, to return to my original theme: Subaru pitches (and prices) their products as something built far better than average. If KIAs and Chryslers are designed the same way why all the hype about superior design/build? Should we be expected to know about and buy extra after market protection items even after spending the extra $ for a car that the company website repeatedly touts as "superior"? You are correct that Subaru corporate has wiped their hands of any repair responsibility. To me it looks like the superior warranty isn't built any more superior than the car.
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Old 05-05-2017, 03:38 PM   #4
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I definitely 2nd what AWDfreak says about the lower mesh grill. I noticed several rock chips/dents in that area and started looking for solutions when I stumbled upon that thread. Cheap and easy peace of mind.

My buddy had a brand new BMW get a rock thrown through his radiator and almost overheated his brand new vehicle. I don't know what kind of insurance you have on your vehicle, but I'd be giving them a call. My friends BMW damage was covered under his comprehensive damage coverage, just paid his deductible. If you do have comprehensive, it should be covered as it is a non-collision incident at no fault of your own. You even have documentation from Subaru proving it was a piece of road debris, so your insurance shouldn't have a way to weasel out.
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Old 05-05-2017, 10:12 PM   #5
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Please don't take this the wrong way, but you had a freak accident and are blaming the manufacturer, and I don't feel that's fair.

This is also EXACTLY the same thing as a stone being flipped into a windshield. Just because there were no visible gravel trucks and it wasn't a construction zone, doesn't mean anything. A tire kicked up a stone that went through your condenser. And I'm very sorry that happened to you, it really is a horrible feeling to have something like this happen.


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Old 05-06-2017, 12:53 AM   #6
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Hi RB,
Agreed this is a case of unfortunate happenstance. My point is Subaru tout and price their products as designed and built far better than direct competitors. I paid $6,500 more than my other options in this class to end up with the same sort of product weakness that I could have had for many fewer $. Based on this I consider the company advertising to be misleading.
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Old 05-06-2017, 01:05 AM   #7
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Hi TT,
I will look into the after market mesh which appears to be a prudent/necessary purchase.

As for insurance, my deductible is $500 which is pretty standard leaving me with $300 to pay in return for having a claim on file. Granted it's not an at fault driving claim but most companies track these too and can use them to bump or deny renewals because they don't differentiate between vandalism from parking in a dangerous area or driving on a poor quality road and regular minor Interstate debris hitting a weak spot on a 12 month old vehicle.
I still return to my original theme that this incident shows me Company claims of much superior design/build need to be taken with several grains of salt.
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Old 05-06-2017, 02:36 AM   #8
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I'm not sure where you reside or the local laws of your state, but several states, including my home state of California, have laws against insurance companies raising rates for incidents that don't qualify for "at fault."

Might I ask what other vehicles you were looking at?

Reason I ask is because Subaru builds a lot of added features into each base model, most notably the AWD system. I just did a quick google search (because I honestly didn't really know what was out there), and here's what I found: when you configure each of these base models with the available AWD, they tend to jump above the Crosstrek's starting price.

Crosstrek - $21,695
Mazda CX-3 - $22,150
Hyundai Tucson - $24,100
Ford Escape - $25,895
(The Ford Escape had to be configured in the "SE" trim to get AWD, as it was not available in base "S" trim.)
Kia Sportage - $24,700

I'm sure I'm missing some, but again, this was a quick google search, and the only one I was able to find that was cheaper than the Crosstrek when configured with AWD is...
Jeep Renegade - $19,995

I'm sorry, but you simply cannot convince me that Subaru's are not better built vehicles simply because a fluke accident. You can spend $100 on a tire or $300 on a tire and a nail can still puncture it either way.


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Old 05-06-2017, 05:32 AM   #9
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Fake news. Lol.
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