Subu got new shoes

So I had the Subu in Manchester Subaru yesterday for a oil change. I figure since I work around the corner for almost two years I may as well check it out. Compared to Subaru of Hudson they had a lot more cars on the lot, but the showroom and repair department are dated. I doped off and got a ride to work. A few hours later I got the call, you know the one, and as I figured they suggested a laundry list of possible way of spending my money!

1. Tires – They said I had 1/32″ of thread on the front and 2/32″ on the back. Why is it not 1/16″? To which I replied “at least there wearing evenly, and I thought to myself….perhaps if I rotate I’ll get a few more miles or they will even out to 3/64” each!

2. Front pads and rotors – Apparently the pads were down to the metal! Well I said the last time they were that bad it sounded like a first year apprentice taking off way too much steel on a fifty year old lathe! It goes something like this “gnaaaaar, clunk, clunk, screech and finally stop, and don’t forget that unmistakable metal on metal smell”. They were not impressed! I was beginning to think they had no sense of humor. The folks in Nashua are much more laid back.

3. Front suspension parts – They yammered off a 1/2 dozen or so parts that were about to fall off the car if I did not replace them yesterday. To which I also respectfully declined and said “they got me to the dealership this morning so things can’t be that bad”. Again I got the unimpressed response.

4. Other things mentioned – Timing belt, done I said. Air filer, change it I said. Transmission flush – no thanks. 125,000 service (for the bargain price of $560.00). I wonder what that covered? I didn’t ask and thankfully they did not offer. Besides I said thats a whole 3k and change away. Remind me in a few weeks, not.

When she finally stopped talking I said let’s change the oil and air filer and call it a day. $70 later I was done.

Got a ride back to the dealer and on the way back to the office I stopped into a parts store and bought pads ( front and back) for $54. I figured thirty minutes in the drive way is better than $360 at the dealership. Of course that price included pads, but mine have character and like me are a little warped and rusty, and pads will wear in soon enough.

On the drive home from the office I stopped into Town Fair Tire on DW highway in Nashua. Brian was working the counter and we discussed the finer point of putting a 2006 Subu Outback up on two wheels while entering any on/off ramp! Brian fully agrees with my style of driving and we decided on a middle of the road summer tire. Not as aggressive as the last set, but V rated tires would be wasted on a family wagon.

One hour later my Subu had new shoes and in proper style I needed to break them in. So out of Town Fair, north on DW and right onto the exit for rt3. I rounded the ramp and beat the suggested speed by 2.24! Ya baby I like these new wheels. If it wasn’t for seven year old suspension I bet I could get my 2.24 up to 2.75!

New shoes.


After a spirited drive home I did a race car pit stop and swapped out the front pads. I’m sure the neighbors think I’m nuts but I was in a “git er done” (Irish version) mode so out came the trolley jack, cranked up the compressor, grabbed the impact gun and raaatattat. Twenty five minutes later I was buzzing down our street making sure I could stop the car. BTW….I could have gotten at least another few months out of the existing pads. I think Manchester Subaru need to lay off the alarmist mode. Settle lads she’ll stop just fine.

Anyhow I figured I was all set for our ride up to Old Forge NY (more on that later) until a friend driving behind me said I had a break light out. A few bucks later that was sorted out. I wonder if the five hundred and something dollar service would have covered that, or would the $2 bulb be an added cost!

Upstate NY here we come.

Outback update

So my subu was in for a new front passenger half shaft. The booth was ripped and I was quoted by Subaru of Hudson NH $400 to change the boot, or $420 for the whole shaft, and if I did the booth they really could not warranty it! So for all the brain surgeons or perhaps proctologists in the group I opted for the shaft, no pun intended.

The bad news is my catalytic converters were also on the way out. That’s why my dashboard looks like a cheap xmass tree. However, the cats were covered under an obscure warranty by the state of MA! I had to ask as I was certain that our Mr. Patrick would be camped out at the border with a bill in his hand waiting for me. Apparently I fell into a small window: 2005-2006, non turbo 2.5L between 100 and 150k miles and you need to live in MA. So thank you state of MA. You just saved me at least $1200. This makes up for all the parking tickets I’ve gotten in Boston over the past 25 years or so.

While my ride was in the shop and since they were out of loaners I ended up in an Enterprise rental. A sharp dress what seemed like 7 year old drove three of us back to the rental lot. The only thing that was missing was the paper covered car! Anyhow, for a $5 upgrade I got a new Nissan Maxima. I was thinking it was better that the Kia we just got out of and probably a little safer….and faster. However, I a little disappointed. It reminded me of driving my dad’s tractor! Very heavy in the nose, no idea where the wheels are pointing and no feedback from the steering. You have to mash on the gas to get it to move, but it has a cool start button….doesn’t make you for it. The interior is nice and its a good looking car, but not for me!

In any event it will be back to the rental lot for the Max and back to the Subu for me.