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That's a pretty big hit. Your comprehensive insurance may cover the repair, subject to your deductible, IF you want to go that route. It may or may not be worth the trouble to do so, depending on a lot of things. Sorry that you are now one of the folks to have to deal with this. Also, you could call Subaru's HQ and talk to them about covering the repair due to a faulty grill design. A few folks have gotten some help from Subaru doing so. The ones that I have heard about were "One time, customer satisfaction" deals. That might be a longshot, but with only 17K miles on the car, it is a possibility.

HTH

Steve
IS there anyway we can fix this flaw? Any aftermarket parts? I want to protect my new investment as best I can..
 

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This has come up before. Here is one thread you can read through. AC Condenser Protection Screen

Full Disclosure: I am aware of this issue because I make and sell a grill screen for the Ascent (And Outback and Crosstrek) that keeps rocks from getting into the radiator along with a bunch of other things. And another for the intercooler. I've been making stuff like this for 8 years, starting with the Chevy Volt, which had a wicked bad problem with punctured radiators. Ascents and Outbacks aren't as bad as that, but once this kind of thing shows up, it doesn't go away. You can find the Subaru stuff I make here: ASCENTSTUFF I have these ready to go if folks want to protect their cars.

HTH

Stece
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
That's a pretty big hit.
Really? It didn't look too large. It doesn't take much I guess. I learned a little about condenser design though and am a little bummed that the regrigerant pipes are right at the front and exposed.

Your comprehensive insurance may cover the repair, subject to your deductible, IF you want to go that route. It may or may not be worth the trouble to do so, depending on a lot of things.
My comp deductible is $250. I'm a little cautious about affecting rates in the future though. I'd rather keep insurance out of it. I'll keep it in mind though.

Also, you could call Subaru's HQ and talk to them about covering the repair due to a faulty grill design. A few folks have gotten some help from Subaru doing so. The ones that I have heard about were "One time, customer satisfaction" deals. That might be a longshot, but with only 17K miles on the car, it is a possibility.
I'm planning to do the same just in case they'll help. It doesn't hurt to ask. I asked the service writer if he could work down the price too and think he'll do something for me.

IS there anyway we can fix this flaw? Any aftermarket parts? I want to protect my new investment as best I can..
A forum member makes grille guards for the lower opening. Wouldn't have mattered for this case. I'm very interested now though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Full Disclosure: I am aware of this issue because I make and sell a grill screen for the Ascent (And Outback and Crosstrek) that keeps rocks from getting into the radiator along with a bunch of other things.
A forum member makes grille guards for the lower opening. Wouldn't have mattered for this case. I'm very interested now though!
Oh duh. It's Scarlett. :D
 

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That's a pretty big hit. Your comprehensive insurance may cover the repair, subject to your deductible, IF you want to go that route. It may or may not be worth the trouble to do so, depending on a lot of things. Sorry that you are now one of the folks to have to deal with this. Also, you could call Subaru's HQ and talk to them about covering the repair due to a faulty grill design. A few folks have gotten some help from Subaru doing so. The ones that I have heard about were "One time, customer satisfaction" deals. That might be a longshot, but with only 17K miles on the car, it is a possibility.

HTH

Steve
Dropped it off for service this morning. They set me up in a 21 Forester Premium. Not a bad car so far, it feels a lot like a mini Ascent mostly just due to the common controls. Lacks that turbo kick though. :)

ANYWAY, the service writer just sent me this picture of the AC condenser. ....crap.... They UV tested it and are sure that's the leak.

View attachment 12054

View attachment 12055

He says it'll be right under $800 to replace. The part is $300 retail so the rest is labor and refrigerant. About 3 days since they don't have the part.

This was not readily visible through the grille but i guess a tiny rock / debris worked its way upwards.
That's a pretty big hit. Your comprehensive insurance may cover the repair, subject to your deductible, IF you want to go that route. It may or may not be worth the trouble to do so, depending on a lot of things. Sorry that you are now one of the folks to have to deal with this. Also, you could call Subaru's HQ and talk to them about covering the repair due to a faulty grill design. A few folks have gotten some help from Subaru doing so. The ones that I have heard about were "One time, customer satisfaction" deals. That might be a longshot, but with only 17K miles on the car, it is a possibility.

HTH

Steve
 

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Dropped it off for service this morning. They set me up in a 21 Forester Premium. Not a bad car so far, it feels a lot like a mini Ascent mostly just due to the common controls. Lacks that turbo kick though. :)

ANYWAY, the service writer just sent me this picture of the AC condenser. ....crap.... They UV tested it and are sure that's the leak.

View attachment 12054

View attachment 12055

He says it'll be right under $800 to replace. The part is $300 retail so the rest is labor and refrigerant. About 3 days since they don't have the part.

This was not readily visible through the grille but i guess a tiny rock / debris worked its way upwards.
Damn, ok you have made a believer out of me. I have a 50 foot roll of screen door material in the garage I bought to put in the refrigerator to keep my dogs hair out of plugging up the condenser and ruined my last fridge.Dont want to keep buying them at 2,880 dollars a copy. Anyway I'm gonna put a piece of that in front of the condenser or behind the grill to keep this from happening. If anyone else has this straighten the fins out then you can just cry wolf and say wow my new cars condenser sprung a leak from nowhere. You will have to do all the fins around the hole so it doesn't look like you piddled with it,use a very small screwdriver almost as small as the largest ones they have to tighten glasses. That's what I um uh'm think will fit.
 

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Damn, ok you have made a believer out of me. I have a 50 foot roll of screen door material in the garage I bought to put in the refrigerator to keep my dogs hair out of plugging up the condenser and ruined my last fridge.Dont want to keep buying them at 2,880 dollars a copy. Anyway I'm gonna put a piece of that in front of the condenser or behind the grill to keep this from happening. If anyone else has this straighten the fins out then you can just cry wolf and say wow my new cars condenser sprung a leak from nowhere. You will have to do all the fins around the hole so it doesn't look like you piddled with it,use a very small screwdriver almost as small as the largest ones they have to tighten glasses. That's what I um uh'm sure that's the size.
 

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Really? It didn't look too large. It doesn't take much I guess. I learned a little about condenser design though and am a little bummed that the regrigerant pipes are right at the front and exposed.
That is a big ding compared to what I usually see when folks send me pictures. It doesn't take much, it seems that using a thinner guage aluminum tubing on the condenser might save 8 oz. of weight in the car. Do that enough all over and you'll cut 20 lbs. off the car's overall weight. Doesn't sound like much, but weight is the enemy. It isn't just Subaru, either.... And $800 actually sounds pretty cheap compared to most cars. Replacing the front radiator when that gets holed in a Volt is a $1400+ job most of the time.
Steve
 

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That is a big ding compared to what I usually see when folks send me pictures. It doesn't take much, it seems that using a thinner guage aluminum tubing on the condenser might save 8 oz. of weight in the car. Do that enough all over and you'll cut 20 lbs. off the car's overall weight. Doesn't sound like much, but weight is the enemy. It isn't just Subaru, either.... And $800 actually sounds pretty cheap compared to most cars. Replacing the front radiator when that gets holed in a Volt is a $1400+ job most of the time.
Steve
This sounds crazy but,consumer reports did a survey in which they asked consumers what a 'fair price' for a repair was , the answer was 400 dollars. So I would call them and ask them since this was double the 'fair price ' they should pay for the difference.
 

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This sounds crazy but,consumer reports did a survey in which they asked consumers what a 'fair price' for a repair was , the answer was 400 dollars. So I would call them and ask them since this was double the 'fair price ' they should pay for the difference. Also do that on one million cars per year and you have enough to pay for a few workers pay.....for the year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
That is a big ding compared to what I usually see when folks send me pictures. It doesn't take much, it seems that using a thinner guage aluminum tubing on the condenser might save 8 oz. of weight in the car. Do that enough all over and you'll cut 20 lbs. off the car's overall weight. Doesn't sound like much, but weight is the enemy. It isn't just Subaru, either.... And $800 actually sounds pretty cheap compared to most cars. Replacing the front radiator when that gets holed in a Volt is a $1400+ job most of the time.
Steve
Yeah, I know it's not astronomical. Even if I were to do it myself I might only save $200-300 after taking off work and paying to have the system recharged (though I do want to learn that. Another time). It just kind of sucks because me and the service writer were both expecting it to be under warranty, a leaking hose or something. But now that was a $700 rock I didn't even get to keep. You gotta pay to play. I hate being reminded of that though. Life goes on. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I got the car back last week and all is well now. Thank goodness as it's getting warm and humid here.

I learned a little about our cooling arrangement. This is typical to most cars I believe.
  • At the very front is the trans cooler. It's smaller and situated in the upper grille towards the drivers side.
  • Next is the AC condenser which is very large and spans both grille openings.
  • Next is the radiator which is about the same size as the AC condenser.

So earlier when I said I inspected the condenser, I was actually looking at the trans cooler. 🤦‍♂️ The damage was in fact in the lower grille opening.

Not to turn this into a commercial, but I really should have ordered the grille screen. I was meaning too, but you know ....busy. So @Scarlett , I just messaged you to place an order.

I pulled this off your website too. Is that me? :)

12171


I've got one complaint with the dealer in regards to parts cost. The price of the condenser is 360.95. They gave a 35 discount off of that just for the circumstances. When I go to THEIR parts website though, MSRP is only 299.99 and they're doing a 10% sale so 269.99. This is for picking up at the dealer. I have no idea why there's a difference between what their service department and parts counter charge for the same exact thing. Kind of feels like a rip off. I'm waiting on an answer back on this.
 

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I got the car back last week and all is well now. Thank goodness as it's getting warm and humid here.

I learned a little about our cooling arrangement. This is typical to most cars I believe.
  • At the very front is the trans cooler. It's smaller and situated in the upper grille towards the drivers side.
  • Next is the AC condenser which is very large and spans both grille openings.
  • Next is the radiator which is about the same size as the AC condenser.

So earlier when I said I inspected the condenser, I was actually looking at the trans cooler. 🤦‍♂️ The damage was in fact in the lower grille opening.

Not to turn this into a commercial, but I really should have ordered the grille screen. I was meaning too, but you know ....busy. So @Scarlett , I just messaged you to place an order.

I pulled this off your website too. Is that me? :)

View attachment 12171

I've got one complaint with the dealer in regards to parts cost. The price of the condenser is 360.95. They gave a 35 discount off of that just for the circumstances. When I go to THEIR parts website though, MSRP is only 299.99 and they're doing a 10% sale so 269.99. This is for picking up at the dealer. I have no idea why there's a difference between what their service department and parts counter charge for the same exact thing. Kind of feels like a rip off. I'm waiting on an answer back on this.
Sorry, DJ, that isn't you. But send me a good quote and I'll be happy to add you in there! I got your email, reply has been sent! I can get your AscentStuff on the way today. Unfortunately, you are not the first to go through this, nor will you be the last. Once a situation like this becomes clear, it just isn't going to get any better all by itself. And the vehicle manufacturers are reluctant to do anything as it would be an admission of the issue. We saw that first hand with the Gen 1 Chevy Volt, and it is still going on. Which means the best thing the Ascent community can do is to spread the word to protect the condenser and radiator.

HTH,

Steve
 
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