Jump to content
LegacyGT.com

Advice: Cooling Fan Relay Recall


Recommended Posts

The other day I took my Outback in for some service. The mechanic noticed the cooling fan was constantly running and brought it to my attention. He mentioned there is a recall for this issue and advised me to have Subaru perform the recall work.

 

I called the Subaru dealership who informed me the recall work had already been completed and therefore I would be responsible for any diagnostics / repair work for the issue. While I completely understand where their position it seems unlikely the vehicle would exhibit the exact problem as something for which Subaru has a recall. I'm not much of a believer in coincidences so I am of the opinion the recall work was not performed correctly.

 

I called Subaru of America and had some positive discussions with the representative who couldn't promise me any form of goodwill repair without having a diagnosis performed at a Subaru dealership. The cost of this diagnostics would be $89 and it would be non-refundable. However if it was determined there is a problem with the cooling system circuit related to this recall there is the possibility Subaru could provide some form of goodwill relief. What that would be I wouldn't know until the diagnostics were completed.

 

So I have a few questions:

 

 

  • Has anyone experienced the issue for this recall after having had the recall work performed? If so did Subaru help you (outside of warranty)?
  • Any suggestions on how to increase my chances of having Subaru perform a goodwill repair? I've been friendly and recognize this would be a goodwill repair so I haven't been at all demanding.
  • What issues, if any, would result from just leaving it run all the time? It doesn't appear to be affecting the vehicles operation at all.
  • I'm fairly confident the ECM has been damaged per the recall bulletin. The mechanic swapped out the relay to test the circuit and that did not resolve the problem. Which leads me to believe the ECM is damaged. Does this ECM control any other aspect of the vehicle?
  • Is there another cause of the cooling fan to continuously operate outside of the cause identified in the recall? It seems highly unlikely some other issue would cause the same behavior as that identified in the recall. But I've been wrong once or twice in the past so maybe I'm just wishing it so.

Any other information you feel may be pertinent is welcome. The $89 diagnostics fee seems reasonable but I'd like to hear people's feedback before I decide to go down this path. I do want to say that I was very pleased with the way Subaru of America had handled my initial inquiry. They were very courteous and willing to work with m on this issue. Kudos.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cooling Fan Recall - Feb. 2007

 

This whole first post should give you ample information on exactly what is going on with the recall in general and what you should understand about it - and yes, your ECM is probably damaged, that's a downside to not getting the recall fixed right away by the PO. I'm honestly surprised that this wasn't caught earlier. I understand them wanting to charge a diagnostic fee, but that's a little bit ridiculous. Try going in with a print out of the bulletin, I /personally/ wouldn't pay them a cent to diagnose a problem based around an already known recall, but that's up to you. Maybe you should try different dealerships and inquire about it?

 

I think i've heard of a few people on this forum still having the issue after the recall was performed, but I'm not sure where I saw the posts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WHen they put the new ECU in the car bring all the keys when you pick the car up so they can make them work with the new ECU.

 

My wagon has been fine since the recall.

305,600miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. (SOLD).  CHECK your oil, these cars use it.

 

Engine Build - Click Here

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cooling Fan Recall - Feb. 2007

 

This whole first post should give you ample information on exactly what is going on with the recall in general and what you should understand about it - and yes, your ECM is probably damaged, that's a downside to not getting the recall fixed right away by the PO. I'm honestly surprised that this wasn't caught earlier. I understand them wanting to charge a diagnostic fee, but that's a little bit ridiculous. Try going in with a print out of the bulletin, I /personally/ wouldn't pay them a cent to diagnose a problem based around an already known recall, but that's up to you. Maybe you should try different dealerships and inquire about it?

 

I think i've heard of a few people on this forum still having the issue after the recall was performed, but I'm not sure where I saw the posts.

Thanks for the link Akasa...I had already reviewed it. Coincidentally I came across the 2005 - 2009 OB Common Issues thread hours before I went to pick my car up from the mechanic. So when he brought it up I had the foundation to understand what he was referring to.

 

With that said I've spoken with a couple of dealers and both have basically stated since the recall work was done they consider the issue resolved (as far as the recall is concerned) and therefore any problem will be my responsibility. This is why I called Subaru directly...they were much more helpful (even though the couldn't commit to paying for the repair they didn't rule it out).

 

According to Subaru the recall work was performed seven years ago...their reasoning goes if it wasn't done properly then it's been this way for seven years. Without knowing the history of the car I can't say how long this has been a problem. Only that it's been this way since I bought it over the summer. I noticed it from time to time but never really gave it much thought given it doesn't appear to be harming anything.

 

Anyone else have an opinion if there could be another cause for the fan constantly running? The relay has been ruled out as the mechanic swapped it. Leaving the ECM and the suspect part.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfortunately my only other guess would be the ECM, mainly because this is already a known issue, and also that I have no clue what else would be causing it.

 

As for doing any further damage, I have no clue if it would at this point.

 

If I understand your initial post correctly, you do have a chance to be reimbursed if the issue is with your ECM? If so, i'd imagine that's one of your only good options left at this point.

 

Sorry that I couldn't be of much help, and I hope you're able to get this resolved one way or another :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am also curious about this. I had my repair done before the recall was done. I was still under the 36k/36 months. the car is 2005 by the way. Anyways, the ECU was replaced at the time. Then later when the recall rolled around i had the relay replaced.

I have noticed that the fans no longer cycle on and off. They no longer run all the time as they did before the ECU was replaced. But once the fans turn on they will not shut off until I turn off the car. Not sure if that makes sense.

To explain; I can be at a red light and the fans had been running for the previous 10 minutes. If i power cycle the car, turn it off and back on, the fans will not turn on. So it seems like something is not telling the ECU to turn the fans back off. Im not sure if this is a whole other problem.

My other car also has an electric fan, and that thing only fires up the fans for a minute or two at a time. cycles them on and off as needed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How much is a fan relay? Just buy one from Fred Beans and put it on yourself and call it good. The car is almost 10 years old and there comes a time when things just begin to fail. To rely on recalls for a part that must be about $30 not to mention the time you have to waste at the stealership, just doesn't make any sense. Buy one, change it yourself, and then you KNOW it's changed and diagnose from there.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

How much is a fan relay? Just buy one from Fred Beans and put it on yourself and call it good. The car is almost 10 years old and there comes a time when things just begin to fail. To rely on recalls for a part that must be about $30 not to mention the time you have to waste at the stealership, just doesn't make any sense. Buy one, change it yourself, and then you KNOW it's changed and diagnose from there.

The relay is not the problem. The problem is, most likely, the ECM. The fan doesn't run constantly because the relay has failed. The fan constantly runs because the relay damaged the ECM.

 

The intent of the recall is to replace the relay with a better unit which does not damage the ECM. However if, prior to the replacement of the relay, the ECM was already damaged replacing the relay doesn't correct the problem. The ECM needs to be replaced too. That's not a $30 part...more like $700. As to it being out of warranty I agree. However it seems awfully suspicious I'm having the exact same issue as that identified in the recall. If Subaru felt it important enough to issue a recall then it's my opinion they need to fix it...even if it is a second time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfortunately my only other guess would be the ECM, mainly because this is already a known issue, and also that I have no clue what else would be causing it.

 

As for doing any further damage, I have no clue if it would at this point.

 

If I understand your initial post correctly, you do have a chance to be reimbursed if the issue is with your ECM? If so, i'd imagine that's one of your only good options left at this point.

 

Sorry that I couldn't be of much help, and I hope you're able to get this resolved one way or another :)

I'm fairly confident the ECM is the damaged. You are understanding my initial post correctly. Subaru hasn't offered to diagnose / repair it for me. However they haven't ruled out some form of relief once the cause of the issue has been diagnosed by the dealership.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was given the same run around at my dealer. $90 diagnostic, if they found it to be relay/ECM related and what the recall described they would replace it for free and give me back the diagnostic fee.

 

I personally didn't want to spend $90 just for them to say sorry, since my fan doesn't run always, it only constantly runs if something triggers it (AC on startup, or hitting high enough temps). Otherwise it's off until then, so not 100% what the recall described in my case.

05 LGT 16G 14psi 290whp/30mpg

12 OBP Stock 130whp/27mpg@87 Oct

00 G20t GT28r 10psi 250whp/36mpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...

UPDATE: Today I took my Outback to the dealer to have it diagnosed. As expected the ECM needs to be replaced at an approximate cost of $1,300 (parts and labor). Subaru of America reviewed my case and has offered to cover 50% of the cost. I appreciate Subaru offering this goodwill gesture however that leaves me with roughly $650 out of pocket.

 

The cost itself isn't prohibitive to me but the value of performing the replacement is. I've been driving the car for roughly five months now, some of it in sub-zero temperatures, and there hasn't been any problem. I spoke with my indy about the repercussions of foregoing the repair. Essentially the only concern he raised is more wear on the fans as they're operating all of them time. I'm not sure how long the issue has existed. According to Subaru the recall work was done at 27K miles (the car now has around 129K miles).

 

I'd like to obtain the input of those on the forum. The indy had no recommendation one way or the other. Anyone have any thoughts as to if I should proceed or not? While I firmly believe this is related to the recall it is difficult to expect 100% replacement cost given the miles and time which has passed since the recall work had been performed. I think 50% was a nice gesture on Subaru's part. Right now I'm leaning towards letting it be. It's my "beater" vehicle so let them run and if they fail replace them at that time. The only concern is if they fail and it causes the car to overheat.

 

So what say all of you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just leave it

Tho i think subaru shouldve just done it for u for free

 

Truer words haven't been spoken by someone who writes like you.

 

If the ECU is indeed the problem, can it be corrected by flashing a different tune? Seems to me if you're willing to spend $650, you might as well get something out of it, other than fans that only run when they're supposed to.

 

That $650 would get you a new Cobb AP v3, which, would do alot more than just

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just leave it

Tho i think subaru shouldve just done it for u for free

I'm right there with you however they've only offered 50%. I may try to negotiate something a little higher but not sure what I would use to do that. I think they've been helpful by offering 50%.

 

Their point of view is the recall work was done over seven years and 100K miles ago. Therefore if something wasn't done correctly due to the recall it should have manifested earlier (and since I just purchased the car I can't say how long its been like this). My only argument is the problem is exactly as described in the recall and just because a recall was performed doesn't mean it was done properly or that the repair solved the problem (BMW's 335 series cars had an HPFP recall and many owners had to take it in repeatedly for repair even after the recall).

 

Anyway the ECM is a little over $1,100 and the labor in the $200 neighborhood. The positive way to look at this is I'm getting the ECM and labor for half the cost of the ECM itself. The dealer even waived the $89 diagnostic fee. The big question I have to ask myself is if this repair is worth it.

 

So I'm going to leave it at this: Kudos to the dealer for waiving the diagnostics fee and kudos to Subaru for offering to go above and beyond even if it's only 50%.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i guess,on a much larger scale , subaru is not a company in decline or default

they can def afford to help you by fixing the recall again

i'd expect treatment like that from a ford,domestic dealership

but sadly ive exp. the same treatment, which is why i avoid "stealerships" like the plague!

honestly i think you can find a better route getting to know the local subi guys in your area

thats what i'd do

they can prob help you save time and $$

that's how its been for me here in philly at least

met some solid dudes at subi car meets

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i guess,on a much larger scale , subaru is not a company in decline or default

they can def afford to help you by fixing the recall again

i'd expect treatment like that from a ford,domestic dealership

but sadly ive exp. the same treatment, which is why i avoid "stealerships" like the plague!

honestly i think you can find a better route getting to know the local subi guys in your area

thats what i'd do

they can prob help you save time and $$

that's how its been for me here in philly at least

met some solid dudes at subi car meets

I did some Ebay searches for ECM's and can pick one up for about $200. My local independent (who I'm very pleased with) can install it for a cost in the $500 range. This isn't much of a savings over the 50% cost from Subaru for which I would be receiving a new part with some form of warranty. Given the risks associated with buying one off Ebay and the small difference in cost I've decided if I'm going to move forward with this then I'll have Subaru do the work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Wanted to provide everyone an update and kind of a shout out to Subaru on this issue. I decided to move forward with the work as I had spoken with a different dealership and they had an out the door cost of $1,157 (first dealer was $1,366 and I'm not sure that was out the door).

 

I took it in at 7:30 this morning and the repair was done by 10:30. Unfortunately the Subaru web site that allows them to obtain the necessary codes for the new ECM was unavailable for a short while so I wasn't able to pick up the car until the afternoon. When I received the call the car was ready I was pleased to hear the amount I owed was less than I originally expect. My cost, out the door, was $440.36. I'm not sure why but it was $138 less than I had originally planned on spending so I am happy.

 

In the end it did cost me a little money to fix. While I believe this was something completely related to the recall it was very difficult for me to argue it was a recall issue seven years and 100K miles after the recall work had been performed. Subaru's offer to cover 50% was appreciated and I believe they went above and beyond anything they were obligated to do in this matter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use