Service Report: In The Groove

by | Jun 1, 2021

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

As I mentioned in some previous posts, Mary’s company car is a 2018 Ford Escape that she has serviced at Groove Ford. She has been exceedingly happy with the quality of service that the dealership provides and that is noteworthy with how women are often treated in many automotive sales and service situations. When we heard about the two recalls for her 2018 Subaru Crosstrek, she called Groove Subaru for an appointment. For the record Subaru of America never contacted us about the recall as compared to recalls where we received written communication from VWofA for the two recalls on he 2016 Beetle.

It fell to me to actually keep the appointment and when I arrived (early) at Groove there were three lanes of cars waiting to get into the service drive. Yet, in less than a minute someone from their Express Service lane was at my widow, iPad in hand getting my details and checking me in. That included looking over the car (for dents and body damage I guess,) and photographing the car, including the engine. After providing him with the appropriate information, he took me to their Rental Department to get a loaner car. I am not sure if loaners are provided for regular service but they were for this recall.

This person had me fill out some paperwork including a pledge not to smoke in the car. I asked her about this she unsolicitedly shared that “some people with loaners were smoking marijuana in their loaners!” She asked me if I wanted an Ascent and my answer was “that big ugly thing?” so she offered alternatives. It’s worth mentioning that when Mary booked the appointment she requested a BRZ loaner but rather than give me a car I would consider purchasing, they offered something I would never buy. How it went:

Impreza Mini-review: The compromise for the loaner was a seemingly barebones silver Impreza sedan with some nice looking alloy wheels. The car was pleasant looking, something Subaru is not noted for but the interior was a big let down. If I think the Crosstrek is Spartan, Subie doubled-down on cheapo with the Impreza leaving me wondering what the interior of a WRX looks like? The Impreza lacked the Crosstrek’s precise steering and the ride quality on the Lincoln Avenue bumpy road test was poor at best. And the road noise was also higher than the Crosstrek’s, which seems epidemic in every affordable car I’ve driven recently, including the VW ID.4 Mary tested.

Subaru of America recalled 466,205 vehicles to fix a potential problem with ignition coils, which could degrade and lead to “starting or stalling issues.”

The technician installed four new coil packs and as far as I can tell they did a good job. The car runs fine.

A second recall was to tighten bolts on the rear stabilizer bracket.

I was especially was interested in this recall because a month or so I noticed how the back end of the Crosstrek wallowed around like Shamu. The technician, I was told checked the torque settings on the rear stabilizer bracket bolts and said they were within specifications. I was not happy with that result and although the tech may be correct and the car just wallows around like a whale, I plan to get a second opinion when I take the car in for an oil change. It may be the Crosstrek needs rear shocks/struts although after 15,000 miles that seems unlikely but ‘ya never know.

The Express Service lane employee asked if I wanted their Multi-Point Safety Inspection (yes) and if I wanted them to wash the car (also yes.)

Multi-Point Safety Inspection? The service order writer, who was introduced to me by the loaner employee, said when he called to say the car was ready and “everything checked out OK.” There was nothing in writing about what was checked when I picked up the car and it lacked the technical walk-around video that was provided by the technicians at two different local VW dealers when I took Mary’s Beetle in for recalls.

The car wash? The Crosstrek was somewhat cleaner than when I brought it in but was not what I would call “clean,” again when compared to having any of my cars serviced/washed at a dealer in the last ten years.

Overall, the service delivered at Groove was professional (except for the car wash) and all of the employees I interacted with were extremely polite and customer focused and in this day and age that’s more than you can expect from any business.

If you would like to submit a service report on any of your interactions with a car dealer or repair shop, please drop me an email about it. Don’t worry that you may not be a writer, I’ll take what you submit and make sure it works with our format.