2002 WRX "Lack of acceleration" Please give input.
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This is a discussion on 2002 WRX "Lack of acceleration" Please give input. within the Car Purchasing Forum forums, part of the ClubWRX.net Marketplace category; Hey all, i am looking into picking up this 2002 WRX in the next week or so. The asking price ...

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    2002 WRX "Lack of acceleration" Please give input.

    Hey all, i am looking into picking up this 2002 WRX in the next week or so. The asking price is 3000, its a 2002 WRX, in white. It is in really good shape for the asking price, here is the catch. The owner current owner claims that while driving one day in the spring the vehicle just lost power, it still runs. Will idle and run, just has an extreme lack of power. I have yet to look at the car because it is about 2 hours away from me.

    My question is what could be the possible cause of the current owners concern? I know a bit about Subaru's and these motors, but without bias would like to know what the community has to say?

    About me? I have a great knowledge of automotive, I understand how to diagnose most no start problems, run-ability issues... but this is said to be a lack of power situation. I plan on doing the basic checks of the car when i look at it, as well as an scoping the amperage of the cylinders while turning the engine over to get a general check of the cylinders. He claims that there is a loss of compression in the cylinder #3, based on something that his Access port may have told him?

    Any other ideas that could be the cause?

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    zax
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    If Cyl #3 is low compression, the car isn't worth picking up.

    Amperage of cylinders? Dafuq?

    You will want a full leakdown and compression test regardless.
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    OMG WTF MainFrame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zax View Post
    You will want a full leakdown and compression test.


    This^.. I don't know what you mean by amperage, and an AccessPort can't tell you what the compression is like. But if it has low compression you're better off walking, unless you feel like taking on a project and can talk him down some more.

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    Sounds like you should go in with the mindset of replacing the engine. That way anything else is good news...hopefully. But a lot of times the fixer-uppers and projects that were bought cheap are a can of worms. Make sure you're ready for this if you just absolutely have to pick it up...meaning you're going to spend much more than it's worth.

    For the technical side, I'm confused by your post lol.

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    Well, I am quite confused really. Unless there is some reason that a Subaru internal combustion engine, is wildly different than a normal combustion engine, there can be a range of reasons that the vehicle is having power loss. And another range if the power loss is in fact related to low compression, Is there some difference that Im not aware of? (this is why im fishing on here, insider knowledge.)

    To answer the diagnostic question. If you take a lab scope, and you hook it to the starter cable. You remove the relay for the fuel pump so the vehicle will not start (and you wont be flooding the engine by disabling spark) then as you turn the car over you can watch/measure the sine wave of starter draw. All of the cylinders should have similar wave forms. It is a quick way to tell which cylinder, if any, may have a health concern (based on the firing order, compared to the scope results) Pretty cool really.

    I Have to problem ripping the heads off and replacing valves and resurfacing the seats. Hell, I have no problem pulling the engine and overhauling it, I just dont have the money for that. Im just looking for more ideas of what the problem could be. As i said, i have yet to look at the car, i just dont want to be scratching my nuts when i get there.

    The deal with the car is that it would be a trade situation. A 2003 S-10 Blazer with 125,000 for his 2002 WRX with 145000 on it. It is my girlfriends blazer and she hates it, iv always wanted a rex, so it works out well. We have other cars, so if it has to sit a little bit while getting repaired, that wouldn't be a problem. My car is worth about 4,500 out right. His is worth 5,000 out right (if it was running).

    Let me know what you guys think.

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    You're right, there are a ton of potential causes for loss of power. Hell, it could simply be that a hose popped loose.. the seller said loss of compression in cylinder 3. That right there points to a serious mechanical failure within the engine (I don't know if you would really be able to tell anything like that with an oscilloscope). But then he thinks that because something on the AP? That makes absolutely no sense. He could be meaning it's picking up a cylinder #3 misfire code, but that doesn't mean there's a loss of compression.


    My main concern with the car would be this.. what mods are (or have been) on it, and what tune is he running for those mods? The only real reasons it would have a bad motor would be lack of maintenance, abuse, or improper tuning. The later happens more than you would believe.

    Look it over good. Familiarize yourself with what a stock engine bay looks like. Check for vacuum leaks, look for mods or anything out of the ordinary, maybe even take pictures to post up here. If the engine sounds fine, and it just has loss of power when you try to accelerate, my first suspicion would be a massive leak somewhere between the MAF and the throttle body.



    If there is something wrong with the engine, prepare for a lot of work. Because of the layout you need to pull the engine to do practically anything with the heads. I've seen it take experienced mechanics over two hours just to change spark plugs.

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    The only thing he said with cylinder #3 was that he used the AP to tell it had low compression. I guess, I have never used an AP. So i have no idea what he could mean, possibly he means misfire. I have some pics of the engine bay, and i will put up the link to the CL post for the car.

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    2002 wrx fopr parts or project Here is the Cl post, now i have to figure out how to get the pics off of my phone and put them on here.

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    nifty

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    So i guess the question is, Are there any known causes of lack of power in this model year? Valve issues, spring issues, rings (unlikely), Coils, maybe timing jumping issues? Any little things could help me chase the issue down?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mybwhtwrx View Post
    So i guess the question is, Are there any known causes of lack of power in this model year? Valve issues, spring issues, rings (unlikely), Coils, maybe timing jumping issues? Any little things could help me chase the issue down?

    leaks

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    Quote Originally Posted by MainFrame View Post
    leaks
    Like your run of the mill vacuum leaks. I have a large understanding of diagnostics of n/a cars, but i haven't had the pleasure of working with run ability issue on too many turbocharged cars. Shouldn't that make isolating the problem a little easier?

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    It seems like you really want us to tell you "go ahead" with this car. I, for one, will not make such an endorsement. Who the hell knows what's going on with this car, it could be a huge headache. The fact that he's advertising it as "for parts or project" alone would turn me away.
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    I am not looking for anyone's permission or "go ahead". I am only looking for technical assistance for what could be a possible issue. I am not scared of getting a raw deal, if i see a red flag, i will walk away. I know what to look for as far as used car buying, or engine issues (how to check oil for coolant, how to check the car neglect, signs of abuse) I am basically asking, if i already owned this car, what should i look into?

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