Turbo problem?
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This is a discussion on Turbo problem? within the Everyday Impreza Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Hello fellow subject people I'm new to Subaru. I recently bought an 03 wrx wagon with about 175000 miles on ...

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    Turbo problem?

    Hello fellow subject people
    I'm new to Subaru. I recently bought an 03 wrx wagon with about 175000 miles on it. After driving it around I've noticed that it is only boost at about .6 mpa. Is that normal? Furthermore, any time I make a turn( either left or right) with my foot off the gas I hear a rumbling noise coming from the passenger side. Is my turbo going bad? What else should I look at?
    Thanks for the help

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    OMG WTF MainFrame's Avatar
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    Is the car stock or modded? Is that .6mpa in 4th gear at wide open throttle? Boost is gear dependent. If it's completely stock (and always has been), then I would suspect a leak.


    As far as the rumbling sound, if the car is stock ride height, with stock wheels and stock sized tires, I would guess that your fender liners are torn/hanging down, or something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MainFrame View Post
    Is the car stock or modded? Is that .6mpa in 4th gear at wide open throttle? Boost is gear dependent. If it's completely stock (and always has been), then I would suspect a leak.


    As far as the rumbling sound, if the car is stock ride height, with stock wheels and stock sized tires, I would guess that your fender liners are torn/hanging down, or something.
    Or its running wastegate pressure if something was removed and never put back correctly...
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    Thank you for the response! When I bought the car it was lowered with 18 inch rims. Since then I have put the stock rims and spring back on. The inner fenders were removed and I have yet to get new ones. As far as I can tell the engine is all stock.
    Would the leak be a vacuum or exhaust leak and how do I find out. In 4th at wide open throttle it only reaches .6 mpa.

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    OMG WTF MainFrame's Avatar
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    First, I would make sure the stock boost control system is installed correctly (including the restrictor pill).




    If all that is right, with no leaks, then I would go on to make sure you have a catless uppipe installed. It's hard for me to believe that an 03 with 170k+ miles would still have the stock uppipe and still be running, but I've seen stranger things happen.


    If you have a leak it could be a boost leak, vacuum leak, or exhaust leak. You should be able to hear a preturbo exhaust leak (sounds like a ticking sound almost). Of course some exhaust leaks only occur under boost.

    The best (easiest) way to find a boost leak is to perform a boost leak test. Tester costs about $12, and the process doesn't take too long. I would also go over all the vacuum lines in the engine bay (as well as fittings and caps), and visually inspect for leaks. Anything cracked or dry rotted should be replaced, and if the hoses aren't fitting snuggly pop a zip tie on it.



    If all of that checks out good, then I would want to scan the ECU, pull up Learning View and see if anything looks off there.

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    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	138209I looked at the vacuum lines and they all seem to be in pretty fair shape. What is that blue vacuum line for? there is also a black vacuum line T with a screw in one of the ports.
    It is not the original uppipe. What would/should it look like? Click image for larger version. 

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    OMG WTF MainFrame's Avatar
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    The blue line is for your BPV.. it's not stock, but it should be fine. I would guess that the other T fitting with the screw in it is where someone had a boost gauge installed at some point. As long as it's not leaking it shouldn't be a problem.

    Check the line on the compressor housing for the restrictor pill, you should be able to feel it in there by squeezing the line.


    Supposedly you can check if the boost control solenoid is functioning properly by putting the car in test mode (plug in the green connectors under the driver's side dash). It cycles everything while the key is turned "on".. BUT, personally I have never been able hear or feel the BCS clicking when in test mode, even on properly functioning cars, so take that for what it's worth.



    At this point, if you're sure there is no boost leak (pressurizing the system to ~10psi should be enough to hear any leaks). Then a data log would be helpful.

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    So I felt the three hose by the turbo. It didn't feel like there was anything inside of the hoses. Where can I get new ones with the restrctor pill?

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    Subaru dealership.. maybe subarugenuineparts.com

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