WRX Reliability?
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This is a discussion on WRX Reliability? within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I got my stock 02 rex last week with 7,000 miles on it, and I love it. My only concerns ...

  1. #1
    Subaru Newb MainFrame's Avatar
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    Question WRX Reliability?

    I got my stock 02 rex last week with 7,000 miles on it, and I love it. My only concerns are how long it will last me. I really need this car to get me through the next 6 years of college and the first few years of my first job. I drive aprox. 1,500 a week to school and back and around town. My plans for future mods are as follows: TXS Stealthback & Godspeed Uppipe in late November - early December. Next is a TXS UTEC, probably in late February - early March. After that it's a little sketchy.. maybe a Prodrive muffler in the future, polished throtle body, engine balancing in the distant future, I doubt I'll upgrade the turbo unless the stocker fails or my money situation allows me to purchase one easily.

    What I want to know is how long can I expect to go with these mods and moderately spirited driving before something major fails, ie. turbo, motor, tranny.. I know there are a lot of contributing factors present in determining how long a part will last, but what is the norm??

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    Registered User Trypsin's Avatar
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    i have no experience with the turbo motor, but my biddies dad had an old subaru wagon, 18 years only a clutch, forgot how many miles were on it.

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    Registered User NJwrbT-WRX's Avatar
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    Did you really mean 1500 miles/week, is so, you are looking at a whopping 468K miles in 6 years, I know Subarus last long, but a high performance Subaru with mods, I dont think you'll squeez a half a mil out of it!!! You want a car that can make it to 500K miles get a diesel VW, I know a guy that had 800K on his!

    -joe

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    MisterX's Avatar
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    If you want it to last a long time and don't wan't the expense that comes with loss of warranty, don't do any mods.

    One guy from the club went through a big deal about what mods he wanted to do (I spent a long tim PM'ing with him nor knowing he didn't even have a WRX) who told me he earned $200 per week.

    He couldn't have afforded it. Damn, just incidentals - gaskets, fluids, hardware, and tools I needed - have run into the hundreds of dollars by now. Not to mention shipping charges.

    The WRX is very reliable. But unless you, or Dad, has a boatload of money (I assume that you don't because you're in college - forgive me if I err.) keep the car stock.

    My $.02.

    misterx

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    Subaru Newb MainFrame's Avatar
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    yep.. 1500 miles a week, that's not year round, and I might move closer to campus, especially if I transfer to MIT after getting my BS. I didn't really think about how much that would add up .. so it may not get me through college. (Side note: my brother has an 86 mercadies turbo desil, that's a 1,000,000 mile car over any other )


    MisterX: Will I really lose warranty over new exaust and a UTEC? I hope not, that's pretty strict (they couldn't even tell I had the UTEC if I took it out before taking it in). I definately don't have a lot of money, but I'll be able to afford exaust and UTEC. Would either of those mods negatively effect the car's life? I didn't think they would.. of course more power=more stress on drive train etc. but it's not THAT much more power.

    How would increasing exaust flow and tuning the timing and fuel control damage the car?

    Basically you're saying that I would just be better off saving that $2000 to fix future problems that may arise with my stock car?

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    MisterX's Avatar
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    You can bet your booties you'll lose your warranty over an exhaust and a UTEC.

    SOA voided ALL my warranties and cited (in writing) exhaust, springs, struts, even anti-sway bar downlinks! They are actively looking to avoid warranty liability in cases where cars are modified.

    misterx

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    Originally posted by MisterX
    If you want it to last a long time and don't wan't the expense that comes with loss of warranty, don't do any mods.
    I second that.

    Let me give an example of why: The TurboXS downpipe has a bellmouth where it meets the turbo. It's specifically designed so when the wastegate opens, the exhuast gasses interfere less with the exhaust gasses coming out of the turbo turbine. The stock downpipe is designed with a metal wall facing the wastegate outlet, forcing the wastegate gasses into the stream of gasses exiting the turbine. I think it's pretty clear that Subaru intended this so the wastegate would purposely impede the flow of gasses coming out of the turbine in order to slow the turbine down quickly at higher RPMs, thus saving the turbo and engine from excess wear and, of course, reducing power.

    You can find pictures of what I'm talking about here:
    Fabricate a Bell-Mouth Opening on a Stromung Downpipe? Whaddya Think?

    As for warranty concerns, Subraru dealers, with some exceptions, have been notoriously adamant about canceling their warranties for even catback exhausts. When modifying, you should presume that you proceed at your own risk.

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    Subaru Newb MainFrame's Avatar
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    Dang.. I thought some dealers were mod friendly? The dealership I went to in Dallas said that they used to warranty all Cobb tuning mods untill two motors blew because of improper tuning. But if they're getting so uptight about it couldn't I reinstall the factory exaust when and if I ever needed to have it serviced at a dealership? Or would they just look at it and tell that parts have been changed out?

    [edit]PS: what about a kartboy short shifter, or 18" Rota wheels, would either of those also void my warranty?[/edit]
    Last edited by MainFrame; 10-11-2002 at 03:38 PM.

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    Subaru Newb MainFrame's Avatar
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    Originally posted by MisterX
    If you want it to last a long time and don't wan't the expense that comes with loss of warranty, don't do any mods.
    what exactly is the pratical expense of loss of warranty? how likely is it that I'll be using that warranty before it's used up? it's not that great of a warranty..

  11. #10
    MisterX's Avatar
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    SOA offers a good warranty and unless you have plenty of $$$$$$, don't mess with it.

    I knew when I modded my car there was a risk, but I could afford the consequences. Can you? You said you want to drive the hell out of this car. Fifteen hundred mies per week! DAMN!

    In stock form, it should perform admirably. With mods, pretty well. But not like it was designed to perform, reliability wise.

    You said you're going to MIT? You should be able to figure this one out without too much help. Especially from a dummy like me.

    misrterx

  12. #11
    Registered User Retro's Avatar
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    Just wait until the warranty runs out. With the mileage you are running it should not be too long.

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    Subaru Newb MainFrame's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Retro
    Just wait until the warranty runs out. With the mileage you are running it should not be too long.

    I have considered that.. may be my best option at the moment...

    The guy at the dealership actually recomended upgrading the exaust for better flow, so I guess I'll talk to them about what mods would be acceptable for retaning my warranty, and just stick to that..

  14. #13
    MisterX's Avatar
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    SOA specifically cited my exhaust system, which was largely stock (and still is) as one of the reasons they voided my warranty.

    misterx

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    Subaru Newb MainFrame's Avatar
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    damn... can't believe I'm gonna let you guys talk me out of modding my car.. I don't want it to be all rice and no sauce

  16. #15
    Registered User QuickSilver's Avatar
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    Hey MAinframe, let me jump in here with my .02

    I'm thinking you're asking two questions (originally). What is the WRX's reliability stock and the WRX's reliability with the mods you listed? I think stock with sane driving, Subaru makes a pretty reliable car. If you push it (ie. frequent hard accels, sharp cornering, and overall spirited driving, excessively) then you start pushing the car to it's outer limits...which should be OK, cause there are safeguards (or limits the manufacturing place in the car).
    When you start modding, you give the car the capability of exceeding those safeguards, so then it's really just up to the driving habits...and if you drive her hard...she'll break eventually. I would think, if you you drive her hard for 6 years...she will definitely break.
    And I agree w/ others here, you mod at your own risk (I too think a UTEC would totally be grounds of refusing majoy warranty work...C'mon, you're messing with the brain of the car...if someone screws that up, the car can like explode...am I exaggerating?...probably...heheh).
    I mod, with the full knowledge that if things break, I have the resources to upgrade and do better...that said, I mod at a snail's pace.
    SAve your money and enjoy the car stock...if she's not good enough stock, then you really ought to reconsider why you bought a NEW car. And the more you wait, the better the choices and the cheaper the prices. Try not to get caught up in the modding frenzy known as CLubWRX.net
    '02 Plat. Wagon, Manual

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