PROBLEMS with my Suby Wagon
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This is a discussion on PROBLEMS with my Suby Wagon within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I am a NEWB to the subaru forums But... one love = suby wrx I recently came across a strange ...

  1. #1
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    Angry PROBLEMS with my Suby Wagon

    I am a NEWB to the subaru forums But...
    one love = suby wrx
    I recently came across a strange problem with my 2002 Subaru WRX. My car is completely stock aside from an upgraded sound system (2 JL audio Subs and Audiotech amp)

    The problem: I was driving and came across a funny plastic burning smell and noticed my car was starting to drive somewhat weird. Smell went away but my car feels sluggish, like something is either wrong with TURBO or clutch...
    What does slipping clutch smell like? or burnt out clutch??
    My sister drove this car before me and I am not sure how badly she rode the clutch but I consider myself a really good manual driver..
    As well as the car feeling sluggish I began to notice strange dips in my turbo gauge...
    Is something wrong with the turbo or is it my clutch??

    Here some idle stats:
    Idle RPMs = 1500
    Turbo reads = -0.065 (lower than -0.05)
    Dips to almost -.07 with slight acceleration/pressing on gas

    Either I am paranoid or something is different with these readings... I feel like when I first got the car the turbo read
    -.05 almost always at idle... But at the same time I really never look at it that much...
    Can someone tell me what their WRX turbo gauge reads at idle rest??

    Also any ideas? I have no clue where to start with this...

    My clutch feels normal, mayb slightly less pressure... But I think thats normal wear and tear that a clutch takes...

    So weird smell... went away, now car feels sluggish and potential turbo problem?

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  3. #2
    Registered User WagonGuy's Avatar
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    Welcome to the club!!!

    It sounds almost like a boost leak.

    Is the check engine light (CEL) on?

    I would start by checking all the vacuum lines and intake/intercooler hoses for cracks, leaks, burn out holes, missing clamps etc.

    It could be that there's a problem and the ECU went into limp mode to prevent further damage until the problem is solved.

    The high idle RPM, does it happen on cold start or after the engine is warmed up?
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    No CEL

    Thanks for the welcome, and WRX club is sick...
    I have no CEL light...
    I will check vacuum lines and intake/intercooler hoses for cracks, leaks, burn out holes, missing clamps.. Will get back to you on that
    The higher idle happened more on a COLD start... the car wasnt very warm yet... Gonna have a look and Ill get back to you soon


    Thanks for the quick help!

  5. #4
    Registered User WagonGuy's Avatar
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    The clutch does not have a plastic smell when you burn it. It's rather very distinctive, sharp, and heavy chemical smell, completely different then plastic.

    But the burned plastic smell could potentially indicate that some plastic part under the hood got loose and burned when it touched against a hot surface. Look for anything rubber/plastic that could be loose, or dangling, or otherwise looking out of place. Check the plastic y-pipe under the intercooler as well. Can be hard visually but you can do it by touch.

    How long have you had this car?
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    Thumbs up reply...

    Glad to hear you think it isnt a clutch ordeal... thats something I am not trying to pay to replace.
    I will check y-pipe, any where online that has a nice visual description as to where that part lies in my engine? I am not a car expert, I know the general parts in my engine but not everything... any place have a diagram online?

    I have had this car.. for less than a year and she has about 65k on her.

    I also noticed this yesterday, which went along with what you said about my ECU. My boost (turbo gauge) was extremely low while driving.. like lower than -.05 almost got to -.08

    Gonna check some stuff out and ill get back to you later today

  7. #6
    Registered User WagonGuy's Avatar
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    Use the first picture in this article as a simple guide to check the intake and boost control plumbing: CobbTuning.com - How Subaruís Factory Boost Control System Works

    I'm not aware of any visual guides on the net so I will take some pics later when I get a chance. But overall it's pretty easy to trace the intake. Basically, start from the filter box (make sure it's tightly and properly closed), then from the box follow the large black plastic tube all the way to the turbo, from there a plastic y-pipe goes to the bottom of the intercooler, it's actually hidden underneath it, so you can only see a small portion of it from the passenger (turbo) side view, I would make sure all connections are good between the plastic piping and turbo/intercooler.

    Check the T connector for your boost gauge if it didn't come loose or something.

    Also check the engine breathing piping as well. Those are the rubber hoses on the top of the engine.
    If you have a philips screwdriver, then you could take out and inspect the MAF sensor. It's located about 2 inches from the air filter box. Carefully, take it out and look for black dirt deposits on the small wires inside. If it's dirty, then get a MAF cleaner at an auto store and give it a nice shower.
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    Thumbs up crack in hose?

    Check out this photo... See that hose going into the T clamp...
    It was loose and appears to have a crack in it.. could this be my problem???
    I barely touched it and it came undone so I reattached it and noticed the crack as well...

    Tell me if you think thats it! My dad thought this was the problem when I showed him
    Last edited by blackWRXwagon02; 10-09-2009 at 08:47 AM.

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    photo

    crack in hose
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails car fix 064.jpg  

  10. #9
    Registered User WagonGuy's Avatar
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    Do you mean the cut in the rubber hose in the bottom of the picture?
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    Yep

    Yah thats the cut I was talking about... could this be my problem??
    Can I replace this on my own.. or take it to a shop??

    I tried to put some black tape over it as a temp fix....
    Turbo gauge showed very little improvement (mayb some improvement)

    Also I am curious about:
    I want to throw an intake on soon... Any ideas?
    Is my car getting a little old to put on after markets?
    How can I keep it fresh and running well... I love my WRX and don't want her to die early...
    I drove a 2001 Mustang GT w/ RacingHart Rims and exhaust etc... Engine BLEW UP on me... Screw Ford...

  12. #11
    Registered User WagonGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackWRXwagon02 View Post
    Yah thats the cut I was talking about... could this be my problem??
    Can I replace this on my own.. or take it to a shop??

    I tried to put some black tape over it as a temp fix....
    Turbo gauge showed very little improvement (mayb some improvement)

    Also I am curious about:
    I want to throw an intake on soon... Any ideas?
    Is my car getting a little old to put on after markets?
    How can I keep it fresh and running well... I love my WRX and don't want her to die early...
    I drove a 2001 Mustang GT w/ RacingHart Rims and exhaust etc... Engine BLEW UP on me... Screw Ford...
    It's very possible the source of your problem.

    Taping will work but only so you can drive to an auto store and get a replacement hose. I think any rubber hose should do as long as the diameter is the same.

    Skip getting the intake and save the money for something that will actually produce some power increase like uppipe, downpipe, COBB AccessPort. Intakes are not necessary for our cars if the engine isn't a beast pushing above 400HP. Most of all, intakes do not do anything and if you buy a wrong one, can only negatively affect the engine performance by screwing with MAF reading.

    Your WRX is still perfectly fine age and millage wise. We have members who passed 200,000 miles and still steaming strong.

    I think the best way to keep the car running well is to stick to factory maintenance recommendations.

    As long as you don't do all wheel burnouts and 6,500 rpm launches then your baby will be good and reliable for many more miles to come.
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    Problem not fixed

    Is this hose something I can fix on my own?? I can easily change one side of it, because the vacuum line runs into a T-connector but the other side of the hose goes into the interior of my car... any ideas? How do I change something like this, I bought the hose, but where do I begin?

    After I change this hose, will my car run normally?? Or will I need an ECU reset??
    Let me know what you think

    Thanks,
    WRX wagons all day

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