Turbo Issue
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This is a discussion on Turbo Issue within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; So I took about 45 mile trip up to my buddies house this morning and the car ran fine. We ...

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    Registered User Mark_02WRX's Avatar
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    Turbo Issue

    So I took about 45 mile trip up to my buddies house this morning and the car ran fine. We then went up to the mountains for some "spirited driving", elevation rose and the car was doing great we reached the top of the mountain and the car felt fine.

    Then as I parked, I noticed a ratteling noise and I got a little nervous, so I pulled over and poped the hood and when I manually gave the car a little gas I could hear a little ratteling noise coming from the area where the turbo is mounted.

    So here's the thing, the highest I've seen my boost guage go to was 13-14 lbs and for some reason when I gave the car full throttle as I was passing someone the guage jumped to 20lbs for a quick sec then go back to normal (13-14psi) as the car was at full throttle. As the trip proceeded I then came to the painful realization that no matter what gear I was in the turbo would now not spool past 1.5 psi even under full throttle. Can I PLEASE get some advice!?!?

    I've only had this car for 2 weeks and I love it and I'm freakin out...

    TIA,
    Mark

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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Mods? Any CELs present?
    2005 WRX STi (Mods | Virtual Dyno)

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    Registered User Mark_02WRX's Avatar
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    Completely stock and no CEL present.

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    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    Where is the vacuum line for the boost gauge tap in too? Try resetting the ECU by removing the neg battery cable and holding the brake pedal down for 30 sec-1 min.
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    Registered User T.J.'s Avatar
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    When the car is cool, grab the waste gate actuator and see if it is operating smoothly. I had similar symptoms and it turned out that the wga was sticking closed (overboost) and then open (little to no boost).

    Coincidentally, my trouble also occurred during a spirited mountain drive. Hmmm.
    Last edited by T.J.; 04-24-2010 at 08:08 PM.
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    Registered User Mark_02WRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
    Where is the vacuum line for the boost gauge tap in too? Try resetting the ECU by removing the neg battery cable and holding the brake pedal down for 30 sec-1 min.
    Not sure where the line taps into. But I did as you said and still no luck, The car is boosting again though... just with the same symptoms as described before.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.J. View Post
    When the car is cool, grab the waste gate actuator and see if it is operating smoothly. I had similar symptoms and it turned out that the wga was sticking closed (overboost) and then open (little to no boost).

    Coincidentally, my trouble also occurred during a spirited mountain drive. Hmmm.
    Did you also have that ratteling sound??

    Geez that sounds like it just might be it! The car is hot right now because I just got home and it's dark now so I'll probably wait till tmro. What do I so with the Waste Gate Actuator when I get my hands on it? Thanks man!
    Last edited by Mark_02WRX; 04-24-2010 at 09:35 PM.

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    Registered User Mark_02WRX's Avatar
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    Well, I looked under the heat shield of my turbo today and the Waste Gate Actuator looked fine. The "E" Clip was in tack and everything. Any other ideas??
    Last edited by Mark_02WRX; 04-25-2010 at 11:35 AM.

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    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark_02WRX View Post
    Well, I looked under the heat shield of my turbo today and the Waste Gate Actuator looked fine. The "E" Clip was in tack and everything. Any other ideas??
    I'm gonna try and say this without coming off like an arse but can you just "look" at an engine,turbo,toaster,VCR and tell if its working properly? My guess is you might want to test it......... You will need an air compressor with an adjustable regulator and an air gun. Set the regulator for like 10-15psi and hook the gun to the wastegate actuator vacuum line. By inducing positive pressure to the actuator it should swing open. Also try shooting some PB blaster/WD-40 around the wastegate flapper arm where it connects to the turbine housing (when the turbo/engine is cooled down) and let it sit for a while. Maybe some carbon is gumming it up.
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    Registered User T.J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark_02WRX View Post
    Well, I looked under the heat shield of my turbo today and the Waste Gate Actuator looked fine. The "E" Clip was in tack and everything. Any other ideas??
    I'm sure it would look fine, but did you move it w/ your hand to see if it is working smoothly?

    Yes, after the over boost I did get the rattling sound. It went away when I replaced the turbo.
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    Registered User Mark_02WRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
    I'm gonna try and say this without coming off like an arse but can you just "look" at an engine,turbo,toaster,VCR and tell if its working properly? My guess is you might want to test it......... You will need an air compressor with an adjustable regulator and an air gun. Set the regulator for like 10-15psi and hook the gun to the wastegate actuator vacuum line. By inducing positive pressure to the actuator it should swing open. Also try shooting some PB blaster/WD-40 around the wastegate flapper arm where it connects to the turbine housing (when the turbo/engine is cooled down) and let it sit for a while. Maybe some carbon is gumming it up.
    No worries man, you DO have a good point, I just didn't have the time to do all that lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.J. View Post
    I'm sure it would look fine, but did you move it w/ your hand to see if it is working smoothly?

    Yes, after the over boost I did get the rattling sound. It went away when I replaced the turbo.
    Yea I did, I didn't remove the heat shield so I couldn't get to it as if it was off but I did wiggle it. I think I'm just going to replace the turbo or even upgrade it. I donno we'll see lol.

    The wierd thing is that the ratteling sound is slowly going away... It's getting fainter and fainter.
    Last edited by Mark_02WRX; 04-26-2010 at 03:14 PM.

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    Registered User Mark_02WRX's Avatar
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    So after doing some research on-line about boost creep and spiking, I think I might have had "Spiking and boost creep" where the boost would be something like this; shoots up to 17PSI, then 16, 15, 14, 13, 14, 13, 14,13..." (rough estimate)

    If I were to replace the turbo would that get rid of that problem or are other things involved like exhaust piping, tuning, etc??
    Last edited by Mark_02WRX; 04-26-2010 at 05:04 PM.

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    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark_02WRX View Post
    So after doing some research on-line about boost creep and spiking, I think I might have had "Spiking and boost creep" where the boost would be something like this; shoots up to 17PSI, then 16, 15, 14, 13, 14, 13, 14,13..." (rough estimate)

    If I were to replace the turbo would that get rid of that problem or are other things involved like exhaust piping, tuning, etc??
    No. I don't think you understand what boost creep is. At WOT and redline the boost is basically uncontrollable and rises at will. A spike is very fast and then settles to normal boost. Take the car to a professional that know Subarus (especially WRX's). Could be a simple as the boost control solenoid needing to be cleaned or going bad.
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    Registered User ItWRX4Me's Avatar
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    Could be your UP Cat is going out.

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    Registered User Mark_02WRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItWRX4Me View Post
    Could be your UP Cat is going out.
    Are you talking about the up pipe?? As far as the cat goes, I don't see one lol. When I went under the car, all I see is the downpipe from the turbo leading to a full 3" exhaust with no cat.

    I really need to get it looked at because I'm such a noob with turbos

    I'd like to upgrade the turbo but I don't have the money I'll need for Uppipe, Turboback, Injectors, Fuel Pump, Aftermarket I/C, and Custom tune :/. Uuuunless there are turbos that can bolt on without any mods that are slightly bigger??

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    Registered User T.J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark_02WRX View Post
    Uuuunless there are turbos that can bolt on without any mods that are slightly bigger??
    No dice. Pretty much any turbo upgrade requires exhaust, fuel upgrades and a tune of some sort. Sounds like you should just pick up a used turbo for $200 and some gaskets and be done w/ it.
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