Car misfiring, need help
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This is a discussion on Car misfiring, need help within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; My car is a 2003 Subaru WRX with 98k miles, stock except for the up-pipe(installed when I bought it), I ...

  1. #1
    Registered User mav3rik64's Avatar
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    Car misfiring, need help

    My car is a 2003 Subaru WRX with 98k miles, stock except for the up-pipe(installed when I bought it), I always use good gas in my car and haven't had any major problems like this since I got the car last year. The problem started about two weeks after I changed my spark plugs, which I later found out were gapped wrong and seemed to be the causation of my problem. It first misfired when I was getting on the highway and was at fairly high RPM(5-6k), there was a loss in power and the blinking CEL, which I've read and know is a misfire. Over the last day I've switched to a new set of properly gapped plugs but after the engine runs for a while I get a misfire all over again(haven't left my drive-way). Other than the new plugs and a visual inspection of the coil packs, I haven't done anything else to fix the problem because the alternatives all look expensive and I can't even pinpoint the problem as of now. I've been looking on other posts but I figured I should start my own instead of stealing somebody else's, so if anybody has any input it would be greatly appreciated, Thanks.

    And if I'm missing any specifics, just say so
    A.K.A. The Stig

    "Some say, if he caught fire he would burn for 1000 days, and that the outline of his left nipple is exactly the same shape as the Nurburgring....all we know is, he's called The Stig" - Top Gear

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    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    What code(s) are stored in the ECU?
    Stink eye mob #727
    2011 WRX DGM Hatch, Protuned Stage 1

  4. #3
    Registered User mav3rik64's Avatar
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    It's a blinking CEL, which i saw was a general misfire, which is raw fuel reaching the cat. If its not too bad i'm gonna try to drive a mile and take it to an Autozone and see if I can figure out which cylinder is misfiring.
    A.K.A. The Stig

    "Some say, if he caught fire he would burn for 1000 days, and that the outline of his left nipple is exactly the same shape as the Nurburgring....all we know is, he's called The Stig" - Top Gear

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    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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  6. #5
    Registered User mav3rik64's Avatar
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    Yes, I have, I was just wondering if it had some weird correlation because the only thing I changed were my spark plugs. How would I be able to test the coil packs? just pull the plugs and test the spark with the boot connected? I guess I was looking for some other answers because of the link between changing spark plugs. Like, would using wrongly gapped spark plugs mess any other part of the engine or timing or something.
    A.K.A. The Stig

    "Some say, if he caught fire he would burn for 1000 days, and that the outline of his left nipple is exactly the same shape as the Nurburgring....all we know is, he's called The Stig" - Top Gear

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    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    It will certainly mess up the converter, that's what the blinking CEL is telling you. Could definitely be related to the spark plugs. Could also be a coil, injector, vacuum leak, etc.... The code will at least give you a starting point
    Stink eye mob #727
    2011 WRX DGM Hatch, Protuned Stage 1

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    Registered User mav3rik64's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm gonna drive it up to the auto parts store and see if they can pull what cylinder it is and if there is anything else. So I guess I'll update this again when I figure more out
    A.K.A. The Stig

    "Some say, if he caught fire he would burn for 1000 days, and that the outline of his left nipple is exactly the same shape as the Nurburgring....all we know is, he's called The Stig" - Top Gear

  9. #8
    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    The correlation would be the wrong plug type/gap, putting the wrong connector on the wrong coil or not having the connector/coil pack properly seated. Most of this is posted in that thread. "Black to back" is how the connectors should be on the coil packs. It also might be 100% coincidence that you caught an issue with the plugs and the problem is really something else. If there was an issue with the plugs I don't know why you wouldn't have had an issue right away.
    Last edited by Donkey; 03-29-2011 at 10:05 AM.
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  10. #9
    Registered User mav3rik64's Avatar
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    ok, thanks for the information, I'll keep checking different things and seeing if I can't find the problem then.
    A.K.A. The Stig

    "Some say, if he caught fire he would burn for 1000 days, and that the outline of his left nipple is exactly the same shape as the Nurburgring....all we know is, he's called The Stig" - Top Gear

  11. #10
    Registered User mav3rik64's Avatar
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    Ok, so I figured out through changing the coil packs around that I'm constantly misfiring on Cylinder 2 only. I also did a compression check today and I have full compression on that cylinder after having changed out the spark plugs and checked the coil packs for spark on the plug. Since it's narrowed down to one cylinder I'm trying to figure out what else I can check, like the power going to the connectors or how to check for a bad injector. I also recently changed out my fuel pump and filter, and my old filter was relatively dirty but idk if that could have contributed. Any other ideas? I'm still looking for things to check in order to diagnose it, so any tips help.

    *Edit: Also, when I pulled the number 2 spark plug, it had signs of not having a clean fire, like it was dirty as if there wasn't any combustion happening(obviously a misfire), I'm just wondering if that could be a problem with the spark, or not enough of a spark, because when I tested to check for spark it seemed that the number 4 cylinder was producing a stronger spark, but that could just be what it looked like to me. Just another tidbit of information
    Last edited by mav3rik64; 04-01-2011 at 06:00 PM.
    A.K.A. The Stig

    "Some say, if he caught fire he would burn for 1000 days, and that the outline of his left nipple is exactly the same shape as the Nurburgring....all we know is, he's called The Stig" - Top Gear

  12. #11
    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    You can use a noid light to check injector pulse. If you have pulse and no fuel, it's an injector. I there is no pulse, you have to dig further into the circuit
    Stink eye mob #727
    2011 WRX DGM Hatch, Protuned Stage 1

  13. #12
    Registered User mav3rik64's Avatar
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    Ok, I'll see about doing that next
    A.K.A. The Stig

    "Some say, if he caught fire he would burn for 1000 days, and that the outline of his left nipple is exactly the same shape as the Nurburgring....all we know is, he's called The Stig" - Top Gear

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