02 WRX Just Purchased - Already has problems, what should I do?
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This is a discussion on 02 WRX Just Purchased - Already has problems, what should I do? within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hi, I have been a WRX fan for many years. I used to run a sweep vehicle for the SCCA ...

  1. #1
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    Question 02 WRX Just Purchased - Already has problems, what should I do?

    Hi,

    I have been a WRX fan for many years. I used to run a sweep vehicle for the SCCA Pro-Rally races that were held in upper Michigan. I've been looking for an early 2000's WRX for a few years, and finally found one... I just purchased this car on Friday night (2/3/2012). It seems to run ok when I took it for a couple of test drives, although, I questioned the smoke out the back after driving it. The amount seemed excessive. My friend and I couldn't find anything obviously wrong with it at the time, so I bought it and brought it home. I commute about 35 miles to work each day. As I drove it to work yesterday, I lost power and it went into fail safe mode, not going above 2500 rpm in any gear. I took it into the Subaru dealership to have them read the codes and look it over. The issues they found are listed below. They just called me today with the report. I feel stuck and would appreciate any input! I've only owned it for a few days, and I feel like I've been scammed. There was no bill of sale or anything. I am not sure how to go about even fixing it at a price that I can afford. Thank you, Leanne.

    According to Mat from Grand Forks Subaru Service Department:

    1. 4 trouble codes that were found:

    P1507 Idle Control System Malfunction (fail safe)
    P0420 Cat Efficiency (don't worry about this one according to Subaru service dept)
    P0304 #4 Mis-Fire
    P0302 #2 Mis-Fire

    2. Needs an MAF (mass air flow) sensor to fix the idle control. $300-400 for the sensor from there

    3. Low compression in #2 and #4 (60 psi in #2 and 90 psi in #4)

    4. Oil was 2 quarts low (they topped it off at the dealership)

    They suspect that oil is going through the turbo, therefore the turbo may be going out. (quite positive that is the issue) If that is the case, between the low compression and the oil issues, a short block and turbo charger may be needed. After tearing down and installing the parts, the rough estimate is $7000 to fix. Also, they would need to look at the cylinder heads to see if they are bad, they run $500-$1000 each.

    5. Mat is going to check with the mechanic to see if I should even drive it home. I told them that I don't want them to tear into it right now. I just want to take it home and do some research.

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  3. #2
    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    No bill of sale? Seriously??? How did you get it registered?

    I'm really sorry for your issues...but I'd say someone knew of some problems and was trying to get rid of it. I have no idea why you'd buy a car that was smoking out of the back without thinking something was wrong or at least having a 3rd party mechanic check it out. Obviously it was burning something, somewhere. Now you know that it was burning oil.

    Sounds like you're going to have to replace the block at least...

    Does it have any mods done to it?
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  4. #3
    Registered User GarrettKoonsman's Avatar
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    Well to start I will say that if you bought it from a private seller (it seems you did) you have zero legal case against them. The car is sold "as-is" so it is now yours unless you convince the seller to buy it back.

    Now that we have established that you have 2 choices. 1. Figure out exactly what is wrong with it (sounds like a bad motor) and figure out the most cost effective way to get it replaced. or 2. sell it as-is, recoup some money and move on.

    I would by no means pay 7k to get it fixed. In reality your looking at a little under 2k for a brand new block (if your heads are good) a few hundred for a low mileage turbo, another few hundred on accessories (belts, gaskets etc) and then labor (1-2k is my guess). Obviously if you can DIY it will be much cheaper but that can be intimidating if you aren't very mechanically inclined and you would probably end up spending quite a bit of money just in tools to do it.

    Either way your looking at ~4k
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    Thank you for the replies. Allow me to clarify on the smoke that was there the night I test drove it. Two of us tried smelling it several times, put our fingers in the exhaust pipe and smelled it as well. It was a cold night, and appeared to be normal exhaust, just more of a cloud.

    As far as mods, just cold air intake, 3' exhaust, and pop off valve. I am definitely looking to do any work myself (with friends). I don't want to get ripped off at the dealership in labor charges. So, I appreciate any thoughts regarding the direction that I should go as far as starting to replace some parts. I appreciate the feedback on the new block and low mileage turbo. I am hoping to get additional feedback so that I can weigh my options.

    Thanks!

    Leanne
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  6. #5
    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    Do you know if it has a tune? Is the 3inch exhaust from the Turbo Back?

    Ditch the Cold Air Intake for a stock airbox or a Short Ram such as SPT, K&N Typhoon, Cobb, or APS...

    Who's taking bet's that it's an Injen??? I got 2:1 odds...
    The Hawk-Eye Alliance #90|The Blobeye Syndicate #0|The Stink-Eye Mob #0|N.E.R.D. Founding Member & #3
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