02 WRX Misfiring, CEL, no throttle response
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This is a discussion on 02 WRX Misfiring, CEL, no throttle response within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Ok so I'm pretty sure I'm boned here but I thought I would run it by all the experts and ...

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    02 WRX Misfiring, CEL, no throttle response

    Ok so I'm pretty sure I'm boned here but I thought I would run it by all the experts and get some second opinions. The other day I was on an 800 mile road trip back home from visiting family in Wisconsin for the holidays. About halfway through the drive the car started shuddering a bit and didn't respond much to the gas pedal.

    The check engine light started coming on above 3000 RPM and just blinking until we went below 3000 RPM at which point it would disappear altogether. There was no good place to stop and we didn't want to be stranded in the cold so we pushed it another half hour. I pulled into a gas station and popped the hood - the turbo was glowing like the sun! Also lots of smoke coming off of it, not sure if it was coolant or oil burning. Ended up grabbing a motel in Paducah, KY for the night.

    In the morning I had an Autozone run my error codes and they said misfiring on cylinder 2 and 3 - no surprise there. By this time however it was sounding much worse, and there was a definite knocking. Ran it across the street to an auto repair shop. They listened to it for a minute and said it sounded like my turbo had come apart. I rented a U-Haul and trailer and pulled the car back home to Chattanooga. Now I'm trying to figure out what in the hell to do with this thing.

    I'm not sure if an '02 with 160k+ miles on it is worth dropping a new motor in, and I'm not even sure if that's necessary - all I have is the opinion of a couple mechanics who admittedly had very little experience with imports and turbos. So, does anyone have any advice?

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    and the Funky Bunch Calvinball's Avatar
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    Was the car stock? Ever do the uppipe?
    - Will
    First Mods: What to do and what not to do
    Current Car: 2014 Golf TDI
    Previous Cars:2012 WRB WRX Hatch, 2004 RSX-S, 1998 Grand Prix GTP
    "Isn't it amazing how smart you feel when you just aren't being stupid?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calvinball View Post
    Was the car stock? Ever do the uppipe?
    I'm honestly not entirely sure what had been done to it before I bought it. It is mostly stock but the previous owner did install a K&N air filter, messed around with the wiring for some gauges, and threw in an STi strut bar in the engine compartment. How would I be able to tell about the up pipe?

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    Registered User Obeisance's Avatar
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    The uppipe is kind of buried under the air box area (if you look with a flashlight from above you may be able to see if the stock uppipe heat shield is present), but may be directly visible from below the vehicle with the under cover removed.

    An easy indirect way to check would be to look for the 2.2 kOhm resistor mod which usually accompanies the uppipe switch.
    David - '05 WRX

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    Quote Originally Posted by Obeisance View Post
    The uppipe is kind of buried under the air box area (if you look with a flashlight from above you may be able to see if the stock uppipe heat shield is present), but may be directly visible from below the vehicle with the under cover removed.

    An easy indirect way to check would be to look for the 2.2 kOhm resistor mod which usually accompanies the uppipe switch.

    So if the up pipe had been replaced/modded what does that mean for my situation? Does it change anything?

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    Registered User Obeisance's Avatar
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    Maybe Will is trying to pinpoint a possible source for your car's failure; if the uppipe was never replaced, the catalytic converter within it may have lost fragments into your turbo which caused it to fail.

    Attn '02-'05 WRX Owners: The Importance of the Uppipe Mod
    David - '05 WRX

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    Quote Originally Posted by Obeisance View Post
    Maybe Will is trying to pinpoint a possible source for your car's failure; if the uppipe was never replaced, the catalytic converter within it may have lost fragments into your turbo which caused it to fail.

    Attn '02-'05 WRX Owners: The Importance of the Uppipe Mod
    Gotcha.

  9. #8
    Registered User Obeisance's Avatar
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    Is it worth fixing? I don't know, but if it were my car (which I am attached to beyond financial reasoning) I would definitely repair it.

    First off, be wary of my advice.

    Since your turbo was cherry red, it is probably seized up and needs to be replaced. I don't know if this can cause misfire issues. IF YOU HAVE A MISFIRE CODE ,PLEASE READ THIS!!!

    My intuition says that if the uppipe was the cause of failure for the engine, then you may have avoided any valve or chamber damage (because this is on the exhaust side of the turbo). (contrariwise, you say there is a knocking sound- this does not bode well). A compression test should be able to tell you if there is valve or chamber damage.

    Since the engine coolant and engine oil both pass through the turbo, I expect that a clog or failure here may impact the cooling or lubrication in the rest of the system.
    David - '05 WRX

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    Yeah I think I'm past the point of putting any more time/money into this baby. Hopefully it's not too hard to sell as-is lol

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