128k on my 2003 WRX. Help me make the most of my maintenance trip to the garage.
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This is a discussion on 128k on my 2003 WRX. Help me make the most of my maintenance trip to the garage. within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; This is the first car I purchased, and I love it. I learned a few things about cars and I ...

  1. #1
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    128k on my 2003 WRX. Help me make the most of my maintenance trip to the garage.

    This is the first car I purchased, and I love it. I learned a few things about cars and I drive it like an old grandparent. I may have to give it away to a relative I trust, so I want to catch up on some maintenance stuff and fix a CEL (P0031). Ran through the standard maintenance chart, browsed this forum, and came up with a list of maintenance items that can hopefully be done in a day or two. Would love to see if anyone has any other suggestions or questions. I have an infant now and dropping the car off for a day or two is a real headache so I want to take care of the big things first, and keep the car safe for the baby, and whomever I gift this car to in the next year or so. Here goes:

    1. Replace timing belt (never done)
    2. Replace water pump (never done)
    3. Inspect Brakes and rotors (I have a slight shimmy when braking on the highway)
    4. Replace Brake Fluid (due)
    5. Change Spark Plugs (due)
    6. Inspect Axle Boots and joints
    7. Replace Transmission oil (This has never been done on the car!)

    Here are items I'm not sure need attention:
    8. Oil pump (just wait til it breaks?)
    9. coolant flush (had radiator replaced at 79000 along with coolant, i'd rather not mess with it since car keeps cool just fine)
    10. fuel pump (just wait til it breaks? I can probably replace this on my own for fun, but that probably won't happen)
    11. inspect clutch (the car moves forward, I'm happy)
    12. suspension (I think one of the joints connected to the engine was leaking. passenger front side is a little rougher/louder when hitting bumps/holes)

    The following items I'm usually on top of and don't need attention right now:
    Engine oil
    oil, air, and fuel filters
    drive belts
    tires

    Any big items I'm missing? Any general advice? I'm happy to replace/maintain parts that are expected to fail, or to save big bucks or headache down the road (I should have obviously taken care of the timing belt a while ago). Love this forum, especially when you sort the results in ascending order. 2003 was a simpler time to search and get quick accurate answers :)

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  3. #2
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    1. Plus tensioner, all rollers, and maybe camshaft and crank seals. Seals only if they leak if you want to save money -- and your list could exceed in cost the cost of the car, so you would indeed want to save money in my view.
    2. Plus thermostat and if necessary even the thermostat housing (mine was pitted!).
    3. Yes.
    4. Yes.
    5. Yes.
    6. Yes.
    7. Plus rear diff oil.
    8. Not really. If it leaks fix the leak. If it fails, so will the motor. Luckily this isn't likely I don't think. What does (rarely) happen is the oil pickup tube fails, starving the motor of oil. I don't worry about that frankly.
    9. Yes.
    10. No. This is not a wear item. Nor do they routinely fail.
    11. Unless it slips or fails to engage or disengage, forget it.
    12. OK yes have a look.

    Follow the book and nothing but the book.

    For the CEL suspect first the wiring, then and only then the actual front O2 sensor. I forget who supplies them, Bosch or Denso? Anyway, see if it's the wiring first, that's much cheaper.
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    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
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    Thanks for taking the time to respond to everything. I will do more research on the timing belt replacement. I thought the necessary maintenance would just be replacing the belt and the labor involved. Can I just tell my mechanic (who I kind of trust) to take a look and see if any of the other components need to be replaced or is it worth it, in your opinion, to replace the tensioner and rollers while doing the belt?

  5. #4
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    It was worth it to me since I intend to keep the car.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    As a follow up, the timing belt, 4 rollers and the hydrolic tensioner were replaced. Guy said the water pump was "like new". Cost was $745 for parts and labor (which was 4.5 hrs). This is in VA right outside of DC. Got a few more items taken care of, but didn't want to leave the car for more than 2 days. I also need a new clutch, but I can probably milk this one for a while. Maybe I'll just keep the car for another 100,000 miles. Thanks for the help.

  7. #6
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Ok congrats.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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