02 wrx keeps overheating. dealer cant fix. please help
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This is a discussion on 02 wrx keeps overheating. dealer cant fix. please help within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hi, I have a 02 wrx with an auto tranny. It has a cobb uppipe and full exhaust running an ...

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    02 wrx keeps overheating. dealer cant fix. please help

    Hi,
    I have a 02 wrx with an auto tranny. It has a cobb uppipe and full exhaust running an AP stage 2. I also have the cobb pulley. Other than that and a few handling mods its stock. The car has 90,000 miles. The car was great up until 3 weeks ago and even though it is an auto was fast.

    About 3 weeks ago the car started overheating so I took it to the dealer. Its there right now for the 3rd time. This is what they did:

    Head gasket. That was the first diagnosis. The dealer tore the engine down and said the vales and pistons "look like a new car". It overheated on the way home.I noticed that when the car was apart that they layed the exhaust ON the intercooler and dented the crap out of it. They will not put a new one on but said it was only cosmetic. I pulled the dents out with pliers.

    2nd time thermostat and raplaced a hose.
    Took radiator out and had it flushed.
    They said they checked the water pump and fan operations. They said everything is okay.

    The car will not overheat driving around town but will on the highway around 70mph. If you gun it, the temp actually goes down. They are dumbfounded.

    I have paid close to $3,000 including rental car. I use the 91 octane map. I should also add that before it went to the dealer the car hauled ass. Its a complete dog now. I cant even think about getting an sti now financially and if the dealer can't fix this one there is now way I'd buy a new one. One of the salesmen had the audacity to tell me "they'll never fix it" and to trade up. There is only 1 dealer here in okc and its 30 miles away. A this point I couldnt afford to take it somewhere else anyway so im hoping to find out what is wrong and tell them. No, they wont give me my money back even though I think I'd know if it was the headgasket. that didnt fix it and I park the car in the garage and you'd think it would have lost ccolant or smelled.

    Please help,
    Thanks-Shane

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  3. #2
    Registered User thechickencow's Avatar
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    They tore the engine down right away?

    Did they have a bad compression check or something? Leakdown?

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    One cause of overheating that some people overlook is timing that is too far advanced. On newer engines (in general), pinging/detonation won't give away that the engine's timing is out of whack because knock sensors will feed this info to the ecu which will, in turn, retard the timing. Lean fuel mixtures can also cause overheating. My guess is that it could be your ap. Try unmarrying it and see what happens. It couldn't hurt.

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    Registered User VVVV's Avatar
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    Start small. Open the top reservoir cap and make sure the air is completely bled out of the system. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the stealership didn't bleed it properly. Does it have a black lid to the reservoir? If so, the paint is known to peel off and clog the system. Check your AT fluid to be sure it's full and good. Low fluid can cause the engine to work harder than it should. Try some water wetter. You could be getting localized vapor pockets that prevent proper cooling water contact with the block. Check your plugs. Lean running, detonation, or other problems would show on them. Check the outside of the radiator. Are fins bent, preventing air flow? Clogged? If you have a front plate, try removing it.

    I'd tear the car down to individual parts myself rather than take it to a dealership. Sounds like they are just doing the most expensive repairs they can think of to try to sell you a new car. They should not just start doing repairs without knowing the cause. I'd tell them to stop all work, put it back together, and not charge me another cent. Ask friends, coworkers, or family for local independent mechanics that they trust. They at least don't have an ulterior motive of trying to sell more cars.

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    Registered User eld4au6's Avatar
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    gauge maybe messed up?
    -05 CGM STi Blobeye Syndicate #4
    -97 Acura SLX totaled 231k
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    It was a bad radiator. I am very dissapointed in the dealership. I honestly can say that until OKC gets a new subaru dealership I will not buy the Sti I had been saving for and was going to get this summer. I have no faith in thier work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shanec
    It was a bad radiator. I am very dissapointed in the dealership. I honestly can say that until OKC gets a new subaru dealership I will not buy the Sti I had been saving for and was going to get this summer. I have no faith in thier work.

    i know how you feel man. unless you car is under warranty (which doesn't really mean anything because the engine/powertrain warranty doesn't cover hardly ANYTHING short of your engine and transmisison metamorphisizing into a pair of unicorns), i wouldn't take it to the dealership anyway. high-balling is definitely their game. they're in the replacement business, not the repair business.

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    Registered User rx4mj's Avatar
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    I find it absolutely boggling, that they thought head gasket before thermostat. It sucks you can't find another dealer, those guys are jokers. VVVV pointed out the best ways to start with. Since you replaced your radiator has the problem persisted?
    Is there any check engine light? And the code it's throwing if there is? Dirty radiator fluid?
    Last edited by rx4mj; 06-21-2006 at 12:27 PM.
    Hey guys, I'm back!!!

  10. #9
    Registered User blarg's Avatar
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    water pump?

    loose pulley belt?
    ScoobyDMC #009 - making dirty jokes since before you were making dirty diapers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blarg
    go f*** yourself

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