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 ...

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2006

    02 wrx keeps overheating. dealer cant fix. please help

    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,

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  3. #2
    Registered User tarbaj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Livonia, MI
    Was there coolant in the oil? If you had a blown headgasket there could have been coolant in the oil/white smoke from the exhaust/burning oil. Did any of this occur before they worked on the head gasket?

    Can you verify the fans are coming on properly ie when the car heats up to normal op temp? have you flushed the coolant system? It may have some build up in 90K miles but it seems unlikely that is the cause.

    What has the local weather been like when it's overheating?Is it getting really hot out or just mild early June temps?
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    It must be on the Subway diet. Did you name it Jared?

  4. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Thanks for the reply. I saw no smoke at all and I flushed the radiator myself before it went to the dealer then the dealer sent it to a radiator shop. There wasn't any oil in the radiator as far as my eyes could tell. Any suggestions are appreciated because the dealer obviously cant figure it out.

  5. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Siren, WI
    Is the pulley you installed an underdriven type?
    Did you ever take the paint chips out of you're turbo coolant resevoir?
    Maybee try some water wetter from redline, I have it in my car, and the gauge appears to be running a hair cooler than it had in the past.
    How much coolant to water do you use?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    I Support ClubWRX
    The thermostat could be in backwards.

  7. #6
    Registered User wrx wagone's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Phillytown, PA
    I would say it is your water pump. A cooling system really isn't that complicated. If the car is staying cool around town, this tells me that your thermostat and radiator both work. One of the vehicles I owned would get hot while running on the highway. Not quite overheat but close. I replaced the waterpump because coolant was leaking from the weephole, and the highway overtemps went away. I would very much say that your water pump isn't pushing enough coolant to keep the engine cool at higher engine speeds.
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