Hey guys, I don't post very often, instead opting to just read, search and learn. But now, I feel like I'm at the end of my rope, and wanted to see what y'all had to say.
To start are the most important details: I have a 2002 WRX, No performance mods, had since Apr/May of '06 with 64,000 miles and I now have approx. 70,500 on the clock.
First off is my coil pack, or packs. The other day I changed my spark plugs. Everything went fine until the very end when I was putting the coil packs back on and I noticed that one of them had a broken tab where the clip for the wires goes. Because of this, they couldn't be secured tight onto the pack itself. My car had been idling extremely rough before, and while most of the plugs came out decent looking, that same plug with the broken coil pack (the upper right one if you're staring into the engine bay from the front of the car - what number cylinder would that be?) was pretty trashed. I had a sheet printed out of what certain things will do to a spark plug, but none of them really matched up, except, perhaps, of when you are running lean. And while I could have sworn that all the packs were fine before taking out the plugs and packs, I guess it's possible I just overlooked it the first time around. I made sure all the plugs were gapped - at .29 if I remember right - to the right proportions, and they were the right ones - NGK Iridium, platinum tipped, the right number but I can't recall it off the top of my head. I need to replace the bad pack, but should I also do the others as well? How tough of a job is it and how much $$ am I looking at? And how can I tell a coil pack is bad or is getting there?
Okay, so there's that. Also, about a week ago I was driving and I smelled burning oil. Not good, obviously. I was about a mile from home so I eased her home and checked out the carnage. What I found was a turbo that seemed pretty pasted in oil on the outside, predominately (sp?) on the right side, again if you're looking from the front of the engine bay. I checked out the uppipe and it didn't seem to be leaking from that way, I tried the trick with the water bottle with soap and water and saw no bubbles. I looked for smoke out of the tail pipe and found nothing, several times over the past week. The only info I have is that I would get that screeching under heavy boost that people described as a downpipe/uppipe gasket leak. I've had the car since April/May and for the longest time thought it was just the intake or turbo or something, until about July when I read that it's most likely a problem. I didn't get it fixed because I thought it was just something that affected performance instead of the health of the car and I was so effin broke. I'm hitting myself on the head now because I didn't find a way to get on top of it. Anyhow, could that have something to do with the oil? What else could it be? How bad of a shape am I in? It's misfiring pretty bad, or at least what I think is misfiring. I haven't hardly driven it, just to class a few times, and I always stay under boost. But I am very concerned, and need to get it fixed ASAP....even though I can't seem to find anyone here who does work on turbos under my extended warranty. I guess another question I have is if that could be what's causing my terrible idle, and HUGE shake and rattle whenever I cut off the car, even after letting it cool down. My gas mileage, even without boosting, is awful. I've used over a quarter a tank in about a week of driving a total of maybe 40 miles or so.
OH, also, the car came with an aftermarket boost gauge and air/fuel ratio gage on the A-Pillar. I hate it because, for one, it's got 3 spots and there's only two gauges, and it's a little ricer for me since I don't have any mods yet. (Don't flame me, I personally feel it's too ricey for my own taste. I'm not knocking anyone else cuz I really do like when people add their own flare to their cars.) But yeah, so since I've had the car the A/F gauge has always been on the top level of "Rich". It never bothered me because the backlight on the gauge itself has always been off, and the indicator light has never moved at all except when I lock the doors and all of the indicator lights go on for about half a second. But the other day, I was just going to class and the indicator light started moving to the left, or "Lean" side! I think the day was a little colder since I'm in Utah for school but live in south Texas. It was also raining. Could that have anything to do with it? Could it be indicating something with the car? Why would it suddenly work once and not before or since then? Is it possible it works and my car really has been rich this whole time? Or would it start in the middle and move towards "Rich" as the car warmed up?
Finally, I'm worried because no CEL has ever come on since I've had the car. With all these issues, I would imagine the car would be screaming codes my way.
I'm sorry this was really long. If any parts of this post belong somewhere else would the mods please let me know so I can copy it before removing them? Thanks. I just have seen y'all help countless numbers of members with their various problems several times, and I'm hoping you can help me out with at least something!! Anything, and I mean any kind of advice is appreciated! I just want to know, essentially, (1) what - if not all - of these issues is causing the car to run slow and idle rough (2) How serious these issues are (3) How soon I need to get them fixed, soon being how much time do I have and how little should I drive it, if at all (4) How much these things would cost and (5) any other questions that I've laced throughout this ridiculously long post.
Thanks again in advance for all of your help. I really need to get this resolved. It's just on my mind all the freakin time, and is stressing me out like you wouldn't believe.
[And if anyone has a picture of a pretty stock engine bay for the '02 Rex, preferrably with some key parts pointed out, that'd be great]