I've been around this forum for a long time, but I mostly just lurk these days. I guess I just don't have that much to say, but I try to keep up with what's going on. My 2002 WRX wagon is currently currently at John Elway Subaru West, having its heater core replaced, for the second time in 5 months.
The first time was last March on a morning commute. There was a strong smell of antifreeze and the windows fogged up. I took it to John Elway Subaru West that evening, and they diagnosed a leaking heater core. The car was out of warranty (~43k miles), and the total charge was $1200. Replacing the heater core requires removing the entire dashboard, and they charged extra for dealing with the wiring for my SBC-iD EBC, gauges and radar detector.
The second failure was monday morning, and I drove it to John Elway after work. By the end of that drive, there was a major puddle of antifreeze in the drivers footwell. They said it would probably be Friday before the car would be ready. I pointed out that this was the second time the heater core has failed, and they said they'd never heard of problems with heater cores failing like this. The cost of the repairs would be covered under a 12 month warranty on the first repair.
They called this morning to say that the new heater core had arrived. The rep mentioned all the extra wiring issues that they have to deal with, and said that there would be a $175 charge for extra labor that will not be covered under their parts warranty. He also tried to blame the heater core failure on my EBC. I have a real problem with that theory. Running excessive boost can lead to a lot of problems, but I don't see how a heater core failure could be one of them. For the record, here is my list of performance mods, and it's been well over a year since I've done anything new. I'm planning to keep the car for a long time, so I honestly don't thrash on it.
- Exhaust - MRT TBE, with PDE up pipe. One cat remains.
- Lightweight/undersized crank pulley
- Forced Performance-modified OEM turbo. These deliver a little more power over stock, but not much, and it looks completely stock.
- SBC-iD EBC. I run boost at 15psi, even though the turbo is supposed to be good up to 17.5psi.
- TurboXS UTEC with off-the-shelf stage 3 map & STi injectors. I've never gotten around to tuning the thing for maximum performance, but it's plenty of fun for me in daily driving. With the EBC, I run the UTEC in open-loop boost mode. I know I could run closed-loop and lose the EBC, but then I'd have to spend time tuning it.
So has anyone else ever had heater core issues? I did a search and came up empty. Any idea why a heater core would fail twice within 5 months? This is getting old.