Help ! Know-nothing owner with 02 turbo problem
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This is a discussion on Help ! Know-nothing owner with 02 turbo problem within the New Cars/Prototypes Forums forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Guys, I have a much loved completely unmodified 02 WRX with 175K miles since almost new. I dont drive it ...

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    Help ! Know-nothing owner with 02 turbo problem

    Guys,
    I have a much loved completely unmodified 02 WRX with 175K miles since almost new. I dont drive it too hard.
    (I am probably not a typical WRX driver, and not a 'car guy' - I can find the hood release, that is about it..)

    Regularly and fully serviced, zero issues until now,

    Still sounds/runs/idles fine, gas mileage still good.

    Last service our (excellent) local service repair shop pointed out turbo was kicking it late (4200rpm) and not working well.
    I trust these guys 100% as does most of the local neighborhood. I asked them to fix it..

    They checked everything decided it had to be the turbo and sent off to be refurbished
    It was a turbo problem, so the refirb shop said, and final bill was $1300 which I thought sounded very reasonable ?

    Turbo now kicks at3500 rpm but just does not to me feel like it has the power it used to..
    The kick in the back is more of shove...

    Garage looked again at length, said everything seems fine, ECU happy, all they could find was a very dirty mass air sensor.. (which means nothing to me..)
    They know I am not happy and are not charging me for last check (which I feel bad about)

    I get the feeling they are not 'turbo experts..' if there is such a thing ?

    any ideas ?

    -At 175K should I expect it to be losing some power ?

    Do I have to take it our local Subaru garage (that I DO NOT like/trust. - don't get me started...)

    Can anyone tell me a good simple test to see if engine giving OK power ?
    ie. 2nd gear stopwatch time from 3500-6000rpm ?

    Do I need to buy and fit a boost gauge ?


    Really Appreciate any pointers. was planning on keeping this car until one of us stop working..

    Regards
    Andy

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    Registered User Obeisance's Avatar
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    First, welcome to the forum. Second, this thread probably ought to be moved to a troubleshooting or maintenance subforum.

    Okay:I believe that one can never know too much about their car. I am also always skeptical about the advice of a shop; my best interest and their best interest need not align, and I would have to be convinced that they did before giving any money away. This all being said, you are fortunate to own a subaru because the enthusiast community has provided tools for understanding your car.

    First: a boost gauge is a nice thing to have, but watching it while driving is not precise. I recommend instead buying a $10 VAG-COM cable:

    Amazon.com: KIA 20 Pin to OBD Obd2 Obdii DLC 16 Pin Car Diagnostic Adapter Converter Cable (Blue): Automotive

    and installing the romraider logger:

    RomRaider - Open Source ECU Tools | RomRaider / RomRaider

    so that you can monitor all of your ECU sensor readings and operations. These tools, to me, feel extremely enabling for troubleshooting your car's issues.

    As cars age, I suppose they ought to lose power. You could have a compression test done to see if engine wear is a source of this. Without measuring the engine performance (perhaps through the datalogging that I suggested above), it may be very hard to tell based upon the feel of driving.

    If your car is mostly stock, I recommend removing the stock uppipe, since that can lead to premature failure of a car:

    Attn '02-'05 WRX Owners: The Importance of the Uppipe Mod

    There is a lot of good information here and on NASIOC. Now that you've opened this can of worms, be prepared to see how deep the wormhole goes.
    David - '05 WRX

  4. #3
    OMG WTF MainFrame's Avatar
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    Obeisance already covered most of the important stuff. The stock uppipe could easily be your problem.



    I will say this, boosting issues are rarely a result of a bad turbo. I suspect your old turbo is probably fine.. and $1300 for a rebuild is a complete rip off.. That turbo typically sells for $100-$200 in good condition. IF the turbo was bad (usually indicated by massive amounts of smoke out the exhaust, or a loud scraping sound coming from the turbo itself), replacing it should not have cost more than $200.

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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    I agree with getting the cable. With a log we can then look at everything from how much boost it is making, what is going on with timing, A/F compensations, etc.

    Will that cable upload?? If not I'd get one that can and flash stage I (assuming the log is clean) just because it is better all around.


    Quote Originally Posted by MainFrame View Post
    Obeisance already covered most of the important stuff. The stock uppipe could easily be your problem.



    I will say this, boosting issues are rarely a result of a bad turbo. I suspect your old turbo is probably fine.. and $1300 for a rebuild is a complete rip off.. That turbo typically sells for $100-$200 in good condition. IF the turbo was bad (usually indicated by massive amounts of smoke out the exhaust, or a loud scraping sound coming from the turbo itself), replacing it should not have cost more than $200.
    Most shops do not offer to use used parts. If you bring them a turbo and ask them to install it you might be in that ballpark.
    "From a little spark may burst a mighty flame." - Dante
    "The stitch is lost unless the thread is knotted." - Italian proverb

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    Registered User Obeisance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mycologist View Post
    Will that cable upload?? If not I'd get one that can and flash stage I (assuming the log is clean) just because it is better all around.
    UEdan pointed this out once, and it helped motivate me to get that cable:

    Vag-Com cable resource thread - NASIOC

    Some people can flash their cars with the VAG-COM cable (as far as I know, it is limited to the 16 bit ECU's on the GD wrxs, but may be more limited to a few year models than that). I have not tried flashing a new tune because I am not tuning-savvy and am not prepared to shell out money if my effort fails, so I cannot comment on this particular cable apart from finding it in that NASIOC thread and having other users say it works for flashing the ECU.
    David - '05 WRX

  7. #6
    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    Well, for the price, it would be extremely well worth it just to sort this problem.

    This one should work well for reflashing though:

    EvoScan: OpenPort 1.3U interface cable for Mitsubishi and Subaru Drive-by-Wire, EvoScan, TAC-OpenPort1.3U

    Get the reflash block for your year if interested.
    "From a little spark may burst a mighty flame." - Dante
    "The stitch is lost unless the thread is knotted." - Italian proverb

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    Thanks for responses,

    I realized it was in wrong thread after post, thanks for answering anyway.

    Cable is on order and S-Ware downloaded.

    Will report back on findings.

    Regards,
    Andy

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