New girl from Michigan with misfire
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This is a discussion on New girl from Michigan with misfire within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Hi everyone. I joined a couple weeks ago, but never posted in here.. so just saying hi. I bought a ...

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    Registered User gogocricket's Avatar
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    New girl from Michigan with misfire

    Hi everyone. I joined a couple weeks ago, but never posted in here.. so just saying hi. I bought a black 02 wrx wagon with 94k on it a bit ago. I had so many ambitions for mods for it at first, but I'm currently so frustrated with the darn thing that I want to drive it into a lake! It has a mystery problem at the moment- no one seems to know what's wrong, so I'm crossing my fingers and hoping its not the worst..

    Anyway, just saying hello.. wish me luck!!

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    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    So...what's the mystery problem? Or at least a description of what's going on?
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    Registered User gogocricket's Avatar
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    Okay. I have a misfire in 1, 3, and 4. Also have a code, P1086. My scanner says something abt manufacturer emission control air/fuel.. I don't know what that means. I've read something about a "TGV sensor," but I don't know what that is at this point.

    I bought my car in early May and have put about 6k on it. When I bought it, it had a serious leak in the crossover pipe right behind (and parallel) to the front bumper. When I took it in for a quote and they told me $500 to fix it I looked online and realized people can mod these things up, and it looked pretty fun. I used to have a bike I rebuilt, but this is my first venture with really getting into car modifications, so I'm kind of a noob.

    Anyway, I found a Grim Speed performance cross-pipe and replaced it myself, with the gaskets, for $150- way better than $500. I also replaced my AC compressor, which went out a week after buying the car.. and has since gone out again and needs replacing- again. I'm not even going to deal with that at the moment.

    The car ran well for a couple of weeks. Then the CEL came on.. Misfire cylinder 4.

    I replaced my plugs with NGK Iridiums. Still had the misfire code. I replaced the coil pack with a new OEM part in cyl 4. Misfire code was gone immediately, but car still running crappy.

    I then took it to the shop, they told me I had carbon buildup and my intake valves were not opening at the right time, causing it to run poorly and causing it to lose about 30% of its hp. It was NOTICABLY slow. SO, I had them clean my intake. Cooked a lot of gunk off and smoked a lot, but didn't help. This was last Friday. At that point, when it was smoking, he said he still saw a small exhaust leak at my cross pipe (minor) and the bolts were lose between the turbo and uppipe and it was leaking, and he tightened them.

    I plugged it in a couple days ago (I have a mini-scanner), and I not only still have code P1086, but now I've got misfires in 1, 3, and 4! Holy frustrating. The mechanic thought 1086 would be cleared when the injectors were cleaned. He also said the problem was not being caused by my MAF, but is there a way to check it myself.. if so how? I'm not sure if I should believe all he has to say now. Note- I do have an Injen CAI installed that was on the car when i bought it.

    I don't really want to keep paying for 'fixes' that do not fix the problem, I'd kill just to know what the heck is wrong with it at this point. I had an oil change yesterday. I told them what was going on- they didn't know what was up. They suggested I bring it back when someone with more experience was there so he could diagnose it. Based on what it was doing, they said I might need a valve job and quoted me 2-3K Uhh, might as well replace the freaking engine at that point..

    I feel like my next step is a compression check. The injector cleaner guy of course didn't have time to look at it this weekend, nor did the oil change shop. The dealership wanted to charge me *starting* at $100 to check the compression, at which point I turned and walked out the door.

    I have an appointment with a 4th shop (who doesn't intend to rape me on the price) scheduled Wednesday to check the compression and I'm probably going to have nightmares til then about needing to pay for a new engine. I have been reading up on this, and I've found that misfires in these can be pretty common, can be caused by lots of different things, and are a PITA to track down.

    I am reaaaally crossing my fingers hoping this is something dumb like a cam sensor or something, but I would realllllllyyyy appreciate any suggestions any one might have as what I should check next. I started out loving my new Subie, but I'm kinda starting to get a bad taste in my mouth. I keep hearing these can be really great cars, but I have never had so many problems with a car in my life. Last thing I had was a Vibe- a bit boring, but I had put 40k miles on it and never had to service it at all except for regular oil changes and brake pads. Never broke once, it had 165k on it when someone hit me and totalled it. Really hoping the cricket and I can move past this, so we can start doing fun things together like shopping for new exhausts and intercoolers.

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    Registered User gogocricket's Avatar
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    I should give some more info about the 'mystery problem.'

    Some days it runs better than others- seems pretty random. It's not like the weather seems to be affecting it or anything. Sometimes it runs like crap, and sometimes I barely notice a problem.

    It is SLOW. I know I don't have the acceleration I should. It's hard for me to tell you how much power it seems like I'm missing since I haven't had the car long enough to have a good idea of what it is supposed to feel like. The oil change guy who test drove it said "it has worse turbo lag than my extended cab pick up"- obv. not a turbo.

    I notice a 'shudder' at idle, and also if I'm accelerating slowly. If I get on it hard, there is no shudder as I accelerate- it's just slow. On the highway cruising, there is no shudder. I think I may have felt it once or twice, but very rarely do I even notice a problem when going 70-85. It seems to have more high end power. Doesn't seem all that slow when I'm going from 70-90, but real slow when going from 0-50.

    For having a misfire in 3 out of 4 cylinders, and not 2 or 4, I'm wondering if it's maybe a timing problem.
    It would REALLY suck if both of my heads needing replacing at the same time, and seems pretty unlikely and random that they BOTH would just spontaneously break. Also, for having misfires in 3 of 4 cylinders, I would seem like the car would be running much worse than it is. Like I said, some days it's really not that bad.

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    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    Wow. It does sound like a timing problem to me...first thing I thought.

    Does/did it have any mods on it when you bought it? Coming up on 94k miles, it is coming up on time to change the timing belt. Could this possibly have been done by the previous owner, and done incorrectly? I would say you need a Subaru specific tech to look at it as opposed to just any random shop...
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    Registered User gogocricket's Avatar
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    i was discussing with my dad and the timing was the best idea we came up with too. i know i'm getting kind of ahead of myself by going nuts about a valve job, but its hard not to when the two mechanics i talked to said its what it sounds like without looking at it. i was thinking i want a subaru tech to look at it, hence the dealer, but i dont wanna pay out the ass for a diagnosis.

    unfortunately, i have no idea what the previous owner did/didnt do to it because i got it at an auction.

    only mods i know of are the Injen CAI which was done before me, and the Grim Speed cross-pipe i put on. the rest of the exhaust system is stock, and there are no obvious mods any where else under the hood.

    since i'm getting a compression test wednesday, do you know if there is something to do to check if its a timing issue as well?

  9. #8
    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gogocricket View Post
    i was discussing with my dad and the timing was the best idea we came up with too. i know i'm getting kind of ahead of myself by going nuts about a valve job, but its hard not to when the two mechanics i talked to said its what it sounds like without looking at it. i was thinking i want a subaru tech to look at it, hence the dealer, but i dont wanna pay out the ass for a diagnosis.

    unfortunately, i have no idea what the previous owner did/didnt do to it because i got it at an auction.

    only mods i know of are the Injen CAI which was done before me, and the Grim Speed cross-pipe i put on. the rest of the exhaust system is stock, and there are no obvious mods any where else under the hood.

    since i'm getting a compression test wednesday, do you know if there is something to do to check if its a timing issue as well?
    Get rid of that Intake. Replace with a stock airbox or with an SPT short ram. Injens are known to cause problems on the Bugeyes.

    Also check out the turbo...does it have the stock heatshield over it and the downpipe?

    Unfortunately I'm not sure of what to check to see if its a timing issue, sorry I can't help you there
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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Welcome

    Sorry to hear about your trouble.
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    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikie13 View Post
    Get rid of that Intake. Replace with a stock airbox or with an SPT short ram. Injens are known to cause problems on the Bugeyes.
    (
    Make that all subarus. I second this as the first thing I would do... Welcome to the forum and I hope you get it figured out.

    FYI p1086 is a TGV code, and could be your problem. If the generator valves are stuck closed (or near closed), you could be running rich, washing out cylinders, and causing multiple misfires (and loss of power) or open and causing a lean condition (If it seems to be mostly when the engine is cold). Something to check out. Keep us updated as someone else may run into the same issue at some point.
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    Registered User gogocricket's Avatar
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    Yeah, it has the stock heat sheild behind the turbo. i was told that all other exhaust parts (including up and down pipes) look OEM when they last changed my oil. if i switch out the injen for something else, what would a good aftermarket option be?

    currently reading about this p1086 code. it says that its a tumble generator valve sensor located behind my dipstick (its easy to see and replace). a new sensor is between 100 and 150 from an aftermarket producer. if i go oem, i have to buy the whole tgv for ~ $300. alternatively, i could gut the thing and eliminate the sensor while doing it, increasing air flow in my intake. it sounds like the tgv is not really necessary, just makes the air cleaner. im wondering if a problem with this could be bad enough to through misfire codes. i dont know enough about it to know. from what i read, problems with the sensor and valve can cause the car to run rough. 3 cylinder misfires seems a bit exteme though.. anyone know?

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    Registered User gogocricket's Avatar
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    ha jd.. i feel like i should say jinx or something

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    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gogocricket View Post
    ha jd.. i feel like i should say jinx or something
    It could definitely cause multiple misfires, in fact I wouldn't suspect it if it were a single misfire as they all move together as a unit.
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    Registered User skudda33's Avatar
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    Welcome Hope you figure out the problem!
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    Registered User gogocricket's Avatar
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    thanks

    so, good news! disconnected the sensor, took it apart- looked like the connections were dirty. cleared the misfire codes. drove 100 miles, misfires haven't come back on yet. makes me think i do not need new heads it's actually running pretty smooth nown with the sensor disconnected, but still have that p1086 code obviously. i was reading about it, the code can cause the car to go into 'limp mode,' limiting my power which would explain why it feels slow. bought a new sensor. going to try this before the compression check. this is pretty much the best news of the year. cross your fingers for me that the new sensor fixes the darn thing

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