The first car that I learned how to drive was my mom and dad's '02 WRX hatchback. I got my license at 17, and I'm 23 now, so I have about 6 years of driving the WRX under my belt and I really enjoy these machines. It was very hard to learn how to drive the WRX because of the tightness and sensitivity of the car, but our '02 is in great condition with low milage running all stock parts to this day, besides the air filter. Last year, in winter, my mom offered to split a small downpayment on a new 2014 WRX so that I could pay it off over the next 5 years and build up my credit. After a few weeks, I agreed to this deal because I love our '02 WRX to death and I figured that the 2014 WRX would be just as awesome.
I have now owned the '14 WRX for 7 months, put about 7800 miles on it (started at 0), and generally had a great time with my car. It is costing me a lot of money, but I suppose that this is because I am young and really learning the responsibility of paying for something more than a graphics card, the laptop I bought, etc. This car is beautiful and quick, but I have a few questions:
A) I have never 'launched' my WRX and it sounds like a really terrible idea. Is there a safe way to launch this car? I am not interested in anything that is going to potentially hurt my car or cost me money. The money that I make is mostly saved outside of my car payment, phone / internet portions, etc. There is room for me to buy parts to replace, but I don't have much of any installation experience with car parts. I am more of an IT freak (and I suppose that this aspect of myself is what has caused me to have such an interest in working on cars lately). If there is a way that I can launch my sube without hurting it, I would really like to know. From what I have read so far, it involves slipping the clutch, which I am assuming is the gradual process of letting the clutch out after working the car up to ~4k RPMs.
B) Is it safe to get so high up in RPMs? I never go above 6000 RPMs, and I only do that if I am merging into the carpool lane and getting up to ~70MPH. I might go from 2nd to 3rd in the process and just want to try to feel the car out a bit. I imagine that I will inevitably damage the car if I am consistently pushing it into 7 and 8k RPMs, but I am not really sure. Is this dangerous?
C) Is it ok to feel out my gear shifts based on where I'm at in RPMs and how the car sounds? Would it be better to get a shifter gauge that tells me when to shift? Is it possible to get one?
D) I would really like to get a stage 2 tune up kit, but is it possible for me to install this stuff on my own? Is it dangerous? Are these kits worth the money? I know that having a bigger exhaust pipe will allow me to get more out of the car and also give me a small bit more horsepower, but is this really necessary?
E) What kinds of cars should I be worried about while I'm on the road?
I am not looking to destroy my WRX or race it into the ground or any of that; I don't have that kind of money at all, and I am far from rich - my car is coming out of my own pocket. I consider myself to be pretty well versed with the WRX and I always babied the '02 hatchback. I rarely ever raced around in it, although when I did it was extremely fun. I haven't done much with this '14 WRX because it is very precious to me, although I will admit that I deleted a mustang GT 2 weeks ago, but I don't think that it was very fair. At this point, I am mainly looking to fine-tune my driving skills and I am also looking for the best bang for my buck with this car. When I spent time working on computers and buying new parts for the one that I built, I was always most interested in getting the best bang for my buck. Of course, for this reason, I have a WRX.
Yes, I bought the foglights too
Sube Jr after 3k mile oil change
Inside with PSI guage
Sube Jr's shortshifter
My parents' first new car! The family WRX hatch from '02. Pretty dirty right now.
A 1985 z28 that I bought as my first car. It was $1,600 with 78k miles on it!! Passes smog every year for 6 years straight!!