STI intercooler problems
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This is a discussion on STI intercooler problems within the STi Technical Forum forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; This is what my intercooler looks like. I was driving in the last major snowstorm up here in MD and ...

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    STI intercooler problems


    This is what my intercooler looks like. I was driving in the last major snowstorm up here in MD and I'm not sure what caused it but I suspect it was salt/ice or some mix they were laying down on the road. I have taken the car to a Subaru Dealer in Knoxville TN and they told me as long as I didn't run it hard the engine wouldn't suffer... Seriously? Who baby's these engines, they're built for fun and to go fast. Anyhow, I was going to go to the Subaru dealer here in MD and let them look at it maybe they'll be more understanding since the intercooler was fine prior to the snowstorm. Any ideas on whether Subaru should replace under warranty, it is a 2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STi Limited. Side note, the technician who look at it told me I could replace it at cost to me or try and bend all the little fins back with a soft thin plastic item. God knows how long they would stay open as the intercooler is made of aluminum. I wonder if heatsoak played any significant role in causing this problem.

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    Village Idiot McBill's Avatar
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    what did you do? drive through a snow plow throwing snow? I don't see how all those bent fins could happen just from "driving in the weather"...
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    I'm thinking that a combination of salt/sand was thrown up and got sucked/forced into intercooler, it was fine earlier that day.

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    The radiator behind the front grill shows similar damage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonicdrumm80 View Post
    I'm thinking that a combination of salt/sand was thrown up and got sucked/forced into intercooler, it was fine earlier that day.
    If this is a question regarding warranty coverage, there is no way subaru will cover a new part. What happened is in no way damage from a factory defect. It's all ware damage done by the driver. I don't see that it will cause any issues, but my knowledge on intercoolers is nowhere near that of some peoples' on here. You could get a new one or you get in there with a small screw driver and try and bend all the fins back to where they are supposed to be.

    But again, I don't see how in the world the weather did this...

    Quote Originally Posted by sonicdrumm80 View Post
    The radiator behind the front grill shows similar damage.
    Even more odd
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    your car got f'ed up! holy crap...

    they make grills for the hood scoop and lower radiator section, don't know how much that would have helped though.

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    I was thinking about building one for the intake or buying one if they make them, problem is, this is a design flaw, they should have accounted for debris being thrown up and forced into the intake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonicdrumm80 View Post
    I was thinking about building one for the intake or buying one if they make them, problem is, this is a design flaw, they should have accounted for debris being thrown up and forced into the intake.
    It isn't a design flaw. My bugeye ran in all kinds of weather and terrain for well over a decade, and only had one or two bent fins on the whole thing. It takes considerable force to bend fins. Even the pressure washer I used to detail the engine bay wouldn't bend the fins.

    I'm curious how much of a real effect on performance bent fins have. I realize it doesn't look nice cosmetically, but only comparing post-intercooler air temps would really tell you if this is a problem or not.
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    the problem is 75% of the fins are bent completely closed that means little to no air is entering them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonicdrumm80 View Post
    the problem is 75% of the fins are bent completely closed that means little to no air is entering them.
    I believe more heat is getting exchanged than you might think, but as I said, the only way to prove that would be testing. I'd use this as a perfect excuse to get a ProcessWest I/C.
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    is that one better than the top mounted I/C from Grimmspeed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonicdrumm80 View Post
    is that one better than the top mounted I/C from Grimmspeed?
    I'd say they are equivalent. ProcessWest has been the go-to intercooler brand for the 3G cars, but Grimmspeed makes good products as well. ProcessWest includes a new intercooler shroud to ensure the air is properly ducted to the aftermarket intercooler. I can't remember if Grimmspeed includes that or not.
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    I need to get a debris guard for the intake know any manufacturers?

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    If it was indeed salt getting in, no amount of mesh over top of that would block it. Whatever damaged that would probly damage the mesh. And if the salt did cause it, and the mesh could block it, then wouldn't you think the salt would just bunch up on the mesh? Then you've really blocked off air flow...

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