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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reading for days about my grandson's WRX trying to help figure why he lost boost. Only mods I know of are it has different mufflers because the guy he bought it from gave him the originals. It has 45K and was running perfectly. Got gas and within ten minutes he said it lost power. It still hasn't thrown a code. He thought limp mode and bad fuel. He added some octane booster I had for my Nova and ran that tank out. No change. He then refueled with 93 then reset the ecu with the accessport. Same exact issue.

His Accessport thing shows a lot of info. I test drove it a couple miles and the boost gauge was always in the negative and only got up to 2.5 to 3.5 while accelerating fairly hard. I was afraid to get on it any harder. I need to figure out how to get a log off that thing because it sounds helpful to anyone knowledgeable on trouble shooting one of these things.

He's working away all week and I'm on vacation all week so I'm going to try to figure it out. The only thing I checked so far was we pulled the inlet pipe off the turbo and looked in at the impeller and it spun freely. I used a long magnetic pickup tool and it stuck to the bolt in the center of that impeller.. I was able to get a little movement side to side in the opening(which I read was ok and it disappears when oil pressure comes up...?) I tried pushing and pulling for any movement but didn't feel any. Car doesn't smoke or make any odd noises. I can't actually say I can hear the turbo spooling but I think I heard it just slightly when test driving it.

I'm guessing my next step should be to pressure test the piping? I saw how to build a test coupler which actually looked pretty cool. Then if there are no leaks just pull the whole turbo? I watched a few videos and feel confident pulling the entire turbo and the other gadgets hooked to it out for inspection. Other than that I'm lost as far as troubleshooting goes. Sorry for the long post.
 

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Check the pipe that goes from the turbo to the intercooler lots of times including on my car that could get loose and even have a hole or cut in it u should check all the connection around the car and make sure the clamps are on tight you can also have someone sit in the car and rev it as you spray soapy water around the hoses to see where your leaking air from


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Check the pipe that goes from the turbo to the intercooler lots of times including on my car that could get loose and even have a hole or cut in it u should check all the connection around the car and make sure the clamps are on tight you can also have someone sit in the car and rev it as you spray soapy water around the hoses to see where your leaking air from


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I'll be checking all the tubes and hoses today sometime. Got to help wife can beans for awhile. I read to take the oil fill cap off and somewhere I need to plug two vacum lines when I put some air pressure on the system. I'll let you know what I find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well I made a leak tester but wasn't sure which hoses needed capped so I pulled that whole plastic flange piece off to look everything over. I cleaned everything up real good. I noticed a bit of oil spray/dirt right at 11 to about 2 on the flange to turbo rubber gasket area. The seal was really cruddy so I cleaned it really good and oiled it up and reinstalled it. Then I put 12v to the boost control solenoid and with power I could blow through it. No power it closed and no air would pass through it. Not much info on testing that thing but it's kinda a no brainer so that's probably why. . That Grimmspeed 3 port looks nice though!

Next I cleaned up the BOV I think it's called. If I put vacum on the small tube, it retracted, let go and it closed. I blew in the end the charge would come in and couldn't get enough pressure to open it that way but I could push it with my finger relatively easy. So with those results, I figured it was good too. Next I cleaned out the flange tube both those components connect to and just put some gorilla tape over all the holes inside the tube so I could pressurize it. And not accidently ruin anything.

So I clamped my tester on, cranked the air and it wouldn't build any pressure at all. Had to wait for compressor to build up and then hit it again and found the pipe from turbo to intercooler leaking all the air out. It was tight as all get out but leaking like crazy. I took the clamp off and pulled the pipe off the inlet to intercooler and it didn't have any kind of gasket or seal in there. That can't be right can it? The other side looks like there's a piece of rubber in there squeezing out a tiny bit. I just called it a night until I fix that massive leak before looking for any more.
I'll research a gasket for that pipe to cooler connection and correct that in the morning. Then I'll get back on and update my issue. I feel dumb as all get out because I did feel around for leaks when it was idling but couldn't feel anything . So I guess this car is schooling me a bit. Maybe I'll put a turbo on my Nova someday once I learn some more about them.
 

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That Grimmspeed 3 port looks nice though!
This might be the issue right here. Does the car have a tune on it? Dig into the AP and you'll see what map it's running. The GS EBCS requires a tune and cannot run on the factory tune. And/or it's installed/routed incorrectly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This might be the issue right here. Does the car have a tune on it? Dig into the AP and you'll see what map it's running. The GS EBCS requires a tune and cannot run on the factory tune. And/or it's installed/routed incorrectly.
I heard him mention a tune that needs hi test gas. I'm hoping he just puts it stock so I don't have to work on it all the time. LOL! I'll question him on it. I think I found the gasket I need and will pick it up tomorrow. Good to know on that GS EBCS.
I probably would have bolted one on and wondered what happened. Thanks.
 

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Here are pics of where I need a gasket I believe. Could it be called an "inlet duct insulator"?

View attachment 333530 View attachment 333530 View attachment 333530
Thats where my 2015 wrx was leaking too. there is a gasket that goes there. I bought the gasket but it wouldn't fit with the pipe in place. I just put it on as far as I could. I think that mine is still leaking there. I think that the person that had the car before me had an aftermarket charge pipe and when they sold it they put the stock one back on and didn't care to add the gasket.
 

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Thats where my 2015 wrx was leaking too. there is a gasket that goes there. I bought the gasket but it wouldn't fit with the pipe in place. I just put it on as far as I could. I think that mine is still leaking there. I think that the person that had the car before me had an aftermarket charge pipe and when they sold it they put the stock one back on and didn't care to add the gasket.
That's probably what happened to you and OP. The gasket should fit perfectly unless something is damaged. There are two tabs on the gasket that slide into two notches on the pipe to locate the gasket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks guys. I couldn't find those gaskets anywhere local so my grandson ordered a couple but the fastest we could get them was the 14th. So with his car in the way on my wifes side of the garage I needed something to make a gasket out of. I was thinking what the heck do we have made of soft rubber or silicone? So I grabbed my grandsons poppit toy and razor bladed the side band from it. Wrapped it around the flange, cut both pieces at the same time then taped both sides and slid the black pipe on and tightened it up. This let me pressurize the system and look for more leaks.

Got about 8 psi on it and I could hear air leaking, again. So I narrowed it down to the black plastic manifold where it mated to the turbo. I had noticed some spray on that last night but cleaned and thought maybe it would hold. Nope. So I called Subaru and he actually had one of those rubber seals. So took wife to Sam's Club and I drove to parts counter. Guy was pretty cool, had two old Mopars, one turbo drag car running 8's in the 1/4 mile. Other was high 11's and streetable. So it was a fun trip.

Got home and pulled that inlet pipe again, replaced the gasket and pressurized the system again. Couldn;t hear any leaks but didn't do the soapy water test. I could feel just a tiny bit out of the plugged vacum lines I had stuck bolts in and zip tied. No dang tiny fuel line clamps left anywhere. back in the day I always had a box lying around somewhere. So I figured yep! I got this fixed. Put everything back together and fired it up. let it warm up and Nope, no more than 3.5 on the boost gauge and I pulled on it pretty hard in third and fourth. Then when I shifted to 5th and 6th just lightly cruising I could feel it stumble, surge, not sure which for sure but definitely not right yet. So I pulled it in and ran it up on the ramps and said enough for today.

I'm going to try the pressure test one last time and do the soapy water spray from an old spray bottle and see if there's any other leaks. My wife knows me and says just let it go honey. I'm like no way, it's on now with this POS! Lol. I also found a ground strap from frame rail to motor was corroded in two above that inlet tube so I replaced it with a nice ground strap I had saved from something years ago. Us old guys have stuff. Yep stuff that I completely forget I have at times. Anyways, I said I'd update and this is it. I'll report back tomorrow.

Would a clogged cat not throw a code? I'll hit the cat with my temp gun tomorrow. Inlet and outlet.
 

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Poppit toy is creative lol, hopefully it won't melt. Clogged cat is unlikely on this engine. This car is also too new and has too few miles to have so many leaks.

I'd recommend talking to previous owner to figure what tune is on it and the exact parts list for that tune. It almost sounds like this car was modified at some point and hastily put back close to stock before sale. The parts list doesn't match the tune exactly, right down to the manufacturer & part # of each component, no matter how small. If there's any discrepancy, the car will run like shit & potentially blow the engine even if it's mechanically perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Poppit toy is creative lol, hopefully it won't melt. Clogged cat is unlikely on this engine. This car is also too new and has too few miles to have so many leaks.

I'd recommend talking to previous owner to figure what tune is on it and the exact parts list for that tune. It almost sounds like this car was modified at some point and hastily put back close to stock before sale. The parts list doesn't match the tune exactly, right down to the manufacturer & part # of each component, no matter how small. If there's any discrepancy, the car will run like shit & potentially blow the engine even if it's mechanically perfect.
Well I know it's an R titled car. I have found multiple bolts missing, things not routed properly, etc. I asked him last night on a call what mods does he know of. He said he's running the 91 octane tune from the Cobb accessport hanging on the dash. I've scrolled through it enough now and watched several videos about it and see you can put it back to a stock tune. I'm thinking of trying that. He was getting full boost until recently. Is there anything in the brain of the car that would make this happen? I'm thinking whatever leaks that are left must be miniscule and shouldn't affect building boost to the low numbers I'm seeing.
 

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Well I know it's an R titled car. I have found multiple bolts missing, things not routed properly, etc. I asked him last night on a call what mods does he know of. He said he's running the 91 octane tune from the Cobb accessport hanging on the dash. I've scrolled through it enough now and watched several videos about it and see you can put it back to a stock tune. I'm thinking of trying that. He was getting full boost until recently. Is there anything in the brain of the car that would make this happen? I'm thinking whatever leaks that are left must be miniscule and shouldn't affect building boost to the low numbers I'm seeing.
Is it rebuilt title for crash or water damage? Your previous post mentioned a grimmspeed bcs, that's not compatible with cobb ots tunes and could be an issue. Unless you personally know the seller, I wouldn't put too much trust in his claim that it was running well. I'd recommend starting with oem boost control solenoid and new spark plugs. It also takes a few miles to readjust long term fuel trims from the vacuum leaks so you might have to drive for a few days or reset the ecu.

It's pretty rare that the turbo would actually fail to build pressure, typically low boost means the ecu pulls timing or restricts boost. Accessport log for a 3rd gear pull could show what's wrong but I don't have enough experience to interpret it, someone else on this forum might be able to help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Is it rebuilt title for crash or water damage? Your previous post mentioned a grimmspeed bcs, that's not compatible with cobb ots tunes and could be an issue. Unless you personally know the seller, I wouldn't put too much trust in his claim that it was running well. I'd recommend starting with oem boost control solenoid and new spark plugs. It also takes a few miles to readjust long term fuel trims from the vacuum leaks so you might have to drive for a few days or reset the ecu.

It's pretty rare that the turbo would actually fail to build pressure, typically low boost means the ecu pulls timing or restricts boost. Accessport log for a 3rd gear pull could show what's wrong but I don't have enough experience to interpret it, someone else on this forum might be able to help.
Front end damage in crash. No Grimmspeed bcs. I was just stating how nice it looked to me! Lol. The inlet manifold, bcs and bvo are stock and working properly I think. I did my own testing on them and they work.

He bought it three months ago and it's been running great the whole time. I personally can confirm it ran smooth and with boost. He does have a new set of plugs lying there. If you reset the ecu it should have boost if there's no problems I assume....? Like right away, or does it need driven for the fuel trims you mentioned to adjust? I only took a ride for about 3 miles but thought that it surely should build more than the 3.4-4 lbs I'm seeing. I'm doing one last leak test this morning with the soapy water and air to it. Might look at changing the plugs. They look like a pain to get to though. Thanks for the replies.
It's really hard finding info on this model and year.
 

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Unfortunately front end damage could be a lot of things, damage to wastegate, cam solenoids, exhaust manifold leaks, etc. that may not show up immediately.

I've never dealt with a boost restriction this severe. I got bad gas at one point, < 4gal on empty tank at a rural cash only place, and boost was limited to 12-13psi for a couple of days. Probably 250 odd miles after I ran out the bad gas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Unfortunately front end damage could be a lot of things, damage to wastegate, cam solenoids, exhaust manifold leaks, etc. that may not show up immediately.

I've never dealt with a boost restriction this severe. I got bad gas at one point, < 4gal on empty tank at a rural cash only place, and boost was limited to 12-13psi for a couple of days. Probably 250 odd miles after I ran out the bad gas.
Well he thinks it all started from a tank of bad gas. Not sure though, could have been coincidence. I took time today and leak checked everything once again. I was able to get it to hold about 12 lbs pressure for a minute or two before I had to add more air. Soapy water sprayed everything. From multiple angles, multiple times. No leaks. So I put it back together and took a ride.

I can feel it and see on the gauge boost starts to about 3.something and I keep accelerating and that boost disappears and boost pressure goes negative. After driving a few miles, at low speeds it has a bad bog when you shift and try to accelerate. I look for any kind of smoke but see none.

I used my infrared gun on the exhaust . At cylinder heads, then in front and behind cat. Temps at head were hotter but at front and rear of cat temps were nearly the same. So I don't think it's clogged. Is there anything besides the wastegate actuator that could bleed off boost? Is there a mechanical valve on the exhaust side of the turbo?

Disgusted, I put it up in the garage and pulled the wifes car back in. I'm done for a bit. I will keep reading and asking questions till I figure it out.
 

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Other than wastegate and bcs, there's nothing mechanical that will intentionally bleed pressure. 12 is not bad considering you are losing pressure through the air filter. It might be worth draining the bad gas and putting a couple gallons of new stuff in. Idle for maybe 5 mins to drain the old stuff out from pipes/pumps. You can also put a Tee and gauge on hpfp inlet to confirm that your tank pump has enough pressure.

There are very few things that can fail on a 5yr old car. One quick and dirty way to find whether your issues are mechanical or electrical is to unplug MAF and reset ecu. If the car runs measurably better, you have an electrical problem, probably MAF but possibly o2 sensors or wire harness. Not long though, it's basically limp mode with some safeties disabled. Put afr on accessport and turn engine off if it starts to go too lean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Other than wastegate and bcs, there's nothing mechanical that will intentionally bleed pressure. 12 is not bad considering you are losing pressure through the air filter. It might be worth draining the bad gas and putting a couple gallons of new stuff in. Idle for maybe 5 mins to drain the old stuff out from pipes/pumps. You can also put a Tee and gauge on hpfp inlet to confirm that your tank pump has enough pressure.

There are very few things that can fail on a 5yr old car. One quick and dirty way to find whether your issues are mechanical or electrical is to unplug MAF and reset ecu. If the car runs measurably better, you have an electrical problem, probably MAF but possibly o2 sensors or wire harness. Not long though, it's basically limp mode with some safeties disabled. Put afr on accessport and turn engine off if it starts to go too lean.
I think I'll make my grandson do the accessport stuff. I ran through it, added the DAM gauge. It never moved off 1 the whole drive today. He did run the tank of old gas down to 1/4 then refilled with 93 from a top tier station. I was thinking of uninstalling the accessport and returning the car to bone stock tune but I don't want to lose anything so I'll wait on him. He did put a new MAF when he got it and it had a new O2 sensor.
I'm usually able to figure out most everything but this has me puzzled. Thanks for the advice and help.
 

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This is pretty confusing, new MAF, new o2 sensor, no leaks, DAM at 1 and low boost. Hopefully it's just long term fuel trims from that leak you fixed & ecu reset will fix it. Either way keep us updated, this is interesting.

I can't find anything to confirm my suspicion, but upgraded actuators for this turbo are 7psi, so 3psi might be spring pressure on the stock actuator. If that is true, it would indicate that either the wastegate actuator has failed or ecu is trying to stay out of boost completely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
This is pretty confusing, new MAF, new o2 sensor, no leaks, DAM at 1 and low boost. Hopefully it's just long term fuel trims from that leak you fixed & ecu reset will fix it. Either way keep us updated, this is interesting.

I can't find anything to confirm my suspicion, but upgraded actuators for this turbo are 7psi, so 3psi might be spring pressure on the stock actuator. If that is true, it would indicate that either the wastegate actuator has failed or ecu is trying to stay out of boost completely.
I did reset the ecu, a couple times. Before I had the 2nd leak fixed and then after. Yesterday and day before. So how long do fuel trims take to relearn? I only took about a 5 mile ride at most. I will add the AF gauge and see what the fuel trims are.
 
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