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2018 WRX - NO MODS - Consistent CEL Issues (P1604, P0852, 2 current codes TBD)

13803 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  wunderbluh
Hi all! I am new to Subaru and my first one is a 2018 WRX I got in June. This was all mentioned in my introduction post to the forum, but I wanted to post it in the maintenance section in case anyone has more information or has seen similar issues with the new WRX's.

As I mentioned in the title..... I am having some issues. I've been to the service center twice with two different CEL codes. First one was a P1604 (Startability Malfunction) which they told me the solution from Subaru USA was to just clear the code. The code "appears without reason" sometimes.

The most recent one was a P0852 - Park/Neutral switch malfunction. The Tech called Subaru corporate after going through the troubleshooting tree.

They told him that it is apparently a software issue that they intend to fix sometime in December or January. Anyone else had this issue? The light comes on at least a couple of times a week and I have been just resetting the ECU myself. It's a little annoying though. My car has less than 4000 miles and to add to everything, my passenger side window would not go down using my driver side controls (the passenger side button worked though). Someone on reddit suggested the window issue was due to the battery being disconnected, not necessarily a malfunction. Once I got going though, the switch started working which to me sounds like some sort of electrical short somewhere in the car.

My check engine light is currently on right now. I took it to Autozone just to see if I could figure out what the codes were, but the OBD2 reader would not display the codes for some reason. It just said there were two codes but wouldn't say what they were. The Autozone tech said he hadn't seen that before. I have a service appointment scheduled for this afternoon.

Any specifics I should tell the techs when I bring the car in today? First thing is I want to know what the two codes are of course.

Beyond that, I'm going to tell them I don't think it's fair to tell me to live with a car that has a check engine light every few days that disables my cruise control (seems like a great way for me to end up with a ticket for accidentally speeding). I just don't think I should have to wait until potentially next year for a software fix. If it's the same code as before, I am going to ask them to start replacing things, starting with the sensor, until the issue is fixed.

To add a little more detail, after my last visit for the p0852 codes, Subaru America told the tech who then told me that I should "refrain from quick shifting from 0 to 40mph" to prevent the p0852 code. That's just ridiculous to me, and the tech agreed. One of the primary reasons for buying the car was because it's fun to drive.

Someone over in my intro thread linked me a PDF from several years ago that had some info about fixing the p0852 codes that involved tightening some tension nuts near the park/neutral sensor ( ). I intend to bring that up, but I'm not even convinced that is the actual issue. I think whole electrical system might be crap, and I might have myself a lemon.

If I end up having to pursue a lemon law case, would it matter that I purchased the car in Ohio but now live in Texas? My first trip to the service center was in Ohio at the dealer where I purchased it (p1604). The second one was here in Texas at another certified service center (p0852).

This whole ordeal sucks. The car is great. I love driving it, but all these issues are really starting to wear on me and make me second guess ever getting it.
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Hi, I have a 2018 WRX as well. I was having issues as well on the drivers side controls not able to pull down the passenger side window, couple of other quirks I experienced:

1. No auto up and down on the driver side
2. Not able to control the passenger side window
3. Even when the keys are out of the keyhole, you can still roll down the window

I claimed warranty on the dealer and they said that the part that needs to be replaced is the electrical harness for all the electrical components of the door. They do not have it in stock anywhere in america and they said that it is in backorder and that there is no ETA.

To be honest, it kinda sucks that you have a brand new car and you deal with all this. It dillutes the new car experience of the car. I was also having a buyer's remorse after all the incidents with the car. I was second guessing myself if I should have bought another brand / model instead.
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These things happen. Just be patient and keep taking it to a dealership to have it fixed under warranty. Keep all records of taking it in. As someone told you before, the lemon laws work on a 'cumulative' basis over a certain period of time. And they are not a cut and dried thing where you just say I have a lemon and you get a new car. You will have to file in court for it and there will likely be back and forth between lawyers and even a mediation board and such. (I did this for a motorcycle once) It is far less messy and time consuming to just keep taking it to a dealership to get the bugs worked out.

Mine had a CEL come on for an O2 sensor at 35K miles -- way too early. I disconnected the plug at the sensor and reconnected and that solved it (don't know why.) But such bugs happen. Just be patient and let the dealership do their thing. My dealership had coffee and donuts in their lounge; I actually like going in once in a while................
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I am in the northern side of the border so I hope our lemon law works the same. It is our only car in the household and I do expect it to be fairly reliable and while the quirks of non working windows does not impede transportation, it still leaves that shadow of doubt of what will fail next?

Also, the technicians seems to not know what to do apart from changing the parts. I wanted to bring it to an independent mechanic that specializes in Subaru here in BC but didnt want to risk warranty claim.

This I guess is coming from someone who is a first time Subaru owner. I am not utterly disappointed but the pleasure derived from the new car experience quickly dissipated with the small issues and back and forth going back to the dealer
it drives great though. That one I cant complain. never fails to put a smile on my face :)
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