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So on my stock 2002 WRX wagon I got my 60K service done at Subaru Stamford earlier in the year. Since then the car reached 79 K or so. All this time I have been getting the oil changed every 3K or so with the last few times the oil coming out pretty dirty and the engine performance deteriorating. Last weekend I decided to do the 75K oil change and when changing the engine oil saw that it was pretty much black in color. On replacing the air filter I noticed that the filter lid was not secured properly. Basically the mechanic at Subaru Stamford had put the clips on one side without locking the far side of the lid in. Long story short the open lid has probably resulted in dirty air constantly getting sucked into the engine for the last 20K miles or so. Any thoughts on how one may go about cleaning the engine internals and sorting this out?
 

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Have them sort it. It's an easy mistake to make because of how the filter housing is designed. I'm surprised you did not see a CEL actually.

If they won't deal with it your two choices are to use something like Seafoam or to let sleeping dogs lie.
 

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+1 ^..Or Subaru sells there own "top engine cleaner" we market it as a fuel injection flush..its a three step system one bottle gets "sucked" into the intake manifold to clean out carbon and such, one bottle gets poured into the fuel tank to "clean out" the injectors, and it also comes with a can of throttle plate cleaner...
As for your air cleaner lid not secured..you usually get a hell of a noise under acceleration and a noticeable loss of power..Ive seen this dozens of times....on all Subaru models..however I suppose the noise and power loss could not have been as "severe" considering you have a boxer turbo...
 
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