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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to do some quick research, as I have to make a decision by the end of the day. So apologies if this has already been addressed...

I have a 2002 WRX with a 2.0 turbo. The car has about 150K miles on it. The turbo is original. I recently brought the car in to get some brake work done, get an inspection and fix an oil leak. Turns out the oil leak was coming from the turbo, but they weren't sure where. So I had to spend $700 in labor to determine that. The good news is that it looks like the oil leak was coming from the various hoses and gaskets that connect to the turbo. So that solves the leak.

The mechanic said that there is a little play in the turbo, and a tiny bit of clearance between the fan and the housing, but otherwise the turbo looks fine. His recommendation is just replace the hoses.

However, it's cost me $700 to get here. It will likely cost another $1400 to replace the turbo. Given the age and milage, am I better off replacing it now and saving an additional $700 in having to get to it again at some later point in the future should it die, or is it likely to live on fine as is, and I will be unlikely to need to replace the turbo.

I'm not a hard driver of the car. I love the car, it's been the best car I've ever owned, but I do standard street driving, not track style. I'd like to keep the car for 2-3 more years, if not longer.

I've seen a few things online about Subaru that are 2005 and newer and having problems with Turbos, but I haven't seen much on pre-2005 (I'm guessing because who would still own such an ancient beast... :) )
 

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Super Moderator (Actually a SuperSpy)
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The turbo is not a wear item. Your mechanic has said the turbo is OK. If it were my car, I'd not replace it. Also, if I were to replace it, I'd not pay $1400 for the replacement. Used units are available for less.

There have been no issues with the Mitsubishi turbos used in early cars that I find worthy worrying about -- but my car is relatively new, a 2002 with roughly 200K miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Okay, good to know. I wasn't sure if the turbo was a "wear" item or not. He had researched it and saw that newer model turbos on stuff like the Outback had issues, but couldn't find anything on WRXs. All in all he thought it wasn't necessary, but encouraged me to do a bit of research to see if I came to the same conclusion. Was looking for a little confirmation. Thanks!
 

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$700 to diagnose and tighten or replace a hose or two? Am I out of line to think that's a bit steep?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
He said that the way the turbo is placed in the 02' WRX that it took a lot of effort in labor to get to it and inspect it. I'm sure it would be cheaper doing it myself. Generally I've liked these guys, but I would be curious to hear if people think all of this is way out of line pricewise. Remember, I'm a lay person that knows very little about how to mechanically fix a car, so this is parts and labor. Specifically he said it would take about 5 hours to both get it apart and put it back together total, and the 5 hours is where that $700 was going, not the hoses, gaskets, etc.

(I am a computer person, so when people say they will replace your RAM for $50 in labor + price of parts, I think that is a rip off, but then I see my aunt or mom who can barely figure out how to turn the computer on and I think , "yeah, that's money well spent, for them...")
 

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I'm not a mechanic so it would take me twice that long to remove/replace the turbo, plus my entire neighbourhood would be aware of my activity for all the profanity. A used turbo, however, can be had for a few hundred, cash money, American green. In any case, you don't need one according to the mechanic, so until you do I'd just maintain the car correctly and live life.

Most of the stuff that keeps me awake at night will never happen.
 
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