Originally Posted by JMK508
The wrx does offer performance,utility,and all weather capability. It really just lacks in the reliability department. I find it unacceptable that motors are letting go with minimal or no mods. We are not talking about 5 and 600whp builds here. I did have a wrx back in 06 and spent ungodly amounts of money to build it and reinforce all weak areas (Engine,Tranny), and it was nothing but problems and looking back and adding all the money makes me sick. I was younger and didnt do my research when buying my wrx. A couple of years ago i finally bought a Evo. It has had 400 plus whp for over 3 years and not had one......NOT ONE hiccup,issue,problem at all.
This is just my experience and i know it does not represent all Subaru owners....but i know from being in the Subaru community and being in and around performance shops that my experience is fairly common.
The failures of stock or "mostly stock" is not common and gets blown out of proportion on this site and others. You note you tried to correct all the issues with the WRX drivetrain, but most of us gearheads know that the more you modify and the further you take the car from stock, the more potential reliability problems you create yourself. I've lost count on how many times I've added a mod that improved performance, but caused it's issues. and annoyances. Aftermarket are rarely designed to the level of quality that OEM parts are. People are always quick to point out just how great the mod is, but won't tell you about the negatives because they don't want to sound like a sucker. It pays to research a lot rather than buying into the head mentality. It's why I'm so selective anymore about what I do to a car and how I've come to terms with keep power levels near stock.
Yes, some cars like the EVO, are built to handle more power, but even your EVO has it's own issues and annoyances. Right off the bat, we all know the EVOs are very raw, loud, rough riding and quite cheap on the inside. That alone was enough to deter me from the car. Then there's the high likelihood that Mitsubishi will be out of the US market in the next 2 to 5 years. Dealerships are already are and few between and Mitsu dealer ratings are margin are best.
Asking any engine to reliably handle 20%+ more power than stock is unrealistic. With an NA car, it's takes thousands upon thousands to gain 20% more power than stock. With a WRX, it's a matter of a $150-600 tune and $300-500 downpipe. More importantly, the gain in torque in substanial which taxes the drivetrain. Power is so easy to gain with these cars and so cheap to come by that people seem to loose sight that cheap and easy doesn't mean it's not impacting reliability.
Long story short, if you want a motor that can handle quite a bit more power than stock with no internal mods, get an EVO, a 2JZ Supra, or 4.6 SC'd Stang. However, keep in mind those cars all have their own specialized issues and EVERY automotive forum is a bitch-fest for just how crappy the car is.
With that said, I'm cutting and pasting from a thread where a BMW tech friend of mine is trying to talk a potential buyer out of a used BMW M5 (E60 chassis, V10 model). I'm just trying to show that all makes and models have their own expensive issues to contend with, even premier BMWs:
....i have replaced several engines personally and we have replaced several more due to oil pump failures. at one point last year we had 5 V10's stacked up in our tool room, and we are not a big shop by any means. 3 of those were under factory warranty that were not covered due to "overrev", bmw really shafted those people imo but that's a story for another time. never seen an insurance company pay for an engine that wasn't hydrolocked.
the smg hydraulics are extremely problamatic on those cars also(huge dollars). not to mention the $3k worth of throttle actuators that wear out, the exhaust manifolds/cats that **** out, the vanos oil pump/internal line, the $800 worth of spark plugs(plus labor) due every 10K miles give or take---none of those have i seen ANY aftermarket warranty cover. the car is god damned money pit plain and simple.
front brake job, $2500. that car is not anywhere near worth that premium. brake rotors are around $500 per(my price), pads are $400, add the 3 wear sensors, and 4 rotor bolts. that's at least $1500 if i were to do a brake job on my own car. dealer price is usually double what i can do, so 2500 is a deal. you will not find an aftermarket equivelant that will meet the performance of the oem brake parts. even the numerous stoptech kits we have installed(cheaper replacement parts) do not match the oem braking feel.
spark plugs have gone down believe it or not. they used to be $750 for just the plugs (no labor) a few years ago. the plugs are not your normal spark plug, they double as an ionization sensor which the ignition control unit can interpret as knock--they are essentially 10 little knock sensors. not too mention your indy shop hasn't done near the amount of plug jobs i have and most likely won't get your coils out without breaking them---there is a trick and s85 coils are a bitch to get out, so add at least 2 coils to that(#5 and #10). don't forget the 4 hours of labor, the gallon of coolant, and maybe you get lucky and the radiator vent hoses don't break.
so what about the plastic gears inside the throttle actuators that strip out because they are constantly trying to keep a steady idle against the weight of 5 throttle body springs? your indy shop gonna setup the throttles with the appropriate test plan, or are you going to bring it to the dealer for just that? that's if they get the diag right the first time, bmw likes to hide some really key hex faults in other modules that don't need to be obd compliant(sneaky germans).
how about the clutch pressure plate that gets a groove worn into it by the throwout bearing because people drive smg like an automatic instead of a manual. your indy shop will most likely misdiag that as a hyrdo unit. it's ok though, they will sell you a clutch too, might as well while you are in there but why are you replacing the hyrdo unit?
my point is sometimes you aren't getting raped, sometimes you are paying a bit more to not get raped. those cars are pretty ****** up, and if you haven't been around them they can really bite.