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Old 05-21-2014, 12:44 PM   #1
B.rodriguez
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Location: Orange County CA
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2004 STi
Aspen White

Default CEL Again -__-

(Car: 2001 2.5RS Impreza, 158k Miles)
Ok so I recently replaced my spark plugs, spark plug wires, spark plug gaskets, valve cover gaskets, and the rocker gaskets on the valve covers because I had a CEL P0304, misfire in cylinder #4
I drove the car around yesterday and everything ran fine, although I did notice a very slight burning smell (like oil) and a hint of white smoke coming from the exhaust
Well this morning I turn on the car and let her warm up, as I'm about to drive off I look down and see the Check Engine light has popped up once again
I don't have a scan tool as of right now and I wouldn't be able to check the CEL for some time but I have a feeling it's the same problem since the car starts the same as when I first got it -- meaning that it feels like the spark plugs are wet (most likely with oil again)
If there is oil in the spark plugs again, what could possibly have gone wrong?
Did I not place some of the gaskets properly?
Or can it be something else? (not head gasket please )

**Note: I bought the parts off of allsubaru.com and when I typed in the part number for the spark plug gasket (10966AA000) this message showed up:

Part Number "10966AA000" was found for SUBARU , but we could not verify the part fits the selected vehicle.
You may still purchase this part below.

Part Number was superceded!
Old Part Number 10966AA000
New Part Number 10966AA030
Part Name GSKT SPARK PL PIP

When I looked at the gaskets they did seem significantly smaller than the ones on the car, but I thought the old ones might have expanded due to heat and years of use, while the new ones were fresh
(I know some of you might give me ish because I don't know exactly what the CEL is, but these are my thoughts. Any help is appreciated)
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:44 PM   #2
DampedSubaru
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It's possible that as you were working on the car oil dropped onto the exhaust manifold/catalytic converter. So that can explain the burning smell. Take a towel/rag and dry the bottom where the valve cover meets the head of the engine. Remove your spark plug boots and clean them. Also clean the inside of where your spark plug boots go. Make sure there is no oil inside that area. Start the car, drive it around for a bit. Park your car and let it cool down for about 10-15 minutes. Recheck where the valve cover meets the head again with your finger (watch out for coolant lines and such because it burns!) what you're looking for is oil leaking. If it isn't leaking then you're gasket was properly installed. Recheck your sparkplug boots. If everything was installed correctly you shouldn't be leaking anywhere.

As for the CEL, we would need a code to farther help you.
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:25 PM   #3
bluesguyej25
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you might have a burnt valve. I had a similar problem with my 08 i. misfires on cyl 1. took it to subaru tore it apart and it was a burnt valve. have you checked your compression? you seem knowledgeable to replace your gaskets, so dont be so hard on yourself. You can do everyhing right and still get codes. I would check compression.
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:18 PM   #4
B.rodriguez
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I don't have the tool to do a compression test. I checked the code and it's the same one P0304 but I checked the spark plug chambers and none have oil leaking. So could it be a burnt valve as bluesguy suggested. I can definitely feel the misfire as it's idling since the car vibrates a little more aggressively
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:17 PM   #5
DampedSubaru
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It's possible that your engine needs to build it's vacuum.. Happened to me when I changed my valve cover gaskets. My engine was idling very low like 100-200rpm. After 20 minutes of running it was all better.
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:20 PM   #6
DampedSubaru
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Are the spark plugs pre gapped? If not that can cause a misfire.
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:57 PM   #7
B.rodriguez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DampedSubaru View Post
Are the spark plugs pre gapped? If not that can cause a misfire.
Yes I bought NGK iridium pre gapped

Quote:
Originally Posted by DampedSubaru View Post
It's possible that your engine needs to build it's vacuum.. Happened to me when I changed my valve cover gaskets. My engine was idling very low like 100-200rpm. After 20 minutes of running it was all better.
I did run it for like 10 min. Maybe I'll drive around for a while and hope for the best
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:19 AM   #8
DampedSubaru
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Does it feel like it's about to stall? When you start the car do the RPMs drop really low then stabilize? Also, in neutral/park rev the engine, do the rpms drop really low then stabilize back to idle? Sometimes a vacuum leak or not enough vacuum can cause a very weird idle. And about your CEL. Maybe you didn't plug in a coil properly. Make sure your MAF sensor is plugged in.

I once forgot to plug in my MAF sensor and I drove myself crazy trying to find the problem. (It was night so I couldn't say anything in my engine bay) lol.
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:26 AM   #9
DampedSubaru
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Your coil pack can be faulty also.
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Old 05-27-2014, 05:26 PM   #10
B.rodriguez
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I tried testing the coil pack with my voltmeter but had issues. (Checked ohms btw) when I placed the leads on the pins I got no readings whatsoever. When I placed them on the towers (I think that's what they're called, the probes sticking out where you attach the spark plug cables to) it was the same issue except for on towers 2-3 I got a 12.3 ohm reading. Could it be a faulty coil pack or is my $5 harbor freight voltmeter just too crappy? (It worked phenomenal in my electrical class so I don't think it would be it)
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:40 PM   #11
B.rodriguez
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Sorry guys I messed up. 1-2 gave me a 12.8 ohm reading and 3-4 gave me the same. Still couldn't get a reading on the pins themselves. I put everything back together and drove the car around a bit and on the cold start up felt shakey but as of now she seems fine and no CEL has popped up since ice driven her (cleared the code). I have a feeling the CEL will pop up again probably tomorrow I'll keep you guys posted
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:57 AM   #12
daslog
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Autozone does a loaner tool program where you buy the tool and then you bring it back anytime for a full refund. You need to do a compression test.
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:32 AM   #13
B.rodriguez
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Hmmm so I've been driving the car around for a while and no CEL has popped up. Maybe there was excess oil in the chambers that needed to burn off? Car idles rough on cold start but once she's warmed up there's no issues
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