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Old 02-03-2002, 11:54 PM   #1
LatinWRX
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Default CEL=Freakin Out!!!

My WRX has been broken in well. It has about 2500 miles. I've had an Injen intake and a M2Performance cat-back exhaust for about a month without any problems whatsoever (except for the muffler coming off one of the hangers every once in a while). Tonight I was playing around with an Integra GS-R and of course kicking his ass. On the last launch after just 2 mild 4K launches, I once again launch at about 4500RPM and *****!!! The CEL comes on!!! It has NEVER come on in my car. I right away let off and cruise home almost off boost the whole way. I turn off the car at home for a bit and turn it back on to see if it's off but no deal.

Since I have a cat-back I doubt it can be exhaust related and I know that launch is no problem for the rex. I checked the exhaust and the muffler came off one of the hangers. Could the muffler coming off the hanger during a launch shock the catback and cause a leak and maybe make it throw a CEL? The car sounds normal.

What could it be? Is there a CEL reset button on the rex like in Honda's? If so, where and how? Please help, I freaking out here b/c I know if I have to go to the dealer, it'll mean days without my car.
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Old 02-04-2002, 12:17 AM   #2
Jon [in CT]
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Resetting the CEL won't fix anything. The ECU has a diagnostic trouble code stored and you really need to find out what this code is before you reset the light. You can't tell how serious a problem the ECU has discovered without pulling that code with an OBD-II scanner. If you take it to a dealer to pull the trouble code, beware that various performance parameters are stored along with the trouble code. I wonder what the dealer will think when he sees that the engine speed was 4500 RPM and the vehicle speed was 2 MPH.
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Old 02-04-2002, 12:29 AM   #3
LatinWRX
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Yikes! I did'nt know that. Checking through other threads dealing with this I read the battery thing and I disconected it and it went off but now I'm wondering about it. If you disconect the battery and the light goes off, is the info still stored so i can check it out later? If it doesn't come back on though, doesn't that mean the ECU is no longer sensing a problem?
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Old 02-04-2002, 12:40 AM   #4
malelee21
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I finally had a chance to get a code pulled at the Queens meet by one of our WRXer. I've been getting CEL after BPM GT install and as expected it was low cat efficiency code. I simply disc the battery and since then have not got a CEL yet for two days. Be sure to have dealer check it out though...
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Old 02-04-2002, 12:43 AM   #5
LatinWRX
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My question is if you disc. the battery and the light does not come back on, is there still a problem? Is the code still stored though the light goes off when you disc. the battery and the light DOES NOT come back on? I just figure that if it does not come back on, it means the ECU is not sensing any problem, thinking that if there is a real problem, it should go back on. Or is the car just mad at me and wanting me to blow up the engine?

Last edited by LatinWRX; 02-04-2002 at 01:13 AM.
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Old 02-04-2002, 02:44 AM   #6
PunksWRX
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If you disconnect the battery for a long enough period it will reset the ECU and clear the trouble codes. If you disconnect the battery and the trip odometer is back to zero you can be assured the ECU has been reset and the codes are gone.

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Old 02-04-2002, 07:14 AM   #7
LatinWRX
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OK, but if the light does not come back on at all, can I assume the ECU is not sensing a problem anymore?
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Old 02-04-2002, 02:31 PM   #8
LatinWRX
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ANYONE?
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Old 02-12-2002, 08:01 PM   #9
eric m.
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jon [in CT]
Resetting the CEL won't fix anything. The ECU has a diagnostic trouble code stored and you really need to find out what this code is before you reset the light. You can't tell how serious a problem the ECU has discovered without pulling that code with an OBD-II scanner. If you take it to a dealer to pull the trouble code, beware that various performance parameters are stored along with the trouble code. I wonder what the dealer will think when he sees that the engine speed was 4500 RPM and the vehicle speed was 2 MPH.

i think that any dealer that has a problem with someone racing their wrx around, or modifying it, is just naive. one of the main selling points of the wrx is its performance, so why not use it?

also, if the CEL turns off, and doesn't go back on again, i wouldn't consider it a big deal. if you are driving hard and it happens again, it might be something you will need to investigate further. maybe because the intake and exhaust are not stock, there is an emissions error? there is another way to reset the ECU besides disconnecting the battery, but i forgot how to do it at the moment. something about turning the ignition on and off a bunch of times.

i have heard a lot of talk about resetting the ecu and driving the car hard to increase performance. is there any truth to this, or is it just something people made up?
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Old 02-12-2002, 10:15 PM   #10
Jon [in CT]
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Quote:
Originally posted by eric m.
i think that any dealer that has a problem with someone racing their wrx around, or modifying it, is just naive. one of the main selling points of the wrx is its performance, so why not use it?
.
.
.
i have heard a lot of talk about resetting the ecu and driving the car hard to increase performance. is there any truth to this, or is it just something people made up?
You should ask someone to demonstrate how those Shift keys work. A dealer that sees, as in my example, freezeframe data that indicates and engine speed of 4500 RPM and a vehicle speed of 2 MPH would very likely call "abuse," na´ve or not. And, although your local dealer doesn't have the last word on whether or not a malfunction is covered by a warranty, he certainly has the first word.

With respect to hard driving after an ECU reset, I don't subscribe to that notion. Your ECU is learning how to adjust it's MAF calculations, based on the feedback from the front air/fuel sensor (i.e. it's "learning"). This allows it to more accurately predict/pick the fuel injector duration that will achieve the A/F ratio it wants in closed-loop mode. And some of this learned MAF adjustment may be used in open-loop (i.e. WOT) mode. But, if you simply drive the car hard, what could it "learn?" There is no feedback in open-loop mode to tell it whether it's producing more power or less. The only think the ECU has to guide it beyond its pre-programmed maps in open-loop mode is the knock sensor. And when the ECU notices that knock is present, I guarantee that you'll be seeing less power.
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Old 02-13-2002, 11:27 AM   #11
eric m.
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thanks for the info.

i don't like to use caps in informal message boards or emails. that's just how i am, sorry.
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Old 02-13-2002, 04:21 PM   #12
relayer66
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i wouldn't hit the panic button until you know the cause of the CEL. the WRX ECU is way sensitive. i had a CEL sitting at a traffic light at idle, at 8000 miles. it turned out to have logged a misfire, but it was running fine and the dealer said it didn't seem to have any problems and cleared the fault.
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Old 02-17-2002, 10:01 AM   #13
LatinWRX
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I went to the dealer and he told me the problem code had been erased but that the ECU was saying it had a faulty cam sensor and he replaced it. No CEL since then. Has anyone had an issue with the sensor for the cams or any other sensor for that matter?
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