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Old 01-29-2008, 03:47 AM   #1
WRXerist
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Default CEL Flashing P0301 Rough Idle and NO Power

I need some help!!! (long story)

Two days ago, I was driving to work and the CEL started to flash the stay on solid. I was going to work so I parked and shut off the car. Since I didn't want to tow my car and spend $200+, I drove it home. During the ride home (I had my girlfriend follow me), the CEL continues to flash then stay solid. It would do this continuously until I got home, which was a 8-mile drive. After I got home, my GF told me that she can smell "burnt" smell. I don't know where this foul smoke is coming from. The car has been sitting inside my garage for two days now. I have an appt with Subaru this Wed.

The car has about 77K miles with oil change every 3000 miles with Mobil1 oil. The last time I bought my car to the dealership to check on a squeaking sound when the engine is cold (I found out it was the fan belt which I had tightened and that sound is gone) I had Subaru change the oil (premium oil change).

This is where the dilemma begins...

Since the oil change, it hasn't been 3000 miles (2000 miles at the most), I was driving up a steep hill and my car started to sputter...lost power and was going very slowly. I got a flashing CEL for the first time and I pull into a gas station. Checked the oil and s**t, there is NONE. The oil pan was bone dry. Went and bought a quart of oil and fill it in then it started/idle fine. I went on with my business...

When I got into work, I call Subaru and told them what happened. Ask that I bring in the car and have it checked out. I did. Subaru checked it and found no oil leaks and have me an oil change.

Drove it around for a couple of days without any problem. I had a OBD-II scanner and was able to turn off the CEL light. It stayed off for a couple of days until three days ago.

Here is what I tested/cleaned so far:

1) MAF sensor
2) Air Intake (Perrin Short Ram)

Still no luck!

I had Subaru change my spark plugs at about 60K miles with Denso colder plug. Car ran fine ever since.

I checked P0301 codes here on the forum and CEL flashing and it looks like it could be lots of problems...plugs, coil packs, wires, Fuel Pressure Regulator, valves, grounding, IAVC, timing belt, hose leaks, BOV, lightened flywheel (don't have this), bad O2 sensors, etc.

Should I even drive my car at this point to the dealership or have it tow?
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Old 01-29-2008, 06:36 AM   #2
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blown engine

do a compression check
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Old 01-29-2008, 08:33 AM   #3
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P0301 Cylinder 1 misfire detected

Check all your connections. I had this happen to me before and the problem was that the spark plug was unplugged. 5 minute fix.
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Old 01-29-2008, 12:18 PM   #4
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I have never taken out spark plugs but I know there are two on the driver side and two on the passenger side. I would have to take off the battery and the intercooler to get to them? Does anyone know a good write-up for doing spark plugs replacement? That will give me a good idea how to check that.
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Old 01-29-2008, 01:00 PM   #5
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take out battery , washer container. and the air box. need and assortment of extentions. the coils need a 12mm to get off and go at it. gap should be .22 - .26 i think. do a search for that
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Old 01-29-2008, 01:26 PM   #6
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Thanks, ozzy370! I'll check them out tonight.
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Old 01-29-2008, 11:49 PM   #7
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let us know what the plugs look like (ie black, clean, worn.....)
make sure you check the coils were all on good before you start (the 12mm bolt). also remember that there is a spring in the coil and do not make the "click" noise when you reconnect them like a boot does. also check for any corrosion inside of the coil boot where it connects to the plug (the spring, just incase of a bad connection there)
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Old 01-30-2008, 04:23 PM   #8
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I talk to my dealership and had my car tow to them yesterday. Since I have the extended warranty, I will have them take care of it. But I will ask them to give me a thorough information on what happened. So far, they have not called me back to give me the lowdown.
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Old 01-31-2008, 01:13 AM   #9
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Minus the oil issue you mensioned. My brother's 02 wrx was doing the same thing. Up in the hills it would missfire and studer worse then most places.

An intake without a tune, will throw a CEL and make you missfire.
If you change your plugs and put your stock intake back on, you'd probably be fine.

I also had the same probablum when he had a coil pack go bad.


GL
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Old 01-31-2008, 01:48 AM   #10
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Talked to service today and they said one of their mechanic just swapped out injectors (hopefully new injectors and not just switch them around) and will do more testing. I should know more tomorrow.

I had the short-ram intake for more than 50K miles now and it's kind of hard to believe that that would throw a CEL.

Also, when I did a test similar to thejean's solution (http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...ighlight=p0301 - page 4) where I pop out the hose between the Fuel Pressure Regulator and the Intake Manifold, there was NO fuel spilling out like what thejean said. It was pretty bone dry! I started the engine without that hose connected, but it still had a rough idle so had to put it back.

We'll see what happens tomorrow and will update.
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Old 01-31-2008, 03:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRXerist View Post

I had the short-ram intake for more than 50K miles now and it's kind of hard to believe that that would throw a CEL.
I'd find it hard to believe they would honor any warranty work related to the engine with that intake. I hope it works out for you.
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Old 01-31-2008, 05:10 PM   #12
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We'll wait and see what comes out of it...
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Old 01-31-2008, 05:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRXerist View Post
Also, when I did a test similar to thejean's solution (http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...ighlight=p0301 - page 4) where I pop out the hose between the Fuel Pressure Regulator and the Intake Manifold, there was NO fuel spilling out like what thejean said. It was pretty bone dry! I started the engine without that hose connected, but it still had a rough idle so had to put it back.
You *want* that line to be dry. If it was wet (like on thejean's car), that would be a problem.
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Old 01-31-2008, 05:38 PM   #14
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what are your complete mods?

if you are running colder plugs w/o needing them, that is your problem.

BTW, of all the cars I've tuned with Perrin SRI, they run MUCH MUCH richer than stock. Running richer coupled with running colder plugs you are making it very hard on your plugs.
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:46 PM   #15
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Engine-wise, I have:

M2 turbo-back exhaust, 4-2-1 header with uppipe, GFB underdrive pulley kit, Perrin short ram intake, Optima red top battery, two extra grounding wires...one to passenger side intake manifold & other to passenger side strut top, AVO oil catch can, Denso 1-step colder plugs (installed by Subaru), Samco radiator hoses, Samco intercooler hoses, STi intercooler, HKS BOV (100% vent to atmosphere), "3/4 mod" to one of the turbo line that connects to the turbo soleniod.

I think that's it!

Yeah, I think I am going to change to the OEM plugs, NGKs. Or would you recommend something else hotter (1 step hotter than the OEM NGKs)?
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x99percent View Post
You *want* that line to be dry. If it was wet (like on thejean's car), that would be a problem.
That would make sense!
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:28 PM   #17
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Yeah, I think I am going to change to the OEM plugs, NGKs. Or would you recommend something else hotter (1 step hotter than the OEM NGKs)?
w/o EM I would recommend stock heat range.
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Old 02-01-2008, 06:03 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRXerist View Post
Engine-wise, I have:

M2 turbo-back exhaust, 4-2-1 header with uppipe, GFB underdrive pulley kit, Perrin short ram intake, Optima red top battery, two extra grounding wires...one to passenger side intake manifold & other to passenger side strut top, AVO oil catch can, Denso 1-step colder plugs (installed by Subaru), Samco radiator hoses, Samco intercooler hoses, STi intercooler, HKS BOV (100% vent to atmosphere), "3/4 mod" to one of the turbo line that connects to the turbo soleniod.

I think that's it!

Yeah, I think I am going to change to the OEM plugs, NGKs. Or would you recommend something else hotter (1 step hotter than the OEM NGKs)?


well your problems might come from that list of mods... underdrive pulley, short ram intake and the BOV. those are 3 big NO's on subaru's. you would have better luck with the stock parts. The stock BPV recirculates meterd air back to the intake, with a vent to atmosphere you will get back fires b/c it will run rich and that metered air leaves the fuel stills goes into the engine. the short ram will only be good if you are pushing 300 hp or more and requires a pro tune if you are running it. and under drive pulleys are just stress on the engine and can cause the oil pump and bearing to wear much faster.
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Old 02-05-2008, 02:32 AM   #19
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Regarding the mods I have, I am planning to rid the under drive pulleys and going with one that's similar to Perrin but made by another well-known company. Same specs I believe! The BOV will cause back fires definitely but not so bad for my car. The Perrin Short-RAM...well, I have no good reasons to have it but yes, I am hoping to go near 300hp later on so maybe I'll leave that as well.

So I got my car back today. It was finished Friday but I couldn't pick it up then.

SO, what they said they did was checked the coils, wires, plugs, did compression tests and all checked out fine. So, that lead to the injectors. They swapped out the one from Cylinder 1 to 3 but cleaning it first before putting it on Cylinder 3. This was a test for them since they wanted to find out if it was an injector problem. After the cleaning, the problem went away. BUT, they told me it still misfires a bit but the engine is currently running smoothly. When I was driving around tonight, I can still hear the misfires between shift. It's that "paa-cheew" (for a better lack of word) sounds if anyone knows what I am talking about.

The insurance paid for it but I had a $50 deductible. It would of cost me at least $400 if I didn't have the insurance.

So, what do you guys think? Should I hope that the now injector that got swap from 2 to 3 fails so they can replace it?

Or is there something else I should check/change? I don't feel comfortable when my ride isn't functioning 100%.
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Old 02-05-2008, 06:36 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozzy370 View Post
well your problems might come from that list of mods... underdrive pulley, short ram intake and the BOV. those are 3 big NO's on subaru's. you would have better luck with the stock parts. The stock BPV recirculates meterd air back to the intake, with a vent to atmosphere you will get back fires b/c it will run rich and that metered air leaves the fuel stills goes into the engine. the short ram will only be good if you are pushing 300 hp or more and requires a pro tune if you are running it. and under drive pulleys are just stress on the engine and can cause the oil pump and bearing to wear much faster.

Show me a case of someone having an oil pump go south because of an underdrive pulley.
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Old 02-05-2008, 01:14 PM   #21
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Show me a case of someone having an oil pump go south because of an underdrive pulley.


cant find it at the moment, but the search tool does wonders
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Old 02-05-2008, 04:17 PM   #22
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You are right. It does work wonders. I find lots of people speculating about it but no one who has actually had any sort of failure from a pulley. Actually I can't find one failure of an oil pump. With the amount of people around here with pulleys on their cars for thousands upon thousands of miles you would think it would be an epidemic if it were true.
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Old 02-05-2008, 04:48 PM   #23
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ok I have some experience with this first hand. What you have failed to mention is when it does this exactly. Does it do it at an idle or a certain rpm? This makes all the differance. Have you had any recent work done?

ok what a lot of people miss is that it could be the connections at the coil pack. Not a damaged coil pack. Often happens after changing spark plugs. With the car on wiggle the wire harness to the coil packs. If your idle changes you found the problem.

If you run ok then suddenly at 3000 rpm it starts bucking. It's often a gap issue causing a air fuel mixture problem.

I would guess that it would be the wire harness problem. I wouldn't doubt the dealer would be clueless about how to fix that. If you find it's the wire harness. Let me know and I can suggest a fix for that.
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Old 02-05-2008, 05:06 PM   #24
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The engine roughness (to the point where I cannot drive it), is at idle. At speed, 2000rpm and up, it's get rougher. There was a smell of burnt rubber (not CV boots) coming from the engine bay.

Right now, none of the problems I was having before are there any longer. Subaru did advise to monitor it closely. Going to work this morning, I have to climb a steep hill and it did perform like it should. I didn't hear any misfiring this morning.

I had the plugs changed awhile back so I don't know if that all of the sudden came loose. Besides checking the plugs, coil pack, and wires, they did a check on the knock sensor as well and that checked out OK.
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Old 02-05-2008, 06:30 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRXerist View Post
I got a flashing CEL for the first time and I pull into a gas station. Checked the oil and s**t, there is NONE. The oil pan was bone dry. Went and bought a quart of oil and fill it in then it started/idle fine. I went on with my business...
If this is really true, I can't imagine your engine surviving long.
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