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Old 07-17-2008, 10:59 AM   #1
think0rz
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Default 02 wrx flashing check engine light

Well if any of you have read my previous post, I've been fixing my wrx forever it feels like now lol. Original motor blew up about a year after purchase, to a fully rebuilt motor that broke a shim 8 months down the road. Doing a swap over the last several months & recently a stripped banjo threading for the oil feed line to the turbo. Thanks helicoil for making an awesome kit & fixing my stripped threading problem with ease.

I fired it yesterday after the helicoil repair & the car had a really really rough start/idle. Instantly i said the car is misfiring just sounded like it was on 2 cylinders. After about 20-30 seconds of running it starts to flash check engine but never stays on. I did some searching & found that check engine light is usually 90% related to somesort of misfiring. There was a post that said check plugs, coils & last clean injectors. Before i go & order parts i wanted to know what should i check/do first? thanks in advanced & for your time.
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:03 AM   #2
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Did you see if you have any stored codes?
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:06 AM   #3
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check the harness to the coil packs. If it happens at higher rpm then you would need to check the gap of the plugs.
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:21 AM   #4
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i would get someone to pull the code and find out what the computer is telling you...
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:24 AM   #5
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the car has a rough idle from the start. I didnt drive the car any as i was worried maybe something is seriously wrong. I'll check the coil pack wires today. Is there a way to test each coil to see if its a bad coil pack? Also i know for sure i didnt put new spark plugs in this motor so the condition of these could be bad not sure.
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:28 AM   #6
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also check to make sure that you hooked up your plug wires in the correct sequence... that will cause all kinds of misfires
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big16gwrx View Post
also check to make sure that you hooked up your plug wires in the correct sequence... that will cause all kinds of misfires
When i did the swap originally i plugged in the coil packs the same exact way it was on my original motor. The only other way would be just to switch with the other on that side i'm guessing?
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:38 AM   #8
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yup.... i i think the light colored ones go in the front and the dark in the back... but i could be wrong.... imho it would be worth a try to see if it fixes it though...
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:53 AM   #9
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yup.... i i think the light colored ones go in the front and the dark in the back... but i could be wrong.... imho it would be worth a try to see if it fixes it though...
ill try that first then i guess change the spark plugs.
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:18 PM   #10
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my high school auto mechanics teacher always used to say fix the cheap things first and see if that fixes the problem...
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:25 PM   #11
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my high school auto mechanics teacher always used to say fix the cheap things first and see if that fixes the problem...
im all for cheap fixing! Was just trying to figure out what order should i go about this in terms of testing, parts, etc.
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:28 PM   #12
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Yea the Light colored connector goes towards the fron the dark is in back. also when your CEL flashes that means there is unburnt fuel going into the exhaust (ie. misfiring). It flashes because if enough builds up in the cats then they will go boom. At least thats how the toyota CEL system works im sure subaru is the same way. Definately check your plugs and from what i have heard coil packs dont go bad very often on these cars but anything can happen. Did you install new fuel injectors or anything of that sort on the new motor?
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:34 PM   #13
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In obdII cars (1996+) a flashing cel always indicates a cat damaging misfire. There are no other codes that will cause a flashing cel. This is an industry wide standard. Just like a PO301 is a cylinder one misfire no matter what the manufacturer is, be it subaru, toyota, ford etc etc.
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Old 07-17-2008, 02:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluScubi View Post
In obdII cars (1996+) a flashing cel always indicates a cat damaging misfire. There are no other codes that will cause a flashing cel. This is an industry wide standard. Just like a PO301 is a cylinder one misfire no matter what the manufacturer is, be it subaru, toyota, ford etc etc.
And if it was a misfire there should be a code that might help him track down the issue.
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:23 PM   #15
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well i changed one of the coil packs with one from my old motor since this coil packs connector was slightly broken & wouldnt lock the wire connector to it. I started the car up & it sounded much better but flashing cell did come back on after 20 seconds of idling. Should i go ahead & buy some spark plugs & change them tomorrow? I'm going to pull out the passenger side plugs now since i already moved the air box & see what they look like.
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Old 07-18-2008, 01:44 PM   #16
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Well update i picked up some spark plugs this morning & put them in. The car started up fine sounded much better but started the flashing cell about 20 seconds in & then the idle got kind of rough I only have like 2 spare coil packs i could try i guess what should be my next step? i know coil packs are pretty pricey.
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Old 07-18-2008, 02:18 PM   #17
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Did you get the codes pulled? There should be at least one in there, and it should help you narrow it down. I've also heard coil packs don't usually go bad, but thats not say it couldn happen. Other things you can do would be to check compression, maybe run some fuel injector cleaner through there. Its fairly cheap and it can't hurt to try. You can also check injectors some what by listening to them with a mechanics stethascope or a long screwdriver. They should all click evenly and according to rpm. If one is different than the others then there is a problem.
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Old 07-18-2008, 02:24 PM   #18
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Altho if you have misfire severe enough to cause cat damage its probably ignition related. Excess fuel is what kills cats.
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:35 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluScubi View Post
In obdII cars (1996+) a flashing cel always indicates a cat damaging misfire. There are no other codes that will cause a flashing cel. This is an industry wide standard. Just like a PO301 is a cylinder one misfire no matter what the manufacturer is, be it subaru, toyota, ford etc etc.
I call BS! Many have had there share of misfires with this car and few would say that it was related to a clogged or damaged cat.




Here is what I suggest you try. As the plugs have been eliminated. It happens at idle. Which is classic for harness problem. Some have coil pack problems but they this first before you spend big money.

1) remove each coil pack and do this to it.
2) look at the 3 connections
3) twist the connectors a bit to make a better connection.
4) put it back togeather
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hybrid gti 2 View Post
I call BS! Many have had there share of misfires with this car and few would say that it was related to a clogged or damaged cat.
You did not read his post correctly. A flashing CEL is an indicator that the car DID misfire, and COULD cause damage to the catalyst. He did not say that the flashing CEL was CAUSED by a clogged/damaged cat.

And he is also correct in saying there are no other flashing CEL's for our cars.

However I agree with your steps to test the coils.
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Old 07-18-2008, 07:57 PM   #21
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Here is what I suggest you try. As the plugs have been eliminated. It happens at idle. Which is classic for harness problem. Some have coil pack problems but they this first before you spend big money.

1) remove each coil pack and do this to it.
2) look at the 3 connections
3) twist the connectors a bit to make a better connection.
4) put it back togeather
I'll give it a shot tomorrow i hope this works i feel like i'm never going to get this car finished If this doesnt work is it safe to say i should try to hunt down some coil packs? i dont know anyone in my area with another wrx that could let me try their coil packs to see if its indeed that.
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Old 07-19-2008, 01:21 AM   #22
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Yea if that fails to work then coil packs. Yet considering idle problem I think this should fix your problem.

Yet you really need to get a code checker and check that code and erase the codes if it goes away.
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Old 07-22-2008, 05:50 PM   #23
think0rz
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Originally Posted by hybrid gti 2 View Post
Yea if that fails to work then coil packs. Yet considering idle problem I think this should fix your problem.

Yet you really need to get a code checker and check that code and erase the codes if it goes away.
Gave your idea a shot with each coil no luck. Car is still acting the same & flashing the cell. I guess i'm going to give it a shot & try to drive it to autozone to get the codes its throwing. There was a recall for fuel lines that wasnt done to my wrx is it possible this can be contributing to my problem? I'm trying to avoid sending the car to the dealer since i have no warranty. Maybe someone local to me is willing to bring by their coils for me to try! lol
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:58 PM   #24
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It shouldnt have anything to do with the fuel lines. The recall was for a leaky connection when it was cold out or somehting to that extent. plus if it was that you would be getting a raw fuel smell sitting in the car and under the hood from the gas leaking out on top of the motor.

Just out of curiosity did you unplug any ground connections or move anything around to do that heli-coil repair. I'd retrace my steps and make sure something didnt get unplugged or something.
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:05 PM   #25
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You're wasting everyone's time, including your own, until you find out what trouble codes are stored.
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