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Old 01-16-2012, 10:05 PM   #1
tomkun
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Unhappy 2011 WRX temperature needle problem

Recently I been having problem with my temperature gauge needle. Usually after driving from a complete stop the temperature needle would drop down say half way and goes right back up. This usually happens in the morning or if the car sat the whole day, it would do this a few times and then go away for the rest of the day.

I've already check the coolant resivor bottle and its at the full mark when cold.

Heres a video of the problem.
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Last edited by tomkun; 01-16-2012 at 10:08 PM. Reason: forgot link
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:19 PM   #2
Dragonfueled
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My guess would be a bad temp sensor or wiring. There's no way the engine is actually changing temp that fast. Do you have an accesport? You could check what temp the computer is actually seeing and go from there. The guage itself is kinda rare to go bad.
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:32 PM   #3
tomkun
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I have a tactrix cable, I'll try to log the coolant temp with that. Could a loose ground wire cause the temp gauge to do that?
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:25 PM   #4
Nimbus09
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down nothing, up nothing, half way squeeeeeeeeeeeeek

haha

yeah, bad wiring. coolant should be somewhere between 180-200F when the car is warm. log!
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:03 PM   #5
bue car
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air in the system?
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:55 AM   #6
bicycle_wreck
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OP, did you ever get this sorted?
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:00 AM   #7
b1aze
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This used to happen on my old car and it ended up being the thermostat stuck open IIRC. It was a long time ago though.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:19 PM   #8
teesutt
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2011? Because warranty?
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:19 PM   #9
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.....

Last edited by donkey_cart; 12-13-2013 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:27 PM   #10
bicycle_wreck
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I'm trying to make an appointment at my dealership right now. Mine doesn't fluctuate nearly as much, but it's still weird. I also got a whiff of coolant the other day from the back of the car. I nearly **** myself.

I will update with what they say. Car is bone stock.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:55 PM   #11
MortySnerd
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Hey guys, exact same problem here. I posted about it here: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2213177. I still have the same problem to this day. I had a dealer drive with his diagnostic equipment hooked up, and it actually did show my engine reporting a change in temp that quickly. 2011 WRX is supposed to cruise at 190F, mine does about 180 with rapid drops to 170, or even 169. Originally I did have some thermostat problems that cause the CEL to come on. Those have been fixed, and the CEL light hasn't come on since, but my weird temp gauge movement remains.

Subaru didn't have any record of this happening to anyone else. I've seen it myself, obviously here in this thread too, and I've gotten a PM from a user on this board ("JasonC") who says he has the exact same problem.

I have 7,000 miles of warranty left on my 2011. Can we band together and figure this out before then?
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:52 PM   #12
JasonC
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Ya mine is moving a little just started recently.

Last edited by JasonC; 08-08-2012 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:01 PM   #13
bicycle_wreck
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If the ECU is reporting that kind of swing, then it may still be the temp sensor or maybe even air around it.

Car should run around 185*-195* while cruising down the highway and top out at 205* at idle, at which point the coolant fans will kick on.
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Old 05-25-2012, 03:07 PM   #14
JasonC
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Yes, I do not think the water/coolant temp is changing by 10-20 degrees in a matter of seconds. I believe that the ECU thinks it is, and compensates by dumping fuel at the lower temperature, causing the hesitation and movement back up in temp. My exhaust tips are super black (fuel) and the car does not smoke or burn any oil at all - nor do I drive it hard.

Most likely it's one of 3 things - a bad thermo sensor, bad wiring/ground, or an ECU issue. I am going to have them replace the Thermostat, Gasket and fluid on Monday as the first step. I have read one thread like this that was actually a bad water pump that was replaced under warranty - and supposedly that was his fix for similar issues.

The good thing is that it's happening to others, and it looks like it's those of us who have logged a few miles (I am at 20k on my 2011). I've enlisted the help of one of the best tuners on the East Coast and he is help guide me through these issues to get them resolved under warranty as it definitely a Subaru issue. I am taking mine to dealer on Tuesday (for the 3rd time) and they are going to fix this, or the next call I make is to SOA and no one is going to like that one. Either way I will have a resolution very soon, updates as I have them. Until then we need all the people with similar issues/video to post up so we can keep record of this.....we are not crazy.

Other than this annoying issue, the car is awesome.
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:03 PM   #15
tomkun
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The problem went away for me now. Im not sure what I did to fix/help it. I did notice that after a while the guage would just correct it self, but if I hit a bump pothole or stall the problem comes right back.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:10 PM   #16
bicycle_wreck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonC View Post
Yes, I do not think the water/coolant temp is changing by 10-20 degrees in a matter of seconds. I believe that the ECU thinks it is, and compensates by dumping fuel at the lower temperature, causing the hesitation and movement back up in temp. My exhaust tips are super black (fuel) and the car does not smoke or burn any oil at all - nor do I drive it hard.

Most likely it's one of 3 things - a bad thermo sensor, bad wiring/ground, or an ECU issue. I am going to have them replace the Thermostat, Gasket and fluid on Monday as the first step. I have read one thread like this that was actually a bad water pump that was replaced under warranty - and supposedly that was his fix for similar issues.

The good thing is that it's happening to others, and it looks like it's those of us who have logged a few miles (I am at 20k on my 2011). I've enlisted the help of one of the best tuners on the East Coast and he is help guide me through these issues to get them resolved under warranty as it definitely a Subaru issue. I am taking mine to dealer on Tuesday (for the 3rd time) and they are going to fix this, or the next call I make is to SOA and no one is going to like that one. Either way I will have a resolution very soon, updates as I have them. Until then we need all the people with similar issues/video to post up so we can keep record of this.....we are not crazy.

Other than this annoying issue, the car is awesome.
Water pump replaced under warranty, huh? I think that was me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bicycle_wreck View Post
Dealer says my water pump is shot at 2,100 miles. New one is on order. They will pressure test the system when they install the new pump. Hopefully that accounts for my temp gauge fluctuation.

Just FYI, I saw no visible coolant leak.
Didn't solve my issue, although the service manager told me it did, and told Subaru it did. My gauge still moves ever so slightly, just like it did before. It drops barely below the middle mark when I am cruising above 50 mph, and rises barely above the middle mark when I stop. Does it every single day.

As far as I can tell, from looking at my OBD-II scan tool, at least in my case, the low mark is when it is running at about 185* and the high mark is about 205*. My gauge moves much, much slower than the one in the video. I only actually see it move if I stare at it after exiting the interstate and sitting at a stop light. Another guy in the local club could get his to do the same thing in a 2011 WRX. We logged his temps and they were the same as mine. That's when I stopped worrying about it.

The video posted in the OP seems like a different issue than the one I have.

Another thing I would note is that the temperature swings on the OBD-II scanner are easily seen in real time and reflect the conditions the car is in (e.g., cruising vs. stopped). However, the gauge has a significant delay in what it displays. It will only start to show the higher temp after a minute or two of sitting--even though the ECU is reporting the higher temp much, much quicker. So, when the gauge sweeps quickly, like it does in the video above, it really makes me think it is something electrical. Could be wrong, of course.
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Old 05-26-2012, 11:36 AM   #17
doubleUareX2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donkey_cart View Post
I have the exact same issue in my '11 except with an added bonus; the car will idle rough and try to stall. It will usually happen when coming to a stop after exiting the freeway or moving at constant speed for a few minutes. My coolant levels are fine too.

The car also has a surging/ bucking problem at light throttle. Neither have been resolved. ;[
Mines the same way and has been for a long time now. I was driving to Dekalb last night and my needle almost always was 1-2 bars low. If I accelerated somewhat rapidly it would return to half for a bit then drop again. Although mine woildnt attempt to stall it would idle eoughly on occasion so i raised the idle 75 rpm and that seems to have helped that aspect of the issue. Mine bucks but doesnt surge as far as i know. Damn cars more trouble than its worth...
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Old 05-26-2012, 11:44 AM   #18
bicycle_wreck
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They definitely seem like they are just slapped together. I've read quite a bit about new WRX's with loose motor mounts from the factory, transmissions with no lube in them, throw out bearings with no grease on them, pistons installed backwards (front to back orientation), defective water pumps, exploding idler pulley bearings, etc. QC is not all that great at Subaru.
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Old 05-26-2012, 12:04 PM   #19
doubleUareX2011
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Im going to hope it lasts until fall and then im gonna dump it. Figures i just bought Works for it too FML
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:39 PM   #20
invaderzim
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this is somewhat unrelated to the temperature issue in this topic, but I raised my idle by 50rpms with the AP and the car settles back to idle much better than before. I've made it a habit to change the idle setting whenever I change maps now. before the car would almost want to stall on some occasions.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:50 PM   #21
jarredkoerber
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i have the same issue in my 2010 wrx when stoped at a light the needle is in its normal running position (half way) then when i accelerate it quickly drops down to the next notch on the gauge. car is running great and the gauge never says im overheating but it scares me. im at 23000 miles and never messed with the coolant. anyone find a fix yet???
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:55 AM   #22
Vlad
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I hope it doesn't turn out that they started to implement plastic impellers in the water pumps, like BMW did. BMW then moved to electric water pumps too.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:44 PM   #23
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is the car still under warranty? best bet take it to the dealership if so.
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:16 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leemwalls
is the car still under warranty? best bet take it to the dealership if so.
Yep that's what I would do been to the dealer 3 times for my 2011 WRX
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:09 PM   #25
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im not under warranty and i am modded perrin tbe, grimmspeed uppipe tail ewg, process west top mount, ebcs, forge bpv and custome tune 280whp. i have only noticed the problem the past 6 months or so at around 20000. no one seems to know a definite fix yet... lame
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