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Old 11-17-2013, 09:23 PM   #1
Huserdaddy
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Default Reliability of the wrx 2.0 turbo

Newbie question. I have owned e30 bmw's my entire life and love the reliability of their inline 6. My current daily driver has 260k on all original internals also have 2 others that used to be my daily drivers that have over 210k miles and still running strong. So as I am currently looking for a wrx preferably an 02 or 03 bug eye, I want to get some info on everyones thoughts of reliability of the 2.0 turbos from the years previously stated. I know all makes and models of cars have issues regardless. But again just wanting everyones insight.
Thanks!
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:38 PM   #2
jdm_wrx95
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The 03 wrx is bulletproof.

It just never gives up
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:43 PM   #3
Huserdaddy
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jdm_wrx95, awesome! I like the sound of bulletproof lol. how about issues with turbo?
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:12 PM   #4
StefanWRX
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Treat them right and they will be really reliable and last very long. Oil changes on time, timing belt, all other fluids, just the regular things and you shouldn't have problems if you don't beat on it too hard. I would also suggest 2003 wrx and up just because you never really want to buy a car in the first year of production but maybe thats just me.

Ohh and take it easy with the 5 speed tranny. Haha
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:47 PM   #5
white guys wrx
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Stock bugeye turbos are cheap, can handle a beating and often do not need a replacing. The turbo is the least of your worries with a wrx The engines will last as long as they are not modded too hard as well as the transmission.

Take it to a subaru shop for an inspection prior to buying it and have the pros take a look at it
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanWRX View Post
Treat them right and they will be really reliable and last very long. Oil changes on time, timing belt, all other fluids, just the regular things and you shouldn't have problems if you don't beat on it too hard. I would also suggest 2003 wrx and up just because you never really want to buy a car in the first year of production but maybe thats just me.

Ohh and take it easy with the 5 speed tranny. Haha
What he said if you just do the regular maintenance and don't beat it like crazy the car will last couple years easy and yeah the 5 speed transmission in the 02/03 wrx aren't the best tbh...
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:22 AM   #7
bondo007man
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Well my friends sisters boyfriends cousin says his is running well at like 400k so reliable? I mean his is so they all are right?
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:40 AM   #8
Herc6180
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I have had no problems with my bugeye, had it tuned and running 21 psi on stock turbo..... absolutely agree 100% with maintenance remarks! Now Transmissions?.....well that's another story?
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Old 11-18-2013, 05:29 AM   #9
Daniel Dudley
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Abused WRXs have a tendency to pound con rod bearings, especially if the oil is on the low side. Also, valves are supposed to be adjusted at around 100K. If they don't get adjusted, and they rarely do, you can burn a valve. Oil pickup tubes have been known to crack and fail, and the pre 04 models can suffer from oil starvation if redlined for prolonged periods.

My 02 WRX was running well at 170,000 when I sold it. But it is not uncommon for a WRX of that mileage to be on its second engine. Also, if you buy a BMW from an enthusiast, it generally means that the car was well driven and cared for.

If you buy a WRX from an ''enthusiast'', it usually means it has had the snot beaten out of it. These are good, and reasonably reliable cars, if you buy carefully. They are never going to be as bulletproof as a BMW inline six however, as they are a turbocharged engine derived from a naturally aspirated base engine that was never designed to be subjected to the stress and horsepower levels that turbos can produce.

Buy a good one, and use a quality oil like Rotella T6, and you will be OK. Many people look for an unmolested, unmodified car when purchasing, but you need to be aware that some people modify these cars and then return them to stock when they sell them. Many people would suggest that you do not seek to tune a higher miles car, and I would suggest that as well, unless you know the car was a cream puff, and not really abused.

I'm not trying to scare you here, but I am trying to be real. These cars can use oil, and you want to make sure that they are ALWAYS filled to the top. You don't really ever want to be driving around a quart low, even if you are still between the marks.

Buy carefully and you will be happy, but beware, and be aware.
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:07 AM   #10
Jack
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Any 2.0L WRX is now old. What's that mean? It means that some flatbiller had enough cash to buy one, do a buncha flat spins, launch the crap out of it and put on juvinile devices to make the car sound like it's farting when you let off the gas.

If you want to find a well maintained example with no modifications in good condition, good luck.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:19 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone for the great info! I have found a "cream puff" as Daniel Dudley mentioned. Been garaged its entire life and only has 59k miles. the dude wants 12g's for it! and its in Colorado, which is where I just moved away from miss the snow in my e30! but any way 12g's?? is that even reasonable? for that price I might as well buy a newer one. But it sounds like any other vehicle treat it right and keep up on the maintenance and it will last a while. Plus timing belts are a ease on a wrx compared to my bimmers! and yes I have replaced a few when I worked as a ford tech and had a few traded in.

Any who thank you guys for the responses and helpful information as I transition into the suby world. my thoughts at this point are save a few more bucks and look for the right one. But, the suby bug has bitten me hard and not sure if I can control myself!
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:31 PM   #12
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I bought my 05 wrx with 95k miles for 12,000. I think you could find a 06 now for about the same price and have a much better motor and brakes to start with. Depends on what you plan on doing honestly. Want a nice stock car that you keep nice, then do the low miles 2.0. But if you want to mod at all, a stage 2 06 wrx would be enough fun for most people. Anymore fun than that will probably be best served by an older STI.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:39 PM   #13
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TomRex, thanks for the info! going to try and talk the crazy guy down, plus give me a good reason to fly home for the holidays! I am just looking for a fun dd, its time I parked the old tired bimmer and give her a fresh rebuild.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:41 PM   #14
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If you're spending 12K, you can definitely pick up a newer one. In fact, if you can pick up an 06+ for around that price, you'll probably like the AVCS (Subaru's variable valve timing) a lot more for daily driving and enjoy the the improved interior.

The 02-05 don't have AVCS and need to be revved a bit higher before power comes on and the 02-04 have a pretty outdated interior, even by Subaru's standard
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomRex View Post
I bought my 05 wrx with 95k miles for 12,000. I think you could find a 06 now for about the same price and have a much better motor and brakes to start with. Depends on what you plan on doing honestly. Want a nice stock car that you keep nice, then do the low miles 2.0. But if you want to mod at all, a stage 2 06 wrx would be enough fun for most people. Anymore fun than that will probably be best served by an older STI.
I would rather have a 2.0 over a 2.5 any day of the week. I've had 3 bugeyes now, all with over 100k, all heavily modified, and never once popped an engine. The 2.0 is unstoppable. I've replaced literally ten times as many 2.5 short blocks as I have the 2.0. And as for the comment on weak trannies, I'll argue that fact all day. I have never broke a 5 speed. My current car put down 346 to the wheels and I still run the original trans. Have been for a while too with no issues. As long as you don't drive the car like a tard, you'll never break it. So basically my advice for the OP is if you like a 2.0 equipped car, then go for it. You can't go wrong.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:55 PM   #16
jdm_wrx95
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Nobody said the transmission will just blow up in your face i just find it weak for my taste.. can't get into first unless I stop the car and that was very shortly after replacing the transmission... it isn't garbage but certainly not the strongest compared to the sti 6speed..
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:29 PM   #17
2LTRBO
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Try putting a good quality synthetic GL5 gear oil in the trans to address the first gear issue. I've run across that a few times and once I switched to a synthetic fluid, it never happened again. Plus that'll help with gear shock. Who knows, maybe that's part of the reason I've never hurt a 5 speed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jdm_wrx95 View Post
Nobody said the transmission will just blow up in your face i just find it weak for my taste.. can't get into first unless I stop the car and that was very shortly after replacing the transmission... it isn't garbage but certainly not the strongest compared to the sti 6speed..
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:26 PM   #18
Steye05
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Go for the 2.0 :-) mine has over 200k miles with just the top end rebuilt (heads new etc and turbo) at 192,000 miles. Can't beat that. Along with normal maintenance it has been pretty unstoppable. Stage 2 and tuned to a conservative 14psi so I can get great (for a Wrx) gas mileage. Stock tdo4 is great for me but I don't race around. It's my DD :-) hope this helps.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:08 PM   #19
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9 times out of 10, WRXs fail because they are beat and not up-kept.

My believe is a WRX engine was designed to be mainly a daily commuter, with some fun time. It is a sedan/wagon, AWD, for the street. Yes, the Impreza was originally created to compete in WRC, but that doesn't make a stock street WRX a rally car.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:46 PM   #20
TomRex
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Not trying to say a 2.0
sucks, I have one with 300 whp and is fun and reliable so far. I just don't believe I can go much farther with it without a lot of serious work and cash. Not to mention if I want big power out of a 2.0, I would need to sacrifice a lot of drivability. The mods I have now on a 2.5 would be a torque monster. So like I said, depends on his end goal.
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Old 11-19-2013, 12:30 AM   #21
Bikelok
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If you look you can find some good clean ones.

I often see "soccer moms" diving bugeye wagons and IT guys driving bugeye sedans that are stock and unmolested.

Just be careful to thoroughly inspect the car to make sure it was not hacked up and slapped together to look stock. Look careful and you can see the signs. A bugeye that was well maintained and not pushed too hard will last a long time.

The 5 speeds are not made of glass. As long as you use proper fluids (they are VERY particular for fluids) and know how to properly shift, they hold up just fine.

In general Mobil 1 0w-40, or Shell Rotella T6 5w-40 oils are easy to find, cheap and work great for the 2.0. There are other good oils too, but these are readily available, and work great. Use an OEM filter too and your motor will love you.
Don't use 5w-30 on these motors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good luck, hope you find a good one.
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:04 PM   #22
Huserdaddy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmiovino View Post
9 times out of 10, WRXs fail because they are beat and not up-kept.

My believe is a WRX engine was designed to be mainly a daily commuter, with some fun time. It is a sedan/wagon, AWD, for the street. Yes, the Impreza was originally created to compete in WRC, but that doesn't make a stock street WRX a rally car.
Words of wisdom if you ask me sir!

Great advice and insight by the way fellas!

I believe I have found the one! its an 02 silver bug eye with 133k miles, a little stack of maintenance records and a clean car fax (for what good those are) lol taking it to a suby pro this weekend and getting it checked out. not getting my hopes up but still excited! all stock minus a fart can on it, is it still considered a fart can with the beautiful rumble of the horizontally apposed engines?


Would also like to get more info on fluids to use on 2.0. I am a bimmer guy so redline is all i know for trans and rear dif. and mobile one 25w50 (yes not very tight clearances lol) but more info on that aspect would be great!

by the way i am going to be using the wrx as a daily and a lil fun on the side. Nothing too major till its due for a new engine then a few mods will begin. have to get to know the car before I can understand the mods right?
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:08 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikelok View Post
If you look you can find some good clean ones.

I often see "soccer moms" diving bugeye wagons and IT guys driving bugeye sedans that are stock and unmolested.

Just be careful to thoroughly inspect the car to make sure it was not hacked up and slapped together to look stock. Look careful and you can see the signs. A bugeye that was well maintained and not pushed too hard will last a long time.

The 5 speeds are not made of glass. As long as you use proper fluids (they are VERY particular for fluids) and know how to properly shift, they hold up just fine.

In general Mobil 1 0w-40, or Shell Rotella T6 5w-40 oils are easy to find, cheap and work great for the 2.0. There are other good oils too, but these are readily available, and work great. Use an OEM filter too and your motor will love you.
Don't use 5w-30 on these motors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good luck, hope you find a good one.
Missed this reply, thanks for the great info!
my question is why no 5w30? and also while we are on the topic I have heard that Royal Purple is a 2.0 killer? Myth?
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:14 PM   #24
ShinjiML
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huserdaddy View Post
Nothing too major till its due for a new engine then a few mods will begin. have to get to know the car before I can understand the mods right?
Very prudent decision having it checked by a subie shop.

You say you won't mod it now, but I have a feeling the mod bug might bite sooner than expected.

BTW, the 5w-30 refers to Mobil1, which shears to 5w-20 pretty quickly. RotellaT6 and Mobil1 0w-40 are good alternatives.
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:23 PM   #25
Huserdaddy
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Quote:
You say you won't mod it now, but I have a feeling the mod bug might bite sooner than expected.
HAHA i have a feeling you are right my friend, but we will see how long I can suffer the mod bug bite!

Prudent? not a bad thing...better safe then sorry?!
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