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Old 10-21-2003, 01:11 PM   #1
scott baxter
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: ST. Louis
Vehicle:
2003 wrx
sonic yellow

Default warming engine kills torque pulling away

I'm new to the WRX (owned since March), and as the season has changed I'm finding out that something is very odd with respect to how the car pulls away from stops as the engine gets warmer.

In the heat of Summer, the car would pull away from stops very nicely with little need to depress the gas pedal or any clutch slipping to speak of. That lasted for maybe 30 minutes, then the car would bog heavily pulling away and almost stall unless I fed it a lot more gas and started my launch from a stop at 2500 RPM or greater. I then had to be a lot careful with the clutch or else the car would grab the clutch and pitch forward, bogging again.

With the onset of Fall this situation isn't nearly as prevalent. If the air temp stays in the low 60s and I'm mixing my driving with stop/go in city with sustained 45mph+ cruising I never have the soggy launches when I do have to stop.

I have a very stong hunch that my ECU is retarding the engine as it heats up. That makes sense, but I can not understand why it would retard timing at such low rpms. That is something I'd expect to see on boost, not someone trying to pull away from a stop in first gear like a granny, trying to keep revs around 2000 at best if not lower.

Is this common in the WRX, or do I need to see my dealer's service manager again? I've really tried to very carefully modulate clutch when the engine heats up and the air is warm to pull away at conservative RPMs, and I can't do it. The car needs to be at or above 2500 RPM to pull from a stop, and to keep from snapping my neck or stalling the car I need to slip the clutch more than I like to feed in the torque. I don't think I should have to do this, but I'm a newbie.
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Old 10-21-2003, 01:32 PM   #2
mlambert
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Default

Probably has to do with heatsoak of the intercooler but its kinda odd that notice it while driving normal.
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Old 10-21-2003, 01:33 PM   #3
sdwrx
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2004 WRX Sedan
Platinum

Default

I think you need to have the problem checked out. It doesn't get much hotter than summer in Texas and I have had no bogging issues at all, even with the AC on. On level ground, I can always start the car moving at less than 1000 rpm.
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Old 10-21-2003, 02:06 PM   #4
billmidd08
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08 STI

Default

from one newb to another (got mine in July) I felt the same way going from an NA to the WRX. I generally feel that I need to be at around 3k or so to not bog it if you let out the cluch with any kind of quickness at all. I like to be carefull with my tranny I dont drag race or abuse it, but I do drive spirittedly very often.

Definately takes some getting used to. As far as it chaning with the temp I haven't noticed that yet, that part does sound a little strange.
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Old 10-21-2003, 02:16 PM   #5
M32WRXin3seconds
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Default who would let the clutch out at 3000rpms everytime?

thats excessive clutch wear if i've ever heard of it. the car does bog in low rpms, its not smooth like an NA motor. you also have all wheel drive, dont expect it to be that smooth because there are a whole bunch of components that start moving when you let off the gas, not just the 2 front wheels turning or rear. its a whole different feeling than any other car i've owned.
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Old 10-21-2003, 02:24 PM   #6
billmidd08
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Default Re: who would let the clutch out at 3000rpms everytime?

Quote:
Originally posted by M32WRXin3seconds

Re: who would let the clutch out at 3000rpms everytime?

thats excessive clutch wear if i've ever heard of it. the car does bog in low rpms,
Just to clarify I dont do that every time, or even often. And it will wear out the clutch, but a clutch is a lot cheaper than an AWD transmission. So for those times when you want need power off the line, thats what I reccomend.
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Old 10-21-2003, 02:40 PM   #7
Stanley
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I'd get that checked out. I have not noticed anything like that when the engine is hot and it is hot outside. You do live in a more humid environment, but the effect should not be *that* great.
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Old 10-21-2003, 04:07 PM   #8
cdvma
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Its just the intake temp going up as you warm up the engine bay components. Warmer air = less power.
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Old 10-21-2003, 04:21 PM   #9
BlackEye
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Platinum Silver Met.

Default reason to mod...

Mine pulls good from about 2500rpm up to redline.

Try getting an UpPipe, and Downpipe and things will happen alot faster.
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Old 10-21-2003, 09:37 PM   #10
03WRXMA
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WRB

Default

Learn the clutch on the WRX better perhaps?


My 2cents,

-Dave
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Old 10-21-2003, 10:02 PM   #11
amelnikov
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Alex Performance

Default

That's the reason cold air intakes are made for. Keeps the engine fed with cool air and minimizes the the heatsoack effect.
Injen CIA made a huge difference in how my car behaves in heavy NYC traffic on hot summer days where you could be in traffic for 3-4 hours on some days.

Alex...
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Old 10-21-2003, 11:00 PM   #12
nhluhr
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2006 Wrangler Sport

Lightbulb

The reason it feels strong and peppy when you first start the car is simple:

Tumble Generator Valves.

They stay closed pretty much the whole time when the engine is cold. This is because the fuel is having a harder time atomizing in the cold intake manifold and heads. The valves are basically like little throttle plates in each manifold runner that create huge amounts of turbulence to promote "tumble" which helps the gasoline atomize and evaporate for better combustion.

this pic has more info specific to the Subaru Impreza's TGVs:


closed not open

Last edited by nhluhr; 03-08-2004 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 10-21-2003, 11:03 PM   #13
amelnikov
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Alex Performance

Default

You probably meant to say closed while cold.

Alex...
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Old 10-21-2003, 11:17 PM   #14
nhluhr
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Default

Quote:
Originally posted by amelnikov
You probably meant to say closed while cold.

Alex...
oops. fixed. geez i really hope the guy that started this thread actually reads that page from the service manual i posted... it would be a nice learning experience for him...
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