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Old 12-09-2003, 11:29 AM   #1
Siper2
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Impreza GC8 PDM CAI causes piston #4 misfire?

Hey guys. Just want to check with the engine experts on this one.

I had a CEL in my '00 RS that popped up a couple days ago. Brought it to the dealership this morning, and they said it was a piston #4 misfire, most likely due to the cold. (I'm in NH, and yes, it's cold!)

I've never had that happen before, and this is the car's fourth winter. HOWEVER... the first winter with a CAI attached. Can CAIs cause that?

I wasn't going to bother taking it off, especially since it's a model that retains the OEM airbox. (Thus snow/slush inhalation shouldn't be too worrisome.) However, I don't want to be throwing CELs all winter long. So my question is whether this is normal for CAIs in cold weather situations. If it is, I'll simply put the OEM snorkel back on. If it isn't, I won't bother.

And as a side question... I reset my ECU when I installed the CAI several months ago (unhooked battery for 30 mins.). Really necessary if I hook the OEM snorkel back on?? I wasn't going to bother.

-S2-
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Old 12-09-2003, 11:49 AM   #2
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I already told you this, but I want to share the info. It's malarky. Check your plug wires, and coil, check for corrosion. The wires are a wear item, should be changed between 60-90k. If the Cel wasn't blinking, it's not too bad.
AO
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Old 12-09-2003, 12:05 PM   #3
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Yeah you did.

I'll definitely be changing plugs soon, it's time. (I'm at about 97k and last had them done at about 60k.)

Just seemed odd is all...

EDIT: Do dealerships check the coil when they change plugs during the major services like the 90k?
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Old 12-09-2003, 01:41 PM   #4
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It's not the plugs I'm thinking are worn, more importantly your wires and the connection on the coil.
I don't know if they do, I don't believe the y are replaced, though, it prolly could use it... let me check the manual online.

AO
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Old 12-09-2003, 04:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Siper2
Yeah you did.

I'll definitely be changing plugs soon, it's time. (I'm at about 97k and last had them done at about 60k.)

Just seemed odd is all...

EDIT: Do dealerships check the coil when they change plugs during the major services like the 90k?
crap! 37k miles on plugs! That's over twice too much... change them immediately... unless you are running some fancy plugs (iridium/platinum)... just get some NGK coppers... should be a 20 minute job and will make the car run much better...
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Old 12-09-2003, 10:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by DanzBorin
crap! 37k miles on plugs! That's over twice too much... change them immediately... unless you are running some fancy plugs (iridium/platinum)... just get some NGK coppers... should be a 20 minute job and will make the car run much better...
Accourding to the manufacture's spec plugs should be changed at 30k intervals, he's only 7k over, accouring to the book. I like to do them at 25 tho.
AO
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Old 12-09-2003, 11:16 PM   #7
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Yeah, I'm only 7k over. NGK coppers are good for 30k. Platinum plugs are good for far more.

"20 minute job" eh? I dunno, I can't figure the boxer engine out, insofar as changing plugs. One or two of them are just BURIED in there. Plus I haven't got a gap tool, so I think I'll just let the dealership do it. I'll have to ask them if they clean coils, though...
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Old 12-10-2003, 10:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Siper2
Yeah, I'm only 7k over. NGK coppers are good for 30k. Platinum plugs are good for far more.

"20 minute job" eh? I dunno, I can't figure the boxer engine out, insofar as changing plugs. One or two of them are just BURIED in there. Plus I haven't got a gap tool, so I think I'll just let the dealership do it. I'll have to ask them if they clean coils, though...
I do mine every year... and they don't look the best... lots of things "say" they can go longer... for example oil... our manuals don't say 3000, but 3000 is generally accepted...

with an intake, all you need to do is remove the washer fluid resevoir and bam, you can get to all 4...
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Old 12-10-2003, 01:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by DanzBorin
I do mine every year... and they don't look the best... lots of things "say" they can go longer... for example oil... our manuals don't say 3000, but 3000 is generally accepted...

with an intake, all you need to do is remove the washer fluid resevoir and bam, you can get to all 4...
you mean you don't drive your car 30k a year, I nearly do.
80k in 3.2 years
AO <-- shakes head
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Old 12-10-2003, 01:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by m750
you mean you don't drive your car 30k a year, I nearly do.
80k in 3.2 years
AO <-- shakes head
nope... when my my99 was totalled, it had 51k on the clock... I got it in 7/01 with 30k miles on it... so in 2 years and 3 months, I put 21k miles on her...

now STi I've had for less than 2 months and am pushing 3k... so, a lot more by my standards... luckily it has iridium plugs from the factory, because I dread changing them...
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Old 12-10-2003, 04:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Siper2

"20 minute job" eh? I dunno, I can't figure the boxer engine out, insofar as changing plugs. One or two of them are just BURIED in there. Plus I haven't got a gap tool,...
It's easier than you think. You really just need the spark plug socket and a 6 inch extension (because they're deep in there). I had to unbolt the washer fluid resevoir and set it on the strut top to access the left side of the engine, but I didn't have to disconnect it completely. Taking the snorkus out gets you to the right side. But yeah, it really is just a 20 minute job, and I took my time. Oh and the plugs came with the correct gap right out of the box (checked 'em twice).

-Chris
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Old 12-10-2003, 07:44 PM   #12
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Forgive my "Guru" status. Sincerely, I just post too much. I know very little about some aspects of mechanicals, spark plug gap being one of them. It was my (apparent mis-) understanding that "gap" referred to how tightly the plugs need to be screwed down. But apparently not!

I have a plug socket, but it's not 6" I don't think. How about the wires? What's a good place to get those from? All I need is OEM quality or slightly better. I don't necessarily believe in the Magnecor thing (I'm the same about Monster Cable for stereos--all it does is look nice, IMO).

-Chris
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Old 12-10-2003, 07:50 PM   #13
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Default And about the coil...

What's this about lube/clean for a coil? Where is this thing, how do I get at it, and what needs to be done?

I assume I'll need something like dielectric (sp?) grease for cleaning. Have to pick that up, too. And I would like to know if dealerships do that when THEY change plugs...
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Old 12-10-2003, 07:57 PM   #14
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Were not talking brain surgery here....
Pull the wires off the coil, check for corosion, if there is some, use a wire brush, and elbow grease to clean em up. I used steel wool I think, same effect. I didn't use any grease on em, I think the boots themselves _should_ protect them from moisture. I think the grease most people mention are to the threads of the spark plugs, just a little to keep them from becomming stuck in the head.
AO
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Old 12-10-2003, 08:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Siper2
Forgive my "Guru" status. Sincerely, I just post too much. I know very little about some aspects of mechanicals, spark plug gap being one of them. It was my (apparent mis-) understanding that "gap" referred to how tightly the plugs need to be screwed down. But apparently not!

I have a plug socket, but it's not 6" I don't think. How about the wires? What's a good place to get those from? All I need is OEM quality or slightly better. I don't necessarily believe in the Magnecor thing (I'm the same about Monster Cable for stereos--all it does is look nice, IMO).

-Chris
he means a 6" extension for the ratchet, so you can get the plug socket down to the plugs...
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Old 12-10-2003, 08:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by m750
Were not talking brain surgery here....

AO
Hey... Look man, we're buds, no need to be flippant. I said I don't know much about engines.

So the coil is where the wires hook up on the opposite end then?
Fine I'll check that.

How about a good place to buy new wires? I get my plugs at NAPA because they're the only place around me that sells NGK I think. Do they have a good price on wires?
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Old 12-10-2003, 09:21 PM   #17
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yes check the coil. I had corrosion on the coil pack on 1 and 2, got a CE light and had misfire on cylinder 1 and 2
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Old 12-10-2003, 09:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Siper2
Hey... Look man, we're buds, no need to be flippant. I said I don't know much about engines.

So the coil is where the wires hook up on the opposite end then?
Fine I'll check that.

How about a good place to buy new wires? I get my plugs at NAPA because they're the only place around me that sells NGK I think. Do they have a good price on wires?
Not trying to be flippant, Just wanted to stress how easy it is, and letting you know, having met you, I think you are more than capable of doing it.

Here's the best instruction I've got:
The coil pac kinda looks like a rotated H with wires going out both sides, it's screwed to the top of the intake manifold. The wires take a firm pull to get them off, but should just come right off. Look for discoloration, greenish corosion, etc. They are normally semi shiny brass I believe. I'm willing to bet if you live near anyone, someone would be willing to give ya a hand doing it if you just wanted some addition guidance.
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Old 12-10-2003, 10:17 PM   #19
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Since your a little noobish about engines, I'll give you a warning too. DO NOT TORQUE THE PLUGS DOWN!! If you strip out your plug threads, you're seriously boned. Just snug 'em up and seat the crush washers

I use Autolite Platinum plugs. Unfortunately, they don't make a wireset.

-Chris
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Old 12-11-2003, 09:45 AM   #20
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Thanks guys. I guess I'll call around to see if I can find plug wires. We'd bought a muffler for my wife's car, but don't need it now since the car's totaled. So the place I return it to, I'll ask them what they've got--that'll be stop #1.
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Old 12-13-2003, 02:43 PM   #21
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Let me know how you make out. My '00 has had the CEL on since 27k miles. AMD replaced the #4 plug wire twice in two weeks and I gave up on them.

Had the code checked again when it was in at Exeter (65k miles) and same thing...misfire...

If the coil work helps it, I'll hire you to come over and fix mine!

Pat
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Old 12-13-2003, 02:46 PM   #22
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Oh ya...mine seemed to be related to the cold, and letting it idle too long to warm up. But that was the first 20k or so miles that it was on. Now it's on all the time.
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Old 12-13-2003, 09:39 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by That Guy
Since your a little noobish about engines, I'll give you a warning too. DO NOT TORQUE THE PLUGS DOWN!! If you strip out your plug threads, you're seriously boned. Just snug 'em up and seat the crush washers
-Chris
Hey Chris,

This is the first time that I've read this on here. I've only changed my plugs a few times since I have owned my Impreza but the info I have always gotten was to torque them down to specs.

Even if you 'snug'em up', what would you say the torque number would be if they were put in 'snugly'? I ask because as simple as it sounds, what may be snug to one person will be to loose or too tight to another.

Siper2,
I know the feeling. EVERYTHING that I haven't done to my subby is a BIG deal. I'm big on details because that one little part that's left out may ruin the whole project. Then you'll here the, 'oh yeahs, I meant to tell you that' or 'No, you shouldn't have done it THAT way'. That's why I love FSMs (Factory Service Manuals). Unfortunately, the Impreza one(s) I need cost $500+. Good luck!
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Old 12-14-2003, 01:39 PM   #24
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Yeah I hate the little inconvenient hindsight comments, too.
I tried changing the plugs/wires in the parking lot at work yesterday, since we had an early a.m. meeting but then I didn't have to work til 1pm. But, two things...

1. VERY cold. My fingers weren't workin' right.
2. I didn't realize the alarm would beep at me when I replug the wires into the coil. To avoid that annoyance I may unplug the battery, but didn't want to do that at work I guess.


Pat,
I don't think you'd want to hire ME as a mechanic, man.

-Chris
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Old 12-14-2003, 06:40 PM   #25
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Will the CEL just go out when you fix the problem? Or does it have to be reset somehow?
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