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Old 03-20-2005, 12:47 AM   #1
machantu
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Unhappy CEL Problem - Need ADVICE!

I bought my 2003 WRX about a week ago from a SMALL dealer in So. Cal. After driving it out from the lot for about 30 miles, the CEL came on. So, I called my dealer about the problem and brought it back to him to fix. He made me wait an entire day and said that he turned off the CEL for the time being but he could not determine the cause of the problem till the CEL comes on again ???

So I told him to run it for a day and fix the problem that was causing the CEL came on. Apparently, he did not want to bring it into a Subaru dealer because they could not honor the warranty due to the mods in my car and wanted to charge. I collected the car today, the dealer told me he cleaned some contact points, and he ran the car for 30 miles (this is true because I noted the odometer) and the CEL was off when I collected it. So off I went out of the lot with the car, and after about 40 miles the CEL came back on...

I was cruising up a slight grade on fifth gear on the freeway when it came back on.

Is my dealer playing games with me? What advice do you all have? Who should I bring it to to check out the problem?
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:07 AM   #2
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If it were me:
go to autozone, and pull the code. It might be somthing simple. Otherwise, envoke the lemon law in your state.
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:07 AM   #3
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what mods do you have on the car
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yergi
go to autozone, and pull the code.
This is good......Ignore the rest.

Get the code from autozone......it should be in the 'Pxxx' format....post that code EXACTLY and we can help.

Also...list anything that does not look stock....that can help.
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Old 03-20-2005, 02:04 AM   #5
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So, you're trying to say that if we can't help he should keep the broken car???

I'm only trying to say that he has this avenue to pursue if it's something serious, apologies if my wording was cryptic.
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Old 03-20-2005, 02:11 AM   #6
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....gooluck trying to get the lemon law to stick, I hear bad, bad things about it.
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Old 03-20-2005, 02:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ndGearFling
....gooluck trying to get the lemon law to stick, I hear bad, bad things about it.


It is a USED car people....wake up, here!!!!!!
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:45 PM   #8
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The lemon law applies to used cars, but let's not get wrapped around the axle on this. What was the code that you pulled from autozone?
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yergi
The lemon law applies to used cars, but let's not get wrapped around the axle on this. What was the code that you pulled from autozone?

...only in some states...
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Old 03-20-2005, 05:22 PM   #10
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Just went to Autozone, there were 3 error codes:

P0244 - Turbo Solenoid Wastegate A/Range Performance
P0546 - EGT Sensor High Bank 1 Sensor 1
P0546 - EGT Sensor High Bank 1 Sensor 1

I believe these were the same codes that my dealer's mechanic read the day I sent it back to him.

These are the mods that I notice are on my car:
Perrin Cold Air Intake
Downpipe and muffler is definitely not stock (not sure what brand it is)
Perrin Radiator hoses
Some Blue piece of metal on both sides of the engine block with Perrin written on it. Let me know if you can figure out what it is.

I will post pics later because the forum will not let me coz I am a newbie.

Would appreciate any help and advice on this error.
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Old 03-20-2005, 06:12 PM   #11
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Question

Pics:

Let me know if you can spot any other mods. And what is that blue metal with the words Perrin on it, at both sides of the engine block?

http://s91696424.onlinehome.us/gallery/Subaru
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Old 03-20-2005, 06:22 PM   #12
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....d00d....post in your local area forum for somebody to help you....

That car is/was all modded to hell and may *POP* soon if you don't get some expert help....looks like a big turbo and all.....get the compression checked and be prepared for a new shortblock.

Do NOT drive the car hard.....please....it may die quick
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Old 03-20-2005, 06:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machantu
Just went to Autozone, there were 3 error codes:

P0244 - Turbo Solenoid Wastegate A/Range Performance
P0546 - EGT Sensor High Bank 1 Sensor 1
P0546 - EGT Sensor High Bank 1 Sensor 1
Doing a search on those codes is helpfull. This thread was the second one I found, and it hits it directly.
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...ighlight=P0244

Quote:
Originally Posted by machantu
I believe these were the same codes that my dealer's mechanic read the day I sent it back to him.

These are the mods that I notice are on my car:
Perrin Cold Air Intake
Downpipe and muffler is definitely not stock (not sure what brand it is)
Perrin Radiator hoses
Some Blue piece of metal on both sides of the engine block with Perrin written on it. Let me know if you can figure out what it is.
CAIs cause all sorts of problems. They can throw off the A/F mix and burn cylinders, or plug cats. Seriously consider taking it off and selling it to some n00b who won't listen in the for sale threads.

Do you have any cats? If no, you must have some way of suppressing the cat CEL. Look for it in the O2 bung on the down pipe. You will either find some spacers (search mechanical cel fix) or some nasty soldered in crap. (Electrical cel fix) You may also have something in the up pipe bung. These are not problems, but good to know later.

Now, look at the hoses around the BOV. You are looking for a boost controller. It is a common cheap way to get power at great risk to your engine. If you have one, you need to know it, and know the risks. Also, find the computer in the passenger foot well. See if it has a piggyback computer on it. This could be the source of over boosting, and you just don't know you got them.

No clue on the metal plates...
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Old 03-20-2005, 06:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bofh
Doing a search on those codes is helpfull. This thread was the second one I found, and it hits it directly.
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...ighlight=P0244



CAIs cause all sorts of problems. They can throw off the A/F mix and burn cylinders, or plug cats. Seriously consider taking it off and selling it to some n00b who won't listen in the for sale threads.

Do you have any cats? If no, you must have some way of suppressing the cat CEL. Look for it in the O2 bung on the down pipe. You will either find some spacers (search mechanical cel fix) or some nasty soldered in crap. (Electrical cel fix) You may also have something in the up pipe bung. These are not problems, but good to know later.

Now, look at the hoses around the BOV. You are looking for a boost controller. It is a common cheap way to get power at great risk to your engine. If you have one, you need to know it, and know the risks. Also, find the computer in the passenger foot well. See if it has a piggyback computer on it. This could be the source of over boosting, and you just don't know you got them.

No clue on the metal plates...
The above post is not relavant to the issue at hand.

Please disregard it....and don't mess with anything under the hood unless you know EXACTLY what you are doing......that car has fuel rails and another fuel pressure regulator on it and all sorts of other stuff....and if you don't know what you are doing you may kill it, quick.
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Old 03-20-2005, 06:40 PM   #15
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it may be the best idea to see if you can take teh car back and get your $$$ back....unlikely, but that car could be a NIGHTMARE for someone who isn't very familiar with FI Subaru's....it will never pass smog.
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Old 03-20-2005, 06:41 PM   #16
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After looking at the pics, Scotty is right. You need someone local to look close at that car. A lot of high dollar mods there. Could be an awsome deal. Could be a blown short block. This is NOT a beginner car.
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Old 03-20-2005, 06:41 PM   #17
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When they(Autozone, e.g.) pull the code does it automatically clear it from the ECU?
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Old 03-20-2005, 06:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil STI
When they(Autozone, e.g.) pull the code does it automatically clear it from the ECU?
The machine won't automatically do it, but the technician might.
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Old 03-20-2005, 07:37 PM   #19
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those blue metal perrin plates are fuel rails... sounds like you have a heavily modified rex there bro.... try and see if you can locate an aftermarket boost controller.... might look somthing like this:

with any luck you may have the stock turbo, and it's just set too high.
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Old 03-20-2005, 08:02 PM   #20
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The 0244 code is related to problems with boost control. Either aftermarket boost control, or the factory system not working properly.
The 0546 is related to the EGT probe in the uppipe. The probe is either missing or bad.
If you have no idea what any of this means take the car to someone who does and get it sorted out. Best bet would be to find a local shop familiar with these cars and have them go over it, to fully document all the mods and evaluate the engine's condition, as well as deal with your CELs.
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Old 03-21-2005, 01:37 AM   #21
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Thanks for the advice.. If I turn off the CEL, the CEL (with the same code) only comes on after about 100 miles of driving.. is that a good sign?

I am still learning.. I drove a few Civics for many years and was able to perform simple modifications and repairs..

Wish me luck.. I am goin back to the dealer tomorrow to see if I can walk away from the deal... if not I will probably have to stick with it and send it to a Subaru expert.. anyone in the LA area can recommend a place to go to?

In the meantime, I have been upshifting before 3k to prevent any further damage..the turbo actually sounds like sea breeze when it starts spooling..
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Old 03-21-2005, 07:28 AM   #22
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Get out of that deal. I have bought a mod car and it was a very expensive experience. Perhaps the motor is ok but you still have an abused transmision. If you can not get out, get it tuned at first place and good luck.
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Old 03-21-2005, 12:25 PM   #23
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The PO244 code is frequently due to overboost. I would second what others above have said, you need to get someone who is an experienced high performance subaru guy to take a look at that car.

If you can't do that, I would suggest you make sure you run the best premium fuel in it you can find, until you can determine whats going on.

If you can get them to do it, have the dealership do a compression test on the engine.
If it fails the compression test, do not walk but run away from the car, or get them to knock a very big piece off the price ( yes I know done deal probably won't happen but try anyway)

If you have fuel rails on there as mentioned above someone spent some big time and money putting upgrades on the car. The reason the fuel rails are still on there is they can be a pain in the butt to put back to stock.

My guess at the least the car has or had :

Oversized turbocharger --- On the stock turbocharger there is a small cast pad on the lower passengerside front of the compressor cover. It should have the letters

"TD04L 010322077" or something similar on the lowest line stamped in that cover.
If not, look over the compressor cover and note any markings you can read and report back.

You have fuel rails --- almost certainly have oversized fuel injectors.

Almost certainly have or had a boost controller --- given your PO244 code, it's probably still on there, and needs to be turned down.

IF you can get a peak boost reading --- do you have a boost gauge ?

If so, tell us what its telling you --- if not get one to see what your peak boost is.

As mentioned above, you likely had some sort of an aftermarket tuning upgrade.
The most likely in my mind is a UTEC piggy back on the ECU under the carpet in the passenger side footwell. The other possiblities are a Cobb or and ECUtek reflash of the ECU.

Since you live in LA area, your gasoline will not tolerate a miss-tuned car.
Find a race gas outlet and throw a couple gallons of 100 octane unleaded in there would be a good idea to give you some octane protection.

This engine does not tolerate much detonation before it breaks piston rings, or damages a piston. You can usually see the damage by doing a compression check. Being a turbocharged car it can have a nearly dead cylinder and you may not notice it if your not used to the car.

You should have compression readings in all 4 cylinders that are very nearly the same. If during the compression check you get readings like below:

140,135,65,136 you have a bad cylinder, and will need engine work to fix it.

Not trying to scare you but hoping to help you avoid problems. You could either have a nightmare or a diamond in the rough on your hands. But you need to hookup with someone who knows these cars and common upgrades. Go to the SoCal regional forum and find an experienced tuner to talk too --- probably get more help for the price of a dinner or a six pack than you will from your dealer.

Larry

Last edited by hotrod; 03-21-2005 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 03-21-2005, 02:09 PM   #24
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Yes, I do have a boost meter. The boost readings go to about 1.5 at most at about 5.5k RPM under hard acceleration.

I will check on the letters on the turbocharger and on the computer and report back.

I just called my dealer today and he said he could not do anything because the deal was done and he had paid the person who owns the car.

I asked him for a trade-in and he said he would minimize my losses if I buy another car from him. (will probably just get a Corolla and be done)

This is what I am going to lose:
$1750 on license, tax and registration
about $500-1000 for him to profit

Total: $2250-2750

Probably be a better decision to just get out because of the cost to change everything back to stock and the time and trouble. I would keep the car if I had the time to maintain it.
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Old 03-21-2005, 02:29 PM   #25
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My intuition is that it may be illegal for the dealership to sell you a car that is obviously not emissions compliant. Browsing the CA DMV regs right now--if I see anything I'll post again.

Last edited by endeavor; 03-21-2005 at 02:43 PM.
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