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Old 11-18-2012, 04:09 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 285658
Join Date: Jun 2011
Talking Normal for WRX or should I be concerned?

Hoping this is posted in the most ideal category..

I purchased my 2002 WRX about 5 months ago with 130,000 miles. Prior to then, I had never owned a vehicle with a manual transmission and rarely drove them (although I felt fairly confident in driving one, if given a few minutes to learn the vehicle). I also had never owned anything close to a "sports car", if you will, nor had I ever driven anything close to one...the closest I'd ever gotten was a virtually-stock Nissan 240sx, if that tells you anything. I feel it's also worth mentioning that I had zero experience driving a manual transmission vehicle fast or aggressively.

During these 5 months, I feel that I've had the opportunity to really get an understanding of how my vehicle runs, handles and operates in general. I do, however, have a few things I would like clarification about. I have spent hours researching these questions, on Nasioc and more, trying to find the correct answers, and I would simply like to go over them - I'd like to go over just a few of them, since I feel I haven't felt comfortable with the answers received so far...(please inform me if at all possible!) Please forgive me if some are stupid or vastly covered..I've seen tons of "answers" for these questions, ranging from retarded to seemingly precise..

1)My WRX burns oil..it does NOT leak oil! I park on a driveway and I've never seen a drop from it at any point. I have also checked around my turbo for any visible spots and haven't seen any splattered on the underneath. There is zero smoke coming the tailpipe, even with the pedal to the floor. I have not checked under the intercooler for oil. at first I was led to believe that this would be a huge telltale sign, but eventually felt confident believing that it is normal for WRX's to gather a little bit of oil within the intercooler...Please touch on this if you feel led. It's hard to say exactly how much it's leaking...I have not recorded my mileage to consumption ratio. but I would say roughly close to quart every 1,000 miles or so. I would say at least once a day, I drive it to through the first 2/3 gears with the pedal to the floor, if you need to know - Just recently have I started to do it less. Also, I've never done a fast or violent launch..If your WRX does indeed burn oil at a quicker rate than other vehicles, please tell me what is "acceptable" so that I can start accurately recording. Today I finally switched to Rotella T6 5w-40 after tons of research and positive feedback..again, comment if you feel compelled.

2) I have had zero mechanical issues with the car, besides the clutch, which I replaced. The car absolutely purrs at idle. With that being said, the motor tends to sound gritty and even rough...when "babying" the vehicle though gears, and trying to accelerate at the same pace as traffic, it just sounds so rough..It is 100% stock (performance wise) and has had only the exhaust TIP replaced. When I drive it more aggressively, especially when the turbo is spooling, it's very accurate to say it turns to butter!!! It's like it wants to be driven fast! The exhaust tip is a DC sports and was put on by the previous owner (old one was rusting). It feels rough too, it's not just the exhaust giving off the effect..but like I said, pedal to the floor, it drives and sounds great!! Is this to be expected with my WRX...? I haven't heard many opinions about this and I've never been in a Subaru in my life, much less an AWD Turbo with a boxer motor...After having to top the oil off so frequently, I'm afraid the gritty attitude the motor has is relative to the oil situation...

3) I've come to the final conclusion that the WRX stock shifter is loosey goosey! Can this be agreed upon? Of all the manual vehicles I've driven, this WRX is by far the loosest! I installed both available Cobb Bushings, but to be honest, I didn't notice a huge difference. Maybe a little stiffer at first. Is this is normal, and is there anything I can do to stiffen it up, without replacing it with a performance shifter? I already tried tightening it up via beneath the boot/console assembly. I'm really sick of constantly having to nudge it to keep it from vibrating!

4) Also related to the shifter, I've also gathered that it is completely normal for the clutch to "kick" while shifting into 1st gear from a dead stop..Is this true? That's the only way I know how to describe it..It doesn't do it every time, and it seems if I shift slower it helps..sometimes, but less often, it refuses to go into 1st and I have to re-press the clutch pedal to make it engage. It does the same thing in reverse, nearly 1/3rd of the time...I've heard LOTS of claims of this...I've heard some people described it as a grinding, but it sounds/feels much more like a thump to me..is this completely normal? I had a mechanic who was riding with me tell me my transmission is about to go and soon I won't be able to put it into gear at all...although it is showing no other symptoms. Should be be concerned?

5) Final question I'll try to make it short...I replaced my clutch 10,000 miles ago with an Exedy OEM replacement...Is it safe to say I can expect between 50,000 - 100,000 miles out of it, as long as I baby it and keep the drag racing to a minimum? Overall, I drive the car very modestly and strive for best fuel consumption. I usually get no less than 300 miles to a tank...This clutch was by no means a "learner" clutch, but I will attempt to slipping up a few times. The clutch feels great and I'm good at not riding it excessively from a dead stop. I babied the crap out of it for the first 1,000 miles and surfaced the flywheel as well. It's just that over the past couple weeks I've noticed the clutch soften up a bit and I'm curious if it's a sign of wear or if it's simply worn-in? I've tried putting it in 5th gear going 20mph and it does not slip...it also does Donuts in the dirt and sand extremely well, also with no slippage!

I apologize for the detailed questions...I've spent hours looking for the correct answers and have avoided asking these questions via forums until I felt I'd dug hard enough. NASIOC seems the most knowledgeable with Subaru's by far, especially WRX and STI's. I consider myself a very meticulous person and I intend on having this bugeye for years and years and simply want to be confident in it's care. I love the car and I will never own anything but Subaru again!

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by savestheeday; 11-18-2012 at 04:42 AM.
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