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Old 03-14-2019, 05:47 PM   #1
Claymanwrx
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Default Is winter fuel causing my problems?

2015 wrx, all stock except for cobb 93 ots tune. We had some nice weather today so it called for some spirited driving.

Noticed fbk going to -2.86 and fkl ranged from .70 to -3.71. DAM dropped to .812 once I noticed it I stopped playing and drive easily home. Dam eventually dropped to .688 and anytime I hit low boost at part throttle fkl would jump to .70 through -2.86 then level off to zero.

I've heard people say winterized fuel is the culprit. I ran this tune or the map 93 all summer last year with zero problems. I dropped to Cobb ots 91 to see if that helps. But is there anything I should check in the mean time? This isnt the first time I had to reflash because of dam dropping this winter. This just started happening out of the blue. Presumably when they switched to winter gas up my way
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:55 PM   #2
gn4rwhals
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You got knock in a range, FKL is accounting for that in that rev range, DAM drop is fairly normal but if you don't see timing being added back in the range you are seeing constant FKL then you may have a slight issue.

I had odd issues with the 93 OTS file, the 91 one always worked better for me and after I had a buddy scale the MAF correctly its been perfect.

Tl;DR maybe bad fuel? but definitely try the 91 file.
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:10 PM   #3
Claymanwrx
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Anytime this happens I reflash and it's fine for awhile but always creeps back on me. I'm just more concerned if there is something I should be looking at other than fuel that might be causing the issue
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:22 PM   #4
simpleJ
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Never ever ever reflash when your dam drops

When will people realize these are for engine protection and safety?
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:30 PM   #5
Claymanwrx
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Last time I had this issue everyone told me to reflash. Still begs the question why it's happening and what can I look at to help remedy the issue. I have no way of knowing if it's legit bad fuel or something else
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:09 PM   #6
Claymanwrx
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Went and did some driving on the 91 tune running 93 gas and the dam dropped again. Still have fbk and fkl. Looking at the logs might as well be Japanese to me though. Is there s simple way to upload them? Maybe someone more knowledgable than me could have a look

Last edited by Claymanwrx; 03-14-2019 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:38 PM   #7
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the difference between winter and regular blend it the amount of butane they put it in to help vaporize the fuel during cold winter times.

reflashing all the time is a bad idea because now you're putting your engine back into knock prone situations when it has to dial back timing at the load/rpm ranges that it detects the knock events. if you give it time, or maybe if the cause is a bad batch of gas (it happens) the dam will eventually go back to 1.

in my experience the cobb ots tune is pretty aggressive at keeping dam low (probably because they dont want to be responsible for blowing up your care), i have found the MAPerformance ots tune does a better job of bringing DAM back to 1, its also revised more often.. if anything it might be worth it to get an e-tune because all cars run differently.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:56 PM   #8
Claymanwrx
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I've been toying with a etune but never pulled the trigger since I plan on staying stock minus the tune. When I ran the map 93 I had my dam drop to .688 at its worst.

Maybe I'm not understanding this fully but is dam drop not actually bad, so long as my fbk and fkl are within tolerable ranges?

I dont drive the car hard by any means. Maybe a quick 1-2 wot pull to get the kids giggling and a very occasional spirited drive.
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claymanwrx View Post
Went and did some driving on the 91 tune running 93 gas and the dam dropped again. Still have fbk and fkl. Looking at the logs might as well be Japanese to me though. Is there s simple way to upload them? Maybe someone more knowledgable than me could have a look
use datazap to upload them and post the link.
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:49 PM   #10
Claymanwrx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sillo View Post
use datazap to upload them and post the link.
Full disclaimer, this is my first time datalogging so I hope I did it right.

https://datazap.me/u/claymanwrx/log-...=0&data=5-8-18
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:46 PM   #11
simpleJ
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Read these:
https://cobbtuning.atlassian.net/wik...ide+Supplement

https://www.cobbtuning.com/subaru-da...ging-overview/

https://brentuning.com/?news=subaru-...u-need-to-know (Because I prefer the angsty BT version)


And stop listening to “everyone” before you end up with a broken piston
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:29 PM   #12
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Ill upload some pictures of the Dam tables in accesstuner tomorrow so people can actually see how insignificant a small dam drop actually is (assuming its not at wot). As long as it is temporary and you see timing being added back then you are ok.
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:30 AM   #13
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So, you're missing some information that may help us understand what's going on.

1- How many miles are on your car
2- How "up-to-date" is your maintenance (air filters, spark plugs, oil changes, etc.)
3- Have you been using the same fuel and fuel station, or using different fuels, etc.


TL;DR Version: A bad batch of fuel will cause the symptoms you're describing, don't reflash, start small.

Long version: Winter fuel likely isn't the cause of your issue, especially since you're stock sans tune. Now, a bad batch of fuel will cause this in a big way, and I know this because I've had it happen to me. I'm on an eTune from Bren, and I've always used the same fuel. The one day I cut a corner and stopped at a Fastrac for fuel in a rush, I started seeing more knock events and DAM dropped to .838 for the duration of that tank of fuel. For a week I had to drive the car gently, and eventually I ran it almost empty before filling up with good fuel again from my usual station, and everything came right back up as it should have. Had I reflashed when I saw a DAM drop, I would have put my car back into a state where it could have knocked, caused damage, etc. because the ECU wasn't protecting the engine the same way it does with DAM. A DAM drop isn't bad: it's an indicator that the ECU is dialing back the aggression in the tune for timing and performance to protect the engine from knock.

I note all of this because the Fastrac I mistakenly fueled up at used to only sell 91 octane, and month or so after not offering ethanol-free anymore, it was magically 93 octane, which "fit my bill" the one time... makes me wonder if it actually IS 93 octane, or if they're just advertising 93 and it's still 91. The car ran worse with that fuel than it ever had.

I get the mentality of "OMG SOMETHING MUST BE WRONG", but start small and work your way up from there. Just drive it nicely, stay out of the loud pedal where you can, and fuel up with a station that sells Top Tier fuel if you can to test a theory.
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:25 AM   #14
Norskie
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Why would winter fuel be an issue in March and not February, January, December, etc?
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:59 AM   #15
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I used to believe OTS tunes were the way to go. They are safe and all but since every car is different and every fuel is different, e-tune is the best. I get knock all the time on stage 0 or any OTS tune but on my e-tune, I rarely even saw a -1.41 correction and the car drove really nice.

So either run the 91 octane and fill up with 93 if you're gonna do spirited driving or get e-tuned for the fuel you're gonna be committing to. It is worth it. Otherwise knock is imminent. Don't reset your ECU to get the DAM back up to 1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norskie View Post
Why would winter fuel be an issue in March and not February, January, December, etc?
I'd assume the higher intake temperatures. No idea when the cut-off for winter and summer fuel is though. They add more alcohol into winter gas to add oxygen or something to reduce cold weather emissions. Probably lowers the octane rating.
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:12 PM   #16
Claymanwrx
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It was an issue then, it started around early december
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:13 PM   #17
Claymanwrx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGumina View Post
So, you're missing some information that may help us understand what's going on.

1- How many miles are on your car
2- How "up-to-date" is your maintenance (air filters, spark plugs, oil changes, etc.)
3- Have you been using the same fuel and fuel station, or using different fuels, etc.


TL;DR Version: A bad batch of fuel will cause the symptoms you're describing, don't reflash, start small.

Long version: Winter fuel likely isn't the cause of your issue, especially since you're stock sans tune. Now, a bad batch of fuel will cause this in a big way, and I know this because I've had it happen to me. I'm on an eTune from Bren, and I've always used the same fuel. The one day I cut a corner and stopped at a Fastrac for fuel in a rush, I started seeing more knock events and DAM dropped to .838 for the duration of that tank of fuel. For a week I had to drive the car gently, and eventually I ran it almost empty before filling up with good fuel again from my usual station, and everything came right back up as it should have. Had I reflashed when I saw a DAM drop, I would have put my car back into a state where it could have knocked, caused damage, etc. because the ECU wasn't protecting the engine the same way it does with DAM. A DAM drop isn't bad: it's an indicator that the ECU is dialing back the aggression in the tune for timing and performance to protect the engine from knock.

I note all of this because the Fastrac I mistakenly fueled up at used to only sell 91 octane, and month or so after not offering ethanol-free anymore, it was magically 93 octane, which "fit my bill" the one time... makes me wonder if it actually IS 93 octane, or if they're just advertising 93 and it's still 91. The car ran worse with that fuel than it ever had.

I get the mentality of "OMG SOMETHING MUST BE WRONG", but start small and work your way up from there. Just drive it nicely, stay out of the loud pedal where you can, and fuel up with a station that sells Top Tier fuel if you can to test a theory.
43k

Haven't done plugs yet but all other maintenance is spot on.

Fuel, I work all over so fill ups are random but i stick to name brands
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:03 PM   #18
CGumina
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FWIW, it was 73*F where I am, and it was the first time I've had a chance to drive my e-tuned car in warm weather, with winter fuel, spiritedly. I didn't have any knock events outside the usual -1.41 randomly.

I'd likely guess that your issue is fuel related, and it appears to be the easiest thing to try at this point. Just keep being nice to it and stay vigilant. FKL will eventually phase out if you don't see any knock events in those ranges, and DAM will slowly rise. I usually had the quickest DAM return to 1 when I was cruising on the highway cruising along.

If fuel isn't related, then maybe clean your MAF if you haven't already. It's unlikely, but possible, that just the right amount of crap got past the filter and you're feeling the hurt now that weather is warming up and intake manifold temps rise with EGR activation.
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:36 PM   #19
Claymanwrx
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Dam dropped to .812 last night, 91 tune running 93 fuel. Driving around today it rose to .875. For awhile I wasnt seeing any fbk or fkl until I had some stop and go driving, went to-.2.86 once from a take off but stayed at -1.41 any other time it happened.

There is a VP racing gas station where I'm going next week so I'm gonna run it low and fill up there and see if that helps.

I'll be cleaning the maf and changing air filter this weekend just to do it and see what goes on.

I'm guessing fuel is the issue since I ran the map 93 tune all summer and dam and knock never budged then one random morning early winter I started noticing the issues. I know everyone jumps the gun in this but I just want to be sure.
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:57 PM   #20
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You're not going to magically find a fuel that doesn't knock. Your ECU is simply doing its job. Driving in traffic with heat soak? Knock. EGR system? Knock. Carbon deposit on your intake valves? Knock. OTS tune? Knock.

Either load a 91 octane OTS file and throw the AP in the glove box or get a custom tune and throw it in the glove box. You're doing everything except what you should really be doing, which is actually enjoying the car.

When I had MAP tune my DAM was constantly dropping to 0.750. I was constantly seeing -4.81, -2.86, and even -11.xx. As long as you're not constantly getting more than -2.86 on WOT, it's a non-issue.

I gave in and had Ron @ Phattboti e-tune me. I was running Costco 91 Octane, which is crap gas and even then I saw -1.41 almost daily but rarely any knock on WOT.

Your efforts are pointless unless you work with a tuner - trust me. Stop trying to get the OTS to work but rather pay for something that works.
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:44 PM   #21
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Makes sense, I've never seen knock at wot in any scenario. It's always part throttle. low boost. I suppose I'm reading to much into things.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:52 PM   #22
simpleJ
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AP-> Glovebox
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:59 PM   #23
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knock outside of wot can be ignored
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