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Old 10-08-2021, 04:15 PM   #1
geezersmk
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Angry Bought STI w/ Fake STI Motor from dealership (legal advice)

On June 1st I purchased a 2011 Subaru STI with 40,000 miles from a dealership here in San Diego California. The check engine light came on the second day of ownership. In my DIY spirit I tried to fix all the problems myself. Fast forward a few months and no luck fixing my error codes I had the car towed to a Subaru Specialist here in SoCal. Here is what the mechanic is telling me.....

My car has a non turbo 2.5 EJ small block with STI everything else... hence the "Fake STI" in the title. I thought I was purchasing an STI and what I bought is not that. The mechanic says that the car would not/could not pass smog due to its compression rate so the only way to fix my check engine codes is to replace the small block. I've been quoted between $6,000-$7,000 to make this happen.

My question is, am I screwed? Do I have any recourse? I have not confronted the dealership yet and am curious if there is anything I could even do. CA Lemon Law? BAR (Bureau of Automotive Repair)? I've owned the car since June 1st and have only put a few hundred miles on the car. The car does not run anymore. Any idea's or help would be great.
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Old 10-08-2021, 04:26 PM   #2
K3rm1tth3fr0g
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Are you sure it's a non turbo block?
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Old 10-08-2021, 04:32 PM   #3
geezersmk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K3rm1tth3fr0g View Post
Are you sure it's a non turbo block?
No - the Subaru Specialist could not tell me what it was, and Steve Johnson (subaru motor guy here in SoCal) thinks its a 2.5L non turbo small block.

I have not had the engine taken out to document but they have all confirmed its not an STI small block.
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Old 10-08-2021, 04:32 PM   #4
vanman23
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Does your title say itís an sti? If it does, I canít imagine a non turbo engine would run on your ecu.
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Old 10-08-2021, 04:39 PM   #5
K3rm1tth3fr0g
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geezersmk View Post
No - the Subaru Specialist could not tell me what it was, and Steve Johnson (subaru motor guy here in SoCal) thinks its a 2.5L non turbo small block.

I have not had the engine taken out to document but they have all confirmed its not an STI small block.
Hmm that seems odd that he can't tell which block it is.

Did it run well when it was running?
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Old 10-08-2021, 04:40 PM   #6
geezersmk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K3rm1tth3fr0g View Post
Hmm that seems odd that he can't tell which block it is.

Did it run well when it was running?
No not really - check engine lights from the start of ownership, noticed it would not boost past 7PSI, and just felt slow generally. Then car broke down and now does not drive.

I've driven the miles maybe 500 miles since I purchased the car.
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Old 10-08-2021, 04:45 PM   #7
designfate
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Lawyer up instantly and watch how fast that dealership fixes its mistake.
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Old 10-08-2021, 05:34 PM   #8
Jedi03
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lemon law?
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Old 10-08-2021, 05:47 PM   #9
xtremewlr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi03 View Post
lemon law?
This. Look up CA Lemon Law.
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Old 10-08-2021, 06:59 PM   #10
iexcelr8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xtremewlr View Post
This. Look up CA Lemon Law.
Post a picture of the engine bay from a few locations.
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Old 10-08-2021, 07:05 PM   #11
iexcelr8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geezersmk View Post
No not really - check engine lights from the start of ownership, noticed it would not boost past 7PSI, and just felt slow generally. Then car broke down and now does not drive.

I've driven the miles maybe 500 miles since I purchased the car.
So it ran like crap when you basically drove it off the lot? And actually boosting..

Something is not right here..

Why did you not bring it back right away?
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Old 10-08-2021, 07:06 PM   #12
iexcelr8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xtremewlr View Post
This. Look up CA Lemon Law.
Post a picture of the engine bay from a few locations.
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Old 10-08-2021, 08:53 PM   #13
Dave D.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iexcelr8 View Post
So it ran like crap when you basically drove it off the lot? And actually boosting..

Something is not right here..

Why did you not bring it back right away?
Just what I was thinking...

Why did you buy it?
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Old 10-08-2021, 08:54 PM   #14
geezersmk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iexcelr8 View Post
So it ran like crap when you basically drove it off the lot? And actually boosting..

Something is not right here..

Why did you not bring it back right away?
The honest truth is I found a low mile STI, in the color and body style I wanted, and I was ready to tackle any DIY that came up, and there was a handful (missing lug nuts, loose screws, cracked tire, etc).

Anyways I got the car I wanted and was willing to sacrifice a little elbow grease for it.

I'll work on getting some images uploaded shortly.
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Old 10-08-2021, 09:19 PM   #15
murrdogg24
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doesnt the dealership have to provide you with the smog certification as part of the sale? how did it pass when they had it? something doesn't add up....I know someone in San Diego that could help you with the engine if you decide to keep it and it won't cost you near what that "specialist" is saying
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Old 10-08-2021, 09:21 PM   #16
geezersmk
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https://www.dropbox.com/sh/z65fnpay7...IZKXd23na?dl=0

Here is a dropbox link with a few images of the engine bay - I can take more apart if you think that would be helpful. In one of the images you can see that center breather port and how it connects to my PCV.
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Old 10-08-2021, 09:30 PM   #17
geezersmk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murrdogg24 View Post
doesnt the dealership have to provide you with the smog certification as part of the sale? how did it pass when they had it? something doesn't add up....I know someone in San Diego that could help you with the engine if you decide to keep it and it won't cost you near what that "specialist" is saying
They did provide a smog certificate # SA482523C and I checked online and it checks out - says it was done on 4/27/2021 with 40,967 - it has 42,000 miles now. It does not tell me who performed the smog test.

Last edited by geezersmk; 10-08-2021 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 10-08-2021, 10:39 PM   #18
designfate
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I would bypass the dealership and contact Subaru of North America directly
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Old 10-09-2021, 03:25 AM   #19
moral hazard
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Out of curiosity, what was the error code?
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Old 10-09-2021, 07:17 AM   #20
iexcelr8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geezersmk View Post
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/z65fnpay7...IZKXd23na?dl=0

Here is a dropbox link with a few images of the engine bay - I can take more apart if you think that would be helpful. In one of the images you can see that center breather port and how it connects to my PCV.


Clearly it has a turbo in it, intake, pitchstop

Iíll bet you have other issues not related to if it is an Sti. To me it clearly is. What codes are you getting? You mentioned you can only boost to 7 psi. Sounds like boost leak, or your running off wastegate pressure.

Take it to a well known tuner that can check the car over and tune it. Did it come with an access port?

Just trying to help
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Old 10-09-2021, 07:19 AM   #21
iexcelr8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geezersmk View Post
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/z65fnpay7...IZKXd23na?dl=0

Here is a dropbox link with a few images of the engine bay - I can take more apart if you think that would be helpful. In one of the images you can see that center breather port and how it connects to my PCV.


Also from your pictures you are missing bolts from the turbo to the down pipeÖ
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Old 10-09-2021, 07:31 AM   #22
iexcelr8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geezersmk View Post
No - the Subaru Specialist could not tell me what it was, and Steve Johnson (subaru motor guy here in SoCal) thinks its a 2.5L non turbo small block.

I have not had the engine taken out to document but they have all confirmed its not an STI small block.


Personally I would not trust whom ever told you it didnít have a turbo in it. From your pictures it clearly does. Also has some mods on it that you must be tuned for. Did it come with a Cobb access port? If not your issue is in leaks and tuning. I think whom you took it to was going to screw you on getting a whole new motor.

You need to find a reputable shop, ask on here for some shops that can tell you the truth.


Bring it to a well known Subaru tuner/ shop to go over the car spend some money to get it all fixed to save a bigger expense replacing the motor.

Just my opinionsÖ
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Old 10-09-2021, 12:36 PM   #23
austin9888
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I don't think he said "doesn't have a turbo" just a Non Turbo block.
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Old 10-09-2021, 12:50 PM   #24
murrdogg24
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you can't even see the block from your terrible pictures
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Old 10-09-2021, 03:00 PM   #25
geezersmk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murrdogg24 View Post
you can't even see the block from your terrible pictures
I'll try and post better pictures with more parts removed this weekend.

The block is a non turbo according to everybody I've spoken to about it, obviously the car has a turbo.
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