2002 WRX - Engine Running Very Rough/Low Pressure - Done For? - Subaru WRX Forum
 
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#1 Old 01-05-2013, 11:02 AM
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2002 WRX - Engine Running Very Rough/Low Pressure - Done For?

2002 Subaru WRX Hatchback

Hey I'm new to the forum but could use a little help. I was driving the car and everything was normal, but then she started running real rough, nothing abrupt, but I hadn't noticed anything the previous day.

She definitely isn't firing on all 4 cylinders, white smoke out the tail pipe, but only sometimes, fluid levels look good, and this is gonna sound weird, but an occasional *chirp* sound from the tail pipe every 10-15 seconds, again only sometimes.

I changed all the spark plugs (but didn't verify correct spacing) because that's what worked the other year. The two drivers side were good, the two on the passenger side were fouled. I replaced them, the car ran normal again for about 15-20 seconds then back to running rough as before.

So here's the meat: I got a guy to look at the car and he performed pressure and leak tests on one cylinder for each side of the engine:
Side 1- Pressure: 105 Hot, 90 Cold - Leak 26%
Side 2- Pressure: 105 Hot, 90 Cold - Leak 10%

He also found a potential culprit, a big gash in the deteriorating rubber coupling at the intake to the turbo. The mechanic is thinking this is the cause, dirty air into turbo and engine causing engine damage, RIP car (not worth rebuild at this time)

I'm not a mechanic and don't have a lot of experience, but just wondering a couple of things. Wouldn't unfiltered air cause only gradual damage to the engine? This problem occurred rather quickly and power was fine prior to this issue. This wouldn't be a gasket issue b/c pressure is equal in both cylinders, right?

I'm just having a hard time letting go of this car because I don't quite understand exactly what is wrong with the engine. Any help in reading into this would be appreciated. Thanks!
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#2 Old 01-05-2013, 11:44 AM
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You could try replacing the coupler and resetting the ecu and see what happens, but when my car was running rough and blowing smoke out of the exhaust, the engine really needed to be rebuilt. Besides having low compression, it turned out that I also had a cracked piston.

John
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#3 Old 01-05-2013, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by man show View Post
You could try replacing the coupler and resetting the ecu and see what happens, but when my car was running rough and blowing smoke out of the exhaust, the engine really needed to be rebuilt. Besides having low compression, it turned out that I also had a cracked piston.
Wouldn't a cracked piston show reduced compression on one cylinder, not across the board?
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#4 Old 01-05-2013, 12:04 PM
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I'd assume that's the case. I didn't see my exact numbers, but I was just told compression was low. Try replacing the pipe and see if that makes things better. It's a potential cheap fix. Double check the plugs too.

John
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#5 Old 01-06-2013, 05:03 PM
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If theres a gash at the intake of the turbo its not unfiltered air thats causing it to run rough, its because its unmetered air, no? Also, is it def WHITE smoke?, does it run rough at idle, cruising speeds, missing during acceleration? Were your plugs fouled with oil? Curious.
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#6 Old 01-07-2013, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by detrails01 View Post
If theres a gash at the intake of the turbo its not unfiltered air thats causing it to run rough, its because its unmetered air, no? Also, is it def WHITE smoke?, does it run rough at idle, cruising speeds, missing during acceleration? Were your plugs fouled with oil? Curious.
That's a good point, I'll be sure to fix up the intake as one of the first steps. I don't know that the smoke what white as opposed to gray, but it was more white than black. The engine was running rough at all speeds, idle/cruise. Acceleration was very sluggish during the short time I drove it, barely any power at all.
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#7 Old 01-08-2013, 05:48 PM
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I see. yea def fix that intake leak from the turbo. Any intake leak will cause an engine to run rough. As far as your smoke out the tailpipe. Water is really the only thing that burns WHITE. sometimes oil can look white, while having a blueish tint its sometimes difficult to distinguish.
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