Stage 2 2007 WRX running very rough - Subaru WRX Forum
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#1 Old 12-03-2009, 03:39 PM
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Question Stage 2 2007 WRX running very rough

Well... today I took my car out for a spin and I was accelerating pretty hard in 3rd gear with the pedal close to the floor and all of a sudden it felt like the car completely lost power and a CEL came on. I immediately let off the gas and tried to listen for any unusual noises but heard nothing out of the ordinary. I was still in 3rd, so I gave it some more gas - gently this time, then maybe half way - and the same thing happened. The car felt like it was temporarily disengaged from the power source and the more gas I gave it, the more it wanted to do nothing. Luckily, I wasn't too far from home, so I drove a few miles very gently and parked it. Pulled out my AP and read the codes:

P1518 – Starter Switch Circuit Low Input
P0852 – Neutral Switch Input Circuit High
P1153 – O2 Sensor Circuit Range/Performance (High) (Bank 1 Sensor 1)
P1152 – O2 Sensor Circuit Range/Performance (Low) (Bank 1 Sensor 1)
P0502 – Vehicle Speed Sensor Circuit Low Input
P0503 – Vehicle Speed Sensor Intermittent/Erratic/High

Same 6 that have always been showing up for me.

Reset the ECU and started the car in the driveway. Now it idles very noticeably rough. I took it for a spin around the neighborhood very slow and I can still hear the turbo spinning and whistling like it normally does, but the car shakes and sounds like it's struggling to run and a CEL comes on every time I push the gas pedal about half way or more, but then it goes off and stays off after I drive for a few seconds without pushing the pedal past half way

I'm thinking maybe it's a timing issue, maybe it has something to do with my Pulstar plugs, or maybe my fuel pump is about to die or the fuel filter is clogged.

I called my local Subaru dealership and I won't be able to drop the car off until Monday morning, so I'm kind of stuck all weekend. Now I'm also thinking maybe I shouldn't have cleared the data so the diagnostic equipment at the dealership can get a full report. The car is still running rough and the CEL keeps coming on and going off, so hopefully that will be enough for them to figure out what happened and hopefully fix it without charging me an arm and a leg. I'm past my 3 year/36,000 mile warranty so I don't really care too much about that. I just want it fixed.

Anybody care to guess what my problem might be?

John
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#2 Old 12-03-2009, 06:35 PM
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Garage
i had something similar happen on my old integra. I was running it pretty hard then I had the loss of power, the car threw the cel and i couldnt rev over 3600 rpm. It wound up being related to the timing....It was 8 years ago but i remember that i had to buy a new distributor.

so stock its not even funny...just kinda sad :(
-Randy
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#3 Old 12-03-2009, 07:27 PM
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Did you chk all your hoses? Did you notice what psi you were hitting when it happened ?


BTW... "same 6 it was always showing you" what do you mean ? U have had the same issues in the past?

Paul
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#4 Old 12-03-2009, 11:16 PM
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Nope, didn't really get a chance to look around since it was sort of dark, but I'll take a look tomorrow.

And nope, I don't have a boost gauge so I didn't see what psi I was at - I was almost floored in 3rd gear and about half way through the RPM band if that helps.

And about the same 6 codes popping up, they seem to show up every few hundred miles or so. The car normally goes into limp mode (CEL on and Cruise light flashes) every few hundred miles or so, but I check the codes (same 6 show up), clear the light, and I'm good for a while. That started happening shortly after I installed my dp and flashed to Cobb's Stage 2 93 Octane OTS map, so I have a feeling it has something to do with that. It's also been suggested that maybe I have a bad ground somewhere, but I haven't been able to figure that out. What happened today seems to be unrelated and a little more serious as it's severely affecting the way the engine idles and the car drives.

I was thinking about possibly pulling the plugs to look at them tomorrow, but it seems to me that it's a timing issue and I have no idea how to mess with that.

John
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#5 Old 12-04-2009, 05:34 AM
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You need a gauge... you know this. So it's been happening for a while now. Have you done an AP firmware update yet ? Or sent your "dongle" in to COBB to get the upgrade yet ?

Paul
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#6 Old 12-04-2009, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pzr2874 View Post
You need a gauge... you know this. So it's been happening for a while now. Have you done an AP firmware update yet ? Or sent your "dongle" in to COBB to get the upgrade yet ?
Yep, nope, and nope. Can I get the firmware upgrade from Cobb's site for free? Haven't heard anything about this. What kind of upgrade is it?

Update: cleaned my MAF sensor (it was pretty dirty on one side), problem still exists. I smell tons of gas when the car's running - lots of unburned fuel, running extremely rich. No smoke coming out of the exhaust. No hissing from the engine bay. All hoses that I can see look good. CEL comes on when I drive around the block, goes off when the car sits w/ the engine idling - car still shakes significantly when idling. Half power on full acceleration. Fuel cap is tight. 3/4 tank of Shell 93 octane gas. Thinking I'll take a look at the air filter and pull the plugs and take a look at them next.

John
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#7 Old 12-04-2009, 10:15 AM
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What color is your Dongle ? Is there a red plastic piece on it ?

Paul
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#8 Old 12-04-2009, 11:00 AM
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If you're talking about the very end of the AP - the plastic that actually goes inside the OBD2 port is red. The part that you hold to push that part in is grey/silver.

Update: Air filter looks mostly clean. I just finished taking out my spark plugs... I think they may be gapped a little too big - around .04, but they all look pretty clean to me - all mostly black with the slightest tint of white. Could a bad O2 sensor be the culprit? I think there's one in the dp and another one further up in the engine kind of by the passenger front wheel well... I think those are sort of expensive, so I don't want to replace them if I don't know that's the problem. Hmm... maybe I'll try gapping the plugs a little smaller, reinstalling them, reset the ECU again, and see what happens. I have a feeling that's not it though.

Another thing I noticed is that when I connect the green test connectors under my dash, turn the car to "on" and plug in my AP, it takes a little bit longer than usual for the AP to connect with my ECU. Could my ECU be going bad? Or is the AP going bad? I've probably reset my ecu about 30-40 times or so, but I've heard that it should be ok several hundred times... Just trying to think of anything it could be. Stuck injector?

John
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#9 Old 12-04-2009, 11:29 AM
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Try the plugs first. How is your battery? I know if the car doesn't have enough juice the flashing and such will give you hell.

Can you get on Nastysock from where you are ? Bet the threads there could help a bt more. How many miles on the plugs ? Did you gap them yourself ? Be careful with the iridiums... they are EASY to break.

Paul
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#10 Old 12-04-2009, 11:54 AM
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Battery should be good. Yep, I can get to NASIOC - trying to keep that as my last resort. Swapped out stock plugs for Pulstar pulse plugs @ 30,000 miles (I kept the stock plugs and they're still in good shape in case anything happens). Pulstars currently have about 13,000 on them. They came pregapped, but I checked them before I installed them. I think I'm gonna set them to .030 and see what happens. And don't worry, I'll be as gentile as I possibly can - they certainly weren't cheap! Back in a bit with an update... hopefully it'll be a good one.

If that doesn't work, maybe I'll try throwing a bottle of fuel injector cleaner in my gas tank and top it off with Exxon 93 and see if that helps. I've used Shell 93 in my car since the beginning, except for a tank or two when I was forced to use Exxon. I suppose it could be a bad batch of gas. Before I pulled the plugs, the car started right up and idled fine until I tried to move it and give it gas but then it started shaking and running rough. Oh, the joys of troubleshooting cranky modded cars! Tis the season.

John
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#11 Old 12-04-2009, 11:57 AM
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BTW.. .the red dongle is the right one (which you have). Do a firmware update after all is said and done.

Do you have a walbro in there yet ?


Pop the stockers in there just for shitZ n giggles.... See what happens

Paul
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#12 Old 12-04-2009, 12:42 PM
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Yeah I was actually thinking about that.. I need to find some dielectric grease first. Gahh, always something.

John
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#13 Old 12-04-2009, 12:46 PM
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I was waiting for the pulsars to take a dump on you.... I think yur the only one I know that runs em.

Paul
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#14 Old 12-04-2009, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pzr2874 View Post
I was waiting for the pulsars to take a dump on you.... I think yur the only one I know that runs em.
Believe it or not, I think that's exactly what happened.

Pulstar plugs
Installed @ 30,100 miles
Uninstalled @ 43,000 miles
Gapped to around .040
All appeared mostly blackish and ever so slightly whiteish in color
Physically, all of them still look ok

Stock NGK plugs
Used for about 30,100 miles
Gapped to around .030
All appeared mostly blackish and ever so slightly whiteish in color
Reinstalled @ 43,000 miles

Reinstalled stock NGK plugs, reset the ECU again, turned her on... and now she purrs like a kitten! No more rocking/shaking, no more extremely sluggish acceleration, no more check engine lights, and the occasional popping noise at idle seems to have gone away as well. Took her for a ride and kept an eye on the boost with my AP - she was consistently hitting mid/high 14s and one time as high as 15.1 in third gear. All the smooth power is back! Man, I'm relieved - and best of all, it only cost me a few bucks for a tube of dielectric grease

I don't know if it was the fact that the Pulstars were gapped a little too big or that one (or more) of them failed internally, but they were certainly to blame for my problems. Needless to say, I won't be buying them any more. They're entirely too expensive and they seem to only have lasted me 13,000 miles. Next time around I'll try NGK (possibly one step colder) plugs, but I think I'll wait until spring when the weather is a little warmer before I buy and install them. My stockers should be ok until then, right (they currently have 30k on them)?

Thanks everyone (especially pzr2874) for the help!

John
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#15 Old 12-04-2009, 06:50 PM
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Glad to see all is fixed and running well John. Great looking out and being helpful Paul.

Joshua
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