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Subaru Impreza Engine Problems



  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Well first of all it's a Federal Offense to remove the Cat. I believe it's about a $10,000 fine or something.

    As for HP and Sound, you can go for a high-flow cat and a cat back exhaust which will increase HP and Sound.

  • Gooday all, I have a 2002 WRX that I'm in love with, ha ha. Only thing is, I'm havin some interesting fuel problems (I'm pretty sure anyway) and was wondering if any of you could help. My original problem was that it had trouble starting, I would have to crank it for a few seconds before it caught and started. The check engine light would come on and off, and eventually stayed on. I brought it into the dealership, they did a compression test and found that the #3 cylinder is firing low. They replaced the fuel pump, spark plugs, fuel lines and it seemed to work alright after this. (Luckily it was under an extended warranty, so the cost wasn't too bad!) Anyway, that seemed to fix most of the problem, but now it's kind of going back to the old problems, after only about a month or two. For about the past few weeks, the check engine light came back on, and it was hard to start, and now it's off and it's acting fine. Can anybody shed any light on this or if anybody has had anything similar happen?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If it failed a compression test, nothing they fixed addresses compression problems.

    It's most likely the head gasket or the piston ring. Something is not sealing, basically.

    Fuel pump, spark plugs, and fuel lines have no effect whatsoever on the compression.
  • What about the starting problems though?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    My guess is that the compression isn't that low.

    Instead I'd think the problem is related to the evapo/checkvalve that keeps fuel in the lines. The CEL if it's one for the emissions system will show what's up with it.

    Try this next time you start your car, put the key into the "on" position for 5-10 seconds before starting. If it doesn't give you a problem there is a check valve in the fuel system that has failed.

  • I recently purchased a new '08 Impreza 2.5i 5-dr hatchback (auto transmission), and now have about 2300 miles on it. After about 1500 miles I began to notice some mild engine knock or pinging when the engine's under load (going up hills, or acceleration). More noticeable when car is warmed up, or outside temp is warm. This has persisted through several tanks of regular (87 octane) gas -- and I currently am trying 89 octane gas to see if it makes a difference (so far, no). And yesterday, the car didn't start on the first try (cranking, but didn't catch), ok 2nd try. I will be taking it to the dealer -- but want some other opinions first. I don't think the engine on a new car should be pinging. I am enjoying my Impreza, but am worried about engine problems this soon.
  • merogulmerogul Posts: 13
    I have a 2007 subaru impreza 1.5 engine, automatic (1000 miles on it) . It is a great car when it works. If the weather is too warm (above 77 degree Fahrenheit) or cold (below -2.2 degree Fahrenheit), I cannot start the engine. The engine makes very weak sound than usual. The engine light does not behave strangely. (A subaru mechanic said that if something was wrong, the engine light would have been on.) It is like the battery is very low or there is no gas in the gas tank. If the engine catches on, it dies by itself if I do not step on the gas pedal. First, I had the cold weather problem. The subaru service in Turkey replaced oxygen censors and installed a quick start program a couple of months ago. ( I thought that they would run some full checkup to see what the problem was) There is a 2008 subaru impreza in Kars (the city I am living at) and that car does not have these kinds of problems (She is using the same gas, etc.)
  • lorettsloretts Posts: 21
    I want to change my own oil to save a few $$ and priced out a filter at a local auto parts store. I then checked the dealer price and it was actually lower. So I got the dealer filter.

    Got set up to do the change and I took the new filter out of the box, and just on a whim, compared it to the filter in place, holding it up under the the old one. It was smaller, not as wide in circumference as the one there. So doing this for the first time, I decided to wait. It was a Friday night and I had to work Saturday and could not call the dealer to question if I had been sold the right filter. Is it possible that it is the correct one and it fill work?

    Also I have heard that those quick change oil centers use a lower grade oil, hence the lower price for a change? Is this true and is it not a good idea to get oil changes in these places?

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Not sure what year your car is, but a few years back they changed the specified filter for the subies to a smaller one because the old wider ones put the oil too close to the exhaust headers and heated up the oil too much.

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,000
    Hmmm.... strange that it would happen on both the warm and cold ends of the spectrum, but it seems to me that it might be related to sensors and fuel pressure, or, perhaps, the battery (at least for cold). If the weather is below -2.2F, you should certainly have the car plugged in with at least a block heater - especially if you have a stock battery in it. I do not know about Turkey, but in the US the stock batteries are something like 260 CCA (cold cranking amps), which is severely inadequate for cold weather. Warming the engine, so it is easier to crank, tends to help nurse the battery along.

    When you first attempt to start, turn the key to the "on" position for a couple seconds before actually trying to crank it. That will give the fuel system time to pressurize. I would not think oxygen sensors to be a possible problem, as I thought they did not provide feedback until after the car reached operating temperature - perhaps someone can correct me if I am wrong.

    The one time I had serious issues with cold starting (in any weather conditions), it was a result, I think, of a faulty knock sensor, perhaps in combination with the crank and camshaft sensors. The computer threw a code for the camshaft sensor when that happened, but I replaced all three simultaneously due to some other issues that lead me to suspect the other sensors may be co-conspirators, and all problems were resolved. I am not recommending that you start throwing all those parts at the car, but you might consider having your knock sensor tested and/or replaced.

    As yours should be under warranty, it might be more difficult to get the shop to test for these things, but the car is obviously not running right, so keep on it to seek satisfaction. It is frustrating when a shop can only diagnose a car based on the computer or a factory T.S.B.

    Good luck!
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • I would like to thank you for your response. Last winter, I have tried your suggestion which is turning “the key to the "on" position for a couple seconds before actually trying to crank it”. However, it did not help anything. I also checked the voltage of the battery a couple of times. Nothing was wrong with the battery. I will go to the Subaru service in December and ask them about the knock sensor, the crank and camshaft sensors. I am not sure if they sell block heater and stock batteries in Turkey. I think my car is getting worse. Most of the time I have to step on the gas pedal while starting the engine. If I do not do that, it either does not start or dies itself after the engine starts. When I push the gas pedal half way before turning the key to start engine, the car starts perfectly as it should. Sometimes, the engine starts and waits at the 200-300 RPM about 3-4 seconds before going to 1500-2000 RPM.
    This is a small city and I am driving my car slowly around 2000RPM. Can this cause these kinds of problems? What would be the appropriate RPM for my 1.5 engine automatic subaru impreza?
  • I would like to give an update about the engine problem.
    After my previous post, the engine did not start at all when it was cold. While turning on the key to start position, I had to step on gas pedal several times to get it started. I took my car to the Subaru service. The mechanic told me that the butterfly valve in the engine got dirty and could not close itself. The angle of the valve should be 0º in closed position. However, it was 0.5º in my car. When I had turned the key to start engine, it had sent a lot of gas and choked the engine. ( I do not understand. If it was sending a lot of gas, why the engine started when I pushed the gas pedal several times and send more gas to the engine) The mechanic changed some part of the valve. He also said that he cleaned the sensors in the engine. The engine works perfectly in warm weather. However, now it is very cold. The engine starts immediately in the mornings and then it quickly stops by itself when I release the ignition key. If I hold the key in start position about 8 seconds (even the engine got started), the engine catches on and continue to work. I do not think that this is a normal behavior for the Subaru engine. I am glad that it is still under warranty and Subaru service is very helpful in Ankara, Turkey. I hope I could express myself clearly. I also hope that no one else is having this kind of problems with their car.
  • I'm looking for some good independent Subaru repair shops in the Sugar Land area as an alternative to the local dealership. I have a 2000 Impreza RS2.5 with only 53K miles, but it looks like the dreaded "head gasket leak" has begun, Of course the car is just out of the warranty for the "fix" the factory sent out for this problem, and the local dealership is quoting me $1800.00 for the replacement. Love the car, but I'm going to have a real problem purchasing another Subie based on this experience. Any advice from anyone who's already gone through this process would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • jaymaryjaymary Posts: 1
    The check engine light has come on a few years ago and nobody at the dealership mechanic shop has found out why. When it comes on the performance decreases. We overide the code with a computer and it works good again for 2-3 restarts of the engine, then the light comes back on again. The brake light comes on and off since a few months, too. Sometimes when it is snowy and specially if the heater is turned on and we are waiting at a stoplight there is a sudden smell of gas. Now after our last 600 mile trip the light has started to flash and the engine vibrates when the car is standing. Has anybody out there an idea what is going on with our Subaru ? Does anybody know a good Subaru mechanic in the Greater Antelope Valley,CA, or Bakersfield, CA area ? Please let me know....
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You forgot the most important part - what was the error code?

    Could by anything, from emissions to fuel system to electrical.
  • I own a 2007 Impreza. I have trouble starting the engine sometimes. It does not matter if it cold or hot outside. I wants to start, but stops. I am afraid to give it gas, sometimes I have to, for flooding the engine. What is this problem about?
  • merogulmerogul Posts: 13
    I have 2007 Subaru Impreza too. I have similar problem too. Dealer cannot fix it. They just change the spark plugs and install a new program. Nothing helps. I have sued the Subaru company in Turkey. I hope I will get rid of this car. It is giving me a lot of headache. I cannot sell this car since I believe that this car has an important manufacturing fault. I do not know where you live but I suggest you to go to court and sue them. I discussed this issue here and some other forms and most people said that my 2007 Subaru Impreza is a lemon. I just hope that all 2007 Subaru Impreza cars are not like our cars. I have heard that some people like old subaru cars better.
    Good luck.
  • Thank you for your input. I just came back from the Subaru dealer today, they cannot find anything wrong with it. Figures. I think they think I am crazy. I had it checked before in the past. The car is only 2 years old. They suggested using a different key to start the car. Sometimes there is a chip inside the key that is bad. They checked the starter, everything. The car does not always have trouble starting. It is very weird, I saw you post and was happy someone else had this problems. I thought it was something I was doing wrong. The car wants to start, but it just quits, Almost as if there is not enough gas getting to the engine,

    I guess I'll just wait until it happens again, I'm sure it will. I really like the car, I've had Hondas in the past, and no such problem ever happened. I really don't want to go down the legal path.

    Thanks again Merogul.
  • merogulmerogul Posts: 13
    I think that I used the spare key a couple times and it did not help. I will try again. This is an interesting suggestion though. The dealer in Turkey is accusing the dirty gas. However, other cars in my town using the same gas are working just fine.
    If the winters are not severe in your town you might be okay. I have to get up at 12:00 or 1:00 am and go to the street, start the engine, and drive my car about 15 minutes every night in winter so that my car starts in the morning. Otherwise it won't start. Dealer says that the car is working fine in summer. So it does not have any problem. (Actually, it does not work well in summer either. The RPM of the engine of other cars go to 2000rpm as soon as they start. However, the RPM of my car stays around 0 a couple of seconds before going to 2000rpm in summer when the engine is cold.)Their computer cannot show any errors either. The dealer is having a lot of computer readings and sending them to Japan. I think that those Japanese engineers are trying to figure out SOMETHING. If there is something wrong with some of 2007 Subaru Impreza cars, this respectable company should not torture their customers.
  • Dear Merogul,

    I have not tried the different key yet. The dealer said they called Subaru and they said to try a spare key when the engine does not start. I never noticed the RPM's on the car when I start it, or attempt to start it. I just can't understand why it is so random, and not all the time. I know the mechanic though I was starting it incorrectly. I live in the USA, I kind of wonder about these Subaru mechanics, they sort of look like hoods!!! I even showed them your E-mail messages about the butterfly valve, they said they never heard of it!

    My car is not as bad as yours though. I hope you find a good lawyer. Let me know what happens. If it gets worse, I might have to sue. Thanks. /You certainly are being tortured!
  • merogulmerogul Posts: 13
    Hi Claudettec,

    I asked a subaru mechanic in Turkey about using different ignition key. He said that if the problem is random, the ignition key should be checked. However, in my situation, the ignition key is not a problem since I am having this cold start problem all the time. He asked permission to come to my city and get some more readings to send to Japan. I feel like I were a guinea pig in a freezer experiment. On the one hand, Subaru mechanic and the company claims that there is nothing wrong with my car. On the other hand, they are getting computer readings from my car and sending them to Japan. I regret for trusting them. I wish I had sued them last winter. I will not let them use me like this. There will be a hearing at the court next month. I will post here the result.
    I also think that your car is not as bad as mine. I thought that I was doing something wrong when my car did not start last winter. However, some of my friends tried and they could not get it started either. I would like to remind you to get papers for everything the Subaru mechanics do. The Subaru mechanic in Turkey tried to fix it many times but they did not give me any papers and this might cause some troubles for me at the court.
  • Dear Tortured Merogul,

    I am so sorry the key thing did not work for you. I haven't had the problem since last week. I did start the car with a different key though. I just can't tell if that is the problem or not yet. The old key started it also. It is driving me nuts. I never know when the car is going to act up or not. I hope your mechanic is correct about the because I really like the car otherwises. It has a lot of power.

    If you need to use my e-mail messages for your case, please do. I can help out if you need me to. I am documenting all of these problems though, The Subaru dealer said they have it documented in case my warranty runs out next year, and I still have the same problem. I think I may purchase an extended warranty though, next year. You should try to contact Subaru directly, they may help you along your tortured path.

    Good luck,

    c :) :( :D :cry: :confuse:
  • wrc555stiwrc555sti Posts: 12
    I had a CEL issue with my 02 WRX a few years ago. Incessant CEL that comes on and off. Dealership wasn't able to find any problem. So they sent the ECU to Subaru HQ at New Jersey. I am not sure if they reflashed the ECU or just replaced it. But the ECU map was supposedly retuned/updated by Subaru back in 05 or 06. I would guess CEL caused by lousy California gasoline quality had come to Subaru's attention.
  • G'day guys from Australia.
    Guys I got a Impreza RS 2009 with 2010 Compliance. Similar issue.

    Did you guys resolve your issues with this?

    Did it happen again?

    I have like 1000 questions and tried the resolution given to me today on another car with the similar issue, it never resolved it, I wait to test my car again shortly because I know it's not going to resolve the issue beause the Dealer's car faulted also.

    I am intending on taking this story to a few media places down the track if it keeps occuring so it's just a waiting game right now, I just got the my car back tonight has not faulted like before yet. But tomorrow is a new day.

    Talk to you guys soon.
  • Dear Australia,

    I had the car checked in March 2009. It was still not starting correctly. The dealer told me to try another key. The dealer took the whole steering column apart. I wanted it checked before the dealer warranty was run out. I have it documented with Subaru in case this happened again. The technician thinks the key was not connecting correctly in the ignition, so he took the whole steering column apart. It is now November 2009 and this problem has not returned. I don't know if it is luck or not.

    I hope you can use this information. I hope you know about the recall on the fuel tank.

    Thanks! Good luck! :lemon: :mad: :D
  • Hello,
    I have 2007 Subaru Impreza. The engine does not start properly in the town where I live. In summer, the car starts very weakly. IN winter, I have to get up and drive the car about 15-20 minutes at 12:00 or -1:00 am so that the engine starts in the winter mornings. It is like a torture for me. However, the engine starts perfectly at the sea level in summer. I think that it cannot adjust the air pressure since air pressure is low in my town. That is what I think and they cannot solve this problem. For two years, the only thing the dealer has been doing was to replace spark plugs and install a so called winter program. It does not help at all. I have had to sue them. The case is still continuing. I cannot give the particulars of my case right now since it can be against law to talk about a continuing case in Turkey. After the case is over, I intend to write my story in Subaru forms and send to newspapers in Turkey.
    I have sent a fax, which explained the difficulties I had been having, to the manufacturer of this car in Japan. They said that they are sorry but they cannot help because of geographical distance. However, they can ask from the dealer in Turkey to make some measurements on my car and send them to Japan. They got some nerve. I will not let them use me to develop their faulty car. Also it is against consumer law to get some measurements from the car and send them to another country since it proves that Turkish dealer cannot solve the problem. If they cannot fix a car in Turkey, they have to replace or return the money according to Turkish law.
    The dealers in your country might be good but my humble opinion is that we should sue them if we have a right to do so. We do not pay so much money to be tortured. I sadly realized that my good intentions had been exploited.
  • Guys thanks for the reply, today I have been in contact with Subaru Australia, after logging a complaint last night.
    It seems the work around they offerred has worked so far.

    I have another question for both of you, still unsure of are we both related to a similar issue.

    What fuel does your car run on? Last night I switched back to Premium Unleaded for a half a tank to see if that was causing this issue also.

    Though the remedy Subaru Australia offered was that it was a new known problem to resolve it, you pull the keys out of your ignition, lock the car, unlock the car and the re-crank the engine and it should automatically reset, ok this solutions seems to have so far fixed my problem after using the car today, one day after getting it back from the dealership and the dealership using the fix offerred by Subaru Australia.

    The car the dealership gave me, it never fixed the problem in it. That car was just a normal Impreza..... Still leaves you think what the hell happened.

    Anyhow guys there's my update, and I really do appreciate both of you taking the time to come back on here and give a update on your situations. I will keep in contact on here,I still am not sure about how to send messages on this forum...... But will learn slowly how to do it.

    Thanks for your time.
  • Hi imprezaohno09,
    I do not think that I have understood this key trick. (On what position do I need to turn the ignition key before pulling it out?)But I will give it a try since I am desperate here. I can try everything although I have already tried some ignition key tricks. I have some questions. Is this company having fun with us? Are they joking? Why do they not really solve the problems. Do I have to play with ignition keys all the time. My friends are having fun with my car.(It does not hurt my feelings although Subaru does.) I wish Subaru were a more responsible company.
    I am glad you have solved your problem. It is very painful having car problems in a cold climate especially, when a dealer cannot help you.
  • Hi Merogul,

    I can understand your disappointment.

    Basically put the key in as you were starting the car, the car does not start, pull the key out of the ignition stay in the drivers seat and lock the car, then unlock the car and try and start it again. Apparently it resets the problem and should work after that.

    They also told me to continuously crank the engine so that it can register a error code, does your car crank? Like u turn the key and it makes a noise like it's trying to fire the engine?

    I stress again, I am still not sure if both of our problems are the same, but hey this is worth a shot.

    My model it worked on was the Impreza RS 2009, this might be different between models, but I put it here so if it helps you guys out atleast I've done something good.

    Once you do my suggestion it is supposed to fix the problem altogether, yes I agree my friend joked about it, and said what next, DO 3 Hail Merry's around the car before entering it.

    The model that it failed to work on was a Impreza R I think 2009. But still can't test that theory due to that car's gone back to the dealership as it was managements.

    Yes Australian climate at the momment is the opposite, HOT around mid 30 degrees celcius. SO like the opposite of your clime.

    They are not joking about the resolution, though when I complained to the two service managers, I showed them my disgust 2 weeks of having a new car and WHAM. Then I pulled the shock of a life time on them, telling them that there LOAN car had the same problem and I with-held it from them.

    I test there car and the same problem did not go away, so I stress again, it may or may not resolve your issue as i never did this resolution on my own car personally someone else did it.

    You should not have to worry about it once it's done, it should resolve it. I would personally complain to Subaru like I am going to, I am not sure of what and how long you have had yours but mine was 2 weeks going into 3 that it started.

    Final question if you could answer.

    What Petrol do you run???? I am just curious as this problem started getting worse when I changed fuel from prem-unleaded to Unleaded, now back to Prem-unleaded.

    I am just curious and need this, for in case something else happens.

    I talk to Subaru Australia tomorrow to register my disgust. :cry:
  • I am sorry I have missed your question about the fuel. I use regular unleaded petrol. It writes on the cover of gas filling place that I should use 95 unleaded which is the cheapest gas in Turkey. I asked about using prem-unleaded gas to a dealer in the USA and Turkey. I was told that it does not help anything if a car wants 95 unleaded. My car is 2007 Subaru Impreza, 1.5 engine, and autotransmission. I have been having this problem for two years. Since there has been no real Subaru dealer in my town and I had to take my car 2 or 3 times to a real subaru dealer in a distant city for repair and they never gave me a complete explanation, I had to wait a long time to sue them. I regret for waiting for this long. I will be the happiest person alive if I can prove that my car is a lemon since the dealer does never accept that.
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