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Grinding noise start up, rough Idle, white smoke exhaust startup, sluggish performance


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Hi team,

 

I realize there are a few other similar posts but none mentioned some things I have or seemed to fit the bill.. 

2002 bugeye wrx (not sti) 155 thousand km stock standard. Owned it about 3-4 months and haven't had a wrx before so it is hard for me to compare what I see, hear & feel against anything really similar, as only other turbo car I had owned was 2 years ago a tuned evo with a couple after market bits 210kw at the wheels. Prior to purchasing the wrx I got a vtnz pre purchase inspection which came out all clear mechanically and got her a full service when I bought it as run of course with nothing noted there either.

 

These are the issues in order of what I have noticed since owning her:

  1. Sluggish / hesitant performance - Doesn't feel like it performs like it should, feels bogged down like its got 4 or 5 people in the car the whole time type thing.. (nothing to compare it to though) and some times when at around 2000 rpm and you put the foot down it will hesitate / jolt up a bit before it comes on boost then it pulls nice and fluidly till redline all be it a bit sluggishly as mentioned. (Initial thoughts were plugs or dirty injectors).
  2. Turbo whine - Can hear the turbo whine, it almost sounds like a supercharger whine but not as loud if that makes sense.. again not sure if its normal or not, given my evo air induction suction noise would drown everything else out so couldn't hear any turbo whine etc if it was present. 
  3. Rough idle - Seems to idle rough / shake round when it has been running for under 10 mins. Not severely like its going to fall apart by any means, but more so than what I would generally expect as standard from a cold boxer engine. (Have had non turbo Subaru). 
  4. Hot smell - The car smells hot coming from the front of the car/engine area even after just a regular drive to work for instance. Never had the temp gauge fluctuate at all or go above halfway where it sits always once its warm. 
  5. Grinding sound on start up - About 80% of the time will make a grinding noise when starts up louder when cold, faint on occasion when hot, sounds as if you kept turning the key once it was started. Lasts a few seconds. This morning made a particularly loud one and 3 days ago struggled to start first pop, thought it was immobilizer stopping it but it fired up second attempt after quickly realizing the immobilizer wasn't interfering. 
  6. Exhaust smoke - This morning a puff of predominantly white (ever so slightly blueness to it) exhaust smoke accompanied the grinding sound and came out of the exhaust for about 10 seconds or so. (Hence why I write to you to day!). Haven't seen it before or noticed any following that when I drove to work. Never happened before. 

 

Makes it seem like a S*** box but its tidy lol. I just notice these things probably more than some would and am keen to catch any issues before they develop. Any ideas as to what could be going on would be fantastic! (Excuse the essay). Cheers.

 

 

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2.Turbo whine - Can hear the turbo whine, it almost sounds like a supercharger whine but not as loud if that makes sense.. again not sure if its normal or not, given my evo air induction suction noise would drown everything else out so couldn't hear any turbo whine etc if it was present. 

    I,m assuming this is normal without a noisy intake (I can hear mine and don't have a loud intake)

 

5. Grinding sound on start up - About 80% of the time will make a grinding noise when starts up louder when cold, faint on occasion when hot, sounds as if you kept turning the key once it was started. Lasts a few seconds. This morning made a particularly loud one and 3 days ago struggled to start first pop, thought it was immobilizer stopping it but it fired up second attempt after quickly realizing the immobilizer wasn't interfering. 

     To me it sounds like it could be a starter motor issue, may be getting jammed a little causing the noise.

 

6. Exhaust smoke - This morning a puff of predominantly white (ever so slightly blueness to it) exhaust smoke accompanied the grinding sound and came out of the exhaust for about 10 seconds or so. (Hence why I write to you to day!). Haven't seen it before or noticed any following that when I drove to work. Never happened before. 

    Could be a little oil getting into the system, did you leave the car longer than normal before starting it?

 

Can't help with the other issues (may not be any help in these ones either!)

Hopefully this might help and others can chip in and let you know if I was wrong

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The Grinding sound you hear could be your starter motor playing up, turbo whine is normal when my exhaust was standard i could hear it as well but that was on boost though, if you do a slight accleration do you hear the whine as well or is it just under full boost, whine can also mean turbo is on the way out.. check you the turbo for any play and oil as well on the outside around the pipes and things, take the intercooler out completely and check the pipes for oil and also the intake pipe and just do a nice clean on them and see if that makes a difference... post up some pics or video of what you hear and see...

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