Saab 9-2x AKA Subaru WRX

subaru
saab
9-2x
gaskets

#1

I just blew my head gasket and am having a local garage replace my head gaskets. Now that they have finished they are pressuring me to accept the car with it throwing a P304 code saying it is misfiring in the number 2 cylinder after 10 to thirty minutes. They are claiming that it is because my engine has a bent connecting rod but I feel that it would misfire constantly if that is the case since the connecting rod would always be bent and that it would also cause a racket. I believe that they possibly did not reinstall the valve / valve springs correctly and do not want to fix their issue. Could anyone help me as I dont want to pay for a car that is not working and will not be able to be inspected as they want $2500 for the work they have already done. Thanks


#2

Ask them to physically do a compression check, not by the diagnostic equipment but by actually using a hand held gage which requires that they remove plugs. Offer that if the compression is off then you’ll bring the car back when you can afford to rebuild. But, if the compression is good then tell them you will pay the bill (whatever it is at this point) and take the car to an honest shop because they are preying on your lack of knowledge.


#3

I have brought it there to get the blown head gasket replaced so I expected the high cost of since the heads on a horizontally opposed 4 cylinder require quite a bit of work to get to. But do you think there is any validity to their claim that that it is a bent connecting rod? I would think that since they keep telling me how great it is driving now that they have finished the head gasket that the bent connecting rod should cause vibration and noise instead of just having occasional misfires. Also if that is the case it would misfire constantly one would think therefore meaning I would only be driving on three cylinders. I guess if it is bent so slightly that the cylinder only misfires once in a while seems improbable. I already asked for a compression test since they say that they test whether their repair worked by just firing up the motor to check if the gaskets worked. All the mechanics I have talked with say it is most probably a valve issue that wasn;t installed correctly during the rebuild. Also can they tell when they have half the engine apart whether this is an issue or not?


#4

The bent connnecting rod theory sounds BOGUS, but you didn’t give us enough information.

What year is your 9-2x, and which engine does it have?

How did the mechanic diagnose a bent connecting rod? You can’t see the rods unless you take the whole engine apart, and you don’t do that just to replace the head gaskets.

If they knew a rod was bent, why did they go ahead with the head gasket replacement? I don’t think an engine with a bent rod would last very long.

Does this local mecanic have any experience with Subaru engines? Replacing the head gaskets does NOT constitute an engine rebuild. You need to tell us EXACTLY what they did. I don’t understand why they’d remove the valves from the heads if the repair was just for failed head gaskets. Was there damage to the heads themselves, and if so, from what?

There are lots of potential causes for a misfire. IMO, a bent rod doesn’t come to the top of the list very quickly.


#5

My 9-2X is a 2005 with the 2.0 liter turbo. My radiator hose failed and I patched it and filled with water and drove home. I continued watching the thermostat and filling with water on the way home and it stalled out half a mile from my house. I pulled it into the local garage and came back in the morning to talk with them. They started the car in the morning and exhaust was coming out of the coolent and it was blowing white smoke indicating a blown head gasket. There was no coolent in the oil at this time. They than replaced the gaskets and sent the heads to be checked at the machine shop at which time the valves and such need to be removed to allow for the machinist to check and machine the head if required. They machined the head smooth to go back on the car and only found micro cracks around the spark plugs as the machinist says is common on Subaru heads and that in his opinion he has had no trouble reusing them. They than reinstalled the valves and cams/ cam seals and it was throwing a P302 error code for a cylinder #2 misfire. They changed the coil and switched the cables to the sparkplugs and it continued to report a #2 cylinder misfire. this has led them to believe that it is a slightly bent connecting rod. But they said it doesn’t have any trouble upon acceleration and it runs fine. They suggest I just take it home. They say they had no way of telling that the connecting rod was bent and that it drives fine with no knocks or noise to indicate the problem. Thanks for the help guys I am getting a bit worried since mass won’t let it pass inspection with a misfire code and will only give a one year extension for a finacial hardship but I can’t sell it. Thanks


#6

I was going to say the WRX engine(2.0L) do not blow head gaskets(they are tough engines) unless the owner keeps driving it in a overheated condition. If you over heat enough to blow the head gasket more damage is easy.

Anyone I hope it turns okay. $50 radiator hose replacement + $100 tow has turned into a few thousand in damage.

Where in MA are you?