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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
G'day guys!

I've just recently bought an 08 STI Spec-R from a used car dealer (fortunately under warranty still), and I've just had to get the car towed back there to be repaired, although I am skeptical as their repairer is by no means a Subaru specialist or a performance specialist.

Symptoms:
  • Hard to start when engine is warm. Recently it has started stalling after start when warm and then surging/hunting.
  • Excessive fuel consumption
  • Misfiring
  • Coolant bottle overflowing and bubbling

I'm a mechanic by trade but have no diagnostic tools as I've just moved interstate in Aus, but I have a fair idea of what the problem is pointing towards (head gasket, piston rings or cracked block) but if anyone has had these problems before and knows better your help would be greatly appreciated so I know what to look out for after the dealer's mechanic repairs it.

I first noticed that the car would take longer than usual to fire when starting the car with the engine hot, however not all the time, and I assumed it must be the stock FPR. Then yesterday on a hot start it cranked for a while, started and then stalled. I cranked it again and this time it fired and started hunting, so I had to keep the revs up to prevent it from stalling again. It eventually stabilized and I drove home without issues, although I live in the city so I couldn't really put my foot down.

Today I went for a cruise up in to the hills, when I started the car at the meeting point again it stalled after start, twice, and again spluttered and hunted and I had to rev it to keep it from stalling. It eventually stabilized, but then when attempting a pull I immediately noticed it was down on power and misfiring. After also noticing excessive fuel consumption I realized it must be serious, so I pulled over. I noticed that there was coolant pooling below the engine, and it looked like it was overflowing from the overflow bottle, and then noticed it was bubbling.

Modifications that I know of (no mod list provided by dealer when I purchased the car)
  • Zeitronix Flex Fuel Kit and associated lines etc.
  • Process West Cold Air Intake and Turbo Inlet
  • Cat Back Exhaust
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Update: The car went back to the dealer's mechanic of choice, and I was initially told that the problem was being caused by a bad battery, which is absolutely absurd. I had to tell the "technician" that I am a trained mechanic and the only reason why he has the car is because it is under warranty and I shouldn't have to pay for it myself, and that their diagnosis of a bad battery causing the above mentioned symptoms is absolutely ridiculous. I had to pressure the guy in to running tests for internal head gasket failure, which he then did, and sure enough, as I already suspected, evidence points towards exactly that. This mechanic doesn't have the gear to do the job so it's gone to another mechanic of the dealer's choice (again by no means a Subaru or performance specialist) and it will now have the head gasket replaced by them.

They have told me it will take around 10 business days. Again absolutely ridiculous because I know I could do it in 3 max if I still had all the tools and a hoist, but unfortunately I now just have to wait and hope they don't wreck the car in the process.
 
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