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Discussion Starter #1
Had a meeting with the area/regional Service Rep. and Service Manager today. Dicussed my concerns about crackle/popping sound my engine make when its being stressed (usually 4-5k rpms). I explained how I followed the proper break in proceedure and have been using 93 octane gas since day one.

They both told me this is the first they have heard of any problem with pinging or detonation in the STi. I shared information/reports from a variety of owners and tuners posting on internet forums. I suggested they take a ride to hear the sounds described and perhaps bring the Subaru Servive Module to check timing advance/retrard and knock, they declined.

The Rep, an older guy named Bill, noted that many of the previous subaru models had similar problems related to timing. He told me that what I was hearing was not harmful to my engine and that I shouldn't worry about it.
:roll:
He suggested that subaru will fix the problem only when enough people complain about it. I find it hard to believe that no one at Subaru has heard anything about this.

BOTTOM LINE --> EVERYONE NEEDS TO MAKE THEIR CONCERNS KNOWN TO SUBARU


The Rep said a reflash may be required, but nothing will happen until Subaru hears from enough people. Basically SOA gathers the complaints/reports, then FHI researches the problem and relays plan for fix back to SOA. The fix/flash will not be available "in the field " until model year 05 is out. They could however send your computer in for the reflash. Sounds like a long process already, but could be longer if the fix changes things much as the car may then need recertification by U.S. Gov., for emissions I guess.

My Service Manager filed a report with the Tech line and they called him back later in the day with case #. I have also called 1800 SUBARU3 and shared my concerns. They asked for the last 8 numbers of VIN so I believe they are filing or tracking this as well. I'll call them later to confirm.

A few other tidbits from the Rep.

1. "Don't mod your car"

2. "You can drive it hard but don't abuse it"

3. If you do your own oil changes, then use the subaru fiter and keep records/receipts.

4. He also mentioned that he had to deny a few claims on transmission failure due to abuse of the car.
 

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Man, these Subaru people are so full of horse****! They tell me the EXACT same thing... "oh, this is the first we've heard of the problem" That is such crap! My regional rep guy is singing the same song and so is 1800subaru3... what the heck does it take? I know that there's been more than 2 of us that have taken it this far through Subaru. They're either just ignoring every single complaint and not properly informing people, or they're just plain lying... either way, it's very disturbing and very disappointing.

orthojoe
BTW, my car is STILL pinging in this darn 90 degree weather even with copious intercooler spraying
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Please Everyone, if you have an STi and you think its pinging, take it to you dealer and have them notify SOA. It would also be very helpful to post your progress/experience so far.

Orthojoe, what State are you in?
 

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^^ that's the best plan....take it in when you notice any detonation related issues an keep record/docs when you do so an what you talked bout an what they said.....at least you can save yourself when the dealer tries to deny things when you've got a major problem (hopefully that won't happen).

an all dealerships, regardless of make/model will say to not abuse the car :roll: just ask them to prove it
 

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Danno, I'm from Michigan.

A little update, I met with the district service operations manager (Dave) face to face today and demonstrated the pinging to him. Once again...it was the first time he had ever heard of the problem. However, he seemed genuinely interested in the problem and told me he would look into it. I gave him the website address of several websites with info about the problem, including this forum and TurboXS's site. He seemed interested in what TurboXS had found. Maybe we can get him and Nathan to talk.

Guys, we need to get EVERYONE to call Subaru and make this problem known. The Subaru guy told me today that he's never heard of the problem, and if something is going to be done, more people have to speak up. He admitted that the STi is a flagship car and Subaru wouldnt want any bad press...... that in mind.... has anybody thought about writing to some car magazines (ie R&T, SCC, MT, etc) to tell them about the problem so maybe they can do a little article about it? That would really scare Subaru into doing something quick... I'm thinking SCC would be a good magazine for a bunch of us to write to... what do you think?

orthojoe
 

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Discussion Starter #6
othojoe,
Interesting that you mentioned the idea of writing to some of the popular car magazines, I was actually thinking about this the other day. I got the idea after reading about the mini owners who were upset that the car didn't have the same rear fog light that are standard in other markets. Apparently BMW/mini agrees now to add this as a standard feature due to all the customer complaints. Seems like a small issue compared to ping/detonation in Subaru's new performance flagship. If I worked for a major car magazine, I would at least look into such a complaint as it is something their readers may be very interested in. Especially those considering a new car purchase!

I think I'll wait a short while before pursuing this. Sparks over on NASIOC forum seems pretty confident we will all be hearing something from Subaru soon. I hope he/she is right as I'm growing more impatient and concerned.

Sparks are you here?
 

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Trust me, the best possible way to get this issue resolved quickly will be to inform SOA that you (or we, the forum subscribing STi owners) will be contacting car magazine companies about our findings as a group regarding the det. problem. They will see it as a potentially castastophic loss if a well known mag publishes such a flaw in the STi. The media has sometimes way too much power (and people often get sucked into it's distortion of reality) to influence our thinking. Remember when a few people got sick from salmonella, (a couple died) from Jack 'n' the Box burgers a few years ago? Their sales dropped tremendously. Definately use the power of this and the other STi forum boards as your support...very important.

I'm an outlier here with the fact that one of the sales managers at my Subaru dealer acknowledges the det. prob. He did BS me and tell me that Vishnu was working on it...like they've been contracted by Subaru. Vishnu is looking into it, but just because that's what they do...they improve performance.

I've got 700 miles on my STi, and when I hit 1K, I'll be checking for det. Trust me when I find that I do, I'll be very motivated to take action on this...I don't want to wait and rely on Subaru to have a fix available in '05. Hell, if Vishnu does come up with a remapping, I'll be documenting the problem with my dealer, get a formal response, and if it's not satisfactory to me, I'll buy the Vishnu reflash and send them the bill...and take legal action if they refuse.

All that of course isn't likely. I'm sure Subaru will fix the problem...we just need to do everything we can, namely to be smart and document and communicate to SOA the magnitude of this problem.

Darth says, "Luke, use the forum."
 

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Again, remember..., Subaru is bringing us an Amazing car! If you prefer, go and get an Evo. They're better cars anyway, right?
:roll:

Listen, no one is perfect, even Subaru. They can't get everything right from the very start. They will fix the problem if you have it, so relax.

:eek:)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Murley,
Most of the folks complaining about ping/det., made the decision to buy the STi several months ago. Despite the availability of EVO's at that time. I obviously chose to spend a little more and wait a little longer for my STi. Question is.. Did I make the right choice?

Back to the current problem. I spent more on this car than any of my previous cars and I feel like it's starting to self destruct. It's not easy to relax in this situation. Do you have any better advice? Perhaps as a Subaru salesman who's pocket book is directly influenced by the demand for Subaru products, you could become a stronger customer advocate and help get us more facts.

We need Subaru to admit there is a problem and give us a plan with timeline for the fix. A lot of people will hear about my Subaru experience over the next several years. I sincerly hope that I'll have good things to say.

Have a nice day 8)
 

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One of these situations makes me glad im only 17 and dont have enough money to buy it until im at least 18! ;) They should have smoothed out the wrinkles in a few years
 

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murley said:
Again, remember..., Subaru is bringing us an Amazing car! If you prefer, go and get an Evo. They're better cars anyway, right?
:roll:

Listen, no one is perfect, even Subaru. They can't get everything right from the very start. They will fix the problem if you have it, so relax.

:eek:)
Dear Expert Salesman - I think we're a little less likely to relax when many of us are reporting that most of the time Subaru rep's are saying, "that's the first we've heard of it"...kind of a typical BS statement to try to protect SOA. And more importantly, statements like that don't support the tendancy to relax. And the fact that the particular problem has potentially very damaging effects on the motor make it a serious concern. Do you think Subaru is going to replace a motor 10 years from now that had its life shortening by the detonation occuring now? No chance. All these factors make it exceedingly difficult to relax.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I really think the best thing Subaru could do to help us all relax is to extend the powertrain warranty in addition to fixing the problem in a timely manner. Obviously its easy for Subaru to say the ping is not harming our engines, well then back it up with 7/100K powertrain warranty.
 

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Sorry Murley.....I don't see your side this time. This isn't a door rattle TSB, or a trunk safety release that doesn't work....this is the heart and soul of the flagship vehicle that is experiencing terminal issues from the very beginning. I don't have any sympathy for SOA in this matter. I do, however, believe in SOA and I do think something will be done about this.

I can't see how you think SOA's "fixing" of the problem to date is adequate. Telling people to not abuse the car, allow ping, and use better gas (which usually isn't available in the area ANYWAY).....BS. Complete BS and if you don't feel the same way.....well....I guess that's a different opinion that few owners will agree with.

I've already told my dealer and service manager about the problem and I don't even have the car yet! I told them I'll be watching for the problem. But again....and I suppose they have an excuse because they've only sold 2 STis.....they've never heard of the problem.
 

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I would like to add one thing to this thread... Note that I am not defending SOA or Murley (frankly, I dont think Murley needs defending), however I think it is important for folks to understand that just because their local Subaru dealership doesnt know anything about the problem doesnt mean that its a big conspiracy to cover it up and they are feeding you a line BS. SOA and its distribution channel is a large company, it isnt like they all sit around after work for a few beers and swap stories. :)

Trust me, having worked for some VERY large companies, keeping everyone in the field up to date on any particular problem or issue is an enormous challenge.

Now, having said that, I would expect SOA to issue some sort of techline bulletin to give the service depts a heads up to keep an eye out for the problem while they are investigating the issue. As owners, we should be made aware that this is happening and that it is being looked into.

That way all parties are involved and kept in the loop.

Just my $.02
 

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Brake Dust Continues

Danno said:
Murley,
Most of the folks complaining about ping/det., made the decision to buy the STi several months ago. Despite the availability of EVO's at that time. I obviously chose to spend a little more and wait a little longer for my STi. Question is.. Did I make the right choice?

Back to the current problem. I spent more on this car than any of my previous cars and I feel like it's starting to self destruct. It's not easy to relax in this situation. Do you have any better advice? Perhaps as a Subaru salesman who's pocket book is directly influenced by the demand for Subaru products, you could become a stronger customer advocate and help get us more facts.

We need Subaru to admit there is a problem and give us a plan with timeline for the fix. A lot of people will hear about my Subaru experience over the next several years. I sincerly hope that I'll have good things to say.

Have a nice day 8)

Danno, that is EXACTLY the way I feel. Right on! By the way, as an incentive to getting people to call/bring in their cars to the dealers and calling 1800SUBARU3, I will say that after dealership's tech line gave me the BS line about knock being normal I called 1800SUBARU3 and told them basically that their response was BS and I was concerned about long term reliability. They responded by giving me the 7/100,000 warranty for free.

So why am I still complaining? Because if I modify the car, that warranty will be voided. So it won't do me much good if I eventually put in a larger turbo, FMIC, etc and the car blows up not b/c of the modifications but b/c of the detonation's cumulative effect over time. Even if a ECU reflash fixes the problem, how do I know that damage hasnt already been done that will rear it's ugly head years from now?

orthojoe
 

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:)

orthojoe said:
Danno, that is EXACTLY the way I feel. Right on! By the way, as an incentive to getting people to call/bring in their cars to the dealers and calling 1800SUBARU3, I will say that after dealership's tech line gave me the BS line about knock being normal I called 1800SUBARU3 and told them basically that their response was BS and I was concerned about long term reliability. They responded by giving me the 7/100,000 warranty for free.

So why am I still complaining? Because if I modify the car, that warranty will be voided. So it won't do me much good if I eventually put in a larger turbo, FMIC, etc and the car blows up not b/c of the modifications but b/c of the detonation's cumulative effect over time. Even if a ECU reflash fixes the problem, how do I know that damage hasnt already been done that will rear it's ugly head years from now?

orthojoe
I don't think that Subaru can satisfy you on this matter. Subaru is not going to tear down your block and rebuild it to look for possible problems. You should probably sell it and get something else while it is still worth something.

My car does not knock. I look at it like this.....a guy goes in to his doctor and says "Hey doc.....when I bend my arm I get a sharp pain." The doctor replies "don't do that". I am trying to make light of a situation that truly blows for you and I would not be happy in your situation. That said, if you are patient and don't drive the car in such a manner that induces the knock, then there should not be problems later on. There will be many different fixes available in the near future{Vishnu, TurboXS, Cobb, maybe even Subaru!}.
 

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Yeah, you're right... I'm trying to avoid getting knock, which is why I was getting annoyed with having to demonstrate knock to Subaru several times just so they would believe me that it happened.

I have considered the logistics of getting rid of the car if not now, a year or two from now and moving to an EVO.... but I haven't convinced myself just yet.... I'm hoping for the best still... but who knows?

orthojoe
 

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Two weeks ago I finally passed the 1K mile mark and decided to feel the power of the STi. The ambient temp was 94 and very humid. I was in 4th gear and went WOT. To make sure I was able to hear everything the radio was off, windows up and AC off. In 4th gear at about 4.5-5 RPMs I felt a very faint tapping..like 3-4 pings and they went away as the revs climbed. The pinging was very mild and I would not have been able to detect it if the radio or AC was on. I was able to duplicate this sound a 2nd time. I immediately called my Subaru tech and told him the problem and also sent him an email. He said he has not heard of this issue before :roll: . He said he would call SOA and logg in this issue and get back to me.

That was 2 weeks ago and I have not been able to hear the faint pinging again and it has been very hot here as well..upper 90s. I dont know if the ECU learned anything to fend off the pinging or not. Also, I didn't follow up with my Suby tech yet either because the pinging as stopped(they didnt call me back anyways). However, I will continue to listen to anything suspicious. At least I made an official request (verbal and in writing) to my Suby dealer so they have it on record. However, in the defense of the STi, this pinging was the very faint variety and I could dont duplicate it again and it has been over 500 miles now. BYes, it shouldnt happen on a new car but I can see Subaru playing their cards "go see page 7-2 and 7-14 in the owner's manual...everything is fine..." BTW, I am using 93 Mobil/Exxon.
 

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Hummer said:
I look at it like this.....a guy goes in to his doctor and says "Hey doc.....when I bend my arm I get a sharp pain." The doctor replies "don't do that". I am trying to make light of a situation that truly blows for you and I would not be happy in your situation. That said, if you are patient and don't drive the car in such a manner that induces the knock, then there should not be problems later on. There will be many different fixes available in the near future {Vishnu, TurboXS, Cobb, maybe even Subaru!}.
I don't think I agree with you here. In the short term (until they fix it), sure, ease off so it doesn't happen; but the "if it pings when you drive it hard, then don't drive hard" solution doesn't work for me. This is a "performance" car. If you can't drive it like it was meant to be driven, what's the point? If Subaru doesn't want people to take it into the upper registers of the rev range, then they should quote their horsepower numbers at 3000 rpm and see what happens.

As for fixes, aftermarket shops don't count as fixes in my book. SOA would be hanging us out to dry if they did nothing and forced people to go elsewhere to spend even more money. Then try getting warranty service when they find out you have an aftermarket ECU.

We'll say, "You guys didn't do anything, so I went to Vishnu." Somehow I don't think that excuse will fly.
 

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This sounds like something my dad would say.
"hey, the power window isnt working so good"
"well then dont use it!"

Sigh.... thats why i ripped apart the door :) (which are not fun to put back together)

Not driving the car the way it was made to drive is like always using the transmission or hand brake to slow yourself down cause the brakes on your car are worn! I dont think I'd wait for Subaru, I'd get the first company that can fix to do so (be it Vishu or whatever you guys mentioned). Of course if subaru had recognized the problem by then and promised a fix, then I'd go with it because of warranty issues.
 
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