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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On June 1st I purchased a 2011 Subaru STI with 40,000 miles from a dealership here in San Diego California. The check engine light came on the second day of ownership. In my DIY spirit I tried to fix all the problems myself. Fast forward a few months and little luck fixing my error codes I had the car towed to a Subaru Specialist here in SoCal. Here is what the mechanic is telling me.....

My car has a non turbo 2.5 EJ small block with STI everything else... hence the "Fake STI" in the title. I thought I was purchasing an STI and what I bought is not that. The mechanic says that the car would not/could not pass smog due to its compression rate so the only way to fix my check engine codes is to replace the small block. I've been quoted between $6,000-$7,000 to make this happen.

My question is, am I screwed? Do I have any recourse? I have not confronted the dealership yet and am curious if there is anything I could even do. CA Lemon Law? BAR (Bureau of Automotive Repair)? Any idea's or help would be great.

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Wow I wonder if it blew a motor and that was someone's cheap fix, do you have pics of the engine bay?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
wait what?

how did they determine it was an N/A block?
wait what?

how did they determine it was an N/A block?
My engine does not have this port on the top - the mechanic could not tell me what car the small block is from, but just that the subaru engine blocks are interchangeable.

I suspect the car was blown and this was the cheap fix to sell the car and it may be illegal with the smog implications.
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ok, its physically missing? or is it just blocked off?

I say that because, a popular "build" is to use an STI shortblock(EJ257) with WRX 2.0L heads to build a hybrid engine. In that case, that port is blocked off/removed because the WRX heads do not have a 2nd breather port, which utilizes that breather tube.

Being that you have a 2011, it would be difficult to use a hybrid build because the STis come with Dual AVCS(AKA Variable valve timing) on the intake ports, and the exhaust ports. no EJ WRX ever did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ok, its physically missing? or is it just blocked off?

I say that because, a popular "build" is to use an STI shortblock(EJ257) with WRX 2.0L heads to build a hybrid engine. In that case, that port is blocked off/removed because the WRX heads do not have a 2nd breather port, which utilizes that breather tube.

Being that you have a 2011, it would be difficult to use a hybrid build because the STis come with Dual AVCS(AKA Variable valve timing) on the intake ports, and the exhaust ports. no EJ WRX ever did.
Its physically missing.... the center breather tube under the throttle body went to my PCV valve (see below picture)
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Yep. that is some janky shit right there.

You say its literally missing ,as in, theres nothing there? Cause on my STi block I bought that was used as a hybrid build, the port was there but it was blocked off with a freeze plug.

Can you take a pic of the top of your motor?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yep. that is some janky shit right there.

You say its literally missing ,as in, theres nothing there? Cause on my STi block I bought that was used as a hybrid build, the port was there but it was blocked off with a freeze plug.

Can you take a pic of the top of your motor?
I'm telling you its physically not there, not plugged or capped or whatever, the small block does NOT have this port. The hose in the blue box that typically goes directly into that port/block, that connects to my PCV valve above.

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bro thats wild.

So that must be an EJ253 short block.

Typically lemon laws only protect NEW cars, not used ones. I'd contact the dealership you bought this from and see what they have to say. It didn't have any CELs when you bought it?

The downside is its been almost 5 months since you bought it, and the dealership could say you swapped it with an EJ253 and then it would be extremely difficult for you to get that fixed by them.

I'd say your SOL my friend.
 

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If you have enough info, i'd take it up with the dealership and see where you go. Worse case, you open a small claim against them and retain a lawyer.

By the way, which dealership in SD? Kearny Mesa, El Cajon, or Carlsbad? I'm very curious because I bought mine from a specific location due to them being a better dealership whereas one of the others was garbage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If you have enough info, i'd take it up with the dealership and see where you go. Worse case, you open a small claim against them and retain a lawyer.

By the way, which dealership in SD? Kearny Mesa, El Cajon, or Carlsbad? I'm very curious because I bought mine from a specific location due to them being a better dealership whereas one of the others was garbage.
Car was purchased from Elite Car Center SD in Spring Valley. Beware
 

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Oh boy, buying a car from a used car dealership. Not sure how it is in CA but here in NJ thats big no no. Super sketchy stuff goes on at those places. Im not saying its everywhere and everyone of them, but its alot of them.

I would contact that used car dealer of yours and show them proof of everything. I wish you the best of luck with this. Technically, you purchased the car used and by used, i mean exactly how you got it.
 

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Do not think it is a fake sti - look up the vin number.
Hire an attorney and go after the dealership. I would throw the book at them even if it costs me 5k just to hurt there wallet. Good luck
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I think we need to see the port you are talking about sir. You need to remove the pcv stuff out of the way and show us that area. Btw I have a 2011 myself and my car/engine doesn't have that white pcv connector in the front like yours does connected to metal vent pipes. Maybe because you have that Mishimoto coolant tank, who knows.
 

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Pitch stop and expansion tank aren't stock. Did you know car had been modified when you bought it? Is it even legal for a car dealership (used cars or otherwise) to sell a non-compliant car? Seems that's an angle, that you bought a car that won't pass emissions and regulatory laws. Get them to take it back?
 

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My bet is that the OEM engine was replaced with a JDM version. It's a common budget friendly practice we see quite a bit as the cars are getting older, cheaper, and into the hands of those looking to spend as little as possible. If not tuned after the conversion, it will throw a CEL.
 
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