Many of you know that a Subaru tech overfilled the oil during an oil change, resulting in a blown engine in my WRX. They replaced the engine, but there have been some issues. A few weeks after the rebuild, I heard a scraping noise, followed by a loud clunk. They forgot the clips for the inner fender liner. It popped loose, caught a crack, flipping it under the front tire, tearing off a portion. The remainder is zip-tied in place, awaiting a new fender liner.

On top of that, since the rebuild, the turbo noises were louder and there was a whistling that wasn’t there before. I took it in and they tightened all of the connections on the intake and after the turbo. That helped a little, but the noise never went away. I found the source while replacing the air filter last night.

To replace air filter, you have to pop off the air guide first. This involves removing the two plastic push-in rivets at the bottom of the image. As I was taking these off, I discovered that the techs really boogered up one of the two rivets, probably because a new tech didn’t know how to take it off properly. After the rivets are out, the air guide just lifts out of the way.

Opening the air box (left side of the image) is a little more challenging. There are two large metal clips that pop off to open the clamshell, but the front part of the box is affixed to the body with a couple of screws. It’s the back half that has to come out. Before that can happen, the intake tube has to be loosened and the sensor plug has to come off. With the top of the box disconnected, it’s easy to see how it all goes together. The two halves are clipped together at the top, but the bottom is held together with a couple of tabs that fit into slots on the other half of the box.

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This is where I found the problem. The last tech to put it back together didn’t get the tabs into the slots, so the bottom of the airbox was never properly sealed. When I took it in to find the problem, they never found it. So, my little WRX has been ingesting dirty air ever since the rebuild. I’m hoping that the suction was great enough to pull the filter tight and that most of the intake air was passing through the filter, but I can’t help but wonder how much went around.

If I can’t trust them to put even simple things back together properly, how can I trust their work on the rebuild? How long before the engine grenades itself again?

I’m thinking it might be time for a trade.