I have in my possession a 2006 Subaru WRX that belongs to my sister, I’m helping her sell it. It’s got some issues. I scanned it for codes (the CEL is on), and found only one code, P0244 -
Turbocharger Wastegate Solenoid A Range/Performance
Read more at: https://www.obd-codes.com/p0244
The code came up when I was passing a slow car with a bit of enthusiasm, and by that I mean WOT in 3rd gear up to about 5,500rpm. The engine stuttered, though I was able to complete the pass, however the CEL came on and the “Cruise” light was flashing as it has ever since.
If you google this problem, you will find a plethora of WRX and STi owners who have had the EXACT same symptoms caused by the EXACT circumstances: a hard WOT pull in a higher gear, fuel cut-off, then car runs fine minus the visible CEL and/or CRUISE flashing light. Here’s just one such thread. What happens is, the turbo builds too much pressure and the car cuts off fuel supply to keep you from blowing the engine up (I guess). In stock configuration, this is the purpose of the wastegate, or at least one of its purposes, from what I understand - to allow enough exhaust to bypass the turbine to keep boost at acceptable levels. Hence the code relating to a wastegate malfunction. An ECU tune that allows higher boost pressure can cause this issue, but if you have other modifications such as a free-flowing exhaust, an ECU tune can’t necessarily fix the issue.
Of course, a malfunctioning wastegate solenoid, or just a broken wastegate itself could also cause this code. But I’m not going to start throwing parts at this car. And especially not if the problem is caused by an unknown (to me) modification. My sister doesn’t know if it’s been messed with. If it has, I’d like to return it to stock so it hopefully doesn’t do this. Every example I can find on the interwebz of this happening, it’s on modified cars.
***How can I determine whether this car has an ECU tune?***
I’m tech savvy and willing to get some sketchy software or a little dongle to help me figure this out; I already have a laptop that runs Volvo diag stuff, and I have a bluetooth OBDII dongle and can use apps with that, if I can run some test to look for stock specifications or something.
I’m reluctant to post on NASIOC or similar forums partly because I’m not sure I can speak their language. Here’s someone who had the same problem and who also undoubtedly has a flat-brimmed hat and a Ken Block jersey.
Happened to me yesterday. Cruising 80 on the freeway in the number 2 lane, minding my own business when some bitch in a BMW decides to tailgate me. Dropped into 5th and punched it, had fuel cut at about 95 and threw the CEL. Guess I should have just slowed down to 65 and made her go around. LOL
I have a Perrin crankshaft pulley and a Borla Hush cat back, otherwise drivetrain is completely stock, no EM. It’s been a little rough around town in the cold weather, lately.
Guess I’m due for a tune. Been post-poning until I get my FMIC and scoopless hood going.
I mean, I’m trying to be open-minded about the WRX community... but also I just don’t know a lot about this particular car and I’m not sure I can withstand the barrage of questions about the car and then WHY don’t I know more, bro did you just steal this car or something, etc. So I thought I’d try this crowd first. What say you?