This Tiny Piece of Plastic Cost the Owner of a 2008 Subaru Impreza $2,100 in Repairs

Is your mechanic sharing some bad news about your car? Well, you can find some comfort in someone else’s sad car repair story. This guy spent a lot of time and cash trying to figure out what went wrong. In the end, the simplest answer possible proved to be the right one.
The Tiny Piece of Plastic 9 photos
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The young man that had to face all these problems with his 2008 Subaru Impreza shared his story on the popular forum Reddit. He explains how everything began and shows what he went through just to find out in the end that the answer was the simple removal of a small piece of plastic.

His car started to sound funny, and it was shaking when idling. At first, that wasn’t a big issue because it was barely noticeable. Time passed, miles accrued, and the engine started to sound worse and worse. Next, warning lights started to appear on the dashboard. The “Christmas tree” situation couldn’t be ignored, but he still refused to go to a service center.

He initially thought the car might require some simple checks and hoped that everything would soon return back to normal. Being skilled with vehicles and knowing how they work, he started using the tools he had lying around to identify the problem and fix it. Nothing worked.

He decided it was time to visit an expert, but no one had a solution. Everybody was shrugging or scratching their heads.

After not getting any resolution from authorized people with expertise, he thought it would be best to check everything himself. Because the engine had given signs of bad compression on two cylinders, he took the engine out with the help of some friends. They cleaned everything, installed new gaskets, and put in other consumables. He started the car, and it sounded the same.

After this much effort with no results, he decided to leave it as it is. He gave up, but his dad didn’t. He asked his son to leave it in the garage for him to take another look at it alone, even though everything was already verified by experts and by the two of them.

He found the culprit. It was a tiny piece of plastic stuck into one of the variable valve timing (VVT) solenoids that weren’t checked beforehand.

Almost half a year of effort was done in vain. The solution was right in front of everyone, but it required the eyes and hands of a loving father to figure out what went wrong. Now it works brilliantly!

Fortunately, this was all worth it for the young Subaru Impreza owner in the end. He is in the process of graduating as a mechanic. The experience had with his car will help him turn into a highly skilled worker, and America needs people like this to keep wonderful cars in a good condition. Kudos to him and his dad!

Sometimes the best lessons come for free, others at your own expense.


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