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RX-8 Symptoms and Causes

Old 11-13-2013, 08:35 PM
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RX-8 Symptoms and Causes

This is a list of symptoms and their causes that are discussed or reported here on RX8Club.

This list is going to be an on-going work in progress, any I encourage any and all members to contribute to it. This list is almost entirely from memory at the time of creation, so it certainly isn't comprehensive. I'm sure I am forgetting symptoms and/or related causes.


The first reply is a list of symptoms by general category.
The second reply is a list of causes and their related symptoms.

Issues are best identified by using one root symptom in the symptom list that you are experiencing to see the possible causes. Then going to the list of causes for each of those causes to see what other symptoms are related to that cause. Corss reference between the two lists to narrow down your list of things to start troubleshooting.

Keep in mind that a given failure may not have ALL of the symptoms listed. Often, failures will have just one symptom. So keep an open mind about the possibilities and realize that this is just intended to get you pointed in the right direction.
  • Please do not post your own troubleshooting questions in this thread. Please create a new thread. I don't want future members having to wade through dozens or hundreds of pages trying to get their information.
  • Please only reply if you have symptoms to add to a cause, or a cause to add to a symptom.
  • Please use links or specific examples to support why the cause and symptom should be linked.

Last edited by RIWWP; 11-14-2013 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:43 PM
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Brakes
  • mushy brake feeling
    • brake fluid contaminated with air or water
    • failing brake lines
Cooling System
  • coolant leaking from overflow
    • radiator cap failure
    • coolant overflow bottle failure
    • radiator failure
    • thermostat failure
    • engine coolant seal failure
  • coolant spraying from overflow
    • radiator cap failure
    • coolant overflow bottle failure
    • radiator failure
    • thermostat failure
    • engine coolant seal failure
Dash Warnings
  • brake warning light
    • brake pads worn down
    • brake fluid too low (which also happens when the brake pads are worn if the level was set with the pads new)
  • coolant light coming on
    • coolant level too low
    • coolant bottle float sensor failure
  • flashing cel (Misfire)
    • ignition failure
    • cat failure
    • engine failure
    • vacuum leak
    • e-shaft sensor fouled
    • MAF fouled
    • grounding problems
    • O2 sensor failure
    • fuel trim invalid
  • flashing oil light
    • OMP fault
  • TCS/DSC light on after a battery disconnect
    • normal, TCS/DSC system needs to be re-learned
  • temperature gauge goes right of center
    • dangerous overheating even if it moves a little bit
    • radiator cap failure
    • coolant overflow bottle failure
    • radiator failure
    • thermostat failure
    • engine coolant seal failure
Driving Interruptions
  • engine not responding to gas pedal
    • excessively high RPM maintained by gas pedal while stationary
    • gas pedal position sensor fault
    • gas pedal position sensor frozen (significant subzero temps)
  • suddenly shuts off while driving at speed with no noise
    • fuel pump failure
  • suddenly shuts off while driving at speed with rattle/banging noises
    • engine seal failure
Electrical Issues
  • gauges flicker and jump
    • Battery connections are corroded
    • other grounding connections corroded
Idle Trouble
  • high idle (> 900rpm)
    • MAF fouled
    • vacuum leak
  • idle hunting (ECU commanded idle speed changes over a >200rpm range)
    • Neutral switch disconnected
    • neutral switch failure
  • jumpy idle (uncommanded idle speed changes over a >200rpm range)
    • MAF fouled
    • vacuum leak
  • low idle (<800rpm)
    • MAF fouled
  • rough idle (unstable idle within 200rpm range around the target 850rpm)
    • Ignition failure
    • e-shaft sensor fouled
    • engine compression loss
    • vacuum leak
    • front O2 sensor failure
    • MAF fouled
  • stalls at idle hot or cold
    • Ignition failure
    • e-shaft sensor fouled
    • engine compression loss
    • vacuum leak
    • front O2 sensor failure
    • MAF fouled
  • stumbles at idle only when hot
    • Ignition failure
    • e-shaft sensor fouled
    • engine compression loss
    • vacuum leak
    • front O2 sensor failure
  • stumbles at idle when cold
    • Coolant seal failure
    • fuel system leak
Longer Term Issues
  • burning 1 quart of oil every 800-1,500 miles
    • normal
  • burning less than 1 quarter of oil every 1,500 miles
    • OMP fault
    • OMP lines clogged
    • oil injectors clogged
    • oil injectors disconnected
    • oil injector connections fouled
  • burning more than 1 quart of oil every 800 miles
    • oil control ring failure
    • vacuum leak
    • e-shaft seal leak
    • oil pan leak
  • highway gas mileage less than 17mpg
    • Ignition failure
    • e-shaft sensor fouled
    • engine compression loss
    • vacuum leak
    • front O2 sensor failure
    • MAF fouled
    • dragging brakes
    • old transmission oil
    • old diff oil
    • failing diff
    • carbon choked engine
Noises/Smells
  • water rushing sound at idle
    • normal heater core noise (can be solved by adding a restrictor to the heater core line)
  • burnt sulfur smell (Manual Transmission only)
    • clutch disc slipping
Engine Power Loss
  • chokes as revs increase
    • O2 sensor failure (too rich)
    • MAF failure
    • MAF disconnected
    • e-shaft sensor fouled
    • accessory belt fraying
  • high end power loss (hard fuel cut)
    • Rev limit reached
  • high end power loss (jerky and stumbling)
    • Ignition failure
    • fuel pressure loss
    • e-shaft sensor fouled
  • high end power loss (smooth)
    • Catalytic converter clog
    • air filter clog
  • low end power loss (smooth)
    • Engine compression loss
  • low end power loss (stumbles)
    • Ignition failure
    • front O2 sensor failure
  • revs slowly but smoothly
    • O2 sensor failure (too lean)
    • catalytic converter clog
    • air filter clog
  • sudden power drop at a specific rpm
    • Intake valving actuation problem
  • trouble getting to redline
    • Ignition failure
    • front O2 sensor failure
    • catalytic converter clog
    • air filter clog
    • e-shaft sensor fouled
    • fuel pressure loss
    • MAF failure
Power Steering
  • no power steering
    • power steering connectors fouled
    • battery connections corroded
  • power steering cuts out briefly
    • power steering connectors fouled
    • battery connections corroded
    • battery failure
  • steering feels lumpy when turning
    • power steering connectors fouled
    • battery connections corroded
    • lower steering shaft u-join failure
Starting Trouble
  • cranks but doesn't fire
    • flooded
    • ignition failure
    • fuel pump failure
    • e-shaft sensor fouled
    • fuel pump failure
    • engine compression loss
    • starter failure
    • fuel system leak
  • difficulty starting hot or cold
    • battery failure
    • starter failure
    • ignition failure
    • fuel system leak
    • e-shaft sensor fouled
  • difficulty starting only when cold
    • weak battery
    • coolant seal failure
  • difficulty starting only when hot
    • engine compression failure
    • failing fuel pump
  • doesn't turn over when starting
    • battery failure
    • battery grounds corroded
    • starter failure
    • engine seized
    • in gear with e-brake engaged
  • won't start when hot
    • engine compression failure
    • failing fuel pump
Transmission/Clutch
  • clutch pedal can be moved left and/or right of center
    • clutch pedal assembly failure
  • clutch pedal goes down at an angle
    • clutch pedal assembly failure
  • difficulty shifting
    • clutch pedal assembly failure
    • clutch disc failure
    • pilot bearing failure
    • clutch master cylinder failure
    • clutch slave cylinder failure
    • clutch line failure
    • clutch line fluid contaminated with air or water
  • gears grind when shifting into gear while stopped with engine running
    • clutch disc failure
    • clutch master cylinder failure
    • clutch slave cylinder failure
    • clutch line failure
    • clutch line fluid contaminated with air or water
  • gears grinding when shifting from high RPM
    • syncro failure
    • pilot bearing failure
    • old transmission oil
  • mushy clutch feeling
    • clutch line failure
    • clutch line fluid contaminated with air or water
  • transmission rattling when the clutch pedal is down
    • aftermarket clutch
    • lightweight flywheel
  • transmission rattling when the clutch pedal is up
    • release bearing failure
  • squeaky clutch pedal
    • clutch pedal assembly failure
  • applying gas makes the RPMs climb without a matching speed increase (Manual Transmission Only)
    • clutch disc slipping
Visual Inspection
  • white smoke from tail pipe
    • coolant seal failure
    • normal condensation burn off
  • catalytic converter glowing
    • catalytic converter failure
    • engine misfiring
  • foamy oil on the dipstick
    • normal condensation
  • oil in the intake
    • overfilling the oil
    • extended high load driving
    • engine failure
    • OMP fault
    • vacuum leak
  • coolant on plugs
    • coolant seal failure

Last edited by RIWWP; 08-21-2014 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:27 PM
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accessory belt fraying
    aftermarket clutch
      air filter clog
      • [*]
      • [*]
      battery connections corroded
      • [*]
      • [*]
      • [*]
      • [*]
      battery failure
      • [*]
      • [*]
      brake fluid contaminated with air or water
        brake fluid too low (which also happens when the brake pads are worn if the level was set with the pads new)
          brake pads worn down
            carbon choked engine
              catalytic converter failure
              • [*]
              • [*]
              • [*]
              • [*]
              clutch disc failure
              • [*]
              • [*]
              • [*]
              clutch line failure
              • [*]
              • [*]
              clutch line fluid contaminated with air or water
              • [*]
              • [*]
              clutch master cylinder failure
              • [*]
              clutch pedal assembly failure
              • [*]
              • [*]
              • [*]
              clutch slave cylinder failure
              • [*]
              coolant bottle float sensor failure
                coolant level too low
                  coolant overflow bottle failure
                  • [*]
                  • [*]
                  coolant seal failure
                  • [*]
                  • [*]
                  • [*]
                  dangerous overheating even if it moves a little bit
                    dragging brakes
                      e-shaft oil seal leak
                        e-shaft sensor fouled
                        • [*]
                        • [*]
                        • [*]
                        • [*]
                        • [*]
                        • [*]
                        • [*]
                        • [*]
                        • [*]
                        engine compression loss
                        • [*]
                        • [*]
                        • [*]
                        • [*]
                        • [*]
                        • [*]
                        • [*]
                        engine coolant seal failure
                        • [*]
                        • [*]
                        engine failure
                        • [*]
                        engine misfiring
                          engine seal failure
                            engine seized
                              excessively high RPM maintained by gas pedal while stationary
                                extended high load driving
                                  failing brake lines
                                    failing diff
                                      failing fuel pump
                                      • [*]
                                      flooded
                                        front O2 sensor failure
                                        • [*]
                                        • [*]
                                        • [*]
                                        • [*]
                                        • [*]
                                        • [*]
                                        front O2 sensor failure (too lean)
                                          front O2 sensor failure (too rich)
                                            fuel pressure loss
                                            • [*]
                                            fuel pump failure
                                            • [*]
                                            • [*]
                                            fuel system leak
                                            • [*]
                                            • [*]
                                            fuel trim invalid
                                              gas pedal position sensor fault
                                                gas pedal position sensor frozen (significant subzero temps)
                                                  grounding problems
                                                    ignition failure
                                                    • [*]
                                                    • [*]
                                                    • [*]
                                                    • [*]
                                                    • [*]
                                                    • [*]
                                                    • [*]
                                                    • [*]
                                                    • [*]
                                                    in gear with e-brake engaged
                                                      Intake valving actuation problem
                                                        lightweight flywheel
                                                          lower steering shaft u-join failure
                                                            MAF disconnected
                                                              MAF failure
                                                              • [*]
                                                              MAF fouled
                                                              • [*]
                                                              • [*]
                                                              • [*]
                                                              • [*]
                                                              • [*]
                                                              • [*]
                                                              Neutral switch disconnected
                                                                neutral switch failure
                                                                  oil control ring failure
                                                                    oil injector connections fouled
                                                                      oil injectors clogged
                                                                        oil injectors disconnected
                                                                          oil pan leak
                                                                            old diff oil
                                                                              old transmission oil
                                                                                old transmission oil
                                                                                  OMP fault
                                                                                  • [*]
                                                                                  • [*]
                                                                                  OMP lines clogged
                                                                                    other grounding connections corroded
                                                                                      overfilling the oil
                                                                                        pilot bearing failure
                                                                                        • [*]
                                                                                        power steering connectors fouled
                                                                                        • [*]
                                                                                        • [*]
                                                                                        radiator cap failure
                                                                                        • [*]
                                                                                        • [*]
                                                                                        radiator failure
                                                                                        • [*]
                                                                                        • [*]
                                                                                        release bearing failure
                                                                                          rev limit reached
                                                                                            starter failure
                                                                                            • [*]
                                                                                            • [*]
                                                                                            syncro failure
                                                                                              thermostat failure
                                                                                              • [*]
                                                                                              • [*]
                                                                                              vacuum leak
                                                                                              • [*]
                                                                                              • [*]
                                                                                              • [*]
                                                                                              • [*]
                                                                                              • [*]
                                                                                              • [*]
                                                                                              • [*]
                                                                                              • [*]
                                                                                              weak battery

                                                                                                Last edited by RIWWP; 02-13-2014 at 01:29 PM.
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                                                                                                Old 11-13-2013, 10:28 PM
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                                                                                                Post saved for future splitting needs.
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                                                                                                Old 02-20-2014, 07:29 AM
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                                                                                                Troubleshooting posts deleted:

                                                                                                Originally Posted by RIWWP View Post
                                                                                                • Please do not post your own troubleshooting questions in this thread. Please create a new thread. I don't want future members having to wade through dozens or hundreds of pages trying to get their information.
                                                                                                • Please only reply if you have symptoms to add to a cause, or a cause to add to a symptom.
                                                                                                • Please use links or specific examples to support why the cause and symptom should be linked.
                                                                                                Create a new thread here for help: New Member Forum - RX8Club.com
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                                                                                                Old 08-30-2015, 10:46 AM
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                                                                                                RX-8 Symptoms and Causes

                                                                                                Why not add fan failure to "temperature gauge goes right off center"? I don't see anything related to fan failure here, and it's a major cause when it comes to overheating.
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                                                                                                Old 12-21-2015, 10:49 PM
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                                                                                                Speaking of which, I have made a legitimate suggestion to this thread. Why hasn't anyone got back to me? "Fan failure" should definitely be under "temperature gauge goes right off center" It's a major cause when it comes to overheating and a lot of people ignore it. Both fans can completely stop. One fan can stop. Fans can be spinning slowly. Plenty of reasons for overheating with faulty fans.

                                                                                                Last edited by Nisaja; 12-22-2015 at 08:39 AM.
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                                                                                                Old 12-22-2015, 08:29 AM
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                                                                                                Originally Posted by Nisaja View Post
                                                                                                Speaking of which, I have made a legitimate suggestion to this thread. Why haven't anyone got back to me?
                                                                                                It's a good suggestion, I'm leaving the posts up because they are good to add. But I've got a lot going on in my life right now, so sinking lots of time into updating information threads isn't high on my priority list. I just happened to check new posts this morning, or I probably wouldn't even have noticed this question.

                                                                                                Don't worry, it will get added when I get the time. Until then, people reading this thread will still have your comments to aid them
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                                                                                                Old 12-22-2015, 08:42 AM
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                                                                                                Originally Posted by RIWWP
                                                                                                It's a good suggestion, I'm leaving the posts up because they are good to add. But I've got a lot going on in my life right now, so sinking lots of time into updating information threads isn't high on my priority list. I just happened to check new posts this morning, or I probably wouldn't even have noticed this question.

                                                                                                Don't worry, it will get added when I get the time. Until then, people reading this thread will still have your comments to aid them
                                                                                                My bad RIWWP. I had no idea. That's cool, you can take your time I just wanted it to be acknowledged. Apologies if I sounded rude.
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                                                                                                Old 11-28-2016, 02:17 AM
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                                                                                                Idling low then stalling out

                                                                                                I'm new to the rx8.
                                                                                                I just bought a manual 2004 rx8. When I bought the car the check engine Light was on. I got it read and the codes came up telling me I needed a new coil. Also it had a bad battery. So the battery was replaced. So was the spark plugs, spark plug wires and the coils.
                                                                                                After we got it all replaced we started the car. Happy to say it started. But the problem starts here. When it idles it's idling at like 700rpm and unless I'm giving it gas to be over 1500rpm it stalls out. Then it won't start back up until the engine cools.
                                                                                                Please help. What could be the problem. I'm don't have money to take it to the dealer to get it diagnosed.

                                                                                                And like I said I just got the car and who knows if the owner before me actually took care and kept up with taking care of the car.

                                                                                                Last edited by Meghan8319; 11-28-2016 at 02:19 AM.
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                                                                                                Old 11-28-2016, 04:38 AM
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                                                                                                Originally Posted by Meghan8319 View Post
                                                                                                I'm new to the rx8.
                                                                                                I just bought a manual 2004 rx8. When I bought the car the check engine Light was on. I got it read and the codes came up telling me I needed a new coil. Also it had a bad battery. So the battery was replaced. So was the spark plugs, spark plug wires and the coils.
                                                                                                After we got it all replaced we started the car. Happy to say it started. But the problem starts here. When it idles it's idling at like 700rpm and unless I'm giving it gas to be over 1500rpm it stalls out. Then it won't start back up until the engine cools.
                                                                                                Please help. What could be the problem. I'm don't have money to take it to the dealer to get it diagnosed.

                                                                                                And like I said I just got the car and who knows if the owner before me actually took care and kept up with taking care of the car.
                                                                                                Check the air filter. When my rx8 wouldnt stay idle, I removed the air filter and realized it was soaked with antifreeze or something.
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                                                                                                Old 11-28-2016, 04:50 AM
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                                                                                                Ok I'll look into that and I will keep you posted. Thank you.
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                                                                                                Old 11-28-2016, 07:37 AM
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                                                                                                As far as coils go, not all coils are equal, which ones did you install?
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                                                                                                Old 11-28-2016, 07:47 AM
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                                                                                                Originally Posted by Meghan8319 View Post
                                                                                                I'm new to the rx8.
                                                                                                I just bought a manual 2004 rx8. When I bought the car the check engine Light was on. I got it read and the codes came up telling me I needed a new coil. Also it had a bad battery. So the battery was replaced. So was the spark plugs, spark plug wires and the coils.
                                                                                                After we got it all replaced we started the car. Happy to say it started. But the problem starts here. When it idles it's idling at like 700rpm and unless I'm giving it gas to be over 1500rpm it stalls out. Then it won't start back up until the engine cools.
                                                                                                Please help. What could be the problem. I'm don't have money to take it to the dealer to get it diagnosed.

                                                                                                And like I said I just got the car and who knows if the owner before me actually took care and kept up with taking care of the car.
                                                                                                The case breather dumps into the air cleaner in the 2004, so your filter may well be soaked in engine oil. Definitely check the filter. After that, very carefully (it's fragile and pricey) check the MAF sensor, to make sure it's not filmed in oil. If it is, there are electronics cleaners that can safely clean it.
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                                                                                                Old 11-28-2016, 02:02 PM
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                                                                                                Smile New owner question

                                                                                                Hey guys, i realised my rx8 is lower in the front then in the back... it scrapes sometimes. How can i know if i have ajustable suspension or if it comes stock like that. The back end is higher then the front. How can i know if i can ajust my suspension?
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                                                                                                Old 11-28-2016, 02:08 PM
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                                                                                                Hellooo.
                                                                                                This is not supposed to be a troubleshooting thread.

                                                                                                Please post your issues in the S1 or S2 Troubleshooting forums.
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                                                                                                Old 11-28-2016, 02:38 PM
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                                                                                                Originally Posted by Mygirldrivesstick View Post
                                                                                                Check the air filter. When my rx8 wouldnt stay idle, I removed the air filter and realized it was soaked with antifreeze or something.


                                                                                                Checked the air filter. It has oil on it. We are going the check the MAF next. Thank you. Hopefully this brings us to the problem.
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                                                                                                Old 11-28-2016, 03:03 PM
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                                                                                                Originally Posted by rx8fromhell View Post
                                                                                                Hey guys, i realised my rx8 is lower in the front then in the back... it scrapes sometimes. How can i know if i have ajustable suspension or if it comes stock like that. The back end is higher then the front. How can i know if i can ajust my suspension?
                                                                                                8's don't come as standard with adjustable shocks/suspension.
                                                                                                As I guess yours is purchased recently used see if there are coil-overs with an adjustable nut/spacer on shock body to compress spring/adjust ride height..

                                                                                                Or who knows?, perhaps you have difference rim size on wheels, front to rear.?
                                                                                                Even different shocks front to rear?

                                                                                                As for your overheating question, all the standards to any car applies.
                                                                                                1. Radiator, is it's core blocked, or coolant dirty.
                                                                                                2. Is thermostat working.
                                                                                                3. Coolant leak, low in coolant?
                                                                                                4. Engine.
                                                                                                5. Next time tell us how many miles car has done....more info.
                                                                                                5. Search.,,forum...read forum.

                                                                                                Oh yeah, don't post same question multiple times!
                                                                                                ASH8 is offline  
                                                                                                Old 11-29-2016, 10:35 PM
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                                                                                                Originally Posted by Meghan8319 View Post
                                                                                                Checked the air filter. It has oil on it. We are going the check the MAF next. Thank you. Hopefully this brings us to the problem.
                                                                                                btw the battery wasn't dead. It probably just had a bad connection. In the future, a tiny screw will do the job.
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                                                                                                Old 12-04-2016, 10:07 AM
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                                                                                                Suggestion;

                                                                                                Addition to temp gauge right of center when stopped or slow, foam missing or failed around radiator.

                                                                                                Awesome idea BTW
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                                                                                                Old 12-05-2016, 02:14 PM
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                                                                                                While I'm driving it chugs at 4 k rpm then fine until I get to 7k rpm and won't go farther than that . I check my oil / add oil according and plugs, just changed my ignition coils about 5 k miles ago. ...I'm thinking it's my apex seals and or compression loss . .....""""Anyone have a answer to better help my situation"""....
                                                                                                I've got a 2004 manual, bought 4 years ago with 64,000 miles I now have 101,000 miles and no major mods
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                                                                                                Old 12-05-2016, 02:34 PM
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                                                                                                Chugs are mostly caused by bad ignition system, plugs, plug wires and coils. Only mostly it happens at lower rpm ranges (2k, 3k), maybe you have multiple not working?
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                                                                                                Old 12-06-2016, 04:30 PM
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                                                                                                @ Dillon,

                                                                                                Any codes? Those numbers line up with SSF and APV opening points... SSV will throw a CEL, APV you have to dig for.
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                                                                                                Old 12-13-2016, 10:50 AM
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                                                                                                I got a P0171 and they told me I need a new fuel pump so fingers crossed that solves it.
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                                                                                                Old 12-13-2016, 12:41 PM
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                                                                                                Originally Posted by 7h0m45 View Post
                                                                                                I got a P0171 and they told me I need a new fuel pump so fingers crossed that solves it.
                                                                                                That's usually a vacuum leak.
                                                                                                I replaced 2 bad fuel pumps and never had a code.
                                                                                                IIrc, could be bad gas cap also.
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