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Engine, Exhaust, Transmission Discuss the FR-S | 86 | BRZ engine, exhaust and drivetrain.


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Old 10-29-2019, 09:17 PM   #1
BRZinPA
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Are there any significant engine issues which a prospective buyer should be aware?

I didn't see any references here to problems with the Direct Injection technology as implemented in the BRZ, but in light of Honda's oil dilution issue (blamed on the DI tech, which causes an overwhelming fuel odor in the vehicle) with its 1.5L turbo engine (found in the CR-V and some Civic models, like the Si), I wondered if anyone here has ever encountered any similar problems. My initial thought is "no", that Subaru either never had them or just resolved them quickly.



Also, for those of you who drive your BRZ through winter conditions of the rust belt, do you take any additional measures to warm up the engine before putting it in gear and going (i.e. engine block heater)? Unfortunately, it will sit outdoors and be exposed to the elements.



I'd appreciate any other engine-related advice concerning below-freezing conditions.


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Old 10-29-2019, 09:28 PM   #2
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it's a modern car. no special concerns in any typical conditions.
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Old 10-29-2019, 10:06 PM   #3
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The only issue is the '13-'14(some) recall over the valve springs.
The problem is when Toyota works on a Subaru engine.
But besides that maybe a few issues with high pressure fuel pump aka crickets and one or two coil packs going wonky.

That being said, don't get a 86. Save your money and buy a better car. Any V6 or turbo 4 banger is better than the 86. Unless you are a ricer and solely get this car to put a rocket bunny kit and stanced wheels. And flood instagram with parking lot shots. But that's my opinion.
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Old 10-29-2019, 10:45 PM   #4
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Nothing wrong with the 86 as long as you know what it is (as well as what it isn't) going into it. It's like owning a slightly more practical Miata. The solid roof and fold-flat rear seats make it easier to live with on a daily basis. The fuel economy is around 27 mpg in mixed driving, at least for me. If you leave it stock you'll likely never have any problems with reliability or longevity, but certain things may start to bother you more over time. The road noise may get on your nerves eventually. The lack of torque from the engine may start to bother you. The stiff suspension may get on your nerves. I think "crashy" was the best description I've heard of the suspension. That SavageGeese reviewer has likened it to a "bouncy house" more than a few times. In my opinion the FA20 just doesn't sound great and I don't believe it sounds any better by making it noisier. Just my .02c.
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Old 10-29-2019, 11:00 PM   #5
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Yes, just got done reading the 90+ page "Engine Failure After J02 Recall" thread and the "The Drive" article about the valve spring issue. Even before seeing those items, I agree with your advice to go BRZ over 86.


I test-drove both and although the 86 was considerably less expensive (Toyota had a $3500 rebate at one point in Aug-Sep which combined with the dealer's discount dropped the selling price just below $23.5k), I still preferred the BRZ. One of the key factors being that it's a Subie Boxer engine so service techs familiar with that configuration should be more competent than those without equivalent training and experience.



And I did see some mention on the forum about the cricket chirping, but I believe that also affected some earlier model years....?


Not a ricer or Instagramer - lol! Just a middle-aged guy who prefers non-turbo engines, balanced handling, and a pure driving experience (you know, the kind that doesn't need an "infotainment system/screen" on the dashboard). Like my NB MX-5 (which I'll soon have to put away for the winter, hence my desire to get a coupe).
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Old 10-29-2019, 11:23 PM   #6
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@BRZinPA the cricket chirping is normal and comes and goes with gas quality. It's only noticeable / annoying if you're in a drive thru and can hear it echoing against the wall. Really fuel injection noise is normal on new cars, I can hear other cars more than mine when I'm in traffic; like newer Hondas and Toyotas make louder valvetrain noise than these.

I think these cars run with few problems for most owners. I did the valvespring recall at the Subaru dealership last spring and my car is running well, 9000 miles later. I had issues with clutch throw out bearings burning up, but a revised part has remedied shifting issues. My car is at 115,000 miles. I've heard that some A/T owners can have some issues with their units. And the wheel studs were kinda weak, good to upgrade them or at least always keep some spares on hand when removing wheels.

As for warming up in cold, I think it's prudent to have a warm up procedure. If you can manage an engine block heater, go for it. On cold days, these cars will start up really loudly and warm up the catalytic converters for a long time. I like to start up, let the cats warm up, then I take a trip around the neighborhood, shifting through all the normal gears and getting the morning rust off the brakes, just getting some heat into everything before entering traffic.
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Old 10-29-2019, 11:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRZinPA View Post
Yes, just got done reading the 90+ page "Engine Failure After J02 Recall" thread and the "The Drive" article about the valve spring issue. Even before seeing those items, I agree with your advice to go BRZ over 86.


I test-drove both and although the 86 was considerably less expensive (Toyota had a $3500 rebate at one point in Aug-Sep which combined with the dealer's discount dropped the selling price just below $23.5k), I still preferred the BRZ. One of the key factors being that it's a Subie Boxer engine so service techs familiar with that configuration should be more competent than those without equivalent training and experience.



And I did see some mention on the forum about the cricket chirping, but I believe that also affected some earlier model years....?


Not a ricer or Instagramer - lol! Just a middle-aged guy who prefers non-turbo engines, balanced handling, and a pure driving experience (you know, the kind that doesn't need an "infotainment system/screen" on the dashboard). Like my NB MX-5 (which I'll soon have to put away for the winter, hence my desire to get a coupe).
The 86 is a BRZ is a 86

Apart from badging and some cosmetics.

How much more are you prepared to pay for some cosmetics?

As for servicing, you need to find a independent local mechanic who you can trust.

There is nothing special with the twins compared to any other car.

Competent and service center employee don't really belong together.
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Old 10-29-2019, 11:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRZinPA View Post
Not a ricer or Instagramer - lol! Just a middle-aged guy who prefers non-turbo engines, balanced handling, and a pure driving experience (you know, the kind that doesn't need an "infotainment system/screen" on the dashboard). Like my NB MX-5 (which I'll soon have to put away for the winter, hence my desire to get a coupe).
Then take it from this guy who bought this as a weekender / track car in my 30s, either the BRZ or 86 is just fine. I agree with @86MLR here. Main thing is to start doing your own maintenance, learn as much as you can about the platform, so that you can tell who is competent and who is not. Then find someone local to take care of things if that's what you'd prefer. Don't just go to the dealership and expect things to be fine. Honestly, that's true for any car. Dealership techs run the gamut, but more of them tend to be morons than good mechanics in my experience.

Doing it yourself pays dividends both in cost (labor is usually more expensive than parts) and in terms of knowing whats up with your car and catching things before they can become problems. Also, it keeps somebody from pulling a fast one on you. There's a lot of shitbags in the world who own shops and like to play hide the weenie. Don't get taken in, do your own basic maintenance and learn enough to talk the talk.
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Old 10-30-2019, 01:25 AM   #9
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. Just a middle-aged guy who prefers non-turbo engines, balanced handling, and a pure driving experience (you know, the kind that doesn't need an "infotainment system/screen" on the dashboard). Like my NB MX-5 (which I'll soon have to put away for the winter, hence my desire to get a coupe).
Hi ya, BRZinPA, welcome to our friendly group -

From what you have said, I think you will "fit" in an 86 or BRZ just fine.

I went from a NC Miata to a FR-S about 5 years ago. mrs humfrz tired of getting windblown (no, I didn't have sense enough to put the top up - )

So, I figured a coupe would suit our needs/desires. My 2013 FR-S has been a trouble free car.


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Old 10-30-2019, 11:34 AM   #10
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The DI tech seems to be performing just fine. No fumes in the cabin.
If I were doing it again, then BRZ. The scooby dealer techs will have boxer engine experience that toyota techs normally won't.

I was waiting over 20 years for an affordable RWD coupe til the twins appeared.

It's a better version of the Alfa GTV2000 I had for 7 years back in the 80's.
It had mechanical fuel injection that never broke while I owned it, but the points had to be adjusted every other week.

I've been happy with the FR-S over 6 years with no faults. Also, it hasn't rusted like the Alfa did.
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Old 10-30-2019, 01:09 PM   #11
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And I did see some mention on the forum about the cricket chirping, but I believe that also affected some earlier model years....?


Not a ricer or Instagramer - lol! Just a middle-aged guy who prefers non-turbo engines, balanced handling, and a pure driving experience (you know, the kind that doesn't need an "infotainment system/screen" on the dashboard). Like my NB MX-5 (which I'll soon have to put away for the winter, hence my desire to get a coupe).
Crickets are just an annoying noise, only a problem if you're picky about the noises your car makes.

Direct Injection Turbo Honda problems, certainly worrying, that engine is Honda's first real try at a turbo and I don't believe they had a ton of experience with Direct Injection before, brief Googling says <10 years on the road for Honda's first DI systems. Toyota's first direct injection system was in production in 1997 iirc and they were heavily using D4-S in their Lexus lineup about 10 years ago in the late '00s. I'm expecting some more engine oil burning, Subarus and flat engines in general are known for burning oil as they age, but at 85k miles I burn less than half a quart over a 7,500 miles oil change interval so I'm pretty optimistic that won't get too much worse as the engine nears the end of it's lifespan.

If it weren't for the turbo Honda problems I'd say an Si would be a much better compliment to your NB, the 86 is just a touch too similar for me, but different strokes for different folks. VW GTI would also be a contender imho, and there's tons of hype around Hyundai's new 'N' line, the Veloster N sits nicely between an Si and a Type R in a lot of ways.

I don't have any regrets about buying the Toyota, I never took it back to the dealership for the duration of it's powertrain warranty, I'll be scheduling the recall at a shop that's gotten a lot of positive reviews for the recall fix.
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Old 10-30-2019, 03:58 PM   #12
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The only real issue is the valve springs in early cars, and internet forums make the failures look far more common than they are. Subaru dealers and Toyota dealers are the same. It depends on the dealer. Get what's cheaper and has the options you like.
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Old 10-30-2019, 05:37 PM   #13
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personally I don't think it is worth paying extra for a new BRZ if you're mainly concerned about a Toyota dealer's ability to maintain/repair your car.. my local Toyota dealer properly resealed my timing cover after it started seeping and replaced my throwout bearing as well.
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Old 10-31-2019, 08:59 AM   #14
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The only real issue is the valve springs in early cars, and internet forums make the failures look far more common than they are. Subaru dealers and Toyota dealers are the same. It depends on the dealer. Get what's cheaper and has the options you like.
Just to clarify, the only real issue is the dealers messing up cars while performing the valve spring recall very very few actual valve spring failures on our cars. I for one am not even having it done.

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