I guess having some car problems after 4 years is normal…

So I’ve been driving my car around without any big problems for the last four years. Right now I’m at 32,000 miles – bought the car brand new. The first 10k I was running on stage 2 and the last 20ish k I’ve been running at 450whp with the turbo upgrade. The only things I’ve done are regular oil changes (always synthetic), new spark plugs a few times, and… changed my tires at 22k and that’s it. Stock engine, stock clutch, stock brakes/pads.

Four weeks ago I went on a mountain pass with a few people and had a blast. Unfortunately half way through the pass my car started acting up. I floored it like I had been all morning and then my car cut gas around 5k rpm and my check engine light turned on. Someone had a code scanner so we tried to read the code and nothing was coming back. The guy then reset the code (since there was none) and the check engine light turned off. I decided to try giving the car gas one more time to make sure it wasn’t just one isolated random incident and it wasn’t. Same thing happened and my check engine light came up.

About three weeks ago I went to TopSpeed since they’ve done everything to my car and had them take a look. After some analyzing they noticed two issues. 1) There was a crack on a section of my intercooler pipe causing a leak so that needed to be welded shut. 2) My SMC Meth pump was leaking pretty badly so that needed to be replaced/fixed. They fixed my pipe and I drove home.

I called Steve at SMC the next day, told him about my Meth pump and he asked me to send it his way to get it fixed free of charge (great customer service if you ask me – it’s a two year old pump). I took the kit apart and sent it to Steve. I also order an intake cleaning kit from Perrin for my Perrin foam intake since it was completely covered in nastiness and needed to be cleaned.

A week later I received the SMC kit and put it back in my car. I was so excited to drive my car again – it felt like it had been a few months since the last time I drove it. I turn my car on and with a huge smile in my face drive off. I waited for an open road to give the car a quick test and did so. Gas cut off and check engine light :(. The way it happened was a bit different than before, but my car still had issues. I called TopSpeed, set an appointment up for the next week and left my car alone until then.

Dropped off my car the night before my appointment since I couldn’t be there that day – had to be at work. At some point in the day I get a call from Scott at TopSpeed and he lets me know that they found the issue and it was the coil pack (I didn’t know what that was so I had to google it to find out it sends a signal to the spark plug to create the spartk or something like that). They replaced it and tested the car first to make sure before they called me. I gave him the go to charge me for a replacement and the only thing left to do was to tune my car.

I drove to TopSpeed after work to pick up my car. Scott said he’d stay as late as he had to to finish tuning my car (those guys are great! The best customer service you can expect. I can’t recommend TopSpeed enough). When I got there, I sat down at the waiting room with my gf. A few minutes later it happened… On one of the dyno passes, I heard my clutch slip. It was very obvious when it happened and a minute later Scott comes to the room and tells me there’s a problem. Yup, the clutch is slipping at 450wtq. This was both good and bad. Good because he said he still has a couple more psi he can add to the tune. My car was making 435wtq before and now it’s at 450wtq and he’s not even done! Bad because I have to spend more money on a clutch. If I’m getting a clutch I might as well get a lighter flywheel… things start to add up quick. I was hoping four weeks ago my issue was minor and a couple hundred bucks later I’d be driving around again but now I’m four weeks into this and a few thousand bucks later my car is not done yet. And don’t misunderstand, TopSpeed is doing a great job, there were just a few things wrong with my car and they all surfaced at the same time.

Currently my car is running on the tune from that day with a new performance clutch and lighter flywheel. It’s not a final tune but I need to break in the clutch before I go back. I have a tune scheduled for next week when I should have enough miles on the clutch and Scott can finish what he started. I’m very excited to get this tune done. Can’t wait to see the numbers. Right now the car is pulling really hard and I can’t imagine how hard it’ll pull then. I’ll keep you all updated with the results. Moral of the story, you have to pay to play and always have money saved up for rainy days.

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