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My '08 WRX 5 Door is almost six months old now and I'm trying to figure out if it handles as bad as it seems to or if I've just lost my touch. "Handle" may not be exactly the right term, but it wanders all over the road, following every little depression and pavement divider. It frequently doesn't quite turn in the direction I point it - often if I don't pay attention I wind up a lane over after making a turn at an intersection from a standstill or at low speed. And the other day I hit a pretty good bump that I didn't see and suddenly found myself almost in the next lane. All of this comes with what I would characterize as cowl shake if it was a convertible - it just feels like the whole car is a pile of loosely-fitted parts riding along under me, although nothing rattles.

I suspect it's mostly the tires - the Bridgestone RA92As that came on it - and maybe a little bit the softening up of the suspension that Subaru did to appeal to the masses. Other people on other forums I have read have raved about the handling compared to the earlier models - I have just the opposite view. For whatever shortcomings it might have had, I felt like I could throw that wagon all over the place and make it out unscathed. I'm not that confident - at least not yet - with this one. Is anyone else having anything like this with the '08 model?

Mike
 

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I thought Cali had bad roads... Are your tires wearing normal? The 08's do seem to have a ton of body roll but I haven't really experience that type of behavior.
 

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Maybe you need to get the BSWS checked? Sounds like it's got some problems.
 

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For the less firm suspension it handles better than any of my past ride eg. Trans Am, SHO, RS, and GLI. I have way more confidence in the suspension with this car.

Seth
 

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i was just throwing it around earlier after all the tornado warnings were lifted down here in fl... felt fine to me goin down soaked bumpy dirt roads ;D
 

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The suspension seems quite compliant compared to the older models and therefore does not throw you off track as would be the case with a harder setup. I have owned quite a few performance cars in the past and all this model needed was larger sway bars (although I have changed other things for different reasons). I also have a feeling that the Australian version comes with a harder setup suspension as standard compared to what would be the norm in the USA/Canada.
 

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I've noticed that my '08 is more sensitive to pavement irregularites and truck tire depressions in the pavement than my previous car (an SUV). I don't think that means the car sucks; I think that's just how it is, and I adapt.

I don't have a lot of rattles in my car unless it's under 15F or so.

I dislike that it's easy to accidentally grab 3rd when you want 5th. Maybe a shifter kit will help that.

I dislike that the A/C comes on when you set the dial to defrost/defog. I just want to point hot air at the glass, and not suffer the mpg drain from the A/C compressor.
 

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When you are defrosting the a/c compressor doesn't come on I think it is only the condenser that operates to take some of the moisture out of the air. If you don't like the a/c light coming on take the climate control off of auto. If you use manual the a/c light will not come on.

Seth
 

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The condensor is just part of the A/C plumbing. It cannot "come on" by itself. Without a running compressor, there is no functioning A/C.

I will try turning off the auto A/C (if I have it on) and see if that has any effect. I have felt, and I know that I get cold air when I set to defrost/defog.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think the temp control system just takes some getting used to, especially if you've always used a manual one before. It is possible to "fool" it though and make it do what you want it to do - you just have to be a little creative.

Thanks to all for your comments on my original post. I am hoping that it's a tire problem that I can solve by either playing with inflation pressures or just replacing them. I didn't like the OEM tires on my other WRXs either, but they weren't nearly this bad.

Mike
 

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I dislike that the A/C comes on when you set the dial to defrost/defog. I just want to point hot air at the glass, and not suffer the mpg drain from the A/C compressor.
Sorry I dont want to steal your thread strolyt. You are right chrispy, I did a little research and the compressor does come on to help defrog the window. But if it is below a certain ambient temp you will get the light that your a/c is running but the compressor clutch won't engage. The exact temp I am not sure. But if you take your climate control out of auto mode it won't come on. I haven't had mine in auto at all this winter and the a/c hasn't come on. I did go out and try it today and when in auto no matter what temp I had it on the a/c light would come on and off at random times.

Seth
 

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The WRX has never had lazy steering. My brother's 05 had much more sensitive steering; if there was a bump or groove on the road, thats where the tires went. I imagine most cars on the road are not like that ,have lazy steering and lack steering wheel feel.
 

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Hey guys. Previously i drove a GDB and this new GH is a revelation. The stock configuration is not good, well most performance machines nvr perform when stock. For the new model, the rims and tires are the wrong size. For 17inch, get at least a 17x8JJ off 43 or for 18's 18x8. Then get a set of performance tyres 225/45/17. The other thing is the springs, too soft. Get a set of stiffer springs or go onto coilovers.
 

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Hey guys. Previously i drove a GDB and this new GH is a revelation. The stock configuration is not good, well most performance machines nvr perform when stock. For the new model, the rims and tires are the wrong size. For 17inch, get at least a 17x8JJ off 43 or for 18's 18x8. Then get a set of performance tyres 225/45/17. The other thing is the springs, too soft. Get a set of stiffer springs or go onto coilovers.
i have too agree... the ra92a's suck. the springs are soft but managable. if you want it to handle better then i have to suggest upgrading the stock sways and endlinks. it has been my experience that the VDC does promote understeer on slippery surfaces as well.
 

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It sounds to me like your alignment really sucks. or perhaps something is loose underneath that's causing the car to wander (such as the rear bushes on the front control arms). Take it to the dealer.. it should drive well, that's what you paid for.
 

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I've had no problems with the handling aside from the springs are kind of soft. try getting an alignment with negative camber -- the cars are usually way off from the factory and I doubt the dealer does an alignment before putting them on the lot.
 

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My '08 WRX 5 Door is almost six months old now and I'm trying to figure out if it handles as bad as it seems to or if I've just lost my touch. "Handle" may not be exactly the right term, but it wanders all over the road, following every little depression and pavement divider. It frequently doesn't quite turn in the direction I point it - often if I don't pay attention I wind up a lane over after making a turn at an intersection from a standstill or at low speed. And the other day I hit a pretty good bump that I didn't see and suddenly found myself almost in the next lane. All of this comes with what I would characterize as cowl shake if it was a convertible - it just feels like the whole car is a pile of loosely-fitted parts riding along under me, although nothing rattles.

I suspect it's mostly the tires - the Bridgestone RA92As that came on it - and maybe a little bit the softening up of the suspension that Subaru did to appeal to the masses. Other people on other forums I have read have raved about the handling compared to the earlier models - I have just the opposite view. For whatever shortcomings it might have had, I felt like I could throw that wagon all over the place and make it out unscathed. I'm not that confident - at least not yet - with this one. Is anyone else having anything like this with the '08 model?

Mike


Just to clarify, the tires are RE92A's....... ;D
 

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Either your alignment is totally messed up or your tire pressure is way off. I don't see how a correctly setup WRX acts like you're saying.
 
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