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I have been searching the different forums to learn about the scenario that I may be facing. I figured I'd also start this post to see what additional recommendations people may have. I have read up on the ring land issue so I am aware and accept that I could be facing this scenario unfortunately.

I have a 2011 WRX. I have kept up with all the services for the car (all major / minor service intervals, synth oil changes every 3,500 miles). The car was tuned in 2014 by Brentuning. It was part of a promotion package at that time. This included install of EBCS, Cobb SF intake / airbox, downpipe and access port. I also installed Grimspeed Intercooler. The car was dynotuned by Bren. It was fantastic experience and I highly recommend their services.

The car has been running great until just recently. At 117K miles, it threw a CEL. The access port shows a P0304 error code (misfire cylinder #4). I took it to the dealer for insight. The performed compression / leakdown tests. They noted cylinder #2 was at 130 psi while the others are at 150 psi. I am not sure if they did the test while the motor was cold (or not). They gave me the worst case estimate / recommendation of replacing the shortblock and machine the heads if needed. They noted they would have better insights once they get into the motor (which makes sense).

I have gone through possible options to move forward. Here are the 3 options that I am thinking about...

1) Accept the recommendation and have the repair performed. They provide a 1 year warranty on the repair work. I've had pretty good experiences with them over the life of the car. Pros: I know my car and its history. Tax assessment remains lowers. No monthly car payments. Cons: Money used for repair ($7K) could be used as down payment for a new WRX. The car may not be the same after repair if its not done correctly.

2) Consider trade in and go with a 2021 WRX. The newer model does have some nice features and an improved interior over the 2011. I am aware that the direct injection motor will require occasional walnut blasting to keep things nice and clean. I haven't been able to drive the 2L WRX yet. I am not sure how I will like the driving experience of going back to a stock 2L versus my current setup in the 2.5L.. Pros: In theory the newer car should be more reliable, at least for the first few years of ownership. 2021 has some nice interior improvements over the 2011. Cons: Motor will be stock / stock tune for a bit. The car buying market is a bit crazy at the moment. Financing rates at pretty good however its still additional expense compared to repair. I can afford it with my budget but its still additional money spent (registration, insurance rate increase, tax assessment) and a opportunity lost to earn additional interest via money market and/or my investment portfolio.

3) Contact Brentuning to get a second opinion and see what options they may be able to provide. I had great experiences working with Brentuning in the past. Pros. I trust their knowledge and experience. Good past first hand experience with Bren. Cons: Similar to option number 1 however I'd trust Bren more over the dealer.

I keep wondering if I should put money into the 10 year old car or move on. I enjoy driving it a lot but I am wondering what else could require repair given its age. I expect typical mechanical things could pop up like clutch, transmission, turbo. I am a respectful driver (no clutch dumping or lugging motor) but it is 10 years old with 117K miles.

I'd be interesting in hearing from the community with perspectives on what they would do. I am pretty well mechanically inclined as I built a factory five cobra replication from start to finish. Unfortunately I am pretty busy so getting hands on with the WRX is not really something I am interested in right now.

Pardon the lengthy post.

-Jared
 
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