SUBARU FLEX FUEL ETHANOL SENSOR KIT – WRX 2015-2017
A complete plug and play solution enabling users to convert their supported Subaru WRX to a Flex Fuel configuration without losing factory compensations. This is the easiest to use and most sophisticated Flex Fuel kit on the market. Utilizing OEM fuel and electronic connectors, the Ethanol Sensor Kit measures the ethanol content of fuel being fed to the motor. That data is then converted into a signal that the ECU can use for adjusting calibrations and to be displayed on a custom Accessport monitor.
Fuel System Considerations
As with other DIT platforms i.e. VW, BMW, Mazda, the fuel pumps in Subaru DIT vehicles are not designed for ethanol use beyond 10-15%. That said, ethanol levels between 15-30% are generally well tolerated. Those comfortable with mild risk can run ~E30 and enjoy improved knock resistance, charge air cooling, and a mild improvement in engine power potential. While you can’t get E30 at the pump, pumping a combination of E0/E10 gas and E85 in an appropriate ratio will allow blending of a near E30 mixture in your tank.
On DIT platforms not set up for flex fuel from the factory, at greater than 30% concentration, ethanol has caused oscillating fuel pressure first, progressing to loss of fuel pressure, high pressure fuel pump damage, even making the vehicle inoperable in some cases. Sudden loss of fuel pressure can cause sudden loss of acceleration, stalling, which can reduce braking performance and steering control. Long story short, while the power potential is very attractive, use of high ethanol content fuel is at your own risk.
COBB has performed internal testing in multiple geographic locations with different fuel sources in addition to compiling data from COBB retail shops, our Protuner network, and customers. Results varied significantly. Some users ran several tanks of E85 in a row without issue while some experienced serious loss of fuel pressure in as little as 1-2 tanks of fuel.
We suggest monitoring fuel pressure for oscillations. After having fuel pressure issues, some users were able to flush the HPFP (high pressure fuel pump) out with low ethanol gasoline and get it to operate normally again, while others had to replace the whole pump assembly before they could safely drive the car again. After replacing the pump some users experienced repeat failures if they continued to run E85 fuel.