Overboost and Underboost Subaru common causes:

Overboost and Underboost Subaru common causes:

The common causes for overboost or underboost: This is a basic guide on the possible causes and some solutions to those causes of a overboost or a underboost situation in a turbocharged subaru.

Overboost and Underboost Subaru common causes: This is the layout of the stock turbo subaru boost control system.
Overboost and Underboost Subaru common causes: Turbo Subarus: Common Overboost and Underboost issues with Turbo Subarus.


1.) Decat + High flow induction –  Cure: Reduction of the solenoid duty cycle or alteration of restrictor size will help return boost output to its normal level.

2.) Split, poor fitting, or disconnected pipes – Cure: Replace or refit pipes, the pipes that will cause this issue are between the wastegate actuator, solenoid, and the turbo. Including up to the restrictor on the return pipe of the 3 port solenoid.

3.) Manual Boost Controller – Electronic Boost Controller set too high – Cure: Don’t be so greedy and back the boost duty/adjuster off to a safe level.

4.) Restrictor Pill not fitted / size incorrect – Cure:  Ensure restrictor pill is fitted (3 port) if so on a 3 port reduce the restrictor size and on the 2 port increase the restrictor size to reduce the boost to a safe level.

5.) Clogged 3-port solenoid: It is possible that the flow of air through the 3-port solenoid could be restricted between the turbo outlet port and the wastegate actuator port if the solenoid is very dirty (usually oil vapor from the intake system), this allows the wastegate to remain clamped shut longer than it should be causing a potential overboost situation. Cure: Clean with carb or clutch/brake cleaner.

6.)Loss of solenoid funcation: Although this is not bverboost it shows itself with very simmilar symptoms, its an interesting scenario. It is possible for the solenoid to fail or even stick shut while under boost. This will result in a rapid reduction of boost pressure to wastegate pressure approx 0.5 BAR. So if you were running at full boost 1.0 BAR for example and the solenoid was to fail shut it would feel just like overboost as the wastegate rapidly opens due to the solenoid blocking off the spill from the wastegate. Cure: Either clean the solenoid with carb or clutch+brake cleaner or replace the solenoid.