Avoiding Engine Troubles: A Guide to Choosing the Most Reliable Subaru Engines

Subaru has made a name for itself as a reliable and safe vehicle manufacturer. However, not all Subaru engines are created equal. Some have had known problems, and could give owners unnecessary trouble and financial burden in the long run. In this article, we will help you make an informed decision by discussing which Subaru engines to avoid.

The Different Subaru Engine Options

Subaru offers a variety of engine options depending on the model you choose. The most common series are:

  • EJ series – This engine was introduced in the 1980s and was used in all of Subaru’s most iconic models, such as the WRX and STI. It is a well-known engine for its performance and durability. However, as technology and regulations changed, this engine was phased out. The EJ25 engine, for example, was discontinued in 2019 due to new environmental standards.

  • FA series – This engine is a newer design used in Subaru’s more current models such as the Impreza, Forester, and Crosstrek. It offers improved fuel efficiency, quieter operation, and lower emissions. This engine has a smaller displacement than the EJ series, but still provides enough power and torque.

  • FB series – Similar to the FA series, the FB series is an improvement over the EJ series. It offers better efficiency, smoother operation, and reduced emissions. This engine is being used in current models such as the Legacy, Outback, and Forester.

  • EZ series – This engine is used mainly in Subaru’s six-cylinder models such as the Tribeca and Legacy. It was phased out in 2014 but can still be found in used and older models.

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Which Subaru Engines to Avoid

While Subaru engines are generally known for their reliability, there are certain models to avoid due to known issues. These include:

  • 1.5L DIT turbocharged engine: Found in the 2014-2018 Forester and 2015-2019 WRX and Legacy/Outback models, this engine can have problems with excessive oil consumption, causing engine failure and stalling. Some of these models have received a recall for the issue, but it’s worth checking the service history of any model you’re considering purchasing.

  • 2.5L turbocharged engine: Found in the 2004-2013 Impreza WRX/STI and 2005-2009 Legacy GT models, this engine is known for issues with the turbocharger, causing it to fail and provide poor performance. It’s also been known to suffer from head gasket problems, leading to expensive repairs.

  • 3.0L six-cylinder engine: Found in the 2008-2014 Legacy, Outback, and Tribeca models, this engine is known for having issues with the power steering pump. The pump can fail, causing a loss of power steering, which can be dangerous while driving.

Reliability and Lifespan of Subaru Engines

Overall, Subaru engines are known for their durability and longevity. Proper maintenance and regular servicing will ensure that your engine stays in good condition for years to come. The FA and FB series engines are relatively new and considered more reliable than the older EJ series, which were more prone to head gasket issues.


Q: Are all Subaru engines reliable?

A: Most Subaru engines are reliable, but as with any vehicle, regular maintenance and servicing is necessary to keep your engine running properly.

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Q: Which Subaru engine is the most reliable?

A: The newer FA and FB series engines are considered to be the most reliable as they offer better fuel efficiency and lower emissions, while still providing enough power and torque.

Q: Is it expensive to repair a Subaru engine?

A: It can be expensive to repair a Subaru engine, especially if there are issues with the turbocharger or head gaskets. It’s important to factor in potential repair costs when considering purchasing a used Subaru with higher mileage.

In Conclusion

Subaru is a reliable and well-loved brand for a reason. When purchasing a Subaru, it’s important to choose a reliable engine that will keep you on the road and out of the mechanic’s shop. Avoiding the 1.5L DIT turbocharged engine, 2.5L turbocharged engine, and 3.0L six-cylinder engine will help you avoid unnecessary headaches down the road. Choosing a newer FA or FB series engine will provide you with reliability, performance, and peace of mind.

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Billy Covington

With a passion for all things automotive, Billy is our go-to expert on Subaru performance upgrades and modifications. He's been featured in several car magazines and blogs, and his extensive knowledge and expertise make him a valuable member of our team. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys playing guitar and writing music.

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