Driving Subaru for Life: How Long Does Subaru Engine Last?

Subaru is a name synonymous with reliability, with generations of car enthusiasts drawn to the brand for its iconic all-wheel drive system and durable engines. But just how long can you expect a Subaru engine to last? And what factors impact its lifespan?

Subaru Engine Longevity

The average lifespan of a Subaru engine depends on several factors, including how well it’s maintained, driving conditions, and driving techniques. With proper care, a Subaru engine can last well over 200,000 miles, and in some cases, even over 300,000 miles.

Subaru engines are known for their durability, with some recorded to have traveled over 500,000 miles. However, this level of longevity requires meticulous maintenance and responsible driving to achieve.

Factors that Impact Lifespan

The longevity of a Subaru engine depends on several internal and external factors. Regular maintenance is essential to maintain engine health and performance, such as replacing coolant, oil changes, and replacing vital components such as air filters, spark plugs, and timing belts.

Driving habits can also impact a Subaru engine’s lifespan. Aggressive driving can put additional strain on the engine, leading to premature wear and tear. Extreme weather conditions, including hot summers and cold winters, can also take a toll on the engine, leading to overheating and other issues.

Reliable Subaru Engine Models

Subaru’s horizontally-opposed Boxer engine design is renowned for its durability and efficiency. The engine has been in production since 1966 and has evolved to provide higher power output, reduce friction and improve fuel economy. Some of Subaru’s engine models known for their resilience include:

  • EJ20 and EJ25 – These engines were produced from 1989 to 2019 in various Subaru models, including the Impreza, Legacy, and Forester. They’re known for their high-performance and durability, with some recorded to have traveled over 300,000 miles with proper maintenance.
  • FA20 – This engine debuted in 2012 in the Subaru BRZ and is now used in multiple models, including the Impreza, XV Crosstrek, and Legacy. It boasts an aluminum engine block and cylinder heads for improved efficiency, and some have achieved over 200,000 miles with proper care.
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Common Subaru Engine Faults

While Subaru engines are known for their reliability, some common faults may need to be addressed to extend their longevity. These include:

  • Head Gasket Failure – Subaru’s Boxer engine design places additional stress on the head gasket, making it susceptible to failure. Regular maintenance, including replacing coolant and oil, can help prevent this issue.
  • Piston Ring Failure – This can cause engine leaks, environmental pollution, and reduced engine power. Proper maintenance, including using the recommended oil type and preventing engine overheating, can prevent this failure.

Maintaining Your Subaru Engine

Proper maintenance is the key to maximizing your Subaru engine’s lifespan. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Stick to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule
  • Use high-quality engine oil and replace it regularly
  • Replace spark plugs, air filters, and timing belts as recommended
  • Check coolant levels regularly and replace as needed
  • Avoid aggressive driving and high speeds
  • Keep the engine cool, particularly during hot weather


Subaru engines are built to last, with many models proving to be exceptionally durable and reliable. However, the longevity of your Subaru engine depends on how well it’s maintained and driven, as well as external factors such as driving conditions. Regular maintenance, responsible driving, and promptly addressing any engine faults are essential to maximize your Subaru engine’s lifespan.

So, if you’re in the market for a new car, take comfort in knowing that Subaru cars and engines are built to withstand the test of time.

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Davis Bellew

As a Subaru owner and enthusiast, Davis has a deep understanding of the needs and concerns of Subaru drivers. He specializes in writing informative and engaging content about Subaru maintenance and repair, and his articles are always well-researched and easy to understand. When he's not writing, he enjoys hiking and photography.

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