Subaru’s Major Engine Issue: Why Owners are Worried and What You Can Do About It

Subaru is known for producing reliable and long-lasting cars, but its engines have faced a significant issue that has caused concern among owners. If you own a Subaru or are considering buying one, you may have heard about the problem. In this article, we’ll discuss what exactly the major engine issue is and what steps you can take to deal with it.

The history of Subaru engines and their reputation in the market

Subaru has been a popular brand among car enthusiasts for many years. Their engines were recognized for their durability, reliability, and performance. However, over the years, several issues have emerged with Subaru engines, with one being particularly prominent – the head gasket issue.

What exactly is the major engine issue?

The major engine issue that Subaru owners face is the head gasket failure. This happens when the head gasket, which seals the engine block and cylinder head together, fails due to a coolant leak. When the gasket fails, it allows coolant to mix with engine oil, leading to significant engine damage.

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How widespread is the problem?

According to an investigation by Consumer Reports, Subaru engines have a higher-than-average failure rate due to head gasket issues. This problem has been reported in numerous models and years, including the Impreza, Forester, Outback, and Legacy. The issue is most common in cars made between 1999 and 2014.

Causes of the engine problem and factors that contribute to it

The most common cause of head gasket failure in Subaru engines is thermostat failure. A malfunctioning thermostat can cause the engine to overheat, leading to coolant leaks and ultimately head gasket failure. Other factors contributing to the problem include aging engines, improper maintenance, and high mileage.

The company’s response to the engine issue and what they are doing to fix it

Subaru has acknowledged the issue and has taken steps to address it. They have issued several recalls for models affected by the problem, and they have modified the design of the head gasket to prevent future failures.

The available solutions for those who are experiencing the problem

If you are experiencing head gasket failure in your Subaru engine, there are several solutions available. The most effective is to replace the head gasket, but this can be a costly repair. Another solution is to use a high-quality engine sealant that can temporarily fix the problem. However, this is not recommended as a long-term solution.

Tips to avoid engine issues in the future

To avoid engine issues in your Subaru, there are several preventive measures you can take. Regular maintenance is crucial, including scheduled oil changes, cooling system flushes, and replacing the thermostat. You should also monitor your car’s temperature gauge regularly and address overheating issues immediately.

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How to prevent further damage to the engine

If you suspect a head gasket issue in your Subaru engine, you should avoid driving the car as much as possible. Continuously driving the vehicle with a faulty head gasket can cause significant engine damage and result in costly repairs.


Q: Are all Subaru engines affected by the head gasket issue?
A: No, not all Subaru engines are affected, but it is a common issue that has been reported in several models and years.

Q: Can I still drive my Subaru with a faulty head gasket?
A: You should avoid driving your Subaru as much as possible with a faulty head gasket. Continuously driving the vehicle with a faulty head gasket can cause significant engine damage and result in costly repairs.

Q: What should I do if I suspect a head gasket issue in my Subaru engine?
A: If you suspect a head gasket issue in your Subaru engine, you should take your car to a reputable mechanic immediately. They will perform a diagnostic test and provide repair recommendations.

In conclusion, the head gasket issue is a significant problem that Subaru owners should be aware of. However, with proper preventive measures and timely repairs, you can avoid significant damage to your engine. If you’re planning to buy a Subaru, it’s essential to keep this issue in mind and ask the seller if there’s any history of head gasket failure in the vehicle.

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Peter Banks

With years of experience as a professional mechanic and Subaru specialist, Peter is one of the most respected members of our team. He's written several articles on Subaru maintenance and repair, and his advice and tips are always practical and helpful. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes.

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