The Ultimate Guide to Maintaining Your Subaru Engine: Tips and Tricks for Optimal Performance

Subaru owners take great pride in their vehicles. From the sleek exterior to the powerful engine, these cars are a standout on the road. However, over time, even the best engines can begin to wear down. To keep your Subaru running like new, it’s important to perform regular maintenance on the engine. In this article, we’ll provide you with some essential tips and tricks for maintaining your Subaru engine.

Why Engine Maintenance is Important

Maintaining the engine is like taking care of the heart of your car. Failing to maintain the engine can lead to costly repairs and breakdowns on the road. Subaru engines, like all other engines, require regular maintenance to function continuously and to stay healthy.

Basic Maintenance for Subaru Engines

Regular Oil Changes

Perhaps the most essential maintenance task for any engine is changing the oil regularly. Old oil can clog the engine and reduce its efficiency, ultimately leading to engine damage. Subaru recommends oil changes every 6,000 miles, but it’s necessary to review the manual to see how often it should be changed.

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Checking Engine Fluids

Fluids such as coolant and transmission fluid are crucial for engine performance. Check engine fluids regularly and make sure that they are at the recommended levels. Inspect the fuel filter, air filter, and power steering fluid.

Filter Changes

Dirty filters can affect the engine’s overall performance and fuel economy. Check engine filters (air, oil and fuel) at regular intervals and replace them, if clogged. They are generally replaced every 12,000-15,000 miles.

Maintaining Battery Health

Make sure to clean the battery terminals regularly and inspect the charging system during routine services. Subaru batteries experience higher stress due to the car’s all-wheel drivetrain, so it’s crucial to keep them in good condition.

Advanced Maintenance for Subaru Engines

Diagnosing Engine Problems

If you notice any unusual noises from the engine or poor acceleration, it may be time to diagnose any engine problems. Using an OBD-II scanner, Subaru owners can check for any error codes issued by the car’s onboard computer. You can then take steps to promptly correct the issue.

Repairing Minor Issues

Some minor problems can be fixed by DIY enthusiasts. Small issues such as loose or damaged wires, worn-out spark plugs, and damaged belts can all cause a decrease in engine performance. There are DIY manuals available for some of the basic repairs, but it’s important to know your limits.

Maintaining Overall Engine Health

It’s crucial to keep an eye on the Subaru engine’s overall health. Regular servicing, air filter changes, and checking the engine timing are some of the key factors that help maintain the engine of your Subaru. You can also ask for professional help from certified Subaru service providers for scheduled maintenance that can review the overall health of your car.

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Understanding the Signs of Engine Damage

Engine damage can occur to even the most well-maintained Subaru engine but proper care can prolong the life of the engine. Watch out for signs such as a decrease in fuel economy, unusual noise or vibrations, and visible leaks in fluids. These can all be signs of underlying issues in your Subaru engine, and require immediate attention.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I change my Subaru engine’s oil?

Subaru suggests changing oil every 6,000 miles or as per the manual’s recommendations. Failure to change your engine oil at regular intervals can decrease the life of your engine.

Are engine filters necessary for a Subaru?

Yes, they are. Engine filters ensure that air, fuel, and oil are free from impurities and prevent dirt particles from damaging engine parts.

How frequently should the engine coolant be inspected?

Coolant can be inspected every 30,000 miles, and then capped off as required. Holding regular checks of the engine coolant can prevent overheating of the engine.

How can I check if my Subaru engine is experiencing issues?

You should check for any strange noises or vibrations, poor acceleration, and fuel economy. These can all be signs of underlying issues in your engine.

When is it advisable to seek professional help with an engine problem?

If you’re unsure about the root cause of the engine problem, you should seek professional help. Using DIY methods when you’re not certain about the problem can lead to more damage to the engine.


Keeping your Subaru engine healthy is crucial to avoid costly repairs down the line. By performing regular maintenance tasks and paying close attention to your Subaru’s behavior, you can keep your engine running like new for years to come. Remember, always follow the schedule for the recommended maintenance mentioned in your Subaru’s manual. With proper engine care, you can confidently enjoy your Subaru’s engine full power.

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Alton Brobst

As a longtime Subaru enthusiast, Alton brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our blog. From his early days of tinkering with engines to his current role as a certified Subaru technician, Alton has seen it all when it comes to Subarus. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys hiking and exploring the great outdoors.

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