Unlock the Secrets of Subaru Engine Idling: How to Optimize Your Car’s Performance

If you are a Subaru car owner, you probably take pride in your vehicle’s performance. To maintain that performance, it’s important to understand one of the critical engine components: idle settings. In this article, we will dive into what idle is, the ideal idle setting for Subaru vehicles, and how to adjust the idle if necessary. We will also explain why idle speed is essential for engine performance and how it can affect your car’s overall performance.

What is Idle?

Idle refers to the moment when your car engine is running, but you are not moving. It’s the point when the engine RPM (Revolutions per minute) drops down, and the engine runs on the lowest speed possible to keep the engine running smoothly. You can also say that idle is the speed that your engine runs when it’s not in use.

Ideal Idle Speed for Subaru Vehicles

Typically, the ideal idle speed for an average Subaru car is around 700–800 RPM. This RPM is the default for most Subaru models, and it’s based on the manufacturer’s settings. However, the idle speed can vary from model to model, so it’s essential to check your car’s manual to get accurate information on your specific model.

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How to Adjust Subaru’s Idle Speed

If you suspect that your Subaru’s idle speed is off, you can check and adjust it if necessary. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. First, warm up your engine by driving for a few miles until it reaches the normal operating temperature.
  2. Once your engine is warm, turn off all electrical components, such as the air conditioner, stereo system, and lights. This step is crucial to ensure a correct reading.
  3. Locate the idle speed screw, which is usually under the throttle body of your car’s engine.
  4. Using a screwdriver, adjust the idle speed screw by turning the screw counterclockwise to decrease the RPM and clockwise to increase the RPM.
  5. Adjust the screw until the idle speed is at the recommended RPM based on your vehicle’s manual.
  6. Once you’ve adjusted the idle speed, turn off the engine and restart it to ensure the new setting is working.

Remember to make small adjustments and monitor the engine RPM closely when making adjustments.

Importance of Maintaining the Correct Idle Speed

Maintaining the correct idle speed is crucial for Subaru car owners as it can have a significant impact on the engine’s performance and fuel efficiency. If the idle speed is too high, it can increase engine wear and fuel consumption, making your car engine less economical. On the other hand, if the idle speed is too low, it may cause engine stalling, poor acceleration, and increase in emissions. Hence, maintaining the ideal idle speed is essential to keep your engine running smoothly and prolong its lifespan.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Can I adjust idle speed myself, or do I need a professional mechanic?

A: You can adjust idle speed yourself if you have basic car knowledge and comfortable working with the engine. But, if you’re not confident, it’s better to go to a professional mechanic and let them handle it.

Q: Can incorrect idle speed affect my car’s performance?

A: Yes, incorrect idle speed can negatively affect your car’s performance. It can cause poor acceleration, engine stalling, and increase in emissions.

Q: How often should I check my Subaru’s idle speed?

A: It’s good to check your Subaru’s idle speed once every six months or during a routine maintenance service.


Knowing the ideal idle speed for your Subaru vehicle and how to adjust it when necessary can make a significant difference in the performance and fuel efficiency of your car. By regularly checking and maintaining the correct idle speed, you can improve the engine longevity and ensure that your Subaru car runs smoothly for years to come.

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Joseph Weaver

With a background in engineering and a passion for cars, Joseph brings a unique perspective to our blog. He's particularly interested in the technology and innovation behind Subaru's advanced safety features, and his articles on this topic are always insightful and informative. When he's not writing, he enjoys playing video games and spending time with his family.

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