Why Subaru Engines Get Locked: Common Causes and How to Prevent Them

Subaru is a well-known brand in the car industry and is known for its reliable engines. But, there are times when Subaru engines get locked, leaving car owners confused and worried. In this article, we will discuss the common causes of why Subaru engines get locked, as well as how to prevent this unfortunate event.

Reasons Why Subaru Engines Get Locked

Low Oil Pressure

Low oil pressure is a common cause for engine lock in Subaru cars. It’s important to have enough oil in the engine for proper lubrication. When there isn’t enough oil, the components start to wear out and eventually lead to engine lock.

Engine Overheating

Another common cause for engine lock in Subaru vehicles is engine overheating. Overheating can cause damage to the cylinder head, pistons, and other internal components. This damage can then cause the engine to seize and lock up.

Timing Belt or Chain Issues

A Subaru engine’s timing belt or chain is responsible for synchronizing the movement of the engine’s valves and pistons. If there are any issues with the timing chain or belt, it can cause the engine to lock. This is because the timing belt or chain is an essential component that keeps the engine running correctly.

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Problems with the Engine Block

Engine blocks are an essential part of the engine, and they are responsible for supporting and securing all of the engine components. If there are problems with the engine block, it can cause the engine to lock. This could be due to issues such as a cracked block, which then leads to the engine losing compression.

Preventing Engine Lock in Subaru Cars

Regular Engine Maintenance

One of the most effective ways to prevent engine lock in Subaru cars is by ensuring that you follow a regular maintenance schedule. Regular maintenance ensures that the engine is in good working condition and helps to identify any potential issues.

Check Your Oil Level Regularly

As previously mentioned, low oil pressure can lead to engine lock. Checking your oil level regularly and keeping it topped up is an essential way to prevent engine lock. It’s important to note that overfilling your oil level can be harmful to the engine, so it’s best to follow the guidelines outlined in your car’s manual.

Keep Your Engine Cool

Engine overheating is another common cause of engine lock. One way to prevent this is by keeping your engine cool. Ensure that your car’s cooling system is working correctly, and keep an eye on the temperature gauge on your dashboard.

Address Any Issues Promptly

If you notice any issues with your engine, it’s important to address them promptly. Ignoring a problem can lead to further damage, which could ultimately cause engine lock. Take the necessary steps to fix any problems with your engine as soon as they arise.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What should I do if my Subaru engine locks up?

A: If your Subaru engine locks up, the first thing you should do is turn off the engine immediately. Continuing to drive or trying to start the engine can cause further damage. Contact a mechanic to assess the damage and make the necessary repairs.

Q: Can regular oil changes prevent engine lock?

A: Regular oil changes are an essential part of engine maintenance and can help to prevent engine lock. However, it’s important to note that low oil pressure can still occur, even with regular oil changes.

Q: How long can a locked engine last?

A: A locked engine can last from a few seconds to several minutes. However, running a locked engine for an extended period could cause significant damage to the engine, leading to costly repairs.


In conclusion, engine lock in Subaru cars can occur due to common causes such as low oil pressure, engine overheating, timing chain or belt issues, and problems with the engine block. However, it’s essential to note that regular engine maintenance and addressing any issues promptly can help prevent engine lock. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can keep your Subaru engine in good working condition and avoid the unfortunate event of engine lock.

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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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