The Subaru WRX Reliability and Frequent Issues

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The Subaru WRX Reliability and Frequent Issues. Subaru began producing the WRX in 1992 and it is still in production today. In recognition of their rally roots, the term “WRX” stands for “World Rally eXperimental.” Subaru WRX and STI vehicles include rally-inspired technology such as all-wheel drive, strong suspension, and turbo 4-cylinder engines. As a result, the WRX is well-known in the racing and tuning communities. There’s no denying that the WRX is a fun, sporty car. Yet, does this come at the expense of decreased dependability? This tutorial discusses Subaru WRX and STI reliability as well as typical engine problems.

*It is also known as the Subaru WRX. Nevertheless, for model years 2015 and beyond, Subaru abandoned the name Impreza. 6587

The Subaru WRX Reliability and Frequent Issues

Subaru WRX Over the Years

Before we get into the heart of this post, there are a few things to keep in mind. WRX versions have been on the market for approximately 30 years. It has so far spanned four chassis generations. WRX and STI versions have also used a variety of engines over the years. These engines are listed below:

  • EJ20G (1992-1998) (1992-1998)
  • EJ20K (1996-1998) (1996-1998)
  • EJ205 (1999-2006) (1999-2006)
  • EJ255 (2006-2015) (2006-2015)
  • FA20F (2015-present) (2015-present)
  • Only EJ257 (2004-present) STI models

We’ll talk about non-engine reliability, but our main focus will be on the WRX engines. We’ll eventually include a guide for each engine (with links above). This essay will mostly focus on a few issues that are common to numerous WRXs. Some years and models are more trustworthy than others.

Tuning and Modifications for the Subaru Impreza WRX

Part of what we’re talking about in this essay is related to the nature of the WRX and STI engines’ tuning potential. With their rally-inspired design and turbo engines, these Subarus are easy to get more out of. Modifications and tweaking are commonplace. Many WRXs may get 50-100+ horsepower with a tune and simple bolt-on upgrades. With a turbo upgrade, the WRX/STI engines can produce even more power.

Owners who drive and push their autos harder usually accompany this. We frequently discover that the same owners are also quite adept at keeping up with maintenance. As a result, there may be some balancing effect. Nonetheless, adding power on a stock engine raises the possibility of anything going wrong.

Impact on Reliability

This isn’t a dig at Subaru owners; this happens on every easily modified engine. It happens all the time in the BMW world. Less experienced owners may install a subpar tune and cheap bolt-ons without properly comprehending engines and tuning. Rather than being safe and prudent, they aim to get every ounce of power from the engine. This will almost probably have a negative impact on the reliability of the Subaru WRX / STI.

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It can be a pretty safe setup with a conservative tune, adequate supporting mods, maintenance, and data-logging. In these circumstances, the effects on dependability or lifetime should be minor. The point is, be cautious of who you buy a WRX from and how they may have treated and modified the car in the past.

Common Subaru WRX Engine Issues

Let’s get some background information out of the way before we get into the meat of this post. The following are some of the most prevalent Subaru WRX and WRX STI issues:

  • Engine components
  • Failure of the turbocharger
  • Oil spills
  • Misfires

We name these the most prevalent issues for a reason. It does not necessarily imply that the issues are widespread and affect a substantial proportion of WRXs. Rather, when problems do arise, they are some of the most typical places. Also, some of these faults may be more common on certain engines and years. They do, however, have an impact on practically all Subaru WRX engines to some extent.

We’ll go over each of the aforementioned WRX/STI engine issues before wrapping up with some general remarks on reliability.

1) WRX and STI Engine Failures

An internal combustion engine has numerous internal moving elements that can fail. These are major issues that can be costly at best and may end in engine failure. Regrettably, the WRX and STI engines aren’t known for their internal robustness. With entirely stock engines, though, it is rarely a problem. Internal engine difficulties in the WRX are more prevalent when it has been tuned and altered. Among the known flaws are:

  • Rods
  • Bearings for rods
  • Pistons
  • Rings for pistons

These problems appear to be most widespread on EJ255, EJ257, and FA20 engines manufactured after 2004. There have even been some lawsuits filed because of internal engine problems with these engines. Unfortunately, these issues may affect all Subaru WRX and STI engines.

If you intend to tune and modify the WRX, make sure you use a decent, conservative tune. Internal engine damage is frequently caused by pre-detonation. You want to ensure sure your engine isn’t running lean, has major timing pulls, and so on.

Modifications and replacement of Subaru internals

Upgrading the pistons, rods, and/or bearings is one technique to reduce risks. It’s an expensive process that usually isn’t worth it unless you expect to create a lot of power (350-400+whp). Yet, even with modest tunes and stock power, the stock internals can and do fail. Repair costs in these circumstances can soon exceed $2,000.00. Internal breakdowns that destroy the entire engine are also not uncommon.

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2) Subaru WRX Turbo Issues

Internal issues like the ones listed above are more typical on newer WRX engines. Turbo issues, on the other hand, are more prone to impact older models. In the previous 10-15 years, turbo technology has advanced significantly. They weren’t as dependable back before, and turbo lifespan was normally shorter. However, many earlier Subaru WRXs may have already had the turbo changed.

Otherwise, while tuning and customizing the WRX and WRX STI models, turbo problems become more common. More boost usually results in an increase in power. This can place a lot of strain on the stock turbo. Appropriate supporting mods can go a long way toward extending turbo lifespan.

Finally, turbos are moving parts that will wear down over time. At full boost, they can reach speeds of up to 150,000 RPM. Natural wear failures are not prevalent north of 120,000 miles. Newer turbos, on the other hand, can occasionally last nearly twice as long.

The Subaru WRX Reliability and Frequent Issues

3) Oil Leaks in Subaru

Oil leaks are a widespread issue. Engines feature numerous gaskets and other components that might cause oil leaks. The majority of Subaru WRX and STI vehicles will experience an oil leak at some time in their lifespan. Leaks are most commonly found in the following areas:

  • Gaskets for valve covers
  • The oil pan gasket
  • Principal seals

None of these are widespread problems with any of the Subaru WRX engines. Gaskets, on the other hand, wear and tear over time. It’s probably not fair to term oil leaks a true concern because leaks are common in aged engines. Yet, if you want to purchase an older WRX or retain a modern one for a long time, you may encounter a minor oil leak or two.

Related : The 3 Most Common 6.1 HEMI Engine Issues

4) Misfires in Subaru WRX

Another ambiguous issue here. Misfires in the WRX are rarely a problem in and of themselves. Misfires, on the other hand, suggest that there is some underlying issue with the engine. It’s prevalent in turbo engines because they tend to burn through spark plugs and ignition coils quickly. That’s just routine maintenance, therefore we don’t think it’s fair to term them problems. Consider the following parts if your Subaru WRX/STI is misfiring:

  • Plugs for sparking
  • Coils of ignition
  • Injectors for gasoline
  • Carbon accumulation
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Without a doubt, spark plugs and ignition coils are two of the most typical reasons of WRX misfires. Misfires can also be caused by leaking or defective injectors. Finally, misfires can occur in modern direct injection (DI) Subaru engines due to excessive carbon buildup. Carbon buildup is normally not an issue on the WRX until it reaches around 100,000 miles. Because there is no fuel going across the intake valves to clean them, it is standard maintenance on DI engines.

Subaru WRX Dependability

Is the Subaru WRX and STI dependable? Both yes and no. When compared to lower performance Subaru engines, these engines are frequently regarded as less reliable. It does, however, make sense. Performance automobiles and turbocharged engines are often more difficult to maintain. This is especially true when there is a lot of aftermarket and tuning potential. Several Subaru WRX models are modified at some point in their lifetimes. Even when done correctly, it might increase the total stress on the engines.

The point is that the WRX isn’t as dependable as many non-performance cars on the road. But, considering turbo engines and performance automobiles are more demanding, it’s fairly reliable. Spark plugs and ignition coils deteriorate more quickly. Suspension deteriorates quickly. Turbos add a lot of extra parts and potential issue locations. It’s just part of owning a rally/race styled car like the Subaru WRX and WRX STI.

If you intend to modify and customize the car, stay conservative and upgrade the internals. Utilize high-quality oils, keep up with maintenance, and solve problems as they arise. If you do all of this, the Subaru WRX may be a fairly reliable car and engine.