Which Subaru Engines to Avoid And Why: Unveiling the Troublesome Power Units

The subaru engines to avoid are the ej25, ej20, and fb20 due to common issues such as head gasket failure and excessive oil consumption. These engines are prone to problems that can be costly to repair and may lead to engine failure if not addressed.

Subaru has a reputation for producing reliable and durable vehicles. However, there are certain engine models that have been found to be more problematic than others. It is essential to be aware of these issues before purchasing a subaru to avoid potential headaches down the road.

One engine to avoid is the ej25, which is commonly found in subaru models from 1999 to 2012. These engines are prone to head gasket failure, resulting in coolant leaks and potentially overheating the engine. Another common issue with the ej25 is excessive oil consumption, which can lead to engine damage if not properly addressed. T

he ej20 is another engine to be cautious of, and it is often found in subaru models produced between 1989 and 2012. Similar to the ej25, the ej20 also has issues with head gasket failure and excessive oil consumption. Additionally, the ej20 has been known to suffer from piston ringland failure, which can result in significant engine damage.

In newer subaru models, such as those produced from 2011 onwards, the fb20 engine may also be problematic. This engine is known for excessive oil consumption, which can lead to engine damage and a decrease in performance over time. While it is essential to note that not all subaru models with these engines will encounter issues, it is still wise to be cautious and consider these potential problems when purchasing a used subaru.

Regular maintenance, including routine oil and coolant checks, can help mitigate these issues and prolong the life of the engine. The subaru engines to avoid are the ej25, ej20, and fb20 due to common issues such as head gasket failure and excessive oil consumption. Being aware of these potential problems can help potential buyers make informed decisions and prevent costly future repairs.

Common Issues With Subaru Engines

Subaru has gained popularity over the years for its reliable and robust engines. However, like any other brand, subaru engines are not immune to issues. In this section, we will explore some common problems that subaru engines may encounter. Whether you are a subaru owner or considering purchasing a subaru vehicle, it is crucial to be aware of these issues to make an informed decision.

Head Gasket Failures

Head gasket failures are one of the most well-known issues associated with subaru engines. Here are some key points to understand about this problem:

  • Head gaskets are vital components that seal the combustion chamber and prevent coolant and oil from mixing with the engine.
  • Over time, the head gaskets in certain subaru engines have been prone to failure, leading to leaks and potential overheating issues.
  • The most commonly affected subaru engines are the ej25 series used in vehicles like the subaru forester, impreza, and outback.
  • Symptoms of a head gasket failure may include coolant or oil leaks, overheating, white smoke from the exhaust, or a sweet smell in the cabin.
  • If left unaddressed, head gasket failures can cause severe engine damage and costly repairs.

Oil Consumption Problems

Excessive oil consumption is another issue that some subaru engines may experience. Consider the following points:

  • Certain subaru engines, such as the fb20 and fb25, have been known to consume more oil than usual.
  • The oil consumption issue is often attributed to factors like piston ring design, cylinder wall wear, or other internal components.
  • Symptoms of oil consumption problems include low oil levels between oil changes, the need for frequent oil top-ups, or blue smoke from the exhaust.
  • Regular oil level checks and addressing any oil consumption concerns promptly are crucial to prevent engine damage.

Timing Belt Failures

Timing belt failures can occur in subaru engines equipped with timing belts rather than timing chains. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Timing belts are responsible for synchronizing the engine’s camshaft and crankshaft, ensuring precise valve timing.
  • Failure of the timing belt can cause severe damage to the engine, including bent valves and piston collisions.
  • Subaru engines with timing belts typically require periodic replacement as stated in the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.
  • Ignoring timing belt replacement can lead to sudden engine failure and potentially expensive repairs.

Having knowledge of these common issues can help subaru owners and potential buyers be proactive in addressing and preventing engine problems. Regular maintenance, such as timely oil changes, cooling system checks, and adhering to recommended service intervals, can mitigate these issues and keep subaru engines running smoothly for years to come.

Remember, a well-maintained subaru engine offers exceptional performance and reliability, making it an excellent choice for automotive enthusiasts.

Legacy Models With Problematic Engines

Subaru Legacy 2005-2009

The subaru legacy is a popular choice among car enthusiasts, known for its reliability and performance. However, like any vehicle, there are certain models and engines that have proven to be problematic over the years. In this section, we will delve into the legacy models with engines to avoid from 2005 to 2009.

  • Ej253 engine: The 2005-2009 subaru legacy models came equipped with the ej253 engine, which is known for its head gasket and oil consumption issues. These problems can lead to costly repairs and engine damage if left unattended. It is advisable to be cautious when considering a legacy with this engine during these model years.
  • Head gasket failure: The ej253 engine in the legacy 2005-2009 is prone to head gasket failure. This issue can result in coolant leaks, overheating, and potential engine damage. It is recommended to have the head gaskets inspected and replaced if necessary to avoid costly repairs down the line.
  • Oil consumption: Another common problem with the legacy models from 2005 to 2009 is excessive oil consumption. This can lead to engine damage and decreased performance if not addressed promptly. Regular oil checks and maintenance are crucial with this engine to ensure its longevity.

Subaru Legacy 2010-2014

Continuing our discussion on problematic legacy engines, we now shift our focus to the model years between 2010 and 2014.

  • Fb25 engine: The 2010-2014 subaru legacy models were equipped with the fb25 engine, which is known for its high oil consumption and potential timing chain issues. It is important to be aware of these problems before considering a legacy with this engine during these specific model years.
  • High oil consumption: The fb25 engine in the legacy 2010-2014 has been reported to consume excessive amounts of oil. This issue can lead to engine damage if the oil level is not regularly monitored and topped up. It is crucial to stay on top of the oil levels to prevent potential problems.
  • Timing chain issues: Another concern with the fb25 engine is timing chain problems. Some legacy owners have experienced timing chain rattling or failure, which can result in engine damage if not addressed in a timely manner. Regular maintenance and timely inspections are recommended to catch any potential issues early.

Subaru Legacy 2015-2019

Now, let’s explore the problematic engines found in subaru legacy models from 2015 to 2019.

  • Fb25 engine: The 2015-2019 subaru legacy models also came with the fb25 engine, which continued to show high oil consumption and timing chain issues. It is essential to take these factors into consideration if you are looking to purchase a legacy from these model years.
  • High oil consumption: As mentioned earlier, the fb25 engine in the legacy 2015-2019 has been reported to have high oil consumption. Regular oil checks and maintenance are crucial to ensure the engine’s health and prevent potential damage.
  • Timing chain issues: Similar to the previous model years, the fb25 engine in the legacy 2015-2019 may experience timing chain problems. Paying attention to any unusual noises and promptly addressing any issues is vital to avoid costly repairs down the line.

While the subaru legacy is generally known for its reliability, there are specific engines in certain model years that have proven to be problematic. The legacy models from 2005 to 2009 with the ej253 engine have reported issues with head gasket failure and oil consumption.

For the 2010-2014 and 2015-2019 legacy models equipped with the fb25 engine, high oil consumption and timing chain issues have been known to occur. It is essential to consider these factors and conduct thorough inspections when purchasing a used subaru legacy from these specific years to avoid potential engine problems.

Remember, regular maintenance and prompt attention to any issues are key to keeping your subaru legacy running smoothly and avoiding costly repairs.

Outback Models To Watch Out For

Subaru Outback 2005-2009

If you’re considering buying a used subaru outback, there are certain models you should be cautious about. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the subaru outback models from 2005 to 2009 and highlight the key points you need to know.

  • Head gasket issues: One of the main concerns with the subaru outback models from 2005 to 2009 is the head gasket. These vehicles are known to have head gasket problems, which can result in coolant leaks and overheating. It’s important to check the maintenance records and ensure that the head gasket has been properly addressed before purchasing a used outback from this period.
  • Transmission problems: Another issue that has been reported with these outback models is transmission problems. Some owners have experienced issues with the automatic transmission, such as slipping or jerking, which can be a costly repair. It’s advisable to have the transmission thoroughly inspected by a trusted mechanic before making a purchase.
  • Rust concerns: In certain regions where road salt is used during winter, rust has been a common problem in the subaru outback models from this period. Rust can affect various parts of the vehicle, including the rear wheel arches and the underside. Carefully inspect the vehicle for any signs of rust damage, as it can significantly impact the structural integrity of the car.
  • Interior wear and tear: Due to the age of these models, it’s not uncommon to find excessive wear and tear on the interior components. Pay attention to the condition of the seats, dashboard, and other surfaces when inspecting a used outback from this era. Excessive wear can indicate a lack of maintenance and may be an indication of potential future issues.

Subaru Outback 2010-2014

Continuing our discussion on the subaru outback, let’s shift our focus to the models produced between 2010 and 2014. Here are some points to consider:

  • Oil consumption: One of the concerns with the subaru outback models from this period is excessive oil consumption. Some owners have reported that their vehicles tend to consume more oil than usual, which can be a potential long-term issue if not properly addressed. It’s important to check the maintenance records to ensure that the oil consumption has been monitored and addressed if necessary.
  • Cvt transmission reliability: The 2010-2014 outback models were equipped with a continuously variable transmission (cvt). While the cvt offers smooth acceleration and improved fuel efficiency, it has raised some reliability concerns. It’s important to conduct a thorough inspection and, if possible, test drive the vehicle to ensure that the transmission is functioning properly.
  • Suspension noise: Another issue commonly reported by some outback owners from this era is suspension noise. This can manifest as clunking or rattling sounds when driving over bumps or rough roads. It’s advisable to carefully listen for any unusual noises during a test drive and have a qualified mechanic inspect the suspension components for any potential issues.
  • Electrical system problems: In some cases, owners of the 2010-2014 outback models have experienced electrical system problems. These can include issues with the power windows, audio system, or dashboard lights. It’s important to thoroughly inspect the electrical components during a test drive and ensure that everything is functioning as expected.

Subaru Outback 2015-2019

Let’s now turn our attention to the subaru outback models produced between 2015 and 2019. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Windshield cracking: Some owners of the outback models from this period have reported windshield cracking issues. It’s important to carefully inspect the windshield for any signs of cracks or chips before purchasing a used vehicle. Additionally, check if there have been any windshield replacements in the vehicle’s history, as this can indicate a recurring problem.
  • Steering responsive headlights: The 2015-2019 outback models introduced the steering responsive headlights feature. While this can enhance visibility and safety, some owners have reported problems with this system, such as erratic headlight movements or failure to steer in the intended direction. It’s advisable to test this feature during a thorough test drive and ensure that it functions correctly.
  • Eyesight technology concerns: Many models from this period were equipped with subaru’s eyesight technology, offering advanced driver assistance features. However, some owners have encountered issues with this system, including false collision warnings or inconsistent performance. If the outback you’re considering has eyesight, it’s essential to have it inspected and ensure that all the features work as intended.
  • Infotainment system glitches: Lastly, owners of the 2015-2019 outback models have reported occasional glitches with the infotainment system. These can include frozen screens or connectivity problems with smartphones. While not a critical issue, it’s important to test the system thoroughly during a test drive to ensure that it meets your expectations.

Remember, when purchasing a used subaru outback from any period, it’s always wise to have a trusted mechanic thoroughly inspect the vehicle before making a final decision. This will help identify any additional potential issues and ensure that you make an informed purchase.

Impreza Engines To Be Cautious Of

Subaru Impreza 2005-2009

Subaru impreza, a popular line of compact cars, has different engine models in its various generations. When considering purchasing a subaru impreza from 2005 to 2009, it’s essential to be aware of certain engines that have had reliability issues. Here are the key points to keep in mind:

  • The 2005-2009 subaru impreza models are equipped with the ej253, ej203, and ej251 engines. While these engines have their merits, they have been known to encounter problems that potential buyers should be cautious about.
  • One common issue with the ej253 engine is excessive oil consumption, leading to potential engine damage if not addressed promptly. This problem mainly affects imprezas from 2005 to 2006. Regular monitoring of oil levels and timely servicing can mitigate this risk.
  • The ej203 engine, used in imprezas from 2005 to 2007, has been associated with head gasket failures. This can result in coolant leakage, overheating, and potential engine damage. It is advisable to inspect the head gasket thoroughly or consider an upgrade to a newer generation model.
  • Another engine used in this timeframe is the ej251. While generally reliable, it may suffer from head gasket issues, similar to the ej203. Regular maintenance and addressing any early warning signs can help avoid major problems down the line.

Keeping these key points in mind will help you make an informed decision when considering a subaru impreza from the 2005-2009 range. It’s important to conduct a thorough inspection and seek professional advice before finalizing your purchase.

Subaru Impreza 2010-2014

If you are looking to purchase a subaru impreza model from 2010 to 2014, it’s essential to be aware of potential engine issues that have been reported during this period. Here are the key points to consider:

  • The subaru imprezas from 2010 to 2014 are equipped with the fb20, fb25, and ej253 engines. While these engines offer solid performance and reliability, some specific concerns should be kept in mind.
  • The fb20 engine, used in imprezas from 2011 to 2013, has been known to experience excessive oil consumption. Regular oil level checks and timely servicing are crucial to avoid any potential engine damage.
  • Similarly, the fb25 engine, utilized in imprezas from 2011 to 2012, has also been associated with increased oil consumption. It is important to monitor oil levels closely and address any anomalies promptly to maintain engine health.
  • The ej253 engine, found in imprezas from 2012 to 2014, may experience head gasket issues, leading to coolant leakage and overheating. Proactive monitoring and addressing any signs of head gasket failure can help prevent severe engine damage.

When considering a subaru impreza between 2010 and 2014, it’s crucial to take these key points into account. Conducting a thorough inspection and seeking professional guidance will assist you in making a well-informed purchasing decision.

Subaru Impreza 2015-2019

If you are considering purchasing a subaru impreza from 2015 to 2019, it’s important to be aware of any potential engine concerns that have been reported during this period. Here are the key points to keep in mind:

  • The subaru impreza models from 2015 to 2019 are equipped with the fb20, fb25, and fb16 engines. Overall, these engines have proven to be reliable; however, there are a few issues worth noting.
  • The fb20 engine has been known to encounter excessive oil consumption in some cases. Regular oil level checks and timely servicing are vital to prevent any potential engine damage.
  • The fb25 engine, used in some impreza models during this period, has had reported issues with higher oil consumption. Consistently monitoring oil levels and addressing any irregularities promptly are crucial for maintaining engine health.
  • The fb16 engine, introduced in the later years of this generation, generally performs well with no major engine concerns reported.

When considering purchasing a subaru impreza from the 2015-2019 range, it is important to take note of these key points. Conducting a thorough inspection, considering maintenance history, and seeking professional advice will help ensure a wise investment.

Forester Engines Prone To Issues

Subaru Forester 2005-2009

The subaru forester, produced between 2005 and 2009, has its own set of engine issues that potential buyers should be aware of. Here are the key points about the engines from this particular period:

  • Head gasket problems: One common issue that occurs with the engines in subaru forester models from 2005 to 2009 is head gasket failure. This can lead to coolant leaks, engine overheating, and potential damage to the engine if not addressed promptly.
  • Oil consumption: Another concern with these engines is excessive oil consumption. Some drivers have reported that these subaru forester engines have a tendency to burn through oil more quickly than expected, resulting in the need for regular oil top-ups between service intervals.
  • Timing belt failure: Additionally, the timing belt on these models may be prone to premature failure. If the timing belt breaks while driving, it can cause significant damage to the engine and even result in a complete engine failure.
  • Rough idle and misfires: Some owners have experienced rough idling and misfires with these subaru forester engines, which can be caused by a variety of factors such as faulty ignition coils or spark plugs. These issues can lead to poor performance and reduced fuel efficiency.
  • Expensive repairs: It’s important to note that the repairs for these engine issues can be quite costly, especially if the damage has affected other components of the engine. As such, it’s crucial to weigh the potential expenses before purchasing a used subaru forester from this time period.

Subaru Forester 2010-2014

Moving on to the subaru forester models manufactured between 2010 and 2014, it’s important to be aware of some key points regarding their engines. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Oil consumption issues: Similar to the older forester models, some engines in the 2010-2014 range also have a tendency to consume oil at a faster rate than usual. Regular oil checks and top-ups may be necessary to prevent engine damage due to low oil levels.
  • Cvt transmission problems: These forester models may come equipped with a continuously variable transmission (cvt). While cvts are generally known for their smooth operation, some owners have reported issues with this transmission, including jerky movements, shuddering, and even complete failure.
  • Timing chain problems: Unlike the timing belt issues seen in the earlier forester models, the engines in the 2010-2014 range use a timing chain. However, some owners have reported timing chain tensioner failures, which could lead to timing chain damage and potential engine failure if not addressed promptly.
  • Engine stalling: Another problem that has been reported with these subaru forester engines is occasional stalling. This can happen at idle or while driving and may be caused by issues with the fuel system, throttle body, or sensors.

Subaru Forester 2015-2019

Lastly, let’s take a look at the subaru forester models produced between 2015 and 2019. While these engines generally have fewer issues compared to the earlier generations, there are still a few points to consider:

  • Oil consumption: Some owners have reported oil consumption concerns with these engines as well. It’s essential to monitor oil levels regularly and address any excessive oil consumption to avoid potential engine damage.
  • Cvt reliability: Similar to the 2010-2014 models, the foresters in this range also come with a cvt. While improvements have been made over the years, there have been reports of cvt problems, including overheating and premature transmission failure.
  • Eyesight system interference: In some cases, the eyesight driver assist system, which includes features like adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning, can interfere with the engine’s performance. This can result in surging, hesitations, or even complete loss of acceleration.
  • External oil leak: A small number of owners have reported external oil leaks, particularly from the front engine cover, which may require repairs to prevent oil loss and potential damage to other components.

Remember, thorough research and pre-purchase inspections are essential when considering any used car, including subaru foresters in these model ranges. Understanding the potential engine issues can help you make informed decisions and ensure a better ownership experience.

Crosstrek Models With Engine Concerns

Subaru Crosstrek 2013-2017

The subaru crosstrek is a popular compact suv known for its versatility and off-road capabilities. However, some engine concerns have been reported for certain model years. If you’re considering buying a used crosstrek from the 2013-2017 range, here are the key points to keep in mind:

  • The early oil consumption issue: Some 2013-2014 crosstrek models experienced excessive oil consumption, which could lead to engine damage if not addressed promptly.
  • Cvt transmission problems: Several owners have reported issues with the continuously variable transmission (cvt) in the 2014-2016 crosstrek models. These problems include jerky and hesitant shifting, and in some cases, complete transmission failure.
  • Hesitation and stalling: Some drivers of 2015-2017 crosstreks have reported instances of hesitation or stalling while driving. This issue can be frustrating and potentially dangerous, especially during acceleration or merging.

Subaru Crosstrek 2018-2022

If you’re looking into buying a newer crosstrek from the 2018-2022 range, here are the key points to consider:

  • Oil consumption concerns: Similar to the earlier models, there have been reports of excessive oil consumption in some 2018-2022 crosstrek vehicles. Regularly checking oil levels and addressing any consumption issues promptly is important to prevent engine damage.
  • Cvt transmission issues: Just like the previous generation, some crosstrek owners have experienced problems with the cvt transmission. These issues can range from transmission slipping and delayed engagement to complete failure.
  • Engine misfire: Some drivers have reported instances of engine misfires in the 2018-2022 crosstrek models. This can lead to rough idling, reduced power, and potential damage to the engine if not addressed.

Remember, not all crosstreks from these model years will experience these issues, and many owners have had no problems at all. It’s always a good idea to thoroughly research and inspect any used vehicle before making a purchasing decision. Regular maintenance and timely repairs can also help mitigate potential engine concerns.

Steps To Prevent Engine Problems

Regular maintenance and inspections:

  • Regularly schedule maintenance appointments with a certified subaru technician to ensure that your engine remains in good working order.
  • Inspect the engine for any signs of leaks, unusual noises, or warning lights on the dashboard.
  • Have the engine’s belts and hoses checked for any signs of wear or damage.
  • Keep track of the engine’s coolant levels, as overheating can cause serious damage to the engine.
  • Replace the engine air filter as recommended by the manufacturer to prevent dust and debris from entering the engine.

Timely oil changes and fluid checks:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommended oil change intervals and use the specified type of oil for your subaru model.
  • Regularly check the oil level and ensure it is within the specified range on the dipstick.
  • Change the engine oil filter during each oil change to ensure optimal engine performance.
  • Monitor the levels and condition of other fluids, such as coolant, transmission fluid, and brake fluid, and top up or replace them as necessary.

Cooling system maintenance:

  • Flush and refill the engine coolant according to the recommended intervals to prevent overheating and potential damage to the engine.
  • Inspect the radiator and cooling system for any leaks or blockages that may hinder proper cooling.
  • Keep the radiator and coolant reservoir clean from debris and contaminants to maintain efficient heat dissipation.
  • Regularly check the condition of the radiator cap and replace it if it shows signs of wear.
  • Consider adding a coolant additive to help prevent corrosion and maintain the cooling system’s effectiveness.

By following these steps, you can proactively prevent engine problems and ensure the longevity of your subaru engine. Remember to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and consult with a certified subaru technician for any specific concerns or issues.

Your engine will thank you for it!

Considerations When Buying A Used Subaru

Thinking of buying a used subaru? It’s important to do your research and consider a few key points before making a decision. Here are some things to keep in mind to help you make an informed choice:

Researching Prior Engine Issues And Recalls

  • Look into the specific subaru model and engine you are interested in to see if there have been any common engine issues or recalls in the past. This information can be found through online forums, consumer reports, or even by contacting subaru directly.
  • Pay attention to any recurring problems reported by current subaru owners. This can give you insight into potential issues you may encounter with the engine down the line.
  • It’s also a good idea to check if there have been any recent repairs or replacements done on the engine of the used subaru you are considering. This can give you an indication of whether the engine has already undergone significant repairs or if it’s running smoothly.

Getting A Pre-Purchase Inspection

  • Before finalizing your decision, it is highly recommended to obtain a pre-purchase inspection from a trusted mechanic who is familiar with subaru engines. They can thoroughly examine the engine and identify any potential problems or hidden issues that may not be apparent to a casual buyer.
  • A professional inspection can provide you with peace of mind and help you avoid costly repairs in the future. It’s always better to be aware of any potential engine issues before buying a used subaru rather than discovering them later, when it may be too late.
  • During the inspection, make sure the mechanic checks for common subaru engine problems such as head gasket leaks, oil consumption, timing belt wear, and valve cover gasket leaks. These issues can be indicators of engine trouble and should be addressed before making your purchase.

Checking For Extended Warranty Options

  • Another consideration when buying a used subaru is to explore the availability of extended warranty options. Some dealerships or third-party providers may offer extended warranties that can cover major engine repairs or replacements beyond the standard warranty period.
  • Having an extended warranty in place can provide additional protection and save you from hefty expenses in case of engine failure. However, be sure to carefully review the terms and conditions of the warranty to ensure it covers the specific engine issues you may be concerned about.
  • It’s worth noting that not all used subarus may qualify for extended warranties, especially if they have already exceeded a certain mileage or age threshold. Make sure to inquire about eligibility and any limitations before making your decision.

Remember, when buying a used subaru, taking the time to research prior engine issues, getting a pre-purchase inspection, and checking for extended warranty options can help you make a more informed and confident choice. By arming yourself with knowledge and expert advice, you can increase the chances of finding a reliable subaru engine that will serve you well for years to come.

Conclusion

To sum up, when it comes to subaru engines, it is crucial to be aware of the models that have had recurring issues. While subaru has a reputation for producing reliable and durable engines, there are a few to avoid due to certain shortcomings.

The first engine to steer clear from is the 2. 5-liter, commonly found in models like the forester and impreza, as it tends to have head gasket problems that could lead to overheating and expensive repairs. Additionally, the 2. 0-liter turbocharged engine found in subaru wrx models has been known to have issues with excessive oil consumption.

Lastly, the early versions of the 2. 5-liter turbo engine, often found in subaru legacy and outback models, have a history of experiencing turbo failures. It is important to keep these engine drawbacks in mind when considering a subaru, as they can save you the headache and costs associated with engine repairs down the road.

Mr.Damian

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