Subaru WRX/STI Reliability & Common Engine Problems

TaxiHack is reader-supported. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more.

Choosing a proper engine for your car can be a real drag.

While so many things can go wrong if you choose the wrong kind of engine, many things are also known to go right if you choose the engine that suits your car.

So you need to be aware of what your car needs. And one of the best kinds of engines you can have is the Subaru WRX engine.

You can count on Subaru WRX reliability but we need to know other things about too.

Some common problems need to be addressed, and these aren’t too bad, but still, telling you about them might impact your decision.

The 5 Most Common Subaru WRX Engine Problems

Read my reviews on Subaru WRX

So you might already know that some of the problems in the Subaru WRX need to be talked about.

Although none of the issues are too terrible, the impact that they may have on your engine, in the long run, might cause some kind of concern.

Here are some of the most important problems you may face in your engine below:

1. Internal Engine Problems Have Begun To Be An Extreme Issue

The outside of the engine is already extremely tough, but even that can become affected by outside factors.

Have you considered the internal issues you may face, though?

What Does The Internal Engine Include?

Your internal engine is the inner workings of your engine. Since the engine is made up of many parts, any of these parts can begin to malfunction.

The internal engine comprises little parts, including the workings and everything present in the engine.

What Problems Can Come Up?

The major problem that may come to the surface is the workings inside an engine beginning to malfunction.

So many little parts within the engine can begin to fail, and this can cause significant amounts of problems.

The internal strength of this engine is seen to be slightly lacking, which is why these issues even arise.

Some of the most significant parts of the engine that can go bad include the rods, rod bearings, pistons, and piston rings.

All of these parts have more chances of becoming ruined, so you might want to take care of them.

Finding A Way Out

One of the best ways to deal with this issue is to keep up the general maintenance of your engine.

Keep your Subaru WRX engine well maintained, and you shouldn’t have any extra issues.

2. Your Turbo Problems Have A Bigger Impact

Turbo’s in engines are amazing at what they do, but they too are prone to disaster striking. Turbos have their kinds of problems which I will discuss below.

Understanding Turbo Mechanics

Turbochargers are meant to help force more air into the cylinders, which eventually turns into power.

The waste exhaust gases produced from the engine are used in the turbochargers to be harnessed into something a little more useful.

The Issue At Hand

When you begin to overuse your car, you can also begin to have issues with the turbochargers as they can become severely damaged.

The wear and tear that happens with the turbo causes a lot of distress to the general workings of the engine and can lead to much bigger problems ahead in the use of the car and the motor.

Important Things To Note

Turbos are known to last a considerably long period. But any kind of excessive use will just lead to the problem becoming much bigger than necessary.

So if you notice that your turbocharger is becoming affected, make sure to replace it every few months to avoid problems you may have.

3. Having Oil Leaks Can Be A Common Issue

Oil leaks have always been known to be one of the most common issues. While the issue seems small, it might just have a terrible impact on your Subaru WRX engine in the long run.

How Common Are Oil Leaks?

Almost every other engine is known to have some kind of issue with oil leaks. This isn’t always because of the engine being built weak but can be because of some other factors.

You might have heard of this issue before, as it clearly exists in many other motors and not just this one.

Understanding More

Oil leaks can be observed by looking at actual leaking oil from the engine.

This probably might be your biggest indicator, and you might need to get your motor checked out. Having a weird rise and drop in your oil tank indicator is also a big giveaway.

If you’re not familiar with the workings of your WRX, it could be a lot harder for you to find such indications.

But they will be there, and they can cause a lot of problems for your future rides.

Solving Such A Problem

Solving the problem literally just requires you to change the parts where the oil is seen to be leaking.

This can only be done by keeping a check on your engine and observing when the problem arises the most.

You can also just keep aware of the oil tank indicator to tell you how much oil you used and how much just magically disappeared.

4. Problems Can Lead To Misfires Which Is Never Good For The Motor

Misfires are something that happens when too many problems start accumulating. This is actually pretty common for most engines, so it might be a topic of concern for some.

What Are Misfires?

Misfires, by definition, are the problems where some cylinders in the engine do not produce any kind of power.

The cylinders are basically meant to help you in building up new forms of power, which can always help your car run better.

But if you’re experiencing misfires, it might be something to worry about.

How Do They Happen?

Misfires basically happen the most when the engine is either too hot or too cold.

Having such a drastic change can never actually be a good thing, so your cylinders can be severely impacted.

Many other kinds of issues, such as overheating or even problems with the internal engine, can cause misfires, so you might never really know what the issue is if you have a lot of problems happening in your engine.

The Issue At Hand

Your car essentially stops working correctly. So avoiding misfires means taking care of the inside of your engine by actually making sure to maintain it.

5. Head Gasket Failures Have Become More Worrisome Than Ever

You might have already heard about head gasket failures and why they are so important to talk about. I will explain regardless so you can have your concepts clear.

Head Gasket And All About It

Head gaskets are basically the covers on top of valves to prevent heat from escaping.

Head gaskets are very important in making sure that the engine is working as smoothly as possible.

Why Do These Issues Matter?

Head gasket issues are known to matter because they control how well the engine works. If your head gasket is at risk, your whole engine might be at risk too.

You could also just lose a lot of power within your motor, which can cause your engine to start malfunctioning without any explanation.

You could potentially have to face misfires and lower power because of this issue.

Fixing The Issue At Hand

Replacing the head gaskets is probably the best way to deal with such an issue. You might have to become aware of the issue as soon as possible.

Otherwise, your car could simply shut down. So make sure you replace the parts on time.

What Is The Subaru WRX Engine?

To understand the engine completely, you first need to know what the engine actually is.

The Subaru WRX engine is a turbocharged 2.4-liter flat four-cylinder engine which is not uncommon as features of any other kind of engine.

The overall horsepower given in the motor is actually 271hp which is extremely average, but if you’re not someone looking for a high level of power, it might just be perfect for you.

The car and the motor offer you so many benefits and can probably be used in all kinds of cars, but the motor is mainly used only in the Subaru WRX because it was made for the car.

Just like with any engine, the motor has both the positives and the negatives, so it is completely up to you and what you like.

But the overall verdict of the motor really is that such a motor is worth buying and investing in.

Subaru WRX Engine Specs

Having the knowledge of all the specs in the Subaru WRX engine and the car can actually help you in making your decision slightly more informed.

You will find so many amazing specs in the engine that will actually have you pleased. Let’s go through some of these ourselves and see what the motor is all about.

Engine type Gasoline
Transmission 6 speed manual
Drive type All-wheel drive
Combined MPG 23
Fuel tank capacity 15.9 gal
Fuel type Premium unleaded
Direct injection Yes
Cam-type Double overhead cam
Horsepower 271hp
Valve timing Variable
Valves 16
Base engine size 2.0 l

Subaru WRX Engine Reliability

You might be wondering one of the most important questions that need to be asked, how reliable really is the Subaru WRX?

And the answer to this question is that the engine itself is an average amount of reliable.

There have been certain issues that have been seen in the motor, which can lower the reliability of the motor.

The best way to determine the reliability of your car and motor is through how long the motor lasts you. And this particular motor has been known to last all of its users for a very long time.

But the main issue still lies in the problems that come with owning this motor.

Some problems are minute and do not need to be concerned about, but some of the problems that come up actually have a much worse impact on the car and engine both.

Constant maintenance is required to keep the engine working perfectly, and at the end of the day, no one likes knowing that their engine could break down at any point during the day, and they would not even be able to stop it.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that the engine is extremely unreliable either. The engine works well enough for those not looking for a specific thing to be provided by their engines.

If you take care of your car and your motor and ensure that maintenance is done often as well as the changing of oils, your engine could last you a significantly longer period of time.

What Cars Use The Subaru WRX Engine?

There are some cars which are known to use the Subaru WRX engine.

Some of the most significant ones that we know of include the Subaru WRX engine itself as well as some other vehicles from the Forester, Crosstrek to the flag Impreza, Legacy and also the BRZ models.

Since the engine has been made in Subaru WRX anyway, the most sense is that it would be used in Subaru cars.

But all of these models have always worked well with the engine and have claimed to get the best speed and power that they could have with the motor.

The Benefits Of Choosing The Subaru WRX Engine

With all of the issues talked about, we also need to acknowledge some of the benefits that come alongside the Subaru WRX engine.

There are many good things about both the car and the engine, so you might actually end up loving them.

Some of the significant benefits present include:

  • The car is able to mount the engine closer to the ground, which gives it a lower sense of gravity.
  • Performance is considered exceptionally strong for this particular motor.
  • It is one of the very rare engines and cars that still offer a manual transmission that cannot be found anywhere anymore.
  • The motor has been made extremely sturdy, so you can imagine how well it behaves.
  • The practicality of the motor is also very high as compared to other kinds of engines.
  • The whole motor is extremely safe to use, so you won’t have any big problems with it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Use this buying guide if you still have certain questions about whether this engine suits you or not. You should always eliminate all negative possibilities anyway.

Q1. What Is The Top Speed For My Subaru WRX?

The top speed for the Subaru WRX is actually 155 mph. This is a considerable lot as compared to other engine speeds so you might actually enjoy the speed given.

Q2. Is The Horsepower Of 271 Enough For The Subaru WRX?

While you may think the horsepower is less, such a horsepower is absolutely perfect for the Subaru WRX. The engine has been made in a perfect way so no issues can be found with it.

Q3. Can I Consider The Subaru WRX A Reliable Buy?

If you’re not looking for something specific, the Subaru WRX is probably one of the most important buy’s you will have. You can totally rely on this engine.

Q4. How Safe Is The Subaru WRX Engine?

The Subaru WRX is considered one of the safest engines out there. With so much to offer, you can only benefit from getting the engine.


Finding out everything you need to know about the Subaru WRX is a great way to ensure you make the right decision.

There are always things that you want out of the engine you choose, so if you choose the said motor, it is more probable that you will never actually regret your decision.

You can actually be quite satisfied with the Subaru WRX reliability because, as compared to many other kinds of engines, the reliability is adequate.

Many other amazing features are also offered in this motor, so you can be sure to have the most amazing time if you do choose to invest in this motor.

Make sure to be aware of what you want before you make a decision, and you should be good.