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Are Subarus Hard To Work On? [ Repair And Maintain Explained ]

Are Subarus Hard To Work On? [ Repair And Maintain Explained ]

Subarus have long been the exponent of the powerful car culture in Japan. Whether you think of seamlessly drifting through the snow or racing through dirt roads, Subaru cars prove to be a prime pick. These cars carry the legacy of the established automobile manufacturer from Japan, regardless of the model you go for. However, before you finalize your purchase decision, it’s worth knowing whether it’s too hard to work on Subaru cars. In this post, you will get to know all these details, along with the common issues that these cars face.

Is Subarus hard to work on?

No, Subarus are not too hard to work on or repair. The difficulty level in fixing the technical glitches is moderate. Whether you own an Ascent, Crosstrek, Outback, or Forester, you can get the problems fixed quite easily.

Fixing parts like batteries, radiators, and alternators is pretty straightforward. However, you might encounter some challenges when it comes to fixing head gaskets, spark plugs, or internal parts of the engine.

On the other hand, Subaru Engines are not too easy to work on. Many of the common fixes would require you to remove the engine. It is not too difficult to remove these engines. However, when you compare the ease of removal to other brands, it would take slightly more effort. For example, if an owner needs to work on the engine’s bottom end, particularly on the crankshaft or the piston they need not remove the engine in most cars. However, Subaru owners need to remove the engine and split it before they can work on these parts.

Moreover, simple operations like removing the cylinder head or spark plug replacements need more effort and time in Subaru models than in cars that have V-shaped or inline engines. The reason is, the Engines in Subaru cars lie very low in the bay. However, there is adequate space behind the engine as well as in the front of it. However, the sides do not have much space to work on the engine.

Do Subarus have a lot of problems?

Although Subarus don’t have too many problems, it’s worth knowing the common flaws in its models.

  • Draining of the battery system led to lawsuits in the US. Some of the Subaru Outback models between 2016 and 2019 faced this issue. Defective batteries have also affected some Subaru Forester and Ascent cars.
  • Cracked windshields have been a matter of concern for some Subaru owners. Particularly, the Outback model of 2015, as well as the Legacy models had this issue in common. One of the California owners even filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer for this defect. Till date, more than 2.5 million Subaru cars across almost all the models faced this issue.
  • Problems in the electrical system of Subarus are also moderately common. Some of the Impreza and Crosstrek models between 2017 and 2019 had glitches with their electrical systems. The NHTSA made a recall, impacting more than 460,000 cars in the US. The authority stated that in both these models the ignition coil gains power even after the drivers shit off the engine. This might lead to a short circuit, eventually blowing away the fuse. Besides, if this happens when you drive the car, it can lead to crashes.
  • Failure of the Denso fuel pump also happens to be a moderately common issue in Subarus. The brand recalled some of the Impreza, Legacy, Ascent, and Outback models of 2029 following this problem. Besides, NHTSA reported that the same glitch affected around 1.5 million Subarus in the US.

How Easy is it to Work on a Subaru?

It is somewhat easy for owners or drivers to work on a Subaru car. Compared to other Japanese cars, the difficulty level in making simple repairs is almost the same. The difficult part lies when it comes to fixing complex flaws.

To ensure proper access to replace oil, the manufacturer has integrated an oil filter and drain plug that one can easily use. Even when you think of batteries, air filters, and headlamp bulbs, there won’t be any issue in accessing those parts. Therefore, the basic maintenance and repairs require little effort. In front of the car’s engine, you have adequate space to access the alternators, drive belts, and radiators. Also, you can work straightforwardly on the brakes and suspension. The manufacturers have intelligibly designed these parts to facilitate operations and access.

In most Subaru cars, you will love the simplicity and uncluttered electrical systems. This eases up the process of electrical diagnosis significantly for the owners. So, if you have some experience in these operations, it won’t seem to be complicated.

The only place where you might encounter challenges is the engine compartment of the Subaru. These cars come with flat or boxer engines. This implies that the cylinders in the engine do not make the ‘V’ formation, or don’t face up-down. Rather, they sit on the sides, unlike most internal car engines. This might prove to be a challenge when it comes to any work in the internal parts. You would find it challenging to access these areas without entirely removing the engine from the car.

 Is Subarus Easy to Maintain?

It is moderately easy to maintain Subaru cars. Particularly, when it comes to changes in engine oil, it’s as simple to work on as any other Japanese car. Moreover, one can seamlessly access components that they need to access frequently. These include the headlamp bulbs, batteries, and other parts.

In Subarus, the manufacturers do not deploy metric fasteners that have hexagonal heads. Therefore, one can opt for the tool kits that are available at the general stores. Performing on the suspension and brakes of Subaru cars won’t be a hassle so long as you know how to go about it.

However, in some of the older Subaru models, the engines had timing belts. As you know, these belts require replacements when they end their respective lifespans. When you change the belt, you need to properly sync the crankshaft and camshaft with one another. Otherwise, the engine won’t deliver the expected performance. Improper syncing can even lead to damage to the engines. In case you are not sure about the process, make sure to hire an expert.

In the past, Subaru cars with 2.5-liter engines had some problems with the piston ring and the head gasket. In case you decide to buy a used model, be careful about the possible flaws that can complicate repairs.

Are Subaru Foresters Easy to Work On?

It is relatively easy to operate on Subaru Foresters. This car comes in the category of compact crossover SUVs. This implies that you would get adequate space to carry out repairs both under the hood. Well, you might notice some of these models having turbocharged engines. However, this is absent in most of the models. Therefore, the non-turbocharged models come with a simple design that facilitates operations.

Is Subaru Imprezas Easy to Work On?

When you compare Subaru Imprezas to other cars like the WRX STI, they appear to be simpler to operate on. Imprezas do not have the complicated parts that the manufacturer integrates into the more sophisticated models. Subaru Imprezas serve as a basic commuter vehicle. So, working on these models involve the same kind of difficulty that you would have with a Honda or a Toyota car. However, the standard AWD and boxer engine makes it relatively difficult to work on.

Is Subaru WRX Easy to Work On?

Well, when you consider the ease of operation, Subaru WRX impresses owners. This is possibly the easiest Subaru model to operate on. In this car, you have plenty of space to carry out the repairs. Compared to other models, the design seems to be less complicated. However, the WRX does not have any drastic difference, compared to other Subaru models.


Evidently, Subaru owners won’t repent purchasing these vehicles as they do not prove too expensive to work on. The brand aims at mass-producing its models, so that they can market them to daily commuters. In case they make the cars difficult to fix, they won’t survive the competition. However, certain models such as the Subaru WRX STI are more complicated to fix. This is because this car has more expensive brakes, transmission, and engine parts. Nevertheless, there are several other models to choose from, which are moderately easy to work on.