Subaru 2.5 engine

Asked by Jun 24, 2016 at 03:59 PM about the 2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i Special Edition

Question type: General

How good is the 2.5i engine? Any major
widespread problems?

19 Answers


A true NIGHMARE engine! read all about it online.Subaru 2.5 L engine - the worst engine ever? I concur the 2.5L Subaru engine (non-turbo) has head gasket issues from 1996-2004(not present). Now they break piston ring land areas..However they seem to have stopped in 2005 where the engine design changed a bit. This is even evident in Consumer Reports which shows major engine problems for all the models (except turbo) only up to 2004. The major engine problem is the head gasket. Now the new models break piston ring land areas. STILL A NICE NOVELTY VEHICLE. If you don't like cars.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Auto_Centric- I'm sorry, but, that's just your opinion. Tell me, what do you think about the "intermediate shaft bearing" on the your car. And, while you slam the Subaru, which does not have anything like the Porsche design, you have a flat engine in your car. Now, tell me why there's a high mileage Subaru club with countless people over 100,000 up to 500,000 miles on their cars. Most people can and easily go 200,000 miles in their cars, especially newer models. The head gaskets issues pretty much disappeared on any cars 2010 or newer. Novelty engine? Wow, it was developed back in 1896 by Karl Benz. Subaru is the 5th most highly recommended vehicle. And, they have a proven track record of 96 percent of cars still on the road after 12 years. Of course, any person can neglect a vehicle and run it into the ground with poor maintenance and shoddy repairs. Look, every car has issues, but, the way you drive, maintain and repair your vehicle has a direct correlation with how far you'll go. If you didn't like these engines, WHY is one of these in your garage?

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

By the way, the 2.5 is rated by Consumers to be MORE reliable than the 3.6. And, when you consider that there are only 15 to 20 percent of 3.6 engines or less out there in the pool of available cars, they represent a fraction of the cars Subaru produces. According to Subaru, the technology for both the 2.5 and the 3.6 is the same, except that the larger engine has two more cylinders. Not everyone likes the 3.6, because it makes the front end heavy. And, one more thing, the super powerful Subaru WRX STI Is a modified version of the regular 2.5 engine and has 305 HP and 295 foot pounds of torque. Tell me, if that engine is so crappy, how did they manage to make a car like that?

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

Alean, here's a better answer to your original question. Check out this as well,

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Hi, Mark I don't own A Boxster never would ..Poorly! designed ..last Porsche I did own was the OLD 911 (aircooled) series.I'm not A FAN BOY of any manufacture... BUT, I service and or test and tune these manufactures vehicles I comment on. Lets be real they all build some Junk!The STI has its share of issues too I see plenty of Fails on this too, consider the production numbers too, such a small amount produced. So just to Make things clear I POINT OUT..really how so many manufactures produce design flawed automobiles as they should, Humans aren't perfect. Whatever, people should Buy what there in LOVE with. Please, comment on your preference for Subaru's design over the other...manufactures. Regards

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Oh, sorry, I saw the picture of the 2001 Porsche in your garage.


Auto_Centric-. Here's one of the reasons I like the horizontally opposed boxer engine,. See this link below, As you can see, the boxer engines have a natural balance because of their design. They also have a lower center of gravity due the placement of the motor and have a proven safety record. In a front end collision, the engine is designed to go underneath the car and away from the passenger compartment, skirting under the floor boards. Also, boxer engines for their relatively small size have a lot of torque and are frequently used in aircraft for this reason. The opposed cylinders means that there is no reason for counter weights and balancing shafts used in inline Fours or V6 engines. So, there's a natural smoothness to these engines. Also, the fact that the horsepower and torque are identical,. 170 horsepower and 170 foot pounds of torque in my Subaru Outback, the power band of acceleration is steady and smoothly responsive at any speed. It also helps that this is perfectly coupled with the CVT transmission that is constantly changing on a linear continuous band for keeping the engine and transmission in the perfect gearing. So, that's why I like it. Is it perfect, NO. There is no perfect car.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

I agree, on the inherit design potential of an opposed 4./ 6 (smoothness) Yes, low CG good polar moment of inertia etc.I have played with many of them, from VW aircooled type 1,2,3,4s along with the Subaru's EA / EJ / FB going back 20 years. SO, IF forced I'll tune or use an EJ22 but this causes a (for me) chassis choice issue? I've been in the Subaru tech center here in Ann Arbor, I hear and know directly about issues and jokes. I can't OUT... the engineers who speak frankly about lacking design features. They exists! Oil usage problems, Head gaskets a decades worth, Current piston (Wrx) blown ringlands and STI piston breakage. Everybody knows these(pattern) issues.. Nothing new. I also did work for Dunning Subaru (the dealer in town) So, I Do slam Subaru..But I also slam the others that are guilty TOO! You know even Fuji Heavy Industries, has changed in Name to Subaru, they have formed a Nice Niche market in the U.S. .Happy, to hear you enjoy your Outback and it performs well. Oh, I do favor a good Wright R1820 but it leads to chassis selection problems again.. Regards


Auto_Centric,. Hi, thanks for your post. It's unfortunate that there's an ebb and flow to the arc of many cars with repairs. When Subaru changed from the EJ Series engine to the newer FB Series there were some initial problems. My 2010 is the EJ Series Phase 2 engine with the newly designed multi layered head gaskets. Since Subaru redesigned this, there have been very few head gaskets failures. There have been a number of 2013-2015 H4 engines with oil burning issues, but, Subaru had a technical service bulletin on those and offered people a oil consumption test and in some cases did a ring and valve job on their cars with new pistons. Most of the affected cars I've heard that were involved turns out were Forrester models with the manual transmission. People with manual transmissions love to rev up their engines to the red line. Also, to comply with federal regulations, they lowered the oil viscosity from 5-30 as it is on my EJ Series 2 to 0-20 on the"FB Series engine. Yes, Subaru is a niche market, but, their cars serve a particular purpose and are workhorses. I had a 1995 Honda Accord station wagon for 19 years and it was a great car, but, it was too low to the ground and couldn't as effectively pull my teardrop trailer. Here's a picture of my car and the trailer with the Subaru, much better.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

My car doesn't burn excessive oil, however, because it's a boxer engine,. I do check it regularly and recommend that people do this. Only occasionally have I found it necessary to add a half quart usually after running pulling the trailer up hill or sustained driving in very hot weather on the freeway. All cars have the capacity to burn some oil. My car is just under 80,000 miles and runs great. I've had it just over two years, it was a certified pre-owned vehicle and runs like the day I purchased it. So, I'm VERY pleased.

I wonder which vehicles got the new FB engine? I think the Outback did before others, 2013? I'm also researching whether that engine is closed deck, or semi-closed. Car and Driver had a detailed article about it, but I don't recall it having the information I was looking for.


Stelcom66, here's a thread on this subject below, open-145417/


Stelcom66- The Forester models got the new FB series engine first in 2011 and it was introduced on the Subaru Outback beginning with the 2013 model year. Prior to that, the 2012 and earlier models had the EJ Series Phase 2 engines from 1999 to 2012. The phase one EJ Series engine started in 1989.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Read through this link and they discuss closed and open deck ,


Not a nightmare in 2009 but they could be better. Head gaskets are the only major issue. Use Subaru brand anti-leak in the radiator and keep the engine in tune. Use a higher octane gas if the car pings as pinging can put stress on the head gaskets. Why Subaru stuck with the IDIOTIC OPEN BLOCK set up is beyond me. Even the morons at Subaru used a closed block on the turbo's to get a better head gasket seal.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Markw1952 - Thanks, I saw that the displacement of the 2013 Outback engine was slightly larger than the previous year. Just doing research for the future. The 2002 Forester I own now is my 6th (have had 8 w/my name on the title counting those my kids owned). It's right around the time the head gaskets typically start leaking, 125k miles. At the moment I don't see any obvious signs. Every couple of months or so the coolant may be down just a bit.


If you have not already use Subaru brand stop leak in your radiator. I went 200,000 miles on my 2003 Forester (original head gaskets) and it was running strong when I sold it. Over all a much better car than my new Forester.

Well then that's encouraging! I will invest in the Subaru Brand stop leak. This may sound strange but I love driving my 2002, it's a 5 speed manual - maybe it's the slight crudeness I enjoy. Rides well though, the heated seats and powerful heater make it great in winter. I've heard about weak heat situations in newer Foresters. Why do you consider the 2003 better than your new one?


For one thing my 2003 went 200,000 miles on the original engine. The 2015 needed THREE engines in the first 20,000! The older car was a nice driver and problem free except for normal maintenance items like wheel bearings and timing belt. I also liked the older AWD system better, the traction control in the 2015 cannot be fully turned off and it will stop your progress is slippery conditions whereas the older one would just cruise on through.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • directly swap a 2000 subaru outback 2.5 into what yrs 4 answers

    What years can i directly swap a 2000 subaru outback 2.5 into

    2000 Subaru Outback Base Wagon



  • Subaru 3.6 Six vs. 2.5 Four, is this true? 4 answers

    Is it true that the Subaru 3.6 H6 really burns more oil than it's smaller sibling, the 2.5 Four? Take a look at this article from Consumer's Reports,

    2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited



  • 2.5 motor knocks when started 2 answers

    its a 2000 Subaru outback 2.5 it knocks for about twenty seconds after starting then stops. it runs fine after thirty seconds or so. I have synthetic oil in the motor which has 177.000 miles

    2000 Subaru Outback



  • 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5 - Interference or Non -Interference 2 answers

    There's a lot of confusion about this, see these two web sites. Which is correct? I'd like to think its a non interference, but, only one is correct? http://w...

    2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited



  • 2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5 liter. 3 answers

    Reading the Owners Manual, I can't see where there is a fuse designated to the Headlights. Can anyone out there tell me? A 2001 Subaru Outback 2.5 Liter Limited Sedan? S

    2001 Subaru Outback Limited


    Maintenance & Repair


Looking for a Used Outback in your area?

CarGurus has 38,468 nationwide Outback listings starting at $1,995.


Search Subaru Outback Questions

Subaru Outback Experts

#1 Markw1952
Reputation 6,540
#2 TheSubaruGuruBoston
Reputation 2,010
#3 F_O_R
Reputation 1,550
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Forester
364 Great Deals out of 29,303 listings starting at $1,750
Used Subaru Impreza
174 Great Deals out of 17,795 listings starting at $1,250
Used Subaru Legacy
199 Great Deals out of 15,899 listings starting at $999
Used Honda CR-V
887 Great Deals out of 61,735 listings starting at $988
Used Toyota RAV4
737 Great Deals out of 71,386 listings starting at $1,895
Used Toyota Highlander
341 Great Deals out of 24,347 listings starting at $2,499
Used Toyota 4Runner
240 Great Deals out of 20,402 listings starting at $1,800
Used Toyota Tacoma
530 Great Deals out of 40,497 listings starting at $2,495
Used Honda Accord
830 Great Deals out of 85,684 listings starting at $988
Used Honda Pilot
384 Great Deals out of 21,474 listings starting at $1,500
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee
1,050 Great Deals out of 74,516 listings starting at $750
Used Subaru Impreza WRX
30 Great Deals out of 1,220 listings starting at $4,455
Used Toyota Camry
1,019 Great Deals out of 90,645 listings starting at $650

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Subaru Outback For Sale
30 Great Deals out of 29,413 listings starting at $17,261
2016 Subaru Outback For Sale
51 Great Deals out of 1,090 listings starting at $16,990
2015 Subaru Outback For Sale
76 Great Deals out of 1,544 listings starting at $11,997
2014 Subaru Outback For Sale
47 Great Deals out of 1,572 listings starting at $9,495
2013 Subaru Outback For Sale
32 Great Deals out of 928 listings starting at $8,985

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.