Can Subaru boxer engines be comparable in quality to Porsche?

27,795

Asked by Jan 24, 2016 at 08:15 PM about the 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

Question type: General

Both of them make boxer engines used in production today for various cars,  
including the Porsche Boxster and the almost the  entire line of all Subaru cars.
So,  how would you compare the quality and durability of each irrespective of
speed performance?

24 Answers

8,060

What "quality"? Without adhering to the real definition of the word this is basically a non-starter, Mark, as it's a bit meaningless. Durability is usually measured by MTBF, for one statistic, so an obvious example is that Porche's paint is vastly more durable than Subaru's. How many thousands of parts do you want to compare, and how do you collect the data? Tongue stuck in cheek, Ern.

27,795

Yes, I should have asked Google, http://www.revvedmag.com/engine-tech/engine/understanding-the- complex-theory-behind-subarus

27,795

It appears that both are pretty reliable if cared for, and the guy with the 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5 CVT transmission and 290,000 miles on the original transmission and engine is living proof.

27,795

A friend of mine just purchased a 2002 Porsche Boxster with only 62,000 miles. Unfortunately, he soon discovered that he has a PROBLEM with the INTERMEDIATE Shaft bearing. Now, apparently, the car needs a major retrofit or rebuild the entire engine. I would not call this quality control and Porsche lost a major class action lawsuit over this. He's lucky that the 2002 models can be retrofitted for less than $3,000, some models cannot accommodate this and the entire engine and transmission need an overhaul costing way beyond $12,000.

8,060

Yes, one can compare anything!

27,795

This is what happens when you purchase a car from Craigslist or a used car dealership and you DON'T do your homework!

27,795

Maybe someone can advise if any other car has a similar setup to Porsche with this poorly designed " Intermediate shaft bearing".

8,060

Maybe you should translate that to Deutche and send it to Zuffenhausen, Mark.

8,060

Mark, you intimate that an offering from a "used-car dealership" is inferior to one from a NEW car dealership a little too blithely. I've often purchased vehicles from new car stores' "front line", supposedly "certified" and "through the shop" (which usually means in the left door, detailed and safety-checked, and out the right door...except south of the equator?). I THEN spend typically hours and hundreds on them to perfect to my acceptability for my clients. Please don't conflate honest pros' efforts with scoundrels.

27,795

Ernie, I know that you're an exception to the typical "used car dealership", I've read the New England club forum ... and can see your well deserved reputation. UNFORTUNATELY, there's a lot of other used car dealers don't fit your profile. NOW, can you please tell me if Subaru cars have anything remotely similar to the Intermediate shaft bearing that's found in the Porsche? As for new car dealerships just waving the certified cars thru, let me say this. New car dealerships have a very high profile and stand to lose a LOT if they habitually screw people, the word gets around very quickly and you can pretty much say that any dealership that's been in the local community for more than 20 years is just not going to do that and ruin their reputation. Craigslist and private party sales are lower than any dealership,

8,060

if only it were that nice and simple. Most new car stores are owned by extraordinarily egocentric power players whose business runs on greed, fraud (service), and puffery. Most buyers don't care, as they're simply seeking the lowest new car price. The whole industry is modeled this way. Longevity of a NEW car store is more about money, politics, and empire-building, NOT longterm reputation. Fortunately service and pre-owned shops longevity is more positively correlated with attention to client reputation and client honest servicing. There are too many examples of honest indies who went under, as it's almost impossible to profitably run a pure service business without puffery, whereas the huge enterprises are too big to fail, in a sense. But I must say that you wearr your rose-colored glasses well, Mark.

109,525

Comparing a pedestrian level engine and a race derived, high performance engine is a bit like comparing a Triple Crown winner to a plow horse. Yes you can compare them but the comparison is largely meaningless as the two have different purposes.

109,525

This might help clear the fog ----- http://www.oregonpca.org/resources/ims-bearing-the-full-story/

1 people found this helpful.
8,060

Great link, FoR. Interesting to read that low service interval gingerly driven examples are less durable than cleaner parts run at higher speed. I've always been a believer of young, highway-driven machines with higher mileage than old pizza delivery city vehicles or Sunday-driven slugs. Thanks for the link. Ern

27,795

Full_of_Regrets- thanks and yes, I've read these articles like the one you just posted. By the way, I was NOT trying to compare the performance of the Porsche to the Subaru, obviously, the Porsche is a faster car. What I was interested in is the design of the drivetrains, and this particular "single point of failure" in the Porsche. So, you're confirming that the Subaru does NOT have anything like this "INTERMEDIATE Shaft bearing " to cause a failure like this. I understand that starting in 2009 and beyond Porsche solved this problem in their cars.

109,525

If you look at a photo of the valve train on a newer Subaru DOHC engine you will see that the cams are driven off of the crankshaft.

27,795

Ernie, you wrote, "Most new car stores are owned by extraordinarily egocentric power players whose business runs on greed, fraud (service), and puffery. Most buyers don't care, as they're simply seeking the lowest new car price." REALLY??? First, unscrupulous, used car dealers are the number one argument why people purchase BRAND NEW cars. Second, the image of "used car dealers" has been a very long storied tradition, that is not going away anytime soon. , Third, it's up to you and your colleagues in the business to clean this up for everyone's sake. Finally, a lot of people think that rental cars and even some leases where people use cars for two or three years is a license to drive their vehicles like they're characters in a "Fast and Furious movie. This is why there are some people who will NEVER purchase a used car from ANYONE, They just don't know how the car was treated from DAY 1. There are many reports online about good and not so good dealerships. I can assure you that I'm looking very hard at these before I purchase any car. Normally, I look for a family owned rather than corporate dealer, but it depends on the business, how long they've been in the community. So, yes, I'm looking at these guys carefully, but, not through some rose colored lens. If you're careful and purchase at years end or when there's a promotion to move cars, you can get a good deal even on a brand new car. The key is this, if you purchase a new car, you should really keep it for 15 years. And, a good CPO car can be found at the right dealership, as you know it's all about condition. The biggest advantage of a CPO car is the price, but, the price is NOT everything, sometimes its worth paying more to get the "right car". It's all about the provenance of the car and choosing one that has verified service records and owned by people who were more mature and diligent about maintaining their vehicles is more important than you think.

27,795

Full_of_Regrets- thanks, I think the same is true for the SOHC engines as well. I cannot find anything even remotely similar in setup to the Porsche design on the Subaru or any other engine out there. I'm sure that they regretted all the problems, not to mention, the lawsuit it caused. And, speaking of lawsuits, Subaru finally settled their oil consumption lawsuit, giving owners an extension to 8 years or 100,000 miles.

109,525

The SOHC engines are belt driven from the crankshaft.

27,795

Thanks, so, no intermediate shaft bearing, a direct drive. That's good.

27,795

Well, it is driven by the timing belt, but, that's a service interval component common to most cars.

8,060

Mark, How many vehicles have you bought?

8,060

Mark, The number one reason folks buy new cars is the EXPERIENCE of buying a new car. Marketing 101. But maybe California is still the wild west, eh? Enjoy February. I'll be touring Asia checking out new cars. Ern

Oh boy...The intermediate shaft bearing (IMS) story. Let me begin with saying that Porsche made the historical IMS cars from 1999-2005 and subsequently suffered between 2%-5% total engine failure like the gentleman in this blog states in regards to his friend. A very rare problem for What has become an excellent vehicle. The solution to prevent this issue became very simple. The IMS retro fit. For 1800.00 a new LNS bearing replacement became available and the problem of the IMS is history. I have had several 911s beginning with the first of its kind in the water cooled all the way to the 2005.. Loved all of them. Extremely reliable and wonderful cars. Don't ever let the IMS issue away you from owning one. If you are going to invest in a Porsche it's a small price to pay for an otherwise fantastic car.

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