definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
28,429 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Subaru Impreza engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Subaru Impreza Owner Comments

problem #7

Sep 122006

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 72,000 miles


98 Subaru Impreza 2.5rs. I had the head gaskets replaced under warranty the first time. Around a year after that, the car over heated again. I had it towed to a auto repair shop that I worked at and had them test the car to see the problem. It was a blown head gasket again. They determined this by testing for any emissions in the coolant. There was also a large amount of sludge build up in the coolant reservoir(oil)as well. Subaru would not warranty there original work so the car sat for a bit before I could afford to have it fixed. When I saved up some money for the repair, I brought it to the Subaru dealer to have them do the work on it. I was extremely upset with the work they did but got the car back with a functional engine. Not more than a year and a half later, the same thing happen(overheat). Again, I pulled over right away to limit any further damage to the engine. At that point, I had the car towed to my home and it sat for about a year before the bad choice to repair it again. This time I sent it to boffo auto repair. They recommended a new motor because the last time the "heads" had been done, they milled the heads smooth and new "heads" were not to far of the price of a used engine. Boffo finally found a used engine for my car that apparently is very difficult to find. The engine had 32K on it and was reported to have been checked over as a safe, reliable motor. After spending over $4000 this time around, I had a working car again. The car came back to me not even 3 months ago. The engine over heated "again" the other day and again I have a head gasket leak(oil into the coolant). I have been looking on the internet about this problem and it seems to be a big one on the 98 vehicle. I found out that they only made that motor for the model year 98 only. Why is this? I have been informed by a Subaru employee because of the head gasket problem. I need your help. I have contacted an attorney this morning and will have him get in touch with Subaru.

- Upper St.Clair, PA, USA

problem #6

Mar 152001

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 29,000 miles
Head gasket failure engine overheated on 16 hour trip.. took to Subaru dealership, they put in a new "starter bolt" stated it was a bad ground?? on return home car over heated again.. was repaired by Subaru, tech said it was common. 2nd head gasket failure, two months later, oil in antifreeze... driving 55-65 mph for 10 min in 75-80F weather, not under hard acceleration. Fear that it will happen again. Current recall on 99-01 models for "coolant additive". poor head gasket design is leading to failure... seems to be common problem on 98's (2.5rs DOHC EJ25 phase 1)

- Ft. Collins, CO, USA

problem #5

Dec 152003

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles
The engine kept overheating and air would appear in the radiator. Antifreeze would be pushed out of radiator and the heater would blow cold air. The car had to be shut off repeatedly and allowed to cool down and the antifreeze replaced. A check of the cooling system detected no leaks. We were took the car to a number of garages until finally one garage told us that the engine block was most likely cracked and the engine needed to be replaced at a cost of $3600. According to the garage, they have replaced a number of engines for this particular model, specifically one with the DOHC.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #4

Jun 172004


  • miles


1998 Subaru Impreza 53,000 miles and the auto tech at Subaru says I have a piston slap, $2500 to pull engine and check this out. I have changed oil every 3,000 miles brought it in for the 30,000 mileage over all check up - what is up with this motor?

- Clearwater, MN, USA

problem #3

Jan 042003


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Engine stalls when trying to take off after stopping at traffic light. There is also a rapping noise in engine until its been running awhile.

- Waterford, ME, USA

problem #2

Sep 272001

(reported on)

Impreza 4WD

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
The flywheel is inoperative.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #1

Oct 032001


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer had taken vehicle to dealer due to a strong fuel smell and burning oil coming from engine. Dealer replaced transmission transfer case/ repaired an oil leak, and replaced piston gaskets.sometimes consumer had tried to start engine, but it would not happen at all.

- Pencil Bluff, AR, USA

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