really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
126,000 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace head gaskets and machine heads (3 reports)
2009 Subaru Impreza engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Subaru Impreza Owner Comments

problem #3

Oct 062018

Impreza 2.5L H4

  • Manual transmission
  • 121,000 miles


This seems to be a strictly Subaru problem. Between a Mercury which lasted 300,000 miles before needing HG replacement and a Honda in my family that is at 240,000 miles still running strong, it seems unacceptable that Subaru lets this problem occur.

Subaru seems to excuse this issue by falsely claiming that it's an inherent design problem with flat engines, but it seems to only be an issue with their non-turbo flat fours. WRX models have their faults, but not a head gasket fault on the level as their non-turbo cousins. BMW has been producing boxer engines since the 20's and as far as I can recall nobody has historically complained about those either.

This seems to be a problem that is solely tied to Subaru EJ25 motors, and is unacceptable that any car would blow head gaskets this early into its life.

As far as I know, if I have the head gaskets replaced at a dealership, I will be out of pocket over two grand and STILL have the same faulty head gaskets that came with the car. Meanwhile a Subaru specialist shop knows that using MLS gaskets will solve the problem entirely. Why can't Subaru be accountable for knowing this simple fix to their one huge problem?

- Nick B., Daytona Beach, FL, US

problem #2

Jun 012017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

Bought it used with 150k on it, right from the beginning it was terrible. The engine light was on from day 1 and really never turned off. Just last year was when we found out that the head gasket was going. I hate this car with all of my soul. It smells like it is on fire all the time and I named it the Brimstone Box for a reason!

- Emma W., Oakdale, CT, US

problem #1

Feb 012017

Impreza Hatch 2.5i

  • Manual transmission
  • 86,992 miles

Subaru must be marketing geniuses because the 3 or 4 people I know with Subarus have all had head gaskets blow and 2 have had brake lines rust out prematurely. To me this would be evidence of a larger issue with the brand itself but somehow it is still known to most people as one of the more reliable brands you can buy and because of this they hold their value. I would not recommend buying a Subaru older than 2011 to anyone because you will likely get head gasket issues around 100k. This is a well documented problem amongst Subaru owners on every car forum. Apparently the oem aluminum gaskets have a coating which inherently breaks down much quicker than other materials. F*** you Subaru!!

- rawss, Ottawa, ON, Canada

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