Ah, the Subaru WRX. A name that evokes images of dirt-covered rally cars, roaring engines, and the thrill of the open road. But like any passionate love affair, it’s not without its ups and downs. If you’ve ever dreamt of owning one, or if you’re a proud owner, you might be curious about some of the quirks and challenges this iconic car has faced over the years.
From its rally roots to its mainstream success, the WRX has seen its fair share of highs and lows. And while it’s a car that many adore, it’s also had its moments that left owners scratching their heads.
In this deep dive, we’ll pull back the curtain on the Subaru WRX. We’ll explore the common problems that have given some owners a bit of a headache, the years that were a tad more problematic, and even touch on a lawsuit that’s making waves. But don’t let that deter you! Every love story has its challenges, and the WRX is no exception.
So, if you’re ready to embark on this rollercoaster ride of automotive passion, keep reading. Trust me; you won’t want to miss what’s coming up next.
Ready to hit the gas? Let’s dive in!
Broad Overview of Common Subaru WRX Problems
Several issues have been plaguing the Subaru WRX over the years, tarnishing its otherwise gleaming reputation. Here’s a list of the most common problems experienced by Subaru WRX owners:
Many Subaru WRX owners have reported problems with the vehicle’s transmission system. The most common complaint is about the WRX’s rough full-throttle shifts.
Some owners have also reported that the vehicle’s lineartronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) is quite shaky and wobbly as it maneuvers through gears, leading to a not-so-smooth driving experience. In extreme cases, this issue has caused the engine to stall.
Excessive Oil Consumption
Another issue that has been a cause of concern for Subaru WRX owners is the vehicle’s excessive oil consumption. Faulty seals inside the engine, such as the head gasket and the oil pump seal, are often to blame for this issue.
When these seals fail, they can cause oil to leak out from within the engine compartment, leading to excessive engine heat and potential damage to mechanical components.
Engine problems are a common complaint among Subaru WRX owners. The most frequently reported issue is internal engine failure, particularly related to the vehicle’s pistons, rods, piston rings, and rod bearings. Misfires are also a common problem, which could indicate a deeper issue in the engine.
Subaru WRX models, particularly those from 2015 and 2016, have been reported to have clutch problems. These issues often arise after prolonged use of the vehicle and can lead to further electrical and engine problems, all of which can be quite costly to repair.
Infotainment System Problems
Some Subaru WRX owners have also reported problems with the vehicle’s infotainment system. These issues range from the system randomly resetting itself to the system’s touchscreen not responding to touch inputs.
Related: Subaru Dashboard Lights and Meanings
Subaru WRX owners have also reported issues with the vehicle’s suspension, particularly with the STI high-performance suspension. These problems can lead to an uncomfortable riding experience, especially when going over bumps.
Some owners of the Subaru WRX have reported experiencing brake issues. These issues often manifest as a grinding noise when braking, indicating a possible problem with the brake pads or rotors.
Turbo failure is another common issue among Subaru WRX owners. This problem is often associated with the vehicle’s turbo technology, which has undergone a long and arduous journey over the past decade.
Turbo failure can be caused by several factors, including wear and tear, as well as stress exerted on the stock turbo when the vehicle is modified and tuned for increased power.
Breakdown of Subaru WRX Problems By Worst Years
Now that we have a broad overview of the common problems faced by Subaru WRX owners, let’s delve deeper into how these issues affect specific model years:
Or, dive deeper here: Subaru WRX Years to Avoid
- 2015 Subaru WRX: The 2015 Subaru WRX has been known to have a fair share of issues. The most frequently reported problem for this model year is related to the vehicle’s clutch. After prolonged use, the clutch tends to give out, leading to further electrical and engine problems.
- 2016 Subaru WRX: Like its predecessor, the 2016 Subaru WRX also has clutch issues. Apart from this, owners have reported problems related to the engine and the electrical system of the vehicle.
- 2017 Subaru WRX: For the 2017 WRX, the most common issue reported by owners is related to the vehicle’s brakes. Owners have reported experiencing a grinding noise when braking, indicating a potential problem with the brake pads or rotors.
- 2018 Subaru WRX: Models from 2018 are known to have issues with their infotainment systems. Owners have reported problems ranging from the system randomly resetting itself, to the system’s touchscreen not responding to touch inputs.
- 2019 Subaru WRX: For the 2019 Subaru WRX, the most frequently reported issue by owners is excessive oil consumption. This problem is often caused by faulty seals inside the engine, which can lead to oil leaks and excessive engine heat.
Were Any Of These Problems Recalled?
While Subaru has issued several recalls for various models over the years, none of these recalls specifically address the common problems experienced by Subaru WRX owners that we’ve discussed in this article.
What’s Up With The Ongoing Lawsuit?
There is currently an ongoing lawsuit involving the Subaru WRX and WRX STI models. The lawsuit alleges that Subaru knowingly sold vehicles with defective parts that led to engine failure. The main issue at hand is the alleged defective ringlands surrounding the pistons in the EJ25 2.5-liter turbocharged Boxer engines.
The lawsuit claims that these defects can cause a sudden loss of power or stalling, compromising the owner’s ability to maintain vehicle control. In some cases, it can also lead to sudden and catastrophic engine destruction.
Find out more, here: Are Subaru WRX Reliable? Yes and No (Here’s Why)
Do Subaru WRX Have Head Gasket Problems?
Yes, head gasket problems are quite common in Subaru WRX vehicles. The WRX has an aluminum head that helps to cut down on engine weight. However, these aluminum heads are prone to damage when the engine compartment gets hot.
When this happens, it can cause the head gaskets to fail and allow oil to leak out from within the engine compartment. This can lead to excessive engine heat and potential damage to mechanical components.
Does the WRX Suffer From Transmission Issues?
Yes, transmission issues are a common complaint among Subaru WRX owners. The most frequently reported issue is rough full-throttle shifts.
In some cases, the vehicle’s lineartronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) can be quite shaky and wobbly as it maneuvers through gears, leading to a not-so-smooth driving experience. In extreme cases, this issue has caused the engine to stall.
Related: Are Subarus Expensive To Fix and Maintain?
Despite its popularity and its prowess as a rally car, the Subaru WRX has had its fair share of problems over the years. From transmission issues to engine problems, these issues have left many owners frustrated and disappointed.
However, it’s important to remember that not all WRX models will experience these problems, and many owners continue to enjoy their vehicles without any significant issues.
It’s always a good idea to be aware of these potential problems if you’re considering purchasing a Subaru WRX, especially a used one. Make sure to have the vehicle thoroughly inspected by a professional before making your purchase. And if you already own a WRX and are experiencing any of these issues, it may be a good idea to contact a professional for advice on how to address these problems.
All-in-all, while the Subaru WRX is an exciting and capable vehicle, potential buyers should be aware of its potential problems and consider these factors when deciding whether this vehicle is the right choice for them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Subaru WRX owners have reported a range of issues over the years, including transmission problems, excessive oil consumption, engine issues, clutch problems, infotainment system malfunctions, suspension concerns, brake problems, and turbo failures.
Yes, certain model years have had distinct issues. For instance, the 2015 and 2016 Subaru WRX models are known for clutch problems, the 2017 model has brake issues, the 2018 model has infotainment system problems, and the 2019 model frequently experiences excessive oil consumption.
While Subaru has had several recalls for various models over time, none of these recalls specifically target the common problems discussed in the article concerning Subaru WRX owners.
Yes, many Subaru WRX owners have reported problems with the vehicle’s transmission system. Common complaints include rough full-throttle shifts and a shaky lineartronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) that can lead to a less smooth driving experience and, in severe cases, engine stalling.