SUBARU BOXER® Engine: Longevity

At Subaru, we’re committed to building the
most technologically advanced vehicles we can imagine. And we’re all about making
that commitment long term. It’s why we created the Subaru BOXER engine featuring a horizontal
design that generates less vibration for more durability. In other words, our engines last
long, so our cars stay on the road for a long time. Good thing our interiors are comfortable.
You see, in the horizontally opposed design of the 4 cylinder and 6 cylinder Subaru BOXER
engines, the side to side punches of the corresponding pistons cancel out each other’s vibrations,
which makes for a much smoother running engine. Meanwhile in many of our competitor’s four
cylinder engines, the vibrations aren’t naturally cancelled out like they are in the
4 cylinder Subaru BOXER engine. And unlike the 6 cylinder Subaru BOXER engine, many competitors
V-type engines may use balance shafts to cancel out vibration. This adds reciprocating mass
and reduces efficiency. Engines subjected to less vibrations are smother operating which
provides a smoother ride. Its why 96 percent of Subaru’s built in the last 12 years are
still on the road today. And because the Subaru BOXER engine has a flatter profile, it helps
lower the vehicle’s center of gravity height providing enhanced stability, cornering, and
overall vehicle control. We don’t just think differently, we think horizontally, and that’s
why every vehicle we make comes with a Subaru BOXER engine and a remarkably long commitment.

78 thoughts on “SUBARU BOXER® Engine: Longevity

  1. Mmmmmh…. let's come back to this obvious advertisement propaganda. Less vibration… ok, it's plausible. But what is with the gaskets problems ? They are not a fatal problem, merely a little inconvinience. But it needs money and time to repair.
    Also, your flat 6 engine… GIVE IT BACK ! In the EU, we only have the 4cyl 1.6L on the Levorg. It's annoying. I Give us, at least, the possibility to have the 3.0R. It's such a fine engine.

  2. It sounds good in theory until you discover the engine consumes oil like no tomorrow and the head gasket starts to leak after just 60,000 miles.  Cancels out vibration?  Subaru engines have some of the most noticeable vibrations in the segment.

  3. boxer engines are flawed by design! ANY straight six engine is a lot more classy and reliable than any boxer engine! it's physics at its best when comparing straight six with a flat 4 or flat six engine!


  5. My 2004 Forester has 201,500 miles on it and counting. Just drove it from New Hampshire to California and back! Runs great, original engine and transmission. No issues.

  6. a split engine block doesn't inspire confidence to me! it can't even be compared to a cast iron block wich usually stays in one piece or cracks after DECADES of reliable service! try that with a subaru engine… the next big flaw in my opinion is the weight of the pistons "resting"/pressing on the lower part of the cylinder at all times from the moment you assemble the engine until it's time to rebuild it! there is a noticeable difference between an upright sitting piston and a piston wich is on it's side! physics will tell you clearely that some mass is pressing down on the piston and it's rings! that's why many if not all subaru or boxer engines will tend to burn oil sooner or later! you don't see that in straight six engines wich have upright pistons until you get past 300k miles or 500k kms! some BMW M30B35 even later aroung 800k kms! as do some of the smaller M20B20 or M20B25 wich in some cases have reached 1 million kms and no present oil consumption was noticed! I can tell you for sure because I own one M20B20 with about 250k km and it has no oil consumption or at least not as subaru or boxer engines develop in time! in 6700 kms I added about 800-900 ml of oil just to keep it at the max level on the oil checking stick! and I drive it hard almost every day! bottom line boxer or flat six engines are not good engines but average compromise for lower weight centre and torque! I would drive/own one not even if given for free! good day!

  7. A boxer engine has its own vibration problems. It appears that vibrations are cancelled out when viewed axially down the crankshaft. But if you look from the top of the engine you'll notice that there is considerable vibration because the opposing pistons are not really opposing. They are offset, especially when firing order is taken into consideration. Anyone who has ever ridden a BMW twin boxer will know of the side-to-side vibration as first the one pot fires, then the other. As the crank gets longer, the offset increases.

  8. So far, 272k on my 2004 Impreza Outback.

    Original engine.
    Original clutch.
    Replaced the timing belt and water pump at 230k, even though it was fine.
    I think I was supposed to do it at 100k. LoL.
    I'm aiming for 500k before thinking of giving up on her.
    I know she can do it.
    Best car I've ever purchased.

  9. I have read some of the comments down below and I get it. There are cars that are pretty, fast, fancy, etc. They are like MMA fighters…cool…and we all like looking at them. They can kick ass. But when you need someone to stand when no one else need a soldier. Subaru is that soldier.
    I have 3 Subies: 2002 Outback (300 000 km), 2008 Tribeca (140 000 km), and 2017 STI (24 000km). Awesome cars. Yip there are cars that are apparently better on gas. Why? Because Subies are made to be driven. Once you have one it is an enjoyment every minute of the day. Performance is what makes it awesome and then I think…who cares about the milage?
    The 2002 Outback needed head gaskets 2 years back. Yip that was a drag. Cost $3500 Canadian. Since then I have put another 40 000km on it. It goes anywhere and everywhere. Cannot buy a new car for $3500 that can do what this car can do.
    Tribeca was in two big accidents, one from front and one in back. Dumb assess on a highway not paying attention. No injuries inside the Subaru. Not even the dog in the back was hurt. Fixed it up perfectly like new. It is as awesome as always.
    In the STI all roads are straight…even a hair pin corner. If you can drive this car and not smile then what you are looking for goes under the trade name…Prozac. You cannot drive Prozac and it will make your nut sack itch, but…oh please…who cares?
    When roads are bad and a blizzard is going crazy…I get in my Subie, close the door, start up, and suddenly the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and I go where ever I want.
    Owned Landrover, Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Dodge, and Toyota; still has my Tundra 2011. Subaru is king of all…but not the prettiest; however I do not mind looking at all those pretty cars…stuck in snow and ice when I drive by.
    Audi is in my opinion comparable in what it can do, but for 25%-40% more money. Not worth it.
    Buy Subaru.

  10. i have a 98 forrester , been serviced , by me , never let me own , has 487,000 km , on it , never taken heads off , just belt replace, yes as a 2litre with heavy body ,not a sports car , yet reliable , no oil use,no coolant use, must of been made on a wednesday, i just do filters an oil

  11. The old VW air cooled 4's were much more reliable, simple in design, easy to service, and did not require head gaskets or stop-leak injections every 70k miles. Nothing remarkable about Subaru. Endless stream of false claims.

  12. Our Forester-2011 is the loudest and noisiest of all the SUVs that we've owned (RAV4-2004, Rogue -2008 and CR-V-2017). And the driver seat is a nightmare if driving more than 15min.

  13. and many reputable legendary straight six engines use a block of cast iron,not some "lego" splitable engine case… for me, a block of high quality cast iron well machined is by far superior to any split crankcase engine…

  14. …..i have 4 subarus with "gas & lpg" , in my family and business running in germany, under heavy summer and winter-conditions at the alpenregion, mostly in forests …..never ever in 25 years !!!!!!?…i had problems with one of these cars..!!!!!! some are running 300.000 km in 6 years… i would never ever buy a other car , than a subaru !!!! a happy lpg sub driver

  15. Shittiest engine we ever owned, went through 3 engines in 1yr , dealer was happy when we sold the piece of complete shit, don’t be fooled they are junk

  16. My 2002 and 2003 Subarus both needed $2000 worth of head gaskets done at 100K. How pathetic for an established Car manufacturer to have such a problem. I am gun

    shy of Subarus. Would only by an new one and sell it by 75K

  17. Only company doesn't stand behind their cars. Toyota or Honda would have recalled them engines a long time ago for headgaskets and leaking oil!

  18. Hopefully Subaru my next car. Not sure which yet but it would be a long term investment instead of changing every 2 or 3 years. They are so full of character, built to last and more exclusive especially in the UK because you see very few on the roads.

  19. When a Subaru is purchased it is well known the timing belt should be replaced at 100,000 – 120,000 miles. After that mileage it's a gamble because at some point the belt will break, then the pistons bang into the valves and there ya go, a new engine. If you go this far you might as well true the heads and replace the head gaskets. Timing belt kit comes with pulleys, tensioners and water pump. Cost $1500 – $2500. I own two, just had both done. Other than this I love the car. Not sure if there is a fix for the head gasket issue, as long as there is a boxer engine there will be the necessity of replacing the timing belt so I don't see that going away. I think more than anything people who are interested in buying any vehicle with a boxer type of engine, in this case a Subaru, should be fully aware of the maintenance required. It's not for everyone.
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  20. The same thing was said about the Wankel engine by Mazda. Ended by with horrible seal problems. At least it's still an Otto engine. Timing belt issue is common with other engines such as BMW and Porsche.

  21. the subaru boxer is a marketing gimmick. If it were great, other companies would use it. But they don't because it's impossible to work on, not compact (for front engine cars), has way too many extra parts and seals compared to an inline engine, and doesn't couple well with a turbo (exhaust manifold is too long). Ditch the boxer Subi!

  22. Lots of haters on here. 09' Outback here, 140k of trouble free miles. Only wear items such as brakes and such. Boxer engines are stupid simple to work on so for me a head gasket would not be an issue. I would just go get one and put it on. Now about that dashboard turning all sticky…Glad they finally stepped up and fixed all of those. I was some kinda pizzed about that for a spell.

  23. We put 250k on a 2000 Forester GT, no oil use, no gasket probs, ran like a champ. Sure footed and handled great. Cant comment on the later models but this one was a winner. Only got rid of it because we needed an automatic for the heavy traffic.

  24. Head gaskets yeah…ought to be scheduled with timing belt and water pump replacement. At 230k, did all that without pulling the engine in my '00 Outback 2.5 sohc. With at home tools and one special tool for removing drive belt pulley nut, finished the job in one weekend…and that included sanding heads(not as hard as you might think). 10k miles and no oil consumption or loss of coolant.

  25. I just bought a '95 Legacy Wagon with 191k miles for $600. Everything works except the driver side door lock is worn out. And it needs new tires. A little oil leakage from the valve cover gaskets. But I think it was a score!!

  26. Subaru is a great 4 cylinder car , it is super strong , with just 1 mod or 2 you can launch strong and beat cars with 6 or 8 cyl with 400-600 horse's , i am a witness of that, i have been subaru owner of a 2.0 wrx and 2.5 sti for over 8 years, i been racing cars that have doubled the hp that my subarus have , and i can still beat them in a race, you can say that this cars are light and they are driven strong and that deteriorates the engine prematurely , it has to withstand the pressure of turbo 7-14 Psi of air rushing thru the intake , and moving those valves and pistons at incredible speeds to achieve that launch speed , people drive a car and expect it to last forever, it is not a cheap honda, it is a rally inspired car

  27. With a great car comes great responsibility, if you cant handle subaru issues , you should buy a Honda civic or a toyota corolla

  28. Are you kidding ? Subaru are great cars but their engines and cyclinder head Design is their week point.
    I'd by one if it had a better engine.

  29. I use 0-30 synthetic oil NEVER had any headgasket problem and im at 231,000km, still runs like a brandnew and i beat the shit out of it in the winter.

  30. Great motors with Torque…yes they have problems like all vehicles..but CVT'S have tarnished Subaru name Bad..Sadly most car manufacturers are trending these POS trannies….I think it's all about turnover…people that buy Honda's, Toyota's, Subaru's are looking for LONGEVITY !!…Not sitting in the shop for months at a time..Its Sickning what's been happening in auto industry for Decades.

  31. "Longevity" huh mine dont last 5 years… Mine ej20 sohc non turbo.. Engine k.o… My timing belt got cut off… Then I die

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