Are Subarus Expensive to Maintain?

Are Subarus Expensive to Maintain

Subarus are known for their dependability and affordability, but what about maintenance costs?

Let's unveil the truth and find out if owning a Subaru will break the bank or not.

Are Subarus Expensive to Maintain?

Depending on the model and year of the vehicle and the dealership's location, yes, it can be a bit expensive to maintain a Subaru.

Because the parts used for these cars are made with high-quality materials, they are typically more costly to maintain.

This means that even if something goes wrong, fixing it can be more expensive than it would be for a lower-quality vehicle.

Also, dealerships for Subaru use areas with higher labor costs, which can result in significant differences in the overall cost of maintenance.

Are Subarus Reliable?

Despite having solid customer satisfaction ratings and a history of reliable vehicles, Subaru has experienced various problems over the years.

This makes it more understandable if you are worried about the brand's reliability. Some models have contributed to the company's overall reliability score dropping.

Despite these issues, Subaru is still considered one of the world's most reliable car brands.

According to a survey conducted by RepairPal, the company has a score of 3.5 out of 5. Its average annual repair cost is around $617.

Unplanned repairs are less frequent for Subaru owners than for all models.

They typically visit the shop around 0.3 times a year for repairs, while all models have around 0.4 times. About 13% of Subaru repairs are considered severe, higher than 12% for major issues.

The Outback and the Forester are popular models from Subaru, and the number of complaints is not surprising.

The Car Complaints page for Subaru states that the Outback and the Forester are the most frequently complain about models from the brand. However, they still need to be more reliable cars in the market.

If a model contributes to Subaru's slightly above-average reliability score, it's the new Ascent.

Although it has plenty of good reviews from customers and experts, it has several issues affecting its reliability. These include the transmission, in-car electronics, and a climate system.

Are Subaru Parts Expensive?

Discussing the average cost of various general maintenance tasks is also essential. This will allow you to compare the costs of different repairs with your Subaru.

For this comparison, we looked at the various tasks involved in maintaining a small Subaru, an A sportscar, and a large SUV.

Brake Pads

The cost of replacing the brake pads on a Subaru typically ranges from $150 to $300 per axle, while regular brake pads cost the same. This maintenance task is standard fare for most brands.


The cost of replacing a Subaru battery is typically around $125 to $250. On the other hand, the cost of replacing a car's battery is around $200 to $250.

The Outback is the most expensive model at $250, which includes both the labor and parts.

Tire Rotation and Replacement

A set of tires for a Subaru would typically cost around $120 to 400. On the other hand, the Impreza has cheaper tires than the Outback.

A single tire for a small car or sedan costs around $50 on the low end, while it can cost up to $500 for premium tires for larger vehicles. Therefore, Subarus are off the premium side of the market.

Headlight Bulbs

It costs around $97 to $150 to replace a set of headlights on a Subaru, but a regular car costs around $100 to $150.

The brand is generally considered to be average when it comes to overall vehicle maintenance.

Oil Change

Subaru is typically average when it comes to vehicle maintenance. Some models require synthetic oil, while others need conventional.

An oil change on a Subaru typically costs around $40 to $120. On the other hand, a full synthetic oil change for a car can cost up to $60.


Getting your vehicle's fuel filter replaced is a regular maintenance task that you'll likely encounter. The cost of doing so for a Subaru is typically around $90 to 207.

On the other hand, it can cost up to $80 to 112 to replace the cabin air filter and $79 to 108 to replace the air filter.

The cost of replacing a fuel filter on a normal car is typically around $80 to $150. However, this is due to how many of these components can last for over 70 thousand miles.

The cost of replacing the cabin air filter is around $60 to $80, which means the Subaru is slightly more expensive.

Timing Belt/Chain

Regarding replacing car components, timing belt replacement is one of the services you'll encounter.

Although a Subaru can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, this service is typically less expensive for Subarus.

The cost of replacing a timing belt on a standard car is typically around $500 to $1,000. However, Subarus are generally more affordable when it comes to these components.

Spark Plugs

The cost of replacing a set of spark plugs on a Subaru is typically around $150 to $257.

However, this figure includes the cost of doing so on a larger vehicle like the Outback. This means that the cost of doing so on a Subaru is typically higher than on other cars.

Why Are Subarus Expensive to Maintain?

After looking into the data and making some assumptions, we can conclude: Subarus end up in the middle of the pack when it comes to vehicle maintenance.

Let's first examine why Subaru isn't as expensive as other foreign or American brands. This is because the company is an Asian brand and doesn't focus on the premium segment.

Since Subaru is an Asian brand, the company's labor and materials costs are cheaper than other brands that aren't based in Asia.

Also, since Subaru doesn't make luxury vehicles, the company doesn't have to spend much money on equipment and materials to maintain its cars.

Why isn't Subaru as cheap as other Asian brands if this is the case? The reason is that the company mainly makes performance-oriented vehicles, such as larger SUVs and cars.

The more used these vehicles are, the more likely they require regular maintenance.

In addition, the wear-and-tear components of these cars will likely wear out faster due to their focus on performance.

What Are the Common Subaru Problems?

Excessive Oil Consumption

Many Subaru owners have reported that their cars have high oil consumption.

Although the company has not issued a recall related to this issue, a class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of affected consumers.

Faulty Infotainment System

The latest in-car electronic systems are becoming more sophisticated by the day. Subaru is no exception.

The company has also been known to have software issues with its Starlink in-car entertainment system.

Faulty Head Gaskets

One of the most common problems Subaru owners have experienced is the faulty head gasket.

The leaking engine oil or coolant between the cylinder head and the engine block caused this issue. It lasted for around five years.

Because of this issue, The company extended its vehicle's powertrain warranty.

It was revealed that the head gasket's coating had started to wear and tear after around 100,000 miles.

Top Subaru Models

There are many different types of Subaru cars that you can choose from. In this list, we'll talk about some of the most popular models from the brand.

1. Subaru Crosstrek

If you're looking for an efficient and versatile vehicle that can handle the demands of an SUV, the Subaru XV Crosstrek is a great choice.

It features an all-wheel-drive system and is also capable of handling heavy off-roading.

2. Subaru Outback

If you're looking for a car capable of handling various activities, such as off-roading, the Subaru Outback is a great choice.

It has an all-wheel-drive system and other features that make it an ideal vehicle for outdoor activities.

3. Subaru Forester

The versatile and efficient Subaru Forester is an excellent choice for everyday driving.

It features an all-around drive and other features that make it an excellent vehicle for running errands or commuting.