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how reliable is the boxer engine?


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15 replies to this topic

#1 sjbien

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 07:44 PM

before i bought my 2001 subaru i thought the boxer engine was a reliable proven engine. now, having just getting head gaskets replaced and a new engine because a cylinder flamed out (ring failure, scored cylinder and piston) at 130k miles i'm beginning to wonder.
this car, at least since 94k when i got it, has been very well cared for and moderately driven. so, how reliable are those boxers? i know they are well known for head gasket failures but i didn't expect more than that.

#2 porcupine73

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 08:01 PM

Hi. Oh that engine, 2.5L sohc is very reliable. It does have the possibility of the external head gasket peeping leak. Since the previous maintenance history is unknown, it is possible it got abused, low oil, poor quality oil, etc in the past.

A couple posts have been thrown rods or other issues in 2.5l sohc but not a lot of posts. Of course with any mechanical device flukes do happen and you may have gotten a 'bad apple' so to speak.

#3 thatswhatshesaid

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 08:40 PM

Many on this board will vouch for the reliability of the Phase II EJ25 engine (the one you have). The head gasket problem was not nearly as prevalent in the later years of this engine. Perhaps you did just get a "lemon".

#4 nipper

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 09:06 PM

before i bought my 2001 subaru i thought the boxer engine was a reliable proven engine. now, having just getting head gaskets replaced and a new engine because a cylinder flamed out (ring failure, scored cylinder and piston) at 130k miles i'm beginning to wonder.
this car, at least since 94k when i got it, has been very well cared for and moderately driven. so, how reliable are those boxers? i know they are well known for head gasket failures but i didn't expect more than that.


That failure almost never happens in modenr engines, let alone subaru. Ring failure can come from cooking the engine, ping, running too lean in that one cylinder.

Boxer engines as a whole are extreemly reliable. I wouldnt even consider a HG a hard engine failure (after all its just a gasket).

Sounds like your car did not have a happy previous life, or you were just the unlucky one.Typically 200,000 miles or more on a wel maintained engine is not unusual.

nipper

#5 ericem

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 09:14 PM

Remember these engines are used in airplanes. They have to be reliable and are well balanced at the same time. Alot of people with older gen Legacy's running the EJ22,EJ22T have gotten up to the 500,000+miles range and at that time just needed a headgasket, still the engines were perfect. I am sure the same applies for the EJ25 just the headgasket is prone more early as you know.

#6 The Dude

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 10:31 AM

After 200,000 miles, I replaced my '99 Forester with a 2007. But unlike some others, I'm a Subaru owner, not necessarily a fan. External head gasket failure on a 2001 Phase II engine is not common, but is a known problem. Cylinder failure as you described is extremely rare in an engine that has not been abused.

#7 Cougar

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 11:01 AM

I agree with Ericem and The Dude, and I too thought of the engines being used in aircraft first thing when I read the OP post. They aren't perfect all the time but if you could look at the reliability statisics I think it will show how good they really are.

#8 grossgary

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 11:19 AM

the reputation of a company does not hinge on one motor or one experience, if that were the case none would be in business! and Subaru's reputation was not built on the EJ25. it is not a bad motor, though in terms of reliability it is Subaru's worst motor in 2 or 3 decades. the EA, ER, EG, and EJ22 motors...and even the new H6 is looking to be a better motor so far.

part of the responsibility lies on the buyer if the vehicle was bought in the past few years. this isn't subaru specific, any car can have issues or significant items to be aware of. some manufacturers tend to have far less issues than others, we believe Subaru to be one of them, but there are none that are entirely exempt. it only takes a few minutes of searching to find out about the EJ25 head gasket issue or torque bind. knowing that you have a few options. don't pay top dollar, look for one with new gaskets, bargain with a dealer and have them replaced, look for one still under the extended warranty. actually it looks like yours was still under the extended warranty when you got it - 94k. when did they actually start leaking? unfortunately there were probably signs of leakage well before you noticed it and may have fell within the warranty period?? some dealers will even flex on the mileage...but obviously that's not the norm.

ring failure? how sure are you of that diagnosis? did you do it, or someone else? ill say it again that is very, very rare, almost never seen. it is highly likely that something in the history of that vehicle compromised that cylinder, in which case the engine isn't to fault.

internal problems do seem to come after a very small number of head gaskets failures. but i haven't seen it often enough to rule out coincidence either.

#9 Manarius

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 12:39 PM

The EG33 is a good motor too! They have almost the same stats as the EJ22 in terms of longevity.

#10 thatswhatshesaid

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 01:05 AM

The EG33 is a good motor too! They have almost the same stats as the EJ22 in terms of longevity.

Agreed. The internals are nearly identical. They are great engines.

#11 Gloyale

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 05:39 PM

"how reliable is the boxer engine?"

That's like asking how wet is water?

#12 nipper

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 07:43 PM

"how reliable is the boxer engine?"

That's like asking how wet is water?


Well snow is freeze dried water

:-p

nipper

#13 kiwi subbie

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 11:41 PM

its an very reliable motor. yea i say ya 1 is an lemon. my 1988 ea71 is an bit of an lemon. lookin at all the paper work since new the amount of stuff that been fixed on it. but ya look at all the other ea71s they reliable and take soo much abuse
\:burnout:

#14 keltik

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 03:13 AM

Very reliable i'd say....unless the oil pump on your EJ18 goes (even then it went for 200miles before exploding).

I WOULD however like to point out the solid metal mechanics are VERY good, catastrophic failures are rare. Sensors malfunctioning is less rare but easily solved due to it being a Subaru.

Oil leaks are abundant however and are part of the "Subaru" Experience. :rolleyes:

And right now i'd kill for a EG33 as the timing chain whine on my EZ30 is irritating me.

#15 nipper

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 08:51 AM

V
Oil leaks are abundant however and are part of the "Subaru" Experience. :rolleyes:


not leaks, its the automatic anti-rust system.

nipper

#16 thatswhatshesaid

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 02:04 PM

Is the boxer reliable? Hmm...

Does a bear poop in the forest?!

Is the Pope Catholic?!




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