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    The 4 Most Common Subaru FA20 Engine Problems

    There were two different versions of the FA20 engine when it was introduced in 2012. FA20D engines have port and direct injection, but no turbochargers. FA20F has a direct-injection and twin-scroll turbocharger setup. The Subaru FA20 was honored by Wards Auto as one of the top 10 best engines of the year for both the 2.0 and 2.5-liter versions. Engines like these are fantastic because they strike a good mix between power and efficiency. Perfect engines, on the other hand, do not exist, and this is no exception. In this article, we’ll go over common issues with Subaru FA20 engines before wrapping up with some general views on reliability.

    FA20 Engine Specs & Info

    The FA20D engine is a 2.0 liter, 4-cylinder engine. The FA20F engine has the same displacement of 2.0 liters but is a turbocharged version of the standard FA20D that makes 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque.

    FA20 Engines In The Market Today

    The market for FA20 engines is decent, but not fantastic. Because of Subaru’s reputation for reliability, it takes a lot to get someone to buy a used car from them. If they do, the engine will last awhile. However, due to the fact that there are still many cars on the road with their original engines and transmissions, finding an already-used FA20D may prove difficult. The ones you can find in the market today will be slightly below market value because of this reason. If you do want to pick up one of these engines in particular, though, I would recommend buying one in person so you can check its condition off close before making your final purchase decision. Check the oil level, look for any leaking fluids and inspect the engine bay to see if there’s a lot of dirt or other debris in there.

    FA20 Engines In The Market Tomorrow

    Engines that are still in good condition will hold their market value well, but engines that have been used heavily can drop below the market value quickly. The depreciation of FA20D engines over time is natural because it’s not a particularly rare engine at this point. It was introduced years ago and has been outclassed by other engines’ technology since then. You can usually find these engines, however, for around $1,000 to $2,000 online depending on mileage and condition. When you go to pick one up from the dealer or private seller, do not pay much more than $1,500 unless it’s in pristine condition.

    4 Common FA20 Engine Problems

    A few of the most common problems with the Subaru FA20 engine include:

    • Carbon build-up
    • Connecting rods
    • Factory tune
    • Valve springs

    Carbon Build Up: This is mostly due to incorrect maintenance. Subaru FA20 engines rely on oil changes and frequent cleaning, especially of the intake valves. For example, faulty valve seals are often unable to do their job correctly, leading to carbon buildup.

    Connecting Rods: A connecting rod is a metal bar between the piston and crankshaft inside the combustion chamber that turns energy from the pistons into rotation in order for your car to move forward. Both problems with Subaru FA20 engines were obviously not widely reported or encountered by many individuals, but it’s still good information to have available since sometimes statistics can be deceiving. The first issue was an overly tight fit for the piston pin which led to stress on both the upper-end bearings as well as the piston pin itself. The second issue was caused by faulty coating on the connecting rods which led to accelerated wear and tear of engine components.

    Factory Tune: If you do not properly tune the ECU on a highly-modified FA20D engine, there is a chance that your car will not function correctly. This causes around $2,000 in damages to both the exhaust manifold and turbocharger due to misfiring and bad oxygen sensor readings. Subaru factory tunes FA20F engines and they come with dedicated tuners such as Cobb Tuning or Protuner that are able to handle highly modified engines.

    Valve Springs: One last major problem with these engines is problematic valve springs that lead to increased oil consumption in addition to upper cylinder damage. This is more or less the fault of the vehicle owner, however, for failing to maintain their vehicles on a regular basis.

    Repair Costs – FA20 Engine Issues

    Carbon build-up costs around $5,000 in labor and parts while connecting rods cost around $3,800. Factory tune issues cost just over $1,500 while problematic valve springs cost around $7,500 in repairs. That being said, this doesn’t have too much of an effect on the long-term reliability of these engines since many consumers are able to get them repaired correctly after experiencing some problems here and there with their FA20D or FA20F engine.

    Reliability Of The Subaru FA20 Engine

    The FA20D engine comes with a standard warranty of 8-years/100,000 miles and the FA20F engine comes with a standard warranty of 5-years/60,000 miles. If you keep up on regular maintenance such as oil changes and other preventative measures for avoiding carbon buildup in your Subaru’s engine, then your FA20D or FA20F engine will likely be just fine. The average reliability rating for these engines is 3.5 out of 5 while the problems per year rating is 7 out of 10 which is quite an acceptable score given that there were 4 major problems associated with these engines over the course of time according to consumer reviews and many owners still felt satisfied enough to come back and write another review later on saying how much they loved their FA20D or FA20F engine.


    How good is the FA20 engine?

    The FA20D engine is rated at 3.5/5 while the FA20F engine is rated at 3.7/5 which are both quite strong scores given that there were 4 problems associated with this engine according to consumer reviews.

    How reliable is the Subaru FA20 engine?

    Both of these engines come with standard warranties of 8-years/100,000 miles for the FA20D and 5-years/60,000 miles for the FA20F so they are very reliable given how many consumers still gave them high satisfaction ratings after experiencing some problems here and there.

    What kind of bugs does the Subaru FA20 have?

    According to owners who experienced multiple issues such as carbon buildup and loose piston pins, there were some problems associated with the FA20D engine which are less common on the FA20F. There were also some issues with faulty valve springs and connecting rods which caused oil consumption in addition to upper cylinder damage on both engines though.

    What modifications can I make to my Subaru FA20?

    Modifications on the FA20D include intake/exhaust upgrades, high-performance camshafts, performance air filters, etc. When it comes to modifying your Subaru’s FA20F engine, you can choose from turbo kits that are available for just over $2,000 online. This allows you to have a more powerful turbocharged engine without having to touch too many other components of your vehicle’s powertrain which means you will be able to get up to 350 horsepower out of your FA20F engine at the very least.


    The FA20 engine is a very strong and reliable engine that has some minor problems associated with it such as carbon buildup, faulty valve springs, and connecting rod issues. This doesn’t change the fact that the FA20D and FA20F engines come with standard warranties of 8-years/100,000 miles and 5-years/60,000 miles respectively so even if you do run into some problems here and there or end up not liking your vehicle after 2 years or so, you can always trade it in for another Subaru without having to worry about the company dumping their defective engines like Volkswagen did earlier this year.

    [gallery]14-16 SCION SUBARU TOYOTA FA20 FR-S BRZ COMPLETE 2.0 ENGINE MOTOR ASSEMBLY 30K. Condition is "Used". Pulled out of a running BRZ. Ready to hit the streets. Any questions feel free to ask