2002 Subaru Impreza Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2002 Subaru Impreza as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

Sometimes the Check Engine Light illuminates because the computer detects misfires. Subaru released an improved spark plug wire set to solve the problem. The ignition coil should also be inspected for carbon tracks or short circuits between the contacts

The front oxygen (air fuel ratio) sensor element may develop a crack, causing the Check Engine Light to illuminate. Subaru has recalled certain models to replace sensors that may fail. The Subaru service program number is WXW-80, this is not a government mandated recall.


The Check Engine Light may illuminate because of a failed knock sensor. Although the sensor often tests okay, it can fail intermittently, while the vehicle is being driven.

There have been reports of "clutch chatter," particularly when driving the vehicle from a cold start. If the issue was reported by the owner while the vehicle was still under warranty, the dealer may replace the clutch with improved parts.

The head gasket has a high failure rate due to cooling system problems. Subaru is aware of the problem and has extended the warranty to 8 years/100k miles on many vehicles.

Front engine oil leaks can develop from the camshaft seal and the crankshaft front seal. If one or more seals require replacement, it may be wise to consider replacing the timing belt as well. These seals are commonly inspected and replaced as needed as part of a timing belt service.

The leak may develop from the oil pump seal. Our technicians prefer to use thread locker when replacing the seal to prevent the bolts from becoming loose again.