As someone considering becoming a Subaru WRX owner, I was attracted to the car's performance-oriented features, all within a reasonable price point of approximately $30,000. However, I soon realized that there's more to Subaru WRX ownership than its initial cost.
It's a common misconception that Subarus are universally easy to maintain and infallible. While this may hold true for some Subaru models, the overall cost of maintenance can fluctuate substantially. Factors such as the model year, mileage, and your driving habits can all play a role in determining your maintenance expenses.
Subaru recommends adhering to a strict service schedule to ensure your WRX continues to perform optimally. Regular tasks like oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections are vital aspects of maintenance. By keeping up with these routine check-ups, you can proactively prevent more costly issues from arising.
In this article, I'll provide insights into the expenses associated with owning a Subaru WRX, specifically focusing on service and maintenance.
Annual Maintenance Costs for Subaru WRX
On average, the annual maintenance cost for a Subaru WRX is approximately $682. This figure takes into account routine maintenance tasks like oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections. However, it's essential to note that this cost can vary depending on factors such as the vehicle's age and mileage.
For older Subaru WRX models, the annual maintenance cost can be notably higher. As vehicles age, they often require more substantial repairs due to wear and tear on various components. These larger repairs can significantly impact your annual maintenance budget.
One noteworthy aspect is that the Subaru WRX tends to perform better in terms of annual maintenance costs compared to some other Subaru models. Despite its high-performance nature, it's relatively more affordable to keep a WRX in good condition throughout the year.
Calculating the True Cost of Subaru WRX Ownership
To make a well-informed decision about Subaru WRX ownership, we need to consider the annual cost of owning and operating the vehicle. In this article, I'll break down the figures and provide a comprehensive analysis of what it truly costs to own a Subaru WRX.
1. Purchase Price vs. True Cost to Own
The average purchase price for a Subaru WRX is approximately $30,963. However, this figure represents just the beginning of your financial commitment. To determine the real cost of ownership, we must factor in additional expenses.
One of the significant contributors to the true cost of owning a Subaru WRX is depreciation. In the first year alone, you can expect your WRX to depreciate by about $2,636.
This trend continues over the next few years, with depreciation costs of $2,060 in year two, $1,682 in year three, $1,886 in year four, and $1,900 in year five. While depreciation is a natural part of vehicle ownership, it's essential to consider how it affects your overall expenses.
3. Financing Charges
For those who choose to finance their Subaru WRX, financing charges become a part of the equation. On average, these charges amount to approximately $5,629. However, if you opt not to finance your purchase, these charges won't apply.
4. Additional Fees and Expenses
There are also additional fees associated with owning a vehicle. On average, expect to pay around $350 in fees related to your Subaru WRX purchase. However, it's worth noting that these fees can vary depending on your location. Some states, like California, have higher costs due to sales tax and DMV fees.
5. The True Cost to Own
When you add up all these components, the true cost to own a Subaru WRX comes to $39,367. This figure takes into account the purchase price, depreciation, financing charges, and various fees. It's an important metric to consider when determining whether the Subaru WRX provides good value for your money.
Labor Costs for WRX Services
The Subaru WRX, despite not being a luxury car, falls on the higher end of labor costs for non-luxury vehicles. In general, other makes and models of Subaru vehicles may cost you around $40 to $50 per hour for repair work and services.
However, the WRX is known to be a bit pricier in this regard, with labor rates ranging from $50 to $75 per hour. These costs can accumulate, especially if you require extensive services for your WRX.
While major repairs for a WRX typically become necessary after it's more than eight years old, it's essential to be prepared for this potential cost. The labor expenses associated with significant repairs can be substantial. It's crucial to consider both parts and labor when evaluating the total cost of repairs.
Beyond regular repairs, diagnosis services are also part of vehicle maintenance. These services, used to identify issues like water leaks or electrical problems, typically range from $30 to $50 per hour. While diagnosis can be an additional cost, it's essential for identifying and addressing complex issues that may arise with your WRX.
Costs of Common Subaru WRX Parts Failures
Subaru WRX, known for its performance and reliability, is not exempt from this reality. However, it's important to be aware of potential parts failures and their associated costs.
1. Turbocharger Replacement
One of the notable components that may require replacement is the turbocharger. Replacing the turbocharger in a Subaru WRX typically costs around $2,000, including labor.
While this isn't a small expense, it's important to remember that the turbocharger plays a crucial role in the WRX's performance.
2. Engine Replacement
In the event of a severe engine issue, a full engine replacement may become necessary. The cost of replacing the engine in a Subaru WRX can be substantial, averaging around $5,000 when accounting for parts and labor. While this is a significant investment, it can breathe new life into your vehicle.
3. Addressing Oil Leaks
Oil leaks are a common issue in many vehicles, including the Subaru WRX. Fortunately, repairing oil leaks is a relatively more affordable repair, typically ranging from $100 to $200. It's crucial to address oil leaks promptly to prevent further damage to your engine.
4. Piston Replacement
If you encounter piston problems, the cost can vary based on how many pistons need replacement. On average, you can expect to pay between $300 and $500 per piston, including labor. This cost can add up if multiple pistons require attention.
Unexpected Services Costs for Your Subaru WRX
Unexpected services can crop up, and being prepared for these costs is crucial. Budgeting for these services ensures that you can enjoy your WRX with peace of mind.
1. Serpentine or Drive Belt Replacement
The serpentine or drive belt is a vital component in your WRX's engine system. If it fails, you may experience issues with various functions. Replacing this belt typically costs between $250 and $350, including labor.
2. High Beam Replacements
Maintaining proper lighting is essential for safety. Replacing high beams can cost you between $100 and $200. It's a relatively affordable service that ensures your visibility on the road.
3. Brake Master Cylinder Replacement
Brake system issues can be a significant concern. Replacing the brake master cylinder, a crucial part of the braking system, can cost between $1,500 and $2,200. To safeguard your safety, it is imperative that you ensure your brakes are in peak condition.
4. Front Shock Absorber Replacement
Front shock absorbers play a crucial role in your WRX's handling and ride comfort. Replacing them can cost between $1,500 and $2,000. This investment can greatly improve your vehicle's performance.
5. Steering Rack/Gearbox Replacement
Issues with your steering system should never be ignored. Replacing the steering rack or gearbox can be a substantial expense, ranging from $2,000 to $3,000. Proper steering is vital for your safety on the road.
6. Annual Basic Services Costs
In addition to unexpected services, you should budget for basic yearly maintenance, including oil changes ($150-$200), tire rotations ($100-$200), fluids changes ($100-$200), emission system testing ($50-$70), and brake system inspections ($80-$110). These routine services help keep your WRX in top condition and prevent unexpected issues.
Comparing WRX Maintenance Costs to Other Subaru Models
Choosing the right Subaru model involves considering a variety of factors, including the annual maintenance costs. If you're wondering how the Subaru WRX stacks up against other Subaru vehicles in terms of maintenance expenses, you're not alone.
Let's explore a comparison of the WRX's annual maintenance costs with other Subaru models.
The annual maintenance cost for a Subaru WRX averages around $682. These routine responsibilities include tasks like oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections. The WRX's performance-oriented nature is balanced by maintenance costs that remain competitive within the Subaru lineup.
Here's a comparison of the WRX's annual maintenance cost with other Subaru models:
As you can see, the WRX's annual maintenance cost falls within a similar range as other Subaru models. However, it's important to note that as these vehicles age, maintenance costs tend to increase. This holds true for most cars, including Subaru models.
Optimal Maintenance Intervals for Your Subaru WRX
Staying on top of maintenance for your Subaru WRX is essential to ensure its longevity and performance. Being proactive about maintenance and considering your options for future vehicle replacement can help you make informed decisions and enjoy your WRX.
1. Annual Maintenance Services
Annual maintenance includes routine tasks like oil changes and tire rotations, which are essential to keep your WRX in top condition. These services are generally affordable, especially during the first few years of ownership. However, as your vehicle ages, you'll need to pay closer attention to maintenance costs.
2. The Five-Year Mark
Around the five-year mark, you may notice that maintenance costs start to increase. It's not uncommon for costs to double compared to the initial years. This increase is often due to the wear and tear that naturally occurs as your WRX accumulates mileage. To maintain its performance and reliability, it's crucial to address maintenance needs promptly.
3. Year Eight and Beyond
By year eight, vehicle maintenance costs can become significantly higher. While these costs may not compare to purchasing a new car, they can still strain your budget. It's wise to start considering your long-term plan for replacing your WRX before maintenance expenses become prohibitively expensive.