2003 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport 2003

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2003 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport repairs by problem area

Engine (49%)

Transmission and Drivetrain (18%)

Brakes and Traction Control (2%)

Suspension and Steering (13%)

Electrical and Air Conditioning (12%)

Paint, Rust, Leaks, Rattles, and Trim (2%)

Other (4%)

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Chart based on 84 repairs.
See TSBs and recalls for the 2003 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport.

2003 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport repair cost distribution

$2500+ (5%)

$1000 - $2499 (12%)

$500 - $999 (18%)

$100 - $499 (39%)

< $100 (26%)

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Chart based on 74 repair trips. The repair cost chart excludes repairs made under warranty, do-it-yourself repairs, and repair trips that include maintenance.

2003 Subaru WRX 4dr Wagon

turbocharged 227hp 2.0L H4 5-speed manual AWD

Subaru WRX in Iowa, United States
Jul 2010 - Feb 2014
Aug 2010

100000 mi

US $160
radiator started leaking, replaced with aftermarket unit 
Jan 2012

125000 mi

US $25
Hose broke 
Jan 2014

US $40
Lose belt 
Subaru WRX in Virginia, United States
Jan 2013 - Mar 2015
Jul 2013

79300 mi

US $3000
Turbo seals were bad, new wheel bearings needed new axle bad a/c compressor 
Subaru WRX in Washington, United States
May 2011 - Apr 2015
Jan 2013

65500 mi
Wheel bearing and hub was replaced. It had been problematic for the past few months. 
Jun 2013

69000 mi

US $300
Wiper arms 
Jan 2015

67200 mi

US $1000
Leaking radiator replaced. 
Subaru WRX in Virginia, United States
Aug 2008 - Jul 2013
Aug 2010

58000 mi

US $100
A/C squeaking. Aux belts, A/C belt pulley and hardware replaced by owner. 
Subaru WRX in California, United States
Jun 2010 - Jul 2014
Mar 2012

77000 mi

US $350
Radiator crack and leak. Replaced. 
Jan 2013

85000 mi

US $300
Subaru WRX in California, United States
May 2010 - Jun 2017
Jan 2011

106000 mi

US $300
Original radiator developed leak in plastic top. Replaced with OEM style radiator. 
Nov 2011

114000 mi

US $120
Replaced exhaust gasket on exhaust side of turbo. 
Feb 2012

117000 mi

US $150
Torn CV Boot necessitated a change Oil return gasket on turbo failed leaking oil down the outside of the return hose onto the underside of the vehicle. 
Subaru WRX in California, United States
Aug 2008 - Jul 2018
Dec 2015

151000 mi

US $500
Cracked/leaky radiator removed & replaced. Installed Koyo radiator, upper & lower radiator hoses, reservior tank cap, radiator cap, and coolant hard pipe. Pressure test performed on radiator/cooling system. 
Sep 2017

168000 mi

US $8
CEL P0171 Fuel System Too Lean; I cleaned Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor with MAF sensor cleaning spray. During removal of MAF sensor, I also noticed that the housing for the air cleaner looked slightly misaligned, so I reseated the air filter and realigned the housing and clips. If there indeed was a misalignment, the air "leak" could have caused the CEL, which occurred during one of the hottest days of the summer. 
Subaru WRX in Virginia, United States
May 2015 - Dec 2016
Oct 2015

182200 mi

US $6500
burnt valve on no 4 cylinder. completely rebuilt motor while it was out 
Subaru WRX in California, United States
Nov 2017 - Jun 2018
Dec 2017

92071 mi

US $150
CEL on. Cat Converter. Mechanic said "don't touch it", runs fine. 
Jan 2018

94000 mi

US $521
clutch pedal sticking at bottom of travel. clutch hose replaced a/c not getting cold. O ring replaced and system recharged changed out headlight bulbs 

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2003 Subaru WRX 4dr Sedan

turbocharged 227hp 2.0L H4 5-speed manual AWD

Subaru WRX in Michigan, United States
- Mar 2007
Mar 2007

42000 mi
Replaced/rebuilt 1st and reverse gears. 
Subaru WRX in Michigan, United States
Oct 2012 - Apr 2014
Jul 2013

106300 mi

US $785
Right front suspension collapsed. Replace bearing, mounting brackets, brake caliper, hub mount, and some other parts I can't quite remember. 
Subaru WRX in Tennessee, United States
Mar 2014 - Apr 2017
Nov 2014

152100 mi
Timing belt jumped. Replaced timing belt, water pump, and thermostat. 
Mar 2015

155000 mi

US $80
Both lower ball joints had torn boots. Replaced both lower ball joints. 
May 2016

159400 mi

US $20
Recharged AC system, and also tightened belt to prevent it from slipping on the AC compressor. 
Jul 2016

159800 mi

US $100
Manual transmission was grinding on the 3rd-4th shift on hot days. Replaced main transmission and rear differential oil with Motul Gear 300 75w90. This seems to have solved the problem. Found the broken tips of two teeth in the rear diff. 
Oct 2016

163804 mi

US $30
Car gave check engine light for small fuel system vacuum leak. Replaced fuel cap, but did not solve problem. 
Subaru WRX in Michigan, United States
Oct 2011 - Jul 2018
Mar 2012

135000 mi

US $6
Hood was popping into the secondary latch position at speed and scaring the heck out of me. Cleaning the latch and lubricating it seems to have solved the problem. Might be related to the wreck in January and subsequent body work. 
May 2012

136400 mi

US $200
AC was leaking badly when I bought the car. With summer coming I had the system checked for leaks and repaired and charged. No biggie. Also had oil changed. 
Nov 2012

143300 mi

US $318
Front axles replaced after torn boots had occurred and let the grease out. As labor was the main expense, I replaced the axles along with the boots so I won't have to worry about them for a very long time. 
Dec 2012

145000 mi

US $506
Small leak from radiator noticed during oil change. Replaced radiator one week later after symptoms of cooling system failure began to show up and didn't want to risk further problems. 
Mar 2013

150000 mi

US $500
Front end links replaced to reconnect the front stabilizer to the suspension. Slight seepage from valve cover gaskets noted. Time to replace them before oil seeps onto some electrical components nearby and cause more problems later. 
Aug 2013

158000 mi

US $1100
Rust remediation/repainting roof, rear driver side door, and a couple spots on front. Standard midwest preventive maintenance to prevent stone chip corrosion from killing a great car over time. New windshield to replace original pitted one. 
Jan 2014

148800 mi

US $1300
Factory struts needed replacing and I had OAKOS replace them with KYB AGX adjustables. It's like having a new car! 
Aug 2014

174900 mi

US $350
Replaced the worn out and catalytic converter that also had a hole in it with down pipe and cat from another WRX whose owner had upgraded the factory exhaust and sold the original parts to me. 
Jan 2015

166000 mi

US $4200
Timing belt pulley seized, taking the engine with it. OAKOS is replacing the top halves of the engine and we're doing other things while in there like an STI oil pump, Killer B oil pickup, and replace the clutch. Bad luck! 
Jun 2015

185000 mi
I've visited several independent shops trying to find one that will work on what I think are bearings going bad in the differential, but people want to pull the trans to even begin troubleshooting. I can't afford that. 
Sep 2015

185000 mi
Had the fluid in the transmission and differentials replaced with Redline synthetic as per the suggestion that modern super fluid might reduce some of the worn transmission noises and allow me to save up for the eventual rebuild. 
Dec 2015

186000 mi

US $3100
Rebuilt the manual transmission. 
Dec 2016

198000 mi

US $100
The belts that had been new after the engine rebuild had loosened with use such that they were starting to squeal on cold mornings. So I had them tightened and they are fine. 
Feb 2018

206000 mi

US $400
Radiator replaced. 
Jun 2018

206000 mi

US $800
My Grimmspeed ceramic catless up pipe developed leaks in the flex pipe portion of it. A perfectly rebuilt engine sounded like crap and I had to buy a new up pipe and have it installed. Rotten luck for an otherwise well built up pipe to fail me just as I'm about to put the car for sale. 
Subaru WRX in California, United States
Nov 2014 - Sep 2015
Feb 2015

159000 mi

US $775
PCV valve was clogged and causing oil to leak from the engine. 
Subaru WRX in New Jersey, United States
- Sep 2005
Sep 2005

26000 mi

US $200
intercooler hose 
Subaru WRX in North Carolina, United States
Aug 2011 - Jul 2012
Sep 2011

174000 mi

US $94
#1 O2 sensor failed and was replaced. 
Nov 2011

180000 mi

US $1615
Timing belt tensioner was failing. Mechanic replaced timing belt, tensioner, rollers, water pump, crank seal and cam seals while the car was being serviced. 
Subaru WRX in Slovak Republic
Aug 2008 - Jan 2011
Sep 2008

72540 mi

Problem with leaking lubricant from front left CV joint 
Oct 2008

73780 mi

Subaru WRX in California, United States
Aug 2008 - Dec 2010
Aug 2008

75000 mi
Oct 2008

79000 mi

US $80
Oct 2009

93000 mi

US $530
Subaru WRX in Texas, United States
Aug 2007 - Jun 2015
Jun 2007

50000 mi

US $180
Tint in auto-dimming mirror melted off the mirror. Had to be replaced Parts and labor were $180. 
Jun 2008

61971 mi

US $513
While replacing the timing belt, the tech discovered that the timing belt tensioner and 2 idlers were making noise. Parts $297.65. Labor $216.13. Total $513.78. 
Aug 2011

86000 mi

US $200
A/C wasn't working. An O-ring burst, leaking all of the refrigerant. The passenger sub-fan blew a fuse and wasn't working, causing the refrigerant pressure to rise, which caused the o-ring to fail, leaking the refrigerant. 
Dec 2011

91000 mi

US $347
Both the left and right CV boots were torn and needed to be replaced. 
Jul 2012

96200 mi

US $30
Upper radiator hose developed a leak. I went to Advanced Auto Parts and bought a new hose for $15, and some coolant for $15. Took me about an hour to replace the hose. 
Subaru WRX in Illinois, United States
Sep 2008 - Jan 2010
Subaru WRX in South Dakota, United States
Feb 2010 - Feb 2011
Jul 2010

138000 mi

US $264
blower motor making noise 
Nov 2010

142000 mi

US $400
Hole in radiator, replaced. 
Subaru WRX in Massachusetts, United States
Aug 2010 - Aug 2012
Aug 2011

102400 mi

US $1400
Front axles replaced. Boots had been damaged and grease leaked. 
Nov 2011

106700 mi

US $1100
Oxygen sensor replacement Timing belt replacement 
Jul 2012

114000 mi

US $120
Replace dead battery 
Subaru WRX in Virginia, United States
Feb 2011 - Oct 2012
Oct 2012

175000 mi

US $1200
Check Engine Light with code P0420. Further computer report showed no presence of a front catalytic converter. Replaced front catalytic converter. 

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2003 Subaru WRX 4dr Sedan

turbocharged 227hp 2.0L H4 4-speed automatic AWD

Subaru WRX in Oklahoma, United States
Jan 2011 - Mar 2011
Feb 2011

114000 mi

US $475
The radiator cracked and was leaking severely...dealer replaced the radiator. Charging system failed...no instrumentation, 4EAT transmission would not shift. Shop replaced the alternator and battery. Problem solved. 

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2003 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport 4dr Wagon

165-horsepower 2.5L H4 5-speed manual AWD

Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport in Pennsylvania, United States
Aug 2011 - Jun 2012
Sep 2011

201000 mi

US $756
car was overheating. Radiator replaced. 
Feb 2012

210000 mi

US $800
ball joint misfire 
Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport in Colorado, United States
Apr 2015 - Dec 2016
Jun 2015

160000 mi

US $100
Replace 2 steering rack boots. Both repairs listed totaled approximately $600.00. 
Jul 2016

164200 mi

US $770
Front strut replacement 
Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport in Quebec, Canada
Sep 2013 - Sep 2016
Oct 2014

195800 mi

C $1000
fuel tank changed change front left calliper 
Sep 2016

204600 mi

C $300
Caliper jam 

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2003 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport 4dr Wagon

165-horsepower 2.5L H4 4-speed automatic AWD

Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport in New York, United States
Mar 2011 - Sep 2012
Apr 2012

97000 mi

US $400
Exhaust noisy. Replaced catback pipe and muffler due to rust perforation 
Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport in Florida, United States
Aug 2013 - Jan 2017
Sep 2013

123000 mi

US $1800
Noise in transmission, bearing worn out. 
Dec 2015

145000 mi

US $700
Replaced steering rack. 
Jan 2017

US $120
Idler arm pulley bearing fried, replaced idler arm pulley for AC. 
Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport in Wisconsin, United States
Mar 2016 - Oct 2016
Jul 2016

139300 mi

US $100
Driver rear strut needed replacing. All fluid had leaked from the strut and would not damp 

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2003 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport Repair Histories

See our lemon odds and nada odds page to see vehicles with no repairs or vehicles with more than three repairs. To see how frequently 2003 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport problems occur, check out our car reliability stats.