Subaru FAQ

This post is designed for new or soon to be Subaru owners. I hope this post will provide a good stepping stone for others to use and research upon.

What is Subaru and what does it mean? Subaru of America, Inc., (SOA), is the exclusive United States marketer of Subaru products manufactured by Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., SOA serves nearly 600 dealers nationwide. SOA has 5 regional offices (Great Lakes Region (GLR), Mid America Region (MAR), South West Region (SWR), South Central Region (SCR), North West Region (NWR). Subaru Distributors Corp is located in Orangeburg, NY and serves NY and Northern NJ. Subaru of New England, Inc. located in Norwood, MA serves CT, ME, MA, NH, RI and VT. Servco Pacific Inc. serves HI.

Subaru is a Japanese word that means unite, as well as a term identifying a cluster of six stars, which the Greeks called Pleiades - part of the Taurus constellation.

According to Greek mythology, Atlas’ daughters turned into this group of stars. In 1953, five Japanese companies merged to form Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. The new corporation adopted the Subaru cluster of stars as the official logo for it’s line of automobiles.

Official Subaru Websites:
Fuji Heavy Industries
Subaru of America
Subaru of Japan
Subaru of Indiana
Subaru Global
Subaru Logos
Drive Magazine
Drive Performance Magazine
Subaru Media Center
SOA STI Fraternity
Scooby Magazine (independant magazine)
Subiesport Magazine (independant magazine)
The Monkey’s Trunk (independant e-magazine)

Contacting Subaru:
Email Subaru
1-800-SUBARU3 Customer Service
Mailing Address:
Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru Plaza
P.O. Box 6000
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034-6000
1-800-PIC-PART Parts Help Line
1-800-SOA-TECH Technical Assistance

Why do some people call it a Scooby or Rex? In the UK, the car is affectionately known as Scooby after the cartoon character Scooby Doo, which rhymes with Subaru. The first film reference known is in the 1989 film Always in which Richard Dreyfuss is a Subaru car salesman and his friend John Goodman refers to him as selling Scooby Doos. Meanwhile, in Australia, the common nickname is Rex, which rhymes with WRX.

What is the proper break-in procedure for my car? Once you get your car, the break-in period is 1000 miles. During this 1000 miles you should never exceed 4000 RPM. You should also vary your engine speed for this period and refrain from highway/cruise control/sustained speed use. After 1000 miles, you are free to drive as you see fit.

What does WRX stand for? WR stands for “World Rally”, and “X” stands for the mathematical symbol for the unknown, that means its possibility is infinite. Many people also have other ideas what the “X” stands for, but this information comes from FHI/STi and was further confirmed by SOA.

Why does my car sound funny/unusual/like a diesel truck? Horizontally opposed engines (AKA Boxer motors) emit exhaust noises that are entirely different from engines of different configurations. It has been described as like a VW, diesel engine, ticking, or knocking sound at speed and especially at idle. The “boxer sound” is unique and is common on other engines of the same type. Additionally, the sound may be louder or more pronounced during start up. This Subaru .pdf document details specific start up noise information on page 1 and 3. This Subaru .pdf document and this Subaru .pdf document also detail engine noise. This is a representation of how your motor works:


What’s the deal with the pink color associated with STi stuff? It’s technically called Cherry Blossom Red. Cherry Blossoms are the national symbol as well as a symbol of spring. As well, in Japanese culture, pink is associated with masculine symbolism, which is in contrast to Western culture.

What is your best advice for a new owner? Read your owner’s manual! Do not keep it in the glove compartment as you will never read it. Open it up and read it cover to cover at least once. It should be your #1 reference resource above all others and it’s advice should usurp all advice given by any other resource other than updates via official Subaru resources!

What is your next best advice for a new owner? Get to know local people with Subarus via the closest NASIOC Chapter or NASIOC Regional Area. Many posters here disregard the local forums because they feel like an outsider. There is nothing wrong with creating a short introduction post in your local forum. 9 times out of 10 you will receive a wonderful response from people in your area and they can be your best resource for getting things done in the local area.

What is your best advice for someone new to NASIOC? Learn to use the search feature. The Search FAQ will help you learn the NASIOC search engine.

What is your next best advice for someone new to NASIOC? Fill out your profile as accurately as possible. You can access your profile via this link. Include your area and vehicle type. Some people are more apt to respond to your specific questions when they know they are helping out a “local person”, if they happen to live in the same area as you. Additionally, if you ever do have a question, list your vehicle year, vehicle type, modification list, and area you reside in your post is always helpful in diagnosing problems.

What information can you give me about vehicle maintenance?
1. Refer to and use the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual.
2. My.Subaru website is a great resource. It allows you to create a maintenance log and whenever your car is serviced by Subaru, the information is updated by the dealership performing service.
3. Subaru Technical Information System is your resource for Factory Service Manuals and other technical/mechanical information.
4. The End Wrench is another resource for technical/mechanical information.

If after exhausting these resources, if you need additional help, you can search NASIOC, post in the Service & Maintenance Forum, or ask for local assistance via the closest NASIOC Chapter or NASIOC Regional Area. Many times you will find someone local with your exact issue and they can provide assistance. Additionally, there are many local people that are willing to help or perform maintenance tasks for little or no money.

Common maintenance questions:
a. What is the best oil or filter? For information, visit the oil FAQ page.
b. How do I perform some common maintenance tasks? provides step by step walkthroughs with pictures. If you still need assistance, ask at the Service & Maintenance Forum, or for local assistance via the closest NASIOC Chapter or NASIOC Regional Area.
c. Are there any maintenance tricks? Many people use a Fumoto Valve to speed up oil changes.
d. What about tools? Refer to the Tool FAQ. Additionally, you can almost always count on local Subaru owners coming through for you if you don’t have the right tools or equipment.

What information can you give me about vehicle modification?
1. Recognize that even “safe mods” can impact your vehicle warranty.
2. Get to know your local service manager. Time spent talking to this individual is well spent. In the end, they will be the ones fight for or against you if a warranty situation should occur with regard to vehicle modification.
3. Get to know your federal, state, and local emissions certifications if applicable. Exhausts are a popular modification, and you need to be aware of the legalities concerning tampering with or removing catalytic converters or other emissions equipment. Consult local personnel for the best advice.
4. Use the “measure twice, cut once” rule prior to purchasing even the simplest mods. Research your mod by extensively searching NASIOC, read reviews in the Parts Review Forum, read vendor reviews in the Vendor Review Forum for good places to purchase your parts, and seek out the advice of locals in your area. They just might already have the part you are interested in and you can take a look at it. This is especially true of exhaust components. Spending $1300 on an exhaust without hearing it in person is a real crap shoot.
5. Consider Subaru Performance Accessories from Subaru Performance Tuning or Subaru Tecnica International (this link being their main website, refer to the SPT link for actual parts). Even thought these are “authorized” parts for Subaru, there are still dealerships that are quite shy about warranty related issues with these parts. Consult your service manager prior to SPT/STi parts installation.

Where can I find out about Subaru Racing information?
Subaru Sponsored racing:
1. World Rally Championship
2. Subaru World Rally Team
3. Subaru Rally Team USA
Racing for Subaru owners:
1. Subaru Challenge
5. Many local racing organizations are available. Sources for these organizations can be found via local car forums, local automotive tracks, the yellow pages, internet searches, and from local Subaru owners.
Driving schools:
1. Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving
2. Skip Barber
3. Many local performance driving schools are available. Sources for these schools can be found via your local SCCA chapter, local car forums, local automotive tracks, the yellow pages, internet searches, and from local Subaru owners.

Where can I find Subaru apparel?
1. L.L. Bean supplies Subaru, WRX, SPT, SRTUSA, SWRT, and STi apparel and accessories.
2. SWRT has an online store for SWRT apparel and accessories.
3. Several NASIOC Vendors offer Subaru items.
4. Your local dealerships offer Subaru items.
5. eBay is another source for finding Subaru items.
6. Subaru mechanics’ shirt.
7. STi items

How do I keep my Subaru looking good?
1. Your driver’s manual contains some advice on car care.
2. Consider investing in a paint protection system. A PPS is a thin clear plastic that covers various parts of the car subject to rock chips such as the front end and mirrors. A search for “paint protection film” on your favorite search engine will lead you to several manufacturers. Many times local window tinting businesses perform the installation and carry the products as well.
3. Visit This is a forum for professional car detailers that is a wonderful source of car care information.

What’s the best way to get a good deal on a new Subaru?
1. The Subaru VIP Program will allow you to purchase a new Subaru at dealer invoice.
2. There are also many internet routes to obtain a Subaru with the least amount of markup. Search for “car buying tips” on your favorite search engine and you will find plenty of advice.

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