Just how expensive is it to maintain a wrx?
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This is a discussion on Just how expensive is it to maintain a wrx? within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I've been dreaming of buying a WRX for the past year now and I am hoping to do so in ...

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    Question Just how expensive is it to maintain a wrx?

    I've been dreaming of buying a WRX for the past year now and I am hoping to do so in the next few months (I've been trying to stay content with my 240SX in the meantime...). I read a few things today about the cost of maintaining a WRX, such as insurance and tires, just how bad is it compared to regular sedan (an accord or camry for instance)? I know the tires don't come cheap, are there any acceptable tires available that are more affordable? How much more do you guys pay for insurance than you would on a less capable car? Are there any other costs I might need to consider? Also, I've heard mixed reports on the gas mileage on the WRX, what kind of mileage can I expect to get in normal driving with a manual transmission? I know all these questions are relative, but any answer would be much appreciated!

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    Registered User wRxOne's Avatar
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    Parts are cheap but are hard to come by, I mostly shop for the basic parts online since the local kragens/autozone/pepboys don't stock our parts. Everything is pretty easy if you want to do the work yourself. The engineering of the car is excellent. Once you start modding your car though, you will ignore the gas mileage. If you keep all your stock parts, however, you can always go back from daily driver to weekend warrior. Overall it's a very reliable and easy car to maintain. Oil Changes do get expensive though if you don't start to do it yourself...

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    The WRX is quite reliable according to Consumer Reports and pretty cheap to maintain for the most part. Mileage could be better. Expect 18-22 mpg on average. Highway is better; maybe mid to upper 20's. 91 or better octane is required. Because of the turbo insurance is a bit steep. Good crash ratings are a plus. If you live where it snows you will not be disappointed.

    I think it is a great daily driver and a decent autocross car.
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    Registered User cavallino333's Avatar
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    I you do your own maintenance it won't be expensive but if you go to the stealership its going to be pricey.
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    Thanks for the advice!

    I am not planning on modding the car, simply because I will be driving it about 40 miles a day to and from work and I don't want to sacrifice gas mileage. The nice thing about the WRX is that stock performance is so impressive that I think I'll be quite happy without changing anything on it (I'm also a bit of a purist...). By the way, are there any easy mods that can be done without sacrificing mileage? And yes, I try to do as much of my own maintenance as possible, I've been lied to by mechanics too many times to rely on those guys. If I had believed everything I've been told about my 240 then I would have had to leave it in a ditch somewhere years ago, but I'm pretty sure I've passed the 200k mark on it and it still runs great.

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    Registered User dielectric's Avatar
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    I consider the maintenance to be a little bit more pricey than most common four-banger sedans. For instance, the factory calls for a plug change at 30K, where it was 60K on my Maxima. If you don't cheap out on the oil and run synthetic, that will cost a little more.

    You have to replace all four tires at once if something bad happens, where you can get away with just one or two on a two-wheel drive auto. I put new tires on at 25K, for less than $100 each, but I personally wouldn't go cheaper than that on any car.

    I do all my own maintenance and stunts, so I don't actually know what this stuff costs at a dealer. I've got the 30K service parts (plugs, PCV, fuel filter, air filter) ready to install, which cost about $80 for OEM parts.

    I think my brakes will be due for a change very soon, which will likely cost a little more than a Honda because I'll be installing good stuff. I do a lot of late, hard braking because it's fun and I can, but I do expect to pay for it in the end.

    A Cobb stage 1 ECU remap may get you slightly better mileage than stock, with a nice increase in power and driveability. Of course, the same can likely be said for any basic ECU-only tune.

    If you buy a 2006, you'll be getting a great car for the money. The upgrades they've put in the new model are fantastic. Better brakes, bigger engine, better steering rack, etc.

    The bottom line is that it's a performance car, and you have to pay to play. It's not nearly as expensive to own as an Evo, but it's not as cheap as running a Civic.
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    Registered User nate49509's Avatar
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    Spark plugs are at 60k.

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    Registered User dielectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nate49509
    Spark plugs are at 60k.

    Hm, you're right. I was looking at the RS line in the manual, I guess. I might put them in, anyway, for practice on the 60K maintenance...
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    I haven't found the maintenance to be overly burdensome at all. And as for gas mileage, a number of the common mods can actually improve your gas mileage instead of making it worse. Gas is, however, the biggest expense, IMHO. It needs 91 octane or better, and these days that's pretty pricey. Here in the southeast, it costs me about $45 a tank, which is usually good for about 260-300 miles (depending on how aggressively I'm driving this week!) or as much as 320 or so on the freeway. My fiance gets about the same distance out of her Ford Focus with 2/3 the gas - and cheaper gas, at that. I usually fill up about five times a month (slightly more than once per week), she fills up about the same. Costs me about $50 or so per week in gas, her about $30. So there's a definite difference.

    Also, a few odd parts are going to be quite a bit more expensive than usual. Best example is spark plugs. The iridium plugs in the WRX are $12 a piece, vs about $2 for typical plugs. And if you follow what most of us have done and switch to synthetic oils, that'll cost you more, too. They're not strictly necessary, though. And if you do switch to synthetic, you can probably get away with changing them less often. I'm probably crazy for using synthetic motor oil AND changing it every 3k miles, but what can I say? I love my car.

    But really those are the only things that'll bite you. The cars are quite reliable. I've got 47,000 miles on mine, and I've only had one very weird electrical problem (ECU went bad) that I think is extremely atypical. Other than that, no problems at all.

    Sorry, all of that is a long winded way of saying that other than switching to premium gas, it's a little bit more expensive than your typical compact sedan, but only a little.
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