Subaru EJ22 Engine Problems, Reliability and Specs

Subaru EJ22 engine was released in 1990 and was firstly placed in Impreza and Legacy models. Later, it was applied to the Outback. During its existence, this engine has gone through many upgrades that were designed not only to increase the power but also the efficiency and reliability.

One of the major engine modifications was that the pistons were coated with molybdenum. This reduced friction, and reduced susceptibility to scuffing.

Subaru EJ22 Engine Specs

Manufacturer Subaru
Year 1990-2001
Cylinder Block Material Aluminium
Fuel system Fuel injection
Configuration Flat-4 (opposed)
Number of cylinders 4
Valves per cylinder 4
Stroke, mm 75.0
Bore, mm 96.9
Compression Ratio 9.5 (EJ22E)
9.7 (EJ2EZ/EJ222/EJ223)
Displacement, cc 2212
Power, hp 135/5500 (EJ22E)
137/5800 (EJ22EZ
144/5600 (EJ222/EJ223)
165/5800 (EJ22E)
280/6000 (EJ22G)
Torque, lb ft 137 (186 Nm)/4800 (EJ22E)
137 (187 Nm)/4800 (EJ22EZ)
149 (202 Nm)/3600 (EJ222/EJ223)
268 (363 Nm)/3200 (EJ22G)
Engine weight 265 lbs (120 kg)
Engine oil 10W30, 10W40, 5W30 (low winter temperatures)
Engine Oil Capacity, liter 4.5
Oil change interval, mile 9,000 (15,000 km) or 12 month

EJ22 Engine Modifications

  • EJ22E. It was completely an atmo gasoline engine with an aluminum block. Produced from 1990 to 1996. In 1996 the engine was updated and became known as the EJ22EZ.
  • EJ22T. Phase one 2.2 Liter SOHC Turbo, 163 bhp (122 kW; 165 PS) fully closed deck, oil squirters, no intercooler.
  • EJ22G. Phase two 2.2-litre closed deck, based on the EJ20K STI engine. Uses identical cylinder heads and turbocharger but with a unique closed deck 2.2L crankcase. The pistons are factory forged items, the connecting rods are stock. Although being a closed deck, the block does not feature oil squirters for piston cooling, opposed to the EJ20 closed deck block and the USDM-only Legacy.

What Cars Have A Subaru EJ22 Engine?

  • Impreza 95-01;
  • Legacy 90-99;
  • Outback 95-96.

Subaru EJ22 Engine Problems And Reliability

The 2.0L Duratec HE Engine has a timing chain, and the engine does not have a hydraulic lift. This equipment can survive up to 220,000 miles but is known to travel beyond 350,000 miles in reality. This machine is extremely durable and dependable, and it’s among the best in its class. In general, EJ22 is one of the most efficient and reliable engines with a lifespan of 300,000 miles. Although there have been cases where this engine runs for about 500,000 miles.

The EJ22 engines are strong and dependable provided that you maintain the manufacturer’s service schedules and use a high-quality oil to extend their life. As long as they’re serviced and maintained on a regular basis, there shouldn’t be many issues.

Carbon buildup in the head, especially around the valves, which can steal power or create flat areas, is a bigger problem on direct injection engines but should be watched for on all engines.

Flat spots or malfunctions have been reported by a few of our members after using modifications and enhancements, which isn’t always due to the engine’s design. See our article on diagnosing flat spots and difficulties after tuning for more information, as this is not usually due to the engine’s design. The EJ22 requires frequent oil changes, particularly when tuned, to ensure that it runs smoothly.


The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only. The author and publisher make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability, or completeness of any information presented. The reader is advised to consult a qualified professional, such as a mechanic or dealership, before making any decisions related to their vehicle's engine oil or maintenance.