Why Are Subaru Spark Plugs So Expensive? 10 REASONS WHY

Subaru spark plugs are expensive because they must withstand greater vibration and heat in Boxer turbo engines, are made with higher grade materials and precision quality control, and have niche application with no counterfeit competition. Their proven OEM performance maintains strong brand loyalty despite higher cost.

Before we talk dollars and cents, it’s important to understand why Subaru engineers opt for a more robust plug design in the first place. In general, Boxer engines like those Subaru is known for produce more vibrations.

Additionally, many turbocharged Subaru performance models require spark plugs that can cope with high cylinder pressures and heat without failure or misfires.

So right out of the gate, Subaru spark plugs have specialized durability needs that drive up manufacturing costs. Now, let’s look at 10 specific ways these needs translate to real bucks.

Top 10 Reasons Why Are Subaru Spark Plugs So Expensive

1. Tighter Spark Plug Manufacturing Tolerances

Subaru doesn’t cut corners when it sets specifications and quality control checks for vendors supplying engine components. For spark plugs, that means requiring extremely tight tolerances during manufacturing processes like the center electrode tip welding.

Keeping tolerances this tight adds steps and quality assurance efforts that are more expensive compared to mass-produced economy car plugs.

2. Exotic Spark Plug Electrode Materials

The electrodes in Subaru spark plugs often rely on pricier exotic metals selected specifically for durability and performance advantages in Boxer turbo applications. Costlier nickel-chromium alloys prevent corrosion while maintaining strong welds.

Platinum and iridium alloys hold up to wear at sustained high temperatures while providing a precise spark. That materials upgrade impacts the bill.

3. Complex Triple-Gasket Sealing

Subaru commonly opts for a triple-gasket configuration on their spark plugs which sandwiches two layers of metal gaskets between three sealing washers at the base. This significantly improves sealing performance but adds complexity and cost over cheap single washer plugs.

Tighter tolerances are also required during gasket fabrication to prevent compression leaks.

4. Lengthy Pre-Production Testing Requirements

Before being approved for production contracts, suppliers providing Subaru with spark plugs must put their design through a gauntlet of rigorous testing.

These validation requirements span 500 hours of intense bench testing to verify performance and endurance, well beyond what’s expected of basic economy car plugs. All that testing ultimately gets baked into the higher per-unit pricing.

5. Low-Volume Production Quantities

With the exception of select high production models, most Subaru vehicles are still produced in relatively low volumes compared to brands like Toyota and Honda. Without the same economies of scale, prices for specialized components like spark plugs remain elevated.

Tooled equipment, production lines, and quality control testing rely on sales volume to pencil out and reduce per unit costs.

6. Emerging Sensor Technologies Raise Costs Modern

Subaru performance models are adopting intelligent cylinder monitoring tech using spark plug sensor probes that feed into engine management computers. These emerging technologies enable improved diagnostics and engine efficiency.

But they also introduce additional electronics and production costs that estimators account for when pricing service components like spark plugs.

7. Inventory Expenses from Offering Full Coverage

Subaru dealers are expected to stock every spark plug part number to provide complete support coverage for the full vehicle lineup. For some vehicles, that might be only 3,000 units sold per year. But the dealers still must buy and store service inventory assets to support that model, which adds back-end costs eventually passed to consumers.

8. Low Competitor Motivation to Counterfeit

For mass market vehicles, counterfeit parts drive down pricing significantly by offering cheap knock-offs without the strict quality control or product liability.

But with low production models like Subaru’s specialty performance trims, there isn’t enough volume to motivate counterfeiters to invest in copying niche parts like the spark plugs. No market competition means dealers retain pricing control.

9. Brand Power from Proven Performance

When it comes to critical ignition components, Subaru knows their reputations and loyal fan followings rely on using factory parts engineered specifically for their unique engines.

Since buyers know from experience that the OEM plugs deliver promised performance and longevity, Subaru maintains strong enough brand loyalty not to worry about buyers defecting to aftermarket substitutes over sticker shock.

10. Retention of High Resale Value

The elevated resale value curve across most Subaru models allows pricing margins to remain stable for service components like spark plugs. Owners know they’ll recover more value at trade-in or private sale thanks to Subaru’s renowned longevity and durability.

So they are willing to pay dealer prices for parts and service that preserve optimal performance, reliability and retain higher residual value.


Is Subaru spark plugs a good brand?

Yes, Subaru spark plugs are engineered specifically for Boxer engines and made with high quality materials to provide strong ignition performance without premature wear.

Are Subaru spark plugs good?

Subaru spark plugs are excellent at withstanding heat and pressure in turbo motors while precisely timing sparks for maximum power, fuel efficiency, and reduced emissions.

Are Subaru spark plugs worth the price?

The improved durability, gas mileage, and reliability Subaru spark plugs enable makes them a wise investment for retaining optimal engine operation.

Where to buy Subaru spark plugs?

Genuine Subaru spark plugs are available from Subaru dealers and some authorized parts retailers online for competitive pricing, often less than at mechanic shops.

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