Revving it Up: A Guide to Unlocking the Power of Your 2004 Subaru WRX

Welcome, fellow Subaru WRX owners! If you’re here, chances are you’re looking to unlock the full potential of your 2004 Subaru WRX. And let me tell you, you’ve come to the right place. As a seasoned WRX enthusiast and proud owner myself, I understand the ins and outs of this iconic sports car, and I’m here to share my knowledge with you.

Subaru WRX 2004

The 2004 Subaru WRX is a fierce machine with a sleek design and impressive performance capabilities. It’s no surprise that this sports car has been a favorite among car enthusiasts since its debut. But if you want to truly experience the power of your WRX, there are a few modifications you can make to take it to the next level. Together, we’ll explore some tips and tricks to rev up your ride and make the most of your Subaru WRX.

Overview of the Subaru 2004 WRX

The Subaru 2004 WRX is a high-performance car that quickly gained popularity for its fun driving experience. It was the second generation of the WRX and offered several improvements over the previous model.

History and Background

The Subaru 2004 WRX first debuted in North America in 2002. It was the newest addition to the Subaru WRX lineup and drew significant attention from car enthusiasts worldwide. The car was designed to cater to high-performance drivers who wanted a car that could deliver speed and an exhilarating driving experience.

Key Features

The 2004 WRX featured a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produced 227 horsepower and 217 lb-ft of torque. It had all-wheel drive, a five-speed manual transmission, and sport-tuned suspension. These features ensured that the car was not only fast but also had excellent handling and control even at high speeds. Other features included sport seats and a sunroof, which added to the car’s sporty appeal.

Pros and Cons

The Subaru 2004 WRX offers several advantages, making it a popular choice among drivers. Firstly, its all-wheel drive system ensures excellent handling and traction, making it a dream to drive on the road. Secondly, the car is relatively affordable compared to other cars in its class, making it an excellent value-for-money proposition.

However, some drivers found the ride to be stiff and uncomfortable, and the interior was somewhat basic compared to other cars in its price range. These cons may be a deal-breaker for some buyers, but for those who prioritize performance over comfort, the Subaru 2004 WRX is an excellent choice.

Performance and Driving Experience

The Subaru 2004 WRX is a legendary car that has an impressive reputation for its performance and driving experience. Car enthusiasts have long praised the car for its quick acceleration, responsive handling, and rally-bred capabilities. This section will delve deeper into the car’s performance and driving experience and explore what made the 2004 Subaru WRX one of the most sought-after sports sedans of its time.

Acceleration and Handling

The Subaru 2004 WRX was known for its turbocharged engine, which provided plenty of power and quick acceleration, particularly in the mid-range. The intercooled 2.0-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine produced 227 horsepower and 217 lb-ft of torque, which was more than enough to get the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds. The car’s all-wheel drive system also played a significant role in its performance, making it feel stable and planted on the road even in tight turns and on slippery roads. The car’s short-throw 5-speed manual transmission further enhanced the driving experience by providing the driver with better control over the car’s power delivery.

Braking System and Suspension

The Subaru 2004 WRX had a formidable braking system that featured disc brakes on all four wheels. The braking system provided excellent stopping power, allowing the car to come to a stop quickly and safely during high-speed runs. The car’s suspension was tuned for sporty handling, featuring stiffer shocks, springs, and sway bars than the standard Impreza models. However, some drivers found the car’s ride to be too harsh, with a tendency to bounce and jostle on uneven surfaces. Nonetheless, the car was still highly agile and nimble, making it a favorite among driving enthusiasts.

Gas Mileage and Reliability

The Subaru 2004 WRX was a high-performance car, but it still managed to deliver decent gas mileage, with an EPA rating of 20 city/27 highway mpg. The car’s fuel efficiency was impressive considering its power and all-wheel drive system. However, as with any high-performance car, fuel economy may vary depending on driving habits and road conditions. As for reliability, the 2004 WRX was generally considered to be dependable, but some models suffered from head gasket issues and other mechanical problems. Still, the car’s build quality and engineering made it a worthwhile investment for many driving enthusiasts.

In conclusion, the Subaru 2004 WRX was a legendary car that left an indelible mark on the automotive industry. Known for its quick acceleration, responsive handling, and rally-bred capabilities, the car was a favorite among driving enthusiasts everywhere. The car’s braking system, suspension, gas mileage, and reliability all contributed to its appeal, making it a car that owners could enjoy for years to come.

Modifications and Upgrades

The Subaru WRX has always been a popular sports car due to its powerful turbocharged engine and impressive handling. Car enthusiasts all over the world have a habit of modifying their cars to give them an edge on the road or track. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the most common modifications and upgrades that owners of the 2004 Subaru WRX can make to enhance the car’s performance, handling, and appearance.

Engine Performance Mods

The 2004 Subaru WRX came with a turbocharged 2.0L flat-four engine that produced around 227 horsepower. This was already more than enough for most drivers, but some enthusiasts wanted even more power. Luckily, the WRX’s engine is known for its potential for upgrades. One of the most common modifications is installing a new exhaust system. This modification can improve airflow, which in turn can increase horsepower. A cold air intake is another popular modification that enhances the engine’s performance by supplying cooler air, which is denser and contains more oxygen, to the engine.

One of the key factors in any turbocharged engine’s performance is the intercooler. The intercooler cools the compressed air that is being fed into the engine, which increases its density and oxygen content, allowing the engine to produce more power. Upgrading the intercooler is a popular modification that can help increase horsepower and improve the car’s overall performance.

Suspension and Handling Upgrades

The 2004 Subaru WRX has a reputation for excellent handling, but that hasn’t stopped enthusiasts from wanting to make upgrades to improve it further. Installing coilovers is a popular modification that allows owners to adjust the car’s ride height, which can improve handling by lowering the center of gravity. Sway bars are another popular upgrade that helps reduce body roll during cornering, which can improve the car’s overall stability.

Strut braces are another popular modification that can help improve the car’s handling and stability. A strut brace connects the two shock towers on the car’s chassis and provides additional support, which can help stiffen the car’s suspension and reduce flexing during hard cornering.

Cosmetic Upgrades

In addition to performance upgrades, many WRX owners choose to upgrade their car’s appearance with cosmetic modifications. This can involve anything from adding body kits to changing the color to something more unique. Custom wheels are a popular modification that can give the car a more aggressive stance and improve its overall appearance.

Spoilers are another popular cosmetic modification that can enhance the car’s appearance while also providing some performance benefits. A well-designed spoiler can help reduce drag and improve downforce, which can improve the car’s stability at high speeds and during cornering.

Custom paint jobs are something that not every owner chooses to do, but those who do can end up with a car that is truly unique. A custom paint job can involve anything from a simple color change to complex graphics or patterns.

In conclusion, the 2004 Subaru WRX is a great car straight out of the factory, but its potential for upgrades makes it even better. Whether you’re looking to improve the car’s performance, handling, or appearance, there are plenty of modifications available to suit your needs and budget. So if you’re an WRX owner who wants to take their car to the next level, start exploring the world of modifications and upgrades today!

Maintenance and Repair

Regular maintenance and repair are crucial for keeping the Subaru 2004 WRX running smoothly. Here, we’ll go over some of the most common maintenance and repair tasks for the WRX, as well as a few issues that owners may face.

Regular Maintenance

Like any vehicle, the WRX requires regular maintenance to keep it in good condition. This includes oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections. The timing belt also needs to be replaced every 105,000 miles to avoid any potential engine damage.

It’s important to stay up-to-date on your car’s maintenance schedule to avoid more costly repairs in the future. It’s also worth considering a professional to perform regular maintenance tasks, as they have the necessary training, equipment, and experience to ensure everything is taken care of properly.

Common Problems and Repairs

Despite its reliability, the 2004 WRX is not without its fair share of issues. Some of the most common problems with the vehicle include failing head gaskets, piston ring failure, and turbocharger failure. These issues can be expensive to repair, especially if they occur outside of the car’s warranty period.

Another common problem that WRX owners experience is rust on the rear wheel arches and suspension clunks. These issues may not be as severe as the engine problems mentioned above, but they can still present a potential hazard.

If you suspect that your car has a problem, it’s important to take it to a qualified mechanic who can correctly identify the issue and provide a fix. Ignoring problems can lead to more significant issues in the long run.

DIY Maintenance and Repair

If you’re a DIY car enthusiast, performing your own maintenance and repairs can be a rewarding experience. However, it’s essential to have the necessary tools and knowledge before attempting any repairs yourself.

There are several resources available for DIYers, including online forums, repair manuals, and YouTube videos. From oil changes to more complex repairs, many tasks can be performed at home. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that some repairs require specialized equipment and training to complete correctly.

It’s essential also to consider safety when performing DIY maintenance. Always make sure to follow appropriate safety precautions, such as using jack stands or ensuring the engine is cool before working on it.

Final Thoughts

The Subaru 2004 WRX is a reliable and powerful car that can provide years of driving pleasure. Regular maintenance is crucial for keeping the car running smoothly, while promptly addressing any problems can prevent more significant issues down the line.

For those interested in DIY maintenance and repair, many resources are available to guide you through the process. However, it’s essential to have the necessary knowledge and tools to ensure everything is done correctly and safely.

Conclusion: Is the Subaru 2004 WRX Right for You?

Pros and Cons Summary

The Subaru 2004 WRX is a car that has a loyal following, and for good reason. It’s a fun-to-drive car that offers excellent handling and impressive performance, particularly in all-wheel drive situations. It’s clear that the 2004 WRX was designed with performance in mind, and it definitely delivers in that area.

However, the 2004 WRX isn’t perfect. One of the biggest cons is that it can be uncomfortable to ride in, especially for longer periods of time. The interior is somewhat basic compared to other cars in its price range, which might be a dealbreaker for some buyers. And while it does have a reputation for being reliable, it’s important to consider maintenance and repair costs, as well as the potential for mechanical issues.

Pros and Cons in Detail

Let’s take a closer look at each of the pros and cons of owning a Subaru 2004 WRX:


– Fun to drive: The 2004 WRX is a car that’s simply fun to drive. The all-wheel drive system provides excellent traction and stability, which makes for an enjoyable driving experience.
– Impressive performance: Thanks to the turbocharged engine and responsive suspension, the 2004 WRX has impressive performance capabilities. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in just over 5 seconds, which is pretty impressive for a car of its price range.
– Reliable: Subaru has a reputation for building reliable cars, and the 2004 WRX is no exception. As long as it’s well-maintained, it should serve you well for many years to come.
– Strong community: The 2004 WRX has a loyal following, which means there’s a wealth of knowledge and support out there for owners. Whether you need advice on maintenance or want to meet up with other WRX enthusiasts, you’ll likely find what you’re looking for.


– Uncomfortable ride: While the 2004 WRX is a fun car to drive, it’s not always the most comfortable. The suspension is stiff, which can make for a bumpy ride on rough roads. And the seats aren’t particularly comfortable for longer drives.
– Basic interior: The interior of the 2004 WRX is functional, but it’s not exactly luxurious. There’s a lot of plastic and not many bells and whistles, which might be a turn-off for some buyers.
– High maintenance costs: While the 2004 WRX is generally reliable, it can be expensive to maintain and repair. If you’re on a tight budget, it’s worth considering the potential costs of ownership before making a purchase.
– Mechanical issues: While the 2004 WRX is generally a reliable car, it’s not immune to mechanical issues. Some owners have reported problems with the transmission, turbocharger, and other components. While these issues aren’t common, they can be costly to repair.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Subaru 2004 WRX is a great choice for drivers who prioritize performance over comfort and luxury. It’s a car that’s built for fun, and it definitely delivers on that front. And with a loyal community of enthusiasts, there’s plenty of support and knowledge available to owners.

That being said, the 2004 WRX isn’t for everyone. If you prioritize comfort and luxury features, you might be better off looking elsewhere. And if you’re on a tight budget, it’s worth considering the potential maintenance and repair costs before making a purchase.

All in all, the 2004 WRX is a great car that’s built for enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned driver or just looking for a fun ride, the 2004 WRX is definitely worth considering.

The Road Ahead

We hope this guide has helped you unlock a new level of power and performance from your 2004 Subaru WRX. Remember, taking care of your car is just as important as modifying it, so be sure to schedule regular maintenance and stay on top of any potential issues. And most importantly, enjoy the ride! Whether you’re tearing up the racetrack or cruising through the city streets, your WRX is a thrill to drive and a true testament to Subaru engineering.

Thank you for choosing to read our guide. We hope to continue bringing you valuable insights and information in the future. If you have any questions or suggestions for future articles, feel free to reach out and let us know. And of course, don’t forget to visit us again for more expert advice on unlocking the full potential of your Subaru 2004 WRX.


Q: How often should I change my WRX’s oil?

A: It’s recommended to change your oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, depending on your driving habits and the type of oil you use. Be sure to refer to your vehicle’s owner manual for specific recommendations.

Q: What kind of fuel should I use in my 2004 WRX?

A: Subaru recommends using premium unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 91 or higher for optimal performance and fuel efficiency.

Q: Can I modify my WRX without voiding the warranty?

A: It’s possible, but it depends on the specific modifications and your warranty coverage. It’s always best to check with your dealership and read the fine print before making any major modifications.

Q: How can I improve my WRX’s handling?

A: Upgrading your suspension and adding performance tires can improve your car’s handling, as well as installing sway bars and strut tower braces.

Q: What’s the best way to clean my WRX’s exterior?

A: Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can damage your car’s paint. Instead, use a gentle soap and microfiber towel to wash your car, and consider using a wax or sealant for added protection.

Q: Is it worth investing in high-performance brake pads and rotors?

A: If you’re planning on doing any racing or aggressive driving, upgrading your brakes can improve your stopping power and reduce brake fade. However, if you mainly use your car for daily commuting, it may not be necessary.

Q: Can I install a turbocharger on my WRX?

A: Yes, many WRX owners opt for a turbocharger upgrade to increase horsepower and torque. However, it’s best to have it installed by a professional and factor in the potential costs and risks.

Q: What’s the benefit of upgrading my WRX’s exhaust system?

A: Upgrading your exhaust can improve your car’s performance by increasing airflow and reducing backpressure, resulting in more horsepower and a throatier exhaust note.

Q: Should I invest in a performance chip for my WRX?

A: A performance chip can increase your car’s horsepower and torque, but it may also void your warranty and potentially harm your engine if not installed correctly.

Q: How can I improve my WRX’s fuel efficiency?

A: To improve your car’s fuel efficiency, be sure to keep up with regular maintenance, avoid unnecessary idling, and drive at a consistent speed. Additionally, upgrading your air intake and exhaust system can also help to increase fuel efficiency.