my 2010 forester has 109000 mi and is using oil. no smoke or puddles. dealer says using a quart every 1200 mi is ok


Asked by Aug 22, 2013 at 01:03 PM about the 2010 Subaru Forester

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

my car is using 2 qts between oil changes 5000mi apart. no smoke, good mileage, no drips in my garage. is this normal????

7 Answers


If you take the time and look up oil consumption charts you will see that the maximum amount allowable is a quart in 600 miles, at that rate you will see oil smoke out the tailpipe, a cloud of blue after sitting at a stop light and so on. So the dealer is correct about claim as they stick to the charts. My question is, did this happen all of the sudden or has it slowly gotten to this point? If it happened all at once then I suspect an internal engine problem, ie broken piston, collapsed piston rings, valve guides worn out. If it happened slowly then the engine has either been poorly maintained or been abused causing excessive wear. Most of these engines will do an easy 200000 without any engine trouble if maintained properly.

Nick Eidemiller

for a boxer engine like the subarus use it's very normal, just make sure to keep an eye on it and keep it topped up.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

In the old days (pre-1968) a quart every 1200 was considered normal because engines had open crankcase ventilation systems. But now days I'd call that excessive. My '03 Chevy S-10 pick up with just under 278,000 miles on it (original engine) only uses about one half a quart every 3,000 miles. Check your cooling system. Any signs of oil in there? Also, check your crankcase ventilation system for proper operation. HTH. -Jim

Nick Eidemiller

the reason it is acceptable on a subaru is because of the boxer configuration, as it is flat it is more likely for the oil to get past things it wouldn't on an inline or v engine. your car should be fine, it's just a subaru thing to keep an eye on, comes with the car.


I own a 2014 Subaru Forester Premium, which I bought in September 2013, and have had no issues as of now. But I've already brought my car in twice for its scheduled services under warranty, so I don't know yet if I have a problem. I have been following the Subaru lawsuit and, although Subaru's Answer to the Complaint was due on August 21, 2014, nothing has been filed yet which is highly unusual. I am driving from LA to Santa Barbara this weekend, so yesterday I stopped at my Subaru dealer and asked them 1) to show me how to check the oil and read the results, and 2) what's up with the lawsuit? The mechanic showed me how to read the dipstick (it's different from the dipstick I had on my previous car and I wanted to be able to accurately check the oil myself) and he showed me what to look for in terms of oil consumption etc. One thing he said is that I should check the oil every 1200 miles or so and if it's at a certain point (which he showed me), I should add a quart. He said his understanding is that the lawsuit is about warranties not being honored by dealers when they should have been, so that the real issue is the dealers who aren't honoring the warranty. I assume that is correct, but I also wonder if there's a larger issue which is not being addressed, mainly the excessive oil consumption. We'll have to wait to see what Subaru actually says in its answer to the complaint.


Well, your car has 109,000 plus miles. ...I think it's remarkable that you don't have any oil leaks and burning two quarts in 5,000 miles is not horrible. Most cars over 100,000 miles will use some oil. Sounds like your car runs smoothly in all other respects. Adding some oil is certainly less expensive than replacing the car. No smoke or oil dropping from the engine is good. I would be more concerned about leaking oil than burning as you would have to check this more often.

Joshua Speer

We have the same vehicle @ 130k miles and it I've had trouble with the drain plug leaking yet it doesn't mark up our drive. It maybe be only when the engine is running that it pushes thru the seal on the bolt. But I've since fixed that with a rubber seal. I'll see if it burns thru oil now for sure.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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