Did Subaru fixed the oil consumption problem on its new 2017 Forrester?

30

Asked by Jan 23, 2017 at 12:46 PM about the Subaru Forester

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I own a 2011 Forrester and the it burns a lot of oil.

58 Answers

82,835

You should hit up SOA for a new short block but the 2017's have not been out long enough to know. As far as I know Subaru has not changed the engine design so I personally doubt it. I own a 2015 and am now on my THIRD engine!

6 of 6 people found this helpful.
30

Thank you.

5,900

Subie's been experimenting with various ring constructions for years, but I don't know the end result.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
105

2011 was also the first year of that horrible, horrible engine in the Foresters. I would HOPE it's fixed for 2017. The last bulletin I remember seeing before I stopped working for Subaru late last year was that the oil consumption bulletins were only applying UP TO 2015 MANUAL transmission Foresters. Anything with a CVT, you should be ok.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
30

Thank you all. After spending hundreds of dollars on oil for my Forrester during the past 6 years, I've decided to buy Toyota.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
60

Results of the class action: http://jalopnik.com/subaru-settles-lawsuit-over-oil-burning-cars- 1752805682

5 of 5 people found this helpful.
5,900

Link doesn't come up. Try again? Thanks.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
20

I have a 2015 Forester with 24,000 miles and I get regular oil changes. Three times in the past year, my oil light has come on and when I check, the stick is DRY. The dealership mechanics can't find any problem. What the hell, Subaru??? This is my third Subaru and I have loved them but I'm starting to wonder what the problem is and if they are ever going to fix it.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
5,900

Sounds like your rings are probably passing oil. Have Subie perform their documented oil consumption test. If you can't get any resolution and have to eat it start by switching to thicker 5w30 Mobil1 or similar synth. OTOH if you're consuming 4 qts (to the light) in 7000mi intervals you'll have to accept that as "normal" for a flat boxer on 0w oil, I'm afraid.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
82,835

My third engine uses about 1/2 quart with 5,000 mile oil change intervals and 0W-20 oil. Interestingly (at least to me), the first engine we babied during break in and it started using drastic amounts of oil at 5,000 miles and two oil changes. The third engine we drove like we normally do (due to advice from a top notch Subaru service manager) and no serious oil consumption after 30k miles.

30

F_O_R - not to burst your bubble but my third engine went to about 35,000 miles before a drastic increase in oil consumption. Thought I was in the clear. Just finishing up the oil consumption test that will make the way for engine number 4 (replacement #3). I hope your story is different as it is so disappointing.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
82,835

Don't worry, I don't have any illusions.

5,900

Combined with weakening memory I'm now in my senior years WANTING to have more illusions!

70

I have a 2017 forester with a 6 speed transmission. At 5300 miles the low engine oil light came on. Had to add 2 quarts of oil. Oil change not due until 6000 miles. NOT HAPPY...

7 of 7 people found this helpful.
82,835

Danny - this is my exact same experiacne. At 5,000 miles it started drinking oil. Go to your Subaru dealer and have them do an oil consumption test. Make sure they do not overfill the engine as a lot of people here have complained of this practice. Subaru's standard is no more than 1/3 quart in 1,200 miles.

82,835

By The Way - the test does not cost you anything and you get a free oil change out of it.

5,900

Danny, a quart of 0w/20 each 2700 mi in a flat four (horizontally- opposed) motor isn't that egregious. Try using 5w30 synth to reduce consumption.

82,835

Ernie I agree but Subaru's standard is no more than one quart in 3,600 miles.

20

I have a 2016 Subaru Crosstrek 5 speed. Oil light came on @ 2500 miles. It needed a quart. Light kept coming on, with at least a quart+ low every 2500-3500 miles. Subaru put in a new short block at 18,000 miles. At 22,500 we did a recommended per Subaru O/C on the new motor. 4800 miles later, guess what?!? 1.2 Quarts low again. Another oil consumption test happening as I type this. Subaru, I want to love you, but you are heavily pushing me away, as we are (were) in the market for a Forester.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
82,835

1.2 quarts in 4,800 miles is not that bad, certainly not a reason to dump a car.

5,900

Again, if you're sick of monitoring what is indeed low consumption for a flat four, use 5w30 synth instead of 0w20. To hell with slight t- chain rattle upon cold starts below 0F!

20

I have a 2017 basic model Impreza w a manual trans. At 4600 miles the low oil light came on. They checked & I checked for obvious leaks & nothing. They told me to watch it closely. 4200 miles later, the oil level is at low level on the dip stick. We are now in the middle of a oil consumption test. I was told to bring the car back to the dealer in 1500 miles. Honestly I feel like this is all just a waste of time since apparently they haven't changed the engine since the class action suit in 2016 due to this issue. Has anyone had their engine replaced under the warranty by Subaru?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
5,900

Seriously...you're complaining about consumption of 1 qt of low viscosity synth in over 4k miles? I doubt SOA will trash tour short block because of that. If you're concerned use 5w30 synth instead to lower consumption.

Those of you that are on your 2nd or 3rd engine, did you have to pay for that or was it covered by Subaru? i am currently experiencing this problem and just had an oil consumption test done. i was down 2 quarts in 1250 miles. i am waiting to hear back from the dealer to let me know what the next step is. thankfully I am under warranty right now but am curious what happens if the problem continues as it seems to be the case. Thanks

82,835

I am on my third engine. Subaru paid for the two replacements. One engine at 10k miles due to oil consumption. The second because the dealer destroyed the second engine due to poor workmanship when assembling it. Third is working well so far.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Thanks, good to know.

10

My daughter's 2014 Crosstrex has been burning since the light came on at 2000 miles. She was in college (Vancouver BC) and the first oil consumption test done in Van they told her it was "normal." She just kept adding oil. I took it in last January for a oil consumption test in San Francisco (where the car is registered) and they said yes, you will go on the list for a new short block. They were nice as could be. I got home and googled, the class action suit had been settled. I was on the "list" as I spoke with the attorneys in PA about two years prior to this. I also contacted CA lemon law attorneys. Still haven't received the new short block and they said this may not "fix" the problem. Sad. My 2013 FIAT 500, a wonderful car, was totaled two weeks ago (I had bruises and a sore low back, the car did great) I'm looking for a small SUV but I have ruled out Subaru

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
82,835

You need to contract Subaru of America (SOA) and demand action.

5,900

If you can't stomach a new Imp get a CX-3.

20

Pretty much the same experience I have had with my 6 speed manual forester. My wife and I purchased a 2017 forester in october of 2016 and it has burned oil from day one. When the car had about 4500 miles on it the oil light came on before the first oil change. I have driven manuals all my life and was going very easy on it breaking the engine in per the dealers recommendation. Going to talk to the dealership soon and see what can be done. I am glad to see this isn’t an isolated problem, hopefully subaru has to issue some kind of recall to fix the problem or we can all join together and sue subaru like they did for the 2011-2014 forester.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
5,900

o1L, remember that Subie uses a 1L loss to trigger that warning light; if that took 4500 mi to occur thenI doubt that you currently have abnormality. Did it take more than 1 qt to top off?

20

The first time it needed a little over a quart of oil to fill it up. This morning when the light came on I had to add almost 2 quarts of oil to fill it up. The car has 20,000 miles on it. A few years back when i was in college I had an old 1995 saturn SC2 that has 150,000 on the clock, it burned an equal amount of oil as the forester does. If this is normal oil consumption, the car designers over at subaru headquarters should make an oil bottle holder in the car much like a cup holder. They could even give a complimentary bottle of oil in it when they sell the car new, because the owner no doubt will have to add oil before the car is back in for its first oil change. This would also conceal the oil to a small area so it won’t spill all over the car when going around corners and hard breaking and such. The Subaru engineers could build in drains for the inevitable spills that will happen carting around oil all the time. They should put a little rag and flash light with it too, incase the owner has to pull over to add oil in the dark or in inclement weather conditions. Finally the extra oil container holder would signal to people like me you have a poorly designed product and I can then buy a different car.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
82,835

Maybe Subaru should go with dry sump engines with a 20 quart reservoir.

5,900

Took the woids otta me mouth....

40

Just want to add, 2017 2.5 Forester Manual 2200 miles on ODO. Burned 1.75qts according to a Subaru dealer. I am supposed to come back in 1200 miles for a an oil consumption test. That's awesome... New car and 2qts of oil every 2.5k miles. How come this info never appeared anywhere in reviews of Subaru foresters when I was shopping around?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
82,835

They are half way there. Dry sump, no reservoir. ;)

25

I have 2017 Impreza Sport w manual transmission. 2500 miles oil light came on. Rebuilt engine @ 5500 miles. Second engine continuing to use oil at about same rate. Subaru customer service says this is normal. First and last subaru.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
5,900

Again: the oil warning light engages at -1 L. That rate of consumption for a flat four (2.5k) running skinny 0w20 just isn't egregious. Try running 5w30 synth and see if consumption halves.

5,900

Remember also that the manual trans always uses more fuel (higher revs) than the CVT; hence a bit more oil too.

82,835

Subaru's standard is one quart in 3,600 miles, NOT 2,500.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
5,900

Even w' 0w20? Cool. That's a stiff bar.

20

I just bought a 2018 Forester. My oil light came on and I'm just around 3000 miles. Not a pleasant surprise.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
40

Welcome to the wonderful land of Subaru Foresters! I am still waiting to hit 1200 miles to get re-tested for oil consumption, but I have been checking and it doesn't seem like it's burning a whole lot after 600 miles.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
82,835

Ernie - yes with the oil they specify. They tried to tell people that a quart in 1,200 miles was normal but the backlash had them change it to the current standard. Dealers are quite insistent that you use 0W oil even after this debacle.

OK I must put in my 2 cents. I have owned a Forester for 13 years. Driven for 60 yrs. Subaru engines burn oil like a qt every 2000 miles. My Toyota burns no oil but that is a different engine design. Long ago cars burned like a 1 qt every 1000 miles. It was routine for the service station attendant to check oil at every fill-up and show you the dipstick. Not many remember that right! I check the Foresters oil (5w30) like weekly or every 2 weeks. And change to thin 0w20 oil and you might burn more oil right. Where did the idea come from that you do not need to check your oil between changes. Sorry but that is fuzzy thinking as one of my bosses would say. I carry oil in the Forester. I know 0w20 costs more so might make sense to go back to 5w30. Apparantly the change to 0w20 was to gain a few 10ths % of gain in MPG. Now the Subaru situation on carbon buildup is another and maybe more serious story.

40

@GuruZZFSW, your consolation is inadequate. 100 years ago people used to ride horses that took a dump on a street and then ate oats for 30 minutes. With your reasoning it is normal for a car to dump half the oil and coolant in a middle of a street and then rest for half an hour while sipping on coolant and oil. Burning some oil is fine, but not having your oil light turn on 4k before the oil change. Maybe the design of the engine is flawed, you ever thought about that? I have had 2 Toyotas that went to 200k miles and both did not burn nearly as much oil. If upon me purchasing the Forester, dealer said "look, it's a superior engine but you might get an oil light every 2k miles and have to pour a can of oil", I would have said HELL NO! No one in their right mind buys a car nowadays to be checking oil every time they refuel, unless it's some high end performance car. I bought a Forester 2.5, not even a 2.0 Turbo! That car goes from 0-60 in like 10 seconds! Why should I be suffering for a family small/mid size SUV?

82,835

Next year there will be a whole new engine so we shall see how that works out. Reports are it will be direct injection.

10

Our 2012 Forester blew up last week. I've NEVER had the oil light come on. I've always done my own oil changes and because of that, Subaru will likely tell me to pound sand without documentation. FWIW, I saw the engine after it was torn down and there was oil everywhere. I just bought a 2017 Outback in July. This sucks!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
82,835

Define "blew up".

5,900

Direct injection is just about the only positive technical addition Toyota brings to Toyoburu, as eliminating Subie's excellent diesel, forcing its old hybrid scheme on CTs, as well making the OB too tall in North American distribution were all really poor schemes. Direct injection should have had higher priority, IMHO.

I'm on my 5th Subaru, and none of the previous cars used oil. Current vehicle is a 2014 manual Forester 2.5i, with 48k miles. It started using oil after about 30k miles, and i thought it was just at highway speeds. Then it started using about 1 qt per 1000 miles, including around-town driving. I am now starting the SOA oil consumption test, which my dealer says is based on 1/3 qt (10.7 oz) per 1200 miles. However, i'm supposed to come back at 1800 to 2000 miles, so i guess they extrapolate to 1/2 qt per 1800 miles. Aside from the oil issue, i'm happy with the car.

30

@GuruZB2GP - I love my manual 2014 Forester 2.5 too ... with the exception of the oil consumption issues. Having my third short block replacement done next week (thankfully all under warranty). A note of caution from experience - if you end up getting a short block replacement after the study, I recommend asking to make sure you are getting a new short block. Apparently my first two failed replacements were done with refurbished blocks (so the ones known to be problematic but allegedly fixed up) rather than blocks made under a different standard. It would be great if this gets sorted because it is an awesome vehicle otherwise.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
40

Very interesting, I finished my 2nd oil consumption test and the car passed with flying colors. in roughly 1400 miles burned no oil. For those who think you get a free oil change that's totally wrong. What they do is mark all the exits/entrances of oil into the engine before they order the 2nd test to prevent tempering with oil and then just simply check amount of oil at 2nd test. I am very skeptical at this point, but what am I supposed to do? If the oil keeps burning I will find out in the next 30k as I am still under warranty.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I have owned 3 Honda Accords and put over 200,000 mi on each with no noticeable oil consumption on the dip sticks. I have a 2003 GMC 5.3 with 180 mi and it only uses 8-10 onces every 5000 mi. I stopped looking at Subaru's and bought my wife an Accura RDX and so far with 30,000 miles no oil consumption. Subaru needs to fix this issue.

5,900

Again, the proper comparison is with other horizontally-opposed motors, not upright designs.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
25

Subaru is ordering the third short block for my 2017. First engine rebuilt @ 5500 miles. Second will be at about 12,500 miles. Seeking protection under NC lemon law.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

2017 forester w/manual trans. Just checked oil. Approx. half a quart low at 2600 miles. I'm gonna add the 1/2 quart when I get home this afternoon, and keep an eye on it and document it. If it consumes too much oil and Subaru won't fix it, I will definitely switch to the 5w30 and hope that solves it.

5,900

Half quart at 2.5k? Relax!

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