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

70

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.

170 Answers

120,415

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!

9 people found this helpful.
70

Thank you.

9,310

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

1 people found this helpful.
175

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.

9 people found this helpful.
70

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

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120

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

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9,310

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

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90

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.

9 people found this helpful.
9,310

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.

5 people found this helpful.
120,415

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.

4 people found this helpful.
130

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.

8 people found this helpful.
120,415

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

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9,310

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

120

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...

12 people found this helpful.
120,415

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.

3 people found this helpful.
120,415

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

9,310

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.

2 people found this helpful.
120,415

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

1 people found this helpful.
90

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.

9 people found this helpful.
120,415

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

1 people found this helpful.
9,310

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!

50

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?

5 people found this helpful.
9,310

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.

30

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

3 people found this helpful.
120,415

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.

4 people found this helpful.
30

Thanks, good to know.

70

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

7 people found this helpful.
120,415

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

9,310

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

2 people found this helpful.
130

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.

4 people found this helpful.
9,310

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?

130

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.

9 people found this helpful.
120,415

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

2 people found this helpful.
9,310

Took the woids otta me mouth....

150

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?

7 people found this helpful.
120,415

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

145

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.

4 people found this helpful.
9,310

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.

9,310

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

1 people found this helpful.
120,415

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

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9,310

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

80

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

8 people found this helpful.
150

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.

2 people found this helpful.
120,415

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.

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60

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.

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150

@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?

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120,415

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

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20

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!

2 people found this helpful.
120,415

Define "blew up".

9,310

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.

10

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.

130

@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.

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150

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.

2 people found this helpful.
10

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.

1 people found this helpful.
9,310

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

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145

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.

5 people found this helpful.
20

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.

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9,310

Half quart at 2.5k? Relax!

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10

I had a 2010 forester. I used Mobil 1 from the start but switched To higher viscosity when I noticed needed oil between changes. After that I never had to add oil between regular changes again. Great car. Traded it in for Toyota Venza after 112000 miles tho. I wanted another forester but I wanted manual transmission and the Subaru service manager and told me i was more likely to have the oil consumption problem with a stick than the CVT. Didn’t want the CVT so over to toyota i went.

1 people found this helpful.
120,415

I know Subaru blames the transmission and just about everything else imaginable but my 2015 Forester with a 6 speed does not currently burn too much oil but this is my third engine!

9,310

It's interesting to note from the owner's manuals that 0w20 oil is recommended only for 3 countries, whereas 5w30 is recommended the rest of the planet! Just compare pouring it...you'll see the difference and can imagine the better high temp protection and maintained viscosity under pressure. What surprised me was that 0w40 Mobil1 pours even thicker at room temperature. Just try to find it....

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10

To the tune of "Lydia, The Tattooed Lady" by Groucho Marx Subaru, oh! Subaru, say have you met 3.6k If so, has the light left off so And a quart or less even more so. Subaru, oh! Subaru, that engine and tranny I loved so Till you broke my heart with your Red Light My hopes were dashed when you did so. Subaru, oh! Subaru, say have I left you now You can cry a lot when I go to Honda or Toyota. La la la La la la La la la La la la

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120,415

Ernie - I suspect Subaru builds engines to a different spec for other countries that don't have EPA environazi's to appease.

9,310

Nope...doubt it. What I heard is that they spec 0w20 in the US to reduce cold start timing chain momentary chatter. Whoopee....

120,415

I thought it was spec'd for better fuel economy. Every tenth counts.

9,310

In following other manufacturers' moves to 0w20 to squeeze eco you're right, but in Subie's latest chain-driven motors there's no doubt that 0w reduces initial chain chatter. Yet I'll stick to 5w30 for the superior protection at higher temps. It's interesting that manufacturers are reducing piston ring tension...and therefore increasing oil consumption...just to squeeze that fractional +mpg. Is one qt of $8 synth cheaper than 0.1-2mpg over x miles? Interesting curves. And since lubes and fuel prices correlate it may be a silly dance. Have a fine bird, my man.

1 people found this helpful.
120,415

Agree- not sure that the expense of the oil plus the cost of the oil consumption is cost effective but fuel economy measures are past the point of diminishing returns in my estimation. I am going to try 5W-20 in my Subaru to see if I can reduce my oil consumption.

120,415

All manufacturers care about is the EPA number, reliability and true economy be damned.

9,310

Use 5w30 to lower consumption. I'm curious if 0w40 is even better all around as it's more viscous at ambient temp.

140

In January, we bought a 2011 Forester with 115k from a guy who sells about 120 to 150 Subarus per year. Within a few months, we pieced together that we were going through a lot of oil. We contacted the guy who sold it us and he said that we should research a class action lawsuit against Subaru for excessive oil consumption. I found the information and sure enough, Subaru knowingly sold vehicles with a short block problem and these vehicles are going through excessive amounts of oil. The original warranty for this issue was 6 years or 60K. Now it's 8 years or 80K. After chatting with some folks, we were told to contact Subaru of America. They tested the vehicle and we went through 64 ounces of oil in 1271 miles. They offered $1.5K on a $5K repair. Ridiculous! They knowingly sold these cars with a problem. We had been told by the local Subaru dealer that they had offered $3.7K to another owner with vehicle also out of warranty (and one that hadn't been cared for). Needless to say, we are furious. #subarusucks PS The guy who sold it to us said the previous owner told him that it was going through a lot of oil. So they allegedly fixed some issue and didn't bother to check to see if the issue was resolved (which of course it wouldn't have been unless they replaced the short block).

1 people found this helpful.
9,310

An '11 F with loose rings? They must've been experimenting earlier on in Japan than in Indiana.

130

The current Canadian class action lawsuit includes Foresters from 2011 - 2014, along with a smaller range of years of Imprezas, Outbacks, Legacys and Crosstreks.

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120,415

I guess Canada is behind the times. There was a US lawsuit a couple of years ago.

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140

I don't know if loose rings are the issue with the short blocks that are being replaced for excessive oil consumption. But what I am wondering is will an engine that uses excessive oil fail sooner than an engine that doesn't? We can obviously keep up with the extra needed oil but is the engine a time bomb of sorts?

9,310

Actually it's possibly the opposite, as looser rings result in marginally lower internal temps. Regardless, switch to 10w40 and notice how much less you consume...especially in the summer.

1 people found this helpful.
140

10W40 rather than 5W30? Also, we live in New England so would that affect the choice of oil? Thank you!

9,310

If you have no oil consumption issues I use 5w30 synth year-round. But with a drinker definitely 10w40...at least down to 0F.

2 people found this helpful.
140

I have a heavy drinker (1 qt per 600 miles) so I will use 10W40. Thank you.

9,310

If you're consuming 1 qt/600mi of 0w20 then you'll definitely notice a difference with 10w40. Not sure where 5w30 sits between them.

1 people found this helpful.
9,310

I noted a page in the owner's manual where 0w20 was spec for only three countries, and 5w30 the great majority of the world. Ha! Again, what I've heard is that the 0w20 spec is there both to just squeeze up mpg due to whole-number rounding, as well reduction of cold- start timing chain rattle.

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140

So I have learned more that folks here may or may not agree with. The dealership and now some others say that 10W-40 would be a big mistake, especially in winter, because the o rings for this engine were designed for a thinner oil. They said at best, 5W-30 could work and the engine would still be appropriately lubricated. Otherwise, there is a chance that oil wouldn't circulate properly.

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120,415

I have been told different stories by dealers about using heavier oil. Some say the car may not idle well with the heavier oil but there is only one way to find out. I just changed my oil to 5W-20 and will report back if there is any change in oil consumption or there are any other issues.

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9,310

As long as the min viscosity spec matches ambient temp you shouldn't be having sufficient resistance even at cold idle to affect idle speed. Even 10w is good to 0F. 5w is easily light enough for all domestic use.

2 people found this helpful.
40

I have a '16 Forester with 30K and the short block is being replaced next month. We fought with our dealer because they didn't believe anything was wrong with our car, just needed another oil change, okay 1st time, we just changed the oil. But what normal car with 30k miles does the oil run dry before their allotted 6k miles? The second time it happened, we went over the dealer's head and went straight to subaru. They took care of our oil change under warranty and they are replacing the block. But I thought this issue was fixed? We do have the extended warranty until 80k miles. Is this going to fix the problem or open up a whole nother world of issues?

4 people found this helpful.
120,415

I would demand that Subaru extend your warranty out to 100k miles which they should do without argument. To my knowledge no one including Subaru has ever claimed that the oil consumption problem has been fixed. First they would have to admit it ever was a problem.

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140

The lawsuit was extended to 100K or 8 years.

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140

Excessive oil consumption is 10.7 ounces in 1200 miles.

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9,310

i.e., a quart in 3500 mi

30

New '17 Forester w/6-speed in September 2017. Just added 2 qts at 3575 ODO. Will watch consumption and stay in touch with dealer. Thanks for the info.

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9,310

Seems excessive.

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20

Taking my 2013 Outback in for an oil consumption test today. It's got 96K and is using about a quart every 500 miles. The dealer says they are going to put in "special" oil with dye in it for the test. Should I trust them? Are they going to put in 90W oil or something? Here's a chart I created showing oil usage.

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140

We went for the oil consumption test and there was no special oil or dye. Can you ask them why they are doing this?

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20

What they said on the phone is so that they can identify any leaks easier. From what I've seen it's not leaking any oil just burning. When I take it in I will press them on it and also ask what weight it is as that has an effect on how much it uses. Tell me some details about what happened with yours if you don't mind.

140

I was required to go in for a standard oil change using 0W-20. We had to drive 1200 miles and then have the oil re-checked (standard dipstick). If the vehicle went through more than 10.7 ounces in 1200 miles, it was considered excessive. We went through 64 ounces in 1271 miles. They measured that by how much they added for the dipstick to read full again.

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20

Yeah, I’d expect about the same usage with what I’ve seen. What did they do for you to fix it?

140

Offered $1.5K on a $5K repair. Goodwill gesture as we are out of warranty. We said F-O. The dealer told us another owner out of warranty was offered much more. Apparently the story goes that the more Subarus you buy new, the more they are likely to offer you.

120,415

I hate to say it but any settlement from Subaru on a second hand vehicle with well over 100k miles is pretty good.

140

Well it might have been gracious but when you hear about another vehicle more out of warranty and also not well cared for that got $3.5K, it feels like a slap.

145

I have a 2017 impreza sport that was using 1qt every 1k miles on first engine. The first engine was rebuilt @ 5,500 miles. Second engine is undergoing another oil consumption test because I have added 4.5 qts in 6k miles. Dealer told me subaru is having a national problem with this engine married to a manual transmission. When subaru engineering gets a new piston ring design approved this car will get engine #3. I think they are blowing smoke trying to run out the clock on lemon law. I will probably file in NC courts to return this P O S to manufacturer next week.

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145

All too common sight with this car.

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30

2017 Forester w/ 6 speed, what does the transmission have to do with oil consumption

145

Dealership claims that engine braking with manual transmission will pull lightweight engine oil from the rings into the cylinder chamber then exit out the exhaust. They say it is due to a lack of positive pressure in the chamber but I think that is nonsense because each cycle of the engine creates vacuum and positive pressure. I’ve been driving manual transmissions for 32 years and this is the only subaru I will own. Tired of the excuses. Subaru has a poor design and needs to start being forced to take cars back.

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120,415

Enord - Nothing at all. Subaru's excuses boil down to if it is a Subaru it uses oil. If manual transmissions are at fault then who put the transmission in it? Chevy? Ford?

120,415

CVT's also engine brake so that reasoning does not hold up.

9,310

Nice graph, Michie. Would love to see what happens if you switch to 5w30 (or 0w40) from 0w20.... I too agree that tranny shouldn't have an effect, except that it's easier to over-rev a stick. S...D: Interesting to see that the new (2017 Imp) 2.0 may have even sloppier rings!

1 people found this helpful.
120,415

My third engine does not use much oil (1 quart in 5,000 miles) and it has the 6 speed manual transmission. The fault is with the engine not the transmission, driver, type of driving, weather etc. I have switched to 5W-20 and once I have enough miles on it I will report if there is an improvement in oil consumption.

9,310

Again, I'd use 5w30 synth to protect against very low viscosity at running temperature and especially summertime use.

120,415

If the 5W-20 does not do the job I will try 5W-30 but so far, so good. I have nearly 400k combined miles on my Fords using 5W-20 and no issues at all.

10

I have a 2017 crosstrek that has the oil light come on every 1000 to 1500 miles and have just taken it back for it's second consumption test. Both times i questioned them over filling thr oil on the start of the test(about a half of an inch above the top fill mark) and they tell me its part of the test but when I come back and it is half way between the top and bottom fill mark they tell me it used nothing. Total b's. From what I have heard from others is that I am screwed and Subaru won't do anything. This much is unacceptable, my '66 Ford doesn't use hardly any with over 100k miles. Subaru lost a whole family of customers here. Feel the love

140

BS. It is not part of the test. I checked the dipstick before leaving the dealer and participated in the final check. Go to another dealer.

120,415

You do need to check the level after 5 -10 minutes. If you wait a long time it will show a little over full but what nomoresubarus describes does sound like BS. Go to another Subaru dealer and call up Subaru and explain to them what is going on.

10

I find that my 2014 Forester manual takes a long time to drain-down after use. So i wait a good hour before checking the oil level or do it the next morning. On this car the pan holds 4.8 quarts, so a change/fill-up of 5 quarts puts it slightly over the full line (not a lot, but it is noticeable). My dealer did not play games on the test, but i have yet to hit the 1800 miles for the re-check.

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The dealer I dealt with didn't even try to hide that they over filled it and noted it both time on the service order that they put in 6 quarts. I told them the owners manual only says5 quarts. They would just gloss over that part and say sorry bit you don't have a problem.

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Thanks for complementing my graph TheSubaruGuruBoston. I am in the middle of the oil consumption test now, only about 400 miles in, no light yet. I almost accused them of overfilling but when I checked in garage on a really flat surface seemed okay. I did notice that receipt said 6 qts when it only takes 5.2 (someone else had similar experience) but maybe they’re just rounding up. They already told me about potentially having to replace the block and told me about having a loaner available so I am hopeful. This is a different dealer than did oil consumption test before. Although I tried to get this dealer to do test about 2 years ago and at that time all they wanted to do is argue with me on the phone. Milford Subaru Milford, NH.

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Hmmm.... Back in the 4.2 qt Subie days we'd put in 4.5, but some guys a full 5. Then when they went to 4.8 qts 5 was an easy fill. Now that the 2.5i DOHC wants 5.2 it's easy to get away with 5, but I put in 5.3-5.5. Six quarts seems an overfill...especially as it rides WAY up on the stick! If a dealer is using 6 qts to mask consumption I'd be pissed about it...but not 5.5.

20

No, I’m suggesting they put in the correct amount of oil but rounded it up on slip. I’m trying to be optimistic that they’re doing the right thing ... I know ... my bad.

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The whole point of the oil consumption test is accuracy. The dealer that did mine used a timer to let the oil run down to just the right point and then top it off if needed. Subaru has WRITTEN directions for this that any idiot should be able to follow.

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Mike, Yeah, they'll probably charge you for the open bottle of pricey synth. But in that case they should GIVE the remainder to you to carry in the cargo area? FOR, I never found checking level to be tricky. Just have to wipe the stick after about 5 minutes off. Enjoy the upcoming warmth.

20

Right, well, they didn’t charge me for the oil anyway. Since it’s a known problem ... no charge.

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My dealer did not charge me to do the test and it was the only thing they could do right as they destroyed my second engine. Judging by all the complaints I see it does seem to be a problem for many dealers to perform an accurate consumption test.

20

As a 2012 Forester owner I am totally disgusted with Subaru's attempts to fix the oil consumption problem. At 55000 miles my Forester failed the consumption test, too much. A new half block was to be installed. The installation failed even before the vehicle exited the garage (half block #1). This was then replaced with another half block, The vehicle remained in the dealer garage for two weeks because parts were hard to come by. This did not fix the consumption problem. I was told by dealer that some consumption was normal. I went along with this fairy tale and added a quart of oil at every 1000-1200 miles until the next oil change. Finally, at the 100,000 mile checkup I was told that Subaru had a fix that would solve the problem. Looking here as well as other web places I find that Subaru went through a class action lawsuit with a supposed payout to owners for their oil and some repairs. Now faced with a third replacement of the oil consuming engine I have been presented with a 50-50 bill of nearly $4000 for another half block. Having owned 5 Subarus over 25+ years I no longer will advise positively anyone who asks. as in the past, whether Subaru is a good vehicle to buy. Speaking to a Canadian Subaru owner this morning in Montreal I find that the oil consumption problem is pervasive in Canadian-sold vehicles as well. Maybe if Subaru spent more money on solving a major problem rather than running those TV and New England advertisements on how great a Subaru is we would see a real solution to excessive oil consumption across the Subaru line of vehicles. Strike three Subaru, this offer makes purchasing a new Toyota Rav4 a no-brainer.

2 people found this helpful.
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The 2012 Foresters were the first to get the FB motor. Subie has modified the rings since then. So I'm surprised that your new short block hasn't been tighter. Again, it may be helpful to note that Subie recommends super-thin 0w20 oil ONLY in North America, but sturdier 5w30 elsewhere in the world. Over the past 3 years I've sold about 50 used FB's averaging 100k, and have yet to hear from any of these clients consuming the 5w30 Mobil1 I use. And only ONE has called re the -1L loss dash light...and that was after 5k summer miles driven. Maybe I'm dodging bullets? Someday I'll have to install a used FB ($2k-ish) for someone. FWIW I only buy Leg/OBs from Lafayette, not Foresters from Japan.... Sliding sideways to a RAV4 from a Forester is fairly seemless, but to have to go to a noisy, less solid sport cute from an OB is definitely a handling and touring compromise.

2 people found this helpful.
20

So, my 2013 Outback failed the oil consumption test, light went on about 800 miles in. They replaced the short block, no question. Loaned me a 2018 Forester which was pretty nice but still will not likely to buy another Subaru. We’ll see what happens. Anything I should watch for with the new engine ... besides the oil consumption?

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Interesting. I'd keep your '13 OB for as long as possible as I don't see ANYTHING except from the Deutch that handle as well on the horizon. If Toyoburu stuffs the new 2.4T motor in a PROPERLY-SUSPENDED smaller iteration than the Ascent in the future that may be worth a look. Toyota's direct injection and turbo prowess combined with a stiff symmetrical AWD platform could make the next (2020?) OB a winner. But by then I may not care....

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Have a 2009 Forester with 137,000miles. Went to the dealership in november for some recall fixes and find out Im in dire need of a head gasket replacement. Great, do it. Now before this it used some oil nothing excessive. G/F said it felt funny on the way home for work last night and we checked the and it was BONE DRY and the oil light hadn't come on. Going to be putting heavier weight oil in it and keep an eye on it, then head on down to the ole suby dealer for a nice little chat.

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Let us know what happens WhiskeyPete. You are out of the warranty period of 8 years or 100K so unless you are long-term Subaru buyers, you might not get very far.

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Had my re-test for oil use at 1825 miles. Car is a 2014 Forester manual, with 49,900 miles. Failed the test, but it must have been close. My guess was down 0.7 quarts from the initial fill-up (which is about 0.2 quarts above the full line). Dealer is going to order a new half-block (not re-conditioned). We talked about the causes of the problem: (1) engine design; (2) loose tolerances as a fuel economy move by Subaru; (3) manual transmission used as an engine brake, The tech person also said that the variation from car to car was due to worker variation in milling the engine, so Subaru now puts a serial number on each engine that identifies the engine builder. Totally satisfied so far with my dealer.

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Sounds like they drained the oil and forgot to refill? Regardless, use 10w40 dino to lessen consumption in an old EA25.

20

I had my Subaru block changed on a my 2017 Forester at 98,000 miles, it stopped at oil consumption, yes. Now I have a gas consumption issue I went from 29 miles per gallon to 21 and sometimes as low as 19... anybody else experiencing this? And what can I do to improve my gas mileage?

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This thread is very helpful, but also very sad. We have a 2014 Forester and got a new short block fro SOA. We like this car and have considered buying another Subaru in the future. But, it looks like there is some sort of design flaw with the boxer engine. We do not want to go through the process of an engine replacement again, particularly when there are so many really good cars available.

1 people found this helpful.
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To Guru6JYY9 - start another thread. If the MPG drop coincided with the short block replacement I would suspect a cam timing mistake. Did you take it back to the Subaru dealer?

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Dealer replaced short block at 50k miles on my 2014 manual Forester under the new warranty. Put about 650 miles on it since engine change. So far oil consumption looks reduced. My dealer tech claimed Subaru's oil problem was (partly) quality control, and this has been addressed. Very satisfied with dealer service so far. Also replaced rear brake discs with OEMs pads at $400. Ouch.

10

Great thread. Experiencing identical 1.5qt+/1000 miles consumption problems with 2012 Forester MT. Bought it at 96k, now with 106k. Same runaround from SOA and b's from dealers regarding oil consumption tests. Have also done valve cover and timing chain leak repairs. Almost ready to hang it up with this vehicle, as it's now out of warranty and there is no end in sight to fixing this issue. One last glimmer of hope is trying 5 W30 and particularly the repair suggested in the link below. Anybody have any thoughts on this repair solution? http://mdhmotors.com/subaru-oil-consumption-problem-repair/

1 people found this helpful.
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My info is above - 2011 Forester - bought a year ago and out of warranty. We just tried an oil change with 5W 30. I just hit 600 miles with the new oil and the dip stick looks good. Normally we'd be done a quart at 600 miles.

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140

Down a quart (not done)

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SubaruSucks - Got it, thanks for the message and clarification.

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Again, at the risk of unnecessary repetition, switch to 5w30 synth on all FB motors before resorting to extreme measures if you're consuming oil. NONE of my clients with 2013+ OBs and Legacys (I don't sell Foresters) have consumption issues, despite all having well above 100k miles. That is NOT to say that bad QA of fitting rings isn't an issue for some owners. Hand's solution linked above seems idiosyncratic, and NOT endemic to all motors after 100k use, indeed. That he's conflating the earlier 2000-2009 2.5i isn't helpful, either. I'm experimenting with the rare 0w40 Mobil One (which has higher ambient viscosity than 0w20) in my supercharged Miata. Right now I only recommend the 0w40 for temps below 0F in Subarus... if at all. Will it protect better above 100F due to maintained viscosity as a 40w? Dunno. But I like having the 40w in my forced induction Miata.

10

Hello SubaruGuruBoston, Many thanks for your opinion. I'm going to try 5W30 as you recommend on my 2012 Forester 2.5. Will be driving 1300 miles over two or three days a week from tomorrow and will report on the recorded oil consumption. I'm pretty sure that the driver's side valve cover gasket has a small leak but I won't repair that until it looks like the higher viscosity oil has solved or mitigated the oil consumption issue. I'm pretty sure that small leak is not responsible for losing over a quart of oil per 1000 miles. More extreme repairs hopefully won't need to be considered at least in the medium term.

10

Hey. Got a 2015 Forester 2.5i CVT with 55k. Checked oil after 4k from last change and it doesnt show on stick! This model looks like it isn't covered on the settlement. Will dealers still do a free consumption test?

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Jonathan, I would think the dealer will do an oil consumption test even if the 2017 is not covered in the class action suit. However, you will know if your vehicle is consuming more than the 1 quart per 1000 miles which Subaru of America argues to be “normal” by topping up your oil to the max fill mark on the oil dipstick. If you need to put in 4 quarts or more, I would think you have a valid warranty claim. However, I would do the oil consumption test at the dealer after you top up your oil and monitor the oil regularly for a few thousand miles. Note you should check the oil at the together with the technician at the dealership if you can when you bring it back after 1000 miles of the consumption test. Mine was low when I brought it back but the dealer topped it off and said it was ok. That was the unsatisfactory end to my oil consumption test experience. Separately, following up on the thread, I drove 1500 miles on my 2012 MT using 5W30 instead of 0W20. AT 1100 miles, the level was below the minimum marker. The car needed about 1.25-1.5 quarts. Oil consumption probably decreased marginally vs. the 0W20, so it was not a definitive solution. Gas mileage did not deteriorate - I averaged 28.5 mpg, by the car's computer, with almost 100% highway driving at around 75 mph.

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I'm unclear as to whether your 2012 F has the older 2.5i SOHC (which runs best on 10w40 dino for consumption and wear), or the newer DOHC, which has different rings that supposedly "wants" skinnier synth. If the former try 10w40 (dino or synth shouldn't matter) to see if you can get consumption below 1gt/k-mi. If you've the newer DOHC, and you indeed added just over one qt at 1100mi you indeed do NOT have truly definitive excess consumption. I mentioned elsewhere that Subarus have ultra-conservative stick calibration: the lower dot (minimum) is only 1qt down from the full dot. I'd just top off to the full dot and check again after 1k miles to see if you need a full quart to top off again. After seeing the slower pour rate (and hence higher viscosity) of Mobil1 0w40 I wonder if this isn't the ideal (but rarer) lubricant to satisfy BOTH cold start (below 0F) and consumption minimizing needs anyway?

10

Hello SubaruGuruBoston, Many thanks for following up with your comments and advice. The engine is the DOHC (FB25B). I read carefully through the owner's manual regarding the proper oil - it does say to use synth, and that topping off with 5W30 or 5W40 is ok, though revert to 0W20 at the next oil change. It also says regular oil can be used if synth is unavailable. With Summer approaching I'll stick with 5W30 or maybe 5W40. The manual also mentions normal consumption as 1qt/1.2k mi. (or 1 liter/2k km) and that the capacity between the upper and lower marks on the dispstick is 1 liter or 1.1 qt. A few other points come to mind - the engine oil was probably both overfilled and below the lower marker for segments of the engine operation in the last cycle, both factors which probably biased higher oil consumption. Recalculating carefully, my best guess is that the vehicle consumed a bit less than 1.2 qt/1 k mi. or 1.4 qt/ 1.2 k miles, which is a bit over the stated tolerance. Nevertheless, I will make sure that the oil it is not over or under-filled in the next cycle and will also change the air filter, which I think is dirty. We'll see how it goes. FWIW, I also ran the OBD scanner and no codes came up, so that's good news. Like I mentioned before, gas mileage was decent in the last cycle. As an aside, I'll also mention that the vehicle drives and handles well at 108K mi and it has great front and rear visibility.

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Was your consumption trials with 0w20 or 5w30? In summer I'd even try 15w40-50 (the old euro gold standard) and see if consumption drops further.

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Oops: "was" = "were".

so those of you saying get a Honda or Toyota, are they not inferior in the AWD department? love my 2008 in MN winter but I won't be buying a new Subi.. maybe a 4x4 truck instead.

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SubaruGuruBoston - my latest trial was with 5w30...I had always used 0w20 prior to that (with poor oil consumption results, as noted). I'll keep the 15w40 option for the summer in mind, thanks.

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Yeah...hate to have to recommend 20w50 for summer on the FB as the years pile up.

I had the short block on my 2014 manual Forester replaced last week at about 56k after failing OC test. I filled the gas tank on the way home and have been driving around with no,problem. Today I drove about 2 hours starting with a little less than half a tank and started feeling it was idling low, kind of shuddering a bit at lights. I stopped to fill the tank, after which I had really hard time getting the car started. Then the check engine light came on and an emmision system warning. In the morning I have a tow truck coming to take the car to the service center that replaced the short block. Not happy

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"service center"? Keep in touch....

The repair place connected to the dealer(aka-the service center) said it’s a bad egr valve. The part is ordered and will be fixed Thursday. Hopefully that will do it, I wish I was more confident.

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I hope your experience is better than mine. I had to go back at least a dozen times for oil and exhaust leaks at 150 miles a trip. They never could get it right and I had to get another engine at a dealer twice as far away to finally fix all the problems.

Thanks, I hope so. My last car was a 1998 Outback Sport, which I drove for 15 years with pretty much no problems. I don't want to have to move away from Subaru

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I went with my 15 because my 03 Forester was so good. Big mistake on my part.

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Purchased a 2017 Forester Brand New from Austin Subaru. We towed it to Jackson Hole behind a Motorhome there and back. We only drove it about a thousand miles. The rear window was shattered by a rock from a Lawn Mower. We took it back to the Dealer to Replace the Glass. We had made the Appointment a week prior and drove 100 miles from south Texas to have them Install it. They lost My reservation. I went home with a loaner and went back two days after.they replaced the window. I received a sheet of the 100 point Inspection or whatever and the oil showed to be full on the Tech's paperwork. On the way home, the Oil light came on and went off several times. I checked the stick and it did not show ANY OIL in the Dipstick. I called the Dealer and the Service Rep said to bring it in for an Oil Consumption test. So I added two Quarts of the 0-20 oil and drove it back. The paperwork then said that the oil was changed. When I got home and let the engine cool, the oil was a quart and a half OVERFILLED! To make matters worse the Techs didn't even change the oil. It was dirty and 100 miles of driving doesn't make Synthetic oil THAT DIRTY. Bottom Line is there IS a Problem with Oil Consumption. The Dealers' are Sorry Dirty Rotten Bast@rds. We have been lied to at every turn. DO NOT BUY A SUBARU.

1 people found this helpful.
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Oy oy oy! You may actually NOT have a problem here. First, the warning oil level light will come on when the level is down only 1qt...or even when driving on steep roads. Your adding TWO quarts because the stick seemed dry was overkill, resulting in the overfilling. Secondly, the difference between the two marks on the conservative dipstick is only 1qt, so don't freak out the next time this happens after driving over 1000 miles. Thirdly, you're probably NOT a full 1.5qts overfilled, as a proper 5.2qts at change will sit above the top dot by as much as a half inch. Of course I have no idea if the dealer's wrench forgot to change the oil or didn't get the message. If it's dirty drain it and refill with 5 1/4 qts 5w30 and watch consumption yourself before proceeding, as this has become a complicated mess.

1 people found this helpful.
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Our 2010 Forester burned through a bunch of oil in 1 trip. No issues up to 70,000 km. Discovered that replacing the PVC valve (a very inexpensive part) at the top of the crank case solved the problem. Not sure if this applies to all cars or just Subaru engines but a faulty PVC valve apparently results in vacuum pressures that draw oil into other parts of the engine very rapidly.

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Hi Ross, Thanks - There are some threads that discuss PCV valve issues that may cause excessive oil consumption. It seemingly helps most often in relatively lower mileage situations when the oil consumption spurts suddenly. The PCV issue may or may not throw a CEL code. I've done about 2600 miles testing 5W30 oil on my 2012 Forester MT and it has consumed almost 3 quarts. With 109k miles I'll still have my mechanic check the PCV valve and possibly try 10W30 or 10W40 synthetic but I'm assuming that the car most likely has worn rings or another engine issue. After an oil consumption test done last year, SOA said the car is past the warranty. FWIW, Toyota's input (the owners of Subaru) for the 2019 Foresters in the USA resulted in a higher hp in the base engine, but the turbo and the MT were eliminated.

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I'd go straight to 10w40 for summer use. If in the South even 20w50 would be ok.

I have been noticing my 2014 Subaru using oil and have been concerned for the past 2-3 years. Each time they have repeated the oil consumption test and it passed each time except today... I had told them this last time I had my oil changed that I had to put 2 qt of oil in and the light had come on again. When I had my oil changed at that point it was another 2 qt low again which was only 3 weeks since I had added the 2 qt. So I went back today for the test results and it failed without them even having to complete the test, they just had to remove the dip stick and see that it was again low on oil. So now I will get a new lower engine block. I have a new 2018 subaru forrester to drive and I know I will already not like this one even though it is the most expensive model because it is the turbo booster, and only gets 17 miles to a gallon, I am getting on average of 26 miles on my 2014. I drive 50 miles one way to work each day so this will not be a fun 3 weeks.

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Yeah: boosted Foresters are really weird...like sloppy slingshots.

Well this has been an enlightening thread! I've been seriously considering a 2018 Forester. Off to Mazda for a CX-5.

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The CX5 is clearly a better handling mini-SUV than the Forester. It suffers from nondurable rear brakes and wheel bearings, as well power seat motors made from unobtanium. I still recommend that clients chase a 2015+ Outback Limited (18" wheels), or Premium (and change the tires to 225/60R17), and then $200 to stiffen the rear end (20mm stabilizer bar and end links). The result is then closer to Q5 or X3 than cheaper Foresters or CX-5s, especially at high speed.

10

I've noticed that noise on my 2.5FB Manual Forester is very noticeable at 65 mph+. I don't know if this is related to low oil levels, RPM's around 3k, or bad wheel bearings. It seems that noise is another relatively widespread issue with these cars. Don't have experience with the Forester XT turbo, but one can speculate that the "slingshot" feeling is exacerbated by the CVT...in contrast with the manual where at least you know what to expect when you downshift and RPM's increase... Outbacks don't have turbo's but I think since 2015 they all have CVT's.

30

Reading through some of these stories and through my own experience, I will never buy a Subaru again, unless they update their 20 year old engine technology. I had a 09 Impreza that went through 3 engines, one at 18,000 miles because there was no oil. It's absurd that engines in the 21st century consume oil at all. Switched to an Infiniti which has twice the horsepower, and not a drop of oil is being consumed. My parents have two Toyotas, again, zero oil consumption. Subaru engines are a joke.

1 people found this helpful.
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82Q: sorry re your old Imp experience. I have to correct several of your misconceptions and erroneous jump to conclusion. First, Subie's use of a horizontal (boxer) motor goes back more than FIFTY years, along with Porsche/VW and Ferrari. They ALL consume oil, as is the nature of that geometry. Yes, the problem is exacerbated by fuel eco requirements pushing toward soft rings. But interestingly your '09 Imp does NOT share this modern softer-ring tension design; indeed the 2000-2011 2.5i SOHC was NOT an oil consumer...but did suffer from inferior head gaskets. So maybe you conflate a dripping bad head gasket with internal blow-by? Whatever.... I too own an Infiniti V6 motor, and although it's decidedly robust and reliable, its fuel eco is terrible...partly a result of being a "tighter" old design that doesn't consume oil. It's much easier for Toyota, Mazda, Honda et al to design upright OHC motors that consume much less oil. That said, it's true that a population of Subaru's production of the modern 2.5i DOHC motor suffer from poor QA such that a significant portion of them consume egregious amounts of oil. So far I hope that this is a bimodal distribution, and not an indication that the actual design is flawed such that most will become burners over time. I just drove a '16 2.5i 2500mi over a week...mostly at speed and in warmer climes, consuming 0.75 qts. That's TOTALLY acceptable for a modern boxer motor running on 5w30 synth. That this 3600lb AWD chariot also garnered 31.6mpg on reg over the trip only proves the success of this modern driveline. No way the RAV4 or CRV (nor CX-5 or other crossovers) are comparable, in many ways. You'd have to go to Audi AllRoad, BMW X3 or similar to match handling and serenity at 85mph all day. It's a VERY big gray area. Conclusion-jumping is the venue of short-sighted thinking.

30

Well it would be nice if this issue was more advertised. Most people have no idea that these engines will consume oil no matter what. I know that I won't be buying an engine like that until they can figure out a way to not consume oil at all (if that's even possible). It comes down to personal choice...but I'd rather get 20 MPG combined than to get 24 combined (like I was getting in my Impreza) and not have to stress about losing oil. Hell, personally I'd take my Infiniti over the '16 you just drove, even with the MPG difference.

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I’ve been considering buying a 2018 Forester w/ CVT. But after reading this thread right up to the most recent post, I think I’ll go with a RAV4 or maybe even a Tucson SE. Been driving a ’94 Toyota pickup with the last of the 22REs and I’m used to not having to coddle my rig. At “only” 170K it’s just about reached half it’s lifespan! That written, I’ve enjoyed reading the lively discussion about the Subaru 2.5. -Peace-

2 people found this helpful.
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My G37xS squeezes 26mpg-hwy on premium on a nice day, vs 32mpg on regular with a modern OB 2.5i. As fuel prices increase that delta will become too large to ignore for most drivers. Indeed, the old Nissan 3.7 drinks no oil with its tighter rings. That's the price we pay with modern efiiciency and horizontal geometry. Nearly every Porsche owner quietly lives with this.

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People may want to hold out and see how the new direct injection 2019 Subaru's perform. If they don't drink oil they will be a lot more attractive. I do suspect they have the same old CVT though so caution is recommended,

9,310

I agree, but expect that the 2.4T will be a +$4-5k upgrade.

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