2011+ Excessive Oil Consumption? (ARCHIVED) - Page 203 - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #3031 of 3816 (permalink) Old 03-10-2014, 12:00 PM
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Now that we are going 6k, 7.5k or even more, we check in between changes more often and discover the bitter truth ... all engines consume oil to some degree.
This is a good point for people who just drive their cars (which could be considered a majority in some circles) However I have had roughly 60 vehicles in my lifetime, including tractors, large trucks, vans, suv's, etc. and I have always monitored oil consumption.

The truth of that is that oil consumption varies for sure, but are generally considered the exception and should never be classified with abnormal oil consumption.

Here's what the manual on my new 2014 Outback says,

" If the oil consumption rate seems abnormally high after the break in period, for example more than 1 quart per 1,000 miles, we recommend that you contact your Subaru dealer."

This insults people's intelligence and if accepted gets Subaru and others off the hook. As you can see by this statement that if you change your synthetic oil at say 7,000 miles, you could effectively have put in double the amount of oil.
Is this acceptable ? Of course it's not!
Again it is of no surprise to me that vehicles will use oil ( no matter how long it is between changes)....again a quart BETWEEN oil changes would be acceptable to me. Anything in between is abnormal..... especially on vehicles with less than 50,000 miles

add; 90% of the vehicles I have owned, simply have never used oil. This tells me the engineering is correct. Ones that use a quart (more or less) every 2,000 miles are essentially failed engineering and falls into all other myths about oil consumption, changes, and flat out falsehoods that the industry projects.

Regular oil vs synthetic? Still deciphering what is fact and what is myth. (and this debate will be ongoing), but if you follow the money, and add in some politics you will definitely become skeptical.

I have a 1996 Geo tracker with 243,000 miles on it. Never been rebuilt, still has great compression, no engine noise. I changed my oil/filter (conventional oil) every 5 to 6 thousand miles, sometimes longer. The manual says 5,000 miles and filter every other (Somehow this myth about 3,000 mile oil changes got out to the public and was left unchallenged. The proof of the matter was that good quality oil was still viable (even when it was black in color) beyond even 7,000 miles. But common sense (since most of us don't have our oil tested) says we lean towards being safe than sorry.
Here is a quote from Edmond's

Myth: You Should Change Your Oil Every 3k Miles Because Carbon Will Build Up Due to Blow by

Truth: Carbon is not a big problem when it comes to oil change intervals. But don't take my word for it, here is a statement by the guys who actually test used oils. "Carbon isn't usually a big problem. Most of the time it's big enough the oil filter catches it." Ryan Stark Blackstone Labs

"The fact is, a good oil filter will catch and filter out any carbon that may enter the engine. A good oil, will suspend contaminants and allow the filter to catch them."

So as I see it we still have questions and the answers often come from the wrong sources (the oil, auto, and jiffy-lube industries) We have forums like these, to lend some information out to the consumer so we might be able to make better choices.
Yesterday I added a quart of oil to my brand new Subaru Outback (970 miles)
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post #3032 of 3816 (permalink) Old 03-10-2014, 12:30 PM
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You made a lot of good points. I will take some issue with a couple of them.

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Originally Posted by bvanek View Post
However I have had roughly 60 vehicles in my lifetime, including tractors, large trucks, vans, suv's, etc. and I have always monitored oil consumption.
Many people don't unfortunately. Its been known on this board and I have seen it in real life all too often.



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" If the oil consumption rate seems abnormally high after the break in period, for example more than 1 quart per 1,000 miles, we recommend that you contact your Subaru dealer."
This insults people's intelligence and if accepted gets Subaru and others off the hook.
Actually the 1000 mile/quart has and is still the industry standard today. I totally agree that it is excessive but it a universal number(in the u.s.) I would certainly complain about it and be a royal pia to the dealer and Subaru of America. I might not win that battle though.

I probably go back a long ways more than you. Most vehicles I have had and seen before 1974 did indeed consume oil. But again most didn't consume nearly 1 quart/1000 miles. My 69 Camaro cvonsumed around a quart per 2500 miles..more or less. Never changed in 100K miles.

And honestly its pretty easy to insult peoples intelligence these days. Usually there isn't much.

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.again a quart BETWEEN oil changes would be acceptable to me. Anything in between is abnormal..... especially on vehicles with less than 50,000 miles
I think actually a quart/5000 miles is acceptable for a 20 wt oil.


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Regular oil vs synthetic? Still deciphering what is fact and what is myth. (and this debate will be ongoing), but if you follow the money, and add in some politics you will definitely become skeptical.
The line between syn and non-syn is becoming blurred with additives and Group III being called a "Full Synthetic". Most people will do fine with non-"synthetic" oil

Quote:
(Somehow this myth about 3,000 mile oil changes got out to the public and was left unchallenged.
This speaks to the intelligence of the average person. I jwill though clarify that many folks on this board understand that 3000 mile changes are not necessary. But they choose to perform them at this interval. Nothing wrong with that.


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So as I see it we still have questions and the answers often come from the wrong sources (the oil, auto, and jiffy-lube industries)
For sure.

Be careful what you wish for.
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post #3033 of 3816 (permalink) Old 03-10-2014, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by lfdal View Post
Take a look at the UOA I posted after 1300 miles, or the one I'm getting ready to post after 6000 miles. You'll answer your own question, although in fairness mine is the 2.0 DIT.

BTW - the Bimmer forums are rift with folks that have stuck with a 15k oil change on their DIT's and are getting the sludge scraped off the valves at just over 50k. On my wife's new DIT, we'll be doing 5k changes.
doubt the oil change interval will make the inevitable DIT issue better. The issue is due to the emissions gases routing back the intake. With the older system the injectors "wash" the valves during the intake cycle.

audi/vw also have this issue.
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post #3034 of 3816 (permalink) Old 03-10-2014, 05:58 PM
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Actually the 1000 mile/quart has and is still the industry standard today..
Not at all trying to be confrontational, but you have mentioned this a few times.

Can you substantiate how you have determined this to be the de facto industry standard?

I agree with you, and I'm no MechE, any internal combustion engine consumes oil. It has to, to keep pistons and rings from wearing skirts and cylinder walls or valves and valve guides from wearing. This oil film gets burned.

That aside, none of my other vehicles (2005 RAV4 manual with 160k, 2004 Taco 2.7 with 25k and 2008 Vette with 20k) as well as a Japanese and American motorcycle consume any appreciable amounts of oil between changes and certainly nowhere near a quart per 2500 miles like my Forester

I've changed my own oil for 37 years now on dozens of vehicles and I can't recall any post-72 "emissions" engines other than my Vega (2300, NOT the 327 that replaced it ) that consumed a quart or more of oil between oil changes as my "new" 2014 Forester does.

Hopefully the EPA will show some interest in oil consumption since this entire issue seems to stem from the quest for increased CAFE numbers.
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post #3035 of 3816 (permalink) Old 03-10-2014, 07:07 PM
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Hopefully the EPA will show some interest in oil consumption since this entire issue seems to stem from the quest for increased CAFE numbers
On that note, I wonder how do our euro fozzy owners fared with the FB25 engine and oil consumption...as I understand, the rest of the world fozzys use 5W-30 synthetic on their FB25's????
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post #3036 of 3816 (permalink) Old 03-11-2014, 11:39 AM
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I think actually a quart/5000 miles is acceptable for a 20 wt oil.
This is when I make the decision to change my oil (if it's before my regular change cycle)
Just made sense....However with the exception of my early Wankel Mazda and a 1953 International crawler, I have not had a vehicle use excessive amounts of oil. I was probably low in my estimation of vehicles owned. Lets just say a bunch (and I usually keep the majority for 10 to 20 years) Guess you could say I am an old guy
....which also makes me old school and set in my ways. Us old folks reserve that right.

Quote:
I've changed my own oil for 37 years now on dozens of vehicles and I can't recall any post-72 "emissions" engines other than my Vega (2300, NOT the 327 that replaced it ) that consumed a quart or more of oil between oil changes as my "new" 2014 Forester does.
Yes I'm with you on this. There is definitely an engineering issue here and as always the cart gets put in front of the consumer's horse first. Follow the money and the politics.
add this; We are forced to use ethanol fuel designed to help with emissions. So since you get less miles per gallon and thus have to use more, where does this help the environment? Consume more and you take what you gain ( which is 0 after you deduct the 5-6% loss in fuel economy) out of the consumers pocket, don't help the environment, get more tax for the government, and ....well you get the idea...not to mention the abuse this type of fuel puts on small engines

you will see that some people accept the things they cannot change, but their wisdom is not superior to people who take exception. On the contrary, they simply would rather pretend this is not a problem or reduce it by offering objectivity based on progress....lets be honest, using abnormal amounts of oil is not progress even if you try to mask it as fuel economy, better engine life, or any other justification. However if this happened to them and they are wise enough to recognize abnormal circumstances, they will "complain" just as loudly. If they don't then sadly they will just contribute to problem and it will never get corrected.


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And honestly its pretty easy to insult peoples intelligence these days. Usually there isn't much.
I would be a bit more careful with this rather bold remark. The world is a collage of people, if everyone was as smart as you then you might lose your bragging rights.

about me;
I just purchased a new 2014 Outback. Whether this was a wise choice or not, is yet to be determined. To put this in perspective the last new car I bought was a 2003 Forester, which incidentally was a generally decent vehicle but had several nagging issues (head gasket was the worst) it started using oil at about 100,000 miles (a quart between changes) In short, cars have changed so much since my last purchase, I literally had to be shown how the drive this one. More frilly gadgets, literally everything computer dependent, and simply a mysteriously different feeling of helpless dependency. I did plenty of research before and was somehow convinced that Subaru took care of their oil consumption and head gasket issues. so far I have concerns, and I am hoping that doesn't turn into regrets.
0w-20 synthetic oil is new to me and it is relatively new to the general public. I don't accept the disappearing oil as the new way of life. Nor should anyone else.
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post #3037 of 3816 (permalink) Old 03-11-2014, 02:50 PM
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Update on oil consumption. 2014 Forester 2.5 Premium Manual Transmission
As I feared, something else went wrong when changing the rings as the mechanic dammaged the pistons (they claim this is something that normally happen when taking the rings). So now they changed both the rings and pistons. My knowledge on car mechanics is very limited, but I wonder how this repaired engine compares to an engine that did not need this repair. Although I have requested it from start, SoA didn't want to change the whole engine neither just the block and they claim this repair should solve all problems.
I didn't drive the car much since the repair, less than 200 miles, but the mileage per galon is still very low: 22-23 mpg highway. My understanding is that if there is a problem with the pistons this will affect the gas consuption as well.
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post #3038 of 3816 (permalink) Old 03-11-2014, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by bvanek View Post

The world is a collage of people, if everyone was as smart as you then you might lose your bragging rights.
By definition, almost exactly half of the people are of below average intelligence. Ignorance is greater than 1/2 of the people on any given topic, of course, because many intelligent people simply don't learn about a given topic.

0w-20 engine oil isn't magic. It isn't even all that different from many oils that have been used a LONG time in vehicles. Ford Modular 5w-20 for example. There is a problem with a subset of these Subaru engines. I hope Subaru fixes those with the problem....it's the "right thing" to do.
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post #3039 of 3816 (permalink) Old 03-11-2014, 10:40 PM
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By definition, almost exactly half of the people are of below average intelligence. Ignorance is greater than 1/2 of the people on any given topic, of course, because many intelligent people simply don't learn about a given topic.

0w-20 engine oil isn't magic. It isn't even all that different from many oils that have been used a LONG time in vehicles. Ford Modular 5w-20 for example. There is a problem with a subset of these Subaru engines. I hope Subaru fixes those with the problem....it's the "right thing" to do.
I had a Ford Focus that called for 5w-20 Motorcraft back in 2003.....the forums were lit up over the damage it would do to the engine.....never had a problem. 0w-20 or 5w-20 as far as im concerned is the same damn thing. Subaru simply screwed up with quality control some where. Hell neither my WRX or '14 XT use a drop (the WRX's are known for ring failures).
Also the whole Ethanol issue....originally its purpose was to replace MTBE as an octane booster. The reason it causes trouble for small engines is the fact that YES ethanol absorbs water and when you combine that fact with a bad batch of fuel with an engine that may sit for weeks or months between uses then yes there will be problems. While it dose degrade fuel economy, it dose not leach into ground water and cause cancer...not to mention it is processed from organics that are grown and arguably carbon neutral. (Aside from the fact its unethical to process food into fuel but that can be argued aswell)

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post #3040 of 3816 (permalink) Old 03-12-2014, 08:32 AM
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Had a somewhat heated conversation with the dealer service department this morning.

The car was purchased used from the dealer with 9500 miles on it. Had my first dealer oil change at 15,000. Subsequently found this site and thread so started to pay attention. Noticed about 1/3 down from the dipstick full indicator at about 17,000. Checked again at 18,770 and it was a full quart low, so purchased a quart of Mobil 1 synthetic 0w20 at the dealer (kept the receipt) and added. Level was now full and has stayed that way.

In for the 20,000 today and I mention to the dealer rep. needing to add a quart at 18,770, thinking they would want to know. Was then reprimanded by the rep. with "We need to be putting the oil in the vehicle, not you" and that they really had no interest that I had to add a quart (and would not make a note to that effect in the service log) as if they don't do it, it isn't "real" as it's outside of their control.

Surprised at that comment I told her I would add oil as I saw fit, that I will keep them aware and I wanted it in the service report. She refused to do that. I asked what would happen if I had to add while on a trip ?, she said that was all right but having the customer do their own oil changes voids the warranty. "Really". I asked if it was advisable to use a heavier oil ?, she said that too would void the warranty.

She did indicate that they are aware of some FB25 engines using oil and wanted my vehicle back at 22500 to get checked.

Not a problem but my next letter is to Subaru regional office.
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post #3041 of 3816 (permalink) Old 03-12-2014, 08:39 AM
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Surprised at that comment I told her I would add oil as I saw fit, that I will keep them aware and I wanted it in the service report. She refused to do that. I asked what would happen if I had to add while on a trip ?, she said that was all right but having the customer do their own oil changes voids the warranty. "Really". I asked if it was advisable to use a heavier oil ?, she said that too would void the warranty.

Not a problem but my next letter is to Subaru regional office.
She needs a new job...

Doing your own oil changes does not affect your warranty as long as you have proof you did them (receipts), nor should you be scolded for adding oil as needed.

Definitely let Subaru know about your experience.

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post #3042 of 3816 (permalink) Old 03-12-2014, 08:41 AM
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Please give me her name and number and I'll call her and demand to know why my new Forester isn't getting 55 MPG like the salesman said it would.

I'll then tell her I've just changed my timing belt at 4000 miles and ask her if they still need to change the CVT at 8,000 miles.

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post #3043 of 3816 (permalink) Old 03-12-2014, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Lightingguy View Post

Surprised at that comment I told her I would add oil as I saw fit, that I will keep them aware and I wanted it in the service report. She refused to do that. I asked what would happen if I had to add while on a trip ?, she said that was all right but having the customer do their own oil changes voids the warranty. "Really". I asked if it was advisable to use a heavier oil ?, she said that too would void the warranty.
Ask her where in the Warranty it says that.

If it doesn't, inform her that she has just violated the Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act which states among other things:

Section 2308. Implied warranties
(a) Restrictions on disclaimers or modifications
No supplier may disclaim or modify (except as
provided in subsection (b) of this section)
any implied warranty to a consumer with
respect to such consumer product.



Be careful what you wish for.
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post #3044 of 3816 (permalink) Old 03-12-2014, 09:21 AM
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This was sort of a test run with the dealer to see how they wanted to deal with a potential problem. I wasn't encouraged.

In reality, I think this engine is on the borderline of having an issue, as a quart at essentially 3800 miles is not "too" excessive. I mostly wanted it on record prior to the original warranty expiring on 3/20/14, even though I have a Subaru extended.

I would like to think that going to a 5w/20 oil would maybe see less oil consumption, but the dealer has stated they won't do that.
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post #3045 of 3816 (permalink) Old 03-12-2014, 09:49 PM
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My dealer is now automatically using 5W30 Subaru synthetic oil during my oil changes every 3.8k miles (the different color of the oil at that interval and a close analysis/assessment of our oil clearly suggests this frequency of changing the engine oil in our car for my driving style). My dealer is also accumulating some data from my experiences. He is supportive of my effort to lower my car's oil consumption. Interestingly, the oil consumption of my 2011 manual forester premium hit an all time low during the last few VERY COLD months in Chicago: about 1/2 quart over 3.8k miles (otherwise it seems to have reached a steady state of about one quart per 3.8k miles). After more than 20k miles on 5W30 with no noticeable increased fuel consumption (between oil changes: ~ 24 mpg in the non-winter seasons and ~ 21.5 mpg in winter; a bit aggressive driver), I think I am going to stick with it.

Of course, although I have not been happy with the oil consumption of our car (my earlier posts do include related information), our manual forester premium has been outstanding in the bad winter days we have had this season.

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currently 42,000 miles
bought it new with less than 20 miles on it
had a new short block at 18,000 miles

Last edited by yct; 03-12-2014 at 10:06 PM.
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