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2005 2.5x manual
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I change my oil every 3-4k miles. When I do some random checks in between changes, I don't see any oil on the dipstick. So I add a quart and it comes up into range. I have also noticed that when draining the oil, I don't seem to get much out...less than I expected.

I have no stains on my driveway and don't see any stains or wetness on the underside of car....and I have not noticed more exhaust smoke.

Never had to add oil in between oil changes to other cars that I've owned in the past. Do these cars burn more oil? say a quart every few thousand miles?

or does this sound like a more serious issue?

btw, car is manual transmission, 45k miles, and I tow a small trailer with it in the summertime.

Thanks
 

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2003 2.5x
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645 Posts
Whoa....when you check it, you dont see any oil?!? Are you checking it on a level surface after the vehicle has sat for about 20-30 minutes?

Something is definitely wrong here. Whats your coolant level look like?
 

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Premium Member
2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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10,784 Posts
It's most likely burning, pretty common with these cars. If you don't see any oil on the dipstick, that is bad -- I'd check it more often and add accordingly. You are over a quart low if there is none on the dipstick. Even if the car is parked at an angle, you should see oil on the dipstick, engine hot or cold.

How many quarts do you put in at oil change? I really think alot of Subaru owners underfill their engines due to error in the manual, which causes consumption issues and causes premature wear.

Stan
 

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2011 Forester X AT
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4,235 Posts
I never believe the dipstick on the forester. You need to level the car with a laser in perfect weather to get an accurate reading. Even then mine often reads zero.

Next time you do a change, actually measure what you get out to see how much is being consumed. 1 qt per 3000 mi is probably the limit you want to be before you start junking up the exhaust.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,498 Posts
I change my oil every 3-4k miles. When I do some random checks in between changes, So I add a quart and it comes up into range. Do these cars burn more oil? say a quart every few thousand miles?
If you are doing "random" checks on the dipstick and seeing no oil. It sounds like the thing would be burning way more than a quart every few thousand miles.

Something does not compute and This engine (In my experiences and anecdotally on this board) doesn't burn any more oil than other engines. Dipsticks accurate provided you use it correctly.
 

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2009 2.5X Limited 4EAT
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386 Posts
Hell, my 09 n/a foz burns off about half a quart between changes. Doesn't it depend on driving conditions? More than a quart would seem weird tho.

If you have an oil leak, it's not totally uncommon for engines to lose oil while you're on the road (higher rpm) and then deceptively retain while you're idling or stopped. Not saying that's your issue.
 

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Premium Member
2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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10,784 Posts
There is ALWAYS oil on the dipstick. Sometimes it reads higher than it needs to, but if it's ever dry, you are over a quart low. The dipstick is misleading (you'll get different readings on different sides of it), but it works.

Turbo guys/gals -- please, please put 5 quarts of oil in your engine at oil change, not the 4.2 the manual mistakenly calls for.

Stan
 

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none none
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8,844 Posts
I get no oil usage for 3k miles, then the last 1k mile (4k oci) I get .5-1 qt drop. This is with mobil1 5w30, with the EP version, I get no measurable loss. I generally get about 4.5qt (out of 5) back into my collection bottle (generally theres some left in the pan, filter, and my garage floor lol).
 

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2003 Subaru Forester XS
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167 Posts
Mine does burn about a quart every 1500 - 2000mi and the funny part is - if i drive sensibly it doesnt touch it, but the moment i push it, it goes down. In that matter i think it depends on the way you drive. Oh, and also - my Honda Accord is eating about a quart every 1000mi, but thats always in the VTEC :)
 

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Premium Member
98 GM67 + 03 SG
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357 Posts
I had my head gaskets replaced by the dealer that was selling my "handy man's special" forester. They did not replace the valve seals and I suspect those to be the culprits of my burning oil. I'm seeing upwards of 1qt/2-3k miles. This means I need to carry around an extra quart or two and check the level after the vehicle has sat for some time.

I am going to try a thicker weight oil, 5w40 or 5w50 to see if that helps things. I tried a 10w30 and I still saw oil consumption, so it wasn't cold viscosity that is the issue. Since I've been topping things off so frequently, I'm pushing oil changes to greater distances. However, I'd like to get this taken care of this weekend and test out the oil weight issue.


Oil burning could be a headgasket or valve seal issue. The latter will not produce noticeable signs beyond oil consumption. You won't blow blue smoke out the exhaust and there will not be any oil showing up in other places. Make sure you coolant is clean and doesn't have any oil in it.
 

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Premium Member
2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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10,784 Posts
..or valve seal issue. The latter will not produce noticeable signs beyond oil consumption. You won't blow blue smoke out the exhaust..
Why not? The oil would get past the guides and end up in the combustion chamber, just like if it were getting past the rings.

I've been trying out the Rotella Synthetic 5w40 in my other car, it seems to be good oil readily available for $20/gallon. If it works out, I may switch the Subaru to it as well.

Stan
 

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2013 XT
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1,686 Posts
Mine consumes 1qt every 1000 miles. I brought this up to my dealer back when i first saw i was down to a little oil spot on the dipstick, this was at 30,000 miles. I have on paper from the dealer saying its allowable for 1qt consumption per 1000 miles. I scanned it in, i can post it later...

Would a compression test help in determining if in fact its rings or valve seals?
 
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