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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. First, I've read the split threads about the 2011-2014 oil consumption issue, settled in 2016. Second, I purchased my 2014 Forester in late summer of 2017 with 56,000 miles on it. At the time, the major issue I had was with the AC compressor not working. I remedied that by winter and thought all was right with the new-to-me vehicle. (There are no open recalls on my vehicle.) Over the past 2 years however, I've been dealing with high oil consumption (IMO). I get a fresh oil change with 0w-20 and 2400 miles later, the light is on. I've made a habit of carrying a spare qt in my trunk for this occasion. Just last week, it happened again and I immediately pulled over to add the qt. Now the light is on warning me to change the filter. I've got 80,200 on the vehicle and 2700 on this oil change. I've had it with this issue.

I've read that I should contact my local dealer (happens to not be where I purchased the car) and tell them I want an oil consumption test performed. I've also spoken to a coworker who had the same thing with a 2015 Subaru, and he noted that they over filled his tank on the initial test. My questions are:

Where is the oil supposed to -max out- on the dipstick? My dipstick has two tiny holes, about 1" apart. No writing or other markings of any kind. My owners manual doesn't state anything. I'm going to assume the top hole is "full". I've always been told to check the oil when the car has been "off" for 15+ mins (otherwise there's residual oil in the engine and not giving an accurate read.) My hesitation is that while it's at the dealer, they stand the chance of just over filling or having it running while I come over to check. And what am I checking for exactly? I just want them to fill to the top hole and not start the vehicle until I've approved it in front of the service manager, right? I know this sounds like basic auto care and maintenance, but if I felt confident in my dealership, I wouldn't be writing this post!

If my light is turning on at 2400 mi, what is the rate of consumption? It's more than a qt, for sure.

Has anyone had the same issue, but passed the oil test and had it retested at the same or different facility?

Have any of you had the repair done while OUT of warranty? Since I bought it used and without an extended warranty, am I SOL even though there was a class action lawsuit when I didn't yet own the vehicle?

Thanks for reading.
 
2017 2.5i Fozy CVT
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...I'm going to assume the top hole is "full".
correct.

You can figure your own consumption from the full mark(record odometer reading in a logbook) to 1000 miles by noting oil level when you gas up,everytime.
Then add some oil at every fillup to keep it at the full mark.

Simple procedure is to park level ,pull the dipstick and wipe clean and do not reinsert, wait 2 m.inutes or longer while you pump gas (or get groceries),reinsert dipstick and pull to check level.

Log it, the odo reading and how much oil you added.
 

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2018 SJ Forester 2.5i Ltd CVT
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I've read that I should contact my local dealer (happens to not be where I purchased the car) and tell them I want an oil consumption test performed. I've also spoken to a coworker who had the same thing with a 2015 Subaru, and he noted that they over filled his tank on the initial test.
Any Subaru dealer can perform the oil consumption test, just like any Subaru dealer will do warranty work.

If you are concerned about the dealer overfilling, when you leave the dealership drive a few miles and check your oil level in the manner that Makingforestergreatagain suggests. If the oil level is above the top hole return to the dealership and have the service advisor make a note of it.

Just out of curiosity, do you have a manual transmission?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Any Subaru dealer can perform the oil consumption test, just like any Subaru dealer will do warranty work.

If you are concerned about the dealer overfilling, when you leave the dealership drive a few miles and check your oil level in the manner that Makingforestergreatagain suggests. If the oil level is above the top hole return to the dealership and have the service advisor make a note of it.

Just out of curiosity, do you have a manual transmission?
No, it's automatic. Do either of you know what the pass/fail margin is for the test?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Also, this oil consumption test is not something I should be charged for, right? Has anyone had to fight that?
 

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2018 SJ Forester 2.5i Ltd CVT
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No, it's automatic. Do either of you know what the pass/fail margin is for the test?
1/3 quart or more in 1,200 miles. The test is suppose to be free:

"Because of the settlement, Subaru will also offer free oil-consumption testing and reimbursement for past expenses, including certain repairs and replacements of engine components."

 

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Reason I asked about your tranny is that oil consumption is reported more often in manual transmission Foresters. Engine braking will also contribute to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
1/3 quart or more in 1,200 miles. The test is suppose to be free:

"Because of the settlement, Subaru will also offer free oil-consumption testing and reimbursement for past expenses, including certain repairs and replacements of engine components."

Thanks. I've printed that out to bring with me to the dealership this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi again. So I'm in the process of having the oil consumption test performed. Subaru changed my oil and filter and said to come back in 1200 miles +/- 20 mi. I told the tech that I wanted to see the level before leaving the dealership to make note of the starting point. (He was giving me a hard time right off the bat, but I didn't leave until it was recorded.) Of course, the dipstick reads over filled by about 1/4" over the top hole. - That's fine as long as they acknowledge that's the start. So, 1200 miles later I bring it in and it's down to about the top hole (full). The tech pulls the dipstick after the car sat in the drop off area for 20 mins and says, "See. It's full. No issue." After reminding him that it was over filled to start he acknowledges that it burned "a little, but it didn't fail."

I pushed to find the reason why my light comes on after 2400mi and he goes on to tell me that he thinks it's because I'm not using Subaru branded oil. Not all 0w20 is created equal (which my mechanic agrees with to a degree) but that I shouldn't have the problem again as long as I'm using their oil. The tech claims he's not reporting the "pass" to Subaru just yet, and that I am to bring the car back at 2400mi or whenever the light comes on again.

After talking to my mechanic and telling him what's happening, he says 1. The Subaru oil only is complete ******** and 2. I need to get them to find out why the car is losing oil pressure, which is causing the light to come on. No pressure, no oil = light. He's afraid it's a much bigger issue that is going to do long term harm and is 100% Subaru's responsibility.

Have any of you had to fight the dealer to get them to diagnose this type of issue? Why would the Forester being losing pressure? I'm assuming, judging by my mechanic's lack of enthusiasm to diagnose, it's a heavily involved/labor intensive ($$) diagnosis procedure. If I were to drop any kind of money on finding the problem, I'd happily pay my mechanic to do it and say FU to the stealership. I'd just like to know if anyone else has run into this kind of thing.
 

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I just had my '14 6MT with 78,000 miles in to the Subaru stealership to conclude my consumption test. It failed, as I figured it would... Oil light came on at 1100 miles. It sucks, because I just bought it and haven't even had it for 2 months.

Now I'm waiting to hear back from them to schedule my short block replacement.
 

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I just had my '14 6MT with 78,000 miles in to the Subaru stealership to conclude my consumption test. It failed, as I figured it would... Oil light came on at 1100 miles. It sucks, because I just bought it and haven't even had it for 2 months.

Now I'm waiting to hear back from them to schedule my short block replacement.
are you using engine braking when down shifting?

This what was causing my 2018 to use oil and is why most cars affect are manual transmission.
 

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are you using engine braking when down shifting?

This what was causing my 2018 to use oil and is why most cars affect are manual transmission.
Seems to be an issue after long highway trips. I do engine brake, but I guess it's nothing excessive, and certainly haven't ever seen any other manuals I've owned use this much oil.
 

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Question regarding oil consumption due to engine braking. Will engine braking cause permanent oil consumption issues, even if one stops engine braking in the future?
 

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No, after I stopped using engine braking, I had no oil consumption.

Here's the problem with engine braking, There is a very high vacuum created in the cylinders and intake manifold during engine braking, because the throttle is closed, no air is allowed in the manifold/cylinders and the engine is still trying to pump air. This vacuum is sucking oil up from the oil sump past the piston rings (and also thru the PVC system I am guessing.) Subaru used a very low tension piston ring for better performance and economy. I was also interested if the improved oil separator for the PVC helped

I personally think it's a design flaw, but with modern brakes you don't need engine braking except on long down hills. I also don't think it's worth the trouble of getting another engine, which more than likely will do the same. If i needed to use engine braking i would spring for a qt of oil every 1500 miles and put it in there.

When I drive now I just put the car in neutral and use the brakes to stop. The part of the country I live in is flat, so I don't need it for going down hill. Side benefit is clutch and transmission should last longer, but brakes won't. BTW, the CVT cars don't use much engine braking during normal driving and brakes are not a problem.
 

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No, after I stopped using engine braking, I had no oil consumption.

Here's the problem with engine braking, There is a very high vacuum created in the cylinders and intake manifold during engine braking, because the throttle is closed, no air is allowed in the manifold/cylinders and the engine is still trying to pump air. This vacuum is sucking oil up from the oil sump past the piston rings (and also thru the PVC system I am guessing.) Subaru used a very low tension piston ring for better performance and economy. I was also interested if the improved oil separator for the PVC helped

I personally think it's a design flaw, but with modern brakes you don't need engine braking except on long down hills. I also don't think it's worth the trouble of getting another engine, which more than likely will do the same. If i needed to use engine braking i would spring for a qt of oil every 1500 miles and put it in there.

When I drive now I just put the car in neutral and use the brakes to stop. The part of the country I live in is flat, so I don't need it for going down hill. Side benefit is clutch and transmission should last longer, but brakes won't. BTW, the CVT cars don't use much engine braking during normal driving and brakes are not a problem.
My 2014 is going in in two weeks for a new short block. I'm fine with that. I'm going to be more cognizant of engine braking, only using it on downhill off-ramps or other situations where it's really needed. Brakes are cheap and easy enough to replace.
 
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