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1998 Forester
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son just bought his first car all on his own. It's an '03 Forester with about 118k miles on it. Bought it as a rebuilt title for $3k. It had minor front end damage that was repaired and is otherwise in great shape.

This week he checked the oil and decided it was low, so he added 3 quarts (!!!) And drove on. After about 20 miles of driving, the poor thing started blowing blue smoke, the check engine light came on, and it's running rough. He took it to our mechanic who checked it out. He says it has about 2.75 quarts too much oil in it. The rest is in the air filter and other various places.

SOOOOO.... What now? They replaced the air filter, reset the check engine light, and did some clean up, but didn't take anything apart. With the oil making it all the way to the air filter I'm picturing a complete top end tear down, replace vacuum lines, pcv valve, clean up the intake manifold... How bad could it be and what should we do for first next steps?

I'm guessing he based his estimate on his experience with my land cruiser, which isn't full after 6 quarts. When the oil is down to the low point you can add 3 quarts. Not so with this engine. Lessons are hard to learn sometimes.
 

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Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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43,782 Posts
My guess... anything over a quart is too much. :confused:

The sump capacity is 4.2 US/quarts, so adding an additional 3 quarts is a lot of oil! Members have found, if too much oil is added, it will find its way out! :icon_eek:

We usually add 4.5 US/quarts when we replaced the oil & oil filter on my son's '03 X.

As to what you can do. get the oil to the correct level, clean up any expelled oil & hope for the best!

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 

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2005 Forester XT Auto
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1,103 Posts
I concur all around. I know 1 qt over full won't blow anything up because i've done it before. No immediate issues. If it was me in this scenario i'd get the oil level correct like Bobby says, clean up any easily accessible stuff then start driving it close to home for awhile....maybe wear a bag over your head (with eyeholes) as smoke pours out from every nook and cranny of the car :laugh:.....and hope it burns off from the places it shouldn't be. Maybe you'll get lucky!
 

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1998 Forester
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks! Yeah, he was used to seeing the oil back up in the fill hole and that didn't happen until he added 3 quarts, so... Yeah. He filled the entire thing. Amazing. We'll run it "gently" for a bit and see what happens.
 

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1999 A/T - 235,000 mi. WA state
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1,006 Posts
4.5 - 4.75 qts when doing the oil and filter on a '99 2.5 liter. I'd just drive the car and let it tell you soon if it's hurting.

Also I had to learn the hard way, that the forester dip stick reads inaccurately (due to the way the dip stick tube bends to get around the horizontal cylinders - my explanation). For accurate oil reading, check at gas station (oil is warm and car level) pulling the stick out and setting it aside before filling the tank; leave the hood up. In the 4 minutes for fueling, the warm oil drains down out of the tube. Then measure oil again after the fueling is done and the dip stick reading is good.
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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3,376 Posts
@Mdarius -
A Subaru tech who I became friends with had over 30 years working on Subaru cars told me he had seen that happen more than a few times and never had a problem reported by the customers who had their service done at his location once the excess oil was removed.

You don't have anything to worry about.
 

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1998 Forester
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks! This along with everyone else saying the same thing puts my mind at ease. I had envisioned a weekend of replacing and cleaning hoses and vacuum tubing and anything else that breathes. We'll just run it and see what happens.
 
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