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2014 Forester 6-Speed Stick
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
2014 Baseline Fozzy. 2.5 Non-Turbo. 6 speed stick.

When I bought this Fozzy it was a "Certified Pre Owned" model with less than 60,000 miles. I brought it back less than a month later with the WORST oil consumption issue the dealer had ever seen (three times Subaru's acceptable limit). They swapped out the engine (short block) and told me I should be good to go and that they had never seen a car come back for a recurrence of the issue. Well, Its burning oil again, though not consistently, and at a much slower pace than before (about 1/2 a quart every 1500 miles). Before I go back to the dealer, I figured I would ask here if there was such a ting as "Normal" oil consumption for these engines?

This is the first flat engined vehicle I have even owned and I didn't know if this was something that I was just going to have to learn to live with as a part of the nature of the engine design or not. I know BMW motorcycles consider oil consumption of a quart per 1200 miles on their boxer engines to be within spec. :surprise:

I've got over 85,000 miles on the car now, and I know the warranty/recall only goes to 100,000, so I don't want this to go any longer without being checked. But I also don't want to waste my time chasing another engine replacement if it is going to be a waste of my time, you know?

Thank all!
 

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'17 Impreza Hatchback CVT
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832 Posts
Sorry to hear of your experience. Unfortunately, short block replacements don't always solve the problem. 6MT cars seem to have more issues with oil consumption than CVTs. Push to have it addressed while you are still covered under warranty and keep all the documentation in case there are ongoing issues. Probably worth getting SoA involved to have a case record on file, but perhaps others who have been through this will speak more directly to that. Good luck!
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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2,238 Posts
@KB02 - "Well, Its burning oil again, though not consistently, and at a much slower pace than before (about 1/2 a quart every 1500 miles"

I (and more than a few others) have noticed that the oil burn is much more pronounced with extended drives at relatively high speeds.
In my case, on trips of < 100 miles or so, even at highway speeds ~80, the oil burn is non-existent.

On a long trip, the car can use 1 quart in 1500 miles.

There have been several other posters who have noted this.
I had the Subaru dealer "oil burn check" done after a trip when I first noticed the oil use, and brought it back in at 1,200 miles.
No oil burn at all, but it was relatively short trips, and relatively low speeds.

The service tech (a friend) told be to bring it back for another test before a long trip and it would fail, allowing me to get the short block, so it is apparently a known factor.

As far as the dealer saying they "never had a problem with oil consumption" after a short block replacement, you can find posters on this forum who have had several short block replacements and subsequent oil burn failures, so either the dealer is lucky, or he was just trying to make you feel better.

In any case, since the failure is covered under warranty, if you still have the problem, take it back.
 

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2014 Forester
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22 Posts
I also have a 2014 Forester 2.5 6 speed manual that I bought new. The oil consumption was outrageous right from the start. The engine was replaced at 70k under the warranty program. I'm at 135K now and the oil usage, while more than I've seen with other vehicles, is considerably less than prior to the new engine. I check the oil weekly and add as needed. I drive about 2k miles a month and probably add a little oil (about 1/2 qt) each month. The oil gets changed with synthetic about every 3 -4 months.
ColoradoZ28
 

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2016 and 2020 Foresters
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1,381 Posts
Short answer-no
Well, that's not entirely accurate. 'Normal' is, I guess, debatable. Is some consumption acceptable enough to be considered 'normal'? Yes. All cars consume SOME oil. It's just usually small enough to not really notice or worry about. But that's really about semantics, I suppose.

1 quart every 3k is more than I'd like, for sure. Especially with a new engine that was supposed to have fixed the issue!

Modern engines it seems are manufactured with looser ring tolerances because for political reasons fuel efficiency is all that matters nowadays, even at the expense of reliability.

Anyway, go back to the dealer. They'll probably do another consumption test.
 

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2013/14 2.5i-L CVT
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This is the first flat engined vehicle I have even owned and I didn't know if this was something that I was just going to have to learn to live with as a part of the nature of the engine design or not.!
Boxer engines may use a little more oil then upright engines, however, the main contributors are manufacturers reducing internal engine friction by lowering piston ring tension and using lighter weight oils to increase mileage. One of the side-effects of this is increased oil consumption, however, in most cases the fuel savings outweigh the cost of the additional oil. It is not the same as oil burning in worn out engines.

This is by no means exclusive to Subaru. Many brands are having the same problem ranging from GM to Porsche, BMW and Audi. It is becoming the new normal as explained by this guy (warning some X-rated language):
 

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2014 Forester 6-Speed Stick
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Well, I’m topped off again and have set the trip meters to do my own little consumption test before going back to the dealer. I’d like to have something firm to yell at them with.

My daily commute to work is half an hour on the highway at 75mph (any slower and you’re a traffic hazard).

If i get this fixed and it happens again, would there be a problem going with a slightly thicker oil?
 

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2012 Forester X 5 MT
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881 Posts
A quart in 3K miles is a bit high but I doubt the dealer will give you a new engine for this.

You can go from NY to CA and burn a quart. Is that really so bad?

I burn a quart in 4K and it doesn't bother me in the slightest. Oil is cheap.
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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2,238 Posts
Actually, a quart in 3K is within the short block replacement zone... At least theoretically..
Subaru's OFFICIAL definition of excessive oil usage is 1/3 qt or more in 1,200 miles in the US.
A quart in 3K could be more than that, but again it is likely you will find variability based on conditions and driving habits, so the consumption may not be linear with mileage.

That being said, thanks to @slothman - The video provided a nice context for the issue along with some rather colorful situational scenarios that may be applied in non-automotive contexts... And it was funny.
 

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2014 Forester 6-Speed Stick
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Discussion Starter #13
Does anyone know if anyone has ever battled the looser tolerances issue with gapless rings to fight the oil consumption issue?
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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Does anyone know if anyone has ever battled the looser tolerances issue with gapless rings to fight the oil consumption issue?
It would take a lot of balls to rip up an engine (after warranty) to go such a route. Actually that is probably 99.99% destined for failure.
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring CVT
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@KB02 - "Well, Its burning oil again, though not consistently, and at a much slower pace than before (about 1/2 a quart every 1500 miles"

I (and more than a few others) have noticed that the oil burn is much more pronounced with extended drives at relatively high speeds.
In my case, on trips of < 100 miles or so, even at highway speeds ~80, the oil burn is non-existent.

On a long trip, the car can use 1 quart in 1500 miles.

There have been several other posters who have noted this.
I had the Subaru dealer "oil burn check" done after a trip when I first noticed the oil use, and brought it back in at 1,200 miles.
No oil burn at all, but it was relatively short trips, and relatively low speeds.

The service tech (a friend) told be to bring it back for another test before a long trip and it would fail, allowing me to get the short block, so it is apparently a known factor.

As far as the dealer saying they "never had a problem with oil consumption" after a short block replacement, you can find posters on this forum who have had several short block replacements and subsequent oil burn failures, so either the dealer is lucky, or he was just trying to make you feel better.

In any case, since the failure is covered under warranty, if you still have the problem, take it back.
well put, totally agree.
 

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2007 Outback H6R
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12 Posts
I had an alarming oil consumption issue with my second hand Outback, I'm not too analytical, but in ~1000km's, the oil was down to the min. level, I was like, It's probably a HG issue etc. - my mechanic was more chill, he topped of with a thicker oil to test and see how it goes, currently it's stable with no oil consumption - so obviously OP should go the warranty route, but since it's a common issue, going with a thicker oil seems to be a solution

(I'll personally re-test with specced oil when I can find some time, I don't like the idea of using out of spec oil, I might top up regularly if it's manageable)
 

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2009 Forester
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10 Posts
If you tow a trailer or accelerate hard with a heavily loaded vehicle, you can burn too much oil for your own comfort. As indicated elsewhere you could change say from 5- w-30 to 5-w-40 or even 5-w-50 if you drive very hard.
That should still be in "summer dessert specs" for most vehicles.
It is the way I went and I am now completely satisfied with my oil consumption. Minimal if any top up needed between services. But that is on a 2009 SH with 110 000 km.
 
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