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2009 Forester 2.5X premiu
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had the first oil change at 6800. Then skipped oil change, but checked oil which never showed low. At 22300 miles (this car was then 7 months old), the accelerator came full on when I accelerated and immediately after that there was a clacking noise in the engine whenever I accelerated. (Model is manual transmission; I thought something had come loose when I stomped on the accelerator pedal to see whether that would reset accelerator. Clutch was in of course.) Took it to dealership (not my home one; different city). First they said no problem, weather mat had caused accelerator pedal to stick. Then I asked them about clacking. They said, only .5 qt oil in engine, though I had checked as full before 500 mile trip. No leaking I had seen, or oil smoke while traveling. They said, no visible leaks to them either. They did oil change, and came back with "metal shavings in oil." Could missing the 14K oil change have caused this, as long as I was checking oil and oil full before I began the 500 mile trip? Please advise.
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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I had the first oil change at 6800. Then skipped oil change... At 22300 miles... there was a clacking noise in the engine... Took it to dealership... They said, only .5 qt oil in engine, though I had checked as full before 500 mile trip... They did oil change, and came back with "metal shavings in oil." Could missing the 14K oil change have caused this, as long as I was checking oil and oil full before I began the 500 mile trip?...
The car went 15,500 miles without an oil change, ending with a 500-mile trip after which the dealer found only .5 quart when he drained the oil. Not surprising that the engine was run dry and the bearings were ruined. Maybe when you checked the dipstick, you saw no difference anywhere along its length, and assumed it must be all oil.

I know people have their preferences, but I change my oil myself every 3,750 miles and can't conceive of going 15,500 miles on the same dino oil.
 

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2009 Forester XT Limited
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I know people have their preferences, but I change my oil myself every 3,750 miles and can't conceive of going 15,500 miles on the same dino oil.
Agreed.........Well I don't do my own, SOA does it, but I wouldn't even think of going anywhere over 5K on Synthetic unless I was on a trip and only going over that slightly.
 

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2009 Forester 2.5X premiu
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes.

Thanks for these. But I wasn't misreading the dipstick. The engine oil was full when I left for the 500 mile trip. Other thoughts?
 

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2004 FXT / 2020 Outback Onyx XT
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What else did the dealer say other than "metal shavings in oil"? Was there any other damage that they could see? The engine oil was full before the 500 mile trip, but the oil wasn't changed for 15k miles? Like vintage42 said, your bearings could be shot and your dealer probably would consider this neglect and you would not be covered under warranty. What's the car's status now?

You can always do a used oil analysis, but uoa's do not necessarily pick up large wear particles. I would do one anyway out of curiosity. Ask someone to help you locally (regional forums here or nasioc.com) if you've never changed your oil.

Blackstone Labs

-Dennis
 

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2009 Forester 2.5X premiu
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Again thanks. Dealer is trying to decide whether to rebuild or replace the engine; I haven't yet been told what all the damage is. They just tell me engine is torn apart. Opinions about whether this should be rebuilt or replaced? Any estimates about what one or the other might cost?
 

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2014 CVT
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if subaru pays for it, which i would find hard to see then my guess is a new short block or long block, if your going to pay for it, which i see happening (you missed a oil change, something that needs to be done) rebuild it most likely will be cheaper, but get both priced out.
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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Turbo or N/A?
 

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2007 2.5X 5mt
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I'm going on 6,000 miles on Mobile1 synthetic along with Mobile 1 Oil filter. I was gonna have it changed since I got a free oil change at the dealer but mine is still pretty clear when I recently checked it, can see through it with no prob when i run the dipstick on my finger. :shrug: So I'll let some more miles roll by one it.
 

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2016 Forester XT AT
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I'm going on 6,000 miles on Mobile1 synthetic along with Mobile 1 Oil filter. I was gonna have it changed since I got a free oil change at the dealer but mine is still pretty clear when I recently checked it, can see through it with no prob when i run the dipstick on my finger. :shrug: So I'll let some more miles roll by one it.
If it is still under warranty, you are risking a lot to save a few bucks. My guess is that the OP will be told he will have to pay for the repair as he did not follow the requirements of the servicing. That could be something that you could also face.

To the OP: I have always had difficulty on a new engine to determine what the dipstick is reading as the oil is generally very clean, making it very hard to see where the level in the pan is in relationship to the oil film that covers the dipstick. Not an issue as motors get more time on them as the oil gets dirty faster. And just curious, what was your reasoning for not following Subaru's requirements for oil changes?
 

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2009 Forester 2.5X premiu
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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
To pleiad7--
it's not a Turbo.

To FMT_Raider and others--
could you suggest a ballpark figure for short vs. long block, replace vs. rebuild?

All this makes sense to me; I'm just trying to prepare myself for the worst. I doubt Subaru will repair, even though I know there was oil in the engine when I left on the trip.

To Trainman: changed jobs, got hugely busy, forgot. SOL.

Thanks.
 

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03X MT
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Why would any owner go so long between oil changes when oil is one of the cheapest ways of extending the life of the engine. DIY @ $19.00 per change.

Fumoto
Walmart 5 qt jug
filter.

DONE! 15 minutes
 

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98 Forester...what else
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To pleiad7--
it's not a Turbo.

To FMT_Raider and others--
could you suggest a ballpark figure for short vs. long block, replace vs. rebuild?

Thanks.
N/A bare short block - $2,000
Gasket set - complete motor - $800
R & R - checking valves/replacing seals, etc. - $depends on labor rates

Complete motor - $6,000+


Labor rates vary from area to area. I don't want to quote labor rates, but I'd say you're in for at least 20 hours of labor time at the shop rate.
 

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2001 Forester S, auto
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444 Posts
Just out of curiousity, what type of driving do you (original poster) do?
Like, how many miles a year, and how long on average are you running the car per trip?
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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I had the first oil change at 6800. Then skipped oil change, but checked oil which never showed low. At 22300 miles... They said, only .5 qt oil in engine...
... No leaking I had seen, or oil smoke while traveling. They said, no visible leaks to them either....
... The engine oil was full when I left for the 500 mile trip. Other thoughts?
So in 15,500 miles without an oil change, the dipstick never showed any consumption of oil. No oil needed to be added in 15,500 miles. Then on a trip of 500 miles, 4.5 quarts of oil disappeared without burning or leaking.

My thoughts are:
Can a Forester go 15,000 miles without using any oil, and then suddenly lose 4.5 quarts in 500 miles without leaking or burning it?
The central thread in this story is the readings of the dipstick, which showed the engine needed no oil for 15,000 miles, and then showed all the oil gone in the last 500 miles. One would think that the dipstick must have been misread, more than once.

... But I wasn't misreading the dipstick...
Perhaps you never ever saw oil on the dipstick. Perhaps you started checking the dipstick when the second and missed 7500-mile oil change came due, and the 4.5 quarts of oil had already dropped by 1.5 quarts, leaving 3 quarts which would be just below the stick. You would have seen an oil-misted stick, but not a half stick of dirty black oil. Maybe you kept looking at the stick thinking it looked full. Then by the time that same oil accumulated 15,500 miles, another 2.5 quarts of oil was used, leaving the .5 quart with the metal shavings.
 

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2014 CVT
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i agree that it most likely is a mis-read dipstick. they can be hard to read at times. it is very hard for me to believe that subaru will do anything under warranty, as i said in my past post be honest with them on what happened
 

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2003 XS
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169 Posts
OP,

You should know by now that skipping oil changes isn't the smartest thing to do so I'm not going to dwell on that. To be honest, your first oil change at almost 7k was too long for normal driving let alone a break in period.

Anyway, in an effort to help, rather than scold, I think there are some things you can learn from this. For one, how did you take your oil level readings? Taking an oil reading is not as easy as pulling the stick and looking at it. For one, the engine needs to be stopped and preferably cold. I like to check my oil in the morning before I start the car. And two, you need to wipe the stick clean and reinsert it. If you don't do either of these, you won't get an accurate reading. Second, you really should change your own oil. There really is no excuse.

All,

Do Foresters not have a low oil dummy light? I'm usually not a fan of dummy lights but a low oil dummy light is a necessity, in my opinion. The one on my 1985 BMW has saved my car at least once when I sprung an oil leak while on the highway. Without it, I would have run it dry for sure.

Mark
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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Do Foresters not have a low oil dummy light?
The U.S. spec '09's have an "oil pressure warning light" in the tach (ref owner manual page 3-13). Don't know about others.

HTH,
Jim / crewzer
 
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