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2017 XT Premium CVT
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Vital Stats: 2011 Forester 2.5X, FB25, Not PZEV, 5-spd Manual, 64k miles.

Lately I've been getting pretty terrible fuel economy. I'm not sure if its just due to the extreme cold and "winter blend" fuel (For Chicago anyway, -10F to 10F or so) but I've been getting maybe only 23-24mpg highway. In the summer I usually go 28-30mpg under the same driving conditions).

Also at low speed/RPM for the past several months I've noticed an odd clicking noise. Cruising along at 20-30mph in 2-3 gear (RPMs around 2000-2500) after a short delay I start to hear a noticeable clicking noise. Almost like a "woodpecker" in the engine. I think the oil might be getting low...but I'm having trouble reading the stick, it looks like there is oil all up along one side but its not totally covered anywhere. Pic attached for reference. Measurement taken with engine hot but shut off, level ground, etc. Is there enough oil in it?

Typically for the past few oil changes when it got about 4k-5k since the last change it would start making this ticking noise. I'd dump another quart or two in and the ticking would go away. I mention this to the dealer at each oil change and they claim to look into it, but say everything appears in good shape and the oil consumption isn't enough to be indicative serious problem. This has been happening for about the past 15k miles or so, but now I've taken a pretty serious fuel economy hit that I hadn't seen in previous winters (Although previous winters have been 20F warmer on average...so it might just be the unusual cold).

Any ideas what (if anything) might be wrong here?
 

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2014 Forester Premium 6M
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106 Posts
Vital Stats: 2011 Forester 2.5X, FB25, Not PZEV, 5-spd Manual, 64k miles.

Lately I've been getting pretty terrible fuel economy. I'm not sure if its just due to the extreme cold and "winter blend" fuel (For Chicago anyway, -10F to 10F or so) but I've been getting maybe only 23-24mpg highway. In the summer I usually go 28-30mpg under the same driving conditions).

Also at low speed/RPM for the past several months I've noticed an odd clicking noise. Cruising along at 20-30mph in 2-3 gear (RPMs around 2000-2500) after a short delay I start to hear a noticeable clicking noise. Almost like a "woodpecker" in the engine. I think the oil might be getting low...but I'm having trouble reading the stick, it looks like there is oil all up along one side but its not totally covered anywhere. Pic attached for reference. Measurement taken with engine hot but shut off, level ground, etc. Is there enough oil in it?

Typically for the past few oil changes when it got about 4k-5k since the last change it would start making this ticking noise. I'd dump another quart or two in and the ticking would go away. I mention this to the dealer at each oil change and they claim to look into it, but say everything appears in good shape and the oil consumption isn't enough to be indicative serious problem. This has been happening for about the past 15k miles or so, but now I've taken a pretty serious fuel economy hit that I hadn't seen in previous winters (Although previous winters have been 20F warmer on average...so it might just be the unusual cold).

Any ideas what (if anything) might be wrong here?
No idea as for diagnosis, but:

1) Take readings on a cold engine, as per the manual.

2) Pull stick, wipe stick, replace stick, pull stick again. Which ever side is lower is your oil reading.
 

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2013 WRX Base 5-speed
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827 Posts
Dose the dipstick look the same on the other side? To me that looks like a "dry" dipstick and your engine is starved of oil. If that is the case you are grossly neglecting your Subaru.
Check your oil first thing in the morning without starting it. There is absolutely no need to wipe the dipstick if the engine is cold. Just pull the stick once and get your reading. Ignore the higher side with oil smear. Go by the side that shows a solid line .
As for fuel economy it sounds about right for extreme cold/winter fuel. Have you ever checked tire pressure? Also if the engine is starved of oil then thats another explanation.
 

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2013 WRX Base 5-speed
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827 Posts
Vital Stats: 2011 Forester 2.5X, FB25, Not PZEV, 5-spd Manual, 64k miles.

Lately I've been getting pretty terrible fuel economy. I'm not sure if its just due to the extreme cold and "winter blend" fuel (For Chicago anyway, -10F to 10F or so) but I've been getting maybe only 23-24mpg highway. In the summer I usually go 28-30mpg under the same driving conditions).

Also at low speed/RPM for the past several months I've noticed an odd clicking noise. Cruising along at 20-30mph in 2-3 gear (RPMs around 2000-2500) after a short delay I start to hear a noticeable clicking noise. Almost like a "woodpecker" in the engine. I think the oil might be getting low...but I'm having trouble reading the stick, it looks like there is oil all up along one side but its not totally covered anywhere. Pic attached for reference. Measurement taken with engine hot but shut off, level ground, etc. Is there enough oil in it?
I mention this to the dealer at each oil change and they claim to look into it, but say everything appears in good shape and the oil consumption isn't enough to be indicative serious problem. This has been happening for about the past 15k miles or so, but now I've taken a pretty serious fuel economy hit that I hadn't seen in previous winters (Although previous winters have been 20F warmer on average...so it might just be the unusual cold).

Any ideas what (if anything) might be wrong here?


"Typically for the past few oil changes when it got about 4k-5k since the last change it would start making this ticking noise. I'd dump another quart or two in and the ticking would go away."

This is a giant red flag. If you are just adding a quart or TWO there is a big problem. Do you check the dip stick when you do this? Or are you just feeding it oil to shut it up till the next change?
 

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2010 Forester 2.5X
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1,692 Posts
Dip-stick is bone dry. No oil in 5k miles. Poor car.
One of the worst winters and you are complaining about gas mileage?
 
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