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Registered
99 Forester
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I'm new the forum, new to Subarus and new to manual transmissions!

I recently bought a 99 Forester L, about a week ago. The dealer gave it an oil change, etc before handing it over, and I've been keeping an eye on the oil. I've been hearing that many owners have issues with the engine going through oil too fast. However, I seem to be having the opposite problem. The oil is noticeably over the Full mark, and even over the notch above that (the manual says that when the engine is hot, the oil expands, so the level may be between the full and the notch). But I haven't noticed the oil going down at all, even to the full mark when cold.

I've been doing some reading online, and it seems that an over-full oil level is indeed an issue. Some even say it's a very serious issue, but I have found no practical advice on what to actually DO about it, other than the obvious "remove some oil" tip.

Any advice on how I would actually go about removing oil?

Thanks!
Josh
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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30,106 Posts
Umm, has the car been to some Jiffy Lube type place recently? If so, check your trans fluid as well... they like to drain the transmission and then "refill" the engine oil that was never drained in the first place.

As far as removing the excess oil... just drain and refill. If you have a Fumoto valve it'll be easy to just remove the excess, but with a regular drain plug you're probably have to drain it fully.
 

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Ol' Timer
2006 WRX Spec-C 6MT
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6,091 Posts
If you're careful, and don't mind getting totally messy, spin it slowly until oil starts to drain. You can get a slow leak going, then re-tighten.
 

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Premium Member
2008 2008 2.5i-2018 XT
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13,235 Posts
First pull out the dipstick anhd THOROUGHLY wipe it off. Stick back down slowly and re read.

As pointed out above its no big deal to remove the plug, drain and then reinstall. Just messy. Lots of paper towels and keep the plug right at the whole.
 

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Registered
2015 Forester X 6MT 6-Gear Manual
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1,373 Posts
I've gotten pretty good at getting the drain pan under there, getting the nitrile gloves on and opening the drain plug just a tad to get about a pint out. The trick is to push lightly INWARD as you rotate the plug almost out; as you continue to loosen, you'll feel it "click-click" as it hits the last thread. Then, you just tip the plug a bit so it lets some oil come out in a small stream. Re-seat, then re-tighten.
-HTH!
(ps: Man, I hate giving away all my master mech tricks on the web for free$$ ;)
 

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Registered
99 Forester
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the tips, especially that ones that would normally be charged for :)

I have been checking my other fluids, and everything seems fine (referring to the coolant suggestion).

So the consensus is to basically drain the oil like a typical oil change, partially if possible, but likely it will require a full change after...? I've never changed the oil myself before, so it should be a good thing to learn.

Also, another question has come up: I can't figure out how to check the transmission fluid. I looked under the hood for an obvious dipstick, but didn't see one. Again, reading online, I found some information that suggests checking a manual transmission is a multi step process that requires loosening this and removing that before being able to check the fluid level. Am I making this more complicated than it should be?

Thanks again!
 

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Premium Member
2007 XT Sport 5MT
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24,101 Posts
the dipstick for the transmission isn't coloured like the oil dipstick. On mine it is located way at the back right corner of the engine bay (using the left/right convention as though you're driving)
It might be hiding up near your airbox, behind the filter assembly.
 

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Registered
2008 Subaru Outback Wagon
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67 Posts
But you never did say. How much over full is it? Is it 1/16" over the notch, 1/8", a full inch. Might decide on just what action to take.
 

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Registered
99 Forester
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
it was a good 1/8 over the notch! i was pressed for time, so i took it into a jiffy lube. they checked it dropped some oil for free. apparently it was dangerously high and i'd already driven a bit on it. plus the oil was dirty and hadn't been changed in a while, which means that the dealer lied about it... not happy! but at least the vehicle seems like it's fine!
 

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03X MT
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847 Posts
It is almost impossible to get an accurate reading on the engine dip stick. I do my own oil changes and when filling use 4.8 quarts. I then know I have the proper amount. a couple of times during the 3000 miles I look at the dip stick is there oil on the dip stick? "yes" are there any drips under the engine/on the garage floor? "no" is my oil light going off after starting? "yes"

other than that unless the tail pipe is extremely sooty (signs of burning oil) or smoke with the exhaust you will drive your self bonkers trying to get a fix on the amount of oil from the dip stick.
 

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Premium Member
2008 2008 2.5i-2018 XT
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13,235 Posts
It is almost impossible to get an accurate reading on the engine dip stick. .
If you wipe it completely dry and insert it very slowly you can get a good reading. You only get one shot though. And yea..roger the 4.8 quarts. Except I dump 5 in and call it a day.
 

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Casper reincarnated
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2,272 Posts
I bought an el cheapo one of these from a Super Cheap Auto Store here in Australia .......... you can pump the oil out via the dipstick tube if you don't have a Fumoto Valve fitted.
I bought some clear plastic tubing from the hardware store.

Note: Just make sure that the oil is just warm you don't want to burn yourself with hot oil.



oil dipstick pump - Compare Prices and Buy oil dipstick pump at Shopping.com
 

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Registered
2010 Forester 2.5X
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1,698 Posts
If you wipe it completely dry and insert it very slowly you can get a good reading. You only get one shot though. And yea..roger the 4.8 quarts. Except I dump 5 in and call it a day.

I noticed the factory fill on new 2010 NA was above the notch were the stick has a twist. I didn't seem to burn any oil for the first 3,000 miles. Then drained and filled with 4 quarts. I dumped the old oil back into the empty bottles....all the way to the top cap....I'm estimating it was 4.5 quarts because of a couple of ounces air space in bottles I filled.

So .. I put in the 4 quarts with filter and started the motor and shut down and wait a couple minutes.....reading on the stick was below the lower mark....? very tip of the stick... so I put in another half a quart.....came between the marks....HUH? so I put in the rest...5 quarts total....drove it a couple days....noticed it was back to the factory fill mark on the twist of the dip stick....got worried... evacuated 16oz with a brake bleeder tool....now reading at the notch.....

I've never had a car that gave such inconsistent readings.... I'd like to be able to but in 5 quarts when changing the oil and filter... I don't like the 1/2 quart sitting around.
 

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Registered
2008 Subaru Outback Wagon
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67 Posts
I'm a nut about getting a good reading from a dipstick. First time I changed oil on the 2.5 N/A it looked low. So here was my method that gave a good reading. After turning off a warm engine check the oil every 2 minutes and you'll see the reading gradually getting higher and higher. At about 8-10 minutes after engine shut off you'll see the highest reading you're going to get because soon after (keep checking every 2 minutes for awhile) the oil will start getting lower and lower on the stick. The high reading is the correct reading. Over time you'll be able ti get good readings. Gotta have 'em. The N/A with filter change holds exactly 4.2 qts. like the owner's manual says.
 

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2009 Forester
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96 Posts
I'm a nut about getting a good reading from a dipstick. First time I changed oil on the 2.5 N/A it looked low. So here was my method that gave a good reading. After turning off a warm engine check the oil every 2 minutes and you'll see the reading gradually getting higher and higher. At about 8-10 minutes after engine shut off you'll see the highest reading you're going to get because soon after (keep checking every 2 minutes for awhile) the oil will start getting lower and lower on the stick. The high reading is the correct reading. Over time you'll be able ti get good readings. Gotta have 'em. The N/A with filter change holds exactly 4.2 qts. like the owner's manual says.
I had read it is 4.2 w/o filter change, 4.8 with, and just to make it easy on myself, I put in the whole 5 qts...

Hope this isn't going to mess me up, but it seems ridiculous to fret over it (which I did for a few days after I did my first change) I also wish we could get the end all be all on this engine (2.5NA)

-K
 

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2015 Forester X 6MT 6-Gear Manual
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1,373 Posts
4.2 won't get it up to the upper line guaranteed.
The upper line would be overfilled cold, IMO. But Subaru cant be trusted on capacity - some odd translation problem going on there. On the dip stick - As I stated before - its INCORRECTLY DESIGNED. Good luck getting a correct reading. The tip tube goes under the oil bath - the dip tube is NOT supposed to be submerged in the oil bath. The only reasoning I can see for this is if there is excessive blowby on turbo mdels OR the PCV freezes, the dip stick wont be shot out of the tube as can happen on other cars. The lucky point here maybe , as in rigorous SUV design, the oil pan capacity /sump should be designed for "all Attitude" driving off-road and probabaly has a bit of wiggle room on capacity, either high or low. 4 litres refill works for me though - a nice sensible number.
 

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2002 Forester S
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270 Posts
Yeah, I heard 4.8 quarts when you change the filter. I just usualloy dump in a full 5, yeah it overfills a little, doesn't seem to be a big deal.

for that MT dipstick, the one on my 04 Outback does have a yellow handle like on the engine dipstick. It's located passenger side down low and right behind the cylinder bank. Hard to see, you often have to remove some intake plumbing in order to get your arm down there to pull it for a reading. That hole is also where you fill the MT.
 
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