('14-'18) 2018 Foz 6MT break-in oil consumption (merged thread) - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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2018 Foz 6MT break-in oil consumption (merged thread)

I just bought a 2018 Foz, base model, 6MT.

After 500 miles my oil level dropped from about 2mm over the top mark, to about in between the 2 marks on the dipstick (according to the manual, this is about 1/2 quart).

I am breaking-in the engine per the manual, this is not my first time on a new engine.

**** I have read extensively these forums about oil consumption, and other issues of the FB25 engines ****

Quick questions:

1. should I be worried ? In theory, oil consumption would go down after the initial break-in of the engine and stop, or stabilize at an acceptable level. Still, 1/2 qt after 500 miles is a lot. Did anybody else experienced initial high level oil consumption ? How did it evolve as the mileage went up ?

2. Did anybody measured oil consumption with Amsoil 0w-20 ? or 5w-30 ? Amsoil has 3 oil recommendations for Foresters.

3. the manual insists on 0w-20 oil. I am thinking to use 5w-30 starting with my first oil change (~5000 miles). Anybody has any long term experience with this method ? Not considering the warranty aspect.

4. Let's say I'm not bothered adding oil, or spending extra $ for oil in between oil changes. I understand how internal combustion engines work, and how they are lubricated. High oil consumption can indicates major issues with the engine. However I have read posts on this forum by people who drove over 150k miles on an oil burner Forester ... Your thoughts ?

Thank you.


Last edited by setup; 03-23-2018 at 08:14 PM.
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post #2 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 12:54 PM
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2018 Foz 6MT

First and most important. Continue to monitor, too early to be alarmed.

My 2015 Crosstrek Ďburnedí a lot... brought in and it was diagnosed as a malfunctioning PCV valve. They replaced and from 4k to 37k... it lost never more than about .5-.6qt per 6k.

I think AMSOIL is top quality oil, and I tend to use their gear oils... but they arenít technically API certified... so I wouldnít use during warranty period or when watching for issues you might need to bring up with dealer/manufacturer.

Its probably technically ok and adequate for engine to use the 5w-30 spec as fxt/wrx... and it may lose less oil... but I would discourage this during warranty and when watching for potential warranty issues.

Donít give them any reason to question you.


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post #3 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
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Interesting, I will keep that PCV valve in mind. Any simptoms that would point to a faulty PCV ?

How would the dealer know what oil weight was used ? If there is any warranty issue, don't they have to prove that you used the wrong oil, and not vice-versa ?

I am not trying to convince anybody of my beliefs, just "thinking aloud" to clarify it in my mind: if the manual is ok with topping off with 5w-30 oil, that would logically imply that the 5w-30 is not harming the engine ... On a high oil consumption scenario, if the engine burned 5qt of oil in 6000 miles and you topped off with 5w-30, you could end up replacing your whole 5.1 qt of 0w-20 oil with the 5w-30.
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post #4 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 06:26 AM
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You donít need Amsol, get some oil at the dealer and top it off. Stick to the grade in manual. Do not baby it, though nowadays it probably doesnít matter as much. Donít make a big deal out of it, a quart in 3,000 miles is fine. Do make sure you add oil as needed though.

Stan

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post #5 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Stan - I had 1/2 qt burned in the first 500 miles. Essentially the oil level dropped from about 1/8 of an inch above the top mark to about 1/4 of an inch above the bottom mark in less than 6 days.

Not babying it, I drove it as hard as I could under 4000 rpms.
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post #6 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 07:39 AM
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When are you checking your oil level? Shortly after a drive or after it's sat a while? When you say you drove it as hard as you could under 4000 rpms did you do a methodic breakin...meaning wait until fully warm, do low rpm pulls to 4k and then engine brake to allow oil to be pulled back up the wall to keep lubrication up during those pulls, followed by varying rpms/load conditions?
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post #7 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 08:13 AM
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Donít overthink the break-in, just drive it as you would usually. If something is broken, let it fail early on but donít do it by running low on oil as some on here have done. Let the dealer know, buy some oil from them, add half a quart and see if it gets you back to normal level.

Iíve dealt with 2 cars that use 0w-20 ó a 2012 TSX I owned for a few years, and my wifeís Mazda 3 that sheís owned for a year now. TSX needed about a quart every 3,000 miles from when it was new to around 60K when I sold it (may have been a bit more initially), Mazda 3 has had no visible loss in 3,600 miles that sheís driven it. I drove the TSX pretty hard, Mazda 3 sees city driving only. Using heavier oil isnít the answer IMO ó I keep preaching that if people are worried about these cars running thin oil they shouldnít buy cars that call for it. In grand scheme of things minor oil loss isnít a huge deal. Obviously, a quart in 1,000 miles is not minor and should get addressed under warranty, but you have to establish that first.

For the record, I am not a fan of easy break-in, but I donít think that makes a huge difference with new cars nowadays.

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post #8 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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@scooby - I checked on a level ground (i have an airbubble level to check that the ground is horizontal :-P), after at least 6 hours of letting the cat sit with engine off.
Yes, engine is warmed up (oil at ~200 F), then I start the break in, just like you said. Vary the rpms, pulls and engine breaks.

@Stan - will do, it's just my driving style, never babied any of my cars.
My main assumption is that the request for 0w-20 is not that the engine is designed for it, but motivated by stupid emission or mpg regulation. I could care less about mpg. And cows pollute our air more than cars .... just saying ...
As far as I know, the problem with super-thin oils is that they don't usually stick that well to cylinder walls and when you start the engine (warm, and especially cold) the oil is almost absent until the pump start pushing it around to create the oil flow. So you have a couple of seconds of metal to metal. I'm exaggerating a bit, just to make the point.

I appreciate your time folks.

Last edited by setup; 03-20-2018 at 08:32 AM.
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post #9 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 08:50 AM
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You will get some people reporting 0 loss and others reporting crazy losses using 0w-20. But, thatís happened before also with other oil weights. My thinking is the oil will work fine, at least it did for me with 7K+ OCIs for 60K. Run heavier oil if you wish. Some have done that without any effect on consumption. Running 0w-20 in the XT would be an issue, but your car is designed for it.

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post #10 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 09:19 AM
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Just curious ó do you row through gears when slowing down/stopping? There sure have been quite a few reports of oil loss specifically in manual cars, gotta wonder if driving style contributes.

Stan


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post #11 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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I do engine brake regularly, but i don't go through all the gears until car stops. I've been driving manual all my life and it kind of happens automatically. For engine break-in I would for example go down a hill in second or third (depending on speed) with no gas, and let the engine brake the car - the rpm-s will slowly go up and the car does down the hill and slows down. On the other hand, on a level ground, or up a hill I would also accelerate from the second or third full throttle until about 4000 rpm-s and hold it for a minute, then switch into 4th and drive normally.... And so on.

My driving style is such that I often find myself around 4-5k rpms in the city. For highway, I would use 5th or 6th or even cruise if it's a long trip. Haven't done that with this Foz yet.

Definitely on a MT the rpm-s will be higher and vary more sharply. Every car I had so far had no oil consumption, or any other issues with this driving style. A well build engine with redline at 7k rpm-s or so should not have any issues at 4k rpm-s.

I drove all kind of automatics and CVT-s and I understand how they work, definitely lower engine rpm-s, maybe short peaks quickly resolved by switching to a higher variable gear (= lower rpm-s). CVT keeps the car at the lowest rpm needed to maintain the current speed. On a manual, the driver chooses the rpm of the engine - remember peak torque is usually around 4k rpm for most engines.

For example, if i want to pass on a 2way road, I would normally get closer to the the guy in front of me, switch to a lower gear (depending on the speed) that would bring the engine close to peak torque rpm, then full throttle, pass, merge back to the left lane and switch the gear back to 4th, 5th, etc, whatever the case.

On a CVT, in the same situation and assuming you don't switch to manual paddle shift, you would just floor the gas, the transmission will usually switch to a higher gear - but not always optimum torque rpms - and you can (slowly) pass. Traditional automatics, or double clutch automatics will react differently (usually better). The sport mode of CVT and automatics will usually keep the engine revved up higher so you have access to an optimized torque output.

Of course, even with MT I can drive in the city in the 5th gear an keep the rpm-s under 2k rpm, and that WILL give me better gas mileage, but the car will not be available for quick maneuvers unless you downshift. CVT-s keep the engine at that level rpm-s, that's why people say "CVT-s are better for mpg". Of course, because you move like a snail and let the engine chill.
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post #12 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 12:10 PM
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Just monitor it and if it continues then bring it back... warranty for a reason!

Its not unusual for a new engine to consume a little bit of oil while breaking in. Also checking at different temps or ground levels will change the level too. Good to check with the same warmed up engine on a known flat ground to compare.
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post #13 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 12:26 PM
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IMO what you are doing isnít creating load. What I do is load up the engine, like going uphill, say, in 3rd gear while accelerating. Accelerate up a hill, then let off the throttle, repeat. But, again, may not be relevant.

What you are doing may actually suck oil past the rings while creating a hot condition since injectors arenít firing, but I may be full of it.

What it takes to set the rings is cylinder pressure, and heat. Cylinder pressure makes the rings expand and press harder against cylinder walls, while rings rotate. Coasting downhill will not create positive cylinder pressure needed for this.

For RPM limits and torque curves ó depends on the car. And you want horsepower while accelerating, so revving higher is needed. My TSX was very happy zinging past 5K, while the Golf is fine to lug under 4K. Depends on the car, but IMO the FB needs to rev.

Stan

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Last edited by stan_t; 03-20-2018 at 12:49 PM.
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post #14 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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I really like how this car drives and the engine opened up after these 500 miles. I'll keep going and see what's going to happen next. I would hate to have to get rid of it. Money wise as well.

If it keeps burning oil at this rate, will talk to the dealer - they will say it is normal - and I might talk to an independent Subaru mechanic as well. There is a Subaru specialized shop in my area.

There are no other option for manual SUV-s. Too bad. My other option was a 4Runner. The Foz won because of manual transmission. And because I got the sense from this forum and other sources that they fixed their oil consumption issues.

Maybe it will be ok. We'll see.

Great community, appreciate the input.
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post #15 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 01:36 PM
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I certainly feel you on the manual transmission situation.

If you buy the oil from the dealer, at least that establishes you needing to do so to top off, may be good warranty-wise if you need to prove high consumption down the road. Otherwise, enjoy the car!

Stan

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