Massive oil consumption suddenly (99 Forester L) - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-29-2006, 04:01 PM
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Massive oil consumption suddenly (99 Forester L)


I am new to this forum (and to newer Subarus as well). We recently bought a 99 Forester L with a bad clutch. I replaced the clutch and all is well there. However, my wife has put about a thousand miles on it since we got it, and 3 times I have checked the oil and there was none on the dipstick! I will had 3-4 quarts and check it 4 or 5 days later and it will be almost empty again. I checked for any leaks underneath and found none. Just a few weeks ago I noticed that when first starting the car up it smokes quite a bit (The smoke very light grey bordering on white, and smells like burning oil). After the car is fully warmed up it stops smoking for the most part. If you shut the car off and let it sit for a hour or so, and restart it, it smokes just as bad. The CEL is illuminated as well. I checked the codes and it had a cyl #4 and #3 Misfire. The plugs are all brand new, as are the wires. The PCV is also new. I suspect that the headgaskets may be done, and was prepared for the repair given the mileage and what I have read about these cars. What I am trying to figure out is if my rings may be shot as well. I am planning on performing a compression test and more than likely a leak down test as well to try and pinpoint the problem. I know what to look for in terms of a headgasket failure, but what are the signs for bad rings? What are exceptable figures for compression and leakage (99 SOHC EJ25 with 110K)

I really like this car even with the problems (Bought it very cheap) and would like to keep it in the family for some time, as it is replacing our old 88 GL wagon which finally succumbed to years of salty roads.

Any advice would be wonderful!

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-29-2006, 04:21 PM
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I don't know what the compression reading should be but any deviation over 10% between each cylinder would be a concern for bad rings..Good luck..Paul

post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-30-2006, 08:06 AM
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Based on my experience with a 1977 Accord, if the smoke on startup is ONLY when the engine is cold and the oil burning is very slight, it's the valve guides.

If the smoking is continuous and the oil disappears fairly constantly, it's probably the rings....unless the head gaskets are blown away.

What does your antifreeze look like?


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-31-2006, 04:53 AM
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Find another engine that you know runs well with less mileage. Lots of people are selling N/A 2.5 Ltr for WRX 2.0 swap. You could probably buy a whole engine for the same price as a head gasket job.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-10-2006, 04:25 PM
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It doesn't smoke constantly, it seems to just be at start up and for the first minute or two of driving. It is using allot of oil however. There are signs of seepage from both heads, which I am not surprised by. The coolant looks alright, but the coolant level will slowly drop over time as well. I will get compression figures tomorrow and post up what I find. I have priced out engines and they are outrageously expensive for a used one ($1200-$1800). Is there any way to use the engine from an Legacy/Outback for this car? I have found several DOHC engines for cheap, but no SOHC.
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  Subaru Forester Owners Forum > Technical Forums and Vehicle Assistance > Engine and Exhaust > EJ25 - 2.5L Non-Turbo (1998-2010)

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