Low Oil Level Light After Oil Change - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-17-2010, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Low Oil Level Light After Oil Change

This is an update to my earlier posts on this subject in another thread. After what I found I thought it was worth starting a new thread. When I completed the first oil change in my 2010 Outback, the low oil level light stayed illuminated afterward and did not extinguish in 1-2 seconds as expected.

The only reference I see in the owner's manual to this is on page 3-15 where is talks about adding oil when it's gotten low enough to turn on the low oil level light. It says, The engine low oil level warning light will not turn off immediately even if you replace or add engine oil. It will turn off only when the vehicle is idling and the engine is warmed up completely.

After checking the oil level 8 times or so I took it for a drive to get it up to operating temperature as suggested in the manual. After 15 miles it was still on, but when I turned it off and re-started it the light went off as it should have originally.

I called my Subaru dealer to inquire about this event. The technician was very helpful - told me he had heard about this, it only affects 2010 models, but he had never seen it at his dealership. He called me back the following day with the results of his search. I have attached the Tech Tip he provided.

The Tech Tip is a way to turn off the light. I assume it works. I will try it the next time the light stays on. However I'd be more interested in finding out why this occurs, and what the actual fix is. I don't mind doing this each time I change the oil if it's supposed to be that way and everything is working as designed. But since it's not described in the owner’s manual with the oil change information, it’s infrequent enough that my local tech has never seen it, and there's not a ton of posts on here with people asking about it - I have to assume that it's an occasional thing that only occurs under certain circumstances, or with certain vehicles. Therefore, the low oil light staying on after an oil change until you insert and remove a fuse from a diagnostic circuit appears to me to be a defect.

This is my first Subaru ever after buying 20 or more new vehicles, and I really, really like it for what it is. But a big part of me is dissatisfied with a $30,000 machine that has software glitches. It makes me think about things like loose testing standards, and lack of attention to detail. It leaves me wondering something...if there's an obvious problem in the software/firmware that I can see, how do I know that there aren't software/firmware issues that I can't see, or can't see yet...

Does anyone else feel this way, or am I just too picky? And assuming others feel the same way, does anyone have a easy path into SOA to ask this question? Or do I just start with the dealer?
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post #2 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-17-2010, 01:50 PM
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Yes, this is a bit disconcerting on a $30k+ vehicle, but it is a very good illustration of the types of glitches that are typical with the first production year of a "clean sheet" model like the 2010 Outback.

That being said, I am proud to see that the "fix" was discovered by one of the techs at Somerset Subaru! That is the dealership that I use, and I have to say that their techs are very good.
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post #3 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-17-2010, 03:15 PM
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Speaking of electrical or software glitches, lucky you guys never owned a BMW or Mercedes.
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post #4 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-18-2010, 07:49 PM
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Thanks for the update psdx, but it is way different than my service manager told me about why the light is staying on. I surely will try this at the next oil change if it stays on again.

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post #5 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-18-2010, 11:14 PM
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That's unbelievable....almost makes the oil light worthless if you can't trust it.
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post #6 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-19-2010, 08:54 AM
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Re: Low Oil Level Light After Oil Change

Quote:
Originally posted by psdx


This is my first Subaru ever after buying 20 or more new vehicles, and I really, really like it for what it is. But a big part of me is dissatisfied with a $30,000 machine that has software glitches. It makes me think about things like loose testing standards, and lack of attention to detail. It leaves me wondering something...if there's an obvious problem in the software/firmware that I can see, how do I know that there aren't software/firmware issues that I can't see, or can't see yet...

Does anyone else feel this way, or am I just too picky?
Vehicle #73 for me and none have had clock spring problems or oil light problems. The bad almost outweigh the good mileage with this one. Far worse than the Forester. Can't get parts either, clock spring ordered over 2 weeks ago under warranty, nothing yet.

2012 Impreza Limited 5door Marine Blue Pearl 2.0L CVT
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post #7 of 65 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 05:01 PM
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Today was my third oil change, and the first time this happened to me. Something I did different this time, I turned the key to the on position with no oil in the car. (No, I didn't start it!) The light came on and did not go off after I added oil. I remembered reading about it here and found this post. I haven't driven anywhere, but I'll see it it goes out after the engine warms up, if not I'll try the fuse trick. This is my first hiccup, so I'm not concerned, but thanks for the post!

Chris
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post #8 of 65 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 06:10 PM
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I've done one oil change on my 2010 2.5 and the oil light went off immediately after starting. I drained the oil, removed and installed a new filter, and added the new oil back. Then started car - no light problem.
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post #9 of 65 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisi View Post
Today was my third oil change, and the first time this happened to me. Something I did different this time, I turned the key to the on position with no oil in the car. (No, I didn't start it!) The light came on and did not go off after I added oil. I remembered reading about it here and found this post. I haven't driven anywhere, but I'll see it it goes out after the engine warms up, if not I'll try the fuse trick. This is my first hiccup, so I'm not concerned, but thanks for the post!
Quoting myself here. I figured I would drive into town, get the engine warm and see if the light went out before trying the fuse trick. It took about ten miles then the light went out on it's own. I guess it's a little like the under inflated tire light. I have had a couple of tire leaks (I swear they use flint on the gravel road I live on). At any rate, when I pump air in the tire it takes a couple of miles for the light to to off. All is well.

Chris
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post #10 of 65 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Low Oil Light Light After Change

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisi View Post
if not I'll try the fuse trick. This is my first hiccup, so I'm not concerned, but thanks for the post!
I've done another change since the initial post - same thing happened. The good news is that the fuse trick definitely works.
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