Burning/Consuming Oil, is this normal? - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Burning/Consuming Oil, is this normal?

Hi All,

I have a 2016 Outback 2.5i. I have about 83K miles, and I use Castrol Magnatec oil 0W-20 in it. I use Subaru OEM filters, and I change my oil myself every 5000-6000 miles. I have owned the car since it had around 60K miles, and this is my first Subaru and first boxer engine.

Between oil changes, I have to top up the car with around 1qt of oil, but lately it has been about 1qt every 2000-2300 miles. Should I be concerned? Is there anything I can do? Are there any additives I should be using? Where in the heck is this oil going? I have never had to top up this much oil in any car I have ever had and I have been driving for 20 years.

Any insights are greatly appreciated.

If it helps, I am in Southern California, so winters get to 50F and summers top out at 95F. I dont go to the desert or offroading. This is a normal commuter vehicle.

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 07:48 AM
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My opinion is that it is not normal. My 2013 did the same thing, the rate of oil burn steadily increased, until at 90K miles it was burning a quart every 1800 miles. I traded it in for a 2017 which burns no oil. There was a TSB for certain model years, including 2013, where the dealer would rebuild the engine if it failed an oil consumption test. I don't think 2016 was included.

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 08:20 AM
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Subaru boxer engines use oil, some more than others.

0/W20 oil is almost as thin as water so oil usage with such a thin oil is always going to be an issue on your engine type due to the fact that it was the first model to change to that oil weight. The Subaru (and other manufactures like Honda and Toyota) engineers changed the engineering in the next series of engines to work better with the thinner oils.

There are many reasons why oil usage can vary including type of driving, ambient temperatures, oil brand, oil batch etc.

My eldest daughter has a 2007 Legacy 2.5 which has traveled over 125,000 miles and sometimes it uses 2 quarts of oil in 2000 miles and sometimes it uses no oil in 2000 miles.

Oil is cheap, especially in the US. Check your oil once a month and top it up as necessary and enjoy the ride.

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 10:07 AM
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All 2.5 engines in the (Gen 5) OB’s are the FB25 series. In the 2012 models year when that engine was introduced into the OB, there were many complaints about excessive oil usage, which continued into 2013. Note that this was also a problem in the 2011 and 2012 Foresters where the engine was first used.

Subaru lost/settled a lawsuit over this for the early problems, which were mostly resolved by late ‘13 in the OB.

I would have the dealer do an oil consumption test to determine if your engine is unlucky. In some cases they do a short block replacement under warranty.

But also research here as there’s hundreds of posts on the subject.

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 10:33 AM
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some engines oil usage can be improved with a new PCV valve.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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I am not bothered with the engine using oil, and as @seagrass said, oil is cheap here in the US. My concern is long term, will it/does it harm the life of the engine if it consumes so much oil?
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 02:21 PM
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2017 OB 2.5 here, purchased brand new, and it's consumed oil since day 1. I was careful to break in the engine per the owners manual but that made no difference (in this aspect at least). It uses anywhere between 0.5 and 1.5 quarts per oil change (6k miles). FWIW it's only seen Mobil1 0w20 in it since the first change at ~900 miles, currently has 36k on the odometer.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 04:36 PM
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Lightbulb Thicker oil

2015 Outback here bought used with 10,000 miles on - I use 5/30 oil and have no problems with oil consumption.

Your used 60,000 mile Outback may need a thicker oil start with 5/30 see if that changes your oil consumption.


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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 10:50 AM
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Same vehicle, same mileage. Use MOBIL 1 Oil. No consumption issues.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 11:29 AM
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To directly answer your questions: No, it will not affect longevity as long as you keep the oil topped off. There is a possibility it could foul up your catalytic converter over time. If course, if consumption increases over time to an unsustainable level that's another story.

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