Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am a new Subaru owner and thus new to this forum.

I bought a new '11 outback 3.6R limited in June '11. I have 13,500 miles. I follow the manual. It tells me to change the oil every 7500 miles (other than first couple of changes) and use synthetic, which I do. I live in Colorado, above Denver.

I only drive about twice a week. One short drive for errands, one long drive (round trip 100 miles). I live and work at home, park my car outside.

About 6 weeks ago my low oil light went on (the weather was reasonable, around 30's). My mileage was 12,500. 5000 miles from last oil change.

I pulled into Jiffy Lube and they said I was a quart low (I didn't confirm). This JL seems trustworthy. I had an oil change.

Then the weather turned- temps hit 5 fahrenheit at night.

A week after my oil change I went out for a drive. It was not cold when I used my car on this day. When I started the car the low oil light came on. I checked my oil, it seemed to be ok. I went on my drive and after about 20 minutes I pulled over, put my car in park and the low oil light went off. It has not come back on since.

Then a few days later I took my car out, in cold weather, and the heater fan stopped working (made a ticking sound and died). Later that day the heater fan started working again.

Also, in really cold weather a high pitch sound comes from the front of my car at low rpm (1500).

I took my car to a Subaru dealer- who I now believe, knows nothing about Subarus (sad). They told me that if my car burns a quart of oil every 1000 miles this is normal in extreme conditions. They told me that living in Colorado is an extreme condition. I have read my manual and my driving does not qualify as an extreme condition (I get 26.7 mpg, I don't push my vehicle). I called Subaru national and they said Colorado is not an extreme condition. Altitude is not an extreme condition.

Subaru also told me that my oil was a quart low so they topped it off. I DON'T believe that I was a quart low, maybe a touch low. SO I don't know if they overfilled my car. They also told me manual is wrong- I should change my oil every 3000 miles.

Can cold weather cause my low oil light to go on?
Can cold weather cause my heating fan to temporarily die?
Do I have a lemon?
I did not have any of these issues last winter and there were cold snaps.

If a new Subaru burns a quart of oil every 1200 miles under normal conditions, this is not normal- even according to the manual. I know that some Subarus seem to burn oil more than others.

My car has a great trade in value and if I have a lemon I want to get rid of it, my goal was to keep this car for many years.

thanks!!!!!!!!!
Alty
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I can appreciate your concerns as I to am watching my oil consumption in my 2011 outback 3.6, it burns over one quart per 1000 miles. I have 37k on the motor, love the car but if it burns a quart now what the .... Will it burn at 100k and beyond. I have Never owned a car that when new burned oil like this.
 

·
Registered
'14 3.6R Outback
Joined
·
2,345 Posts
Can cold weather cause my low oil light to go on?
Can cold weather cause my heating fan to temporarily die?
Do I have a lemon?
I did not have any of these issues last winter and there were cold snaps.

If a new Subaru burns a quart of oil every 1200 miles under normal conditions, this is not normal- even according to the manual. I know that some Subarus seem to burn oil more than others.

My car has a great trade in value and if I have a lemon I want to get rid of it, my goal was to keep this car for many years.

thanks!!!!!!!!!
Alty
1) No.
2) No.
3) No.

All manufactures have different standards. Ford says 1 quart in 500 miles is "normal."
It it's more likely you have a bad battery, bad ground, or loose connection for the heater. The oil light is a common problem after having your oil changed. Also oil can freeze. It's possible that might have been your problem there.

When was the last time you checked your oil? You did not say if the engine is "consuming oil" or not. I check my oil every fuel stop. You should start doing the same until you actually know what you're condition is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
1 check your own oil when the car is parked in a spot you park in all the time. Must be flat. Always check after the jiffy boys change the oil. Check it again every two gas tanks 500 miles. You can't even begin to worry about oil consumption till you know what you had to start with and how the consumption goes based on miles.

No CAR! Should be driven 5000 miles without checking the oil level. Our 2001 1.8t VW has burned 3 quarts every 5000 miles since new. It would have gone to the junk yard years ago had we never checked the oil. It has 66,000 miles on it today and runs like a champ.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thank-you for the replies, here are my comments.

1. I am now checking my oil with every fill up. Currently, I am not convinced that I am burning oil at all (or at least anything significant). I have never had a car that consumed any significant amount of oil within 5000 miles (including my previous 11 year old xterra and at one point a 12 year old Acura Integra, I was the original owner for both vehicles).

2. If vehicles burn a quart every 1000 miles under normal conditions (no stress to the engine) this is abnormal and terrible for the environment. So all the posts I read that it is normal for Subarus to burn oil, up to a quart per 1200 miles- this is false. It is only normal under extreme conditions and most of us do not drive under extreme conditions. This is in the Subaru manual and confirmed with communications with Subaru USA.

3. I guess I can understand that if the oil viscosity is increased due to cold temperatures that this can have an impact.

I do have 1 question: why is it that the oil light sometimes goes on after an oil change? This is likely the whole problem here.

I will pay attention for any more "electrical" issues.

thanks again,

Alty
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
Thank-you for the replies, here are my comments.

1. I am now checking my oil with every fill up. Currently, I am not convinced that I am burning oil at all (or at least anything significant). I have never had a car that consumed any significant amount of oil within 5000 miles (including my previous 11 year old xterra and at one point a 12 year old Acura Integra, I was the original owner for both vehicles).

2. If vehicles burn a quart every 1000 miles under normal conditions (no stress to the engine) this is abnormal and terrible for the environment. So all the posts I read that it is normal for Subarus to burn oil, up to a quart per 1200 miles- this is false. It is only normal under extreme conditions and most of us do not drive under extreme conditions. This is in the Subaru manual and confirmed with communications with Subaru USA.

3. I guess I can understand that if the oil viscosity is increased due to cold temperatures that this can have an impact.

I do have 1 question: why is it that the oil light sometimes goes on after an oil change? This is likely the whole problem here.

I will pay attention for any more "electrical" issues.

thanks again,

Alty
First All engines consume oil however they may not consume enough for the very crude measuring device to give you any indication they have consumed said oil. If your engine oil light comes on after an oil change the Number one cause is not having enough oil put back into the engine to start with. Which is why it is always good to check your oil after a change. The car needs to sit for 10 minutes or so without the engine running for you to get a decent read on what oil it has in it on the dip stick. The oil needs to run back to the pan hence why the car needs to sit a little before you can get a really good idea what oil you do have.

Engines for any number of reasons can consume oil and be totally fine with zero issues and even if they are burning 3quarts every 5000 miles that is very little oil being consumed for the miles being driven regarding any sort of impact on the air you breath. The Catalytic Converter does more to clean up the by product of your engine than anything else on the car including any result from consuming a little oil.

The 3.6 has more cases of it consuming oil as yours does than the old 2.5 but both engines are not immune to oil consumption. Nor are Nissan engines or any other engine built. Every toyota I've owned consumed the most oil I've seen burned in any of the brands I've had over the years. All of those cars are some of the longest lasting and running cars on the planet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the reply-
The reason my engine oil light came on after the fill up remains a mystery to me. As I mentioned - the low oil light came on but about 30 minutes later when I pulled over, the light went off (engine on, but put in park). I did check the oil that day and it was not low. So why my light went off, I don't know.

With regard to the environment comment, I am not really that concerned. However, if the average car required one qt of oil every 1200 miles then the amount of oil consumed by cars would go up tremendously.

At this time I am not even sure that any oil is being consumed. I am at 450 miles from my last fill up and it seems that my oil level has not moved. I will be checking regularly,

thanks!!

alty
 

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
14,324 Posts
Every car consumes oil through the crankcase vent system. Your intake sucks out the excess gases and oil particulates at the same time. This is where the carbon in the intake comes from, the oil particulates baking to the surface.

Conventional oil use should use a 3500 mile average. Synthetic is 7500. Whether you go 3500 or 7500, the oil level should be checked regularly to insure the system remains full. Always check after the first 1k then every other tank is good. Fill as needed.

The oil level sensor may be hanging up and after the engine is run and the oil is warmed, it allows for the sensor to give accurate data to the BIU.

And I agree, always check behind the oil change personnel. Even the dealership. People err and need to be checked.
 

·
Registered
2011 Outback 3.6R limited, Gray
Joined
·
2 Posts
I have the same problem. I purchased a new 2011 3.6R limited Outback, a week after driving it off the dealer lot... the oil light came on. I checked the dipstick and it was 1 qt low so I add a quart and all was fine.

Now that I have had the Outback for 2 years, it seems like I have to add 1/2 quart every 2-3000 miles which is surprising to me as my 96 Toyota Tacoma with 160K does not use a sip of oil. After pay $36,000 for this Outback it make me ill to to see my Outback burning excessive oil. I take good care of all my vehicles..I add Mobil 1 full synthetic Gold 5W30 and change it every 7K. Not at 14K like Mobil recommends.

Every once in a while when my wife starts up the Outback, I notice a 3 sec blue cloud coming out of the tail pipe. I going to contact the Dealer on Monday and will let you know what they say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I will be curious if you learn anything from the dealer. I have now been told by many sources that Subarus burn oil.
I am with you. I have been driving cars for almost 30 years and motorcycles for 10, I have never added oil to any vehicle, ever. Never had to. For that matter, I don't know anyone who adds oil between oil changes. Having said that, I have been told clearly that subaru engines burn oil but last forever.
What I find most interesting is why some subarus burn oil and others don't.... This clearly points to the fact that the engines are not all the same. Todays cars are built within miniscule tolerances and the engines should be more uniform. So which engines are better, the oil conservers or oil burners?
 

·
Registered
2011 Subaru Outback
Joined
·
1 Posts
I will be curious if you learn anything from the dealer. I have now been told by many sources that Subarus burn oil.
I am with you. I have been driving cars for almost 30 years and motorcycles for 10, I have never added oil to any vehicle, ever. Never had to. For that matter, I don't know anyone who adds oil between oil changes. Having said that, I have been told clearly that subaru engines burn oil but last forever.
What I find most interesting is why some subarus burn oil and others don't.... This clearly points to the fact that the engines are not all the same. Todays cars are built within miniscule tolerances and the engines should be more uniform. So which engines are better, the oil conservers or oil burners?
I just j0ined this forum because I have a 2011 3.6R limited Outback that is consuming a quart of oil every 3,000 miles or less. We first noticed it when the oil light came on after its second oil change. It was about 3,000 miles after the oil change. We had driven cross country and had the oil changed at a dealer in a different state then we live in. A few days after coming home the oil light came on. The local dealer blamed it on the out of state dealer saying "these vehicles hold more than 5 quarts of oil and sometimes they don't get topped off". S0 they toped it off and the oil light came on again after about 3k miles. This time the dealer said they had to do an oil consumption test so we have been taking it back every 1200 miles while they log the oil level. So far they have determined it uses a quart every 3,000 miles. Bottom line is they are now telling me that Subaru has told them it is acceptable (presumably to them) for the car to use 1 quart every 1,200 miles. I have never owned a car that used this much oil with the exception of a Chevrolet Corvair in 1965 and that turned out to be a real piece of junk. Even my diesel truck doesn't use this much oil.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
It happens - not abnormal. I highly suggest you learn how to check your own oil and check it every 1000 miles at least. Or your new car won't last long being run on low oil.
 

·
Registered
13 Outback 2.5 Premium CVT
Joined
·
340 Posts
Maybe "acceptable" to Subaru but it wouldn't be to me.
 

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
14,324 Posts
Its not burning it in the sense of blowby from the rings or valve seals. Its sucking oil particulates through the PCV system at the same time it pulls out the gases. Just keep an eye on the level and clean the intake system every 15-20k miles. Use good gasolines and quality oil.
 

·
Registered
2012, Outback, 2.5 Limited
Joined
·
41 Posts
Now everyone has me nervous about my 2011 3.6 Limited that we just got a few weeks ago. How does one check the oil, other than using the dipstick?

Thanks,
 

·
Registered
13 Outback 2.5 Premium CVT
Joined
·
340 Posts
Now everyone has me nervous about my 2011 3.6 Limited that we just got a few weeks ago. How does one check the oil, other than using the dipstick?

Thanks,
Use the dipstick and do it now so you know that it is full, you can't tell if you are using oil if you don't know if it was full to begin with.

Make sure the engine has been off for at least 10 minutes, pull the stick and wipe off then reinsert and count to five, pull the stick and check it, if it needs oil top it off and recheck it.

The above method always gives me the same reading that is why I check it at home versus checking while filling with gas because I found it takes at least 10 minutes from shut off to reliable checks to happen and sitting at the pumps don't seem to give enough time for it to fully level off.
 

·
Registered
2012, Outback, 2.5 Limited
Joined
·
41 Posts
Cobalt,

Thanks for the advice, I will check it when I get home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
Cobalt,

Thanks for the advice, I will check it when I get home.
Knowing where you started - Ie how much oil you had vs what it has later when you check is a must! Even with my own cars over the years there have been instances where I start to worry I have an oil loss issue but after really monitoring it knowing what it had and later what it was at - always put my worries at rest.

You can't even start to worry till you know what oil was in the car to start with ;-)
 

·
Registered
Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
Joined
·
2,926 Posts
I've noticed that the oil level is not the same on the front and the back. I believe this is because the dipstick goes in at a pretty steep angle. I always insert it the same way and always look at the same side to comparison.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top