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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I am new to the forum and have an issue I would like some advice on. I recently (August) purchased a 2013 Subaru outback 2.5i premium with standard 6 speed transmission. After about 3500 miles, the low oil light came on. I immediately added a quart of oil and scheduled a oil change with my mechanic. I chalked it up to perhaps the oil levels being a little low from dealer. My next scheduled oil change is at 9000 miles but yesterday the low engine oil light came on again! I have only put about 2500 miles on the car since the last change. I plan to call the dealer to get it looked at but I was wondering if anyone out that has had a similar issue? My driving is mostly in the city so I was also wondering if that might have something to do with it. Anyway I love the car but this does not sound like normal behavior. Thanks for your help!
 

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'14 3.6R Outback
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Few things:

1) Sometimes cars burn oil (oil consumption). It is a good habit to check your oil often (like every fuel stop) so you can a) make sure you have enough, b) create a record to know how much oil you are consuming.

2) All manufactures have a magic number for what is acceptable amount of oil a car will burn before they do anything. For some manufactures one quart per 500 miles is acceptable and not a warranty issue (I know, I was floored when I found that out).

3) Most of us see no oil consumption between oil changes (even the 2013 people which all have a new different engine than all other Gen4's).

4) High oil consumption can be due to a few factors:
a) Rings have not yet set
b) Cylinder walls are glazed over
c) Everything is fine and this is something you will have to live with
d) Somethings wrong/broken...

My money would be on "a)" for now. Don't be afraid to push the motor a little bit. If you haven't gotten the RPS past 4000, do some runs over 5000 while getting on the freeway or what not. To set the rings I don't think it's necessary to go higher than that and you should not do any damage to the engine. A friend of mine worked for the railroads and they have an saying about 80/20. 80% of damage is doen at the top 20% of the rpm range. Trains and cars a different (and even car to car is different) but I still try to keep my car out out of red line. For the rest of you make sure you have at least 1k miles on the car before trying to set the rings per the manual.

Also, for your cars sake start checking your oil. The low oil level light is only there to let you know that the car is dangerously low and that your neglecting it. Not a polite "hey, I'm a little thirsty" light.

Get a base line and let us know how many miles it takes you you to use a quart. From what you've told us you are using a quart after close to 1000 miles (the light comes on when you are two quarts low and there is only a little over 4 quarts or so in the whole system).

I'm assuming there isn't a huge oil slick where you park.
 

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Thread title mentions leaking but I did not see anything in the story about leaking.
X2, start checking your oil via the dipstick and not when the light goes on.
You might wnt to post this on the forester forum since they have been using the new for '13 Outback FB engine since '11.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the great information. I am at the dealer today where they may start an oil consumption test but either way, I will certainly begin to check the oil during every fill up and also try to set the rings. I don't think I have ever had the RPMs up to 5k! I will continue to post in case some else has this issue in the future. Have a great new year!

Quick update: They said that the place where I got my oil changed may have reused the gasket on the oil filter and that might be the cause. Although this doesn't explain why it happed when I rolled off the lot. We'll see. I hope it's that easy.
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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I thought all 2013 OBs have an oil filter on top of the engine. There is a spill pane around it and if the oil filter was leaking (due to re-used gasket) wouldn't you see it? Or smell oil burning while overflowing the spill pane?
 

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I know my '11 is a completely different engine but it has not consumed an ounce of oil in 27K miles and being that my wife commutes with this car daily 100 miles a day I don't always get to changing the oil on schedule due to our busy lives. But I also have used fully synthetic, changed out at 1000 miles since new. Right now as I type the car is 2K miles over due for an oil change, but the level hasn't dropped and the oil is still that nice golden color and not black.
 

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2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
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I am betting what the guy at the dealer really said was that they may have reused the drain plug gasket. But a leak like this would be obvious, if you park the car in the same spot all the time.

Be careful with the "Oil consumption test". I had an american car dealer do this once on a Plymouth I bought new from them.......The "Test" started with them overfilling the engine by a quart, then bringing it back in 500 miles. I checked the oil before I left, and made them drain the extra quart. (That one turned out to be a bad PCV valve.......Diagnosed by me, not them.)
 

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2013 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5i All-Weather+Moonroof Venetian Red Pearl W/ Ivory Coth
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Hopefully this works itself out. Our 2005 Honda CRV burned oil like crazy and it was only at 100k miles. I cannot imagine something burning oil at under 10K. Keep up on the dealer. Dont be satisfied with what they tell you. I agree to check the oil at each fill up just to be sure
 

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2012 Legacy 2.5GT-L
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something has to be wrong - there's no reason a new car should eat oil like that. Is there blue smoke coming out the tailpipe, or is the car clearly leaking from somewhere? there would be a big oil spot where you park if it was leaking that badly...

They may feed you a line about how up to 1qt. every 1000 miles is considered "normal" which is the policy most auto manufacturers seem to follow.
 

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2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
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Is there blue smoke coming out the tailpipe, or is the car clearly leaking from somewhere? there would be a big oil spot where you park if it was leaking that badly...
Newish cars with catalytic convertors don't put out any smoke, except on startup, when the cat is cold. You have to be in the 300 mile to the quart range before the cat won't be able to deal with the oil.
 

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That "smoke" at start up is not really a smoke; it's more like a steam or condensation, rather than a smoke, I think....
 

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My 2012 with 38,000 all highway and drive within 9 of the speed limit (55-65) has used zero between changes at 6,500-7,000 miles. Always get 30-33 mph also. I use Amsoil only. Also I don't think the tach has ever gone over 4,000 RPM's . My wife drives very easy, break in was also very easy. She never pushes it. I don't think it has ever seen 75 mph
 

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2013 Outback 2.5 Premium 6mt
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Thanks for the great information. I am at the dealer today where they may start an oil consumption test but either way, I will certainly begin to check the oil during every fill up and also try to set the rings. I don't think I have ever had the RPMs up to 5k! I will continue to post in case some else has this issue in the future. Have a great new year!

Quick update: They said that the place where I got my oil changed may have reused the gasket on the oil filter and that might be the cause. Although this doesn't explain why it happed when I rolled off the lot. We'll see. I hope it's that easy.
There is a small batch of bad Subaru oil filters a few months back. The gaskets weren't completely sealing. There was a thread here about it.

I highly doubt a mechanic is going to dig out the oil filter gasket on the old filter, dig out of the oil filter gasket on the new filter, and swap them around. Subaru oil filters trap the filter gasket pretty well so it is not easy to reuse an old gasket.

Keep use posted for your results with the consumption test. I suspect that 1 quart every 2,500 miles will be deemed to be within tolerance. While that isn't good news, it could be a whole lot worse. On the positive side, your engine is still breaking in so your oil consumption will very likely get better.
 

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That "smoke" at start up is not really a smoke; it's more like a steam or condensation, rather than a smoke, I think....
You won't see any oil smoke with a oil consumption rate of 1 quart every 2,500 miles. My old pickup burned 1 quart of oil per 1,200 miles and it was still invisible.
 

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2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
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That "smoke" at start up is not really a smoke; it's more like a steam or condensation, rather than a smoke, I think....

Correct, but.......The cat does nothing to eliminate the oil smoke until it warms up........So it is possible to see some blue oil smoke from a vehicle burning copious oil immediately after a cold start. But you will not see it once the cat gets up to operating temperature, which doesn't take long with new ones.
 

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2011 Outback 2.5i Premium, CVT, Steel Silver, all-weather package. Upgrades: Tweeter kit, BlueConnect, media hub, remote start, Curt 2" receiver hitch.
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I had one of the leaky oil filters. It was very obvious, because oil dripped onto the exhaust and made a horrible smell and smoke that came up from the engine bay (visible with hood open). I replaced the filter and cleaned the exhaust and heat shields as well as I could. It still took quite a few miles for the smell to disappear.

Aso, the oil never got down to the point of having the low oil light come on. It might have been down 1/2 quart, but not more than that.
 

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Much discussion on this, do a search. Subaru considers 1 quart every 7-15K to be "normal". I find the ridiculous.

Some have found using different oil brands improves oil usage. I have been experiencing the above useage using Mobil 1.
 

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Were you able to resolve your oil consumption problem?

I purchased a 2013 Outback in October 2012 and the low oil level light came on at around 2,200 miles. Dealership told me to come back in another 1,000 miles for first oil change and everything seemed fine. The light came back on at 5,300 miles. Brought it back to the dealership and they put another quart of oil in. The light has now come on again at 6,300 miles.

I spoke to the dealership and they want to perform an oil consumption test.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Were you able to resolve your oil consumption problem?

I purchased a 2013 Outback in October 2012 and the low oil level light came on at around 2,200 miles. Dealership told me to come back in another 1,000 miles for first oil change and everything seemed fine. The light came back on at 5,300 miles. Brought it back to the dealership and they put another quart of oil in. The light has now come on again at 6,300 miles.

I spoke to the dealership and they want to perform an oil consumption test.

Thanks in advance.
I didn't realize I have since traded out of my 2011 2.5 to a 2013 2.5 since this thread was authored. That said we have 2400 miles +/- on our 2013 Outback as it's sits, I have also checked the oil level at every fill/up and it has not dropped an ounce since new.

As a side note, and I am also embarrassed to say this but in 6 years of being married to my wife we have owned 15 vehicles 1/2 are or were for our business. But I have taught her how to properly "break-in" a new car. I don't think our 2013 has seen anything north of 3200 Rpm since new, I know I've never had a reason to go more than 1/2 throttle with it. Not saying that's good or bad advise, but break in and driving habits in the first few hundred to 1K miles are crucial.
 
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