Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 20 of 90 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2011 3.6R Limited with 30K miles. I bought it used with 23K. I have done 2 oil changes. Between both it was low on oil. For the second the dealer did a "oil consumption analysis." I had to go there every 1,200 miles and have them check and add oil. It was a pain. At the end of the analysis, they said that it used 28oz in about 3700 miles and that his is "normal." Basically I wasted my time going to the dealer and waiting for them to check the oil...

They said that the engine can use up to a quart every 1,200 miles and that is normal.

I am not excited about having a car that uses 1 quart between oil changes (at 30K), and I let the service manager know this. I am very qualified to check my oil, add oil, change oil, etc. However I don't think I should routinely have to add oil between oil changes on a relatively new car.

Do other folks out there with a 3.6r have similar experiences? I am thinking about trading the car in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,822 Posts
there are probably people with the same issue. my wife's new impreza burns a quart between changes. my ej25 burns none. plenty of engines do, plenty don't. it can be kinda normal, i wouldn't worry too much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,967 Posts
kinda interesting to actually see a number.

is it your impression 1 qt. in 1200 miles is an actual Subaru limit?

I knew a guy in the 90s that was told by Chevy they allow 1qt. in 900 miles. he was extremely unhappy. (perhaps it's a different threshold nowadays)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
It's not about what is allowable oil consumption for a [new] motor, it's the fact oil is being consumed period.
I've built engines and consider myself a gear head with the best of 'em, but if my new Outback was using a measurable amount of oil like that, I'd be pissed. It's not 1970 anymore (though my 73 Lincoln's 460 doesn't use a drop either) so there shouldn't be any excuse for a new motor to use oil. That's where the OP's frustration is coming from.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,893 Posts
It's not about what is allowable oil consumption for a [new] motor, it's the fact oil is being consumed period.
I've built engines and consider myself a gear head with the best of 'em, but if my new Outback was using a measurable amount of oil like that, I'd be pissed. It's not 1970 anymore (though my 73 Lincoln's 460 doesn't use a drop either) so there shouldn't be any excuse for a new motor to use oil. That's where the OP's frustration is coming from.
Right. My 2004 H6 with 130k doesn't burn a drop as far as I can tell, and that's how it should be! On a ~2 year old car, I would think it's totally unacceptable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,967 Posts
did they do a compression/leakdown test?

maybe have one done by an indie mech, post the numbers. heck, maybe running some seafoam in the oil would free-up a stuck ring or ???

I wonder, does a cracked ring land leave score marks that a borescope could see?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,970 Posts
there are probably people with the same issue. my wife's new impreza burns a quart between changes. my ej25 burns none. plenty of engines do, plenty don't. it can be kinda normal, i wouldn't worry too much.
There are some complaints on the Forester 2.5 FB and especially the 2.0 FB series Impreza engine on excessive oil consumption. I assume the between oil changes for the Impreza is 7,500?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
Go to SOA on this one...

Burning oil may be acceptable to that dealer, but not to anyone else these days and certainly not to the next person you sell that car to. It appears they sold a car with a nagging problem that may cost big money when that oil burning clogs the emissions system and/or gets worse causing failed emissions and big money to fix it (recent experience of a buddy at work with an older car). Sounds like the oil consumption is the real reason that car was traded at 23K and it would be interesting to see the full computer service history on that one... Smells like a dealer who sold a used car that either can't or doesn't want to go to bat for you to get the problem really resolved and hopes you'll let it slide. Assuming you bought from a Subaru used car dealer, there may not be a TSB the dealer can use to justify repair. Dealers don't just have the power to get all work done at Subaru's expense so you may have to get Subaru involved to help your dealer be able to fix it. Explain this to the Service Dept Mgr (nicely) and see if you can team up to get this resolved.

In the past with Honda, I've gone to the corporate care folks, opened a case and then brought that back to the dealer to help the dealer get Honda to work the issue. Also, Subaru has "representatives" who go to dealers to sell new models and handle escalations and if you're lucky, the dealer will get one fo those involved IF the car has a clear history (serviced by Subaru since new ideally).

If nothing shakes out, then raise this to the General Manager of the dealership where you bought it and get a Subaru-backed warranty on that car at least OR the purchase price applied towards a trade of a new vehicle before that warranty expires. You bought a car under warranty. It's a serious issue that's potentially (and likely) going to cost you. You should be made right to provide peace of mind before you continue to do business there or refer friends.

If that doesn't work, mentioning that the Subaru faithful on this forum will hear about it might help (at least you'll feel better that others won't do business there). Again, if you're dealing with a Subaru dealer, I doubt it will get that far though if these steps are followed (Service Mgr->SOA->General Mgr).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,819 Posts
Funny thought regarding the advice given about this forum..
The standard reply for every service manager when you tell them you read it on the internet is, "there is a lot of misinformation on the internet, I would not trust it".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
I have a 2011 as well. I’ve yet to add any oil between oil changes; thank god it is down ¼ quart most times. I had a 1987 GL10 turbo and it used a quart every 2000 miles like clockwork. Sold it with 150,000 and still running well. Out of all the vehicles I’ve owned most have used some oil and I do believe it varies and doesn’t relate to the longevity you can expect out of the engine.

Personally, I’d rather have a vehicle that uses a little bit of oil between changes. A quart every 4000 miles is a little bit. The backyard mechanic in me thinks - if the rings and value guides are so tight they never allow any usage – do I have any ring or valve guide wear due to insufficient lube taking place?

I do think a quart every 1200 miles is too much for a new engine. I suspect that’s a “we don’t have to give you a new engine policy” and is self serving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
2011 Outback 3.6R here. I burn about a quart every 5k. Currently at 35k miles and have been assured by the dealer that's normal.

For this generation Outback they have added a yellow low oil light in addition to the red no oil light. So if the yellow light fires up just add some oil. They have also lengthened the maintenance interval to 7,500 miles so I think they are anticipating greater oil consumption between changes.

Still, this is the first new car that I have ever purchased that consumes oil at a concerning rate and have been told its normal by the dealer and this forum. And I have owned many cars and none have ever used oil anywhere near this.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
68 Posts
22k and I just checked the oil, down about 1/8 from full at 4500 miles from last change and I have used synthetic since first change at 2800 miles. I did the break in by the book, very easy on it, lots of variance in speeds and loads. No problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,698 Posts
Two possibilities for oil consumption, assuming that the engine is well run in:

First, it is possible to have a defective PCV valve cause oil consumption in the volumes you are experiencing, even in a brand new engine.

Second, (And this is anecdotal, not scientific) I have found that the use of Redline oil in an engine that is otherwise healthy but uses oil, can somehow scrub the rings in, or maybe free the rings from sticky ring grooves. The effect does not end when the Redline is changed out for something else. It doesn't hurt to subject the engine to some full throttle bursts as well, with or without the Redline. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,967 Posts
Two possibilities for oil consumption, assuming that the engine is well run in:

First, it is possible to have a defective PCV valve cause oil consumption in the volumes you are experiencing, even in a brand new engine.

Second, (And this is anecdotal, not scientific) I have found that the use of Redline oil in an engine that is otherwise healthy but uses oil, can somehow scrub the rings in, or maybe free the rings from sticky ring grooves. The effect does not end when the Redline is changed out for something else. It doesn't hurt to subject the engine to some full throttle bursts as well, with or without the Redline. Good luck.
good call on the PCV - def worth checking out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
I have a 2011 3.6R Limited with 30K miles. I bought it used with 23K. I have done 2 oil changes. Between both it was low on oil. ...
What kind of engine oil are you using? Dino, Semi or Full Synthetic? What brand? Do you know anything about driving habits of your car's previous owner? Was your car mostly driven on highways or in the cities?
Any of these variables could contribute to an excessive oil consumption.
If the engine was over stressed during its break-in period then you almost guaranteed to have this effect, which cannot be corrected without rebuilding the engine. If your car engine was not abused, then try to change your oil brand to something better. I would vouch for Amsoil 5W-30 either OE or Signature series. I use it in my 3.6R OB from the very first oil change and the oil stays at the same level until the next oil change after 5K - 7K miles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
I have a 2013. I just took it in for its first oil change. I bunted about a 1/2 quart in 3500 miles. If that holds true over time tat is a quart every 7500 miles. That is basically very little oil in my opinion. I have no concerns and am quite happy with the consumption rate.

I have no idea if it is true, but I am told the boxer engines tend to burn a bit more oil than a v6 or inline engine. Probably folklore.

Switching to full synthetic this oil change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
683 Posts
This may or may not be of any relevance.

Try changing the oil brand that you use. My F-150 drinks Mobile1 like an alcoholic at a Christmas party drinks at an open bar. Put Penzoil in it and the bar closes. Same weight. Same type (synthetic). It's kinda weird.

My 2000 Jetta never drank a drop of Mobile1. And I intend to try it out in the 2013 OB when it needs its oil changed next month.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,128 Posts
I have a 2013. I just took it in for its first oil change. I bunted about a 1/2 quart in 3500 miles. If that holds true over time tat is a quart every 7500 miles. That is basically very little oil in my opinion. I have no concerns and am quite happy with the consumption rate.

I have no idea if it is true, but I am told the boxer engines tend to burn a bit more oil than a v6 or inline engine. Probably folklore.

Switching to full synthetic this oil change.
2013 comes with synthetic and is required every oil change. Check your owners manual.
 
1 - 20 of 90 Posts
About this Discussion
89 Replies
56 Participants
skeetjunkie
Subaru Outback Forums
Welcome to the Subaru Outback Owners Forum, we have tons of information about your Subaru Outback, from a Subaru Outback Wiki to customer reviews.
Full Forum Listing
Top