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from cars101 - FWIW;

Oil-
2.5L models- 0w-20 synthetic oil is required.
3.6L models- 5w-30, regular oil is ok, synthetic is recommended
 

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Fellow Subaru owners -- Oil discussions are like religious discussions on the motorcycle boards that I frequent. They are never solved, are always ongoing, and often spawn a few good threads.

I have a 2011 2.5 OB and can offer these thoughts:

1) I have 3 motorcycles -- a 2005 Victory Hammer (air - oil cooled), a 1994 Honda Dual Sport (air cooled), and a 1998 Harley EG classic (air cooled). The Victory burns 0 oil. The Harley seems to burn little, and the Honda burns a predictable amount.

2) No car I have ever bought since I graduated from college (1989) has burned a significant amount of oil, or so much so that I needed to add oil between changes. I even retired a Mazda 626 Turbo at 213K miles and gave it to my cleaning guy and it didn't burn oil.

3) Using synthetic vs. regular oils won't make a difference in oil consumption. The big advantage with synthetics is that you can stretch out your oil change interval and be more green and friendly to te environment. For my motorcycles I just change them once a year and forget about it (they are all out of warranty).

4) Things get more complicated if your vehicle is in warranty and you cannot use the extended oil change intervals allowed by synthetics.

I have no knowledge of what Subaru says, but in general, an engine that consumes more that 1Q in < 3K miles doesn't seem right to me -- just my opinion. And I would only change the oil every 5-7.5K and can promise my wife would never check the oil in between.

Regards,

MetroWestMA
 

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2013 comes with synthetic and is required every oil change. Check your owners manual.

Double check your owners manual.....the 2.5 specs out with Synthetic - 0-w20, the 3.6 with Dino oil, 5-w30..............Synthetic is optional on the 3.6. Comes from the factory with dino...

I switched to synthetic. Dealer said it was "unnecessary". They are probably right but every car I have had for the last 20 years has run full synthetic (all turbos) and never had a turbo fail or any sludging or other oil related problems...
 

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I have a 2011 Outback with the 3.6R. I bought in June with 12,000 miles. I got the engine oil light after about 4000 miles after the original purchase. I assumed the non Subaru dealer I bought it at had a low level to start with so just added oil. My next oil change was at the Subaru dealership. Now between oil changes the oil light went on again. I had to add a liter (quart) to top it up. I had synthetic used at the dealership. I will be going in shortly for another oil change but I am convinced and concerned it IS using oil also. I expect the dealer to play games with me but will see. Love the car but am very concerned with this issue. I do not know the history of why it was sold with so few miles or who owned it.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
gdt5:
I called Subaru and they told me that I should be happy that my car is operating normally. They won't do anything unless it burns 1 quart in 1,200 miles. I would assume I would be laying smoke screens before that ever happens.

The engine has a 60K warranty, so I am going to wait mine out until 50K miles or so and then sell it. I prefer to keep my cars to well over 100K, but not one that uses oil like this.
 

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gdt5:
I called Subaru and they told me that I should be happy that my car is operating normally. They won't do anything unless it burns 1 quart in 1,200 miles. I would assume I would be laying smoke screens before that ever happens.

The engine has a 60K warranty, so I am going to wait mine out until 50K miles or so and then sell it. I prefer to keep my cars to well over 100K, but not one that uses oil like this.
I don't think you will see visible oil smoke at 1200mi/qt.
Some years back, I drove a '78 camaro that consumed 1qt every 100 miles through leaky valve guide seals. No visible smoke but it did foul spark plugs.
 

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2012 Outback Limited 3.6R
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I'm having same issues with my 12 3.6R. Low level oil indicator would light up after 1500 miles and I would do at least 2 top off before next service. BTW, I have the maintenance plan and Subaru said its normal :(
 

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13 Outback 2.5 Premium CVT
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gdt5:
I called Subaru and they told me that I should be happy that my car is operating normally. They won't do anything unless it burns 1 quart in 1,200 miles. I would assume I would be laying smoke screens before that ever happens.

The engine has a 60K warranty, so I am going to wait mine out until 50K miles or so and then sell it. I prefer to keep my cars to well over 100K, but not one that uses oil like this.
You can possibly get some help depending on how determined you are.

Get some plastic sign board material and permanent markers along with a stencil kit because you want it looking professional.

Make a sign for the hatch that says something too the effect

My NEW Subaru
burns a quart of oil
a month. Subaru claims
perfectly normal
for new Subaru's

Find a reason to swing by the dealer, oil filter, wiper blade, whatever as long as you have a legitimate reason to be there and park right in front of the main showroom door.

Trust me it works
I had a new Ford that only wore a sign for 5 minutes before the sales manager (dealers son) ripped it off my truck and we went toe to toe about he has no right to touch my truck, I walked away with a letter signed by him that the dealership would pay my $100 deductible for the life of the warranty.
 

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Yes and this comes from several independent mechanics and they all say certain models exp 2.5 will use a quart a every 1000 to 1500 miles and even the 3.6R all due to having no sleeves in the cylinder wall only 3 rings. Strange but this is exceptable by Subaru. Many cars today do use oil in small amounts. So being that is why oil changes are 3000mi and to check your oil often as one mechanic has seen why he is doing so many swap outs or rebuilds on the 2.5 as many owners are not aware that it will use a quart and then run out of oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
I called Subaru and talked to them. They assured me it is normal. They were so confident it wouldn't be an issue that they extended my warranty to 100K for free.

Works for me.
 

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I called Subaru and talked to them. They assured me it is normal. They were so confident it wouldn't be an issue that they extended my warranty to 100K for free.

Works for me.
That's great that you got it extended but if Subaru is considering burning oil in brand new cars "Normal" then I wonder how do they explain all the cars that don't burn a drop.

I have never owned a car that burned any measurable amount of oil until it was way past 100,000, actually closer to 200,000,
I wonder how much these so called normal cars will burn when they hit 100,000 +
 

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2013 Outback 3.6R Limited CGP
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My 2013 3.6R with only 9300 miles just got the low oil light. I brought it to the dealer and they are chenging the oil as I type and are going to do the oil consumption test where I have to stop back at certain intervals, ugh. I have never had a low or high mileage vehicle that has consumed oil. I hope this doesn't continue and If it does, I hope Subaru stands behind it.
 

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2012 3.6r with 22k miles .Oil changed by me every 5k with castrol 5-30-its always on sale.No oil consumption problems-oil is about 3/4 qt low at change time.Engine was broken in hard-a day of occasional runs till the rev limiter hit while using the paddle shifter.I was a ford dealer tech for many years and noticed more problems with engines treated easy.If there is a defective part in the engine its better to catch it sooner.The 3.6 holds 7 qts-if its a qt low it would hurt it.
 

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It must be a QC issue. Our 3.6 burned a quart the first thousand miles or so. After the 3000 mile oil change it has burnt almost none between 5K mile changes. It has about 28K on the clock. Oil is Mobil Super 5000 5w30 dino w/ a Subaru filter.
 

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2013 2.5 Limited Pearl White SAP
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FWIW, My 2006 OB 3.0R VDC used a lot of oil...
 

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I have a 2011 Subaru Outback 3.6R with 71k miles and my oil light comes on like clockwork 1200-1500 miles after the oil change. I use synthetic ( dealer purchased ).

It is a little strange, and after being told by multiple dealers that the engine is designed to drink the oil - I just routinely carry an extra quart with me between changes.

My colleague at work has a newer 4 cylinder and his drinks the same... :-(

It is disheartening to hear that some do and some don't.

I will definitely look into the new PCV now , and TOTALLY agree about the dealer having a way out without replacing the engine.
 

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2010 OB 3.6R limited
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My 2010 3.6R burns abt 1qt every oil chance (7500 miles) been using synthetics {Mobil). Regardless if I do the oil chance myself, dealer or car-x.

71000 miles on the odometer now. Decided to switch to Dino oil and test oil consumption with 5k OCI.
 
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