Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Changed the oil at 8177 miles. At 12,477 miles it was 2 quarts low and check oil light came on. The dealer said new engines run very hot and oil "evaporates" and trapped in the catalytic converter. Anyone heard this explanation?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Changed the oil at 8177 miles. At 12,477 miles it was 2 quarts low and check oil light came on. The dealer said new engines run very hot and oil "evaporates" and trapped in the catalytic converter. Anyone heard this explanation?
I have a 2011, so not clear on the specifics of the 2013 Outback, but not sure oil can evaporate. If oil did evaporate, when it rained Exxon Valdez would happen everywhere. You would definitely notice 2 quarts of oil in the catalytic converter as well...the smoke and smell would be MAJOR to say the least something you would see in the rear view mirror for sure. Dealer is probably trying to answer the question to see if it (you) goes away. Probably time for a new dealer or someone else at that dealership for good answers.

You're probably simply burning oil (passing by cylinder rings into combustion chamber) or maybe the correct amount wasn't added at the first change. Can't be sure which without more information. The manual for 2011 says 1 quart per 1000 miles is within tolerance (or something like that), but that doesn't seem right in these times of modern manufacturing.

Noah
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,698 Posts
Not with any quality oil. But I never avoid checking the oil in an engine, at least until I have enough history to know it isn't using.

Did the dealer change the oil? Is it possible they put 0/20 in, instead of 5/30? Did you pay for synthetic? Has the underside been checked to make sure that it isn't leaking? Do you know for sure that the oil was full up, after the change? (If they left it a quart low, it would tend to use a bit more, because the oil would be hotter, so the second quart could get burned more easily.)

I realise it is unlikely that you can answer all the above issues. What I would do is, change the oil, making certain that the proper grade is used, and confirming the level after the service. Then, I would check it at each gas fillup for a couple of thousand miles. By then, you will know how much it is actually using, and you can go back to the dealer with some real information.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Hmmm, I read this somewhere else so although it appears most owners don't see an increased oil burn rate, it must be happening to some people. I have a 2013 but only have 2100 miles on it. However, I am sort of a fanatic in checking oil. Including today, I have checked mine 4 times now, including the first day I drove the car. I expected maybe a little burn being a new car but I would not expect 1qt/1k miles. I have not read that rate anywhere but that seem excessive. In any case, in 2100 miles the oil level has not changed. Not even a little as far as I can tell. I would be very leery of what the dealer told you. That does not seem right to me. Besides, a dealer may know very little about the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,342 Posts
Yes oil can evaporate.

No your engine will not "evaporate" off 2 quarts of oil over 4k miles. It can burn oil and 2 quarts over 4k miles is not unheard of or even covered by warranty.

The only true way to check oil consumption is to measure your full drain. Dip sticks are estimates at best but it's what we have. I would guess that you did not get a complete fill during your last oil change and/or the wrong oil was used.

As the other poster stated start checking your oil every fuel stop from now on. If consumption goes up, your engine might be toast. If consumption goes down then my other guesses are more likely.

It has been my experience that only I am qualified enough to change my own oil. Most people assume that certified Techs change their oil at dealerships. They are mostly mistaken. Some of the Techs I've known and worked with are not fit to check the oil let alone change it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
My 2011 is burning oil as well... Last oil change has 1000 miles on it and oil level is below 1/2 on dipstick.
Has anyone had Subaru do engine work as a result of this? Is there another thread that addresses this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
These engines hold 4.4 quarts of oil with a filter change. I would not be surprised if Subaru Dealers are only putting in four quarts even when doing oil changes. So this may be much ado about nothing.

TS
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
^ what he said - you have no idea if you have oil burning till you know what goes in and comes out. Every case I thought I had excessive oil use - the next change I did my self and documented what was put in - turned out the prior change the service guys shorted me oil. Beyond what my cars tend to burn. All engines burn oil only some of them burn little enough that the crude dip stick measuring device doesn't give you any indication they are. Other engines like my VW and toyotas burn enough oil that you need to check and add oil by the 2000 mile mark or yes the engine will consume enough by 3000 miles that it will be short on oil. Not a big deal the toyotas run forever they simply like their oil. The VW is what it is a poorly designed and assembled vehicle that leaks various fluids since day one and the engine likes to burn oil which case all the fluids need topping off and to be checked on a fairly regular basis.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
^ what he said - you have no idea if you have oil burning till you know what goes in and comes out. Every case I thought I had excessive oil use - the next change I did my self and documented what was put in - turned out the prior change the service guys shorted me oil. Beyond what my cars tend to burn. All engines burn oil only some of them burn little enough that the crude dip stick measuring device doesn't give you any indication they are. Other engines like my VW and toyotas burn enough oil that you need to check and add oil by the 2000 mile mark or yes the engine will consume enough by 3000 miles that it will be short on oil. Not a big deal the toyotas run forever they simply like their oil. The VW is what it is a poorly designed and assembled vehicle that leaks various fluids since day one and the engine likes to burn oil which case all the fluids need topping off and to be checked on a fairly regular basis.


I found the opposite, I have owned 4 Toyota's since brand new and never burned any measurable amount until past 100,000
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,698 Posts
then you would be a very rare case given toyota engines are famous for liking their oil
I have owned 5 Toyotas, 4 of them for over 200k each. None of them ever used oil, at least that you could see on a dipstick. 5k changes, and all of them full up when it was time to change. I still have 2 of them......The 4runner has 240k+, and has yet to use any discernable oil.

Maybe you need a primer on properly seating rings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
I have owned 5 Toyotas, 4 of them for over 200k each. None of them ever used oil, at least that you could see on a dipstick. 5k changes, and all of them full up when it was time to change. I still have 2 of them......The 4runner has 240k+, and has yet to use any discernable oil.

Maybe you need a primer on properly seating rings.
Rolls eyes.. I've had plenty of cars which used very little oil - and yes Toyota engines are well known for liking their oil regardless of your experience or mine given its well known that they are not shy about using a little oil.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,355 Posts
Engine oil is vaporized in the crankcase as it is sprayed onto the hot pistons (under the piston) to help cool them. This is why modern engines can "burn" oil, and the 7500 mile oil change intervals dont help (meaning it is more worrysome where at 500 miles you barely noticed it). You need to check your oil at least once a month, and If you suspect an issue, once a week until it is resolved.

Check your oil after your next oil change and make sure it is full. Keep an eye on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Excessive Oil usage

then you would be a very rare case given toyota engines are famous for liking their oil
Interesting. I have a 2007 Civic with 140 K and I have NEVER had to add oil between oil changes. On the other hand, I purchased a 2008 Impreza for my daughter (22K) that is using oil at a rate of a quart every 1500 miles. As far as I am concerned, the Impreza's oil use is beyond excessive. My 1998 Outback with 225k didn't use that much when it had an oil pump gasket leak.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
It takes at least 10,000 miles for these boxer engines to fully wear in. So I wouldn't be concerned about higher than normal oil consumption during this period.

TS
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
If you go on subaruforester.org, you will find Forester owners with the FB engine complaining of excessive oil consumption as well. Nobody seems to know if there is a manufacturing problem, use of 0W-20 oil or a combination of the two. How widespread this problem is unknown at this time. Only thing I know from different forums on the Forester site is that a number of people including myself who really like the new 2014 Forester and are potential first time Subaru owners are going to wait for awhile and see if this is a widespread problem which will be rectified quickly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
1qt every 1000 miles. Yikes

I really cannot fathom with today's environmental concerns and restrictions this would be acceptable. A car with 12000 miles on it? I'd bring it back to the dealer, be NICE to them and be patient!
That's a qt every two gas fill ups. Might as well be an air cooled two stroke. Today's vehicle engines are not designed to be adding oil just to keep them running unless either they are abused, worn or out of tolerance.
I'm an old man of sorts and what's being stated is you better carry a couple qts of oil in your car at all times. Last time I had to do that I bought cars for $200 bucks with a gazillion miles on them and run them till they dropped, then by another.
Do the math...if you add a qt every 1000 miles you never need an oil change, just a filter every 7500 miles. You've changed the oil almost twice in that 7500 miles already.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
I really cannot fathom with today's environmental concerns and restrictions this would be acceptable. A car with 12000 miles on it? I'd bring it back to the dealer, be NICE to them and be patient!
That's a qt every two gas fill ups. Might as well be an air cooled two stroke. Today's vehicle engines are not designed to be adding oil just to keep them running unless either they are abused, worn or out of tolerance.
I'm an old man of sorts and what's being stated is you better carry a couple qts of oil in your car at all times. Last time I had to do that I bought cars for $200 bucks with a gazillion miles on them and run them till they dropped, then by another.
Do the math...if you add a qt every 1000 miles you never need an oil change, just a filter every 7500 miles. You've changed the oil almost twice in that 7500 miles already.
I agree 100% with everything you said. How many clicks do you have on your Outback? What are you using as an oil change interval and do you have any oil consumption problems? It's really hard to tell how big of a problem this really is as there is only a very small percentage of Subaru owners that participate on this website. Like I stated before, for potential Subaru buyers, not the type of news you want to hear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
The 2012's still spec 5W-30, correct? As TooSlick said, it can take up to 10k miles for a Subaru to break-in. Does the owner's manual still say that "5W-40 conventional" can be used for replenishment even though it doesn't exist? :)

If you go on subaruforester.org, you will find Forester owners with the FB engine complaining of excessive oil consumption as well. Nobody seems to know if there is a manufacturing problem, use of 0W-20 oil or a combination of the two. How widespread this problem is unknown at this time. Only thing I know from different forums on the Forester site is that a number of people including myself who really like the new 2014 Forester and are potential first time Subaru owners are going to wait for awhile and see if this is a widespread problem which will be rectified quickly.
A bit OT but cars101 lists the 2014 Forester XT as specifiying 0W-20.:gasp: Gotta love CAFE! I guess that will be the first thread in the 2.0DIT forum at subaruforester.org. Oil consumption threads seem to be more popular in the forums where 0W-20 is recommended, including the BRZ/FR-S and the 2.0i Impreza.

My theory is a combination of things; Break-in was too easy, higher additized factory fill drained too early, proper dipstick reading difficult, oil too volatile (I would try 5W-20 where 0W-20 is recommended), etc. There have been one (or two?) engine replacements in that big oil consumption thread. A dozen engine replacements are probably cheaper than losing CAFE credits.

-Dennis
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
A 0w-20 synthetic is going to evaporate & be consumed more easily (thru the PCV system), than a heavier oil - even in comparison to a 5w-20 synthetic. Even with an ultra premium synthetic like the Amsoil Signature Series oils you can see this effect:

0w-20, NOACK volatility is 9.3%
5w-20, NOACK volatility is 5.5%
(NOACK volatility correlates to oil consumption in actual service)

If you take a less expensive 0w-20, which is largely Group 3 based, you can expect the volatility to be more like 12%-15%.

You could try a 5w-20 synthetic in one of these engines. The effect on fuel efficiency is down in the noise level (~0.5%) and cold starting will still be just fine. The Mobil 1/5w-20 would be a good choice that's easy to find.

TS
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
About this Discussion
33 Replies
25 Participants
millermmail
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