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We purchased a 2013 Outback 2 weeks ago and have driven mostly interstate miles on 2 trips. With only 2500 miles, the low level oil sensor light came on 4 separate times approximately half an hour a part and went off a minute or two later by itself. It was flat interstate at slightly over 75 mph. When checking the oil levels, they appeared normal the best we could tell. Two days later, the local Subaru dealer checked out the car. They could find nothing wrong and indicated it was low a half quart and topped it off. They say it is normal for the car to burn a half quart every 1000 miles and nothing is wrong. The answer does not make sense and leads me to the conclusion that during a 7500 mile oil change interval recommended that I will be 3 1/2 quarts low. This is a brand new car, not a car with 100,000 miles. Does this make sense? Regardless, it doesn't paint a good picture for Subaru quality in my mind. I sincerely hope this is not a lemon or a sign of things to come.
 

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In 2500 miles on a brand new car you've checked the oil only once?

So, you don't know what the original level was -- and thus, you have
no idea as to whether it's actually using oil.

The dipstick is there for a reason.
 

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I wouldn't be worried. Odds are the oil level is the same as the day you drove it off the lot. The warning light would concern me I guess. Bad sensor, perhaps? Doesn't seem like even being a half quart low should trip that.
 

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Oil consumption is one of those things that most car manufacturer's consider anything less than one quart in 900 miles is "okay." I was surprised to find that out when we had a truck at work that was at one quart in 1000 miles. Amounts and miles vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Most cars don't consume this much oil if any so people just assume that no consumption is normal.

In your case we have no idea if your's is consuming oil because you have not established a baseline yet. Check your oil when you get gas and monitor it that way from now on. Once you can actually measure the consumption rate we can go from there. My guess is you are fine and won't see any consumption your next few fill ups.
 

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It can take as much as 7000 miles for new engine rings to seat. You need to regularly check the oil levels once a week or during every highway drive.

As everyone has said we need a baseline first.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all your comments and suggestions. I need to determine a baseline and monitor consumption going forward. It may not have been topped off when it rolled of the sales lot.
 

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I was going to ask a question, but instead.... I will close my account.
Someone is a bit sensitive.

Oil consumption in the first 5k miles can be 0 or up to a quart every 1k. If it does not drop off by then, I would be worried......Unless it was a German car. The Germans seem to like to use rings harder than an.......Old rental girl's heart.......And take forever to seat. 30k before it settles out is not unusual. My Subaru never used any, from the get go. I did do my usual throttle dance to insure that the rings had every chance to seat. Good luck.
 

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I checked oil level when I first picked up the car and it was fine. Didn't think there is a need to check more often as the recommended first oil change should be done at 7,500 miles. At about 4,000 low oil level warning light came on :confused:
I checked the oil and it was about half inch over the low level. About 500 miles later the light came back (I was 4 hrs away from home and it was on a weekend). When I pulled over to the nearest gas station, the oil at that time was below low :mad:
I added a whole qt of synthetic 5w-30 and found out that such combination should be changed to 0w-20 at next oil change..
Called the dealer on Monday to talk about this and the fun begun.

- I was told that the owners manual is wrong, needs updating
- that I should do the first oil change at 3,000 miles
- that there is nothing to worry about if I didn't do it on time and went over the recommended 3K
- and that they will take care of my oil change (turned out they took care of it for $70)

I bring the car for oil change and as Subaru enters my info on their system, they ask for car milage (I had 4,700 at that time) ...feeling guilty I opened my mouth and said that I had no idea that I was suppose to do oil change at 3k :/
The girl said it's in the owners manual.. I told her that mine is wrong and it says 7.5k
She looked at me funny and said, no it doesn't. I said yes it does lol
There were couple of mechanics behind the counter (I can understand why they had nothing to do.. They will not get any business from me from now on either) anyway, the mechanics get involved and look things up on computer - what year, what engine, transmission, and they say that I should change oil every 3k. One of the guys rotates the monitor to show me a chart.. I looked and it says: 1st oil change at 7.5k, just like my manual. I asked HIM to read it again. Now he is upset.
I told him he is looking at the wrong engine. Then the girl steps in and says - 7.5k for synthetic, but 3k regular oil.
I get frustrated at that point, and ask her what oil are they putting in my car because they should use synthetic!
She wiggled herself out and confirmed that I was put down for $69 oil change which is synthetic, but I asked her to verify with the technician.
I pay. I leave. I check the level at home.., and it is 3/4" over max!!
I went back to the dealer today (car wasn't driven since then) to find out that they always add more oil (wtf?!) I asked why? If the oil change requires 5 qt, why would they put "little more"? He said "This engine takes 6 qt" and told me he has to go back to work
I checked OM after i came back home, and mine says 5..

That garage is not getting near the Outback again :28:

Unless they are right and Subaru USA printed my manual wrong :runaway:

Edit..
Though this could make you laugh.
At the time of oil change, guy behind the counter tried to wiggle the rest of his crew out of trouble, by explaining to me that under extreme driving conditions, oil should be changed every 3,000.
When I asked him to define extreme conditions, he had to look it up and he started to read aloud about towing heavy loads, temp changes that range 40 deg. As he was reading on, he was reading softer.., and quiter... Even his own mates gave him a funny look. That moment reminded me of Ricky Bobby at first intervew in Talladega Nights.
In the end he said "yep, that's us. Here in NJ we live in extreme weather conditions"

he abandoning their first escape plan, realizing they were reading the chart wrong :/ (I think)
 

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Bad Habit,

It sounds like that dealer has no idea how to service your car. Find another shop (doesn't have to be a dealer) to do your oil maintenance. Or do it yourself.

Maybe call Subaru and ask if your manual is correct. Then let them know what your dealer is telling you.
 

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Ron,
Thanks for the advice, mate!
I will call Subaru USA and see what they have to say about that.

As far as the maintenance, i do it on my own all the time..
(owning 2 bikes (my preferred way of transportation btw) it's not just more convenient, or quicker, but also I know it is done right).
Because it was the first time someone looked the car since new, I wanted the experts to take a look at it, and verify if everything checks OK :/

Cheers
 

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I hit 2500 miles today on my 2013, and guess what? I experienced the same oil light. Went straight to the dealer. 1/2 quart low. Topped it off. They assume its a faulty sensor.
 

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Personally, I'm all for a sensitive oil light! At 1/2 a quart low your engine is not in danger. It used to be the light only came on to tell you "you now need a new engine."

Baby steps engineers, baby steps.
 

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It's interesting to see that there are several oil consumptions threads in various Subaru forums where 0W-20 is specced. The Forester forum has had an ongoing thread since June 2011 and now 2013 owner's are posting the same thing. There are also posts popping up on nasioc in regards to the Impreza as well as posts on various BRZ forums.

-Dennis
 

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It's interesting to see that there are several oil consumptions threads in various Subaru forums where 0W-20 is specced. The Forester forum has had an ongoing thread since June 2011 and now 2013 owner's are posting the same thing. There are also posts popping up on nasioc in regards to the Impreza as well as posts on various BRZ forums.

-Dennis
in the past, there were rumors that CAFE created an incentive to spec lower weight oils and European/foreign vehicles had manuals that speced viscosities higher than in the US.

I wonder if it's still that way? Do British or German soobs come with a manual that suggests higher viscosities than here?
 

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in the past, there were rumors that CAFE created an incentive to spec lower weight oils and European/foreign vehicles had manuals that speced viscosities higher than in the US.

I wonder if it's still that way? Do British or German soobs come with a manual that suggests higher viscosities than here?
I'm not sure either on the newer engines. SoA has dropped the recommendation of thicker viscosities in certain conditions, even in turbos, although the BRZ allows them without actually defining the viscosities.

I believe these new engines were designed with use of a 20 weight in mind. It's probably going to get worse as CAFE gets more strict over the next few years. Oil and car manufacturers are already testing 10 and 15 weights! OMG, you use 20 weight? That's SO thick! :D

Here's a thread on nasioc where a Consumer Reports Impreza burned oil:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2409321&referrerid=767

-Dennis
 

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Oil Loss

Don't know if you're still looking at this, but same is happening to me. was told of a possible problem w. teflon rings around seal and the possibility of the need for a new engine, but first i need to bring the car in 4 more times every 500-1000 miles for the techs. to determine the problem. I called Subaru of America and also an attorney. I'm disgusted. The car has only 7800 miles and just had it's 2nd oil change!!!
 

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My wife has experienced this problem. I found this information on the newer Subaru models: Newer Subaru vehicles with longer maintenance intervals have an additional warning light to alert drivers when there is a need to check the engine oil. In this way, its function is very similar to the low tire pressure warning or TPMS light. The low oil-level warning light illuminates when engine oil may need to be added. It should be noted that certain driving conditions may cause the light to illuminate when the oil level is not low or is only slightly low. These include driving on certain inclines, on undulating road surfaces, during extended periods of acceleration or deceleration, or during continuous turning. Due to its appearance, this new light is sometimes confused with another light that has been around for a very long time, the low oil-pressure warning light.
 
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