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2014 White on white with moonroof!
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,


This one has me puzzled and I don't know where to search. A few weeks ago my low oil pressure light came on while going to work. So, I pulled off the freeway and checked the dipstick, sure enough it was just above the bottom dot (engine off). So headed home to add oil. Got home, shut her down and rechecked the oil-same result. I am at this point I am very worried that I have one of the 'bad' engines that burns oil religiously.


So I went to the store and got more oil to top off the 'depleted' oil sump. Added three quarts, checked and was three quarts over suddenly:confused:. Now I had to do a complete oil change at $10 a quart:crying:. Anyone ever heard of this happening? I check her now more often and she seems to be using a little oil-either that or I am misremembering.


Mike
 

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2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
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Are you CERTAIN that was the oil *pressure* lite and not the oil *level* lite you saw?

This distinction is VERY important.

*) Low oil *pressure* can damage engine within minutes of running engine
*) Low oil *level* is simply a reminder for boneheads who forget to check their oil level weekly.
 

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2019 Subaru Forester Premium, Crystal Black Silica, Pkg 15
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Oil expands and contracts with temperature like any fluid. If you check the engine oil immediately after shutting down the engine, the oil may not have entirely drained into the pan.

If you're handy, why not do an oil change and measure the amount you drain out? Having 3 quarts over the amount is terrible for the engine, it will put a lot of stress on the seals (is the oil foamy when you drain it?)

Give it a few minutes after you turn off the engine next time. Even if the engine oil is at the low mark on the dipstick, it's only a quart to bring it to the high mark.

But either way, fix it TODAY. $10 a quart is expensive, I'm assuming you're using the OEM fluid? I've purchased name brand top-of-the-line 5 quart jugs of oil from a local discount store (starts with W!) and it's around $25 for the 5 quarts, plus tax.

If you do it yourself, make sure you change the crush ring on the drain plug. They're cheap, about $1 from the local parts department. Since you're not a full interval, I would leave the filter alone for now until you get this figured out.
 

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Hi All,


This one has me puzzled and I don't know where to search. A few weeks ago my low oil pressure light came on while going to work. So, I pulled off the freeway and checked the dipstick, sure enough it was just above the bottom dot (engine off). So headed home to add oil. Got home, shut her down and rechecked the oil-same result. I am at this point I am very worried that I have one of the 'bad' engines that burns oil religiously.


So I went to the store and got more oil to top off the 'depleted' oil sump. Added three quarts, checked and was three quarts over suddenly:confused:. Now I had to do a complete oil change at $10 a quart:crying:. Anyone ever heard of this happening? I check her now more often and she seems to be using a little oil-either that or I am misremembering.


Mike
Just above the bottom dot is about a quart low. What prompted you to add 3 quarts?

As already asked, did the RED oil pressure warning display or the YELLOW low oil light display? One is a bad thing, the latter not so much.
 

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2014 White on white with moonroof!
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Discussion Starter #5
OK, I checked it again after I got home and she was cold. So checking the guide it says it is the 'engine oil level warning' light in yellow. NOT the red 'oil pressure warning' light.

I added the three qts the last time as I am looking at a 'low oil mark' on the dip stick and figuring that I am down to just the bare min. of oil in the pan. So I added enough oil to bring me back up to the full mark. Apparently, (according to Doug) I am down just a qt., which in and of itself is troubling after only about 1k. Since I have a '14 I thought I was out of the bum engine range that Subaru had made in 2013, maybe not. So now I will have to 'check engine oil every week'. Is this normal for a modern engine, with modern design and seals? I know I have to check the Suzuki daily due to a design flaw.

Thanks,

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Correction, I just looked at my book and I am going about 3K for this oil change.

Mike
 

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My wife's '14 Forester used a quart between changes. Wasn't no big deal to us. Added oil when it was low and kept on rolling along. She has since gotten a '17 Forester which only seems to use a negligible amount of oil between changes.

Your owner's manual probably suggests you check the oil level every other fuel stop.
 

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I own 4 Subarus. A 95,97,02 and a 14. The first two are 2.2 and the last two 2.5.
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I am looking at a 'low oil mark' on the dip stick and figuring that I am down to just the bare min. of oil in the pan. So I added enough oil to bring me back up to the full mark.
I don't know if the OP is serious or if this is a troll. Assuming serious, he needs to drain out 2 qts immediately.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Took her the the dealer this morning and dropped her off. They are going to do a oil usage test just to make sure one of the bum engines fell through the cracks-I doubt it but just want to make sure. If that doesn't come up with anything we will try and figure out what else is wrong or if this is normal. Will update when I get her back.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #10
UPDATE!


OK. So I took her into the shop and they told me she used 4 ounces in 1600 miles. So I am within specs. and I will just have to carry an additional qt. with me to top her off if the light turns on. So at least I know where to go from here.


Mike
 

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...I am within specs. and I will just have to carry an additional qt. with me to top her off if the light turns on.
Rather than wait until the oil level light turns on (a full quart down, which is way too much to be down in my world), why don't you check the oil more often, weekly is good, and stay on top of things? It's part of properly maintaining a vehicle and only takes a couple minutes to check all your fluids.

There's a 1-quart difference between the low mark and the full mark. If you're halfway between, add a half-quart.

Easy peasy.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think I will have to check it weekly from now on. Like I said, I am just miffed that the engine burns oil at all with todays tech.


Mike
 

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I routinely check the fluids and tire pressures in all four of our vehicles every weekend. That is a habit I began back in the early 1970s and it has stayed with me ever since. I have never had an engine failure, and I have not had a tire failure in more than 25 years. I like to think that my weekly checking is a big part of the reason why.
 
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Rather than wait until the oil level light turns on (a full quart down, which is way too much to be down in my world), why don't you check the oil more often, weekly is good, and stay on top of things? It's part of properly maintaining a vehicle and only takes a couple minutes to check all your fluids.

There's a 1-quart difference between the low mark and the full mark. If you're halfway between, add a half-quart.

Easy peasy.
Except for the half-bottles of oil with their seals broken that you end up with that tend to leak when shoved in the back of your car.

I have never added oil to any vehicle until the level gets to the add mark on the dipstick. If you needed to add oil before that to prevent engine damage, there would be a prominent warning about it in the owners manual rather than the language to the effect of "if the light comes on, add oil at your earliest convenience".

The 2.5L engine holds 5 L of oil, so you still have 4 L when you are down to the add mark. While I have never tried to check the oil while the engine is running, I doubt the circulating volume is more than 1 L. Maybe 2 L on a cold morning when it takes a while to get back to the pan. Add another liter to keep the oil pump pickup fully submerged, and you still have a 1 L margin of safety if you wait until the light comes on before you add oil.

While the numbers above are just guesstimates, they are consistent with my real world experience. I have driven a couple of old, oil guzzling engines until the low oil pressure warning started to flash: A small 4 cylinder with a 4L oil capacity that took 2 L and still wasn't quite full, and a big V8 with a 5 L capacity that took 3 L to refill. That's certainly not something you want to do on a regular basis, but it does illustrate how much oil you need to lose before you start causing extra engine wear because the oil pump starts to suck air.
 

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I've been absent but just had Admin/Moderator reset this username.
2014 2.5 CVT w/61K, basic maintenance done here & original owner. About 12 months ago we got the red oil light. Shut it down, checked the oil. Nothing on the stick but it was dark. Towed home and the next morning level was fine and no red light. Fast forward to this week and I get the red light twice. Shut it down, level turns out to be fine and no light on the restart. I did have to add coolant, second time since new. My OBD reader showed no stored codes. There was about 6K on the old syn 0-20W. All 3 times were on flat ground, close to sea level, cool outside temps and between 45-55. Any input? The only thing I can think of is changing the 0-20W more often than the book calls for. I was skeptical about the 0W oil to begin with but figured the engineers knew what they were asking for.
 

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2014 Subaru Outback 2.5L CVT (Alloy Wheel Package)
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The only way that I ever check the oil, is first thing in the morning before ever starting the car. That way, 100% of the oil has drained down into the oil pan (the tried and true method).
When I have checked it any other way, the amount can vary by half a quart, so I stick with my old tried and true method.
 

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^^ Same here. I have the 3.6R, but I have always checked the oil levels on all of our vehicles first thing in the morning with the engine cold. The only true way to get as accurate a measurement as possible.
 

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Ideally sitting on flat ground after X hours is best. Getting the dash light doesn't give you that option. The question is why is the light coming on when the engine has oil. I guess checking the sending unit wiring is next.
 
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