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2012, Outback, 3.6R
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134 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Strange thing happened to me today. I was dead low on gas and filled up while my engine was running (on a flat surface). It was about 32 degrees outside. When I got back in my car, the Oil level light came on. As I was driving to work, it eventually went off. I am still about 3k away from the next required oil change.

I am gonna check the oil level when I got home but I was wondering if OB's generally have problems with oil leaks? I haven't seen puddles anywhere I have parked.
 

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2010 2.5i Outback, 2015 2.5i Legacy w/Eyesight
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589 Posts
Strange thing happened to me today. I was dead low on gas and filled up while my engine was running (on a flat surface). It was about 32 degrees outside. When I got back in my car, the Oil level light came on. As I was driving to work, it eventually went off. I am still about 3k away from the next required oil change.

I am gonna check the oil level when I got home but I was wondering if OB's generally have problems with oil leaks? I haven't seen puddles anywhere I have parked.
You need not be leaking oil to be losing it. Engines consume oil over time which is why it's recommended to check your oil level often (every time you stop to get gas is a commonly recommended interval since the oil will generally be at operating temperature and you're twiddling your thumbs waiting for gas to flow anyway).

The "low oil light" comes on when it can no longer maintain the required pressure and if it turns on, your oil level is quite low.

If you search for "oil consumption" that should pop out a few threads on here and articles on google.
 

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13 Outback 2.5 Premium CVT
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340 Posts
The light came on to inform you to check your oil immediately, it's not something that I'd wait until I got around too it.

Some oil lights don't come on until moments before you have to buy a new motor.
 

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Premium Member
2011 Graphite Gray Outback 3.6R Limited w/moonroof
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226 Posts
Strange thing happened to me today. I was dead low on gas and filled up while my engine was running (on a flat surface). It was about 32 degrees outside. When I got back in my car, the Oil level light came on. As I was driving to work, it eventually went off. I am still about 3k away from the next required oil change.

I am gonna check the oil level when I got home but I was wondering if OB's generally have problems with oil leaks? I haven't seen puddles anywhere I have parked.
Some 3.6R engines burn a lot of oil. I traded in my 2011 for that very reason. After I traded it in the finance guy admitted they see a lot of 3.6Rs that consume oil. Check yours immediately!
 

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2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
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1,696 Posts
Yup. It goes off again, once the sump is empty. (Just kidding).

I do find it interesting how so many folks that post here do not check their oil, as a matter of course, with a relatively new and unproven vehicle.
 

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2011 Subie 3.6R Limited 2013 Cmax e=nergi PHEV
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821 Posts
Oil Consumption

Some 3.6R engines burn a lot of oil. I traded in my 2011 for that very reason. After I traded it in the finance guy admitted they see a lot of 3.6Rs that consume oil. Check yours immediately!

How many miles did you trade it in at? The 3.6 will burn. Although the light on mine comes on after 700 mile runs to UT in the winter, the dipstick level has been above the low hash mark. I am not sure if the temp change and altitude have had any effect.

That said the 3.6 does consume, and check it often and add as needed. 0.5 qt to 1.0 quart consumed in 7 K mile intervals seems to be my experience when long highway runs and lots of hard mountain driving has been involved. When the driving has consisted of start stop urban driving and little mountain driving I haven't noticed any burn, so go figure.

Some folks don't burn a drop so I don't know if it is attributable to individual driving styles, engine break in procedures, or slight differences in tolerances and seals particular to each unique 3.6 that account for the variance in oil consumption.
 

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2013 3.6R SAP BBP Outback
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717 Posts
And turn off the engine while fueling! That stuff is flammable and there are warning signs all over the pumps to shut off the car. Plus having the gas cap off while the engine is running can light up the CEL. The owner's manual probably says to not drive the car with the oil light on.
 

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2012, Outback, 3.6R
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134 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I checked the oil and it is between the dots (though closer to the lower side). Could it be just the temperature? The car only has about 19k miles and I drive like a grandmother (get 24.6 mpg in mixed driving).
 

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2011 Subie 3.6R Limited 2013 Cmax e=nergi PHEV
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821 Posts
I checked the oil and it is between the dots (though closer to the lower side). Could it be just the temperature? The car only has about 19k miles and I drive like a grandmother (get 24.6 mpg in mixed driving).
Have had that happen before too, and it was when the temps were in the single digits. It is weird.:confused:
 

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2012, Outback, 3.6R
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134 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I do find it interesting how so many folks that post here do not check their oil, as a matter of course, with a relatively new and unproven vehicle.
I am pretty sure the 3.6 has a good track record by now (I wouldn't have bought it otherwise).
 

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2011 Subie 3.6R Limited 2013 Cmax e=nergi PHEV
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821 Posts
I guess we should poll 3.6 owners and see how common this is. Would the burn rate be affected by the type of oil used?
Not sure about the oil type being a factor? I am using syn (Valvoline, Pennzoil, Mobil) since about 17.5K and currently over 38K. 3.6 oil consumption rate poll is a good idea.
 

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1993 Legacy LSi with still functioning Air Suspension, 1999 Outback 2.5L 5MT lab Rat
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191 Posts
Most new cars, your Subaru included has a low oil level lamp, usually amber in color and it is there because with the advent of low friction engines as well as synthetic oils engines are now designed to consume oil. Most low oil level lights come on at about -1.5 qts give or take. Check the oil level and top off as nessesary, it is highly unlikely there are any problems, though I would suggest you maybe have your shop inspect for leaks during your next oil change or service.
 

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2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
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1,696 Posts
I am pretty sure the 3.6 has a good track record by now (I wouldn't have bought it otherwise).
I was not referring to the design, but I assumed that your particular motor was newish. Checking the oil level at fill ups, until you have established a baseline for consumption (Or the lack there of) is good practice, and will save grief. I have a 4runner that has 240k on it........I quit checking the oil on it between changes about 200k ago, though I do verify that it hasn't used any before changing it. That is a "Proven" motor. My OB has just over 30k.........I have cut back to checking it once every 1k......It has not used any.........Yet. It is almost proven.

The level light comes on at about 1.5 quarts low. I believe that he dipstick low to high is 2 quarts. Good luck.
 

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2012, Outback, 3.6R
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134 Posts
Discussion Starter #16

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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12,323 Posts
Not saying it is good or bad, but almost every auto manufacture will say 1 quart per 1000 miles is "within limits". Less than that amount and it is doubtful anything will come from it from Subaru/Toyota/Honda/Ford/GM/etc.

There is never and should never be a vehicle that doesn't need you to open the hood and check your fluids every once in a while.
 

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2011 Subie 3.6R Limited 2013 Cmax e=nergi PHEV
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821 Posts
Not saying it is good or bad, but almost every auto manufacture will say 1 quart per 1000 miles is "within limits". Less than that amount and it is doubtful anything will come from it from Subaru/Toyota/Honda/Ford/GM/etc.

There is never and should never be a vehicle that doesn't need you to open the hood and check your fluids every once in a while.

If I am at 1 quart a 1000 during a 7.5k interval then I run out of oil without adding regularly with 500 miles to go before my change.

If the onus to add oil every 1000 (hypothetically) is on the driver then it should be made clear by the salesperson to the buyer at time of purchase that the engine has the potential to burn/consume insane amounts of oil.

I have owned 5.0 v-8, 2.9L v-6, a straight six, and a few small 4s and none of them burned more than .25 quart in 5k miles. I am new to the H-6 and its apparently oily habits, but can deal as long as it isn't much more than a quart per interval which is the most it has consumed in almost 40k of hard driving.

I agree that checking the fluids is mandatory for any car and that manufacturers might make the spurious claim that a quart a thousand is ok to limit their liablility, but if the car is consuming a quart every 1k, I gotta think the engine is not tight and would be a major stinking bummer to own.

Members have posted that the modern pancake is designed to consume oil, yet many members have posted that their H-6 consumes nada. Be interesting to see if more H-6 owners post their consumption rates here:
http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...-burn-oil-between-oil-changes.html#post501531
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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12,323 Posts
To be honest, if you never check the oil in 7500 miles....my opinion is you are partially deserving of any repair cost out of negligence for the vehicle. But the 3.6 does seem to have the potential to be more thirsty than other engine. Not "late 1990's Saturn" thirsty, but still...

That being said, the only time that Kaylee has consumed more than .5 quart over my normal 5500-7500 OCI is when my PCV started to clog up. 1.5 quarts that time. Yipe.
 

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13 Outback 2.5i Premium w/AWP 6MT
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my 13 2.5i 6-speed had this issue yesterday

Coming back on a 400 mile trip. 1500 miles on the car and driving on highway.

Change in altitude was probably 2k-3k feet total, but after I made a pass, my light popped on.

Stopped at a gas station to check the level, no issue. Turned the car back on, light went off, drove the rest of the 150 miles home without issue.

Confused. Combination of the hill/altitude/temp? Should I take it in to check it out?
 
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