Subaru News (BLOG)

Welcome to Subaru News, Suburb Service’s monthly blog! Subaru News is meant to educate, entertain, and engage you in monthly musings on such topics as auto mechanics, Subarus, travel, auto repair, and driving and living in the Lake Forest Park and Shoreline area. Our blogs are released on the first day of each month!

Subaru Oil Consumption Issue

Is Your Subaru Going Through Oil Too Fast? Here's What You Need to Know

If you think your Subaru is drinking oil down at an alarming rate, you may be right. There is an issue with some Subaru models over-consuming oil and there's even two class-action lawsuits related to the oil consumption issue. At Suburb Service, Seattle's top independent Subaru service and repair shop, we can help you figure out what's going on with your Subaru's oil intake and make sure your Subaru stays in tip-top shape.

Do you drive an older Subaru?

If your Subaru is older or has close to (or more than) 100,000 miles on the odometer, it will naturally burn more oil. This is not necessarily indicative of a problem, just a circumstance that happens with older or higher use cars. You should still always make sure your oil is topped off and get regularly scheduled oil changes. Proper maintenance and preventive checks are more important as your Subaru gets older and you rack up more miles, but you can safely keep driving it indefinitely. Subarus are great higher-mileage cars - we have many customers that happily keep driving their Subarus beyond 100k or even 200k with no problems.

Is your Subaru brand new or just a couple of years old?

It's of more concern if you have a late model Subaru that's eating oil like crazy. According to Consumer Reports, you shouldn't have to put oil into your engine between oil changes if you drive a newer car still under warranty. While this is theoretically true, the wear and tear you put on your car can make a difference - but some Subaru models may burn more oil than they should and this can be a sign that you need to bring in your car for warranty work. Newer Subaru Impreza, Legacy and Outback, among other models, have been identified as potentially high oil burners. A Subaru rep said, "The rate of [oil] consumption can be affected by such factors as transmission type, driving style, terrain, and temperature."

Is your Subaru impacted by the class-action lawsuit?

Two class-action lawsuits have been filed against Subaru over oil consumption. One was filed in July 2014 and the second in October 2014. The lawsuits accuse Subaru of not addressing concerns related to "excessive" oil consumption. Attorneys for the plaintiffs have alleged that Subaru also failed to disclose an oil consumption issue with certain models and "has refused to cover repair bills caused by an alleged engine defect." Subaru has stated, "...the vast majority of our vehicles consume oil at typical levels."

Here's a list of the models included in these two lawsuits:

  • Subaru Forester (2011-2014) with 2.5 liter engine
  • Subaru Legacy (2013) with 2.5 liter engine
  • Subaru Outback (2013) with 2.5 liter engine
  • Subaru Impreza (2012-2013) with 2 liter engine
  • Subaru Crosstrek (2013) with 2 liter engine

How to find out if your Subaru is affected

If you find that your engine oil gets low between oil changes and you have to regularly top it off, here's what you can do. Bring in your Subaru to Suburb Service (or a dealer shop) for an oil consumption test. Subaru has issued a couple of Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) related to this issue. The first called for piston ring replacement for vehicles over-consuming oil. But then a subsequent TSB recommended replacement of the engine short block assembly.

However, even with this TSB, you may have to fight to get the warranty work covered because Subaru has advised that warranty shops must "confirm the actual condition prior to attempting repairs" and cautions that "some oil consumption can and should be expected as a by-product of engine operation even when no concern exists."

To find out if your Subaru is burning too much oil, bring it in to Suburb Service in Seattle or Marysville to get it checked out. You can reach us in Seattle at (206) 705-8695 or click here to schedule online. We are the oldest Independent Subaru Service Center in the Pacific Northwest and we've been a Subaru-only shop for 20 years. Come see us!